SWAM
What can be improved in SWAM for Wind Controller users?

This thread is dedicated to Wind Controller users.
We want to listen from you, please let us know what you think can be really improved in our products to match perfectly your expectations and the right control when using a Wind Controller.

This thread is dedicated to Wind Controller users. We want to listen from you, please let us know what you think can be really improved in our products to match perfectly your expectations and the right control when using a Wind Controller.

Oh, boy! Where to start?

Actually, my main advice is: prototype a single overly-simplistic sound generator using your engine and no user control apart from MIDI note-on and CC02. Get diverse wind players to experiment with it (valve and woodwind). Ask the right questions (“when would you use this?”, “which descriptors would you use for the experience of using this sound with your controller?”, “when we compare your recording with the recording from somebody else, what do you notice?”). When you get answers, ask followup questions. Test to discover.

And provide examples which sound like what we would perform.

You probably expect another sort of advice that I can also give: focus on breath control as an overall arc, “above the notes”. Default to the smoothest legato mode possible. Velocity might not matter at all. Note-on is about changing pitch. None of this weird articulation-switching.
“Oh, but you can bypass this in this one patch matched with this one MIDI preset and if you link things in this way and read the manual and cross your fingers you might get the results you want!”
Erm, no. We have bigger fish to fry. We should be able to load the plugin in our host and immediately start playing the way we expect.

There are multiple reasons we keep going on and on (and on) about synths dedicated to our needs (from VL70-m, IFW, and XpressO to EVI-NER and Respiro). It’s not just about the fact that we like the sound.

Oh, boy! Where to start? Actually, my main advice is: prototype a single overly-simplistic sound generator using your engine and no user control apart from MIDI note-on and CC02. Get _diverse_ wind players to experiment with it (valve and woodwind). Ask the right questions (“when would you use this?”, “which descriptors would you use for the experience of using this sound with your controller?”, “when we compare your recording with the recording from somebody else, what do you notice?”). When you get answers, ask followup questions. Test to discover. And provide examples which sound like what we would perform. You probably expect another sort of advice that I can also give: focus on breath control as an overall arc, “above the notes”. Default to the smoothest legato mode possible. Velocity might not matter at all. Note-on is about changing pitch. None of this weird articulation-switching. “Oh, but you can bypass this in this one patch matched with this one MIDI preset and if you link things in this way and read the manual and cross your fingers you might get the results you want!” Erm, no. We have bigger fish to fry. We should be able to load the plugin in our host and immediately start playing the way we expect. There are multiple reasons we keep going on and on (and on) about synths dedicated to our needs (from VL70-m, IFW, and XpressO to EVI-NER and Respiro). It’s not _just_ about the fact that we like the sound.

Only Wind Controller users, or Breath Controller users, as well ?
With the Flutes, my major complain is that you cant do a really softly starting crescendo e.g. on a single note.
But maybe this is indeed impossible due to limitations of the Midi data stream.
Same only provides 128 steps between zero breath and full power.
It would be very appropriate to use high resolution CC (16000 steps).
But unfortunately AFAIK there is no Breath or wind controller that sends such data.
Henn and egg problem: no controller no software, no software no controller smilesmilesmile
-Michael

Only Wind Controller users, or Breath Controller users, as well ? With the Flutes, my major complain is that you cant do a really softly starting crescendo e.g. on a single note. But maybe this is indeed impossible due to limitations of the Midi data stream. Same only provides 128 steps between zero breath and full power. It would be **very** appropriate to use high resolution CC (16000 steps). But unfortunately AFAIK there is no Breath or wind controller that sends such data. Henn and egg problem: no controller no software, no software no controller :( :( :( -Michael

@Enkerli I like and agree upon everything you said except two things:

1) we will not make a single sound generator for many instruments. There are many reasons behind this choice. In any case, even if we could do it, making a single app now would generate a cascade effect on all customers that already purchased several apps, requesting refunds for getting that single app

2) you cannot pretend to have a "plug & play" plugin dedicated to wind controller users only, because it would not be the main use case, I really hope you agree upon this.
The same exact plugin can be used for direct editing in a DAW, or with keyboard+pedal, or with a keyboard+breath controller, or with a wind controller, or with and MPE device, and so on.
ANYWAY, the good thing about the new SWAM UX, is that anyone can choose what's the default preset to be loaded at startup. So, except for the very first opening, anyone can find his "plug & play" configuration when opening a SWAM instrument.

Other synths are dedicated to wind controller, just because they have mapped CC2 to the main expression parameter. Sylphyo wind controller, by default, has breath mapped to CC11, so it does not work immediately with such wind-controller-dedicated synths. So, in that case, who is not caring about wind controller users? The Sylphyo manufacturer or the synth developer?

What I really would love to hear from the Wind Controller community is detail by detail what's wrong in the sound behavior of SWAM models. I read about transitions, I read about attacks, I read about "the sound is not quite there" (it doesn't mean much to me), but no one has provided audio / video / MIDI examples or comparisons.

If we only could have such detailed feedback and constructive relationship with the wind controller community, we can provide very satisfying products.

For example, what's wrong, or what can be improved here?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OocavJfNiv0

Or here?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEyGxP6lw3Y

Or here?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jxpeELDpdw

@Enkerli I like and agree upon everything you said except two things: 1) we will not make a single sound generator for many instruments. There are many reasons behind this choice. In any case, even if we could do it, making a single app now would generate a cascade effect on all customers that already purchased several apps, requesting refunds for getting that single app 2) you cannot pretend to have a "plug & play" plugin dedicated to wind controller users only, because it would not be the main use case, I really hope you agree upon this. The same exact plugin can be used for direct editing in a DAW, or with keyboard+pedal, or with a keyboard+breath controller, or with a wind controller, or with and MPE device, and so on. ANYWAY, the good thing about the new SWAM UX, is that **anyone can choose what's the default preset to be loaded at startup**. So, except for the very first opening, anyone can find his "plug & play" configuration when opening a SWAM instrument. Other synths are dedicated to wind controller, just because they have mapped CC2 to the main expression parameter. Sylphyo wind controller, by default, has breath mapped to CC11, so it does not work immediately with such wind-controller-dedicated synths. So, in that case, who is not caring about wind controller users? The Sylphyo manufacturer or the synth developer? What I really would love to hear from the Wind Controller community is detail by detail what's wrong in the sound behavior of SWAM models. I read about transitions, I read about attacks, I read about "the sound is not quite there" (it doesn't mean much to me), but no one has provided audio / video / MIDI examples or comparisons. If we only could have such detailed feedback and constructive relationship with the wind controller community, we can provide very satisfying products. For example, what's wrong, or what can be improved here? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OocavJfNiv0 Or here? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEyGxP6lw3Y Or here? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jxpeELDpdw

@mschnell this thread is dedicated to Wind Controller players. It is a "special" community with peculiar needs. BTW: Breath controller with hi-resolution MIDI is coming soon. Please check here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Z8dIkIeXk

and subscribe to the newsletter in the video description

@mschnell this thread is dedicated to Wind Controller players. It is a "special" community with peculiar needs. BTW: Breath controller with hi-resolution MIDI is coming soon. Please check here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3Z8dIkIeXk and subscribe to the newsletter in the video description

Velocity matters a lot with breath controller + Keyboard. IMHO the velocity -> Legato mapping is perfect.
I don't know if modern Wind controller do velocity with their keys (The WX7 I once used did not). If yes I suppose this should be very usable and natural, as well.
-Michael

Velocity matters a lot with breath controller + Keyboard. IMHO the velocity -> Legato mapping is perfect. I don't know if modern Wind controller do velocity with their keys (The WX7 I once used did not). If yes I suppose this should be very usable and natural, as well. -Michael
edited Feb 25 at 6:45 am

(OK, I later found that it's Off-Topic, but nonetheless...)

