Solo Woodwinds
Feat request list and questions on the 'Woodwind' pack using an EWI USB

Hi!

I've been playing a bit with the woodwinds on my Windows PC, and my EWI.
If there's room for feedback,
There are a few feat requests I'd like to have someone look into. Most of the issues are only minor.

I use the EWI USB in my example, Kontakt Kontrol, and the Audiomodeling Woodwind pack.

1- The biggest issue I have, is the pitch bend issue.
Audiomodelling software sounds very advanced compared to General Midi, but when I pitch bend a note, it doesn't sound very convincing to me.
I can hear the frequency shifting on the entire note, as if an LP was fast forwarded; like say the C is pitch-bent up or down, the tone going from C up to a C# or down to a B, doesn't sound realistic.
Once I hit the full semi note up or down, it sounds more realistic again.
Perhaps also an issue with my EWI, but it's not easy to hit that exact 100% pitch UP or DN on an EWI.

2- I've noticed that the Tenor sax, is about an octave too low for the EWI. I do select the Breath CNTRL, or Wind Contrl preset, but by default I'm not able to hit the highest octave, and can actually hit notes below the octaves that there are samples for.
With my finger centered on the octave rollers, it sounds how a sax should sound, but rolling to the upper octave, I can only hit a C6 (d#6 if I cheat with semis up).
That means I can't hit 2 semis with the EWI if I ever needed them.
On the bottom I can hit as low as C1 (A#0 when cheating).
The samples on the tenor sax, are only from F#2 to F6.
I don't know how this works out for other wind controllers, but wished that by default for the EWI USB, the Tenor sax could be +12 semis up.

3- The reverb.. It's a reverb.. And not a bad one. But I remember hearing better reverbs before. It also uses quite some CPU cycles.
The one I used to working with, was from Buzz Jeskola Tracker . I believe they use 32 bit fpp for reverb, and their reverb is really so clean; the best I've ever heard! (and that was from 1997, 23 years ago).
I was wondering if the reverb is processed in 32 bit INT or 24 bit float? As it doesn't sound as clean as Jeskola.
Maybe it's just my hardware... That's possible too.
Another thing with reverb, is that you can easily leave an additional 5-10ms of latency in it, and it won't be audible. But it'll greatly reduce CPU cycles.
Even if the device can run an ASIO driver as low as 64 samples at 96kHz (5ms latency), the reverb doesn't need to be so strict.

By itself the reverb sounds good enough, but sometimes I want more reverb than the dials allow me to. I wished more reverb could be added.

4- Additional effects in the VST.
I believe it doesn't cost much effort, to add a few basic effects, like: delay, chorus, and perhaps some others that could be useful

5- By default, they keyboard profile is loaded.
I wished if it was possible that a wind controller profile could be loaded (upon starting the VST) when an EWI is detected instead.
Not sure if this is a program issue, or VST issue.

6- By default, for the Wind controller profile, the expression curve for the EWI is set to Ln 0.3. I find at home I put it to linear (lin 0), or Ln 0.1 at most, as Ln 0.3 requires me to blow rather hard through the instrument. Lin 0 should also allow one to have the highest instrument resolution available. Midi only has 128 settings, so curving it, will reduce the amount of steps the output signal is going to be able to play back.
I haven't heard the wind instruments being used live, however I find in the studio/at home, the EWI USB's mouthpiece is very well calibrated. I presume Lin 0 means Linear. No curve added.
That's how I mostly use it.

7- I don't know how I can slide down, from a (example) G to a C, meaning in a continuous tone. If I use the notes (G, F, E, D, C), no matter how fast or slow, and no matter how hard I blow, tonguing or continuous, or lowering the breath pressure while doing the effect, the notes sound chopped (as if I'm playing actual notes in that order). I don't understand how I can ask the engine to give me such a (mostly slide down) sound.

A few other things I don't yet grasp:

a- The bite sensor for me is a bit on the sensitive side. I wished I knew how to reduce it's effect.

b- I'm not sure, but thought the EWI breath sensor is able to send signals to the controller, that can be interpreted for growl. Like, blowing through the EWI while humming a low tone, should rapidly increase and decrease the pressure signal, and can be interpreted by the SWAM decoder, as adding growl.
I thought this was being worked on, on the Sax Brothers. But I could be wrong about this.

c- If the above is not possible to implement, I wished I knew how to change the EWI's bite sensor, to growl. I would use it more than vibrato. And reassign the vibrato to a pitch bend, since pitch bending (especially DOWN) doesn't sound good at all, and seems pretty useless.
Midi learn doesn't recognize any of the EWI commands, including bite or pitch up/dn commands.
Midi Ox tells me the commands are being transmitted though.

