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  • Midi Breathe Controller Vs After-touch

    Hi everyone, 

    I am currently learning how to use Synchron Strings Pro proficiently and I have noticed that Paul in his YouTube videos controls the Vel-XF (velocity cross-fade) with the Hornberg Midi breathe controller. 

    I am just wondering, isn't it better to use an after-touch keyboard to control the Vel-XF? Honestly I have never used an one before but the concept seems right to me.

    Seeing the videos convinced me that I must find a way to control the vel-XF, but if After-touch works, then, perhaps I could skip the step of buying an expensive Breath controller? What do you guys think?

    I hope I am not resurrecting some fight provocative thread, I am just hoping to be educated. 

    Thomas


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    I have a breath controller, you need to review the default setting so it is acting with a small breath otherwise you get out of breath very quickly ; except if you are a trumpet player 😃

    > Midi Breathe Controller Vs After-touch this is  question of choice

    @thomas_hjl said:

    Hi everyone, 

    I am currently learning how to use Synchron Strings Pro proficiently and I have noticed that Paul in his YouTube videos controls the Vel-XF (velocity cross-fade) with the Hornberg Midi breathe controller. 

    I am just wondering, isn't it better to use an after-touch keyboard to control the Vel-XF? Honestly I have never used an one before but the concept seems right to me.

    Seeing the videos convinced me that I must find a way to control the vel-XF, but if After-touch works, then, perhaps I could skip the step of buying an expensive Breath controller? What do you guys think?

    I hope I am not resurrecting some fight provocative thread, I am just hoping to be educated. 

    Thomas


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
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    @thomas_hjl said:

    Hi everyone, 

    I am currently learning how to use Synchron Strings Pro proficiently and I have noticed that Paul in his YouTube videos controls the Vel-XF (velocity cross-fade) with the Hornberg Midi breathe controller. 

    I am just wondering, isn't it better to use an after-touch keyboard to control the Vel-XF? Honestly I have never used an one before but the concept seems right to me.

    Seeing the videos convinced me that I must find a way to control the vel-XF, but if After-touch works, then, perhaps I could skip the step of buying an expensive Breath controller? What do you guys think?

    I hope I am not resurrecting some fight provocative thread, I am just hoping to be educated. 

    Thomas

    Thomas,

    I've actually wondered the same thing, as I'm interested in using either to control VelXF myself.  One thing that occurs to me is that aftertouch (as far as I understand it) doesn't engage until after you've pressed the key down.  So, assuming the point of aftertouch is that more pressure = higher CC values, wouldn't that mean that playing something like scales would result in very strange, quiet, and uneven performance?  Since the curve starts at 0, that means it wouldn't engage past that until you land on a key and press it down hard enough to engage aftertouch.  So, if you're playing a fast run that's supposed to crescendo evenly, that means you're continually landing on key after key, but without the time or pressure needed to keep the aftertouch curve engaged in a smooth way.

    That said, this is all conjecture: I have very little experience with using aftertouch, so if I'm wrong or misguided about this...please, anyone, chime in!


  • Hi Sam, 

    you are right. Aftertouch does not work for velocity x-fade directly, since velocity x-fade completely replaces velocity by a controller, and the aftertouch controller always start at zero when a note is played.

    However, there would in principle be a way to make this work, if there would be a "hybrid velocity x-fade" mode in VSL players, where velocity still determines the initial value of the velocity x-fade controller and the physical controller then allows the player to control subsequent relative dynamic changes with it. This has the advantage that one can still standardly play with velocity, which should be much more natural for piano players (in particular for short notes). One would then only have to use the physical velocity x-fade controller when one actually wants to perform realtime dynamic changes (e.g. for more realistic playback of long notes).

    I had implemented this in Logic via some Midi pre-processing in the past and it worked just fine (either with aftertouch or the pitchbend wheel). It would be great if such a mode would be implemented in the VSL players in the future.


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    @Kai said:

    I had implemented this in Logic via some Midi pre-processing in the past and it worked just fine (either with aftertouch or the pitchbend wheel). It would be great if such a mode would be implemented in the VSL players in the future.

    That sounds...amazing!  If I had a controller capable of aftertouch, I'd try it out right away.  The pitchbend wheel, on the other hand... 

    If you don't mind, could you elaborate on the pre-processing you did?  I don't use Logic, but I'm betting there's a way to replicate it somehow...


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    @Kai said:

    I had implemented this in Logic via some Midi pre-processing in the past and it worked just fine (either with aftertouch or the pitchbend wheel). It would be great if such a mode would be implemented in the VSL players in the future.

