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Topic: Akai EWI & Keyboard

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  1. #1
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Akai EWI & Keyboard

    I want to use a wind controller but play the notes with my keyboard controller so I need a wind controller with MIDI out (expensive) or the Akai EWI if I can convert it's USB out to a MIDI out.

    There is a box that looks like it does this but it's $180 (street price). http://www.iconnectivity.com/iConnectMIDI

    I'm wondering if it's possible to connect the USB out of the Akai EWI to a computer and them route it back with MIDI and into my Axion keyboard controller MIDI In port and then back to the computer from the Axiom USB out and accurately record MIDI in my DAW.

    Has anyone experimented with something like this?



    Phil

  2. #2

    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    I want to use a wind controller but play the notes with my keyboard controller so I need a wind controller with MIDI out (expensive) or the Akai EWI if I can convert it's USB out to a MIDI out.

    There is a box that looks like it does this but it's $180 (street price). http://www.iconnectivity.com/iConnectMIDI

    I'm wondering if it's possible to connect the USB out of the Akai EWI to a computer and them route it back with MIDI and into my Axion keyboard controller MIDI In port and then back to the computer from the Axiom USB out and accurately record MIDI in my DAW.

    Has anyone experimented with something like this?



    Phil
    Hmmm. I think this is a lot easier than you think. I use an EWI USB all the time, and I just plug it into my PC, and it shows up as a MIDI device directly in my DAW (Sonar). So, there is no need to go out to the Axiom back in. The EWI is MIDI over USB; it should just work. If you want to merge the results, then just set your track to "OMNI" channel so it gets both the Keyboard and EWI.

  3. #3

    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    What's your goal? To get breath control values from the EWI and get the note values from the keyboard?
    It sounds a software question - how to filter out the note values from the EWI... I think it is possible with Reaper (which includes a MIDI message filter), but I've never tried that.

  4. #4

    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    Hmmm. Wind controllers are cool, and great tools for people who play sax and/or other wind instruments. The controllers are sending out MIDI Continuous Controller 2 for volume control, and that's the same as using CC11 or CC1.

    A long time ago I had a relatively inexpensive wind controller made by Casio, one of the first ones made. For a brief period I used it to add breath volume control to MIDI tracks I'd played with my keyboard. I was making another pass over the track, adding the breath control, so it wasn't in real time with the note performance, I was just layering it like we do with various CCs.

    I didn't do that for long though, because the results were the same as using my mod wheel. I found that emulating how an instrument is played by performing with the mod wheel had the same results as generating CC2 with the wind controller. - So, it was an interesting experiment, but for me, the wind controller was only going to make sense if I learned either the sax or recorder fingering available on that Casio.

    Randy

  5. #5
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    Hmmm. Wind controllers are cool, and great tools for people who play sax and/or other wind instruments. The controllers are sending out MIDI Continuous Controller 2 for volume control, and that's the same as using CC11 or CC1.

    A long time ago I had a relatively inexpensive wind controller made by Casio, one of the first ones made. For a brief period I used it to add breath volume control to MIDI tracks I'd played with my keyboard. I was making another pass over the track, adding the breath control, so it wasn't in real time with the note performance, I was just layering it like we do with various CCs.

    I didn't do that for long though, because the results were the same as using my mod wheel. I found that emulating how an instrument is played by performing with the mod wheel had the same results as generating CC2 with the wind controller. - So, it was an interesting experiment, but for me, the wind controller was only going to make sense if I learned either the sax or recorder fingering available on that Casio.

    Randy
    I had one of those Casio wind controllers also. I just played around with it and a Roland MT-32 sound module for a short time.

    I got the idea of using a wind controller from a demo video. They were using a Yamaha WX5 with their keyboard. They didn't say anything about it being better than the mod wheel, only that it forced them to put in space for breath but that's easy enough to do with a little MIDI editing. They probably just used the WX5 to add interest to the video and wish they hadn't spent the money on it.

    So thanks Randy for your experience and also briff and jdsnyderii for posting about this.

    I'll save my money for those Garritan libraries.



    Phil

  6. #6

    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    Yamaha used to do a breath controller that, I think, plugged into the expression pedal input of a keyboard (not sure).
    It was called a BC3A (imaginative name eh?).
    I fear it's discontinued but you might be able to pick one up somewhere.

    Kind regards,
    John.

    P.S. No, I'm wrong, it used a dedicated breath controller input on devices like the VL70m.

  7. #7

    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by SysExJohn View Post
    Yamaha used to do a breath controller that, I think, plugged into the expression pedal input of a keyboard (not sure).
    It was called a BC3A (imaginative name eh?).
    I fear it's discontinued but you might be able to pick one up somewhere.

    Kind regards,
    John.

    P.S. No, I'm wrong, it used a dedicated breath controller input on devices like the VL70m.
    That's right, I see you edited your post, John. The BC3A was hip, and did exactly what Phil was originally asking for, since it's a breath controller that works with a keyboard. But it was just for the VL70-m or EX series synths from Yamaha.

    HOWEVER - there's a device from MIDI Solutions which is apparently still available. It's a box to put in line between the BC3A and a keyboard of any make and model. Here's a picture of the two units:



    And here are web pages for both the MIDI Solutions unit, and the BC3A which for some reason is still listed online by Yamaha:

    MIDI Solutions Breath Controller

    Yamaha BC3A

    Randy

  8. #8
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    I've searched for a used Yamaha BC3A but they don't exist. I looks like there are plenty of the Breath Controller boxes available.

    I went to ipetition.com and signed a petition to get Yamaha to bring back the BC3A. They ask for a donation but that is voluntary. If anyone is interested you just type Yamaha BC3A in the search box and make sure to click off the send me info box. I'm not certain if i'd buy one(price) but it would be nice to have that option.

    My old CME UF 6 has a BC port so I don't absolutely need the controller box for it.




    Phil

  9. #9

    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    Quote Originally Posted by fastlane View Post
    I've searched for a used Yamaha BC3A but they don't exist. I looks like there are plenty of the Breathe Controller boxes available.

    I went to ipetition.com and signed a petition to get Yamaha to bring back the BC3A. They ask for a donation but that is voluntary. If anyone is interested you just type Yamaha BC3A in the search box and make sure to click off the send me info box. I'm not certain if i'd buy one(price) but it would be nice to have that option.

    My old CME UF 6 has a BC port so I don't absolutely need the controller box for it.

    Phil
    Out of curiosity I looked for a BC3A on eBay and found one, but YIKES, it's $780 - and that's without the converter. That's crazy talk!

    Randy

  10. #10
    Senior Member fastlane's Avatar
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    Re: Akai EWI & Keyboard

    I went to eBay and did a search for the Yamaha BC3A and found a complete MIDI breath controller made in Turkey that will work with the BC3A headset or the older BC2. The MTR Audio Breath Controller.

    The Buy Now price is $440 or you can bid. I emailed them about the warranty.

    http://mrtaudio.com/index.html

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MRT-AUDIO-BR...item1e73486822



    Phil

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