Morph MIDI/MPE Controller News

Sensel has announced API integration into the open source Pure Data visual programming environment for its Morph MIDI/MPE controller. Sensel partnered with Virginia Tech’s Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork), founded and directed by Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic.

They tell us that the new software provides easy access to all of the multi-touch pressure data from the Sensel Morph. They say that, with up to 16 contacts and 20 parameters per contact, there is a rich data set for researchers, artists, and developers to create novel, expressive, accessible interfaces for sound, lighting, video, and 3D environments. The programming was led by the undergraduate student Rachel Hachem, a major in the new Creative Technologies in Music (CTM) program. Here’s more details direct from Sensel…

“The Linux Laptop Orchestra is continually exploring new interfaces for our ensemble, and for the research projects within the Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio. The Sensel Morph’s ability to implement any type of tap, stroke, press or punch into our rich programming environment is going to be a game changer,” says Dr. Bukvic.  “This opportunity is exactly what we had in mind when developing the CTM program: student work focused on applied, industry-relevant projects. Rachel’s work will serve as an important contribution to the Pure Data community, and a powerful inspiration for her peers.”

Student lead Rachel Hachem adds, “In L2Ork, I am constantly seeing new ways to integrate music with technology through Purr Data. The Morph’s touch surface gives you an insane amount of data for every touch you make, so the opportunity to contribute to something new was an eye-opening experience. The work was challenging, and required me to apply and learn many different skills.”

The project was initially conceived at the 2018 New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) international conference, hosted by Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT). Peter Nyboer, Product Strategist for the Morph, was impressed with their facility and student body. “Their studios and performance space are world-class, their students were easy to engage, and their commitment to extending and improving Pure Data made it really attractive to work with Ico and Rachel on this.” He continues, “Because it’s open source in an active community, we look forward to seeing how developers extend and implement new interfaces with the Morph and Pure Data.”

To integrate the Sensel API as objects in PureData, visit our Github


About Virginia Tech Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork)

The Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork) [pronounced “lork”] mixes traditional orchestra with  accessible human-computer interaction technologies for the purpose of exploring the expressive power of gesture, communal interaction, and the multi-dimensionality of arts.

L2Ork, founded by Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic in 2009, is part of the interdisciplinary initiative by the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences’ Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio (DISIS) and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT). As the world’s first Linux-based laptop orchestra and Raspberry Pi Orchestra, L2Ork uses affordable, open-source infrastructure for arts-centric, transdisciplinary research. Its seamless integration of arts and sciences focuses on promoting an integrative approach to education.

Since its inception, L2Ork has helped start seven laptop orchestras in North and South America, many of which rely heavily on its affordable design. L2Ork’s infrastructural backbone, Pd-L2Ork (a.k.a. Purr-Data), a Pure Data variant with its unique K-12 learning module, has been utilized in over hundred K-12 Maker-like workshops.

About Pure Data/Purr-Data
Pure Data is an open source visual programming language. Extensible with libraries of “objects”, it is available in the basic “vanilla” and the expanded “Purr-Data” version that offers additional, beginner-friendly features and a more sophisticated GUI. It is easily embedded and has found its way in many hardware projects, iOS apps, and multimedia performances and installations.

About the Sensel Morph

The Morph is an endlessly adaptable, MPE-compatible multi-touch controller, using magnetically attached tactile overlays and the intuitive Sensel configuration app for bespoke integration with a wide range of music and other creative applications. It outputs MIDI (with and without MPE), keystrokes, mouse movements and more, and recognises input by touch, sticks, pens, brushes or anything else you care to hit, press or stroke it with. Learn more at

About Sensel

Ilya Rosenberg and Aaron Zarraga founded Sensel to bring the next generation of touch to computing with PressureGrid™ technology. Having grown to ~50 team members, thousands of customers, and several large-scale enterprise clients, Sensel is working to redefine computer interaction to combine pressure sensitivity and multi-touch, and to meet the environmental challenges of ubiquitous computing. Sensel’s first product, the Morph, won “Best in Show” at the SXSW 2017 Interactive Innovation Awards, was named the “Best MIDI Controller” at NAMM 2019 by MusicRadar, and is currently shipping to customers worldwide. The team is integrating their pressure-responsive sensors into trackpads, displays, mobile devices, automotive interfaces, and other products that involve human interaction. 

The Sensel Morph is available from the Sensel web store and retailers worldwide, starting at $249.

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