Sensel Morph is a tactile and customisable MIDI controller that uses different overlays for different situations. It’s about the size of a mouse mat but can be a rubberised MIDI keyboard, mixer, controller, drum pads, gamepad, or experimental touch space. A new upgrade to the editing app brings in a new level of customisation and some fledgeling support for MPE.
When you call something version 0.13 it doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence. However, this update opens up the possible customisation of the Sensel Morph controller. Every event type can now be changed which allows you to mix keyboard events with MIDI events and gamepad events all on one overlay.
So you can now use the gamepad overlay as a MIDI controller, or the video editor overlay to fire off macro keyboard commands in your DAW. Or you could mix and match, so take a row of drum pads on the MIDI controller and turn those into handy keyboard shortcuts. You just simply reprogram the buttons to what you want them to be.
Sensel call this MIDI Polyphonic Expression, which apparently is the same thing as Multi-dimensional Polyphony Expression but less impressive sounding. It’s the ability to attach expressive controls to individual notes so you can pitch bend notes independently or alter the filter on one note and not the others. It is what the ROLI keyboards do. The Sensel Morph has the ability to detect individual notes and expression movements and so being able to capture that data seems like a plausible idea. This is still very much in the alpha stage and not fully implemented. Essentially it routes each controller area over a different MIDI channel, allowing each one to be controlled independently. You’ll need to be using software that can handle MPE like Bitwig Studio, ROLI Equator, FXPansion Strobe 2 and Reaktor.
The Sensel Morph has been a very long time in coming. In many ways now that it’s finally available I feel that I’ve sort of lost my enthusiasm for it. It was always a great idea, just a great idea a couple of years ago and now seems less innovative. This update is how things should have been on release day, it’s the sort of functionality that I expected it to have. It’s great that it’s there now but they’ve been working on this thing for years – shouldn’t it be at least at version 1 by now?
- Sensel Morph website.
- SenselApp update page.
- More information on MPE.