In general i am perfectly happy with the sound of the Flute when played with the Breath controller in Jazzy pieces.

But I need to admit that I like the Kontakt based Trumpet (in fact I mostly use the Flugelhorn) better.

-> "Stolen Moments" and "My Funny Valentine" ( little bit Flute on "Night and Day" ) at
https://soundcloud.com/user-213300358/sets

-Michael

(OK, I later found that it's Off-Topic, but nonetheless...) In general i am perfectly happy with the sound of the Flute when played with the Breath controller in Jazzy pieces. But I need to admit that I like the Kontakt based Trumpet (in fact I mostly use the Flugelhorn) better. -> "**Stolen Moments**" and **"My Funny Valentine**" ( little bit Flute on "Night and Day" ) at https://soundcloud.com/user-213300358/sets -Michael
edited Feb 24 at 7:30 pm

Hi Lele (I assume it's you that has started this section)
First of all, I'd like to say a big "Thank you" for allowing us wind controller players to try and provide some effective feedback. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be in your position!

FEEDBACK

  1. As a sax player, I find that the attack of all SWAM instruments isn't quite right but it's also very difficult to try and describe "why". This was the very first thing I first noticed way back when the SWAM Saxophones were released (and I sent feedback through to Giorgio) and it's one of the ways I can easily pick a SWAM instrument in any recording. This has improved over the years but it's still not quite right. I agree with @mschnell that it feels like you can't get a very soft starting crescendo unless you map CC#2 to volume....which is NOT the best option because it results in artifacts when tonguing quick passages. I don't think this is due to a MIDI scale of 0-127 because I have some softsynths where I can easily get a beautifully scaled pp to FF. Mind you, I also realise that SWAM instruments are incredibly complex and have numerous parameters that are designed to emulate acoustic instruments with all their anomalies....not an easy task at all!
  2. From my early discussions with Giorgio, I am under the impression that how SWAM instruments respond to controller input is quite unique but in some ways, also fairly generic across the instruments....but please correct me if I am wrong! However, if this is correct, I believe this may be why most SWAM instruments are highly playable but also why they don't always sound realistic. The way that note attacks are generally handled across all SWAM instruments I own would tend to support this. I've had to map CC#2 to volume on almost every SWAM instrument in order to get suitable pp dynamics and this should not need to be the case. CAVEAT: I understand that SWAM v3 may finally fix this problem. I haven't had a chance to explore this with SWAM brasses (which I own) but due to my needs and usage of SWAM brass (e.g. contemporary "horn sections" in bands etc), I rarely find myself needing pp brass. However, I DO need pp woodwinds and strings.
  3. I also concur with @mschnell in that I find the SM Trumpet (and all SM brasses) to be considerably better-sounding and more realistic than AM brasses. I believe this to be due to the SM brasses using samples rather than modeling (or whatever combination of modeling and samples that SWAM technology uses). There is a real "brassiness" about SM's products that AM brasses just don't have, especially in the French horns. In the previous example of my need for contemporary "horn sections" (e.g. 1-3 trumpets, tenor sax, trombone), I find that the AM trumpet just can't get a screaming lead trumpet sound, let alone "screech trumpet". I know you're aware that Steve Anderson and I have discussed this at length and both contacted AM at different times about this. The recent small extension of range has definitely helped but my suspicion is that the player used by AM as the basis for the SWAM trumpet is perhaps not the right player for a screaming lead trumpet sound? Please understand that I say this with respect! But by the same token, there are different players that exemplify totally different sounds....and this leads me to my next point:
  4. There are so many different sounds to certain instruments that I don't believe it is possible to meet everyone's needs with the generic instruments currently being offered by AM. Please don't misunderstand me: there ARE numerous options to tweak AM instruments but users can't address significant tonal differences. Take the alto sax as an example; you have Arno Bornkamp/Claude Delangle as fairly standard examples of classical alto saxophone. Then you have David Sanborn who is the complete polar opposite. There's Paul Desmond who is completely different again and then you have mainstream players like Eric Marienthal and Gerald Albright. At the moment, the SWAM alto sax generally sounds like a combination of classical sax and Paul Desmond but some tweaking can get some extra brightness and bite to convert this to a cheesy pop sax. And this is just the alto sax! In using this particular example, I don't think there's any way AM is going to please a lot of players looking for an alto sax unless AM invests in sampling some varying, world-class players and then perhaps offer these instrument variations as additional purchases. I know that I'd jump at the chance to own a Wayne Bergeron trumpet sound, an Andy Martin trombone or a Chris Potter tenor sax.
  5. SWAM v3 (as represented only by the brasses at the moment) DOES give the user considerably more options to fine-tune instruments, and this is a great thing. I mention this because I'm looking forward to seeing if SWAM v3 finally enables me to get better response from your woodwinds and strings, which I personally need. As already mentioned, I don't really like the sound of SWAM brasses "out of the box" (compared to the other option) and therefore haven't really spent a great deal of time trying to tweak the SWAM v3 options. All up, I've spent about 10 hours each on trying to get the right sound for both SWAM trumpet and French horn and then decided not to pursue it any further when I prefer the other option.
  6. Something that everyone needs to take into consideration (especially wind controller players) is that all of the various mainstream wind controllers offer a wide range of customisation that can dramatically alter the response of synths, especially with breath response curves and lip sensors. If these options aren't optimally configured for the player, the corresponding response from the instrument won't, of course, be optimal. This should go without saying but there are an awful lot of wind controller players around who literally have no idea what they're doing but then complain about the poor results they get. I'm mentioning this point for any novice wind controller players who may be reading this.

In conclusion, I fully realise that my points above are anecdotal and not likely to provide any concrete basis for improvement. However, now that this dialogue has been started, I will try to spend some time with my AM instruments in order to provide better information and suggestions.

