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Topic: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

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  1. #1

    Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    Hi everybody,

    I am seriously thinking about buying a wind or breath controller, now that all these nice libraries by BelaD Media are out there... Could anybody share some experience with the breath controller and the wind controllers (by Yamaha, I guess) with me? What do you need, what do you have to pay attention to, how difficult is it to learn it? And which libraries can/should be played with a breath or wind controller? Thanks in advance...

    All the best,
    TQ

  2. #2

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    I'll try to answer a few of your questions.

    I bought a Yamaha BC-3 controller, works like a charm! Now, you would probably need a "MIDI-conversion-box" of some kind but I can't help you there since my CME UF8 has a built-in converter from breath to MIDI-data.

    The BC-3 is dead easy to get along with. It has two knobs. One for overall "gain" and one that acts like a threshold-controller. (I haven't got my manual here otherwise you would have gotten their real names

    Also, for adjusting the air-flow there is a little twistable mouthpiece that at one end doesn't let any air through (hard to play I think) and at the other end let's pretty much air through. I have mine set somewhere in the middle.

    As for the libraries that could be played with it I'd say ALL! I even use it for controlling the dynamics of my VSL strings. Works really, really great.

    I have most of Wallanders WIVI-instruments and they truly shine together with the BC-3. They sound better! More natural than riding the mod-wheel.

    And, when it comes to good libraries from Bela D I just yesterday spent a good couple of hours with Spiritual Winds. Totally awesome! That library is worth getting Kontakt for, honestly! (Even if Kontakt couldn't play another lib I'd still get it!)

    In short, I use it to controll dynamics for ALL my libs, except percussion.

    Hope I answered some of your questions. If you have any more, just fire away!
    We are the musikmakers, we are the dreamers of dreams.
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    www.lavergren.com
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  3. #3

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    Thanks! I heard about the need of a conversion box, but I am not sure whether it's worth it. The cheapest CME keyboards with a breath controller input are actually close to these conversion boxes in price, and you get a keyboards, knobs etc. with it... ;-)

    Anybody using a conversion box and can add some perspective?

  4. #4

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    Quote Originally Posted by tquandt View Post
    Thanks! I heard about the need of a conversion box, but I am not sure whether it's worth it. The cheapest CME keyboards with a breath controller input are actually close to these conversion boxes in price, and you get a keyboards, knobs etc. with it... ;-)

    Anybody using a conversion box and can add some perspective?
    I use the Midi Solutions Breath Controller conversion box. It's pretty simple and they have great customer service.

    I guess you could go with a CME keyboard, but I didn't think I'd get any value out of that - just have a big piece of hardware in place of where I could have a tiny little box. I'd use my main midi keyboard for playing and setting controllers anyway.

  5. #5

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    Anybody here got experience with a WX5? Is it easy to learn...?
    And: Thanks for the answers so far!

    Cheers,
    TQ

  6. #6

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    i am playing a wx5.. great instrument. im comming from a sax background .
    But playing on it is deadeasy.. my 7 year old girl loves to play on it.
    if you want to do great solos on it, you have to practice a bit more
    but getting sound out of it is just a matter of blowing.

    i wish samplemakers would pay more attention to the breathcontrollers.. especially the wind instruments. specially programmed sounds for a windcontroller can sound soo great.

  7. #7

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    I picked up a WX-5 last Christmas specifically for controlling acoustic samples, and I've not looked back. All of the Garritan stuff responds natively to CC#2, so absolutely no worries, there.

    I've also experimented with reprogramming soundfonts for breath control - you can read about it in my blog. I'm currently messing around with the sfz format - even more powerful than sf2.

    Good luck - as has been said before, a wind controller is hands down the most realistic way to play natural-sounding wind samples. The WX-5 is really easy to learn if you've ever used Boehm fingering before. Probably not too hard if you haven't. Since every octave fingers the same you only have to learn it once.

  8. #8

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    if you can get it to work with something the wx5 is great. Some things are hard to program. Programers just dont seem to realize the potential. They encourage the use of volume pedals then say that breath pressure is not good because you just increase the volume of the same sample, so what is a pedal doing. I love it on the things I have it working with now. I am a sax player though

  9. #9

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    On my road to my WX-5 I tried an expression pedal - the amount of work it was going to take to get truely expressive and usable results was overwhelming. With the wind controller I had natural and subtle control from the first day.

    Jeff, I haven't used enough libraries to know which are better than others, but I know in the Garritan libraries, CC#2 is identical to CC#1 in terms of function (volume). I would imagine in WIVI it does what it's supposed to, as well.

  10. #10

    Re: Wind or breath controller for sample libraries

    That sounds encouraging. Could anybody compare the breath controller with the wind controller? Can you use them for different things, as the 'handling' is different? Pros and cons?

    Btw, I think BelaD Media's 'Winds' series is breath/wind controller aware, isn' t it?

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