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Aftertouch is MIDI data sent when pressure is applied to a keyboard after the key has been struck, and while it is being held down or sustained. Aftertouch is often routed to control vibrato, volume, and other parameters. There are two types: The most common is Channel Aftertouch (also known as Channel Pressure, Mono Aftertouch, and Mono Pressure) which looks at the keys being held, and transmits only the highest aftertouch value among them. Less common is Polyphonic Aftertouch, which allows each key being held to transmit a separate, independent aftertouch value. While polyphonic aftertouch can be extremely expressive, it can also be difficult for the unskilled to control, and can result in the transmission a great deal of unnecessary MIDI data, eating bandwidth and slowing MIDI response time.

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