seqMPEror is an inspiringly beautiful exploration of sequencing eight voices of MPE. With creative gestures and a non-linear approach, it could reinvent expressive sequencing.
This is a sequencer that hooks into the MPE technology that often gathers dust within our software and hardware synthesizers. While many synths support the individual note expressions, not many controllers do, adding MPE details into a piano roll can feel a little ham-fisted. seqMPEror is looking to harness the power of MPE and make it available in an elegant and creative way.
seqMPEror calls itself a non-linear vertical creative 8-voice MPE polyphonic sequencer. I think it enjoys a good word salad to chew on. It looks like it could be an 8-note step sequencer but in fact, each of the 8 columns represents a voice and you can create a sequence within that voice by animating or automating the Pitch slider. You can do the same with Velocity, Pitch Bend, Aftertouch and any other MIDI control numbers. All of these are happening individually to the notes within the MPE synthesizer you are routing it to.
There are polyrhythmic elements where thinking starts to move off the grid. There’s intelligent harmonic pitch distribution, and individual or grouped pitch bending. You can add chance and probability to each voice and each attribute. And finally, you can morph between presets.
The gesture support is a little hard to visualise. It means you can use mouse gestures or iPad (Mira) gestures or movements from your MPE hardware controller if you have one. seqMPRror can accept whatever stream of data you want to send it.
See it in action
The best thing to do is watch the video and see if that begins to bring out the features that might appeal to you. It’s a fascinating idea and could be a lot of fun paired up with an MPE supporting synth that you’ve never played with in that way before.
seqMPEror runs as a Max MSP device within Ableton Live. You’ll need version 11 if you want to access the MPE side of things. You can run seqMPEror on non-MPE synths but it won’t quite be the same experience. You can preorder it for €29 although I’m not sure yet when it will be available.
Developer Andrej Kobal also asks that we consider voting for it over on the MIDI Association Innovation Awards, so if you like it, please do.