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Sounds: How about a modelled saxophone?

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written by: keyman

Think you should create a new topic for you're questions!

The factory setup files are in Program Files/Eigenlabs/release-.........( the one you're running)

User Setups go to user/...../My Documents/ Eigenlabs/"version you're running"/setups


written by: dmc9999

Thu, 19 Nov 2009 09:37:59 +0000 GMT

I'm really impressed with the clarinet, how about a saxophone sound that works in a similar way?

Alternatively, if someone could point in the direction of doing it myself, installing a sax soundfont, then configuring it to use the breath pipe, I'd be grateful.


written by: john

Sat, 21 Nov 2009 16:37:15 +0000 GMT

We have ambitions to make a modeled Saxophone, but the physics is difficult so its likely to be next year sometime. Its a flared tube and this produces a lot of odd effects that add to the character of the sound. The Clarinet is a little easier as it has a straight bore and our clarinet model still took a long time to get right. It would be great though, and I have a standing bet with my friend, the Saxophonist Ian Ritchie, that we'll be able to make something decent. He was quite dissmissive about my chances, so the game is on!

You can get very reasonable results using soundfonts for Brass. Dave has been playing quite a bit of horn using the First Call Horns, an ESX24 set that he used CdXtract to convert, I believe, on a breath controlled sampler. Would you like us to build you a setup for this?


written by: dmc9999

Sun, 22 Nov 2009 04:21:05 +0000 GMT

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. Yes please if you could provide a the sax set up you describe, I'd be happy to give it a go.

I'm able to play my pico via Logic and have access to all the instruments there, including saxaphones, but I haven't been able to get the breath pipe to work that way. If there's an easy way to get Logic to accept the breath pipe input, that might be one solution.

written by: john

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 17:38:29 +0000 GMT

Sam is building a setup that will make one of the samplers breath controlled, so you'll be able to load horn samples into that as Soundfonts. Should be available shortly (Sam just told me its done, he'll try to upload it tommorow). You should also find that the Breath Pipe and Strip Controller come out of the MIDI out from the Eigenharp (when you have this selected on your first keygroup). They come out as general purpose controller 1 and 2, code 16 and 17. You should be able to use these in Logic without problem, please let us know how you get on.


written by: dmc9999

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 09:13:19 +0000 GMT

I haven't worked out how to turn on those control codes in Logic, though I am still learning the app. They don't seem to be listening by default.

I'm looking forward to trying that new set-up for soundfonts. will keep an eye out for it. thank you!

written by: sam

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 09:40:55 +0000 GMT

I have uploaded the setup with the breath pipe controlling Sampler 2 and Audio Unit 2 (Custom Pico 2) here:

Custom Pico 2

Please make sure you upgrade to the latest version of EigenD before downloading it (follow the link for instructions).

Eigenlabs Software Department

written by: clausd

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 16:10:55 +0000 GMT

Using the Custom Pico 2 setup means breath is activated - but volume is not driven by breath, but still by hitting the keys.
So to play now, using the Custom Pico 2 setup one has to blow into the breath controller *and* tap for volume.
Surely that is now what one would expect for playing breath controlled instruments?

Is that specific to my machine or simply an oversight in the setup?

written by: geert

Wed, 25 Nov 2009 23:40:40 +0000 GMT

There's also an oversight with the Custom Pico 2 setup, the scroll keys aren't active, meaning no selections can be made with the Pico the EigenD browser.

written by: sam

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 16:15:35 +0000 GMT


Thank you for your posts. I have fixed the issue with the scroll keys, and will upload a new setup soon.

I am looking into getting it to work the way clausd would expect, and will upload a new version of the setup when it is complete.

Eigenlabs Software Department

written by: clausd

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 16:29:42 +0000 GMT

If I explained myself properly I'd like to think that what I expect is what anyone would expect from the description "breath controlled" ?

