TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

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dstong
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by dstong » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:47 am

In addition to e-mailing a link to this thread to TEC, I also requested/suggested some improvements to their TEC BC Control Software:

"The TEC control Software window is too small, so you provide the TAB "slider". It's frustrating to not be able to see ALL of the TABS at once, and it seems to me that if the WINDOW could be made larger (wider) we could see all of the TABs at once. The Window is substantially smaller than my 1920 x 1080 display screen, so there is plenty of room for WINDOW size expansion.

The second suggestions, assuming it makes sense to you, would be to program an additional CURVE setting tool (in addition to Bend, Symmetry etc) for shifting any curve along the horizontal axis.
This would allow the Shape to remain constant while changing the sensitivity uniformly. I hope I explained this clearly. I don't know if this would be a lot of work or possibly not too much."


Let me know if this makes sense to anyone else who uses the TEC BC.

Thanks,

Dan

MSchnell
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by MSchnell » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:59 am

Hi Dan, while I am happy to see you "satisfied 98 %", I am not really happy with the workaround with just decreasing volume for very soft sound instead of really using the physical model to actually generate a soft waveform (which is obviously able to do so, as with a Wind Controller it works like expected).

But even if using that workaround I in my installation could improve it by a midi preprocessor that issues volume CC values accordingly. By that, the expression curve would stay like it is (as Volume stays like it is for higher expression values), and I would not loose the possibility to control volume by a foot controller, as I do right now when live playing. (Technically the plugin would reduce the volume CC (it receives from the foot controller) when expression is lower than some 20 reaching 0 when expression is 7 - or similar. )

Nonetheless I will look into doing a plugin that actually manages Expression CC and Note on/off events once I find out how the Wind Controller actually works (does it manage Note-On and/or Note-Off velocity ? ) .

Moreover I also did write to TEC suggesting two improvements, either or both could help to find a perfect integration of SWAM and the BBC.

1) Use high resolution CC so that much more expression values are sent to SWAM, enabling it to manage the physical model a lot more exact.

2) Provide the derivative of the Breath value as an additional CC stream. This would allow the virtual instrument to see the very exact performance of the player when the note is supposed to start (or fade). (Technically the derivative is even considerably high when the expression value itself is very low.)

With either improvement either the SWAM engine could make use of same or I could do a plugin that constructs the Wind controller behavior very exactly.

-Michael
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

leleswam
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by leleswam » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:55 am

Dan, I'm happy that the workaround worked for your needs.

Best,
Lele
Audio Modeling
dstong wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:27 am
Dear Michael & Lele,

I'm indebted to your replies to my posts and I'm delighted to report that my Crescendo/Diminuendo Problem with the TEC BC2 is solved for the Strings by setting:

1- Main Volume to CC2 (found on the SWAM Main MIDI Settings Option page),

and adjusting the

2 -TEC BC2 Breath Curve (Red Curve -1st Tab on Left) to a slight S shape,

and playing with the

3 - Expression Curve (SWAM Options [Advanced Parameter Options page). For now I like the slider all the way on the Right = Exp 1

Now I can get a note to start really soft without an obvious sudden onset, and I can fade a note out to near silence. I can state that with my current settings in Steps 2 and 3, it is about 98% to my satisfaction, which is certainly good enough for me.

At first I had no idea where to find the Main Volume, or how to adjust 2 TEC BC curse to get the threshold adjusted, until I realized that the Expression Curve, that Lele talked about was the SWAM Advanced Parameter Expression Curve (I was too fixated on a graphic curve shape adjustment that the TEC software offers.

I'm pretty sure that now I understand the instructions since now it makes sense & it has solved the problem.

As I said, and Michael noted, my reason for using TEC BC2 in the first place was to get a better STRING sound than I was able to produce with the EWI-4000s windcontroller. I suppose the same or similar adjustments should work for SWAM Wind instruments and for the Kontakt Brasses, but I have not had a chance to test yet.

Thanks Tons !,

Dan :D

leleswam
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by leleswam » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:32 pm

Michael,
MSchnell wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:45 pm
I did not say note-on velocity should be used (why do you think I did ? ). In fact SWAM is very cleverly using note-on velocity for controlling the portamento speed. A really nifty feature !!!

