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Topic: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Question Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Hello everyone. I just purchased Garritan Personal Orchestra and I am up and running and loving it...with one small problem. My keyboard has no pitch bend or modwheel for expression (Older Yamaha P80). Does anyone have any advice as to what I should pick up? Do the midiman keyboards like the axiom allow you to pass a signal from another keyboard through them? I know emu used to have a stand alone midi device that would do this called the launchpad but they no longer sell it. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Hi John. Welcome to the family!
    Any keyboard controller today should do well with GPO. An expression pedal is a must if you plan on getting the Strad later on. As for "launchpad", I'm not familiar with this feature.
    Styxx

  3. #3
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    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    I would recommend getting a controller that has channel aftertouch. Many of the cheaper models don't have this. Aftertouch is used in JABB, Solo Strad and many other libraries that will be coming out.

    Jim

  4. #4

    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Since many libraries employ keyswitching as another manner of control (GPO included), you'll also want to consider a keyboard of sufficient size to play, and make control changes. You can do it on a 49, but I really recommend you go for a 61-key or higher. A larger keyboard also makes twiddling with ideas a bit easier.

  5. #5

    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    I have the Axiom 61 and I am happy using it with Strad and GPO. I would prefer a 76 note controller though....(an 88 is large for my Desk).

    www.sweetwater.com has a cheap controller called "CMS" I think. Looks like it would be a good possibility

  6. #6

    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    this is ineresting. Styxx & Haydn mention an expression pedal & channel aftertouch. I'm ok on the latter - is an expression pedal simply a sustain pedal that is either on/off or is it a continuous controller? cheers MD

  7. #7

    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro-D
    this is ineresting. Styxx & Haydn mention an expression pedal & channel aftertouch. I'm ok on the latter - is an expression pedal simply a sustain pedal that is either on/off or is it a continuous controller? cheers MD
    Expression pedals will send continuous data to affect, traditionally, CC11 (expression). This controller functions like the volume controller, CC7. If I remember correctly, CC11 was originally intended to affect dynamics in a piece (as CC1 currently does in Garritan stuff) and CC7 was more intended to control master volumes in tracks.

  8. #8
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    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Thanks for all of the suggestions. Unfortunately, my version of the Yamaha P80 has no mod wheel, no pitch bend and no input for an expression pedal. I was hoping (and my wife was REALLY hoping) that I wouldn't have to get a whole new keyboard just to add this functionality. I'd prefer a small little device that sits on top of my current keyboard but I've been unable to locate such an animal. Just out of curiousity, can you use the m-audio axioms to pass a midi signal through them from another keyboard? In other words could I use my current P-80, send a midi signal through the axiom and effect the midi signal with modwheel/pitchbend, etc.? Thanks again for all of your responses.

  9. #9

    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Temps,

    You are probably going to want another keyboard if you are going to do this a lot (and ESPECIALLY if you are going to get Stradivarius etc...)
    You really need to be able to get to the controls easily. Also, unweighted keys are best for these libraries.

    Giorgio recommends a controller that allows for TWO Expression pedals and assign one to Expression and one to Aftertouch for finer control of Vibrato.

  10. #10

    Re: Midi Controller for Garritan Personal Orchestra?

    Here's a couple of potentially outrageous suggestions:

    1) Look for an Ensoniq EPS, the keyboard version. Among other things it provides key-aftertouch, which is easily converted to channel aftertouch if that's what you want. I don't really have the keyboard chops to take advantage of the per-key aftertouch, but for some things it is quite effective.

    I bought an ASR-10 rack several years ago, and then tried to sell/give away my old EPS. I'm so glad I failed!

    2) If you need controllers, especially foot controllers or foot switches, look for a Yamaha CS2. This is a small, wedge shaped box that provide two controllers, two foot switches, a couple of faders, a bunch of buttons, etc. It also has a merge box, so I have it sitting between my main keyboards (a Roland MK-80, 88 wooden keys, and an Oberheim xK, 61 AGO keys) because the xK doesn't have a MIDI in.

    3) No matter what, if you end up shopping for a new keyboard/controller make sure that the mod wheel is not spring loaded, or if it is that the return can be bypassed.

    Bill
    Bill Thompson
    Audio Enterprise
    KB3KJF

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