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Does anyone use modular with an EWI?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Does anyone use modular with an EWI?
ben_hex
Curious to know if anyone is using an EWI to control their modular?

This is what I'm on about for those that don't know the EWI -
http://www.akaipro.com/product/ewi4000s

It's a wind controller that spits out midi for lots of expression.

Knowing a very good player (Sax / Clarinet / Trumpet [not wind I know] etc etc) who has recently got one the options for controlling the modular with masses of modulation from things like breath (got to figure out what midi CC number that is to the most of it) it seems you could have some extremely varied and expressive patches going in no time.

I'll be meeting up with him to test this out at the end of next week, I'll film the process too.

In the meantime, anyone else using one? Curious to hear ideas and thoughts.
ben_hex
Anybody? seriously, i just don't get it
megaohm
I would if I had an EWI.
lol

Seems like a perfect modular controller.
chamomileshark
the only person I could think of was Kevin Braheny, he built the EWI for Nyle Steiner. I thought he used it with Serge. For some reason I thought Kevin had died but I can find no reference to it on the net right now. Strange.
TheBradster
For what it's worth, Infrablue showed some EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument, trumpet controller) stuff in this thread: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100538&postdays=0&po storder=asc&start=60

Earlier versions of the EWI were direct CV (I'm pretty sure) and really #$%#@ expressive. Michael Brecker did some amazing stuff with Steps Ahead. Check this out, his soloing from around 4.00 is amazing:



Hope this helps.
TheBradster
(I think he was using an Xpander on this.)
tIB
I'm going for akai vx600, same chips as xpander but think it had an input for the akai wind thingy. Evi was it?
ben_hex
megaohm wrote:
I would if I had an EWI.
lol

Seems like a perfect modular controller.


Are you a wind player?


Cheers the input everyone else, I'll check out what I can find.
megaohm
ben_hex wrote:
megaohm wrote:
I would if I had an EWI.
lol

Seems like a perfect modular controller.


Are you a wind player?



No but
I've played a clarinet once or twice.
hmmm.....
I've been know to play a $3 flute thru delays, too.
hihi

When I'm using a keyboard for mono synth stuff the envelopes do a lot of the articulating.
Maybe with the EWI altering breath pressure could replace some of those envelopes.
Wanted one for a long time...
it's on the list!
lol
ben_hex
I'm excited to get it into the modular and cooking up some really expressive patches. The player I'll be doing this with is an amazing musician so I'll video the whole thing when we do it back end of next week.
poppinger
Another thread featuring sounds of Infrablue and EWI: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=80259
stellvia
Stupidly sold my EWI (the EWI4000S) before I got into modular. Wasn't using it much at the time. Ironically I am now doing a lot more saxophone work as well. Would have been fun d'oh!
tito_tunes
I dream of putting together an EWI controllable modular setup, that's why I joined muffs. Here's some vids of what I do with the EWI4000s, looping, and patches from Ableton.



frijitz
I've spent decades using my custom wind controller with modular equipment. Many details on my website.

Ian
JohnLRice
I'm interested in this thumbs up I've had a Casio MIDI sax even before I got back into modulars but I've never really tried to use it. Just another potentially cool project on the back-burner. Dead Banana
scottmoon
ben_hex wrote:
I'm excited to get it into the modular and cooking up some really expressive patches. The player I'll be doing this with is an amazing musician so I'll video the whole thing when we do it back end of next week.


Did you get a chance to try it out with him? BTW your ModularGrid link needs updating Guinness ftw!
vgermuse
tito_tunes wrote:
I dream of putting together an EWI controllable modular setup, that's why I joined muffs.


What modular synth are you using? You'll just need a midi to cv converter module. The original EWI/EVI can with a 2 voice analog synth "brains" with midi out. That is what Michael Brecker used and midied out to an Oberheim Xpander. Also, as TiB mentioned, the akai vx600 was a 6 voice synth designed for the EWI/EVI, awesome synth with breath pressure et al.