Cheers
Gary

Hi Lele (I assume it's you that has started this section) First of all, I'd like to say a big "Thank you" for allowing us wind controller players to try and provide some effective feedback. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be in your position! FEEDBACK 1. As a sax player, I find that the attack of all SWAM instruments isn't quite right but it's also very difficult to try and describe "why". This was the very first thing I first noticed way back when the SWAM Saxophones were released (and I sent feedback through to Giorgio) and it's one of the ways I can easily pick a SWAM instrument in any recording. This has improved over the years but it's still not quite right. I agree with @mschnell that it feels like you can't get a very soft starting crescendo unless you map CC#2 to volume....which is NOT the best option because it results in artifacts when tonguing quick passages. I don't think this is due to a MIDI scale of 0-127 because I have some softsynths where I can easily get a beautifully scaled pp to FF. Mind you, I also realise that SWAM instruments are incredibly complex and have numerous parameters that are designed to emulate acoustic instruments with all their anomalies....not an easy task at all! 1. From my early discussions with Giorgio, I am under the impression that how SWAM instruments respond to controller input is quite unique but in some ways, also fairly generic across the instruments....but please correct me if I am wrong! However, if this is correct, I believe this may be why most SWAM instruments are highly playable but also why they don't always sound realistic. The way that note attacks are generally handled across all SWAM instruments I own would tend to support this. I've had to map CC#2 to volume on almost every SWAM instrument in order to get suitable pp dynamics and this should not need to be the case. CAVEAT: I understand that SWAM v3 may finally fix this problem. I haven't had a chance to explore this with SWAM brasses (which I own) but due to my needs and usage of SWAM brass (e.g. contemporary "horn sections" in bands etc), I rarely find myself needing pp brass. However, I DO need pp woodwinds and strings. - I also concur with @mschnell in that I find the SM Trumpet (and all SM brasses) to be considerably better-sounding and more realistic than AM brasses. I believe this to be due to the SM brasses using samples rather than modeling (or whatever combination of modeling and samples that SWAM technology uses). There is a real "brassiness" about SM's products that AM brasses just don't have, especially in the French horns. In the previous example of my need for contemporary "horn sections" (e.g. 1-3 trumpets, tenor sax, trombone), I find that the AM trumpet just can't get a screaming lead trumpet sound, let alone "screech trumpet". I know you're aware that Steve Anderson and I have discussed this at length and both contacted AM at different times about this. The recent small extension of range has definitely helped but my suspicion is that the player used by AM as the basis for the SWAM trumpet is perhaps not the right player for a screaming lead trumpet sound? Please understand that I say this with respect! But by the same token, there are different players that exemplify totally different sounds....and this leads me to my next point: 1. There are so many different sounds to certain instruments that I don't believe it is possible to meet everyone's needs with the generic instruments currently being offered by AM. Please don't misunderstand me: there ARE numerous options to tweak AM instruments but users can't address significant tonal differences. Take the alto sax as an example; you have Arno Bornkamp/Claude Delangle as fairly standard examples of classical alto saxophone. Then you have David Sanborn who is the complete polar opposite. There's Paul Desmond who is completely different again and then you have mainstream players like Eric Marienthal and Gerald Albright. At the moment, the SWAM alto sax generally sounds like a combination of classical sax and Paul Desmond but some tweaking can get some extra brightness and bite to convert this to a cheesy pop sax. And this is just the alto sax! In using this particular example, I don't think there's any way AM is going to please a lot of players looking for an alto sax unless AM invests in sampling some varying, world-class players and then perhaps offer these instrument variations as additional purchases. I know that I'd jump at the chance to own a Wayne Bergeron trumpet sound, an Andy Martin trombone or a Chris Potter tenor sax. 1. SWAM v3 (as represented only by the brasses at the moment) DOES give the user considerably more options to fine-tune instruments, and this is a great thing. I mention this because I'm looking forward to seeing if SWAM v3 finally enables me to get better response from your woodwinds and strings, which I personally need. As already mentioned, I don't really like the sound of SWAM brasses "out of the box" (compared to the other option) and therefore haven't really spent a great deal of time trying to tweak the SWAM v3 options. All up, I've spent about 10 hours each on trying to get the right sound for both SWAM trumpet and French horn and then decided not to pursue it any further when I prefer the other option. 1. Something that everyone needs to take into consideration (especially wind controller players) is that all of the various mainstream wind controllers offer a wide range of customisation that can dramatically alter the response of synths, especially with breath response curves and lip sensors. If these options aren't optimally configured for the player, the corresponding response from the instrument won't, of course, be optimal. This should go without saying but there are an awful lot of wind controller players around who literally have no idea what they're doing but then complain about the poor results they get. I'm mentioning this point for any novice wind controller players who may be reading this. In conclusion, I fully realise that my points above are anecdotal and not likely to provide any concrete basis for improvement. However, now that this dialogue has been started, I will try to spend some time with my AM instruments in order to provide better information and suggestions. Cheers Gary
edited Feb 25 at 5:06 am

@Maddcow thanks for your extensive feedback. That's the kind of feedback the we need for improving our products.

1,2- Attack

the default Wind Controller preset ignores the note-on velocity for the attack generation, because many Wind Controllers send a fixed velocity value. So the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath.

On Woodwinds, have you tried:

  • acting on the "Attack Start" parameter?
  • enabling the "Breathy ppp" parameter?
  • enabling the "Expression Trigger Mode"?
  • acting on both the "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced?

As for "start from nothing": please provide a close mic recording of a note that "starts from nothing and fades in". It's physically impossible in the real life obtaining such effect.
We have the illusion of a fade-in because of the breath turning into sound, or because of the room reverberation "blurring" the attack.

So again:

  • have you enabled "Breathy ppp" parameter?
  • did you act on "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced?

It would be very useful to have a dedicated remote session to go into details on these aspects.

3- AM Brass vs SM Brass

There are other professional users, one of them very respectable among L.A. composers, that believe that AM Brass are better than SM Brass. We have comparisons that I cannot share.
So, in my opinion, is matter of finding the right balance and control. It's the hard part, and this discussion has been started exactly to try to address it.
As for the "screaming lead trumpet sound": we haven't used ANY real trumpet player. Maybe it hasn't been clear: SWAM Solo Brass do not use ANY sample. They are just math equations trying to reproduce the physical laws of the real counterpart instruments, that's why it's hard to obtaining the right sound, but we can try to improve it (anyway I warned you that if we extended the range, the model would not have been completely suitable for that extreme range).

As for the French Horn, is this French Horn so bad?

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

4- "I don't believe it is possible to meet everyone's needs with the generic instruments"

Let me say, of course! The same applies to ANY other sample library or synthesized instrument out there. The good thing is that at least they are hugely tweakable compared to a sample library :-)

5- I don't really like the sound of SWAM brasses "out of the box".

Again, they are completely modeled instruments, It's difficult to release something that likes "out of the box" to anybody. What I can say is that we had a lot of exchanges with top professional composers and musicians in order to be sure to release something good, and we also opened the public beta program for both Desktop and iPad versions in order to get more feedbacks from final users.

I have to be honest: we have received very few and poor feedbacks from most wind controller users. Yours, Steve, @Enkerli and a few others being the only valuable ones.

6- This is a critical point, and in part something I already mentioned before: the balance between parameters, MIDI mapping curve, and even the volume of the speaker! The latter seems a stupid point, but we have observed people playing always around maximum value of expression just because the volume of the speaker was not so loud, resulting in a constantly "screaming sound": we have dedicated a chapter to this aspect on our user manual (page 11 of the SWAM Solo Brass User Manual).
I don't know if there is a solution to this aspect, maybe we can add a "wizard" to help the user calibrating at least the Expression mapping.