I know the list is large, but I hope at least some of the data can be used to improve the user interaction with the program.

Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Hi! I've been playing a bit with the woodwinds on my Windows PC, and my EWI. If there's room for feedback, There are a few feat requests I'd like to have someone look into. Most of the issues are only minor. I use the EWI USB in my example, Kontakt Kontrol, and the Audiomodeling Woodwind pack. 1- The biggest issue I have, is the pitch bend issue. Audiomodelling software sounds very advanced compared to General Midi, but when I pitch bend a note, it doesn't sound very convincing to me. I can hear the frequency shifting on the entire note, as if an LP was fast forwarded; like say the C is pitch-bent up or down, the tone going from C up to a C# or down to a B, doesn't sound realistic. Once I hit the full semi note up or down, it sounds more realistic again. Perhaps also an issue with my EWI, but it's not easy to hit that exact 100% pitch UP or DN on an EWI. 2- I've noticed that the Tenor sax, is about an octave too low for the EWI. I do select the Breath CNTRL, or Wind Contrl preset, but by default I'm not able to hit the highest octave, and can actually hit notes below the octaves that there are samples for. With my finger centered on the octave rollers, it sounds how a sax should sound, but rolling to the upper octave, I can only hit a C6 (d#6 if I cheat with semis up). That means I can't hit 2 semis with the EWI if I ever needed them. On the bottom I can hit as low as C1 (A#0 when cheating). The samples on the tenor sax, are only from F#2 to F6. I don't know how this works out for other wind controllers, but wished that by default for the EWI USB, the Tenor sax could be +12 semis up. 3- The reverb.. It's a reverb.. And not a bad one. But I remember hearing better reverbs before. It also uses quite some CPU cycles. The one I used to working with, was from [Buzz Jeskola Tracker](https://www.jeskola.net/buzz/) . I believe they use 32 bit fpp for reverb, and their reverb is really so clean; the best I've ever heard! (and that was from 1997, 23 years ago). I was wondering if the reverb is processed in 32 bit INT or 24 bit float? As it doesn't sound as clean as Jeskola. Maybe it's just my hardware... That's possible too. Another thing with reverb, is that you can easily leave an additional 5-10ms of latency in it, and it won't be audible. But it'll greatly reduce CPU cycles. Even if the device can run an ASIO driver as low as 64 samples at 96kHz (5ms latency), the reverb doesn't need to be so strict. By itself the reverb sounds good enough, but sometimes I want more reverb than the dials allow me to. I wished more reverb could be added. 4- Additional effects in the VST. I believe it doesn't cost much effort, to add a few basic effects, like: delay, chorus, and perhaps some others that could be useful 5- By default, they keyboard profile is loaded. I wished if it was possible that a wind controller profile could be loaded (upon starting the VST) when an EWI is detected instead. Not sure if this is a program issue, or VST issue. 6- By default, for the Wind controller profile, the expression curve for the EWI is set to Ln 0.3. I find at home I put it to linear (lin 0), or Ln 0.1 at most, as Ln 0.3 requires me to blow rather hard through the instrument. Lin 0 should also allow one to have the highest instrument resolution available. Midi only has 128 settings, so curving it, will reduce the amount of steps the output signal is going to be able to play back. I haven't heard the wind instruments being used live, however I find in the studio/at home, the EWI USB's mouthpiece is very well calibrated. I presume Lin 0 means Linear. No curve added. That's how I mostly use it. 7- I don't know how I can slide down, from a (example) G to a C, meaning in a continuous tone. If I use the notes (G, F, E, D, C), no matter how fast or slow, and no matter how hard I blow, tonguing or continuous, or lowering the breath pressure while doing the effect, the notes sound chopped (as if I'm playing actual notes in that order). I don't understand how I can ask the engine to give me such a (mostly slide down) sound. A few other things I don't yet grasp: a- The bite sensor for me is a bit on the sensitive side. I wished I knew how to reduce it's effect. b- I'm not sure, but thought the EWI breath sensor is able to send signals to the controller, that can be interpreted for growl. Like, blowing through the EWI while humming a low tone, should rapidly increase and decrease the pressure signal, and can be interpreted by the SWAM decoder, as adding growl. I thought this was being worked on, on the Sax Brothers. But I could be wrong about this. c- If the above is not possible to implement, I wished I knew how to change the EWI's bite sensor, to growl. I would use it more than vibrato. And reassign the vibrato to a pitch bend, since pitch bending (especially DOWN) doesn't sound good at all, and seems pretty useless. Midi learn doesn't recognize any of the EWI commands, including bite or pitch up/dn commands. Midi Ox tells me the commands are being transmitted though. I know the list is large, but I hope at least some of the data can be used to improve the user interaction with the program. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

