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Does anyone use modular with an EWI?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 [all]
Author Does anyone use modular with an EWI?
glissant
el90 wrote:

Hmm, I hadn't noticed this issue with mine, but perhaps I need to listen more carefully! One general suggestion is that so far I have often found that where I have problems, I need to make adjustments on the EWI end of things rather than on the modular. I don't know what model EWI you have, but on the EWI5000 there are a lot of settings under the Br menu heading, including a number that deal with MIDI (eg what MIDI cc number is output, whether it is high or low res, etc). At a guess, I would suggest having a play with those settings on the EWI to see if any of them solve the problem. The EWI manual does a decent job of explaining the various menu headings and how to adjust the parameters within them.

Ps, Tito, very much enjoyed the track immediately above.


I have the EWI USB. I can choose a different CC for it or I can adjust the sensitivity on the EWI, but I guess what I'm encountering is that breath pressure is totally smooth on my Virus and Mopho, but not on Yarns.
tito_tunes
Some synths apply some smoothing or slewing to midi messages. I find my waldorf pulse is always just a hair sluggish with the EWI as a result.
jkourula
I have an EWI USB and with my modular used the Expert Sleepers FH-1. Pretty much a perfect match.
tito_tunes
Does anyone know how the EWI breath sensors technically work?
el90
tito_tunes wrote:
Does anyone know how the EWI breath sensors technically work?


There is a good technical explanation in Ch 2 of this book: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Playing_The_Akai_EWI5000_Electr onic_Wind.html?id=fgH0BQAAQBAJ&redir_esc=y

I won't copy and paste here (respecting author's copyright) but it not an expensive e-book and, from my first skim through it, worth a read.
Multibreath
Hello all .
Posting here because I am brand sparkling new to the forum but it very related.
I've played EWI for decades and am now finding it very possible to duplicate the original early 80s Steiner crumar vco and filter. The challenge is, which models do you find come the closest?
Getting full breath capacitor VC resolution is another matter.
I'm focused on a real near clone of Steiner's synth in euro format for EWI performance.
Please share any experience you've had.
Thanks.
AntsyAutodidact
frijitz wrote:
I've spent decades using my custom wind controller with modular equipment. Many details on my website.

Ian


I'd love to learn more about this! I'm just getting into modular as well, and one of my first goals is to get my EWI USB working nicely through my setup. I'm starting to build my own modules as well, so DIY is definitely an option -- likely preferred! I picked up a USB-to-MIDI box, so I can convert the USB-MIDI signals to 5-pin DIN, but now I need to go from the relevant MIDI CC messages to CV.

Any advice on where to get started? Might there be a schematic or kit that I could build from?

Thanks!
Pelsea
I use a WX-5. I patch it either by way of a VL70-m or (with batteries installed0 directly to a Doepfer A-190-3. Breath is connected to CV out by the "learn" button. This goes to some sort of VCA or LPG module to control an oscillator output. (The Synthrotek LPG works very well.) I don't bother with gate, that's for keyboard players.
I have a 4U case (eurorack and tiles) dedicated to the purpose. Usual patch is a 3340 VCO to Synthrotek Fold, followed by some sort of filter (Cinnamon, Serge Resonant Filter) and finishing with an Erb-Verb.
tito_tunes
AntsyAutodidact wrote:
I'd love to learn more about this! I'm just getting into modular as well, and one of my first goals is to get my EWI USB working nicely through my setup.


Since this thread began long ago I've settled on an EWI4000s midi into Yarns which is a killer Midi to CV module for EWI. It can be configured as a midi harmonizer and do cool stuff like duophonic hold modes. Hermod is another new one that looks awesome for wind controllers with USB outputs.

My EWI is modded with an output for the direct breath sensor voltage so I can have true analog CV response and not lose resolution by converting to midi and back. I tapped the breath sensor CV off the breath gain pot on the 4000s and repurposed the 1/8" headphone jack to be a CV out. Then I made a 4hp module that inverts and scales up that CV to be used with Eurorack levels.

Keep an eye out for Berglund Instruments in Sweden. They are developing a nuEWI with built in CV features and tons more cool upgrades.
tito_tunes
Pelsea wrote:
I don't bother with gate, that's for keyboard players.


Envelopes are super cool to explore with wind controllers! Full envelope control with breath is cool but then all your patches will have the same dynamic.

I use a gated ADSR into a VCA driven by breath so you still have dynamics but you can create special transients or decays for percussive or plucked string type sounds. These are great layered on top of a vanilla breath envelope voice. A fun trick is to use a cycling decaying envelope to create a marimba roll type of texture, with breath modulating the speed of the roll.
frijitz
tito_tunes wrote:
Pelsea wrote:
I don't bother with gate, that's for keyboard players.