Once again, thanks for your observations and feedbacks.

Best!
Emanuele

@Maddcow thanks for your extensive feedback. That's the kind of feedback the we need for improving our products. 1,2- Attack the default Wind Controller preset ignores the note-on velocity for the attack generation, because many Wind Controllers send a fixed velocity value. So the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath. On Woodwinds, have you tried: - acting on the "Attack Start" parameter? - enabling the "Breathy ppp" parameter? - enabling the "Expression Trigger Mode"? - acting on both the "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced? As for "start from nothing": please provide a close mic recording of a note that "starts from nothing and fades in". It's physically impossible in the real life obtaining such effect. We have the illusion of a fade-in because of the breath turning into sound, or because of the room reverberation "blurring" the attack. So again: - have you enabled "Breathy ppp" parameter? - did you act on "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced? It would be very useful to have a dedicated remote session to go into details on these aspects. 3- AM Brass vs SM Brass There are other professional users, one of them very respectable among L.A. composers, that believe that AM Brass are better than SM Brass. We have comparisons that I cannot share. So, in my opinion, is matter of finding the right balance and control. It's the hard part, and this discussion has been started exactly to try to address it. As for the "screaming lead trumpet sound": we haven't used ANY real trumpet player. Maybe it hasn't been clear: SWAM Solo Brass do not use ANY sample. They are just math equations trying to reproduce the physical laws of the real counterpart instruments, that's why it's hard to obtaining the right sound, but we can try to improve it (anyway I warned you that if we extended the range, the model would not have been completely suitable for that extreme range). As for the French Horn, is this French Horn so bad? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyrXlvakTpM 4- "I don't believe it is possible to meet everyone's needs with the generic instruments" Let me say, of course! The same applies to ANY other sample library or synthesized instrument out there. The good thing is that at least they are hugely tweakable compared to a sample library :-) 5- I don't really like the sound of SWAM brasses "out of the box". Again, they are completely modeled instruments, It's difficult to release something that likes "out of the box" to anybody. What I can say is that we had a lot of exchanges with top professional composers and musicians in order to be sure to release something good, and we also opened the public beta program for both Desktop and iPad versions in order to get more feedbacks from final users. I have to be honest: we have received very few and poor feedbacks from most wind controller users. Yours, Steve, @Enkerli and a few others being the only valuable ones. 6- This is a critical point, and in part something I already mentioned before: the balance between parameters, MIDI mapping curve, and even the volume of the speaker! The latter seems a stupid point, but we have observed people playing always around maximum value of expression just because the volume of the speaker was not so loud, resulting in a constantly "screaming sound": we have dedicated a chapter to this aspect on our user manual (page 11 of the SWAM Solo Brass User Manual). I don't know if there is a solution to this aspect, maybe we can add a "wizard" to help the user calibrating at least the Expression mapping. Once again, thanks for your observations and feedbacks. Best! Emanuele

Lele, thanks for your reply.
I haven't got anything new to add in terms of constructive feedback but did want to answer/address some of your responses.

1/2 Attack: I've tried some of those tweaks but will spend more time in the next few days. In the meantime, can you clarify "the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath"? I'm curious as to how tongue action is addressed by your approach, because the majority of wind controller players use the tongue to start a note, and the airstream follows through with note continuation. If what you've described is what I'm understanding, this might explain why the note attack with SWAM doesn't feel/sound right to me. It has always felt like notes "creep in" (for want of better terminology) without a natural attack and this just doesn't feel/sound natural to a wind player.

"Start from nothing": yes, I understand this is physically impossible BUT the unnatural attack and seeming inability to get the right attack/crescendo on SWAM instruments (without significant tweaking) is still a problem. The only way I've been able to address this issue is to assign CC#2 to volume...which isn't right, either, but it is the closest I've been able to get to the real thing. However, as mentioned, I'm going to go through all of your suggestions and have just downloaded the latest user manuals so I can go through everything in detail.

3.I find it interesting that your response mentions composers. I'm not a composer....I'm a live performer using a wind controller and my approach to sound and response is VERY different to that of composers. I have no doubt that many users playing keyboards and/or sequencing using SWAM instruments are incredibly happy but I feel that your response is indicative of why wind controller players have tended to feel a bit marginalised. I'd be very curious to know how many of your comparisons have been done by experienced and highly regarded wind controller players? Has AM spoken to Steve Tavaglione? Steve is someone that any decent wind/brass player that plays wind controllers will have heard of, and he's a very well-known US composer. In any case, the majority of AM demos (including the French Horn demo you've embedded, which I will also address below) are produced by keyboard players and are symphonic in nature....and this is VERY different to my usage. I've literally just gotten home from a gig at a restaurant tonight and I started to use SWAM Flute in one song but had to change to a Patchman Music flute patch in Kontakt because the response and sound of the SWAM Flute just didn't suit the type of live, contemporary playing I was doing. However, this weekend I'm doing a gig with an Elton John tribute show and will be using SWAM Flute for the songs Daniel, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Your Song....these songs are more symphonic and perfect for SWAM Flute. To be honest, the Patchman flute isn't nearly as realistic-sounding as SWAM Flute BUT the response is so much more flexible for live performance with fast playing.

Re. SWAM Trumpet: sorry for the misunderstanding, I thought that AM must have used some form of reference recordings, even if just to help calculate (or compare the results of) the math equations. Maybe this could be why some of your instruments don't quite live up to expectations from wind controller players who are trying to play your instruments as they would play an acoustic instrument? There's a world of difference from playing a keyboard (even if it's with a breath controller) compared to playing a wind controller.

Re. French Horn demo: it's not bad at all, but not as realistic-sounding as SM French Horn...sorry! In some ways, the AM Horn is too perfect...and perhaps this is why I'm not a fan? I own both the AM and SM products and will have to spend some time making notes and trying to clearly explain my thoughts.

To conclude: please let me say that I am NOT saying that AM products aren't very good, because I wouldn't be using them (and spending my very hard-earned money on them!) if they weren't. There are simply some aspects of these instruments that don't always translate well to wind controllers, especially to wind controller players using these instruments for live performance in contemporary music...not in recording studios or playing symphonic music. With this being said, I'm looking forward to spending some time working through your suggestions!

