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Topic: Breath Controller for GPO

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  1. #1

    Breath Controller for GPO

    In regards to volume and brightness of sound...

    Without additional programing, does GPO respond to breath controller?

    I've heard its the most expressive form of MIDI control.

    Any currently manufactured controllers that anyone can recommend?

    Erik

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2003
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    1,175

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    I haven't tried a breath controller, but I don't see why you couldn't use one that's set up to control modulation data and control GPO that way.

    JT

  3. #3

    Question Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Dumb question:
    What's a breath controller and how does it work?

  4. #4

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by cptexas
    Dumb question:
    There are no dumb questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by cptexas
    What's a breath controller and how does it work?
    A breath controller is a device that translates breath gestures into MIDI continuos controller messages.

    There are two types, dedicated controlles such as the Yamaha BC-1, BC-2, and BC-3, and wind controllers like the EVI and EWI and all those little Casio horns. The BC-1 is this little plastic gizmo you have to hold in your mouth by gripping it with your teeth, the other two are headset type thingys (don't you just love the tech talk?)

    If you are using a dedicated controller you'll need something to do the translation, and the only thing I know of, other than some of the early Yamaha synthesizers, is the Yamaha MCS2, which has a jack for the previously mentioned Yamaha controllers, plus lots of pedals and switches.

    There are/were a couple of boutique made MIDI boxes that accepted breath controller outputs, but I don't know if they are still around. A brief search turned up nothing.

    I use the MCS2/BC-1, and it can add quite a bit of expressiveness to a MIDI performance. I've used it in conjuncton with both keyboard and guitar-to-MIDI controllers, and I find it most useful with a keyboard, as the guitar controllers provide a lot of expresiveness already... that and the fact that I really have to concentrate on my playing to avoid all sorts of glitches.

    The biggest drawback to the EVI/EWI or Casio horns is that you have to hold them like a horn, of course you can also play them, and that could be an advantage!!!

    If you try a google search on EVI, EWI, Steiner-Parker, BC-1, BC-2, BC-3, or MCS2 I think you'll find more information than you want!

    Bill

  5. #5

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Great work Bill...

    Erik

  6. #6

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by wst3ae
    I use the MCS2/BC-1, and it can add quite a bit of expressiveness to a MIDI performance. I've used it in conjuncton with both keyboard and guitar-to-MIDI controllers...

    Bill
    Bill,

    This is slightly off topic, but can you provide some more info on guitar-to-midi controllers? All the stuff that I've found on the web is several years old and points to various problems in implementing a guitar or bass midi controller. Just wondering if the technology had improved any since then.

    I'm particulary insterested in fitting my 5-string electirc bass with a controller, but haven't found anything yet, so a guitar controller would be good too.

    ;-)
    jim

    Jim Jarnagin - no not THAT Jim Jarnagin, the other one.

  7. #7

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Thanks!
    In terms of dumb questions, I think you'd be surprised at some things I've been asked.....OK, and that I've asked . Well, not dumb, but sure funny!!

    Freshmen orientation last year. I was looking for one of my classes. The bell rang, and everyone disappeared from the halls. I had nobody to ask for directions and I was completely lost. I really didn't want to do this, but I got the courage and did. I poked my head into the nearest classroom and asked for directions to Mrs. Murray's room. Then I found out I was talking to Mrs. Murray.


    But I digress. Let's not get OT. I just had to share this!

    -Chris

  8. #8

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Quote Originally Posted by dynamix
    Without additional programing, does GPO respond to breath controller?

    I've heard its the most expressive form of MIDI control.

    Any currently manufactured controllers that anyone can recommend?
    Erik,

    Only a little work is needed to make GPO respond to a breath controller: use the X-Custom instruments, set the slider to respond to CC2, and move the slider somewhere into the negative range (a bug, I think) in order to set its sensitivity. The closer to zero, the less it responds to breath data. That's about it. I generally set the slider to -75%.

    I use the Yamaha WX5, and I absolutely love it. No messing with a mod wheel, just play it like it's a regular sax (or other similarly-fingered woodwind instrument; there are selectable fingering modes and transpositions), and you've got all the expression you can play into it. You can do pitch bend either with a thumb wheel or with the reed mouthpiece (there's a reedless mouthpiece as well).

    Here's a brief snippet of something I'm working on; all the parts were played on the WX5. It's in Ogg Vorbis format; if you can't play that, I can put up an MP3 version of it. I did use a CAL script in SONAR to automatically insert sustain up/down events based on where I played legato and where I tongued the notes (that's the one thing the WX5 doesn't do, is send sustain events when you switch notes without a break in the airflow), but otherwise it's exactly as I played it.

    That said, though, I still mainly use the keyboard for strings. If I use the WX5, I use dry instruments (not X-Custom), and use the thumb wheel as a mod wheel. The strings' attacks don't sound quite right to me when shaped by breath control. Keyboard instruments, harp and percussion are all much better with a keyboard, for the polyphony alone, but they also do weird things when played with breath control.
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  9. #9

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Hey Jeff,

    Sorry Ogg no play.

    Briefly checked your site though...

    The Stargate, Holy Cow!

    Space 1999? Insanely incredible renders!

    I was just reading in FILM SCORE about a Space 1999 music reissue.

    The Startrek opening. Wow!

    If you could repost as mp3, I'd much appreciate it.

    Erik

  10. #10

    Re: Breath Controller for GPO

    Erik,

    Thanks!

    Here's the MP3 version.
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

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