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Topic: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

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  1. #1

    Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Hey All,

    Happy New Year! Hope all is well with you and yours.

    I have GPO and J&BB, which I run through Cubase 4. I have recently bought a Yamaha BC3 breath controller, along with a MIDI SOLUTIONS BC3A Breath controller MIDI interface (http://www.midisolutions.com/prodbth.htm), in the hope of getting more realistic data to the modulation controller of brass and wind parts I am composing. I played the trombone as a youth, and I'm hoping for some good results. I just can't seem to draw good automation of the mod wheel, nor am I getting much out of moving the mod wheel around.

    Has anyone used a Yamaha breath controller with GPO and/or J&BB, and if so, can you please explain to me how I can set the MIDI SOLUTIONS BC3A Breath controller interface to affect the mod wheel parameter? The manual it shipped with is over my admittedly hollow head. I'm a musician, not a technician , and this whole "MIDI data dump" thing has got me scratching a gulley into my head as I sweat and strain to understand how all this stuff works.

    I downloaded a MIDI utility called "MIDI-Ox" (http://www.midiox.com/), which looks nifty but still has little ole me baffled.

    If anybody can throw me a bone and help me get this breath controller thing up and running, you'd be doing me a great service.

    Thanks,

    Allan Ploth

  2. #2

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Hi Allan,

    I remember my first days as a musician working with MIDI, and how totally baffled I was (and I'm a computer programmer/engineer who is familiar with working with hex data!).

    I haven't used the MIDI Solutions Breath Controller, so my reply may not be extremely useful yet. It is mostly intended as encouragement to keep trying. I think that you have all the tools you need to get this working, but it may take a little bit of learning.

    Firstly, I downloaded the manual for the MIDI Solutions Breath Controller. Yuck! It is not intended for someone who doesn't have quite a bit of MIDI knowledge. Programming it is no where near as friendly as i thought it would be. But you can programming it with MIDI-OX (it's really good to see that you have found the tool you need already!).

    I use MIDI-OX, but I've never used it for sending SysEx commands like this. But from a little poking around, it looks like it can be done easily. I am going to collect a few screenshots, and post them in another message that explains how you can do it. It may not be until later today that I can post that message, so if anyone else feels like jumping in to help, please do.

    I can't tell from your message, but I get the feeling that you might also be totally confused about the content of the SysEx message that needs to be sent to the Breath Controller to program it? I'll try to help with that in the example I put together.

    Also, the MIDI Solutions website recommends a free program called SendSX (http://www.bome.com/midi/sendsx) for programming the Breath Controller. I don't feel like downloading it right now to see how easy it is to use, but you might want to look into it and see if it is easier to use than MIDI-OX.

    We'll have you up and running in no time.
    Best Regards,
    Ernie

  3. #3

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Hi Allan,

    OK, that didn't take as long as I thought it would.

    First, I'm assuming that you aren't really familiar with what the content of the SysEx message that is needed to program the Breath Controller. Page 18 of the manual that I downloaded gives the basic details that I think you need.

    The basic format of the SysEx string is "F0 00 00 50 17 01 aa bb cc dd ee F7". The parameters that you can specify are aa, bb, cc, dd, and ee. There is actually more that you can do (pages 14-21), but this is that basic command that I think you want.

    Assuming that you want the Breath Controller to send ModWheel (CC01) on Channel 1 and have the data range from 0 to 127, the parameters you need to send are:
    aa = 00 (send CC data)
    bb = 01 (controller 1 = ModWheel)
    cc = 01 (channel 1)
    dd = 00 (minimum value sent will be 0)
    ff = 7f (maximum value sent will be 127)
    So the entire SysEx string you need to send will be "F0 00 00 50 17 01 00 01 01 00 7F F7". If you want to send different a controller, change parameter bb according to the table on pages 24-26 of the manual. If you want to send on a different channel, change parameter cc according to the table on page 23 of the manual. If you want to change the min/max range of data sent, change parameters ee and/or ff according to the table on page 27 of the manual.

    Here's how to send this data using MIDI-OX (I am assuming that you have successfully MIDI-OX configured to send data to the Breath Controller unit):

    1) Select the menu item View -> SysEx


    2) Enter the SysEx string in the SysEx Command Window


    3) Select the menu item Command Window -> Send SysEx


    4) Ta da! You can see in the "Monitor - Output" window that the data was sent correctly.


    I hope this helps! If it does, please click on the little icon of the silver scales in the upper-right corner of my message (just to the right of the text "#3") to boost my lowly reputation on this forum.
    Best Regards,
    Ernie

  4. #4

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    You can send a SysEx message from Cubase, just enter the code as discussed in List Edit, probably at the start of the song. This will set up the kit every time you start to play the song, this can also be saved with the song or as part of a template file so that every song you load can have this data at its head, no need to use any other software.

  5. #5

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Hey, Ernie...

    Could you get those pixx to show??

    Snor

    . ..- .--. ....
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  6. #6

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    I don't have Cubase, so didn't realize the SysEx could be sent from there. So much the better, since it removes one tool from the loop. Although it only needs to be sent once to define the Breath Controller setup, so I don't think it needs to be sent each time the song is played (unless you want to define a different controller setup for each song).

    I can see the images. If you can't, try these links:

    http://www.box.net/index.php?rm=box_...id=f_122746449
    http://www.box.net/index.php?rm=box_...id=f_122746463
    http://www.box.net/index.php?rm=box_...id=f_122746477
    http://www.box.net/index.php?rm=box_...id=f_122746433

    Can anyone else see them, or just me?

    --- -. .. ..- --
    Best Regards,
    Ernie

  7. #7

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Can't see 'em and BOX won't let me dl them or see them

    .-- .- ....

    .... ..
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  8. #8

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Lunker, you can't use Box to hot-link to images like that, you have to use a regular website server such as Tripod. Box is a storage site and a link can only take a visitor to a file to then open.

    But we can't use the links you posted to see the images either, because you've somehow locked those folders or images.

    Meanwhile--I cannot believe my EYEs that this MIDI Solutions Breath Controller is making you type in the old sys ex data to program it? Wow - I haven't seen that stuff needed by Anything for years. Stone Age.

    Randy B.

  9. #9

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Well I'll be danged! I guess I could see the images because I was logged into Box.Net. When I logged out, I couldn't see the images either.

    I moved them to StashBox.Org, and they seem to be showing up OK (although much LARGER than they were with Box.Net -- I'll see what I can do to resize them or edit out the unneeded part of the image).

    Sorry for all the confusion!
    Best Regards,
    Ernie

  10. #10

    Re: Better Brass/Wind dynamics/articulation via Wind controller?

    Hey lunker,

    Huge, immense thanks for your detailed reply. Big help!

    As it is, I'm now up and running with my quest for a more realistic representation of winds/brass articulation and dynamics.

    Here's my process as it stands at the moment:
    1. I enter note data with an M-Audio Radium-61 keyboard, with static dynamics (I use the line tool to draw a straight line across the track for modulation, at a value of around ~100, which sounds pretty much mf to f.
    2. On an adjacent track, assigned to the same channel and instrument as my performance track, I overdub with the Breath Controller onto the "Breath" parameter (cc2).
    3. I hyperventilate and grab the armrests of my chair.
    Getting the Breath Controller set up just right is a bit of a job, but I'm hoping for the best as thousands of little Tinkerbells dance before my eyes.

    I hope this info that you gave me is as useful to others as it has been to me. Can't thank you enough.

    Allan

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