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# Libre Music Challenge #29: MDA Piano (April 2024) The challenge for this month is to make a track with MDA Piano and ePiano. Here they are, everyone's favourite piano plugins! For this month's challenge, you have to make a song with these iconic piano sounds. You can use one or the other plugin, or both! You can also use any other sound sources in addition to MDA Piano/ePiano, but the piano sounds must be a prominent feature of your song. You can use any DAW and any effect plugin, as long as everything is free software. * [Forum announcement post](https://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic.php?t=26947) * [Playlist, Voting, Results](https://lmc.nyxkn.org/events) ## MDA Plugins MDA plugins are originally by *Paul Kellett* and were released under the GPL v2 or later, or the MIT license. ### Documentation * [Original documentation website](https://web.archive.org/web/20220623205721/http://mda.smartelectronix.com/vst/help/mdaplugs.htm) in the Internet Archive ### Versions and Sources * Original VST2 version: [Sources on Sourceforge](https://sourceforge.net/projects/mda-vst/) * LV2 ports by *drobilla:* [Website](http://drobilla.net/software/mda-lv2.html) | [Sources on GitLab](https://gitlab.com/drobilla/mda-lv2) Based on revision 10 of the MDA SVN repository, started in 2008, but many updates to the project infrastructure and big fixes since. The **current release version is 1.2.10**. * Fork of the LV2 ports by MOD Devices: [Sources on GitHub](https://github.com/moddevices/mda-lv2.git), This uses parameters with proper units and value ranges, instead of 0..1 for every parameter. Also has some fixes related to EPiano, but doesn't have recent project infrastructure changes in upstream after forking (e.g. it is still using `waf` as a build tool and compiling from source requires Python 2!). Uses different LV2 plugin URIs and bundle names, so can be installed alongside the drobilla version. * [elk-audio/mda-vst2](https://github.com/elk-audio/mda-vst2) MDA plugins in VST 2.4 format, adapted to use CMake and targeted at Linux systems * [elk-audio/mda-vst3](https://github.com/elk-audio/mda-vst3) MDA plugins in VST 3 format, adapted from Steinberg's VST 3 SDK examples * [hollance/mda-plugins-juce](https://github.com/hollance/mda-plugins-juce) JUCE re-implementations of the classic MDA audio plug-ins ### Packages #### Arch Linux * [Arch Linux package for drobilla's LV2 port](https://archlinux.org/packages/extra/x86_64/mda.lv2/) * [AUR VCS package for drobilla's LV2 port](https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/mda-lv2-git) - for installing latest code from Git * [AUR VCS package for the MOD fork of the LV2 port](https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/mod-mda-lv2-git) Please note that this requires the dependency `python2` to build. You can install the package `python2-bin` from the AUR to quickly satisfy this dependency. #### Debian & Ubuntu * [Search Debian packages for "mda"](https://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=mda&searchon=names&suite=all&section=all) * [mda-lv2 package in Ubuntu](https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/mda-lv2) #### Generic Linux * [mda-vst2-linux-x86_64-20240405.tar.xz](https://0x20.eu/nc/s/nAgMFNcb7Fosf66) Binaries for x86_64 Linux of MDA VST2 plugins from `elk-audio/mda-vst2`. See the file `README.md` in the archive for details. This archive is for personal use only. Please don't redistribute it. * [mda-vst3-linux-x86_64-20240405.tar.xz](https://0x20.eu/nc/s/NYF3jxsxJ4XSJQg) Binary for x86_64 Linux of the MDA VST3 plugin bundle from `elk-audio/mda-vst3`. See the file `README.md` in the archive for details. This archive is for personal use only. Please don't redistribute it. **Note:** *Carla seems to load always the first plugin in the bundle (MDA Ambience), no matter which one you choose in the plugin selector. Loading each plugin works fine in Ardour (at least according to my spot checks).