This is a revised version of the Cello from a few weeks ago. Based on feedback from readers, I added controls so that Velocity controls the sample start parameter. What this means is that the attack portion of the sound only comes in when you play marcato, which seems to give a better feel to slurred passages. When you play it, the sound is much smoother, but you can still get the marcato attack by tonguing fairly hard. Let me know how it came out!
Not finding anything that met my needs for gigging with my laptop and EWI, I decided to make my own from a tripod music stand. Here's how I did it.
If you decide to do something like this yourself here is my #1 tip for gigging with a laptop:
Make sure whatever you have your laptop on ONLY HAS ROOM FOR YOUR LAPTOP AND EWI.
This keeps it from being an all purpose shelf for unrelated items that might damage your rig such as 'liquid refreshments'.
If you would like to share your rig or ideas, drop me a line - we'll feature it on the site!
This is a classic Michael Brecker inspired lead using 4, yes count 'em, 4 Subtractors. One Subtractor is set with a sound reminiscent of a harmon mute trumpet, the others are saw waves. There are front panel controls for controlling the reverb and delay, as well as the stereo spread of the 4ths in the chord. You could probably do a lot more to this patch in terms of effects and what not, but I'll leave that for you to mess around with. Look at this patch as a starting point and make it your own. You can make some great sounds with just the Subtractor.
BONUS: This one works with Reason 3.
Well, the sound of the week is the patch from the subtractor tutorial in the last post. There's a Combinator patch to download at the bottom and an explanation of how it was made. Hope you like it!
Don’t underestimate the Subtractor.
Everyone talks about Thor and it is an awesome synth, but if you are just getting started with programming for a wind controller, it can be intimidating, so this tutorial uses the Subtractor to introduce you to some of the techniques you can use to add breath control to your sounds. But don’t underestimate the Subtractor – it’s a great analog modeling synth, and you can make some inspiring sounds with it. We’ll start from scratch with the Subtractor ‘Init’ patch.
A Thor patch inspired by a Brecker lead from 'Beirut' by Steps Ahead. I added a little bit of breath noise, which I think gives it a little more life. Hope you like it!
Quick tip this week.
I find it quite helpful when practicing to have a visual indicator of the breath pressure that I am sending from my wind controller into Reason. I can learn if I am blowing too hard or too soft and adjust either my playing or adjust the sensitivity on the instrument itself.
There are two simple ways to do this that I would like to share.
1. Use NN-XT
If you are playing an NN-XT patch, you have the breath indicator built-in. I'm sure you've seen the 'X' wheel moving when you play a sound set up like the picture, with the X controller set to breath. This is pretty handy, but I find that there are other knobs that are easier to read - like the giant rotary knobs on the Thor synthesizer...
2. Use Thor inside a Combinator
I like the giant dials on the front panel of Thor, because they are big and easy to see. I prefer this method because I like to see a big, honkin’ dial move. This works for any Thor patch that does not use the front Rotary controls, or for any Combinator patch. This takes advantage of the fact that any control mapped in a combinator is animated when it is controlled - so it will move when it is activated. Here's how to do it:
What I Learned
When I first did this, I realized I was ‘maxing out’ the breath pressure when I was only blowing at a moderate level. I turned down the sensitivity on the EWI to compensate and I can now blow normally and get a wide range of breath sensitivity.
That's it until next time. Have fun playing your wind controller!