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Topic: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

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  1. #1

    Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Dear community,

    I have been inspired by Gary's Strad and upcoming Cello, and have thought about how I would like to control the libraries (also, I don't have a Mod or Pitch Bend wheel, or any pedals or aftertouch, so this is a necessity from that perspective), and have come up with a (crazy?) scheme to control those things using the mouse. The way it works is that you move the mouse up and down for expression, and you oscillate (or, perhaps, shake) it in the lateral direction for vibrato control. The speed at which you shake it controls the aftertouch, and the amplitude of your oscillation controls the modulation. So you can control the vibrato in a physically similar way that a string player would (well, kinda).

    Also, you can assign keyswitches to the mouse button, for single and double clicks (so, on a mouse with a middle button, you can do 6). You can assign bow change (via a sustain pedal signal), and pitch bend, too (for pitch bend, I think you will hold down a mouse button and move the mouse up and down, and when you are done, release the button.

    I have written a program to do all this, which uses MIDI-OX to send its messages to a virtual port. I am really excited, because I think that this can greatly benefit many users here (as well as my own musical endeavors), so I will make it available to the forum soon. It is pretty much done, and just needs testing and refinement, as well as adjustments to the way it can work for various people's tastes. This could also be adapted to work for GPO and JABB,I think.

    If anyone would like to test it out (not sure if this is beta or alpha), please reply to this post or PM me, If you want to discuss this, you can also reply to the post.

    Edit: I have uploaded the program. You can get it from this link: http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/1/30/715048/mousevibrato%203-21-07.zip

    More documentation will come in a few days or less. The main thing to know is to click customize on the toolbar to set your controls, then close the window. The main window is all grey - move and click your mouse around in that window to use the controls. Be sure to keep the focus on that window; other windows on top and in the way will interrupt the control.

    Also - the vibrato function is not all the way there yet - it looks like it will be choppy. I will be trying to improve it in the near future.

    Edit: more docs:

    I have updated the first post with the following important info: (1) you need to use something like MIDI Yoke, and map a virtual out port (using the yoke) from the MIDI-OX window that pops up when the program runs to your sequencer or Kontakt or whatever.

    (2) How to use the customize screen:
    a) The first tab controls what the mouse x and mouse Y motion controls as well as what the buttons do. There is a special motion called "vibrato" that you assign to X or Y. This is accomplished by moving the mouse back and forth on that axis. The speed of that motion will control one thing, and the amplitude will control another. You can assign what they control at the bottom of the first tabs (the controls only appear when you select vibrato in one of the boxes at the top).

    b) The second tab allows you to create your own controls, which can be assigned in the first tab. Enter a name for your controller, the type (which must be either "KS" or "CC"), and a number (which is either the keyswitch key or the CC number). Note that switch-type CCs will only work with the mouse buttons, and ranged CCs will only work with the X-Y axis movements.

    c) The third tab controls some mouse sensitivity parameters. More will be put here.

    d) The fourth tab allows to specify the output channel.

    Edit - I have made some more improvements, including better vibrato control and the ability to use the mouse wheel to reduce the controller range that vertical and horizontal (oops, I mean x and y ) movement is mapped to. The idea is that you can control macro-level dynamic contours of the song, and then do a quick scroll of the wheel, which lets you control the detail more minutely for a particular note, then you can zoom back out. It also limits the amount of movement along one axis that vibrato along the other axis inevitably causes. I'll post another (short) mp3 example of the controller in use on the new Gofriller soon.

    Hope you have fun with it!
    Jason

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Salisbury, UK
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    312

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    For those with full size keyboards and the full set of add-ons there is probably no advantage in losing the use of one hand. For the two octave keyboard user the merits become more appealing. For the person who does not (will not) use a keyboard or other instrument while writing music, can you say if your mouse programme could be used over a notation score to lay a parallel performance track using expression and articulations in real time? That would save drawing graphs by the bucket load.

  3. #3

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by dermod
    For those with full size keyboards and the full set of add-ons there is probably no advantage in losing the use of one hand. For the two octave keyboard user the merits become more appealing. For the person who does not (will not) use a keyboard or other instrument while writing music, can you say if your mouse programme could be used over a notation score to lay a parallel performance track using expression and articulations in real time? That would save drawing graphs by the bucket load.
    Thanks for your question.

    I haven't tested that, but it should be able to record the controller layers over existing MIDI data, as long as the virtual port setup is done with the sequencer.

    Actually, the advantage I see even with large keyboards is that the complex control structure is put into one hand, the one hand that would be constantly manipulating controls anyway (for real-time play, that is). The focus is on real-time ability to completely control the instrument (thinking of the Strad and Cello mostly for that).

    Jason

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Salisbury, UK
    Posts
    312

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Thanks for reply. That sounds very useful. Sequencer is no problem. Look forward to seeing what develops. By the way, Strad topics are probably best left on the Garritan forum, as not all product users visit here.

  5. #5

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujade

    This could also be adapted to work for GPO and JABB,I think.

    Jason
    WIll the program you wrote theoredically work in GPO, or would it need modifications in the programming to make it do so?

    I have a full size Yamaha (p120), but without mod and pitch wheels, so if this works, it would be cool in the extreme!

    Hey, here's a thought:
    Would it also work with (or instread) a joystick? That would be even cooler!
    If I got one with the little suction cups I could even stick it on my keyboard where the mod wheel is supposed to go!

  6. #6

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by BenBotkin
    WIll the program you wrote theoredically work in GPO, or would it need modifications in the programming to make it do so?

    I have a full size Yamaha (p120), but without mod and pitch wheels, so if this works, it would be cool in the extreme!

    Hey, here's a thought:
    Would it also work with (or instread) a joystick? That would be even cooler!
    If I got one with the little suction cups I could even stick it on my keyboard where the mod wheel is supposed to go!
    Dear Ben, yes it should work on GPO. I am not sure which keyswitches there are for the different instruments, but if I find out, then I could add those in, or just allow custom keyswitch assignment to a key number. As for the mod wheel and pitch wheel, those should work with GPO, as well as sustain pedal operations (does that work for GPO as bow change?).

    It doesn't work with a joystick, but I could add support for that, I think. i just have to find a joystick somewhere. What kind of buttons do you have on yours?

    Jason

  7. #7

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujade
    As for the mod wheel and pitch wheel, those should work with GPO, as well as sustain pedal operations (does that work for GPO as bow change?).

    It doesn't work with a joystick, but I could add support for that, I think. i just have to find a joystick somewhere. What kind of buttons do you have on yours?

    Jason
    GPO does use sustain for bow change--if you tell it to.

    Actually, I don't have a joystick--but you can get them anywhere for cheap.
    Mostly I was interested in the joystick because of it's x-y-axis control.

    This is a major-big-time blessing to those GPO users who dont have all the extra controllers! (If this works) A hearty Thanks!

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    WOW!
    I want to test it!

    please make it programmable by user (eg free choice of CC# for x and y axis, and assignable buttons...)

  9. #9

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    I will make the program available either tonight or tomorrow, by posting a link to it in this thread.

    There is some programmability already, but I can add some to make it fully programmable (though don't know if I can get to that tonight).

    Jason

  10. #10

    Re: Mouse Control for Strad, etc.

    Hey, this sounds VERY cool- can't wait to try it. You are to be commended for taking the time to program it and sharing it! I have a controller keyboard I love but it has a joystick paddle and not wheels and it drives me nuts. Ultimately do you plan to charge or go freeware with this?

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