Kevin Brahney Fortune is alive and well and I believe will be coming out with a new album soon which will have some EWI. See him and the very first EWI and the suitcase synth he built for it here at 2:32 minutes in
http://youtu.be/XCBqn29kUkI

In closing, I've been using my EVI with modulars for quite awhile. Though my bent is more toward free improv you my enjoy this exploration of EVI to analog synth. http://youtu.be/mPOLwC_Sbqo

Feel free to send me a PM if you'd like to chat more.
Cheers! Todd
tito_tunes
Hi Todd,

Thanks for your reply. Really cool video of the EVI and serge. I'd actually seen this on Matrixsynth ages ago!

I don't have any modular gear yet. I do have a Waldorf Pulse + rack synth which will output pitch CV, Gate and CV2 which could be the breath sensor. I'm hoping to put together a small suitcase with the pulse and a choice selection of modules for live gigs. I'm thinking mainly some filters and resonators for creating "acoustic inspired" tones.

Question: I love the Pulse but it does sound "steppy" and digital when I'm doing a slow crescendo with breath for example. If I took the breath CV out of that and into some other filter + vca combo would it still be like that?

Alternatively I'm considering getting an older analog EWI with direct CV control, would you recommend that for optimum responsiveness?

Thanks,

-Daniel
vgermuse
Hi Daniel,

Dang, I only know the old EVI/EWI stuff. Never touched a Waldorf Pulse, don't know why you are getting the zippering, I'm guessing the oscillators are digital.
Maybe someone else on the thread knows more about the Pulse.

The older EWI still only has MIDI out, no CV out but the MIDI out is definitely dialed in. Best, Todd
Dcramer
I think it would be cool just to see a module that you can plug a Yamaha breath controller into and get CV out hmmm.....
vgermuse
Dcramer wrote:
I think it would be cool just to see a module that you can plug a Yamaha breath controller into and get CV out hmmm.....


Agreed, that would be cool! The work around would be to get this breath to midi box then plug that into a midi to cv converter
http://www.patchmanmusic.com/midisolutions.html
I know it is one extra step, but doable :-)
ben_hex
scottmoon -
There is this mega cheesy effort we made for a bit of fun

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgTJDRDRuxE



I'm using the Vermona qMI to give me plenty of midi CCs as well as gate and pitch for those patches that were layered up. Got another cheesy big band one on the go but it's very back burner and just a bit of fun in the holidays we both get from work.

I'll certainly be having David (the EWI player) round to record some lead lines on some new production work over summer though.
ronaldroy
Hey vgermuse, are you interfacing directly from the EVI1000? I have one of those old units too - the EWV2000 sounds quite good but it would be good to be able to drive the modular directly - any ... tips?
vgermuse
ronaldroy wrote:
Hey vgermuse, are you interfacing directly from the EVI1000? I have one of those old units too - the EWV2000 sounds quite good but it would be good to be able to drive the modular directly - any ... tips?


Take the MIDI out from the EWV2000 and go into a midi to cv converter of your choice then the CVs into the modular of choice. You can also just send the midi into a midi synth module then take the audio from that synth and send it back to the EWV2000 for breath processing :-). Cheers!
ronaldroy
Oh I thought you might be tapping the CV directly off the EVI1000 somehow without using the MIDI out of the EWV2000 module.
vgermuse
Ahhhhh...that would be cool indeed. I believe the earliest version when Nyle Steiner was building them did have some cv out -- I'll check.
vgermuse
ronaldroy wrote:
Oh I thought you might be tapping the CV directly off the EVI1000 somehow without using the MIDI out of the EWV2000 module.


