Page 1 of 3

Poly Aftertouch WTF???

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:06 pm
by shaft9000
subject : Polyphonic Aftertouch.
Maybe this subject has been done to death already, so my apologies if I missed it.

Is there no demand for this? Yamaha, Sequential, Ensoniq & Kurzweil all did it before. Tech today must be easily capable of handling polyAT. I see the main limiting factor being the complexity of the sensors and software support. I wonder if it's just commercial reasons they are not made. Evidently MIDI can't handle polyAT - none of the controllers today can do it. But it could now be done by Firewire or USB2.
It's a bummer that our options are the digital CS80v without polyAT, or to chance it with old, expensive and unreliable gear.
Why the h**l did Arturia bother modeling a cs80 WITHOUT polyAT anyway? I'm sure it's a nice softsynth, but those endorsements seem very sketchy to me. I guess Arturia suckered some of us, but I'm not getting an accurate approximation of the cs80 sound without polyAT, no way. My old music director had one at home and used to let me fiddle with it. He would play string quartets on the thing, varying each parts volume independently in real time using polyAT. That's what makes the CS80 a player's dream synth!


Anyway, there seems to be a lack of demand for it. Let's help create one!!
I don't expect anyone to build a full synth with it. I'd be happy to have just a controller you can usb or firewire the data from. Of course, that means newer softsynths must support it, but why wouldn't they but for economic demand reasons?

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:09 pm
by MitchK1989
poly aftertouch DOES work over midi. Grab an old ensoniq for cheap that has poly AT to control that CS-80V...

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:35 pm
by Bitexion
I think the main objection is the costs. You cannot just create Poly AT by some MIDI magical coding. You need a separate censor underneath each key.
Just notice that MIDI keyboards w/ normal AT costs almost twice as the lesser ones. And that is just one single censor acting on all voices at the same time.

Poly AT registers the pressure on each key, requiring alot more circuitry. But it sure is nice. I've used it with the CS-80V. As long as you controller keyboard has Poly AT, it will register correctly via MIDI if the softsynth supports it.

The Alesis Ion has Poly AT in its mod matrix, but the keyboard itself has no AT features at all. But a patch can be set up to be controlled by another Poly AT keyboard perfectly.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:53 pm
by JUGEL
I found it very strange when I was looking for a new MIDI controller ... almost none had aftertouch.

That's why I had to go with the cheapo E-MU. Works great.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:59 pm
by memo
Isn't the only reasonably cheap way to implement Polyphonic Aftertouch patented by Ensoniq (now owned by Creative) ?

Ensoniq produced many Poly-AT keyboards during the late 80's and early 90's, but no other manufacture did.

Creative/Emu/Ensoniq probaby sees little commercial value in releasing Poly-AT keyboards. h**l, many companies aren't even putting regular aftertouch into their stuff - look at the low and medium range Alesis and Roland stuff.

Very unfortunate - I'd love to get a newly manufactured, high quality Poly-AT controller.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:14 pm
by Yoozer
To get Poly AT to work properly, you'd probably better speed up transfer, too - heck, even regular AT can ruin your day,

Too bad MIDI hasn't gotten a proper follow-up yet (and whoever's answering "USB" - no.)

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:50 pm
by atom
i have an m-audio ozonic keyboard + audio interface + midi controller all in one c**p
it has aftertouch though it should be called channel preassure (it's not polyphonic).

works great and i don't care if a VST has it or doesn't FLStudio supports it and i cant
link it to any parameter in any plugin, very cool (it's a new feature in the latest FL7 beta
i've beend playing a lot with i lately).

also the CME keyboards support aftertouch as far as i know, if you look hard enough i'm
sure you'll find more, theese are just from the top of my head.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:52 pm
by felis
memo wrote: ....h**l, many companies aren't even putting regular aftertouch into their stuff - look at the low and medium range Alesis and Roland stuff.
.....


In defense of Alesis (don't know about Roland) - while the low priced Ion and Micron don't have aftertouch, they do have release velocity. Many boards costing thousands of dollars don't have release velocity.

I've had boards that use polyaftertouch and also boards that have release velocity, and I've found release velocity to be far more useful.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:55 pm
by premieklovn
i feel stupid. After being here for a while I still don't quite know what aftertouch is.
Whats the norwegian word for that Bitexion?

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:12 pm
by JUGEL
You can apply extra pressure to the key board. Common uses are Brilliance(filter cutoff), Vibrato and Volume.

Someone should post a link of Vangelis using the CS-80. Makes it pretty clear how it's used. I can't go looking for that at work right now.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:17 pm
by devetron
premieklovn wrote:i feel stupid. After being here for a while I still don't quite know what aftertouch is.
Whats the norwegian word for that Bitexion?
It is sort of like having a mod wheel built into each key on your keyboard. You can assign it to all sorts of parameters.

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:22 pm
by palmer_eldritch
JUGEL wrote:Someone should post a link of Vangelis using the CS-80.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tksji4XyLP0

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:38 pm
by shaft9000
MitchK1989 wrote:poly aftertouch DOES work over midi. Grab an old ensoniq for cheap that has poly AT to control that CS-80V...
Yoozer wrote:To get Poly AT to work properly, you'd probably better speed up transfer, too - heck, even regular AT can ruin your day,
Too bad MIDI hasn't gotten a proper follow-up yet (and whoever's answering "USB" - no.)
I'm confused. Does this mean I can use an Ensoniq sq80 or the like to play the CS80v software and get TOTAL emulation of it's polyAT?

BUT it might not work correctly!??! :?

If it really DOES work, somebody post a soundfile and show me the light, please!

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:39 pm
by portland
felis wrote: Many boards costing thousands of dollars don't have release velocity.
Heh, hardly anybody knows about that. The Roland D70 and Kawai K4 and the Prophet T8 and Alesis QS are the only ones I know of..

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:45 pm
by Bitexion
Absolutely, Shaft9000.

You can use the CS-80V exactly the way Vangelis does with an SQ-80. I just got one myself, and it works like a dream. But Poly AT sends out ALOT of info on the MIDI cables.

You press each individual key harder and the effect only affects that single key. For instance, you could only make the last note in a chord bend pitch upwards.
Or increase filter brilliance on each key in a chord one by one. Very nice effect.It's like every note in the chord "jumps out". If you did that with a normal AT keyboard, the brilliance would affect all the keys held down.

A good thing with the Ensoniq's is that you have 9 different pressure sensitivities, so you can decide how heavy or light you press to activate AT. On the very lightest setting you can hardly press the key to the bottom without activating the aftertouch.

One drawback is that there seems to be a metal strip underneath the keyboard (something with the Poly AT) so the keyboard makes a loud clackety noise all the time. The SQ-80 is a fabulous synth in itself, with 3 oscillators, analog curtis filter (same as Prophet VS), 3VCA's, 4 envelopes and 3 LFO's. And 80 waveforms on each oscillator.