On a side note, Flutter T, I can play on my EWI, by blowing an 'Rrrrrrr' in the mouth piece, and allowing some air to escape on the left and right of my embouchure, as there's not enough air passing through the EWI mouthpiece itself to do this.

Passing air to the left and right of the mouthpiece is pretty much a standard behavior on the EWI, if one doesn't want to run out of air on long pieces (keep stale air too long in their lungs).

On a side note, Flutter T, I can play on my EWI, by blowing an 'Rrrrrrr' in the mouth piece, and allowing some air to escape on the left and right of my embouchure, as there's not enough air passing through the EWI mouthpiece itself to do this. Passing air to the left and right of the mouthpiece is pretty much a standard behavior on the EWI, if one doesn't want to run out of air on long pieces (keep stale air too long in their lungs).

In Reaper (and supposedly most DAWs), the current settings of any VST are saved with the project and recalled when starting the project. Hence any "Default" of the VST is overridden.
IMHO, additional effects (alternate reverb, chorus, ...) are better 3rd party and added in the FX chain of the DAW. I'ts not the task of the provider of the instrument to implement effects. (Nice courtesy of AM to provide a nice basic reverb, though.
With the Flutes, I use Pitchbend with my TEC BBC (via head nodding) max +/- a semitone. I did not notice the "fast forward" effect you mention.
I do use this setup for live playing.
The BBC allows for adjusting the curves of all four sensors. (blow, bite, nod, sidewards-tilt). Does the EWI not provide this ? But AFAIK, with the SWAM engine you can set the sensitivity to any Midi CC input.
When using a decent DAW you can use a Midi filter plugin to adjust such curves.
Sliding up/down multiple notes is impossible or very hard with a real wind instrument. So I don't expect it in the emulation.
My BBC is too slow to reproduce humming via the blow sensor. This would result in an awful lot of Midi messages, That is why I use the bite sensor to trigger the growl effect in the instruments. The BBC is even too slow for flutter tong and I don't know if this or myself is the reason why I cant do diaphragm vibrato. Hence I use the Pitchbend Wheel (up) for flutter and aftertouch for vibrato depth (and Head tilt sidewards for vibrato speed),
I never use Midi Learn but manually set the CC # accordingly in the plugins.
Please verify if the Midi CCs from the EWI actually reach the VST. (No Idea how to do this in "Komplete Kontrol",
Regarding only 128 steps in Midi: this bugs me, too, since I have these instruments. It would be a huge advantage if High Resolution Midi CC would be used for expression. But alas there are only very few controllers that are able to send HR Midi. Not my BBC yet smile .
-Michael

In Reaper (and supposedly most DAWs), the current settings of any VST are saved with the project and recalled when starting the project. Hence any "Default" of the VST is overridden. IMHO, additional effects (alternate reverb, chorus, ...) are better 3rd party and added in the FX chain of the DAW. I'ts not the task of the provider of the instrument to implement effects. (Nice courtesy of AM to provide a nice basic reverb, though. With the Flutes, I use Pitchbend with my TEC BBC (via head nodding) max +/- a semitone. I did not notice the "fast forward" effect you mention. I do use this setup for live playing. The BBC allows for adjusting the curves of all four sensors. (blow, bite, nod, sidewards-tilt). Does the EWI not provide this ? But AFAIK, with the SWAM engine you can set the sensitivity to any Midi CC input. When using a decent DAW you can use a Midi filter plugin to adjust such curves. Sliding up/down multiple notes is impossible or very hard with a real wind instrument. So I don't expect it in the emulation. My BBC is too slow to reproduce humming via the blow sensor. This would result in an awful lot of Midi messages, That is why I use the bite sensor to trigger the growl effect in the instruments. The BBC is even too slow for flutter tong and I don't know if this or myself is the reason why I cant do diaphragm vibrato. Hence I use the Pitchbend Wheel (up) for flutter and aftertouch for vibrato depth (and Head tilt sidewards for vibrato speed), I never use Midi Learn but manually set the CC # accordingly in the plugins. Please verify if the Midi CCs from the EWI actually reach the VST. (No Idea how to do this in "Komplete Kontrol", Regarding only 128 steps in Midi: this bugs me, too, since I have these instruments. It would be a huge advantage if High Resolution Midi CC would be used for expression. But alas there are only very few controllers that are able to send HR Midi. Not my BBC yet :( . -Michael
edited Sep 17 at 10:11 am

Hi @ProDigit , thanks for the extensive report.

