After reading many remarks about wind controllers in this forum I feel like contributing my 2 cents and share my experience.
About two months ago i bought a Yamaha - WX5 Wind Controler and VL70m Physical Modelling Synth Set for about 850 US$ from a german mailorder dealer. To give you the conclusion first: I only regret not having done this a couple of years earlier.
After some frustrating days trying to figure out the fingering and ignoring the blisters on my lips i finally came to the conclusion, that for me a wind controller is the only midi device suitable to play wind instruments. I played wind instruments on the keyboard for years, and in terms of pitchbend and modulation the result was not to bad. The big difference is the control of amplitude. For me two wheels and a foot control next to the actual playing is just a bit to much, and i hate the tedious task of manually edit controller data...
The most interesting thing playing with wind controller versus keyboard is the fact, that amplitude and expression control is completely natural and automatic (i still have some problems with the pitch wheel...). The second thing is that my wind lines in composing start to become different ( i think this is because i start to feel the nature or personality of wind instruments much better.)
To give you an idea of what happens if you blow into a wx5, you can check out this midi file: http://www.ccshop.ch/fmf/wind3.mid
Look at breath and expression controller data.
or you can listen to the mp3 in: http://www.ccshop.ch/fmf/wind3.mp3
What you hear is just a unedited cutout of 2 minutes where i play live on top of a simple string loop. This is not intended to be a final composition, i just like playing more then practicing...
What would be interesting to hear is what comes out if You play the midi file with your samples (I guess you have to convert the breath controller data to Volume control?).
I\'ve always been interested in wind controllers, but was never sure whether they really work with samples or whether they are more suited to synths... what has been you experience... ahve you actually tried using - say - the DD woodwinds?
that\'s why I supply the midi file - to challenge the owners of different wind libraries to post a reply with there results.
My own experience is very frustrating. The libraries i have do not really support wind controllers and I hope to find people who made patches or articulation files. On the other hand the bundle I bought was less expensive then the famous string library i\'m still waiting for... So if i cant find expressive samples I will go into physical modelling.
So guys - what library gives the best results with wind controllers?
Thank you for your input!
My current music equipment setup consists of nearly all samplers (lots of them!). The only non-sampler gear that is regularly patched into the mixer is the Yamaha VL1-m and VL70-m (that are both used with a breath controller). There is a reason for this, which is that I usually find the physical modelling synths give me significantly more expressive results for wind instruments than sampled instruments when used in conjunction with the breath controller.
Having said that, however, I still use plenty of sampled woodwind & brass (and I have bought most of the available sampled woodwind/brass libraries).
I will be getting a VL70-m tomorrow! Have always liked breath controlling, but since I have a Roland main keyboard, I couldn\'t use it. Will see how this turns out and if it will be good to program LFO\'s controlled by breath controller into some sampled woodwinds and brass.
To OH: Who is GC and do you have an idea how the physical modelling part of the oasys compares to the yamaha VL family?
To Nicholas: Which of your sample libraries responds best to wind controllers?
To Simon: FDA Warning: VL70 with WX5 is highly addictive and you might want to quit smoking
thank you all for your input
I don\'t want one of those WIND controllers that looks like a small clarinet or something - at least not yet, I might change my mind. I know the 2nd hand unit I will buy comes with \'breath controller\' (mouthpiece).
It seems like the WX5/7 records more than just how much you blow, though? So it will add even more expression compared to a breath controller?
There are two inputs on the VL70m: one called breath and the other called wx in. I never used the breath input because it only acts like a Volume Pedal, so you still have to play Keyboard with pitch and modwheel. The wind track of my demofile was played live only with the wx5 controller. There was something weird though - when i play back the sequence with cubase, it sounds different whether the wx5 is connected or not.
If I may suggest something: try to get a \"real\" wind controller somewhere. I am sure you will get much more out of your new soundmodule.
Yes but don\'t you have to know how to play a flute or another wind instrument? Does it work with holes, buttons, valves or how does it work? Looks difficult to me... Breath control doesnt act like volume - you use it for the MIDI controller called \'breath controller\' which can be assigned to whatever you like, e.g. opening up a filter, adding vibrato or whatever. I know a wind controller will give you even more control - although I cant figure out how it can respond to anything but how much you blow, like a breath controller... I read it records \'lip pressure\' too amongst other things. So what is lip pressure normally controlled to express? volume?
>To OH: Who is GC and do you have an idea how the physical modelling part of the oasys compares to the yamaha VL family?<
GC is Guitar Centre which are the only ones allowed to sell the Oasys in the US currently. Regarding the comparison to the VL: Most important is that the Oasys is polyphonic. 12 & more voices depending on patch. Organs with 64 voices I believe. Organs and alike are brilliant. The Nylon-guitars superb (untweaked already great) as well as the bass and some quite nice (wonderful) flute-sounds. The advantage with the VL is that there are already a lot of professionally tweaked patches available, but there are already some clever guys working on more stuff for the Oasys. PM drums (a cymbal is already available etc.). And $500 definitely IS a bargain. And it gives you the Triton Samples even of the first three Expansion boards etc. etc. etc.