Category Archives: Articles

Open Source MIDI Foot Controller

On the heels of the last post, An Open Controller For Woodwind Instruments comes this from hackaday.com:

MIDI has been around for longer than most of the readers of Hackaday, and you can get off my lawn. In spite of this, MIDI is still commonly used in nearly every single aspect of musical performance, and there are a host of tools and applications to give MIDI control to a live performance. That said, if you want a MIDI foot controller, your best bet is probably something used from the late 90s, although Behringer makes an acceptable foot controller that doesn’t have a whole bunch of features. There is obviously a need for a feature packed, Open Source MIDI foot controller. That’s where the Pedalino comes in. It’s a winner of the Musical Instrument Challenge in this year’s Hackaday Prize, and if you want a MIDI foot controller, this is the first place you should look.

Check it out. Pedalino.

An Open Controller For Woodwind Instruments

From Hackaday.com:

Engineers, hackers, and makers can most certainly build a musical gadget of some kind. They’ll build synths, they’ll build aerophones, and they’ll take the idea of mercury delay line memory, two hydrophones, and a really long tube filled with water to build the most absurd delay in existence. One thing they can’t seem to do is build a woodwind MIDI controller. That’s where [J.M.] comes in. He’s created the Open Woodwind Project as an open and extensible interface that can play sax and clarinet while connected to a computer.

One of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. Believe it grew out of this project. Can’t wait to see what is created with this.

Michael Brecker Archive

Steve Neff has a great article about Michael Brecker’s addition to the Living Jazz Archive.

Steve Neff’s Blog Post:

Dr. David Demsey at William Paterson University contacted me a few years ago to tell me about the “Living Jazz Archives” that the University was building and how they were adding a Michael Brecker Archive to the already existing archives that they already had. The Living Jazz Archives are:

A TEACHING TOOL for William Paterson University Jazz Studies majors, for classes in other academic areas across campus, and for visiting groups of students of all ages from public schools, from other colleges and universities, and the general public.

A RESEARCH CENTER for professional scholars, authors and researchers and for faculty from other institutions.

A MINI-MUSEUM honoring the lives and careers of these great jazz artists and their important contribution to the history of jazz, by displaying their music, artifacts and memorabilia using audio, video and multi-media.

AN ARCHIVE, containing the archived collections of Clark Terry, Thad Jones, James Williams, Michael Brecker, Mulgrew Miller and other collections, maintaining and preserving those materials in perpetuity.

Probably the most interesting thing for EWI players is this:

The latest big news: equipment! THREE EWI’s, including the original prototype, a second model that is new to me, and the final model that places hands side by side.”

Roland Doubles Down On The Aerophone

I like the Roland company. They have a history of making great products. Roland Keyboards, Keyboard Amps, Sound modules, and of course the Roland V-Drums. However, their Aerophone is a rather questionable entry for the company. They are now doubling down on the Aerophone, introducing the Aerophone GO. I think this is their attempt to get into the “mobile space”. Or musician who is “on the go” and just has to have something to play or record when out and about. I’m not really convinced that is really what happens out in the real world but whatever.

Basically, this would be like the Akai USB EWI where you need to tether the device to some sort of computer or “mobile device”. It isn’t “soundless”, and comes with a whopping 11 preset sounds with more available if you pair it with a smart phone. The mobile app also allows you to take a song slow it down or loop it, which could be valuable for learning songs.

The most interesting thing is the addition of Bluetooth LE and the ability to do midi over it. The Roland Aerophone AE-10 does not have this. Akai’s EWIs do not have this. And do we even need to mention Yamaha at this point? Anyone……No?. Midi over Bluetooth is a huge plus for this device, making it a great potential device for controlling software synth rigs (think Omnisphere on a mini PC controlled by the Aerophone). Adding midi to something like an Akai 4000s using Wireless MIDI Interface mi.1 [Rev.3] is dodgy at best.

Midi Quest for iPad

Looking for a way to manage your EWI other than EWITool and the Akai Vyzex program? Great news, there is an iPad editor called Midi Quest that works GREAT.

It requires a $49.95 in-app purchase to unlock the whole thing, but it might be a good alternative for people who use more iPad music things than laptop.

Roland Aerophone AE-10

Roland has introduced a new Digital Wind Instrument. Awesome!

n01_0176

All the saxophone sounds you need in one instrument

Nothing beats the sound of your favorite acoustic sax, but sometimes its tone might not be quite right for the job at hand. Whatever scenario you’re playing in, the Roland Aerophone AE-10 has the onboard digital sax sounds you need. Choose from alto, tenor, soprano, and baritone sax types that all respond just like their acoustic counterparts to your playing dynamics and articulation, thanks to Roland’s advanced SuperNATURAL modeling technology. Alongside individual sounds, you can pull off a seamless performance with the Full Range feature, automatically switching between sax types by key range.

A new Advanced Editor for VL70m and PLGVL

Hi All

I’m a lucky owner of the wonderfull VL70m, VL1m, S90 with 3 PLGVLs and a WX5 controller and EWI 4000.  A few years ago I decided to remove the dust from my VL70m and get deep into the secrets of this synth.
So, I took on the challenge to build a new VL70-m editor and started to reverse engineer (with approval of YAMAHA) the legacy VL-Expert, Visual Editor etc.

 

The good news is that this editor is not available. You can download a Demo version via www.vl70m-editor.com/site  go to try & buy

Rudy
The VL-Wizard


Hereby an overview of the VL-Wiz features:

* Fast and direct access to an organized voice library (contains about 900 voice I did collect, converted etc.)
* Ability edit voice tags and search voices based on this tag info info.
* Native sysex voice file format, so you can also send the voice with any kind of sysex transfer tool
* Realtime parameter editing using 4 graphical editing modules, the Element Voice, XG Part, VL70m Effects, Tuning
* Intelligent activation and deactivation of parameters based on the selected Voice algorithm
* Parameter labels that correspond to the selected Voice algorithm (eg. string vs pipe)
* Ability to load Current Voice dumpout from the VL70m
* Compatibility with PLG-VL cards (XG-VL mode)
* Import capability for .ALL .LIB and .SYX (VL70m format only)
* Voice Template manager (similar to the Yamaha Visual Editor)
* Ability to store voices into the Custom + Internal Voice slot 1 to 6 of the VL70m (and in the commercial version up to 16 slots for the EX5)
* Tooltips explaining what the advance parameter does
* Poly and Multilayer support. Editing VL-Voices across multiple VL70m & PLG VL’s
* Quickly (re)-store a group of parameter settings (eg. EQ’s, Harmonizer settings etc.) using the snippet tool
* Mapping midi controllers to VL-parameters using midi-learn
* Play a one track midi loop while editing using the midi phrase tool
* Sending midi reset (panic) to kill hanging notes
* Extract the VL70m effects from one voice and send these to the VL70m without touching the VL-element part of the voice in the CURRENT memory.
* A configurable sysex engine, set interval time between sysex dumpouts and sysex bytes, handle up to 8 VL devices using their individual Device ID and Part
* Switch your synth into VL-Mode (eg. S90, MOTIF, EX5, MU series) by sending an initialization sysex as defined in the listbook of your synth
* Send extra sysex data before and after each voice(s) upload
* Select multiple midi-in and midi-out ports
* Select the midi-in and out channel
* Enable/disable midi-thru
* Considerable amount of bug fixes
* Color Schemes
* Undo feature (doubleclick on parameter does set back its previous value)
* Improve license key validation

etc.