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The MIDI Association Announces the v1.1 Update to the MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) Specification

Los Angeles CA, May 1, 2022 – The MIDI Association announces the release of an update (v1.1) to the MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) (v1.0, January 2018) specification.

In March of 2021, the MIDI Association’s MPE Working Group reconvened to evaluate the current MPE specification and create an editorial revision. The working group has gone over the MPE v1.0 specification with the goal of making it clearer and easier to adopt. No technical design changes were made while every point of confusion or misinterpretation we’ve encountered over the past few years has been addressed. All the implementation rules are now gathered together into section 2 “Detailed Specification”. Further, the best practices and appendices have been elaborated to provide greater detail and examples.

The next step for the MPE Subcommittee is to create a MIDI 2.0 MIDI-CI Profile for MPE, taking advantage of MIDI-CI to enable auto-configuration between MPE senders and receivers, with a goal to complete this work in 2022.

MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) makes it possible for artists to perform independent gestures for each musical note, with up to three dimensions of expression. Without MPE, expressive gestures on synthesizers—such as pitch bending or adding vibrato—affected all notes being played. With MPE, every note a musician plays can be articulated individually for much greater expressiveness. At the present time over one hundred DAWs, Synthesizers and Controllers support MPE.

The members of the MPE Working Group include:

Gregory Pat Scandalis – moForte Inc

Athan Billias – MIDI Association-President/ MIDI2Marketing LLC

Mike Kent – AmeNote Inc

Geert Bevin – Moog Music Inc

Eric Bateman – Keith McMillan Instruments

Andrew Mee – Yamaha Consultant

Jonathan Keller – Zivix

The working group also consulted with a variety of other hardware manufacturers, plugin developers and DAW vendors to make sure their input was reflected into the updated specification.

The new specification is already available for download on the MIDI.org website.