1- that's weird: our technique, differently from sample libraries, is to "morph" between samples adding physical modeling behavior. E.g. on a real Flute, if you bend the pitch away from the pipe length, it sounds very muffled and breathy. Please do not expect a clean sound when you pitch away from the currently selected note: that is totally unrealistic. An acoustic instrument is not a Moog synth :-)

2- By default we fit the range of the instruments "centered" on a 5-octave keyboard. If you need a different transposition, just act on the "Transpose" parameter of the SWAM plugin (i.e. set it to +12)

3- Included reverb is just to give a bit of wet sound, it is not intended to be an advanced reverb unit. Many DAWs and third-party plugins provide much more better reverbs. BTW: we use 32 bit floating point processing.

4- Ours are realistic instruments, intended to be used in professional DAWs and hosts. Those can provide much more effects and processors. It's not our focus to provide effects, at least not immediately. Maybe in future.

5- The ability to load a custom preset at startup is provided on the new GUI now available for Solo Brass series only. Since Solo Woodwinds and Solo Strings will be upgraded to the new GUI in a few months, that feature will be available for those instruments too.

6- Ok.

7- What instrument are you speaking about? If you are speaking about Flute, you may know that flute cannot bend across different registers.
On all other woodwinds, except for Clarinet, we allow continuous portamento on an interval of 4 semitones, which is extremely WIDE! On real instruments, players can bend maximum 2 semitones.

Best.

Hi @ProDigit , thanks for the extensive report. 1- that's weird: our technique, differently from sample libraries, is to "morph" between samples adding physical modeling behavior. E.g. on a real Flute, if you bend the pitch away from the pipe length, it sounds very muffled and breathy. Please do not expect a clean sound when you pitch away from the currently selected note: that is totally unrealistic. An acoustic instrument is not a Moog synth :-) 2- By default we fit the range of the instruments "centered" on a 5-octave keyboard. If you need a different transposition, just act on the "Transpose" parameter of the SWAM plugin (i.e. set it to +12) 3- Included reverb is just to give a bit of wet sound, it is not intended to be an advanced reverb unit. Many DAWs and third-party plugins provide much more better reverbs. BTW: we use 32 bit floating point processing. 4- Ours are realistic instruments, intended to be used in professional DAWs and hosts. Those can provide much more effects and processors. It's not our focus to provide effects, at least not immediately. Maybe in future. 5- The ability to load a custom preset at startup is provided on the new GUI now available for Solo Brass series only. Since Solo Woodwinds and Solo Strings will be upgraded to the new GUI in a few months, that feature will be available for those instruments too. 6- Ok. 7- What instrument are you speaking about? If you are speaking about Flute, you may know that flute cannot bend across different registers. On all other woodwinds, except for Clarinet, we allow continuous portamento on an interval of 4 semitones, which is extremely WIDE! On real instruments, players can bend maximum 2 semitones. Best.

@admin :
1- I hadn't tried the flute yet, but yes, it sounds much better than the sax in regards to pitch bending.

2- Further playing with the program, and I've noticed the following:
It would be nice for wind instruments that there could be a configuration or patch automatically adjusting it to the wind instrument playing, instead of tuning everything to piano in terms of breath attack, and octaves.
I think whatever doesn't work well on an EWI, won't work well on most other Electric Wind instruments either (like aerophone, or others), since they use the same midi settings.
Perhaps a button can be implemented when loading the wind instrument patch, it'll automatically adjust to -12 semis lower on the instruments indicated below?

The problem when using the transpose, is that when one does need to transpose a note on top of the octave, it could reach beyond the range the transpose currently supports (it currently only supports 1 oct up or 1 oct down), and wouldn't be as straight forward.
When transposing, the keyboard range changes, but the played note is indicated.
For instance, when I play a 'C' on the instrument, and transpose it 2 notes down, it'll still show a 'C' as being played. Not the actual note played...
Talking about transposing, the Saxes apparently are all tuned in C.
A real tenor's C note would be 1 note down (Bb), and an alto would be 3 semis up (Eb).
This may not matter much, but it might confuse Sax players, who by default have to transpose their music when they read from Piano music.

