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Topic: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

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  1. #1
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    Question Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    I am going to start working with orchestral samples (I've only been working with keyboard samples so far) but I have a Yamaha P80 which has no mod wheel. Is the mod wheel the best way to get the proper sound out of the instruments in an orchestra or are there acceptable alternatives? Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEMPS
    I am going to start working with orchestral samples (I've only been working with keyboard samples so far) but I have a Yamaha P80 which has no mod wheel. Is the mod wheel the best way to get the proper sound out of the instruments in an orchestra or are there acceptable alternatives? Thanks in advance for your help.
    If you are a player, yes. it helps, at least in my experience. If not, you probably could draw envelopes just as effectively, but perhaps not as conveniently. An alternative might be to obtain one of the small controller/slider units that you could velcro to your existing controller.

  3. #3

    Smile Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    Hi Temps.
    Most of good orchestral libraries, like VSL, have patches that need mod wheel to use them, but if you don't want to spend money buying another keyboard you can buy this device, it is very cheap and small.

    Enjoy the power of a full orchestra!!!!

    http://www.behringer.com/BCN44/index.cfm?lang=ENG
    Eduardo Tarilonte |Sample Library Developer
    SampleLibraries |MyWeb

  4. #4

    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    Quote Originally Posted by TARI
    Hi Temps.
    Most of good orchestral libraries, like VSL, have patches that need mod wheel to use them, but if you don't want to spend money buying another keyboard you can buy this device, it is very cheap and small.

    Enjoy the power of a full orchestra!!!!

    http://www.behringer.com/BCN44/index.cfm?lang=ENG
    Looking at the photograph, it does not seem to include a mod wheel. Rather, it looks like it has 4 joy-sticks.

    jeffn1
    For original progressive electronic rock influenced by J.S. Bach and (old) Rush, check out: www.soundclick.com/jeffreynaness.

  5. #5

    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    Hi Jeff.
    Check the pdf in the website and you will see that the knobs are assignable to almost everything (included mod wheel, pitch bend, etc)
    Eduardo Tarilonte |Sample Library Developer
    SampleLibraries |MyWeb

  6. #6

    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEMPS
    I am going to start working with orchestral samples (I've only been working with keyboard samples so far) but I have a Yamaha P80 which has no mod wheel. Is the mod wheel the best way to get the proper sound out of the instruments in an orchestra or are there acceptable alternatives? Thanks in advance for your help.
    I don't know about the P-80, but if there is an expression-pedal input on the P-80, you should be able to assign the expression pedal to control modulation (CC1), instead of CC11. This way you could always play with both hands and let the pedal control the dynamics... That's what I've done with my edirol synth, which don't have a modwheel but this crappy mod/pitch hybrid-thing... Even though I've got synths with modwheels I always use pedal instead of modwheel. Because I'm a pianist, it feels more natural for me to record bass-parts, cellos, contrabasses etc., with my left hand...
    Anyway, Roland's got an expression pedal, the one I use, and it's not very expensive. This would at least be the cheapest solution, if you could use the expression-pedal, that is!

    If, on the other hand, you would have to buy an external midi-controller 'cause your P-80 don't have an exp-input, I would not advice you to go for the Behringer-solution that TARI here suggested. In that case you're better off with a small and cheap midi-keyboard like the M-Audio Keystation 49ae. It has separate mod and pitch wheels, and its only $99.00! Does it get any cheaper?
    Hope you can figure this out. There's always a workaround!

    Well, thats all I can say... Good luck to you!

  7. #7

    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    If you don't use mod controllers, then I'd say Start now

    Depending on the filter you modulate, with your controller to be, you can make the statement of almost any filter-modulated sound come alive much more. Also, you're using your hands; which in combination with a musical ear's guidance will seldom go wrong. I've even learned to use the breath controller of my DX7 (a device present on a few more keyboards as well).

    Sometimes I play the keystrokes into the seq and then go back and "overdub" the mod part afterwards (pressing record again and this time recording only mod-controller movements to match the keystrokes I just recorded before) to get it just like it should be. Drawing with the mouse works too, but has a tendency of taking too much time and becoming "too perfect" - without personality. Like Leonardo Da Vinci using only a mouse as his tool

    Not to mention how well you can cooperate with all the mod-controlled sample suites out there.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  8. #8

    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    You'll want one before long.

    An inexpensive mod/pitch controller I use for sketching with the laptop is the Oxygen8. You can prolly use it right along side your P-80.

  9. #9
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    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    GOS was the first commercial orchestral sample library to use the mod wheel for crossfading sustain samples AFAIK. Since first introduced, ModWheel crossfading for expressive control has become a standard in the industry. The reason we did this was that note velocity (how hard you hit the key) was static. The dynamic would stay the same throughout the sustains. Notes (and phrases) vary in volume and timbre throughout their duration and what was needed was a way to exact expressive control.

    When giga was first starting, we had heard that Hanz Zimmer was crossfading between different dynamic sustains in his work. We originally thought about using an expression pedal, but not all keyboards had expression pedal. We wanted to come up with a scheme that most keyboards could use and the mod wheel was a logical choice. The vast majority of keyboards had a mod wheel and this controller wasn't being used much in sample libraries. Since it was an available controller that did the job, we decided to introduce the use of the Mod Wheel in GOS.

    At first many people had a difficult time with it because it was different than what they were used to. But it caught on and made sense.

    You don't have to use a mod wheel per se. Some people use expression pedal, wind controller, ribbon controllers, or other controllers to do the same thing. The Mod Wheel is but one controller that can control dynamics and expression (GarageBand for instance uses pitch wheel). With many sequencers and samplers you can assign controllers. On the GPO site there are several programs that you can reassign mod wheel to annother controller in Cubase, Sonar and other programs. Markelford even has a program you can reassign modwheel data to a mouse - http://www.tencrazy.com/gadgets/utils/ Some have been able to use a joystick. Do what is comfortable for you.

    Hope this helps.

    Gary Garritan

  10. #10

    Re: Do I need a controller with a mod wheel?

    I went the route fozzy suggested above. I really like the feel of my RD-100 keyboard, and am totally comfortable with it after years of use, but it had no controllers at all. I added an Oxygen 8, and its small enough to sit next to the larger keyboard and be accessible, so I can play a note on the full-size, and modify that with mod wheel or exression control from the Oxy. The trick is to get both keyboards close so you can play them at the same time comfortably.

    I used a midiman Merge 2x2 I had laying around to take both midi signals and get them into the same input in my computer, but I think you could also route your P80 into the Oxygen, then use it's USB midi output or its standard midi port out to merge the two signals.

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