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Topic: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

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  1. #1

    What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    I'm just curious as to what you guys are using as MIDI controllers for your sample setup. Since I'm finally upgrading to samples, I'm curious if I need to also invest in a new controller keyboard full of knobs and sliders to get expressive and realistic sounding compositions.

    Thanks again for everyones help on my numerous threads.
    Jon

  2. #2

    Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    I use a Kurzweil 2600 for the maximum controller capabilities. With samples it's not always that important, because it seems the serious orchestrators add controller data by hand after the midi track is recorded. But I especially like the small ribbon, it allows you to do real vibrato (move the finger, get one vibrat) exactly as you wish - no LFO amplitude-filter wah-wah, this is like playing a cello string...

    Dasher.

  3. #3
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    Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Fatar SL-880, and I've dusted off the old EMU Launch Pad and JL Cooper Fadermaster for some extra sliders.

  4. #4

    Cool Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by thesoundsmith
    I use a Kurzweil 2600 for the maximum controller capabilities. With samples it's not always that important, because it seems the serious orchestrators add controller data by hand after the midi track is recorded. But I especially like the small ribbon, it allows you to do real vibrato (move the finger, get one vibrat) exactly as you wish - no LFO amplitude-filter wah-wah, this is like playing a cello string...

    Dasher.
    SHHHH! You're giving away the secrets! The Beach Boys showed off the ribbon-vibrato technique on their "Good Vibrations" video, and I've been hooked on the concept ever since. I use a controller that is close to soundsmith's - a Kurzweil MIDIBoard (just got a V3 with their newer key action - SUH WEET) and ExpressionMate module. The complete rig provides access to polyphonic aftertouch, ribbon and breath controllers as well as a handy bunch of MIDI sliders and buttons smattered across both units. There are some dim black & white pics of this setup used on my site, if you're interested in looking. One point that seems to thow people - I chose to mount the ribbon at the base of the keys, instead of above the controller front panel.

    Both the K2600 and MIDIBoard+EpressionMate may not be options in your range. For most straight ahead sequencing and performance work, you can probably pick up one of the Edirol keyboards or perhaps one of the Fatar keyboards distributed through Music Industries.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  5. #5
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    Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Expression controllers can be set up in Logic environment where needed. An inexpensive FATAR SL-880 with weighted keys can address most of your keyboard controller needs (the Kurzweil is cool, but costs lots more.)

  6. #6

    Smile Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Houston, I thought that ws the POINT of this forum - give away your techniques and they STILL can't snd won't sound like you...

    Besides, if the Beach Boys did it, I don't wanna anymore! I know a lot of peeps on these pages are rock fans, probably a bunch of actual (not web) surfers, too - but one of them still owes me money for a tape deck rental 20 years ago, and I HATE surf music, even with ripped-off Four Freshman harmonies.

    Fredrick, don't take this personally, it's not meant as an attack. I just don't understand how anyone can recommend the Fatar boards as real controllers. The action may be OK, but they don't even have rapid patch change capability without playing funny games on the keys. No real-time CC control - nothing but a basic note-on/note off, mod and pitch, same as a million other basic units.

    I see a lot of recommendations for this board, they all seem to be from pianists eather than synthesists. For ploaying piano, it works fine, but for strings, horns, guitars, etc. it's just not enough, IMHO. As a synthesist who does a lot of improvisation, this board is of little value without something like Houston's Expressionmate rig (and the EM only has the large ribblon, so vibrato control is not as convenient or accurate,,,)

    Just an opinion, but I've looked for a long time, and been throuogh many keyboards to find something with enough control to be truly useful. The larger Roland boards also have a lot of control, but nobody but Kurz has the small ribbon, which is such a great natural vibrato tool - it's just like playing on a string but frankly, I'm not in love with their weighted or semi-weighted actions either...

    Dasher

  7. #7
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    Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by thesoundsmith
    I see a lot of recommendations for this board, they all seem to be from pianists eather than synthesists.
    How dare you accuse me of being a pianist! (I've tried, but I still suck) But seriously, my purchase of the SL-880 was influenced by the frequency of "real" pianists I have coming in to work with me, and I wanted them to be as comfortable as possible when forced to perform in the MIDI realm.

    You're right in that it is short on bells and whistles for heavy duty sequencing work, but it's also inexpensive enough to allow for an additional box of dedicated controllers while still taking advantage of its 88 keys (absolutely necessary these days) and nice action.

  8. #8

    Cool Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    I don't know who is making key actions today - but if you buy a MIDI keyboard that tries to have a piano-like action, chances are it comes from Fatar. M-Audio is supposed to have a new controller coming out, and one thread reported that it has polyphonic aftertouch - NIFTY! I thought those were a vanishing breed... so there are more options available than I thought when first replying to this thread.

    Note: No actual MIDI secrets were disclosed during the typing of this thread. Any resemblance to actual MIDI knowledge is strictly coincidental.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  9. #9

    Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Houston Haynes
    I don't know who is making key actions today - but if you buy a MIDI keyboard that tries to have a piano-like action, chances are it comes from Fatar.
    Not so with the top line models (with weighted keys) from the Japanese. I know, for instance, the Fantom-X8 and the Yamaha ES8 are "Made in Japan".

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  10. #10

    Re: What MIDI Controller is in your sample based setup?

    Houston - Good Vibrations was a Theremin invented by a Russian Scientist in the 20s, and is played waving your hands over a pair of antennae without touching, not a ribbon controller.

    I didn't see the video but saw Brian Wilson do it live last year in London and he was definitely using the real deal.

    Ian

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