Most instruments are calibrated well.
The ones that don't, have '1 Octave down' next to, meaning that I have plenty of notes below the lowest playable note, and/or that my instrument may or may not be able to hit the highest notes that are sampled in the VST, without using transpose.
Also, resulting in the center octave of the instrument not being exactly in the center of the EWI's octave rollers.

For the woodwinds pack playing through an EWI, the following octave ranges are ok, or might need some adjusting:
1) Alto flute: OK
2) Alto Sax: OK
3) Baritone Sax: OK
4) Bass Clarinet: OK
5) Bass Flute: 1 octave down
6) Bassoon : OK
7) Clarinet: OK
smile Contrabassoon: OK
9) English horn: OK
10) Flute: 1 octave down
11) Oboe: 1 octave down
12) Piccolo: 1 octave down
13) Soprano Sax: while not perfectly centered, the range works ok with the EWI
14) Tenor Sax: 1 octave down.

3- I just noticed that the reverb's maximum range is 36 on the reverb mix, and 70 on reverb time.
While it sounds good enough for the studio, for live play the reverb gets drowned out, and the instrument sounds as if it was dry.
If 0 is dry, and I assume 100 is wet,
It would be nice if the reverb time could get a bit extra (like up to 80 or 85, for a large stadium/church kind of reverb) and the reverb mix could get up to 75, but at least exceeds 50.
The latter is important if any kind of reverb is to be heard during live play, and may not require much code adjustment at all (should be just extending the max threshold on both).

4- I'm ok with that. I'm not sure if the included compressor is really a compressor, or just some EQ, as it boosts low volume mid frequencies, but keeps high volume levels pretty much identical to using no compressor. Still testing it out though...

5- Thanks!

6- I can save ln1 or lin0 to a preset, so it's not a big deal, but it's just a feedback for the EWI. Perhaps Aerophone players, or WX players could chime in, on how the setting works for them?

7- No, I'm meaning on the sax. But sax, as well as flutes (and even a recorder) can easily slide down, by slowly closing the valves, more reminiscent of a trombone slide.
On real instruments this can be easily done over all the notes of the instrument (low C to B, some instruments, like a sax from Bb to C).
I actually found out how to make the engine do it!
When blowing very gently, it does play the slide.
When wanting more volume, one has to hum a note through the breath sensor, while changing notes.
The humming has a negative effect, in that it'll sound a bit like growl.
The humming only works sometimes, and a notice 'portam.' will be displayed on the screen.
The note hummed has to be anywhere between an F2 and a G3.
I guess depending on the recording instrument, some notes work better than others.
The feature is somewhat unreliable, or maybe I'm just not familiar with it yet. The user manual doesn't say much about it.

@mschnell : 128 settings, when well calibrated, should be sufficient for most applications.
For instance, the breath sensor, if each midi step up would compare to 1dB, we'd have quite some dynamic range (128dB, much higher than most recording devices, and a loudness differential the human ear can't even distinguish).
If a breath controller is lousily calibrated, wasting half the resolution into ranges that aren't ever played, yes, then you may notice a lack of dynamic range.

I'm not sure about the BBC, but the EWI only has a bite sensor, velocity sensor (pressure), and pitch bend sensors, next to the notes.

It does have a way through the original Akai software to address the firmware (through midi out/in), to adjust the bite sensor sensitivity, I hadn't thought of that. I'm just used seeing a knob in my VST for adjusting this value.

I think it would be nice if T-Flutter and growl could both be triggered when playing a long spanish 'Rrrr' in the mouthpiece.
The sensor on the EWI actually notices when I hum through the mouthpiece, and it's shown in oscillations in the SWAM VST.
The breath sensor seems to read the values at a rate of about 350Hz (~F4 to F#4),
Midi-ox tells me there are a little over 330 instructions per second coming from the EWI (may be the reason why the breath oscillations readout stops at around a 350Hz input tone in the mouthpiece).
These 330+ midi commands can either all be used by 1 sensor, or shared between notes and octave rollers, pitch changes, pressure changes, and bite changes. That's enough to change each sensor about once every ~10ms.
Seems enough for me...

