When we blow into a wind controller (ANY wind controller) The breath pressure is converted to a continuous stream of MIDI data in the range of 0 - 127. 0 means we are not blowing at all, 127 means we are blowing pretty hard - hard enough to max out the sensor. When we buy a wind controller, this is really what we are buying - a way to use our breath (and horn fingerings) to control the sound coming from some sound source, either a synth or sampler, or some combination thereof.
Subtractor: Filter 1 Frequency, LFO 1, Amp, FM
NN-19: Filter Frequency, LFO, Amp
NN-XT: Filter Frequency, Mod Decay, LFO1 Amt, Filter Resonance, Level, LFO1 Rate.
Thor: Anything (via Mod Routing)
This is not a bad list at all, and you can, in fact, make tons of great patches with just the front panel controls, except for Malstrom, which has no BC front panel controls.
But what if... you want breath to control Subtractor's noise oscillator, or the filter resonance on NN-19, or anything on Malstrom? Or even control parameters on a Scream 4 distortion?
Let's dive in.
Technique Number 1: Combinator to the Rescue
Here are the parameters I have available in Reason 5. I'll just select Breath and route it to what I want, in this case the Master Level on Malstrom, but it could be any parameter on any device.
The other great thing about this technique is that mapped knobs and controls actually move when you blow. This gives you a visual indication as to how you are controlling the sound.
Tips and Tricks
- Try mapping breath to the 'Shift' parameter on one of the ociallators. The sound will 'stretch' like a rubber band, with higher breath values.
- Try mapping breath to the index parameter and sweeping through the wave table that way.
- Another trick you might want to try is to map Breath to Mod Wheel. This way, if the patch is already set up with Mod Wheel controls, you can control those tonal variations with Breath.
- Try adding a Unison and Delay to your Malstrom - it can do wonders for the sound!
I highly recommend 'eXode - Massive Synthesis ReFill', which contains all of the other eXode ReFills on the page, plus some previously released commercial ReFills. If you scroll way down the page you will find '1001 Malstrom Refill' which is just what it says. It's a little more electic, but there are some useful patches if you dig around.
In part two we will convert Breath data to CV and see what we can do with that.