Ah...that would be cool. CV outs were available on the original that Crumar produced, Akai took that feature away.

http://www.synthmuseum.com/stp/stpevi01.html



Cheers
stevebryson
Here's a proof-of-concept improv controlling a Paia 9700s with the much-less-expenive EWI USB. Breath is mapped to the MIDI mod wheel output, which the Paia converts into a CV. The Paia required a special cable with a built-in low-pass filter to smooth out the 8-bit D/A converter.

In this piece the EWI is controlling the Paia, Absynth and a sampled shakuhachi in Kontakt, all modified to respond to the EWI breath pressure.
https://soundcloud.com/stevepurring/floatingclouds

Here's a less nice rendition of a Bach melody with the EWI playing the Paia. This one is all Paia.
https://soundcloud.com/stevepurring/bachair-paiaandewi

I'm currently building a mid-size MOTM system, and expect to do a lot more interesting things with it and the EWI.
vgermuse
Lovely! thumbs up
vgermuse
OK...this thread in bringing back good memories so here is a little collection of EVI excepts from my past. Much from the 80’s and some from 2000’s. A lot of looped EVI in real time, some live performances of drum and vocal samples and a few music cues for theater. Enjoy!

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194856660" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

p.s. here is a list of the synths used on each excerpt:
00:00 Akai EWV-2000
01:30 Moog Voyager
02:34 Moog Voyager
03:47 Moog Voyager
04:54 Korg Wavestation
06:34 Kontakt via Ableton Live
09:20 Akai EWV-2000
11:08 Akai EWV-2000
12:45 Akai EWV-2000
Vsyevolod
Back in 2004 I was involved in an ongoing improvisational project with some friends. Here are a few examples of the pieces that were created out of these sessions. Most of them involve keyboard and EWI with plenty of processing going on. All are 'live' with no overdubs. Sometimes the difference between EWI and keyboard is obscured, intentionally so.

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/22%20First% 20Snow.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Cassini%20Division/Firedancing. mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Cassini%20Division/Seven%20Rema ining%20Years.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/12%20Bright %20Eyes.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/11%20Solari s.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/13%20Solari s%20Two.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/23%20Venus. mp3



The following pieces are two EWI's only. Yamaha VL70m and Emu XL7 as sound modules.

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/18%20Splash %20of%20Light.mp3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/20%20Exit.m p3

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Splash%20of%20Light/19%20River% 20Nye.mp3


And here's a unique session that features 3 live EWI players.

http://www.normsohl.com/Improvisations/Cassini%20Division/Branch%20of% 20Folly.mp3


Some of these pieces are rather long, others mercifully short. One of these days I'll get a SoundCloud account going and select the best pieces to post. If anyone has specific questions about what is making what sound and how, I'll do my best to go through my notes and grey matter.

Cheers,

Stephen




.
tito_tunes
Nice sounds everybody! I got an MS-20 mini yesterday and had a lot of fun patching it for breath control. Here's the results

[s]https://soundcloud.com/titotunes/messing-with-ms-20-ewi[/s]

Did a fuller post over here:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133998
vgermuse
tito_tunes wrote:
Nice sounds everybody! I got an MS-20 mini yesterday and had a lot of fun patching it for breath control.
Did a fuller post over here:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133998


Sweet! Sounds like a great combo! Thanks for sharing. w00t
el90
Sorry for reviving a relatively old thread. I am putting together a eurorack system and would like to use my Akai EWI 5000 as a controller.

To this end, I experimented today with a very basic arrangement involving a Vermona QMI2 midi-cv converter and an Intellijel Rubicon oscillator and uVCA. My first attempts have revealed some fairly basic speed bumps. I would really appreciate any help with them:

(1) Capturing varying breath pressure

I cannot get any of the Vermona QMI2 outputs to capture varying breath pressure over the course of a single note. Whichever MIDI CC numbers I assign to the outputs of the QMI2, the best I can do is get my breath pressure at the start of each new note to determine the volume of that note for its entire duration (therefore ignoring any subsequent changes in breath pressure until a new note is played). Has anyone found a way to use the QMI2 (or any other MIDI-CV converter) more effectively, and if so, how?