    That sounds...amazing!  If I had a controller capable of aftertouch, I'd try it out right away.  The pitchbend wheel, on the other hand... 

    If you don't mind, could you elaborate on the pre-processing you did?  I don't use Logic, but I'm betting there's a way to replicate it somehow...

     

    In the past I did this in Logic's Environment, but any software that allows real time Midi processing should be able to do this. I just created a corresponding script for Logic's Scripter Midi Plug-In (which is based on Java script).

    This is what it does:

    - The velocity of every incoming note-on event first has to be stored in some variable vel, Then the note-on event has to be duplicated and the first instance has to be converted to a velocity x-fade controller event with value vel

    - When controlling velocity x-fade with channel pressure (aftertouch) only an increase starting from the initial value is possible. For this the channel pressure event with value cp has to be transformed into a velocity x-fade controller event with value vel+cp/127*(127-vel)

    - Alternatively when controlling velocity x-fade with the pitchbend wheel any relative change (increase or decrease) is possible. The pitchbend event with value pb (in the interval -8192<pb<8192) has to be transformed into a velocity x-fade controller event with a value depending on the sign (i.e. pitchbend up/down):

    if pb>=0 then vel+pb/8192*(128-vel)

    if pb<0 then vel+pb/8192*vel


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    @thomas_hjl said:

    Hi everyone, 

    I am currently learning how to use Synchron Strings Pro proficiently and I have noticed that Paul in his YouTube videos controls the Vel-XF (velocity cross-fade) with the Hornberg Midi breathe controller. 

    I am just wondering, isn't it better to use an after-touch keyboard to control the Vel-XF? Honestly I have never used an one before but the concept seems right to me.

    Seeing the videos convinced me that I must find a way to control the vel-XF, but if After-touch works, then, perhaps I could skip the step of buying an expensive Breath controller? What do you guys think?

    I hope I am not resurrecting some fight provocative thread, I am just hoping to be educated. 

    Thomas

    Thomas,

    I've actually wondered the same thing, as I'm interested in using either to control VelXF myself.  One thing that occurs to me is that aftertouch (as far as I understand it) doesn't engage until after you've pressed the key down.  So, assuming the point of aftertouch is that more pressure = higher CC values, wouldn't that mean that playing something like scales would result in very strange, quiet, and uneven performance?  Since the curve starts at 0, that means it wouldn't engage past that until you land on a key and press it down hard enough to engage aftertouch.  So, if you're playing a fast run that's supposed to crescendo evenly, that means you're continually landing on key after key, but without the time or pressure needed to keep the aftertouch curve engaged in a smooth way.

    That said, this is all conjecture: I have very little experience with using aftertouch, so if I'm wrong or misguided about this...please, anyone, chime in!

     

    Hi Sam, 

    I bought a second hand CME Xkey 25 for like $25usd to try it out. What you predicted happened. It was quite bad. However I am just scratching the surface of what it can do. 

     

    CME Xkey Plus controls the aftertouch information. Seems like there is a mode to control the value of the AT after the velocity has done its work. So it means it is possible to config the value to not rise from zero. Secondly CME aftertouch allows me to plot and adjust its response curve. Basically it is quite a lot of experiment to do. So theoretically I believe it is possible to use AT but I have yet to have success in it. No time to play with it fully. 


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    @Kai said:

    In the past I did this in Logic's Environment, but any software that allows real time Midi processing should be able to do this. I just created a corresponding script for Logic's Scripter Midi Plug-In (which is based on Java script).

    This is what it does:

    - The velocity of every incoming note-on event first has to be stored in some variable vel, Then the note-on event has to be duplicated and the first instance has to be converted to a velocity x-fade controller event with value vel

    - When controlling velocity x-fade with channel pressure (aftertouch) only an increase starting from the initial value is possible. For this the channel pressure event with value cp has to be transformed into a velocity x-fade controller event with value vel+cp/127*(127-vel)

    - Alternatively when controlling velocity x-fade with the pitchbend wheel any relative change (increase or decrease) is possible. The pitchbend event with value pb (in the interval -8192<pb<8192) has to be transformed into a velocity x-fade controller event with a value depending on the sign (i.e. pitchbend up/down):

    if pb>=0 then vel+pb/8192*(128-vel)

    if pb<0 then vel+pb/8192*vel

    This is above my pay grade at the moment, both literally and figuratively, but I'm definitely going to save this information for a later date.  Thank you so much for sharing!