Solo Woodwinds
Higher breath threshold for flutes (and maybe other winds)??

Hi guys. I've owned the SWAM w/winds for years but only recently have I been using the flutes quite intensively. I'm finding that there seems to be a higher breath threshold for starting/ending notes on the SWAM flutes compared to the SWAM strings. This might also be the case for the other SWAM w/winds but I haven't spent as much time with them recently.

For example: I can easily start or taper off a note to - or from - almost nothing on any of the SWAM stringed instruments with beautifully controlled, minimal breath but on the flutes, it seems like there's a higher breath threshold that makes it virtually impossible to do this i.e. the note will just stop way before my breath pressure is down to almost nothing and this sounds incredibly artificial. It's definitely not my WX5 setup because the SWAM strings respond perfectly, as do all of my numerous other synths. I've spent the past 2 decades working professionally with my WX5 and know it inside out...my WX5 is calibrated to perfection but there's definitely something not quite right about the breath scaling on the SWAM flutes. It seems virtually impossible to get a note down to almost nothing, which simply doesn't happen with any of my other instruments.

Has anyone else noticed this and/or does anyone have some suggestions for SWAM settings that might help with the breath scaling/response?

Cheers
Gary

Hi guys. I've owned the SWAM w/winds for years but only recently have I been using the flutes quite intensively. I'm finding that there seems to be a higher breath threshold for starting/ending notes on the SWAM flutes compared to the SWAM strings. This might also be the case for the other SWAM w/winds but I haven't spent as much time with them recently. For example: I can easily start or taper off a note to - or from - almost nothing on any of the SWAM stringed instruments with beautifully controlled, minimal breath but on the flutes, it seems like there's a higher breath threshold that makes it virtually impossible to do this i.e. the note will just stop way before my breath pressure is down to almost nothing and this sounds incredibly artificial. It's definitely not my WX5 setup because the SWAM strings respond perfectly, as do all of my numerous other synths. I've spent the past 2 decades working professionally with my WX5 and know it inside out...my WX5 is calibrated to perfection but there's definitely something not quite right about the breath scaling on the SWAM flutes. It seems virtually impossible to get a note down to almost nothing, which simply doesn't happen with any of my other instruments. Has anyone else noticed this and/or does anyone have some suggestions for SWAM settings that might help with the breath scaling/response? Cheers Gary

I’ve done some more testing and the bass clarinet also has a lower breath threshold and start/end volume than the flutes.

Audio Modeling guys: can you please take a look at this situation? The abrupt start/end volume and relatively high breath threshold for the flutes detracts from the realism of this great product.

I’ve done some more testing and the bass clarinet also has a lower breath threshold and start/end volume than the flutes. Audio Modeling guys: can you please take a look at this situation? The abrupt start/end volume and relatively high breath threshold for the flutes detracts from the realism of this great product.

Hi Gary,
firstly remember to load the "default wind controller" preset (click on the reset button and select it).
Adjust the compressor level to approximately to "1.00"
Moreover, in the option page, adjust the "Expression Curve" to "Log 1".
It should work well. Let me know.

Andrea

Hi Gary, firstly remember to load the "default wind controller" preset (click on the reset button and select it). Adjust the compressor level to approximately to "1.00" Moreover, in the option page, adjust the "Expression Curve" to "Log 1". It should work well. Let me know. Andrea

Hi Paranza,
I'd already tried adjusting the compression and expression settings but tried your suggestions again, just in case I'd missed something. Whilst they somewhat expanded the dynamic range, there's still no way at the moment to get a whisper-quiet start/end of note like you can on a real flute i.e. the breath threshold for note start/end and the corresponding volume is still too high. I realise I'm being a bit fussy about this but by the same token, note starts/ends are extremely important, especially when playing in a professional environment with live instrumentation as I'm doing.

It appears that a CC2 value of 8 or 9 is the minimum required to start/end a note but I believe the value should be closer to 3-4 in order to be more realistic, and the start/end volume should be about 2-3dB quieter. A hint of breath noise would also be optimal.

Hi Paranza, I'd already tried adjusting the compression and expression settings but tried your suggestions again, just in case I'd missed something. Whilst they somewhat expanded the dynamic range, there's still no way at the moment to get a whisper-quiet start/end of note like you can on a real flute i.e. the breath threshold for note start/end and the corresponding volume is still too high. I realise I'm being a bit fussy about this but by the same token, note starts/ends are extremely important, especially when playing in a professional environment with live instrumentation as I'm doing. It appears that a CC2 value of 8 or 9 is the minimum required to start/end a note but I believe the value should be closer to 3-4 in order to be more realistic, and the start/end volume should be about 2-3dB quieter. A hint of breath noise would also be optimal.
edited Sep 24 at 10:54 am

Hi @Maddcow can you please check with a MIDI monitor or so what is the value of breath that triggers a note-on for the WX5?

