[sdiy] A different kind of polyphonic aftertouch

Mike HEQX mike at heqx.com
Fri Jan 5 05:51:27 CET 2018


Good points Tom. Ok so velocity sensitivity is the attack velocity, in 
the piano paradigm, yet synthesizers are not pianos and their actions 
are not hammer oriented. Conversely pianos do not have aftertouch.

I was referring to the velocity curve that you can select on some 
digital synths. It's as if your fingers can't tell the instrument what 
you want it to do directly because, it has to have an additional layer 
of processing to simulate some type of mechanical action that is not 
inherent in the instrument, thus it is psuedo-realistic sensing because 
you are playing one way and the instrument is artificially creating a 
response. Now that is not to say it is a bad thing to have artificial 
curves as many controllers do, but it is certainly not directly 
representing actual playing physics.

If you read the descriptions from some manufacturers of their velocity 
curve settings you can see that they are compensating for deficiencies 
in the human player, from the physical interface as well as the 
conversion to midi data.

"All that said, more sensing and different sensing is all good, so I agree with the thrust of your argument. I’d still like to see a serious return of polyphonic aftertouch - how is it possible that so many years after the CS80 that isn’t a *standard* feature on all synth keybeds?!?"

I agree heartily and I'll add that something like the Roli Seaboard or the Continuum are breaking that piano paradigm even though they have a key basis that is familiar. Now we need more interfaces that are familiar ( beyond the saxaphone, and trumpet) and also some that may be even more efficient and intuitive than the piano key layout.

Mike


On 1/4/2018 6:10 PM, Tom Wiltshire wrote:
> There’s nothing “pseudo” about measuring the time something takes to get from A to B and then calling that velocity. Ok, “average velocity” if you like, but it’s definitely velocity. Saying that the attack curve is “artificially generated” is a bit of stretch too. There’s a relationship between how hard you hit and the eventual velocity value. Once upon a time, that would have been organised mechanically, but now it makes sense to do it in software and make it more flexible. It’s no more artificial than using  bits of trees and elephants tusks and cast iron and wire to build a mechanical solution.
>
> Similarly, for a hammer action, velocity sensitivity *is* attack velocity, since once the hammer leaves the key, you haven’t got any control over it, despite all those pianists massaging their keys. Synth keypads do better than hammer action in that measuring release velocity is actually possible and realistic, even if rarely done (and rarely that useful, I’d argue).
>
> All that said, more sensing and different sensing is all good, so I agree with the thrust of your argument. I’d still like to see a serious return of polyphonic aftertouch - how is it possible that so many years after the CS80 that isn’t a *standard* feature on all synth keybeds?!?
>
> Tom
>
> ==================
>         Electric Druid
> Synth & Stompbox DIY
> ==================
>
>> On 4 Jan 2018, at 22:29, Mike HEQX <mike at heqx.com> wrote:
>>
>> As we see in the Ensoniq SQ-80 there is no physical switch. It was a change in inductance that was being measured and they did have a rubber pad under the key and they did give you polyphonic aftertouch ( not related I know ). So they used inductance, and someone else uses light, and yet another uses capacitance, and these are all linear sort-of systems that in my opinion are better than the two switch method of generating a psuedo-velocity sensitivity that measures time.
>>
>> So really the majority of synth keybeds that claim velocity sensitivity are really just sensing attack velocity. Some offer a choice of attack curve, which is artificially generated for you. Very few are actual hammer actions ( in the piano paradigm ), and very few are doing anything unique. Long live linear sensing!
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 1/4/2018 2:36 PM, cheater00 cheater00 wrote:
>>> You put a spring or piece of rubber under the key and suddenly the
>>> linear sensor is a pressure sensor.
>>>
>>> On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 6:46 PM, ASSI <Stromeko at nexgo.de> wrote:
>>>> On Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:09:40 PM CET MTG wrote:
>>>>> https://deskthority.net/wiki/Adomax_Flaretech
>>>>>
>>>>> "There are no electronics in the switch modules themselves. Instead,
>>>>> surface-mounted infra-red optoelectronic components on the circuit board
>>>>> provide the sensing in conjunction with a prism in the module's
>>>>> transparent slider."
>>>> So a vertical mouse, sort-of.  Which means it's very likely measuring key
>>>> travel rather than pressure, which is a lot less useful for a musical
>>>> keyboard.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Achim.
>>>> --
>>>> +<[Q+ Matrix-12 WAVE#46+305 Neuron microQkb Andromeda XTk Blofeld]>+
>>>>
>>>> Samples for the Waldorf Blofeld:
>>>> http://Synth.Stromeko.net/Downloads.html#BlofeldSamplesExtra
>>>>
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