@admin : 1- I hadn't tried the flute yet, but yes, it sounds much better than the sax in regards to pitch bending. 2- Further playing with the program, and I've noticed the following: It would be nice for wind instruments that there could be a configuration or patch automatically adjusting it to the wind instrument playing, instead of tuning everything to piano in terms of breath attack, and octaves. I think whatever doesn't work well on an EWI, won't work well on most other Electric Wind instruments either (like aerophone, or others), since they use the same midi settings. Perhaps a button can be implemented when loading the wind instrument patch, it'll automatically adjust to -12 semis lower on the instruments indicated below? The problem when using the transpose, is that when one does need to transpose a note on top of the octave, it could reach beyond the range the transpose currently supports (it currently only supports 1 oct up or 1 oct down), and wouldn't be as straight forward. When transposing, the keyboard range changes, but the played note is indicated. For instance, when I play a 'C' on the instrument, and transpose it 2 notes down, it'll still show a 'C' as being played. Not the actual note played... Talking about transposing, the Saxes apparently are all tuned in C. A real tenor's C note would be 1 note down (Bb), and an alto would be 3 semis up (Eb). This may not matter much, but it might confuse Sax players, who by default have to transpose their music when they read from Piano music. Most instruments are calibrated well. The ones that don't, have '1 Octave down' next to, meaning that I have plenty of notes below the lowest playable note, and/or that my instrument may or may not be able to hit the highest notes that are sampled in the VST, without using transpose. Also, resulting in the center octave of the instrument not being exactly in the center of the EWI's octave rollers. For the woodwinds pack playing through an EWI, the following octave ranges are ok, or might need some adjusting: 1) Alto flute: OK 2) Alto Sax: OK 3) Baritone Sax: OK 4) Bass Clarinet: OK 5) Bass Flute: 1 octave down 6) Bassoon : OK 7) Clarinet: OK 8) Contrabassoon: OK 9) English horn: OK 10) Flute: 1 octave down 11) Oboe: 1 octave down 12) Piccolo: 1 octave down 13) Soprano Sax: while not perfectly centered, the range works ok with the EWI 14) Tenor Sax: 1 octave down. 3- I just noticed that the reverb's maximum range is 36 on the reverb mix, and 70 on reverb time. While it sounds good enough for the studio, for live play the reverb gets drowned out, and the instrument sounds as if it was dry. If 0 is dry, and I assume 100 is wet, It would be nice if the reverb time could get a bit extra (like up to 80 or 85, for a large stadium/church kind of reverb) and the reverb mix could get up to 75, but at least exceeds 50. The latter is important if any kind of reverb is to be heard during live play, and may not require much code adjustment at all (should be just extending the max threshold on both). 4- I'm ok with that. I'm not sure if the included compressor is really a compressor, or just some EQ, as it boosts low volume mid frequencies, but keeps high volume levels pretty much identical to using no compressor. Still testing it out though... 5- Thanks! 6- I can save ln1 or lin0 to a preset, so it's not a big deal, but it's just a feedback for the EWI. Perhaps Aerophone players, or WX players could chime in, on how the setting works for them? 7- No, I'm meaning on the sax. But sax, as well as flutes (and even a recorder) can easily slide down, by slowly closing the valves, more reminiscent of a trombone slide. On real instruments this can be easily done over all the notes of the instrument (low C to B, some instruments, like a sax from Bb to C). I actually found out how to make the engine do it! When blowing very gently, it does play the slide. When wanting more volume, one has to hum a note through the breath sensor, while changing notes. The humming has a negative effect, in that it'll sound a bit like growl. The humming only works sometimes, and a notice 'portam.' will be displayed on the screen. The note hummed has to be anywhere between an F2 and a G3. I guess depending on the recording instrument, some notes work better than others. The feature is somewhat unreliable, or maybe I'm just not familiar with it yet. The user manual doesn't say much about it. @mschnell : 128 settings, when well calibrated, should be sufficient for most applications. For instance, the breath sensor, if each midi step up would compare to 1dB, we'd have quite some dynamic range (128dB, much higher than most recording devices, and a loudness differential the human ear can't even distinguish). If a breath controller is lousily calibrated, wasting half the resolution into ranges that aren't ever played, yes, then you may notice a lack of dynamic range. I'm not sure about the BBC, but the EWI only has a bite sensor, velocity sensor (pressure), and pitch bend sensors, next to the notes. It does have a way through the original Akai software to address the firmware (through midi out/in), to adjust the bite sensor sensitivity, I hadn't thought of that. I'm just used seeing a knob in my VST for adjusting this value. I think it would be nice if T-Flutter and growl could both be triggered when playing a long spanish 'Rrrr' in the mouthpiece. The sensor on the EWI actually notices when I hum through the mouthpiece, and it's shown in oscillations in the SWAM VST. The breath sensor seems to read the values at a rate of about 350Hz (~F4 to F#4), Midi-ox tells me there are a little over 330 instructions per second coming from the EWI (may be the reason why the breath oscillations readout stops at around a 350Hz input tone in the mouthpiece). These 330+ midi commands can either all be used by 1 sensor, or shared between notes and octave rollers, pitch changes, pressure changes, and bite changes. That's enough to change each sensor about once every ~10ms. Seems enough for me...
edited Sep 19 at 9:06 am

