Yamaha WX7 Wind Controller: An Introduction

by Shauna Gregus.

The Yamaha WX7 is an electronic, wind-controlled instrument. It can also be referred to as a wind synth. Wind controllers are most commonly played and fingered like an acoustic woodwind instrument. These controllers do not create sound on their own. They are hooked up to some kind of sound generating device. Any program that reads MIDI data will respond to a wind controller, such as Ableton Live, Max or Logic. Through these programs you can choose to make a wind controller sound like anything you’d like. You can play it as a real wind instrument or play sound effects and synthesized sounds instead. With these options, a musician can explore musical realms that are unavailable with a standard acoustic instrument.

Controls

Regardless of a musician’s skill level, the Yamaha WX7 provides simplicity that anyone can grasp. This wind controller can be configured to be fingered like a number of different acoustic instruments. You can also adjust the height of the playing keys and the octave and/or key the instrument will play in, so customization is easy. It also gives you the option to control, breath gain, breath zero, lip gain, breath curve, switchable after-touch and master volume control.

Playing the instrument

Once the WX7 is hooked up to a MIDI sequencer, it can be played in any way. Most programs, like Logic, have a wide range of different sounds that can be controlled via the WX7. As previously stated, you can choose to play the wind controller as if it were indeed an acoustic instrument, or you can choose to play synthesized sounds that may not take into account pitch at all. There are octave keys on the back, upper side of the instrument, so the range is quite similar to an acoustic model. Some sounds can be easily controlled via the breath and pressure sensors on the mouthpiece that mimic the playing of a real instrument. Some merely need the “activation” of the note being played, and their duration and amplitude vary according to the pre-recorded sounds that are activated. This gives the user endless possibilities for sound production.

Reasons to use a wind controller

There are various reasons one might choose to play a wind controller over an acoustic instrument. One reason is that the electronic instruments give a musician more control over their sounds. The quality of sound can be chosen by the click of a button, and it allows the option to provide the accompaniment of a different instrument without having to actually learn how to play it. Its versatility saves musicians years of practice. It is easier to play than a traditional wind instrument. It can be played and practiced in virtual silence as the user can merely plug in headphones and become the only one to hear the sound produced. Wind controllers are easier to learn on than an acoustic wind instrument as the playing and breathing techniques aren’t as sensitive. Because of this, children can more easily learn the skills required to play a wind instrument, and enjoy the added benefit of being able to create virtually any sound. All in all, the electronic wind controlled device allows great customization and flexibility that appeals to many musicians.

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Tutorial:  Connecting  Google  Android  and  TouchOSC to Logic

by Janel Sagert.

This  tutorial  will  walk  you  through  how  to  connect  TouchOSC  from  your  Google  Android  device   to  Logic.  This  tutorial  will  give  you  the  basics.  It  will  walk  you  through  how  to  set  up  the   connection  from  your  phone  to  the  computer  as  well  basic  mappings  to  make  sound.  You  will   have  to  do  some  of  your  own  experimentation  to  create  a  system  and  sound  that  works  for   you.

Click SagertGoogleAndroidTouchOSC

How to Use an Electric Guitar With Logic Pro and a Motu Interface

by Reyse Jaster.

Overview
This tutorial teaches a beginner to record and add effects to an electric guitar using the software Logic Pro available for Mac OS. The guitar is interfaced directly with the computer via a MOTU UltraLite mk3 Audio Interface and not using a guitar amplifier. The user win be guided from turning on the equipment all the way to having a completed recording.

Equipment required

-Macintosh computer wi firewire 800 port (high memory with latest operating system preferred) -Logic Pro Digital Audio Workstation software
-MOTU UltraLite mk3 Audio Interface with appropriate power supply, firewire 400-800 cable, and installed drivers
-headphones with 1/4 inch plug -electric guitar with standard 1/4 inch output -standard 1/4 instrument cable

MOTU Connection and Setup

1. Connect MOTU to a power supply using the adapter
2. Connect MOTU via firewire cable before turning on computer and turn on by pushing the volume pot(knob) on MOTU
3. Startup computer
4. In spotlight, search “motu audio setup” and launch the application
5. Apply the following settings: *
sample rate: 44100, clock source: internal, default stereo input: analog 1-2, default stereo output: main out 1-2, phones assign: main out 1-2, main out assign: main out 1-2, return assign: analog 7-8

* These settings allow the MOTU to be the physical inputs and outputs for Logic. They also allow us to monitor the sound via headphones.