My point is (see another explanation above) that the just detected expression derivative (not the note on velocity) could be used when CC=7 triggers the virtual note on.
Do not confuse Note-on Velocity during LEGATO and Note-on Velocity for the ATTACKS (i.e. STACCATO).
During LEGATO we do not consider the pressure derivative at all for attack building, as we do not need to build an attack.
As for the attacks, of course the derivative computation has theoretically nothing to do with Note-on velocity, BUT in the SWAM model the attack strength is controlled by the Note-on Velocity, SO we just adapt the measurement of the derivative to the Velocity range.
MSchnell wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:45 pm
My point is (see another explanation above) that the just detected expression derivative (not the note on velocity) could be used when CC=7 triggers the virtual note on.
This is exactly what we do. But, as you know for sure, Note-on events come with a "beautiful" Velocity information associated. So, internally we just create an Note-on event and set its velocity value to the (adapted) value of the derivative. That's it.

MSchnell wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:59 am
Moreover I also did write to TEC suggesting two improvements, either or both could help to find a perfect integration of SWAM and the BBC.

1) Use high resolution CC so that much more expression values are sent to SWAM, enabling it to manage the physical model a lot more exact.

2) Provide the derivative of the Breath value as an additional CC stream. This would allow the virtual instrument to see the very exact performance of the player when the note is supposed to start (or fade). (Technically the derivative is even considerably high when the expression value itself is very low.)

With either improvement either the SWAM engine could make use of same or I could do a plugin that constructs the Wind controller behavior very exactly.

-Michael

Hi-res MIDI is in our plans and it will be released in a future update soon.

As for providing a separate stream for the derivative: it's a good idea, but it also needs extra-effort for both TEC and Audio Modeling to implement it. Also we (TEC and Audio Modeling) would agree on what the values sent by the Breath Controller really mean.
In the SWAM processor we have full control on the computation, adaptation and "shape" of the derivative, but if this measurement is provided by an external MIDI stream, we really need a re-design of the interaction between the breath derivative and our models.

MSchnell wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:25 am
BTW.:
AFAIK, (other than my old WX7) EWI uses capacitive sensors rather than mechanical switches for fingering, so technically, it could detect the finger movement speed. Hence it would be able to send this information to SWAM and have same be used for portamento speed control.

So in the EWI there are two candidates as source for the Note-On velocity: derivative of breath pressure before a threshold is reached that actually generates the Note-On, and finger speed when a finger movement generates a note-transition and hence a Note-Off/Note-On sequence. Actually it would be most sensible to use note-off velocity for Finger-speed (while Note-On is Breath pressure derivative), but I have no Idea if such (rather unusual) Midi events are generated by EWI (and interpreted by SWAM). Maybe EWI even uses some CC and/or is configurable on that behalf.
I don't think this is a good idea: on the EWI (as on the real instruments) notes are performed as a combination of keys. What speed do you take? The average of the various fingers? Or the latest?

Also, you can touch the keys long time before breathing. So, is it that finger speed still "valid" for the note that you are going to perform?

And... how do you manage the octave shift? They are performed shifting the thumb on the octave rollers, without moving any finger on the keys.

Best,
Lele
Audio Modeling

MSchnell
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by MSchnell » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:36 pm

Thanks for further explanations.

In fact I don't intend to design a Wind Controller. I am just trying to find out how it (a good one, supposedly such as the EWI) works, mainly if and how it uses Note-On and/or Note-off velocity to provide relevant information to the sound engine. Maybe there is a paper somewhere describing it ...

-Michael
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

dstong
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by dstong » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:45 am

Dear Lele,

As I reported assigning Main Volume to CC2 fixes the problem of starting and ending a note very close to silence for Strings, so I'm very happy. So many Thanks for solving that problem so fast.

I was hoping to find a similar parameter for SWAM instruments other than Strings, but I didn't see Main Volume, or anything like it. For these instruments I can get fairly close to an acceptable loudness level, unlike for the Strings where the abrupt onset/offset cutoff point was much larger, but it still could use some improvement.

Since I decided to get the TEC BC2 primarily for the SWAM Strings, it is not a major issue for me that I can't get the really soft beginning and ending for notes with SWAM Wind instruments, I can certainly use the EWI for playing those instruments, but I would be surprised if none of the keyboard + TEC BC players were interested in finding a solution.