Great that the EWI breath sensor is this fast. I do have an old an partly broken WX7. It's Breath sensor is a lot faster than the one in my BBCv2.
Your humming portamento is funny and weird. An advantage of using a Breath controller over a wind controller is that the key press velocity of my Masterkeyboard can be used for portamento speed. I suppose that the EWI keys don't sense velocity.
Most of your requests regarding the SWAM configuration seem to be triggered by the fact that you can't (or don't know how to) make your VST host save VST parameters and recall then when you change the patch / instrument. I think you shoul investigate on that behalf, as this is IMHO the recommended way for setting up and choosing patches / sounds. Also inserting some Midi Preprocessor plugins for certain patches might be very helpful. I don't know how Camelot works here but I am rather sure it will do that.
-Michael

Great that the EWI breath sensor is this fast. I do have an old an partly broken WX7. It's Breath sensor is a lot faster than the one in my BBCv2. Your humming portamento is funny and weird. An advantage of using a Breath controller over a wind controller is that the key press velocity of my Masterkeyboard can be used for portamento speed. I suppose that the EWI keys don't sense velocity. Most of your requests regarding the SWAM configuration seem to be triggered by the fact that you can't (or don't know how to) make your VST host save VST parameters and recall then when you change the patch / instrument. I think you shoul investigate on that behalf, as this is IMHO the recommended way for setting up and choosing patches / sounds. Also inserting some Midi Preprocessor plugins for certain patches might be very helpful. I don't know how Camelot works here but I am rather sure it will do that. -Michael
edited Sep 19 at 11:03 am

No, I can do a lot of things, I can save profiles.

It's just that you'd expect a profile for wind controllers, to be aimed at wind controllers, not keyboards with a pressure sensor assigned to the attack.
I think the presets should be modified to run by default like that.

Sure, I can write a patch that sets my Tenor sax to Bb, and an alto to Eb.
But I think that the user experience should be near to perfect out of the box, rather than requiring people to modify it. It should work just as well for a pro, as it does for a beginner who just wants to plug and play, without having to go through a variety of hurdles.

I'm really not asking for special preferences.
Just things that almost anyone with (at least an EWI) wind controller would adjust this way. Like, very few people will want to blow in the EWI as if it was a trumpet.
The amount of air that passes through the mouth piece, is less than a recorder. Forcing the same amount of air like a trumpet, would just trigger the pressure sensor at a a constant maximum velocity.

The EWI supports transposing the instrument by +12 semis, through the Garritan software.
It writes the settings to the EWI firmware, and opening the SWAM instruments, it seems the issue is fixed for most instruments, however, now the Alto sax isn't exactly in the middle anymore.
If you're using your EWI as a sax, you can also tune it for that (Bb or Eb for an alto sax).
However, if you're using it as a multi instrument, I think it's best to keep the ranges of all wind instruments in the woodwinds pack about the same, and not so that people will have to change octaves when changing instruments.

BTW, I just noticed Akai's Garritan software also has the EWI tuned in C on all instruments.
Considering that this is a multi instrument (not a sax only), I believe the best setting is to modify the VSTs to better represent the actual note the instrument is tuned in.

Sure, if you're making an orchestration, or as a sound engineer, it's best to have them all tuned in C.
But if you're a musician, you'd want the Tenor Sax VST to sound like how a real Tenor sax sounds like, and not all instruments tuned in C...