Some additional settings for SWAM Flutes:

  • set the Style slider all the way left to "Classic"
  • be sure that the Attack Sens. is set to "Express."
  • map the Main Volume parameter to the same CC as the Expression control (i.e. Breath), act on the Min value to adjust the right balance between volume scaling and dynamic range

Best,
Emanuele

Hi @Maddcow can you please check with a MIDI monitor or so what is the value of breath that triggers a note-on for the WX5? Some additional settings for SWAM Flutes: - set the Style slider all the way left to "Classic" - be sure that the Attack Sens. is set to "Express." - map the Main Volume parameter to the same CC as the Expression control (i.e. Breath), act on the Min value to adjust the right balance between volume scaling and dynamic range Best, Emanuele

Hi Lele
I’ve already used a MIDI Monitor to check the note-on value when using SWAM Flutes and it’s 8 or 9....mostly 9. However, other synths respond to considerably lower values, around 1-3. The SWAM Bass Clarinet also responds to a note-on of 8 or 9, but the volume of the note at that value is lower than SWAM Flutes and is more proportionate. SWAM Strings note-on is also 8 or 9 and the volume is roughly in between Bass Clarinet and Flutes.

I’ll try your other suggestions tomorrow and let you know the results.

Thanks for replying!!

Hi Lele I’ve already used a MIDI Monitor to check the note-on value when using SWAM Flutes and it’s 8 or 9....mostly 9. However, other synths respond to considerably lower values, around 1-3. The SWAM Bass Clarinet also responds to a note-on of 8 or 9, but the volume of the note at that value is lower than SWAM Flutes and is more proportionate. SWAM Strings note-on is also 8 or 9 and the volume is roughly in between Bass Clarinet and Flutes. I’ll try your other suggestions tomorrow and let you know the results. Thanks for replying!!
edited Sep 24 at 12:01 pm

I mean, independently from the plugin controlled by the WX5, if you just record a MIDI sequence, starting with a very low breath pressure and increasing it, does the MIDI Note-on message comes instantaneously after the Breath value exceed 1?

Anyway, just let me know as soon as you tried my suggestions.

Best,
Emanuele

I mean, independently from the plugin controlled by the WX5, if you just record a MIDI sequence, starting with a very low breath pressure and increasing it, does the MIDI Note-on message comes instantaneously after the Breath value exceed 1? Anyway, just let me know as soon as you tried my suggestions. Best, Emanuele

Hi Lele,
According to a MIDI Monitor, a note-on occurs immediately after a CC2 value of 8. However, the CC2 values preceding note-off are generally along the lines of 7, 6, 4, 2, 0. I’ve configured the Wind Zero setting on my WX5 to the lowest value it will go....so CC2 at a value of 8 must be the lowest I can physically set the WX5 Wind Zero screw with a mini screwdriver.

I’d previously tried all of the suggestions (except one) above by yourself and Paranza and they made almost no difference with the issues I described. However, I mapped CC2 to the Main Volume parameter with min/max values of 0 and 127 respectively, and THAT has made a considerable difference. I think of this as a workaround rather than a solution, because the fundamental issue is that the lowest-volume sample obviously isn’t quiet enough, but at least it’s a workaround that does the job for my needs.

Is this issue something that you guys might consider working on for an update? I’m happy to communicate via a support ticket if that’d be better.

Hi Lele, According to a MIDI Monitor, a note-on occurs immediately after a CC2 value of 8. However, the CC2 values preceding note-off are generally along the lines of 7, 6, 4, 2, 0. I’ve configured the Wind Zero setting on my WX5 to the lowest value it will go....so CC2 at a value of 8 must be the lowest I can physically set the WX5 Wind Zero screw with a mini screwdriver. I’d previously tried all of the suggestions (except one) above by yourself and Paranza and they made almost no difference with the issues I described. However, I mapped CC2 to the Main Volume parameter with min/max values of 0 and 127 respectively, and THAT has made a considerable difference. I think of this as a workaround rather than a solution, because the fundamental issue is that the lowest-volume sample obviously isn’t quiet enough, but at least it’s a workaround that does the job for my needs. Is this issue something that you guys might consider working on for an update? I’m happy to communicate via a support ticket if that’d be better.

@Maddcow is what I supposed: WX5 triggers a note-on for a too high value of breath.
It should trigger a note-on exceeding a (MIDI) value of 1.