Logic Pro Setup

6. Open finder, applications, launch Logic Pro
7. File > New
7a. if an existing project is open, then click “Close” in the resulting dialog box
8. A window will open prompting the creation of a new track. If the window does not appear click the track button near the top of the screen and choose New. Use the default settings:
1 track, type: audio,format: mono, input: input 1, output: output 1-2, then click create
9. On bottom left below the meter where it says “Audio I”, double click, rename to “Guitar” for better organization and press the enter key
10. File > Save and choose and appropriate location. Leave “copy external audio files to project folder” checked, then select save

Connecting Electric Guitar and Setup

11. Connect headphones to MOTU via 1/4 inch input located on the front on the device under volume pot
12. Turn volume pot all the way down so you don’t damage your ears, the level will be adjusted later.
13. Using a standard 1/4 inch instrument cable, connect guitar to Input 1 located on far left side on motu on 1/4 inchIXLR combo jack, marked “MICIINSTR. IN 1”
14. Turn volume pot up on guitar
15. Strum to check input signal via the meter on MOTU, if no signal turn up Trim Pot for “MIC 1” located on front of MOTU until the meter indicates a signal
16. In Logic, press the “R” button located next to the “Guitar” label on the bottom left, or alternatively the “R” button on the top left next to the “Guitar” label
17. Strum guitar. You should now see an input signal on the meter in Logic and on the MOTU. You should also should see an output signal on the meter for the “Output” channel located near the bottom left of the screen.
18. Increase headphone volume to comfortable level using volume knob on MOTU
19. Once you know you have in input signal, increase gain if necessary using Trim Pot 1 on the MOTU, but ensure that when playing your loudest your signal does not reach or exceed the top of the “Guitar” meter in Logic, this will cause undesired clipping

Recording the Guitar

20. Ensure the track is record enabled. This is indicated with the red “R” flashing
21. On the bottom of the screen find the “transport buttons” (play, pause, etc) and press the record button which is the circle on the far right next to the pause button. Logic will now record what you play.
22. To stop recording press the stop button
23. To hear what you have recorded, return to the beginning by using the button on the far left of the transport buttons or click and drag the white vertical line in the main window to the far left
24. If you wish to delete and try again, simply click on the newly created data and press the delete key and click ok on the dialog box that appears

Adding Effects to Guitar Signal

The following describes one of many possible ways to add effects to the signal.

25. On bottom left in “Guitar” channel, click on one of the blank: “Insert” slots. This will bring up a menu of available options.
26. For this example we will explore a classic 80s chorus sound. Choose Modulation > Chorus > Mono Use the following settings*:
Intensity: about 10%, Rate: about 830 Hz. Mix: about 50%

*Example only. Feel free to experiment.

26a. On the far right under the “Library” tab there are also various presets for the selected effect
27. If you wish to change the effect entirely, click and hold your mouse over the Insert slot to bring up the menu again. There are hundreds of effects. Feel free to experiment.

Conclusion

You are now ready to record and add effects to your guitar in Logic Pro. If you require further instruction feel free to contact me.

Direct String Synthesis: Practical guide for basic use of the Ebow Plus

by Jake Hills.

Many guitar effects deal with signal manipulation; that is to say the guitar, through electromagnetic inductance, creates an electrical signal which is then manipulated by an effect circuit The effect in this tutorial does not work through signal manipulation, but rather, through direct string synthesis. Ebows are one of the most widely used guitar effects and have been used in recordings in almost every genre. The ebow expands on the idea that Jimmy Page demonstrated in the late 60s and early 70s when doing guitar solos on stage with his band Led Zeppelin. During some of these solos, he abandoned the plectrum (also known as a guitar pick) and exchanged it with a cello bow. The effect was haunting and very unnatural sounding, seeming to have no attack or origin and fading away with long decay. The ebow creates a similar effect, but with more control and works on a different principle. Using a cello bow on a guitar would physically vibrate the strings in the same way it would on a cello. An ebow on the other hand, vibrates the string by vibrating the string’s magnetic field. In this way we are able to have a note swell out of seemingly nowhere and sustain for as long as the performer desires. In addition to vibrating the string at it’s fundamental frequency, there is also an option to vibrate at the frequency of the first harmonic of any given pitch which is why during the first event where the ebow is used, we can hear both the fundamental and the first harmonic of the pitch. These options open up a great new way of play guitar.

One of the greatest things about the ebow is the ease at which it is operated. To begin, ensure that there is a nine volt battery in the ebow. This can be done by carefully removing the top compartment. Once there is a battery in place, you are ready to begin. The switch on the ebow has three distinct positions. When holding the ebow in the right hand with the grooves facing the guitar body, the downward position effects the fundamental frequency. Once switched downward, a blue LED light will shine out of the base of the ebow. Move the ebow toward the strings of the guitar so that the strings rest in the grooves of the ebow. The string between the grooves will be the one that is affected. In this way, infinite sustain can be achieved for any note within the natural range of the guitar. For every fundamental note that can be sustained using the ebow, several harmonics are also available. The technique is the same, the only difference is that the switch is moved into the upward position. Here the harmonic can be changed by which way the ebow is moved along whichever string currently affected. By using the harmonics option on the ebow, notes can be generated far outside the natural range of the guitar. This is how the ebow is used. The last thing that one must know in order the ebow to be useful is this: practice is necessary when using the ebow. It is an entirely new way to playa string on a guitar and requires practice. Do not be discouraged because things are different, but rather be encouraged by the variety of sounds made possible by this effect.