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Triffid

MIDI Controller w/ Volume Expression?

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Hey All... thanks in advance for the help.

 

When I add keyboard tracks to my songs I usually use my Yamaha DCX-660 output through my audio interface with a 1/4 cable, no MIDI control.  But, I found a violin AU plugin for my DAW (GarageBand) that I really like the sound of.  I have an old MIDI controller and it sounds ok, but I don't have any volume expression using it.  That is, I can't increase/lower the volume during the performance/recording like I can with my direct 1/4 cable from my Yamaha.  I can try to do this after the fact, but I enjoy doing it as expression during the recording.  

 

Does anyone know if this is possible through a MIDI controller and, if so, have an example of one that can do it?

 

Thanks,

Triffid

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Could you not use your Yamaha - connected directly to your PC/Mac via USB? Does that work?

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1 hour ago, Alistair S said:

Could you not use your Yamaha - connected directly to your PC/Mac via USB? Does that work?

Good Point! I'll give it a shot... I'm know that is supposed to work for MIDI control, I don't know if the volume on the keyboard would do what I want though.  Thanks.

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Also, are you sure you can't attach an expression pedal to your existing controller? I have a small Axiom 25 and that has connections for sustain and expression pedals. Mind you, it gathers dust mostly these days now I have a Yamaha P115 (which I connect to my PC via USB and to my audio interface for the audio outs - then just switch inputs on my DAW, depending on what I want to do).

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On 2/11/2018 at 06:06, Alistair S said:

Also, are you sure you can't attach an expression pedal to your existing controller? I have a small Axiom 25 and that has connections for sustain and expression pedals. Mind you, it gathers dust mostly these days now I have a Yamaha P115 (which I connect to my PC via USB and to my audio interface for the audio outs - then just switch inputs on my DAW, depending on what I want to do).

I looked, no apparent spot that I could see.  It just has the 1/4" jack where I plugin a sustain pedal.

 

On 2/10/2018 at 22:20, HoboSage said:

Could something like this be useful?  http://www.audiofront.net/MIDIExpression.php  Read the FAQ's.  I don't know about Garageband, but I'm thinking it might be possible to plug your volume pedal into this gizmo to connect to your computer and a full-featured DAW via USB, and maybe use it to control the output level of your plugin or the volume of the MIDI track while you play and record.

 

This may also be informative: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/what-difference-between-midi-volume-expression/

 

 

Thanks... those do look interesting.  Good read too, at least I know it should be possible to control expression through MIDI.

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I have two Novation Launchpad Pro's.   I also have an expression pedal that has no home as I don't have a workstation keyboard anymore.

 

Here are my suggestions if you don't have an expression (volume) pedal input in on your keyboard and are feeding it into a computer.

KMI Softstep

https://www.keithmcmillen.com/products/softstep/

 

Soft Step 1 is nearly identical to SS2 with the exception to the shape of the pedals.  They (SS1) can be had pretty cheap on ebay.

Softstep does have an expression pedal input that can be attached.  KMI also makes an expander which acts as midi merge via usb.

https://www.keithmcmillen.com/products/accessories/

 

 

Nectar also has a product in a similar vein called Pacer with lots of other features.

http://www.nektartech.com/pacer-midi-daw-footswitch-controller.html

 

All that being said.... Volume is not the same as pressure sensitivity.  All volume does is increase or decrease the volume.  Continuous Pressure operates differently.  It's not just the volume level but the intensity of the note over time.  Like a real Violin or Trumpet.  In days gone by Breath Controllers were an add on for expensive keyboards.  Those days are gone.  If you want maximum expression you may wish to rethink your instrument.

 

 

I had a linnstrument and until it crapped out on me then Roger Linn left me in the cold didn't honor the warranty I threw in the towel.

 

There are quite a number of mpe (multi-polyphonic-expression) devices on the market.  KMI's K-board pro is quite impressive and it's doubtful that the price range would be near a Roli Seaboard

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Sorry I missed this first time. I assume that you got your answer by now?

 

I looked at the specs of your Yamaha and it says USB to Host, which I would expect to mean MIDI out (though odd that there isn't a single mention of MIDI in any of the specs of that piano). 

 

It certainly should be able to have expression read by Garageband. I still use an old Beringer USB controller that is full sized, and while not as lovely to look at as a nice digital piano, does such a great job I am never in a hurry to replace, no matter how many times I visit a Piano shop to think about it. It plays perfectly with Logic Pro and I definately used it with Garageband. It allows for full expression to be recorded faithfully. 

 

It was very cheap to be honest and has put up with a lot. I would be suprised that any controller wouldn't pass expression to a DAW.

 

Depends if you want to spend money I guess, it always seems to come down to that. I am probably going to make the plunge soon and I love the idea of MIDI over Bluetooth. A nice Yamaha piano with Bluetooth sound pretty cool to me. The less wires the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was looking for something simple when I began my journey into foot controllers.  I wanted a simple sustain pedal for my Launchpad Pro's  I have an old expression pedal and a sustain pedal intended for keyboards (1/4 inch ins) but there are no ports for them on the back.  I went and got a korg nano key studio because I like knobs, buttons and an x,y pad.  Has all that but also there are times where I don't want to take my hands off the pads to hold a note.   Then I looked at my finances and fell in love with playing the guitars I already own.

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Thanks, all!  I haven't found an answer for this yet.... but will read through the suggestions and see what I can find.  I'm honestly still not sure what I need :S

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