Request in Favor of Breath controller / Flute users

Please post here topics concerning use of windcontrollers with our instruments
Post Reply
MSchnell
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:06 pm
Location: Krefeld, Germany
Contact:

Request in Favor of Breath controller / Flute users

Post by MSchnell » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:00 pm

Hi Sample Modeling,

Since about a year I am a very happy user of the SWAM Flute. (Starting to get up to speed with the Cello.)

With the Flute, I do nothing but live playing via the TEC Breath and Bite Controller, and a light weighted Master Keyboard featuring Velocity, After Touch, a pedal momentary switch and two Wheels.

Since a short time I have the TEC BBCbv2 and integrated the two additional controllers in my setup for the Flute. (On request I can elaborate my ideas on how to use the multiple realtime controls to allow a natural playing feeling especially for those, who are no acoustic Wind Instruments pros.)

As I am a techie (professional Computer Programmer) and presumably an increasingly appropriate hobby musician, I feel entitled to offer several suggestions on how to make the great product even better. :)


1) Note Range

On a master keyboard, the note range is not limited to the range of the of the physical instrument the model is crafted according to. (If you have a Native Instruments Kontrol keyboard you supposedly can set the key-lights in a way that you can see the playable range, but I don't have such.) When playing a "wild" solo, it is likely to happen that you sometimes leave the note range of the SWAM Flute. This is really unnerving.:(

I do know that the physical model simply is limited by design. There are no more flaps as the pipe length is at it's end. OTOH I do know that the key played simply sends a set of parameters to the physical model. And the pipe length itself in fact is such a model parameter (that of course is unchanged when playing a certain flute model). So I vote for adding a parameter to allow/disallow an extended note range (especially towards the lower notes). I think this can be done by enhancing the pipe length for such notes. Of course this will result in absolutely inappropriate note transitions, but for the usage I described, this is a lot better then just mute key presses.


2) Embouchure Angle

I very happily (ab)use the "Style" parameter of the Flute with the "Bite" control of the TEC BBC. To me, this sounds rather similar to modifying the Embouchure Angle (and/or lip position) with a physical Flute. This is something Jazz and Rock flutists often do. I do know that "Style" is a physical modeled parameter of totally different hardware properties. So it could be very appropriate to add a Midi CC controllable user parameter for a sound variation that emulate Embouchure Angle / Lip Position in a rather extreme way. (I suppose you know what I am talking about: e.g. listen to Ian Anderson; here is a rather coarse example of what I am doing with "Style"-modulation -> http://www.bschnell.de/Flute_solo_test.mp3 ).


3) High Resolution Midi

I am rather unhappy that I can't play really soft with the TEC BBC and the Flute. Even with very low midi expression values the model generates a rather explosive attack when starting blowing. I'd like to be able to do pp if not even ppp. But it seems that the range of 128 steps for expression is not enough to accomplish this.(in this forum we already discussed this issue twice, but I could not get any improvement.) So it would be great if Sample Modeling and TEC both would add the use of the high resolution Midi CC standard (14 bits) to their products.


4) Chromatic Glides and Falls.

The SWAM software is able to do Portamento according to the velocity of the second note played in a legato way: (Lower velocity -> slower portamento.) This is a great feature and when playing feels perfectly "natural", but with the Flute IMHO a wider Portamento does not sound really appropriate. So a Chromatic Glide is what I would like to be able to enable by pressing the second key with low velocity. It seems that something like this is offered by the multiple (mysterious) parameters that influence the portamento feature, but I have not been able to activate it. Moreover, other than a "sliding" protamento, a chromatic glide simply is something a real flutist would do just with fingering and hence it should not be limited to a single "register". Of course a "Fall" (pressing the deep C) should be able to be set to use the Chromatic Glide as well. (BTW I don't like that the Fall snaps back to the original note in the end when both keys are held. Is this by design ? )

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

leleswam
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:01 pm

Re: Request in Favor of Breath controller / Flute users

Post by leleswam » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:11 pm

Hi Michael,

I'm replying briefly

1) Note range
Please take into account that all Woodwinds are not pure Physical Modeling. They are indeed SAMPLES (i.e. we have recorded real instruments played by real players). The Physical Modeling part acts on the real samples to allow real-time control, expressiveness, realism.
We have already extended the range a little bit, but a further extension would compromise the sound quality.

2) Embouchure Angle
This has been discussed already in the past... modulating the "Style" parameter is not exactly as changing the embouchure angle only... it's more like changing some physical dimensions (eg. material, pipe diameter) and also the playing style of the player. It goes somehow against our "philosophy". Anyway, we will check the feasibility with the team.