(2) Capturing other forms of expressivity

Ultimately, I am aiming to put together a patch that allows for all of the following MIDI outputs from the EWI to be captured and put into effect on the modular system:

(1) breath sensor (i.e. velocity);
(2) note keys (i.e. pitch);
(3) glide plate (for portamento);
(4) thumb plates (for pitch bend); and
(5) bite sensor (for vibrato).

Obviously this will require more modules than my current very basic setup. Would anyone who has managed to capture some or all of this expression be willing to share an outline of how so?

(3) Pitch range

From the QMI2 manual, it seems the voltage range that can be produced by the 1v/oct output on the QMI2 is 0-5V. This produces a pitch range of 5 octaves, whereas the EWI has fingerings for 8 octaves. So, by putting the EWI through the QMI2, I lose three octaves of range. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there a workaround, or does anyone know of a MIDI-CV converter with a higher voltage output range?
stevebryson
el90 wrote:
Sorry for reviving a relatively old thread. I am putting together a eurorack system and would like to use my Akai EWI 5000 as a controller.

To this end, I experimented today with a very basic arrangement involving a Vermona QMI2 midi-cv converter and an Intellijel Rubicon oscillator and uVCA. My first attempts have revealed some fairly basic speed bumps. I would really appreciate any help with them:

(1) Capturing varying breath pressure

I cannot get any of the Vermona QMI2 outputs to capture varying breath pressure over the course of a single note. Whichever MIDI CC numbers I assign to the outputs of the QMI2, the best I can do is get my breath pressure at the start of each new note to determine the volume of that note for its entire duration (therefore ignoring any subsequent changes in breath pressure until a new note is played). Has anyone found a way to use the QMI2 (or any other MIDI-CV converter) more effectively, and if so, how?

(2) Capturing other forms of expressivity

Ultimately, I am aiming to put together a patch that allows for all of the following MIDI outputs from the EWI to be captured and put into effect on the modular system:

(1) breath sensor (i.e. velocity);
(2) note keys (i.e. pitch);
(3) glide plate (for portamento);
(4) thumb plates (for pitch bend); and
(5) bite sensor (for vibrato).

Obviously this will require more modules than my current very basic setup. Would anyone who has managed to capture some or all of this expression be willing to share an outline of how so?

(3) Pitch range

From the QMI2 manual, it seems the voltage range that can be produced by the 1v/oct output on the QMI2 is 0-5V. This produces a pitch range of 5 octaves, whereas the EWI has fingerings for 8 octaves. So, by putting the EWI through the QMI2, I lose three octaves of range. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, is there a workaround, or does anyone know of a MIDI-CV converter with a higher voltage output range?


I've had no trouble at all getting very expressive control of my modular with my EWI USB via an Encore Expressionist (and earlier with a Paia 9700s). For example, the lead voice that comes in at 0:58 in https://soundcloud.com/stevepurring/quantizedchaos2.

Generally, the Encore Expressionist is a fantastic MIDI-to-CV device that has met all my needs, including integration with a Roli Rise. It has plenty of voltage range. It's expensive but worth every penny.

Are you reading a continuous control parameter to get breath? You say "breath sensor (i.e. velocity)" so I'm not sure. Velocity data is transmitted only once with the MIDI note on signal: it is not a continuous parameter. You need to use a continuous control parameter for breath. By default my EWI USB maps breath to channel pressure and breath control. I've changed channel pressure to mod wheel, which is convenient. You say you've tried various CC numbers, but have you monitored what is specifically coming out of your EWI and tried those CC numbers?

On my EWI USB the bite sensor is mapped to pitch bend by default, duplicating the thumb plates. That's essentially pitch bend and vibrato for free if your MIDI-CV converter senses pitch bend. I get vibrato by varying my bite. The bite sensor can also be mapped to a continuous control parameter, though I've not played with that.

