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 Post subject: Midi devices
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 6:40 am 
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Mr. Electonica Dude
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OK , didn;t mean to keep yall hangin but I've had some health issues and also trying to spend more time in the studio.

Midi decies come in numerous flavors. Probably the most powerul , everyone already has. A computer. Connected to an interface , the puter can run a sequencer , load synth patches via SysEx , compose synth patches with editors. Soft synths are the wave of the future no doubt when connected by the second most common midi device.

Midi keyboard controllers with velocity sensing and aftertouch can drive rack synths or be played into computers. If you keyboard players like weighted keys , then an 88 note controller can even play your other non weighted or limited octave keyboard synths as well. I use my Dave Smith Poly Evolver keyboard almost exclusivly now as a master controller because I like the feel better than my old fav. the Motif ES. I now use my Motif and Triton keyboards as Hammond manuals.

Most controllers have Pitch and Mod wheels. These handy devices are the nuts and bolts of midi instrument imulation. A pitch wheel for instance when used with a breath controller allows very realistic horn simulations. The real bonus is the mod wheel. You can assign filter sweeps , cutoffs , Leslie sim speeds , arpeggio mods , or any of dozens of different control change messages in real time. An example of a neat job for the mod wheel is to set up one patch on the up side and another on the bottom. Then you can morph one patch to another very slowly.

Joystick controllers (mostly on Korgs and Rolands) are neat in that four separate Control Changes can be set on each axis. They take a little getting used to but like all midi devices they can be tweaked to your playing style.

Touch screen controllers are fairly new (Roland V-Synth and Korgs Oasys) are of a new breed of controllers. Not only can they function in real time but they can also be used to program step sequencers or other midi devices very quickly. Again the you imagination is the limit for what a touch screen controller can do for you. one of my favorite setups for this type of controller is to vary , stop or even reverse the tempo of a patch or arpaggio.

D-Beam controllers have been around for awhile although I find them hard to use . They still are as versitile as mod wheels for programability.

Midi footpedals come in several guises. A statement (volume) pedal is the most common. I have one programmed to use as a controller for my midi controlled Leslie speaker rotor speeds. I have another one to use as foot controlled mod wheel. There are even midi on/off latching and non-latched midi switches as well. A midi sustain pedal works just like a real one does. Then at the other end of the spectrum is the highly complex Behringer FCB1010 midi foot controller. It can do program changes , and has two foot pedals that can be assigned to anything. Another version made by Fender controls the Cyber-Twin. As more and more effects rack gear have midi control , a good footcontroller is quite handy.

Ribbon controllers , once quite popular have been on the wane lately. Basically it's a touch device with no screen. Again it can be assigned anything any other controller can.

Breath controllers are mainly a Yamaha thing. They make a lightweight plastic looking headphone type that modulates the patch volume by breath pressure. Horns and very realistic flutes can be played using this device. There is also a sax type and trumpet type fingering breath controller as well. Yamaha makes a dedicated plug in board just for the VL series of controllers. They can be even set up as crude vocoders. The VL plugboard even allows one to make exotic horns like Flobo's and Flutubas. The honks and squeels of saxaphones can be easily done too.

Last but not least are the new midi guitar pickups. Once a proprietary Roland deal has now been refined by Gibson and this year Fender.

I left out midi drum triggers but common sense kinda describes those.

Happy midi devicing.

msg

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