Regards
Gary

Lele, thanks for your reply. I haven't got anything new to add in terms of constructive feedback but did want to answer/address some of your responses. 1/2 Attack: I've tried some of those tweaks but will spend more time in the next few days. In the meantime, can you clarify "the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath"? I'm curious as to how tongue action is addressed by your approach, because the majority of wind controller players use the tongue to start a note, and the airstream follows through with note continuation. If what you've described is what I'm understanding, this might explain why the note attack with SWAM doesn't feel/sound right to me. It has always felt like notes "creep in" (for want of better terminology) without a natural attack and this just doesn't feel/sound natural to a wind player. "Start from nothing": yes, I understand this is physically impossible BUT the unnatural attack and seeming inability to get the right attack/crescendo on SWAM instruments (without significant tweaking) is still a problem. The only way I've been able to address this issue is to assign CC#2 to volume...which isn't right, either, but it is the closest I've been able to get to the real thing. However, as mentioned, I'm going to go through all of your suggestions and have just downloaded the latest user manuals so I can go through everything in detail. 3.I find it interesting that your response mentions composers. I'm not a composer....I'm a live performer using a wind controller and my approach to sound and response is VERY different to that of composers. I have no doubt that many users playing keyboards and/or sequencing using SWAM instruments are incredibly happy but I feel that your response is indicative of why wind controller players have tended to feel a bit marginalised. I'd be very curious to know how many of your comparisons have been done by experienced and highly regarded wind controller players? Has AM spoken to Steve Tavaglione? Steve is someone that any decent wind/brass player that plays wind controllers will have heard of, and he's a very well-known US composer. In any case, the majority of AM demos (including the French Horn demo you've embedded, which I will also address below) are produced by keyboard players and are symphonic in nature....and this is VERY different to my usage. I've literally just gotten home from a gig at a restaurant tonight and I started to use SWAM Flute in one song but had to change to a Patchman Music flute patch in Kontakt because the response and sound of the SWAM Flute just didn't suit the type of live, contemporary playing I was doing. However, this weekend I'm doing a gig with an Elton John tribute show and will be using SWAM Flute for the songs Daniel, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Your Song....these songs are more symphonic and perfect for SWAM Flute. To be honest, the Patchman flute isn't nearly as realistic-sounding as SWAM Flute BUT the response is so much more flexible for live performance with fast playing. Re. SWAM Trumpet: sorry for the misunderstanding, I thought that AM must have used some form of reference recordings, even if just to help calculate (or compare the results of) the math equations. Maybe this could be why some of your instruments don't quite live up to expectations from wind controller players who are trying to play your instruments as they would play an acoustic instrument? There's a world of difference from playing a keyboard (even if it's with a breath controller) compared to playing a wind controller. Re. French Horn demo: it's not bad at all, but not as realistic-sounding as SM French Horn...sorry! In some ways, the AM Horn is too perfect...and perhaps this is why I'm not a fan? I own both the AM and SM products and will have to spend some time making notes and trying to clearly explain my thoughts. To conclude: please let me say that I am NOT saying that AM products aren't very good, because I wouldn't be using them (and spending my very hard-earned money on them!) if they weren't. There are simply some aspects of these instruments that don't always translate well to wind controllers, especially to wind controller players using these instruments for live performance in contemporary music...not in recording studios or playing symphonic music. With this being said, I'm looking forward to spending some time working through your suggestions! Regards Gary

"Start from nothing":
With the Flute I think this should be first a toneless Breath noise then a soft tone starting with a very tiny instability-attack.
BTW.: I suppose a wind controller does a note-off when you stop blowing and a note-on when breath pressure reaches a certain amount. Maybe with a velocity that matches the air pressure. This IMHO is not really appropriate, as the air pressure is transferred by the CC, anyway. I think it would be a lot more intelligent to use velocity for finger speed (like with a "normal" keyboard", but the lifting speed needs to be acknowledged, in the same way). With that the software can use velocity for legato transition speed.
This is different with a Breath controller. Here the air pressure does not affect note on/off.
Hence the "Start from nothing" is better testable with a BC, as you don't have unexpected note events.
-Michael

"Start from nothing": With the Flute I think this should be first a toneless Breath noise then a soft tone starting with a very tiny instability-attack. BTW.: I suppose a wind controller does a note-off when you stop blowing and a note-on when breath pressure reaches a certain amount. Maybe with a velocity that matches the air pressure. This IMHO is not really appropriate, as the air pressure is transferred by the CC, anyway. I think it would be a lot more intelligent to use velocity for finger speed (like with a "normal" keyboard", but the lifting speed needs to be acknowledged, in the same way). With that the software can use velocity for legato transition speed. This is different with a Breath controller. Here the air pressure does not affect note on/off. Hence the "Start from nothing" is better testable with a BC, as you don't have unexpected note events. -Michael
edited Feb 25 at 6:32 pm

@Maddcow we came to the point where we need to check one by one the issues specific to wind controller use-case, compared to keyboard/sequencing use-case.

"the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath" means that, since note-on velocity is ignored, the breath shape drives the sound generation from the very beginning, i.e. immediately after the note-on.
Maybe we found one of the critical point to be addressed.

As for Steve Tavaglione, he is our endorser. I'll propose him to be involved in this "wind controller optimization" process.

I've literally just gotten home from a gig at a restaurant tonight and I started to use SWAM Flute in one song but had to change to a Patchman Music flute patch in Kontakt because the response and sound of the SWAM Flute just didn't suit the type of live, contemporary playing I was doing.

It would be helpful to understand what is the difference in the response between AM Flute and Patchman Kontakt patch: can you record a MIDI sequence and render both to audio? Then provide the MIDI sequence so that I can playback with AM Flute and check what's wrong?

I own both the AM and SM products and will have to spend some time making notes and trying to clearly explain my thoughts.

That would be helpful.

Thanks for your contribution!
Emanuele

@Maddcow we came to the point where we need to check one by one the issues specific to wind controller use-case, compared to keyboard/sequencing use-case. "the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath" means that, since note-on velocity is ignored, the breath shape drives the sound generation from the very beginning, i.e. immediately after the note-on. Maybe we found one of the critical point to be addressed. As for Steve Tavaglione, he is our endorser. I'll propose him to be involved in this "wind controller optimization" process. > I've literally just gotten home from a gig at a restaurant tonight and I started to use SWAM Flute in one song but had to change to a Patchman Music flute patch in Kontakt because the response and sound of the SWAM Flute just didn't suit the type of live, contemporary playing I was doing. It would be helpful to understand what is the difference in the response between AM Flute and Patchman Kontakt patch: can you record a MIDI sequence and render both to audio? Then provide the MIDI sequence so that I can playback with AM Flute and check what's wrong? > I own both the AM and SM products and will have to spend some time making notes and trying to clearly explain my thoughts. That would be helpful. Thanks for your contribution! Emanuele

I am copying this from a Facebook discussion with Lele. I think it is best to continue this exploration here:

I have much to write. I am a professional player and make my living recording for other artists, and playing live with my own band and others.
I have complete collection of SWAM woodwinds and strings, and was a beta tester for SWAM Brass. I submitted several reports. I did not participate in the iOS beta due to other projects.

I was very hard on the Brass beta. Overall I felt the model was of an amateur player. I believe I wrote something like if a trumpet player walked into a session I was producing with that kind of sound I’d let him go immediately. I gave lots of specifics about note transitions and abrupt change in tone in different registers. Many of those specifics were addressed, some were not. I also noted difficulty with controlling articulation and response with EVI. I don’t feel that this has been adequately addressed. There are EVI and EWI presets for controller mapping, but they do little to address difficulty in controlling articulation.