3) High Resolution Midi
Hi-resolution MIDI is in our plans since several months, but it requires a radical modification of the internal code (which is necessary also for other improvements). This will happen not before the completion of the Bowed Strings family.

4) Chromatic Glides and Falls
Continuous vs Chromatic portamento in the flutes have been already discussed here: http://www.samplemodeling.com/forum/vie ... ?f=2&t=982

Unfortunately, chromatic portamento across two registers is not possible currently and it is a well known issue. We will fix it in the next update.
(BTW I don't like that the Fall snaps back to the original note in the end when both keys are held. Is this by design ? )
We do not experience this issue! Could you please detail it? Please write to info@swamengine.com . Provide a MIDI sequence showing the problem.

Cheers!
Emanuele
SWAM team

MSchnell
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:06 pm
Location: Krefeld, Germany
Contact:

Re: Request in Favor of Breath controller / Flute users

Post by MSchnell » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:08 pm

leleswam wrote:
1) Note range
... They are indeed SAMPLES (i.e. we have recorded real instruments played by real players).
... a further extension would compromise the sound quality.
I understand and I appreciate the explanation.
Both a complete Model as a "SampleModel" obviously has limits and stretching them definitively will result in degradation of sound quality and/or tone transition realism. That is why I vote for a configuration switch that retains the current (hard) note range limit. But IMHO on user request it should be possible to drop the limit as when playing it's a a lot better if a (very sporadic) degraded and unrealistic tone is produced than no sound at all.
leleswam wrote:2) Embouchure Angle
This has been discussed already in the past... Anyway, we will check the feasibility with the team.
Of course I do remember and I do understand the argument. I do know that my (ab)using the "style" parameter for the live playable effect is just a work-around (and easily configurable with Reaper). It would be much better if a correct parameter for the "SampleModel" would be provided to allow for an "Ian Anderson" effect. (Now knowing that samples are involves I fear that a lot of additional samples would be necessary resulting in a lot of work to do.
leleswam wrote:3) High Resolution Midi
Hi-resolution MIDI is in our plans since several months, ... This will happen not before the completion of the Bowed Strings family.
Thanks a lot for letting us know. It does not make sense for SampleModeling to hurry this issue too much, as it would be usable for live playing only if there are Controllers available that feature high resolution, as well. As TEC seems to continuously actively improving their products it might be viable to talk to them about that issue and synchronize a release. (Of course HR would also be usable with midi compositions done in a DAW)
leleswam wrote:4) Chromatic Glides and Falls
Continuous vs Chromatic portamento in the flutes have been already discussed here: ...
Unfortunately, chromatic portamento across two registers is not possible currently and it is a well known issue. We will fix it in the next update.
During that discussion I tried to get it running, but I was not able to find out what the multiple parameters exactly do. I once got a chromatic glide, but this vanished when modifying one of the parameters and I never could get it working again but it's always continuous. That is why I said "mysterious". Looking forward to the next update.
leleswam wrote:We do not experience this issue! Could you please detail it? Please write to info@swamengine.com . Provide a MIDI sequence showing the problem.
When I play a note and additionally press the deep C, I get a rather fast - maybe 1/2 second - (continuous) fall in a range of maybe an octave. AFAIK this can't be done with a physical flute. (But it sounds good and so I do use it sometimes.) Then - holding both keys - at the end of that movement the original note is playing again which sounds rather silly.

Thanks a lot for your time.
-Michael
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

MSchnell
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:06 pm
Location: Krefeld, Germany
Contact:

Re: Request in Favor of Breath controller / Flute users

Post by MSchnell » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:50 am

Regarding the extended note range...

It's obvious that we will get a degraded performance in the extended range (this is why it needs to be especially activated by user configuration).

For me (when playing a few notes below the normal range of the Concert Flute), if it sounds like Trombone: it's OK, if it sounds like an Alto Flute: it's great. In fact it was my fault to hit these keys. I should have been more carefully obeying the properties of the instrument ;) .

This brings me to the conclusion that it would be most desirable to use the other flute brands (i.e. the appropriate samples, that obviously are already in place) for that purpose. In fact always (if activated) providing the complete note range of all instruments ("Bass", "Alto", "Flute", "Piccolo") and using the perfect sound of the loaded instrument (-name) just for it's standard range, and for defining certain global model parameters, while the other sounds are automatically activated appropriately in the extended range.

I feel that these consideration also holds for the other instrument families.

- Michael (just dreaming)
Music examples -> http://www.boa-sorte.de

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 1 guest