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  • Controller 88: High resolution velocity.

    For many years I have thought that 127 levels is far too low a resolution for velocity in MIDI. Many say you can't hear, but I believe the brain does hear it. Believe what you want. So I was really happy to see that the MIDI spec was updated recently after many years to include Controller 88 or CC88 to enable a high resolution velocity function for controllers and software that supports it. Basically the keyboard records the incoming velocity in high resolution I can't remember the exact number of steps but roughly from memory it's about 60,000 (a lot more than 127 anyway). Correct me if I'm wrong on that. What it does is send a controller data number 0-127 on CC88 immediately prior to a velocity value, the software then recombines these to get the high resolution velocity amount (eg 0-60,000).

    I can't hep but think that Vienna Imperial at the very least with it's very high sample count would benefit from this.... and is certainly future proof against this new velocity amount.

    Any plans to support this new MIDI feature in the future?

  •  Yes, CC88 has been suggested by the MMA, giving velocity a 14-bit resolution, which is something just over 16,000 step resolution.

    Though confusingly, the MMA are stating that the cc88 message is not intended for data resolution extension of MIDI, so if not, I have no idea what the intention of introducing this is, unless they are just suggesting it will always be an optional function.

    The problem with putting cc data amongst note data, is the amount of extra data needed, as the data type is changing, running status could not be used, so the data will be about four times greater. There has to be something like this to play 2 notes:

    $Bn $58 vv    $9n nn vv    $Bn  $58  vv    $9n  nn  vv (12 bytes)

    where as existing MIDI would need this:-

    $9n nn vv  nn  vv  (5 bytes)

    But until someone brings out a keyboard that transmits this, I am sure no software developer will support it. Vienna Imperial is sampled 100 times per note, so I am not sure what benefit having sixteen thousand velocity steps will be, as it would still play the 100 samples per note, though the possibilty to have hundreds of samples per note would be a future option, but must surely be too incomprehensible to be an option.

    The existing MIDI needs to go and a new 16-bit higher speed MIDI2 needs to be devised. I am amazed that no real progress on MIDI has appeared, the 7-bit / 32Kb baud rate is somewhat primitive by todays standards and expectations.