As far as woodwinds and solo strings, I use them every day, to varying degrees of success. I do run into situations where I cannot play a written passage accurately and in time with a sound I want, the model or program precludes this and I must use a product by another developer. This is often maddening. I can recall having to play a simple double tongued C major scale on SWAM violin and have the articulation response and timing be unpredictable. My only solution was to record as audio rather than midi and move the notes around in editing afterwards so they were in time. With SWAM brass I wouldn’t even attempt it. There is no way I could walk into a recording session and use the SWAM brass with any confidence that I could control the sound in time and accurately.

I know that you are transitioning the woodwinds and strings to the same user interface as the brass, and this greatly concerns me. The existing woodwind and strings interface has parameters that make sense and offer predictable control, and parameter and pages are easy to find. The brass controls are poorly explained and often seem to have no effect, and moving from page to page is really unclear. I have tried to improve playing response by experimenting with these various parameters and I feel like I get nowhere.

Will the strings and woodwinds still have instrument and micing choices (Roma and Cremona cellos, Clar0, Clar1) etc? Will all parameters on the options and midi mapping remain, and will our presets transfer?

Perhaps novices are satisfied, but the professionals I speak with are not. I have been playing wind controllers for 35 years. Matt, who has written in this post, is an internationally renowned leader in wind synthesizer programming. When we play a sound that Matt has designed, we know it is going to respond correctly to our breath and articulation, and not get in our way.

We want to be able to purchase an instrument and have it work. If we load a preset for our controller, that should take care of what we need and still allow for customization. I don’t think that is unreasonable.
I will conclude with saying that I am overall a fan of SWAM instruments, I feel that things took a wrong turn with the brass and the new interface and hope that the path forward can be more satisfying. I have a considerable investment in SWAM instruments. I also hope that you will read and take in these comments and not take a defensive or offensive posture. I have had fine correspondence with the SWAM developers up until now, but I’ve noticed a different tone in your responses. Thank you for your time.

Lele responded:
...Your feedbacks are extremely valuable, indeed. This is the kind of feedbacks that I searched for, not just “They are not there” because otherwise we cannot know what to fix or improve.
As for the new GUI: we are designing a new “advanced users view” where all parameters are listed on a single page and they are much smaller.

As for the parameters that are poorly explained and seem to have not effect, I’d like to know which ones, so we can both improve the description on the user manual and check why they seem to have not effect.
The only problem is that on iOS there are specific requirements on distance and object sizes imposed by Apple guidelines, so this will be probably available on Desktop only.

I responded: Lele Parravicini thank you.

  1. I will spend more time to identify which parameters I’m having trouble understanding or are not affecting results.
  2. Will the new version of woodwind and Strings include the various instrument models we have now (several cellos etc) and will our custom presets transfer over?
  3. My response to the video Trumpet intonation, I believe, was not due to a lower pitch center but fluctuating center. I will take another listen and write some detailed notes.
  4. My principal concern, through all of the SWAM instruments, is when articulation becomes unpredictable, or uncontrollable. I am going to move this discussion to your audio modeling forum.

Lele responded:
Thanks Don Cagen!

  1. greatly appreciated
  2. yes, they will include several new "models" (i.e. timbral profiles) in addition to the current ones. In any case I want to clarify that v3 is a different product, i.e. it will not overwrite v2, so you can keep v2 and v3 in parallel. It will be possible to load v2 presets, but we cannot ensure they will sound the same, since v3 has been completely refactored, there are more parameters, different ranges for some of them, new options.
  3. ok. Take into account that small fluctuations are generated by the model as a super-straight pitch sounds fake.
  4. of course, that's scary for me too! I really want to solve this "unpredictability" you are reporting. Like

I responded:
Lele,

  1. Good news about keeping v2 and v3, and keeping the current timbral models.
  2. I understand. On the other hand, pitch fluctuations can make a sound immature or amateur, and be unusable in an ensemble. As in the Rosanna example.
  3. Articulation, we will explore more in the forum.
I am copying this from a Facebook discussion with Lele. I think it is best to continue this exploration here: I have much to write. I am a professional player and make my living recording for other artists, and playing live with my own band and others. I have complete collection of SWAM woodwinds and strings, and was a beta tester for SWAM Brass. I submitted several reports. I did not participate in the iOS beta due to other projects. I was very hard on the Brass beta. Overall I felt the model was of an amateur player. I believe I wrote something like if a trumpet player walked into a session I was producing with that kind of sound I’d let him go immediately. I gave lots of specifics about note transitions and abrupt change in tone in different registers. Many of those specifics were addressed, some were not. I also noted difficulty with controlling articulation and response with EVI. I don’t feel that this has been adequately addressed. There are EVI and EWI presets for controller mapping, but they do little to address difficulty in controlling articulation. As far as woodwinds and solo strings, I use them every day, to varying degrees of success. I do run into situations where I cannot play a written passage accurately and in time with a sound I want, the model or program precludes this and I must use a product by another developer. This is often maddening. I can recall having to play a simple double tongued C major scale on SWAM violin and have the articulation response and timing be unpredictable. My only solution was to record as audio rather than midi and move the notes around in editing afterwards so they were in time. With SWAM brass I wouldn’t even attempt it. There is no way I could walk into a recording session and use the SWAM brass with any confidence that I could control the sound in time and accurately. I know that you are transitioning the woodwinds and strings to the same user interface as the brass, and this greatly concerns me. The existing woodwind and strings interface has parameters that make sense and offer predictable control, and parameter and pages are easy to find. The brass controls are poorly explained and often seem to have no effect, and moving from page to page is really unclear. I have tried to improve playing response by experimenting with these various parameters and I feel like I get nowhere. Will the strings and woodwinds still have instrument and micing choices (Roma and Cremona cellos, Clar0, Clar1) etc? Will all parameters on the options and midi mapping remain, and will our presets transfer? Perhaps novices are satisfied, but the professionals I speak with are not. I have been playing wind controllers for 35 years. Matt, who has written in this post, is an internationally renowned leader in wind synthesizer programming. When we play a sound that Matt has designed, we know it is going to respond correctly to our breath and articulation, and not get in our way. We want to be able to purchase an instrument and have it work. If we load a preset for our controller, that should take care of what we need and still allow for customization. I don’t think that is unreasonable. I will conclude with saying that I am overall a fan of SWAM instruments, I feel that things took a wrong turn with the brass and the new interface and hope that the path forward can be more satisfying. I have a considerable investment in SWAM instruments. I also hope that you will read and take in these comments and not take a defensive or offensive posture. I have had fine correspondence with the SWAM developers up until now, but I’ve noticed a different tone in your responses. Thank you for your time. Lele responded: ...Your feedbacks are extremely valuable, indeed. This is the kind of feedbacks that I searched for, not just “They are not there” because otherwise we cannot know what to fix or improve. As for the new GUI: we are designing a new “advanced users view” where all parameters are listed on a single page and they are much smaller. As for the parameters that are poorly explained and seem to have not effect, I’d like to know which ones, so we can both improve the description on the user manual and check why they seem to have not effect. The only problem is that on iOS there are specific requirements on distance and object sizes imposed by Apple guidelines, so this will be probably available on Desktop only. I responded: Lele Parravicini thank you. 1. I will spend more time to identify which parameters I’m having trouble understanding or are not affecting results. 2. Will the new version of woodwind and Strings include the various instrument models we have now (several cellos etc) and will our custom presets transfer over? 3. My response to the video Trumpet intonation, I believe, was not due to a lower pitch center but fluctuating center. I will take another listen and write some detailed notes. 4. My principal concern, through all of the SWAM instruments, is when articulation becomes unpredictable, or uncontrollable. I am going to move this discussion to your audio modeling forum. Lele responded: Thanks Don Cagen! 1. greatly appreciated 2. yes, they will include several new "models" (i.e. timbral profiles) in addition to the current ones. In any case I want to clarify that v3 is a different product, i.e. it will not overwrite v2, so you can keep v2 and v3 in parallel. It will be possible to load v2 presets, but we cannot ensure they will sound the same, since v3 has been completely refactored, there are more parameters, different ranges for some of them, new options. 3. ok. Take into account that small fluctuations are generated by the model as a super-straight pitch sounds fake. 4. of course, that's scary for me too! I really want to solve this "unpredictability" you are reporting. Like I responded: Lele, 2. Good news about keeping v2 and v3, and keeping the current timbral models. 3. I understand. On the other hand, pitch fluctuations can make a sound immature or amateur, and be unusable in an ensemble. As in the Rosanna example. 4. Articulation, we will explore more in the forum.