Envelopes are super cool to explore with wind controllers! Full envelope control with breath is cool but then all your patches will have the same dynamic.

I use a gated ADSR into a VCA driven by breath so you still have dynamics but you can create special transients or decays for percussive or plucked string type sounds. These are great layered on top of a vanilla breath envelope voice. A fun trick is to use a cycling decaying envelope to create a marimba roll type of texture, with breath modulating the speed of the roll.

Yes, exactly what I have always done. I consider AD envelopes modified by breath pressure to be the secret sauce in creating all of my patches, including in the Reaktor version.

Ian
morgulbee
Aw man, this reminds me I have an EWI USB collecting dust (well actually, the case it's in is collecting dust). I am going to have to pull it out to see what I can do with my modular. Yet another project to add to the nearly infinite list of things to try.
tito_tunes
frijitz wrote:
Yes, exactly what I have always done. I consider AD envelopes modified by breath pressure to be the secret sauce in creating all of my patches, including in the Reaktor version.


Very cool! Are any of your modules designed specifically with wind synthesis in mind? Curious to learn more about your approach.
frijitz
tito_tunes wrote:
frijitz wrote:
Yes, exactly what I have always done. I consider AD envelopes modified by breath pressure to be the secret sauce in creating all of my patches, including in the Reaktor version.


Very cool! Are any of your modules designed specifically with wind synthesis in mind? Curious to learn more about your approach.

Please refer to my website.

Ian
http://ijfritz.byethost4.com/
mt3
frijitz wrote:
tito_tunes wrote:
frijitz wrote:
Yes, exactly what I have always done. I consider AD envelopes modified by breath pressure to be the secret sauce in creating all of my patches, including in the Reaktor version.


Very cool! Are any of your modules designed specifically with wind synthesis in mind? Curious to learn more about your approach.

Please refer to my website.

Ian
http://ijfritz.byethost4.com/


"My custom synthesizer system has special modules for use with wind controllers. A "wind controller" is a hybrid instrument that is "played" like a traditional musical wind instrument, but rather than producing musical sounds directly, it produces electrical signals that are used to control electronic-music sound generators.

Two different custom-designed wind controllers are described on these pages — an all-analog design for use with modular analog synthesizers and a MIDI controller for use with various commercial synthesizers and sound modules."
tito_tunes
Thanks Ian! I tried replicating this block diagram from your website:


http://ijfritz.byethost4.com/sy_close.htm

And came up with a kickass string/cello sound. Using a second envelope that retriggers on each note is genius and definitely brings it a big step forward in realism.

http://www.instagram.com/p/B0_hgXwhDsT/
http://www.instagram.com/p/B0_kQQYB4uq/

I really like how the Osc FM only affects the beginning of the note, kind of like when a player comes in sharp and adjusts right away. Its these little programmed errors that bring a patch to life. Kind of like programming an AI.
frijitz
tito_tunes wrote:
Thanks Ian! I tried replicating this block diagram from your website:
And came up with a kickass string/cello sound. Using a second envelope that retriggers on each note is genius and definitely brings it a big step forward in realism.
http://www.instagram.com/p/B0_hgXwhDsT/
http://www.instagram.com/p/B0_kQQYB4uq/
I really like how the Osc FM only affects the beginning of the note, kind of like when a player comes in sharp and adjusts right away. Its these little programmed errors that bring a patch to life.

Yeah, that's it!! Great patch and beautiful playing. You've gotten right to the heart of this wind synth approach.

You can easily now extend your patch for more complexity, eg, add a second VCO to drive VCF2, add some sustain (breath) to the lower path, etc.

I'm currently working with a SoCal wind systhesist who has been helping with extensions to the Reaktor version of this instrument. He also has a hardware wind synth setup, and I'm helping him with some ideas for that. I'll send him a link to this thread.

Thanks for your interest!
tito_tunes
How do you approach polyphony on the wind controller?
frijitz
tito_tunes wrote:
How do you approach polyphony on the wind controller?

Nnnnn ... I don’t. Can barely play mono. hihi hihi
cdav
If you're interested in modular and the EWI/EVI, I recommend Mark Steiner's YouTube channel. He's the nephew of Nyle Steiner, inventor of the EWI/EVI (and creator of the Steiner-Parker Synthacon).
He has a lot of videos dedicated to a new version of the controller—including some featuring Nyle! It's definitely a good resource, plus Mark has an oddball sense of humor and a penchant for trippy visuals.

Btw, this is my first post! Hello!
tito_tunes
Mark Steiner is the man! I first met him on this forum many years ago asking questions about wind synth topics. His guidance informed how I planned my case.
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