Laptop and piano

Jonathan Pitkin - Tools & Software


This Max/MSP patch is a software emulation of Andrew McPherson's Magnetic Resonator Piano (MRP), an electronically-augmented acoustic piano which makes possible the precise dynamic shaping of notes, as well as special effects such as harmonics and pitch bends. SoftMRP is intended to allow performers to practise MRP repertoire when they are away from the instrument itself, using widely-available MIDI equipment.

Here's an introduction given at the 2021 New Interfaces for Musical Expression conference at NYU Shanghai:

In order to open and run SoftMRP, you will need to have Max/MSP installed on your computer (version 7.3.6 or above). You don't have to buy a Max license - you can use the free, trial version of the software. (This allows you to run and edit patches, but not to save them. You can, however, save your configuration settings within SoftMRP.) Max is available for Mac or Windows, and SoftMRP should work fine on either.

You will need a MIDI keyboard, connected to your computer, and a MIDI expression pedal (probably connected to the keyboard). A MIDI sustain pedal would also be useful. Keyboards with aftertouch - particularly polyphonic aftertouch - are ideal, but there aren't too many of them around these days!

The following videos talk you through the set-up and features of SoftMRP. They assume that you are already familiar with the physical MRP.

Let me know what you think of SoftMRP! Evaluation is an important part of any tool like this, so your feedback is of great value. You can find my email on the Contact page.
  • How closely does the experience of playing it match that of playing the original instrument?
  • Are you a pianist, preparing for a performance on the physical MRP? How useful is SoftMRP as a practice tool?

Would you like to be able to access an editable version of SoftMRP, to allow you to adapt or expand its capabilities for your own project? Please get in touch and let me know what you've got in mind.

Found a bug? Let me know using this form.