Note attacks are a major problem for me when playing SWAM Brass or Woodwinds with an EWI-5000. With these instruments, it is very difficult to get a truly pp attack. The attack transient is too loud when playing softly, though it sounds OK when playing mf or louder. The EWI-5000 is set to give a variable velocity for each note depending on the breath pressure at the moment of the niote start.

SWAM-S strings are much better as there are several parameters that control the attack behaviour.

Note attacks are a major problem for me when playing SWAM Brass or Woodwinds with an EWI-5000. With these instruments, it is very difficult to get a truly pp attack. The attack transient is too loud when playing softly, though it sounds OK when playing mf or louder. The EWI-5000 is set to give a variable velocity for each note depending on the breath pressure at the moment of the niote start. SWAM-S strings are much better as there are several parameters that control the attack behaviour.

Since I can't find a thread dedicated to the IOS SWAM-Brass beta test, I guess I'll leave a comment here. Sorry if it's out of place.

PERFORMANCE
I'm impressed how well the SWAM-Brass performs even on my old iPad Air 2. I can play it reliably even at a 32-sample audio buffer setting. Bravo!

BATTERY DRAIN
One big problem is that the app eats battery-life like crazy. I suppose that is to be expected for a high-performance audio app, but does it need to run at full rate even when it is in the background not producing any sound?

USER INTERFACE
I would like to emphasize doncagen's remarks about the v3 user interface (also used in Brass 1.6). I'm afraid the re-design feels like a big mistake to me, as it has made using the instrument more confusing and difficult than the previous UI. I esp. agree with doncagen's description of navigation through it --

"The brass controls are poorly explained and often seem to have no effect, and moving from page to page is really unclear. "

In the new UI, I count 13 pages (or more) of settings, parameters, preferences, etc. many of which are accessed through a mysterious descent through multiple pages. For example, in the controller assignment page, why does the curve setting require yet another page when there is a big empty area on the assignment page (on the desktop version)? Yes, the new instrument has (a few) more parameters, but the old one managed to fit everything into three pages!

A smaller complaint relates specifically to the controller assignment page - apparently there is a time-out which automatically dismisses the page and returns to the main screen. I found it confusing at first, as I thought maybe I something was triggering it over MIDI, or perhaps I had brushed the ipAd screen inadvertently with the side of my hand.

Most other parameter pages do not have a time-out (if that's what it is). Why here?

VISUAL APPEAL
Less important but worth mentioning -- On an aesthetic level, I far preferred the old skeuomorphic design. The new one looks flat, uninspired, even cheap, by comparison. But I could live with it, if the functionality of the new design were not compromised as I described above.

Since I can't find a thread dedicated to the IOS SWAM-Brass beta test, I guess I'll leave a comment here. Sorry if it's out of place. **PERFORMANCE** I'm impressed how well the SWAM-Brass performs even on my old iPad Air 2. I can play it reliably even at a 32-sample audio buffer setting. Bravo! **BATTERY DRAIN** One big problem is that the app eats battery-life like crazy. I suppose that is to be expected for a high-performance audio app, but does it need to run at full rate even when it is in the background not producing any sound? **USER INTERFACE** I would like to emphasize doncagen's remarks about the v3 user interface (also used in Brass 1.6). I'm afraid the re-design feels like a big mistake to me, as it has made using the instrument more confusing and difficult than the previous UI. I esp. agree with doncagen's description of navigation through it -- > "The brass controls are poorly explained and often seem to have no effect, and moving from page to page is really unclear. " In the new UI, I count 13 pages (or more) of settings, parameters, preferences, etc. many of which are accessed through a mysterious descent through multiple pages. For example, in the controller assignment page, why does the curve setting require yet another page when there is a big empty area on the assignment page (on the desktop version)? Yes, the new instrument has (a few) more parameters, but the old one managed to fit everything into three pages! A smaller complaint relates specifically to the controller assignment page - apparently there is a time-out which automatically dismisses the page and returns to the main screen. I found it confusing at first, as I thought maybe I something was triggering it over MIDI, or perhaps I had brushed the ipAd screen inadvertently with the side of my hand. Most other parameter pages do not have a time-out (if that's what it is). Why here? **VISUAL APPEAL** Less important but worth mentioning -- On an aesthetic level, I far preferred the old skeuomorphic design. The new one looks flat, uninspired, even cheap, by comparison. But I could live with it, if the functionality of the new design were not compromised as I described above.
edited Feb 27 at 2:36 pm

IMHO, with this kind of instruments and breath or wind controllers, it's kind of a workaround to use velocity for "attack". Setting this in the EWI is necessary with instruments that don't acknowledge Expression (via CC).
I do know that with a Breath Controller and a keyboard, using velocity for legato speed works perfectly, and I assume this should be true for the EWI, as well, even though it would be perfect to use finger speed up/down speed for velocity (and hence legato speed). I don't know if the EWI or any other Wind controller sense finger speed.
Anyway, IMHO, the Attack problem in wind and breath controller modes should be restricted to regarding expression, independent of velocity. The instrument software should be by far more capable to deal with the actual expression curve (with respect to its physical model) than the controller device can.
-Michael

IMHO, with this kind of instruments and breath or wind controllers, it's kind of a workaround to use velocity for "attack". Setting this in the EWI is necessary with instruments that don't acknowledge Expression (via CC). I do know that with a Breath Controller and a keyboard, using velocity for legato speed works perfectly, and I assume this should be true for the EWI, as well, even though it would be perfect to use finger speed up/down speed for velocity (and hence legato speed). I don't know if the EWI or any other Wind controller sense finger speed. Anyway, IMHO, the Attack problem in wind and breath controller modes should be restricted to regarding expression, independent of velocity. The instrument software should be by far more capable to deal with the actual expression curve (with respect to its physical model) than the controller device can. -Michael
edited Feb 27 at 4:55 pm

Hi @brunodegazio , thanks for your extensive report.

