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   Play some drums midi notes with breath controller
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Play some drums midi notes with breath controller
« on: Dec 15th, 2018, 4:04pm »
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Questions/possibilities for playing an electronic bass drum with a midi device?
"Greetings from France,  
I'm a drummer in wheelchair : I'm looking for mouth midi controller for playing the bass drum ; Do you think that your instrument would be able to do that ? In my case, (if you plug it directly to my Roland TD-20X Module) for simply playing just the kick drum ? : It's a breath controller but, as you can bite the controller. Do you think that it can be used if I bite just for one hit on bass drum, for instance ? (And so, not with a midi keyboard by playing notes) ... If I blow on it, It would like to know if I would be able to obtain a midi signal still by connecting it to my drum module ? Currently, I play the bass drum with my hands and electronic midi pads. ! I have also a electonic pedal for my foot. And finally, a cool device from the brand "Drum Sparx LLC" : "Drum Sparx uses any standard XLR microphone so the user can interact with the device using any type of sound they choose. Anything from boom boom boom to actual clicking sounds can be used with the Drum Sparx" : - Basicallly, with this product you can talk into a microphone and make any midi sounds you want. I can use it for playing the kick drum too. But, for now, it's too sensitive for me : When I talk into the mic, I have the feeling that even if I just want one simple hit, unfortunately this is not easy: I got something sounding like a double pedal. Even if a do just one "ta" into the microphone : I guess I can fix it. But, for now, I prefer to play with my basic acoustic drum kit and electonic pads : Please, check out one of my drumming videos here : -  
I'm still very interested to play the kick drum with my mouth. A lot of things are possible. But, often homemade. It works. But, personally, i'm definitely looking for something that I would add continuously to my drum kit. Thank you. please, keep up the good work. I'm also a beatmaker/composer :This, might help me in a lot of ways. But, before all, I remain a drummer !
in fact I bought the USB MIDI Breath and Bite Controller 2 by they send me a PDF (that you can find and read here : with some instructions by saying that :  
"The breath control devices I have built so far would not be able to help, as they are not midi controllers. But, it shouldn't be too hard to build something that could trigger the bass drum with a puff of air or with a bite control. I am unfortunately quite busy so I would not be able to build anything like this for a while.
If you can find the type of control you want, such as a bite-controlled switch, I can give you some help or advice in turning it into a midi device.
According to their tutorial, I selected the same in and out in MIDI-OX (I have a midi to Usb cable) , nothing happened : Same thing on Cubase 9.5 : I can add a midi track, press record. And, there's still no signals. Or, sometimes some signals; if I select something else, like my USB sound card for instance ... But, still unfortunately no sound ... Even in MIDI OX alone, when I bite, I still have no sound ! I wonder, If I plug my midi to USB cable correctly ! Should I plug the in and the out connectors to the same device ? Or one on my sound card, and the other on my drum module ? Edit, the conceptor replied this to my questions :  
"The Cubase note expression will not work. It will not trigger any notes, only control the expression of the note.
MIDI-OX works. I have tested it here when I wrote the tutorial.
I could not see the screens shots you sent earlier. The resolution was too low".
This is my response to him and where I'm at right now :  
I did a video : I recorded my screen. So, you can see what I do directly in the software ! Click here to see it : You will see the same configuration than in your tutorial ! All the midi ports are working. Just, I don't have the "Midi-OX Generated Event" button illuminated : I tried to change the output ... With the one from my soundcard and the one from the midi to USB cable ! I also tried to change the value of the note #. But unfortunately, still nothing ! My question is, what is your material : sound card/midi to usb cable ? And, where do you plug your output ? I guess, that I'm supposed to listen to the sound from the breath controller directly in Midi-OX. But, this is not happening ! I'm I supposed to just bite the device or breath too ? I have some signals just by moving the instrument ... Everything is working except the sound : To make a midi note, as you know : This is what I want ! Maybe the video will help.
Thank You.  Smiley
« Last Edit: Dec 15th, 2018, 4:07pm by Idren » IP Logged


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Re:  Play some drums midi notes with breath c
« Reply #1 on: Jan 9th, 2019, 10:40pm »
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Bonjour Idren,
You seem to have tried most of the things I would have suggested.
I'm not sure a bite sensor is the way to go though as I think it would be very hard to play rapid bass drums.
As you say, you need something that would re-strike the note for the bass drum. ie send a Note On and Off message
You could use any of the wind controllers like the Yamaha WX7, WX11, WX5 or the EWI4000 or EWI 5000 etc.
To use the BC1,2,or 3 you need a synth to convert the pressure to Midi or a Midi Solutions box, but you still need something to send out Note On/Off  
The TEC replaces the BC and the Midi solution converter but it still won't produce a Midi Note On or Note Off message
You might be able to write a MidiOx script to do it, but if you are using  Windows I am happy to try and write a little program to send a Note On with the velocity
based on how fast the CC04 (breath control) increases.
Let me know..........................
For the moment I guess you should focus on using trumpet type breath attacks to trigger it.
(From my trumpet teacher many years past, Barry McKimm....)
Try a hard attack with an unvoiced 'Tar' .
Start with a flat tongue with tip of the tongue at the junction of the front teeth and palate.
To speed up repetition you can just use 't-t-t-t-t-t-t'  
For a softer attack try 'Dar' instead and similarly d-d-d-d-d-d-
Then move on to double tonguing with unvoiced 'Tar-Kar'.
The 'Kar' uses the back of the tongue instead of the tip to provide the explosion.
This way the tongue rocks front to back and then to the front again giving two positions for the attack.
You should be able to go very fast Tar-kar-tar-kar-tar-kar .......
For Triplets try Tar-Dee-Kar  (triple tonguing).
This has the 'Dee' a little back from the Tar but still against the palate.
If nothing else practicing should really annoy everyone trying to enjoy a great French wine at the bar.
Let me know how you get on and if you want me to write the code (what Win version do you have??).
All the best
« Last Edit: Jan 9th, 2019, 10:44pm by Breath » IP Logged
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