I hope that helps. I wish my EWI USB had a glide plate!
el90
That's very helpful, thanks so much. Totally agreed on the velocity data vs continuous control: I tried both velocity and 'volume' (CC#7) with no luck on either. When I get chance, I will do some more investigating on which continuous control parameters are being used to communicate breath.

Any suggestions on software/methods for monitoring what CC information the EWI is generating would also be much appreciated.
stevebryson
el90 wrote:
That's very helpful, thanks so much. Totally agreed on the velocity data vs continuous control: I tried both velocity and 'volume' (CC#7) with no luck on either. When I get chance, I will do some more investigating on which continuous control parameters are being used to communicate breath.

Any suggestions on software/methods for monitoring what CC information the EWI is generating would also be much appreciated.

I'm on OS X and use the free and excellent MIDI monitor. https://www.snoize.com/MIDIMonitor/

I'm sure the equivalent is available for other OSs.

But if your EWI has the same defaults as mine you could just try CC#2 (breath controller). Channel pressure isn't really a CC# - it's more like note on data. It's also called aftertouch, if you can configure your MIDI to CV to respond to aftertouch. If you can configure your EWI like I can mine, maybe it's easier to set the breath output to mod wheel (CC#1).
el90
Great stuff! Setting breath output to mod wheel did the trick. Many thanks.
stevebryson
el90 wrote:
Great stuff! Setting breath output to mod wheel did the trick. Many thanks.

It's peanut butter jelly time! nanners Rockin' Banana! w00t w00t applause applause SlayerBadger!
ben_hex
Regarding the Vermona qMI I have a version 1 and use MIDI into it from an Akai EWI (not sure which model, my friend plays the EWI). But we get 1v/oct pitch and gate (as you'd expect from anything really) and I think it's CC7 'VOLUME' that's the breath pressure on the first CV output.

If you're getting the breath that holds per note that sounds like it would be velocity to me. Which can be useful for bigger patches too.

It could be 'AFTERTOUCH' setting no.6 for the CV2 output as well.

Pretty sure it's one of those. Hopefully you get it working as it's always fun.
el90
Thanks Ben hex for the info. Your videos with your friend on EWI are one of the things that inspired me to get into modular!

I picked up a Mutable Yarns last night, and it seems to me to have a number of advantages over the vermona qMI:

(1) Most importantly, the Yarns has sufficient voltage range on the 1V/octave output to capture the full eight octave range of the EWI. The Vermona only stretches to five octaves.

(2) The Yarns automatically picks up pitch bend information (which is sent from both the EWI bite sensor and the thumb plates), whereas the Vermona does not. That makes the Yarns much easier to use (for me at least) and makes it much closer to being 'plug and play' than the Vermona.

(3) The Yarns has a wider number of other features, such as providing a digital oscillator. I haven't used these yet, but it can't harm to have them.

(4) If it matters, the Yarns takes up half the space of the Vermona and I believe it is also cheaper.

One tip I have found out: I had to turn off the vibrato setting on the Yarns, otherwise the pitch it produces is unstable and annoyingly 'wobbly'.
ben_hex
el90 cheers for the info RE Yarns. I original got the qMI because it has double the output of Yarns across the four channels and also several clocks and reset all at once. For the EWI Yarns seems the better option potentially.

The main thing is getting the breath control out as that's where the expression and uniqueness comes into play with the wind instrument techniques.

I don't mind pitch bend as a separate thing really as it makes it quick to scale it using pitch to the 1v/oct on an oscillator and the pitch bend to the FM. Means I can really quickly adjust the pitch response for my friend David when we're playing around.

The internal square oscillator on Yarns should be good for some sounds and also good for layering with other sounds.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on with things and seeing / hearing anything you capture from playing around.
carlosnyb
Question re: the EWI USB -- can you take the usb directly to a modular usb to midi controller, or does it need to go to computer first?
stevebryson
carlosnyb wrote:
Question re: the EWI USB -- can you take the usb directly to a modular usb to midi controller, or does it need to go to computer first?