1- Attacks and pp attack

I'm sorry if I repeat the same reply I already used for @Maddcow :

The default Wind Controller preset ignores the note-on velocity for the attack generation, because many Wind Controllers send a fixed velocity value. So the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath.
Of course, that can be changed setting the Attack control to "Velocity Soft" or "Velocity Hard".
There are other parameters that influence the Attack generation.

On Woodwinds, have you tried:

acting on the "Attack Start" parameter?
enabling the "Breathy ppp" parameter (Saxophones and Clarinets)?
enabling the "Expression Trigger Mode"?
acting on both the "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced?

As for "start from nothing": please provide a close mic recording of a note that "starts from nothing and fades in". It's physically impossible in the real life obtaining such effect.
We have the illusion of a fade-in because of the breath turning into sound, or because of the room reverberation "blurring" the attack.

So again:

have you reduced the "Attack Start" parameter or enabled "Breathy ppp" parameter?
did you act on "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced?
It would be very useful to have a dedicated remote session to go into details on these aspects.

2- Battery drain

We will look into it.

3- User interface

Premise: on iOS Apple disapprove Apps that do not follow certain Style Guidelines; one of the most important is the ability to touch any control with ease, so having enough size and space for the various parameters.

"The brass controls are poorly explained and often seem to have no effect, and moving from page to page is really unclear. "

It would be REALLY useful if you can list exactly what parameters need a better explanation and which ones seem not having any effect.

why does the curve setting require yet another page when there is a big empty area on the assignment page (on the desktop version)?

Because it's an advanced feature that an "average" user rarely use, and also, since the interaction with the curve must work on iOS, it is required that can be managed with the fingers, and hence it needs the right size and space.

the new instrument has (a few) more parameters, but the old one managed to fit everything into three pages!

The new GUI has been designed mainly for the new users that approach the instrument: they can easily find the right parameters navigating the main categories, instead of having plenty parameters condensed on a couple of pages.

In any case, we have already planned to add an "advanced user view" on the Desktop version, where all parameters will be much smaller and listed all together.

there is a time-out which automatically dismisses the page and returns to the main screen

Time-out is enabled for MIDI mapping only. The reason for that is because several users that sent us demos with screencast showing the instrument GUI, performed all the session with the MIDI mapping enabled. Simply, we want to avoid it.

4- Visual appeal

That's probably personal taste. We are following the trend of modern UI and UX, and luckily, we receive many compliments for the new look & feel.
In our opinion, that kind of visual emphasizes the instrument, which is the main element, more than the older GUI does.
Behind the new design there is a lot of work on the right spacing between elements, color combination and contrast, language of the graphical elements. Luckily, others do :-)

Best!
Emanuele

Hi @brunodegazio , thanks for your extensive report. 1- Attacks and pp attack I'm sorry if I repeat the same reply I already used for @Maddcow : The default Wind Controller preset ignores the note-on velocity for the attack generation, because many Wind Controllers send a fixed velocity value. So the attack is generated (shaped) directly by the user's breath. Of course, that can be changed setting the Attack control to "Velocity Soft" or "Velocity Hard". There are other parameters that influence the Attack generation. On Woodwinds, have you tried: acting on the "Attack Start" parameter? enabling the "Breathy ppp" parameter (Saxophones and Clarinets)? enabling the "Expression Trigger Mode"? acting on both the "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced? As for "start from nothing": please provide a close mic recording of a note that "starts from nothing and fades in". It's physically impossible in the real life obtaining such effect. We have the illusion of a fade-in because of the breath turning into sound, or because of the room reverberation "blurring" the attack. So again: have you reduced the "Attack Start" parameter or enabled "Breathy ppp" parameter? did you act on "Expression Curve" and "Compressor" in order to have the right balance between expression and the sound produced? It would be very useful to have a dedicated remote session to go into details on these aspects. 2- Battery drain We will look into it. 3- User interface Premise: on iOS Apple disapprove Apps that do not follow certain Style Guidelines; one of the most important is the ability to touch any control with ease, so having enough size and space for the various parameters. > "The brass controls are poorly explained and often seem to have no effect, and moving from page to page is really unclear. " It would be REALLY useful if you can list exactly what parameters need a better explanation and which ones seem not having any effect. > why does the curve setting require yet another page when there is a big empty area on the assignment page (on the desktop version)? Because it's an advanced feature that an "average" user rarely use, and also, since the interaction with the curve must work on iOS, it is required that can be managed with the fingers, and hence it needs the right size and space. > the new instrument has (a few) more parameters, but the old one managed to fit everything into three pages! The new GUI has been designed mainly for the new users that approach the instrument: they can easily find the right parameters navigating the main categories, instead of having plenty parameters condensed on a couple of pages. In any case, we have already planned to add an "advanced user view" on the Desktop version, where all parameters will be much smaller and listed all together. > there is a time-out which automatically dismisses the page and returns to the main screen Time-out is enabled for MIDI mapping only. The reason for that is because several users that sent us demos with screencast showing the instrument GUI, performed all the session with the MIDI mapping enabled. Simply, we want to avoid it. 4- Visual appeal That's probably personal taste. We are following the trend of modern UI and UX, and luckily, we receive many compliments for the new look & feel. In our opinion, that kind of visual emphasizes the instrument, which is the main element, more than the older GUI does. Behind the new design there is a lot of work on the right spacing between elements, color combination and contrast, language of the graphical elements. Luckily, others do :-) Best! Emanuele

Using a common design for as well a decent desktop screen and a tiny portable scree, very obviously can't be perfect for either of them (but obviously helps reducing the work with the documentation).
-Michael

Using a common design for as well a decent desktop screen and a tiny portable scree, very obviously can't be perfect for either of them (but obviously helps reducing the work with the documentation). -Michael

@mschnell it's not only about reducing the documentation (indeed that's a minor issue), it's about the user finding the exact same experience if using a computer or a tablet.

Our belief is that if it's good for tablet, it's generally good for desktop, not vice-versa for sure.

Having plenty small controls condensed in one page is more familiar to techy people than musicians.

@mschnell it's not only about reducing the documentation (indeed that's a minor issue), it's about the user finding the exact same experience if using a computer or a tablet. Our belief is that if it's good for tablet, it's generally good for desktop, not vice-versa for sure. Having plenty small controls condensed in one page is more familiar to techy people than musicians.

in contrast to doncagen's opinion ...
(Of course in theory using a "Big Screen" GUI could be made optional for the user.)
-Michael

in contrast to doncagen's opinion ... (Of course in theory using a "Big Screen" GUI could be made optional for the user.) -Michael
edited Mar 4 at 6:19 am
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