Is there a quick fix for these instruments ?

I have not had time to look for something similar to Main Volume parameter fix for the Kontakt Brass instruments, so if there is a solution for that I would be grateful.


Thanks,

Dan

dstong
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by dstong » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:14 am

Dear Michael,

I'm sorry to hear that the specific Main Volume CC2 assignment which fixes the issue for Strings, doesn't clear up things to your satisfaction.

Of course everyone who uses Samplemodeling Virtual Instruments (SmVI) as well as most MIDI users are eagerly awaiting Hi Res MID, but it is unlikely to appear overnight, in spite of your wish and mine. It will longer than we wish because I have no doubt it requires a tremendous amount of work (both programming and possibly some hardware re-design and implementation), because it has to be an Industry Wide implementation. I know you know all this but I'm hoping others will read this who are not as well informed about MIDI as you are.

However, hopefully anyone who cares strongly about this may reduce the inertia for implementation by showing that there is strong demand for implementing Hi Res MIDI.

Here is what I'm thinking (perhaps it's a naive idea):

Perhaps you and everyone else may be willing to put together a list of Heads of Companies that are crucial to adopting this new MIDI standard for hardware (Yamaha, Akai, Roland etc. ) and software. Then we try to get as many people as possible to send individual letters to these people. Posting such a campaign on all of the most popular forums all over the web, we would hope elicit a lot of encouraging letters. Perhaps we could also create some Polls on these forums asking about the most wanted improvements which include Hi Res MIDI.

As in the TV hardware industry, manufacturers are always looking for ways to encourage more purchasing by bringing newer hardware to the market -think HDTV to 4KTV and beyond. It's a way to get users to buy new improved products : )

Thanks,

Dan

MSchnell
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by MSchnell » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:28 pm

dstong wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:45 am
Is there a quick fix for these instruments ?
I will try to get something going in the weekend. But this will be a Midi filter done as a JSFX pluging, and hence only run in Reaper.

-Michael
Last edited by MSchnell on Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

MSchnell
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by MSchnell » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:39 pm

dstong wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:14 am
I have no doubt it requires a tremendous amount of work (both programming and possibly some hardware re-design and implementation), because it has to be an Industry Wide implementation.
Happily the situation is not that bad.
The high resolution Midi standard is very simple and it is well defined since years (e.g. by the companies you name) and already is available with a decent count of software and hardware product. E.G. Reaper does support it. (OK a DAW does not need much on that behalf as it only in rare cases in fact interprets the Midi data it transports, but e.g. the Midi Log display in Reaper does show high resolution stuff.)

Moreover, High Resolution Midi is full fully compatible with normal Midi CC messages. It's just a second message that is sent to define the fine differences. If the receiver does not support high resolution it will simply automatically ignore that message. If the sender does not provide high resolution but the receiver can, the receiver for such senders simply automatically will just do coarse steps as appropriate.

Of course the instrument (such as SWAM) will need to tweak the Model even more sophisticatedly to make a good use of high resolution program, and a (Breath) controller will need to be more carefully crafted so that the higher resolution does not create more Noise / Nonsense than usable information.

In fact besides the "high resolution CC" (for transferring continuous parameters), there also is a standard for high resolution Note-On velocity which is very appropriate for high quality keyboards and Keyboards sound engines.

I just bought a Kawai VPC1 keyboard, that features 88 nearly "traditional" wooden Kawai Grand Piano keys and hammers (including "let-off" feeling which is helpful to playing more precise when playing very soft ). This device provides a fantastic feeling, indeed, but unfortunately it does not feature sending high resolution velocity, even though the sensors do provide a lot more than 128 steps (which can be concluded from the velocity curves that can be set) :( . Moreover the Keyboard instruments I use are based on Kontakt, and the Kontakt engine does not (yet) support high resolution Midi.

-Michael
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

MSchnell
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Re: TEC BC2 produces abrupt threshold

Post by MSchnell » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:11 pm

In the docs for The Trumpet I found the statement that "Note On Velocity output by Wind Controllers generally reflects the current CC2 value".

Regarding our recent discussion this is either an erroneous statement or silly engineering. In fact Note On velocity should reflect the derivative of the Breath pressure even when CC2 is very small.

-Michael
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

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