Thanks for the effort, look forward to the end result.


written by: steveelbows

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 17:56:19 +0000 GMT

I think proper solutions are more complex than breath controlled = volume. For a start the commonplace nature of keyboards and pads means that initial velocity of something being hit is the norm for controlling the volume of the note/sample to be played, and initial value is not much use for a breath controller where the value is going to change over the course of the note. So normally with software instruments designed to be controlled by breath, the breath signal is set to have an affect on certain envelopes or various other parameters of the instrument, well beyond volume. If the volume is allowed to change over time via breath, rather than just setting the initial note velocity, then it may be ok, but it may still not be enough to give satisfactory results. What you really need is to hook it up to a sampler that does clever stuff based on breath pipe data, eg add aspects of other samples to the sound to simulate how real wind instruments sound when breath changes. In the case of synths, you ideally have a synth based on the physical realities of how the real instrument makes a noise, and tie the breath controller to the appropriate part of the synth. There is a real nice reaktor patch I posted about called Silverwood which can be made to react to the pico breath controller and the results are way different to what I would expect from all but dedicated wind instrument software. Other synths can sometimes be wonderfully expressive using breath if you experiment and find a suitable synth parameter or two to tie to the breath controller, but many synth presets dont translate to breath in an easy or rewarding way, and I imagine the problem will be even worse for sample-based instruments.

Is there a good reason why the pico uses a midi cc other than the standard one for breath? Granted there arent so many software breath instruments around to cause too many problems, but I had to hack that reaktor patch to listen to the picos breath because it wasnt using the standard midi cc for breath.

written by: steveelbows

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 18:06:37 +0000 GMT

To follow up on what I was just saying, there are quite limited options for expressive breath-based instruments right now. I only know of that reaktor patch, arturia brass, and the stuff built into the pico. If people know of others or have suggestions for what software synths or samplers can be made to work with breath control in great ways, please post about them. Its quite feasible that many synths would work real well, but people have to take the time to make suitable presets/patches. When I got an akai EWI controller about 18 months ago, one of the big disappointments was how little of this stuff seemed to exist in software land, probably because of the relatively low numbers of people using breath controllers. This is one of the situations the eigenharp range could change over time, beyond the software instruments they design themselves and build into their own software. If lots more people have breath controllers, there is hopefully likely to be more sharing of presets for different softsynths going on.

written by: steveelbows

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 18:16:54 +0000 GMT

Also think a trick is being missed by not having presets come with the eigen version of Alchemy that really make best use of the breath control/are specifically written for it. I dont know this synth at all well so Im not sure how well suited it is to the task, and obviously it takes time to do this sort of thing, but it would be nice.

written by: steveelbows

Thu, 26 Nov 2009 20:01:39 +0000 GMT

Oops I forgot some other software options: The Trumpet, Mr Sax T, A and B, all from I havent tried these but I presume they prove that breath-controlled instruments based on samples work well enough if setup correctly.

I think the Akai EWI USB comes with a sample-based player app as well, Garritan Aria, though I havent tried that one either as I have the pre-USB EWI.

written by: clausd

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 00:09:05 +0000 GMT

Everything you say makes sense, Steve; I was just pointing what seems to me the most basic of flaws w. this particular setup

written by: steveelbows

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 10:39:22 +0000 GMT

Yeah I get ya, and having played around a bit last night I would say that just tying the breath pipe to volume does give better and more expressive results than my rambings above would suggest. I havent had a chance to try custom setup 2 yet but if they have not used the breath for anything more than a crude on/off switch then yes, thats a bit silly and as a quick fix they should do what you suggest.

written by: steveelbows

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 18:56:40 +0000 GMT

Seeing as I keep going on about that silverwood instrument for reaktor, I thought Id just mention that NI seem to be having a sale this weekend where you can get reaktor a lot cheaper than normal. Some info on the patch I go on about is here:

written by: faye

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 00:28:41 +0000 GMT

Just attempted to use Native Instruments Kontakt Player/Mr Sax T in Audio Unit 2. Pinning parameter 2 to host #11 gave wind activation, but it is a simple on-off :( I didn't get long to play however as the lights and output died on the pico after a short while.

written by: clausd

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 00:31:18 +0000 GMT

Faye, that's the bug I'm also talking about above. It's not actually using the wind activation for anything, but rather still using the force applied to the keys for volume etc.

written by: faye

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 00:48:02 +0000 GMT

Just got to say a big thankyou to SteveElbows for giving the headsup about both Reaktor at 75% off, and Silverwood. I've bought this now because waiting for the bugs to be ironed out in EigenD will take longer than the weekend. I have full confidence in the guys to make this work. The mp3 on that page in Steve's post was a very good sales pitch :D

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