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Topic: Add-a-Wheel?

  1. #1


    I\'ve come to the conclusion that I really need a mod wheel to obtain control over GS samples as they were intended to be controlled. When I bought my controller unfortunatley, money was tight and I had to make a decision between true hammer-action or wieghted controllers (which tended to have mod wheels and pitch bend sticks). I chose the hammer action Roland RD-100, and, although I love the keyboard, got stuck with a less than satisfactory controller of samples. I was wondering, does anyone make a device that would act as a mod wheel add-on? If so, who and where can I find one? Or do I need to just go buy myself another controller...

    Thanks in Advance

  2. #2

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    Yamaha used to make a cute little add on which had a small pitch bend and mod wheel.

    Don\'t know if they still do though.

  3. #3

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    On the subject of \'other\' controllers, I was planning on using my old roland d50 keyboard, since I reckon that the synthy feel of it, what with its aftertouch and pitch bend and modulation \'stick\'.
    Anyone else use one of these and find them to be quite effective. I know its one of \'those\' etherical conversations... just would like to know personally whether there are any other controllers I would be likely to need.
    All thoughts/suggestions welcomed!

  4. #4

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    Hi Richard,

    I have found that a breath controller such as the Yamaha BC3 to be very helpful for adding expression. You may also like to consider a foot controller and/or ribbon controller. You may be interested in the Kurzweil XM1 Expression Mate midi processor, which includes a breath controller input and a long ribbon controller. A review can be found at: http://www.sospubs.co.uk/sos/may00/articles/kurzweil.htm

    With the Roland D50, I find the modulation lever does not have much \'travel\' so I find it is more difficult to control than a more conventional mod. wheel or slider.

    Hi Chadwick,

    I think the Yamaha device you are refering to is the MCS2 MIDI Control Station. I think it came out in 1986 and is no longer made. Yamaha even included a breath controller input on it.

    Best regards

  5. #5

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    Thanks Nicholas - you\'re right about it being the mcs2. (now I can stop racking this poor old brain)

    The Kurzweil thing sounds cool...

  6. #6

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by nicholash:
    Hi Richard,

    I have found that a breath controller such as the Yamaha BC3 to be very helpful for adding expression.

    I\'m using a ribbon band controller for expression on strings from my Kurzweil SP-76 and I\'m not getting great results with it. Is the breath controller easy to use and can I create some nice slow attacks and slow decays for strings with it?

  7. #7

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    Hi Damon,

    The breath controller is fairly easy to use and you can indeed create some nice slow attacks and slow decays for strings with it.

    To illustrate simple breath control, I very quickly produced a short piece using just the strings preset of my Yamaha SW1000XG soundcard (patch number 50 in the default bank). I used the Cubase input transformer facility to transform continuous controller 2 midi messages (i.e. breath control) into continuous controller 11 messages (i.e. expression). I blew into the Yamaha BC3 breath controller whilst playing chords on my Oberheim MC2000 keyboard controller.

    The slow attacks and decays you hear in the piece were achieved using this breath controller method only (i.e. no audio mixer type fades were used).

    An mp3 of the piece and the associated midi file are included in the file: http://www.btinternet.com/~veridical.sounds/breathcontrol1.zip

    I hope this is of some help.

    Best regards

  8. #8

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IOComposer:
    I play WX5 but have not had much luck with achieving acoustic realism with samples.-J<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Jamey, I have to disagree with you on that comment. That mp3 you did of the oboe with your WX5 and the altiverb sounded fantastic as far as expression goes.

    Nicholash, thank you for taking the time to put up that demo , but I have to say I wasn\'t very much impressed with the breath controller as well. The slow attacks and decays were to abrupt sounding for me.
    I hope maybe one day midi will be able to perform expression control better and easier without having to do a million takes of one string line to achieve just the right expression we need. Maybe I will write a program that can do this called \"SuperConductor\".

    [This message has been edited by Damon (edited 09-04-2001).]

  9. #9

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?


    what eveactly is the problem with the crossfading and using a breath controller? Is it a latency issue, so much that the response screws u live playing?

    If so, I wonder if an \"instrument patch\" in giga can be calibrated to respond better to breath controllers. Or if playing and thn delaying the actual note ons to compensate for the latency of the MIDI CC control.

    Really...I am an Idiot

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Burbank, CA. US of Mexico

    Re: Add-a-Wheel?

    Thanks for the compliment, but that demo was not done using samples. It was a physically modeled oboe out of the Yamaha vl70m.
    The problem that I\'ve had with the crossfading issue is that it sounds very unnatural when transitioning between fine points of the 1-127 incriments of the cc data. For example, if the crossover point is 100 and I\'m playing f at 111 and then dip down to 90 for a mf expression, instead of changing the timbre as if a filter were closing, you hear another instrument being faded up into the mix so that it sounds like 2 instruments playing at the same time. With vibrato, I\'m often fluctuating between 50-70 rapidly which produces results which are far too strange to be called musical If you have any ideas, I\'m all ears!

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