Best,
Emanuele

@Maddcow is what I supposed: WX5 triggers a note-on for a too high value of breath. It should trigger a note-on exceeding a (MIDI) value of 1. Best, Emanuele

Hmm, ok. I don’t have any problems whatsoever with any other synth but obviously it’s an issue with SWAM instruments in general, and the Flutes in particular. Given that I can’t change this minimum CC2 value any more than I already have, can you suggest anything?

Hmm, ok. I don’t have any problems whatsoever with any other synth but obviously it’s an issue with SWAM instruments in general, and the Flutes in particular. Given that I can’t change this minimum CC2 value any more than I already have, can you suggest anything?

You do not have issues with other instruments because SWAM calculates the derivative (slope) of the input breath to recreate the dynamic behavior of the synthesized breath. We will check and see how to manage cases like yours, where note-on is coming over a high threshold.

What you can do is using a MIDI transformer to transform breath in the range 8 - 127 to range 0 - 127.

Best,
Emanuele

You do not have issues with other instruments because SWAM calculates the derivative (slope) of the input breath to recreate the dynamic behavior of the synthesized breath. We will check and see how to manage cases like yours, where note-on is coming over a high threshold. What you can do is using a MIDI transformer to transform breath in the range 8 - 127 to range 0 - 127. Best, Emanuele

Hi Lele
I’ve done a lot of testing today and the results are consistently the same i.e. a minimum CC2 value of 8 precedes note-on. A very experienced colleague in Europe has also tested his WX5 and the results are the same i.e. CC2 value of 8. He will also test a second WX5 tomorrow to see if it yields the same results...which I think it will.

It’d be great if you guys could look at how to address this situation with SWAM instruments but in the meantime, do you have suggestions for a MIDI transformer that I could use in MainStage? MS already has some MIDI plugins that I thought might do the trick but I didn’t have any success with these today. If you know of a MS MIDI plugin (or a third-party MIDI plugin) that should work, please let me know.

Hi Lele I’ve done a lot of testing today and the results are consistently the same i.e. a minimum CC2 value of 8 precedes note-on. A very experienced colleague in Europe has also tested his WX5 and the results are the same i.e. CC2 value of 8. He will also test a second WX5 tomorrow to see if it yields the same results...which I think it will. It’d be great if you guys could look at how to address this situation with SWAM instruments but in the meantime, do you have suggestions for a MIDI transformer that I could use in MainStage? MS already has some MIDI plugins that I thought might do the trick but I didn’t have any success with these today. If you know of a MS MIDI plugin (or a third-party MIDI plugin) that should work, please let me know.

This might be a similar issue as I experience with playing the Flute wuth a keyboard and a Breath controller.
When trying to do a very soft note, I obviously will press a key first and then slowly increase the breath pressure. The note-on (by my hand) hence comes before the expression value rises above Zero. And here I also see a rather harsh attack at expression at a value of about 8. I am sure that the audio model is able to produce a really soft starting note, but I can't trigger that behavior with my equipment.
-Michael

This might be a similar issue as I experience with playing the Flute wuth a keyboard and a Breath controller. When trying to do a very soft note, I obviously will press a key first and then slowly increase the breath pressure. The note-on (by my hand) hence comes before the expression value rises above Zero. And here I also see a rather harsh attack at expression at a value of about 8. I am sure that the audio model is able to produce a really soft starting note, but I can't trigger that behavior with my equipment. -Michael

Hi Michael. I’m so glad it’s not just me!

In any case, I’ve continued to test and this particular situation seems to apply to all of the SWAM instruments and not just the flute. It’s less obvious on some instruments but it definitely appears that some (perhaps most or even all?) wind controllers only create a note-on when CC2 pressure reaches a minimum threshold; 8 seems to be a ͏c͏o͏mmon figure that has been reported by at least 3 users now.

Hi Michael. I’m so glad it’s not just me! In any case, I’ve continued to test and this particular situation seems to apply to all of the SWAM instruments and not just the flute. It’s less obvious on some instruments but it definitely appears that some (perhaps most or even all?) wind controllers only create a note-on when CC2 pressure reaches a minimum threshold; 8 seems to be a ͏c͏o͏mmon figure that has been reported by at least 3 users now.
edited Sep 28 at 12:22 am

I suppose in that behalf, the Breath controller is even more demanding for the sound engine than a Wind controller. I also have a Seaboard and I'll try that with the Flute some day soon. I do expect a similar behavior / problem.
-Michael

I suppose in that behalf, the Breath controller is even more demanding for the sound engine than a Wind controller. I also have a Seaboard and I'll try that with the Flute some day soon. I do expect a similar behavior / problem. -Michael
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