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Topic: Breath Controller

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  1. #1

    Breath Controller

    As an old DX7 guy, I've decided to go ahead and buy the MIDI Solutions Breath Controller device to use with GPO and JABB (probably won't work well with the Steinway ). I already have the Yamaha BC3 (from said DX7 days).

    http://www.midisolutions.com/prodbth.htm#

    Anyone have experience with this box before I plunk down the $$$ ???

    Thanks,
    Pat
    Pat Azzarello
    http://www.patazzarello.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Breath Controller

    Hi Pat

    You may want to wait as there will be an announcement of a new controller soon.

    Best,

    Gary

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Azzarello View Post
    As an old DX7 guy, I've decided to go ahead and buy the MIDI Solutions Breath Controller device to use with GPO and JABB (probably won't work well with the Steinway ). I already have the Yamaha BC3 (from said DX7 days).

    http://www.midisolutions.com/prodbth.htm#

    Anyone have experience with this box before I plunk down the $$$ ???

    Thanks,
    Pat

  3. #3

    Re: Breath Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan View Post
    Hi Pat

    You may want to wait as there will be an announcement of a new controller soon.

    Best,

    Gary
    Can you qualify soon?

    Pat, I use the BC3 with the midi solutions box and it works flawlessly. I received good tech support from midi solutions, when I had a problem once as well.

    Gary, what benefits might this unannounced new controller provide?

  4. #4

    Re: Breath Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by tfishbein82 View Post
    Can you qualify soon?

    Pat, I use the BC3 with the midi solutions box and it works flawlessly. I received good tech support from midi solutions, when I had a problem once as well.

    Gary, what benefits might this unannounced new controller provide?
    Yeah! Now that the cat is out of the bag lets hear details!

    I have a BC3 controller and really like it. I use it with my CME UF70 MIDI controller and it works like a charm. No need for the midi solutions box because the CME boards come with a breath controller input.

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  5. #5

    Re: Breath Controller

    Gary;

    Now I'm distracted, and with only a week to tweak and mix my XMas piece submission, my recording is sounding more like:

    God Rest Ye Merry Gentle... (hmmmm, I wonder what Gary has in store it should be intere...) CLAM!!!!

    Looking forward to the great reveal (and hopefully I won't be too busy at work be lurking here...
    Pat Azzarello
    http://www.patazzarello.com

  6. #6

    Re: Breath Controller

    Update -

    My MIDI Solutions breath controller box arrived just before I had to leave the country. As of last night I got it working (of course, I was trying to cut JABB parts with it for a Christmas tune - nothing I ever do anymore seems not to have a deadline ) and I had pretty good luck.

    However, I'm finding the velocity curves a bit baffling. I noticed that the trumpets have a hard "edge" to the attack (being a former trumpet player/current trumpet owner) I find that tongueing does this and I'm wondering:

    1. Has anyone has experiemented with, and would be willing to share, their curves for various instruments in the Garritan libraries???
    2. If not (or if so), would anyone find it interesting to have me post something on how this works and some of the pitfalls??? If Gary will allow I could put it up on the Garritan WIKI site when I'm done (probably get it working during the holidays).

    Pat
    Pat Azzarello
    http://www.patazzarello.com

  7. #7
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    Re: Breath Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Azzarello View Post
    Update -

    My MIDI Solutions breath controller box arrived just before I had to leave the country. As of last night I got it working (of course, I was trying to cut JABB parts with it for a Christmas tune - nothing I ever do anymore seems not to have a deadline ) and I had pretty good luck.

    However, I'm finding the velocity curves a bit baffling. I noticed that the trumpets have a hard "edge" to the attack (being a former trumpet player/current trumpet owner) I find that tongueing does this and I'm wondering:

    1. Has anyone has experiemented with, and would be willing to share, their curves for various instruments in the Garritan libraries???
    2. If not (or if so), would anyone find it interesting to have me post something on how this works and some of the pitfalls??? If Gary will allow I could put it up on the Garritan WIKI site when I'm done (probably get it working during the holidays).

    Pat
    Pat,

    I have the same setup (MIDI Solutions plus BC3) that I acquired a few months back but haven't really got going on it yet. I would be very interested in you posting your experiences with this as I'm hoping to hook it up and start learning how to use it effectively during the Christmas break. I think posting to the WIKI site is a great idea as well.

    Jon

  8. #8

    Re: Breath Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by tfishbein82 View Post
    Can you qualify soon?

    Pat, I use the BC3 with the midi solutions box and it works flawlessly. I received good tech support from midi solutions, when I had a problem once as well.

    Gary, what benefits might this unannounced new controller provide?
    This discussion is a little funny now, in hindsight.

    Now it's obvious what Gary was referring to, which caused so much curiosity on this thread. He was referring to the new (I guess about a month or two old now) electronic wind instrument by Akai, the EWI USB, which comes with Aria and sounds by Garritan.

    I think there was some confusion about wind controller and breath controller. What Gary referred to, the EWI, could be called a MIDI wind controller. What was referred to as the breath controller, is a device to blow in and control MIDI volume, articulation, etc. through breath, while playing a keyboard.

    It's too bad the breath controller thing (while playing keyboard) never caught on too much. I guess Yamaha invented it, created the controller, but only made a few keyboards many years ago that had breath control input jacks, and then dropped it. I've heard of one modern keyboard controller series that has a breath control jack, the CME UF series. Otherwise, one has to use some sort of device in between the breath controller and the keyboard, connecting to MIDI in of the keyboard, to transmit the controller messages. That is what was being discussed here, with the MIDI Solutions box. I think people thought that Gary was discussing something similar, when actually he was referring to the EWI.

    I actually have something like that MIDI solutions box, that was made decades ago, by Anatek, I think called Pocket Wind (as well of course, as the Yamaha breath controller). The hassle about the Anatek, is that although it is just a little box to go in between the breath controller and the keyboard, it needs to be plugged in to its own AC adapter. (They should have put a battery in it instead.)

    Unfortunate that built-in breath control ports did not become the norm in MIDI keyboards, as it could have contributed a lot to the expressiveness of MIDI keyboard playing.

  9. #9

    Re: Breath Controller

    Agreed on both the confusion (wind vs. breath) and the expressiveness. I played flute back in the day (as well as trumpet and tuba), but I certainly couldn't manage the fingerings like I can a keyboard (although some might argue I can't handle either ).

    I used the breath controller early on in my DX days (harmonica seemed to be all the rage back in '84/'85 ). I seem to be getting the hang of it again, but I think that if it had been more popular, there would be MANY more patches/programs/libraries out there, and it would have become far more mature.
    Pat Azzarello
    http://www.patazzarello.com

  10. #10

    Re: Breath Controller

    Quote Originally Posted by maiki View Post
    This discussion is a little funny now, in hindsight.

    It's too bad the breath controller thing (while playing keyboard) never caught on too much. I guess Yamaha invented it, created the controller, but only made a few keyboards many years ago that had breath control input jacks, and then dropped it. I've heard of one modern keyboard controller series that has a breath control jack, the CME UF series. Otherwise, one has to use some sort of device in between the breath controller and the keyboard, connecting to MIDI in of the keyboard, to transmit the controller messages. That is what was being discussed here, with the MIDI Solutions box. I think people thought that Gary was discussing something similar, when actually he was referring to the EWI.
    I think you're right about what Gary was referring to: the EWI-USB.

    Yamaha didn't abandon the breath controller, though. The Motif series has it built in. My Motif ES has an input for Breath Controller.

    What they didn't do is promote it, and improve on the technology. Nor did they make it more affordable.


    Joe

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