The MIDI Association’s MPE v1.1 is the update to 2018’s MIDI Polyphonic Expression specification, designed to help accelerate its adoption.
MPE is the newest MIDI standard that supports per-note expressive control, allowing more levels of expression in creating music. The previous MIDI specification handles things like pitch and modulation from a jogwheel or joystick, and it controls all notes together.
The MPE Working Group also released a 1.0 editorial revision in March 2021 to make the standard easier to learn.
A short statement from the MPE Working Group explains the change: “No technical design changes were made while every point of confusion or misinterpretation we’ve encountered over the past few years has been addressed,” it reads. “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.”
A MIDI 2.0 MIDI-CI (Compatibility Inquiry) standard will come soon for MPE devices. This standard will allow MPE devices to use bidirectional communication, enabling devices “speak” to each other and automatically configure to work together.
Along with releasing this update, the MPE Working Group certified and updated their specification with various DAW, plugin and instrument developers.
MPE v1.1 is now available for free on Midi.org.