* ### EPiano (Alternatively called "ePiano" in some places.) > The ePiano is based around 12 carefully sampled and mastered Rhodes Piano samples. > > Rhodes Pianos are electrical instruments that were designed in the 40’s but only became popular in the 70’s. Instead of using strings to produce sound, it uses tin metal tines which are then amplified through an electrical pickup. #### Presets The plugin has five built-in preset: * Autpan * Bright * Default * Mellow * Tremolo #### Parameters 0. Envelope Decay 1. Envelope Release 2. Hardness 3. Treble Boost 4. Modulation 5. LFO Rate 6. Velocity Sense 7. Stereo Width 8. Polyphonic* 9. Fine Tuning 10. Random Tuning 11. Overdrive * Maximum polyphony is 32 voices. * The "Polyphonic" parameter is declared as a toggle in the LV2 version, but is supposed to be "Polyphony", i.e. an integer 1..32 setting the number of polyphony voices (compare MDA Piano). This issue is fixed in revision 2 of the AUR VCS package for the MOD fork, where the parameter is called "Polyphony" (symbol `polyphony`) and works properly. The fix is unlikely to merged into upstream, though, since it breaks backwards compatibility with the existing version (with broken behaviour). > The modulation parameter is used to set the modulation depth and the modulation mode. If the modulation control is set to a negative value the LFO will be modulating panning. If it's set to a positive value it will modulate the volume, resulting in a classic tremolo effect. #### MIDI Support * Ignores MIDI channel (Omini mode). * Note-on velocity is mapped to amp envelope by a controllable amount, and to muffle filter by a fixed amount. * Doesn't support note-off velocity. * Supports *Modulation* (aka Mod Wheel, CC #0) - adds tremolo. * Support *Volume* (CC #7). * Supports *Sustain* pedal (CC #64) and *Sostenuto* (CC #66) (same as Sustain). * Supports *All Notes Off* (CC #123) * Doesn't support *All Sound Off* (CC #120) or *Reset All Controllers* (CC #121). * Doesn't support *Pitch Bend*. * Supports *Program Changes* to change internal presets. #### Quirks and other Observations * The sample for notes Bb5 to Eb6 has a very audible key clunking sound. * The sample for E6 and up as well, but much less pronounced. #### Screenshots drobilla's LV2 version in Carla: ![MDA ePiano LV2 in Carla](https://0x20.eu/nc/s/67g87magT25e3Tw/preview) drobilla's LV2 version in Ardour (German): ![MDA EPiano LV2 in Ardour (German)](https://0x20.eu/nc/s/pyKXacbsNZo8Pga/preview) ### Piano > The MDA Piano generates a variety of piano sounds. > > It was designed for a very low CPU usage. Tweak the sound to fit to your personal needs, or check out the presets. There is a bunch of cool stuff in there. #### Presets The plugin has eight built-in preset: * Broken Piano * Compressed Piano * Concert Piano * Dance Piano * Dark Piano * MDA Piano * Plain Piano * School Piano #### Parameters From the original documentaton: * Decay: Envelope decay time * Release: Envelope release time * Stereo Width: Key to pan position, with additional stereo ambience at high settings * Tuning: Controls for overall tuning, random tuning amount, and high frequency stretch tuning amount. Use Alt-click to reset sliders to their default positions * Vel Sens: Velocity curve: Mid point is normal "square law" response * Muffle: Gentle low pass filter. Use "V" slider to adjust velocity control * Hardness: Adjusts sample keyranges up or down to change the "size" and brightness of the piano. Use "V" slider to adjust velocity control * Polyphony: Adjustable from monophonic to 32 voices #### MIDI Support Same as EPiano, except that: * *Modulation* (aka Mod Wheel, CC #0) - controls the muffle filter * ... as does *Soft Pedal* (CC #67). * Note-on velocity is mapped to amp envelope, muffle filter and hardness by a controllable amount. #### Screenshots drobilla's LV2 version in Carla: ![MDA Piano LV2 in Carla](https://0x20.eu/nc/s/Wx7j9ww9Lmbm5tp/preview) drobilla's LV2 version in Ardour (German): ![MDA Piano LV2 in Ardour (German)](https://0x20.eu/nc/s/JrDBTcRwLxJqNMa/preview)