I'm almost certain the answer is: yes, the EWI USB is sending conventional MIDI signals and you can just plug it into a hardware synth or MIDI to CV module. That's the claim on http://www.ewiusb.com.

I couldn't test this directly because I don't have any MIDI hardware that accepts that kind of USB plug. But I plugged the EWI into my wife's laptop, which has never seen EWI software, and in MIDI monitor I see all the right MIDI events as I play the EWI. I even see my modified assignments for the breath control, which means you can configure the EWI as you like on the computer (via the configuration software) then plug it into your hardware and it will do what you want.
carlosnyb
The use-case mentioned on the site was into computer and then to a software synth or out the computer to midi hardware devices. I sent an email to the webmaster -- in hopes to confirm that yes it does 'just work' with the usb class-compliant midi out.
ben_hex
carlosnyb wrote:
The use-case mentioned on the site was into computer and then to a software synth or out the computer to midi hardware devices. I sent an email to the webmaster -- in hopes to confirm that yes it does 'just work' with the usb class-compliant midi out.


I'm pretty sure it's just USB midi and that it will work. Synthrotek MIDI to CV has USB input as do some of the Doepfer MIDI to CV units (if you're going eurorack). External units are good for saving rack space too.
stevebryson
carlosnyb wrote:
The use-case mentioned on the site was into computer and then to a software synth or out the computer to midi hardware devices. I sent an email to the webmaster -- in hopes to confirm that yes it does 'just work' with the usb class-compliant midi out.

I think the statement on the web page that "the EWI USB sends all it's information as "MIDI over USB"" is all you need to know. So long as your hardware can read MIDI from USB it should work.
glissant
el90 wrote:
Thanks Ben hex for the info. Your videos with your friend on EWI are one of the things that inspired me to get into modular!

I picked up a Mutable Yarns last night, and it seems to me to have a number of advantages over the vermona qMI:

(1) Most importantly, the Yarns has sufficient voltage range on the 1V/octave output to capture the full eight octave range of the EWI. The Vermona only stretches to five octaves.

(2) The Yarns automatically picks up pitch bend information (which is sent from both the EWI bite sensor and the thumb plates), whereas the Vermona does not. That makes the Yarns much easier to use (for me at least) and makes it much closer to being 'plug and play' than the Vermona.

(3) The Yarns has a wider number of other features, such as providing a digital oscillator. I haven't used these yet, but it can't harm to have them.

(4) If it matters, the Yarns takes up half the space of the Vermona and I believe it is also cheaper.

One tip I have found out: I had to turn off the vibrato setting on the Yarns, otherwise the pitch it produces is unstable and annoyingly 'wobbly'.


I'm using Yarns as an EWI->modular interface, but am finding that the breath CV output is very steppy. I've run it through a slew limiter to smooth it but makes things feel a little too laggy (duh). Any hints on this?
tito_tunes
Just recorded some stuff last night with my EWI3000.

It's an older analog model that I had modded for CV outs. This solves the steppy breath controller issue. I take the analog breath voltage directly from the horn, no lossy midi translation. I'm using the midi out into Yarns to get an in-tune V/OCT signal with vibrato, pitch bend and glide packed in.

In this recording I'm controlling a Mutable Braids. The breath voltage is going into Braids' timbre input and I have a foot pedal controlling Braids' color input. The braids is being fed into the EWI3000m ext input and being modulated by it's built in BCA (breath controlled amplifier). All sounds come from Braids with added delay from a DOD pedal, Malekko Spring reverb, and Ableton's looper.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/245419965" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_use r=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
el90
glissant wrote:

I'm using Yarns as an EWI->modular interface, but am finding that the breath CV output is very steppy. I've run it through a slew limiter to smooth it but makes things feel a little too laggy (duh). Any hints on this?


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.
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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