mda ePiano (LV2 Version)

Back in the 20th century, plugins from Maxim Digital Audio (mda) were among the early VST plugins available for Windows. They have a reputation for being high quality with low CPU usage. Several years ago the source code for these plugins was released and David Robillard ported the mda plugins to LV2 format.

Most of the mda plugins are effects but there are also four instruments: DX10, JX10, Piano, and ePiano. I was interested in ePiano, so I installed package mda-lv2 from the Arch Linux AUR (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/mda-lv2/). The package contains all of the mda plugins.

After installation I tried ePiano for the first time in many years and found it to sound surprisingly good (to my ears). The LV2 version’s GUI looks like this:

mda_ep-01
Here’s what the Windows VST version looks like (in REAPER):

mda_ep-02
You may notice some differences. Unfortunately, the control values in the LV2 version are all in the range 0.0 through 1.0 with no units or other helpful information specified on the GUI as in the VST version. I suspect that’s a limitation of LV2.

I created the following chart to list differences in the control descriptions between the VST and LV2 versions plus the range and unit for each control of the VST version:

mda_ep-03

I don’t consider the LV2 GUI to be a serious problem for ePiano although some of the other mda plugins are unusable for me in LV2 format. Nevertheless, mda ePiano is the best electric piano for GNU/Linux that I’m aware of and I plan to make use of it.

Additional Note 24 May 2015: Modulation (Pan/Trem) is controlled by CC1 (Mod Wheel).

More Information About mda ePiano

Version: 1.2.2
Author: Paul Kellett (original VST version) / David Robillard (LV2 port)

Web Sites:
http://mda.smartelectronix.com/ (original VST version)
http://drobilla.net/software/mda-lv2/ (LV2 Port)

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Posted in Instruments

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