No, I can do a lot of things, I can save profiles. It's just that you'd expect a profile for wind controllers, to be aimed at wind controllers, not keyboards with a pressure sensor assigned to the attack. I think the presets should be modified to run by default like that. Sure, I can write a patch that sets my Tenor sax to Bb, and an alto to Eb. But I think that the user experience should be near to perfect out of the box, rather than requiring people to modify it. It should work just as well for a pro, as it does for a beginner who just wants to plug and play, without having to go through a variety of hurdles. I'm really not asking for special preferences. Just things that almost anyone with (at least an EWI) wind controller would adjust this way. Like, very few people will want to blow in the EWI as if it was a trumpet. The amount of air that passes through the mouth piece, is less than a recorder. Forcing the same amount of air like a trumpet, would just trigger the pressure sensor at a a constant maximum velocity. The EWI supports transposing the instrument by +12 semis, through the Garritan software. It writes the settings to the EWI firmware, and opening the SWAM instruments, it seems the issue is fixed for most instruments, however, now the Alto sax isn't exactly in the middle anymore. If you're using your EWI as a sax, you can also tune it for that (Bb or Eb for an alto sax). However, if you're using it as a multi instrument, I think it's best to keep the ranges of all wind instruments in the woodwinds pack about the same, and not so that people will have to change octaves when changing instruments. BTW, I just noticed Akai's Garritan software also has the EWI tuned in C on all instruments. Considering that this is a multi instrument (not a sax only), I believe the best setting is to modify the VSTs to better represent the actual note the instrument is tuned in. Sure, if you're making an orchestration, or as a sound engineer, it's best to have them all tuned in C. But if you're a musician, you'd want the Tenor Sax VST to sound like how a real Tenor sax sounds like, and not all instruments tuned in C...
edited Sep 19 at 10:21 pm

Claiming personal preferences as "what everybody needs".
This of course is seen on all Forums for all products all the time. And does not help at all.
Sticking to solving problems makes a lot more sense.
-Michael

Claiming personal preferences as "what everybody needs". This of course is seen on all Forums for all products all the time. And does not help at all. Sticking to solving problems makes a lot more sense. -Michael
edited Sep 20 at 6:25 am

Like I said, it's there are very few personal preferences.

Most of the requests appear to be issues that have been badly set up from the get go.

Like I said, it's there are very few personal preferences. Most of the requests appear to be issues that have been badly set up from the get go.

Like I said, it's there are very few personal preferences.

Most of the requests appear to be issues that have been badly set up from the get go.

Like I said, it's there are very few personal preferences. Most of the requests appear to be issues that have been badly set up from the get go.

In fact I would see any profile/default that comes with some deeply configurable product as nothing more than a starting point to make it behave as it should for any individual user/situation.
A profile in SWAM (e.g. "Wind controller" ) is just a collection of parameter settings and don't prevent you from modifying all to get something completely different.
It's the task of saving the complete set of parameters (either in a User profile managed by SWAM or via DAW parameters managed by the VST host) to allow the user to recall one or more programs/patches/sounds at any time he wants (and of course when starting the project). At best by some kind of easy to use "program change" actions by a button near the instrument-controller or foorswitch or...
-Michael

In fact I would see any profile/default that comes with some deeply configurable product as nothing more than a starting point to make it behave as it should for any individual user/situation. A profile in SWAM (e.g. "Wind controller" ) is just a collection of parameter settings and don't prevent you from modifying all to get something completely different. It's the task of saving the complete set of parameters (either in a User profile managed by SWAM or via DAW parameters managed by the VST host) to allow the user to recall one or more programs/patches/sounds at any time he wants (and of course when starting the project). At best by some kind of easy to use "program change" actions by a button near the instrument-controller or foorswitch or... -Michael
edited Sep 21 at 6:30 am

@ProDigit my reply to your loooong posts, is simply:

a) make your adjustments, transpositions, and so on, and save your own presets. Any default preset will be ok for some users and not ok for many other users.

b) Reverb: as said, it is intended just for not having a very dry sound. If you need a good reverb, with more wet and reverb time, please add an external reverb.

c) Compressor: it provides mostly a compression on the different dynamic "layers", i.e. if you breath very softly with no compression you hear very a very low breath noise, if you do it with compression set to the maximum level, you hear much more breath noise.

d) continuous portamento mimics the bending caused by the reed, not caused by the sliding the valves. That can be done performing several portamentos, one connected to the other.

Best!

@ProDigit my reply to your loooong posts, is simply: a) make your adjustments, transpositions, and so on, and save your own presets. Any default preset will be ok for some users and not ok for many other users. b) Reverb: as said, it is intended just for not having a very dry sound. If you need a good reverb, with more wet and reverb time, please add an external reverb. c) Compressor: it provides mostly a compression on the different dynamic "layers", i.e. if you breath very softly with no compression you hear very a very low breath noise, if you do it with compression set to the maximum level, you hear much more breath noise. d) continuous portamento mimics the bending caused by the reed, not caused by the sliding the valves. That can be done performing several portamentos, one connected to the other. Best!
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