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Topic: Sorry to ask again: which wind controller?

  1. #1

    Sorry to ask again: which wind controller?

    Sorry to ask again. I already have a topic open on the use of wind controllers but wanted to streamline my question a bit further.

    I´m a keyboarder (coming from classic piano) first, a bad trumpet player second.

    I would like to get my hands on a wind controller as I think it would boost my control possibilities of woodwinds and brass in libraries such as GPO and SAM brass.

    What would you recommend (for someone who knows how to press keys but not how to do the fingering on woodwinds)?
    Either get a WX5/7 and learn the fingering or buy a BC3/Kurzweil expressionmate combination (could get my hands on a secon hand one). Any opinions of keyboarders (or woodwind players) out there?

  2. #2

    Re: Sorry to ask again: which wind controller?

    My take on this - if you\'re willing to put in the practice to learn the fingering, get a wind controller. Personally, I like the WX5, but there are varying opinions on which is best. I did not find the learning curve (fingering) that steep. I went from novice to live public performance inside a year.

    If you\'re not willing to learn the fingering, the BC3/Expressionmate combo covers a lot of useful controller possibilities. The BC3 gets varying reviews as to \'controllability\' - but just listening to Duncan Brinsmead\'s Mozart pieces proves that it can do the job well. He uses a BC3.

    Bonus to a wind controller - with good sound modules/samples/patches, you expand your instrument arsenal dramatically, both inside and studio and outside in live performance.


  3. #3

    Re: Sorry to ask again: which wind controller?


    So sorry if it seemed I was confusing the issue in the other thread. I agree with everything Trond says, except I don\'t believe you necessarily have to learn fingering to use a wind controller, because of tools like Midi Finger Conductor. But even if you do learn fingering, it won\'t take that long.

    Even though many of the pros on this forum will tell you a wind controller is much better than a breath controller, Duncan\'s clarinet piece suggests otherwise, just as Trond says. I bought a BC3 after having a WX5 for a while, just because I\'m trying to learn as much as I can about all the different ways to do this kind of thing. I haven\'t been using it for very long, but so far I haven\'t been able to convince myself that it\'s a whole lot better than using the mod wheel. Maybe Duncan can speak to this. People complain about the BC3 requiring a lot more breath than a wind controller, but you can probably plug up the escape hole either partially or wholly and save some breath that way.

    One practical matter I\'ve never seen mentioned: if you use headphones, as I often do, you\'re going to have to try to find room on your head and neck not only for the phones but also for the BC3.


  4. #4

    Re: Sorry to ask again: which wind controller?

    Thanks for both of you for your very helpful comments. Maybe Duncan, who has used breath controllers for a while can comment on the modwheel vs. breath controller question.
    It´s just that I want to clarify if forking out some 400$ would be worth it (I could get SAM Brass for the same amount of money)
    Thanks again

  5. #5

    Re: Sorry to ask again: which wind controller?

    I find that it just sounds much better when I play with the breath control, rather than using modwheel. However my KorgT1 uses a joystick, which is not as subtle as a modwheel, so I may be biased here. You need to fiddle initially with the controller response curves as well the bias and threshold controls on the BC3 to get it to work. The controls on the BC3 for this are very crude and touchy to get right. The BC3 will not respond to very light breath, which is annoying, so you may need to blow more than you would like to get a full dynamic range. The event smoothing in Kontakt can help open up the lower end, however. I do plug the hole with a screw that I adjust to get the right amount of bleed. The hissing of the BC3 when playing is also a bit annoying.

    However I would not want to go to a wind controller, because I like the added control the keyboard gives me. If only someone would create a high quality breath controller! A bite pressure sensor would also be nice.

    The cadenza in the clarinet concerto is exactly as I played with the breath controller (combined with keyboard velocity for attacks and pedal for legato). I don\'t think I could do this with the mod wheel.


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