Wind Patches for XV (Patchman-Like)

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Wind Patches for XV (Patchman-Like)

Postby Enkerli » 22:28, 4 November 2017

Are there fellow wind players, here? Any insight into building wind-friendly patches and performances?

Just got my first Roland product, the XV-2020. Will really help me build a live setup with wind controllers (Yamaha WX-11 and Eigenharp Pico).
Took me a while to get the editor to work on one of my systems, but it’s now working fine. So, time to work on patches. As a learning experience, it can be fun. Plus it’ll get me to know the device a lot more.

The obvious advice would be for me to get the wind-savvy bank from Matt “Patchman” Traum .

The guy has clearly put a lot of effort in those patches and some of them do sound relatively fitting. It sounds like his emphasis is on realism, which is quite far from my own musicking needs, especially for live situations. And he’s only willing to sell whole banks, not individual patches or performances (did ask through email). Might eventually pony up the money for that bank but, to a teacher trying to learn a couple of tricks, it just feels too weird to pay more than half the price of a device to check on how someone tweaked a couple of parameters. No offense intended at all. The guy sells a quality product, according to the testimonials on his site and a few other places. But that product differs significantly from my needs.

At this point, trying to figure out two things: about chords and CC#2 setup. Would probably like to start from this performance:

Don’t particularly like the sound (would likely change the waveforms), but the harmony and breath control sound fitting enough to give me a head start. If someone has an example patch or performance like this, it could be useful.

In my experience with other wind-enabled synths, the key tends to be to use CC#2 to drive the cutoff frequency of a low-pass filter. That’s one basic trick which gives me fitting results on a variety of devices and softsynths. Did try that on a few XV-2020 patches, increasing the sensitivity to SYS-CTRL 3 which has been assigned to cutoff and level. But the results aren’t yet optimal. From this older thread, it does sound like it’s in the right direction:
Will probably tweak things more, especially with the cutoff offsets. But it’d be nice to get a headstart.

Not quite sure about the chords. To my ear, it doesn’t sound like those are parallel harmonies, meaning that each note might use its own voicing. That might be just an illusion, though. Point is, got no idea how to set up a performance like this. The editor is a bit convoluted, honestly.
Something which is almost a disappointment is that this older device doesn’t do rotating chords (popularized by Michael Brecker), though it does sound like the Roland Fantom XR offers support for those:
Robby Kilgore, who created that effect for Michael Brecker on the Oberheim Xpander, has blogged about this and even created an Arduino-based device for it:

Was able to emulate that effect in Sonic Pi, which does work on a Raspberry Pi. In a way, my Pi-based setup is more advanced than the XV-2020 (not to mention smaller, lighter, battery-powered, and less expensive). But the XV-2020 will likely come in handy for several situations because it’s sturdy and gives direct access to patches through knobs and number display (my Pi setup uses a local web interface).

So… If anyone here has advice, insight, suggestions, or an example file to speed up my exploration of the XV-2020 editor, any help would be greatly appreciated.

— Alex
Posts: 2
Joined: 19:45, 4 November 2017

Re: Wind Patches for XV (Patchman-Like)

Postby rcraven » 00:53, 5 November 2017

The chords are created in Patch mode by using Structure - Mode 1 (all Tones are WG->TVF->TVA) so you can have 4 independent voices per note and are parallel.

You need to get use to setting up breath control.
The quickest way is probably to copy the factory patch of a Sax to the user Patch area and do the BC changes.
The main control that the breath uses is Level or volume
Use the modulation matrix (Matrix Control) for the BC (CC2) Select Source as CC02:Breath.
Destination 1 should be the Level and turn all the Tones ON and set the Sensitivity to suit your playing.
While you are there, you could have a second destination of the TVF and turn on any or all of the tones.
Go to the TVF page of the editor and play with the Cutoff Frequency for each of the Tones.

Now just use Performance mode where you can set the patch of any or all or the Parts (up to 16) to your modified Factory patch.
You need to go to the Performance Midi Settings and change the receive channel for each Part to your controller channel and while you are there you should check that each Part can receive all the different Midi messages (PC BS PB etc).

There is software around that will change your Midi note to a chord.
That is, each note you play will play a different chord - perhaps one not even related to the note.
Send a patch change message a the note to chord map changes.
The output notes of the chord can be different channels.
In performance mode you can set the Parts to different channels and patches.
MidiChords can be as complicated as you want to be.
Although Tony is mainly concerned with imitating acoustic instruments, it is really worth checking this out
Although complicated it is worth watching it all.
If you want to get really serious about this, Tony is the man you want to talk to.
He plays his Reaper/MidiChords setup live (what a great player to keep it all together)

As far as setting up a breath control patch...
eg for 4 saxes, create a patch from the Initial tone in the editor, or better yet start with a factory sax patch but with just 1 tone ON and make it sound like how you want.
Set up the BC as above.
Then go to the Editor menu Edit/Copy/Patch Tone 1 to put Tone 1 into the Clipboard.
Then Edit/Copy/Paste to the other Tones so all 4 Tones are the same.
Turn tones 2 to 4 on as you change the Coarse and/or Fine tune to build your chord.
Go to the TVA Level to balance the sound.
You can also have different WG waves (different sax or a whole different wave) to slightly change the sound of each note.

All the best
Posts: 512
Joined: 14:36, 9 September 2007
Location: Melbourne Australia

Re: Wind Patches for XV (Patchman-Like)

Postby Enkerli » 07:33, 5 November 2017

Thanks for these suggestions, Royce!

Did create a few breath-enabled patches after getting your advice. Started with an oboe patch (bank B, patch 100) and tweaked it to suit my needs a bit more. Then changed the waveforms to get other appropriate patches.

Controlling cutoff frequency has typically been my breath control trick, after discovering some Magellan patches from mkirino01:

Quite like having that effect on a fat sawtooth wave. Simple, yet effective.

A bit sad to hear XV chords are actually parallel. My ears tricked me with that short demo from Alistair Parnell. Tried to pay as much attention as possible but it sounded like some voices were moving differently from others.

Did get quite interested in chorders and harmonizers, a while back. Found mucoder tonespace (VST, AU, and standalone), which works remarkably well as a chorder.
Neat thing about it is that it can produce diverse chords from the same note input. Doesn’t sound like that’s what the TonyOstinato-inspired midiChords plugin from “Insert Piz Here” can do easily.

Been interested in getting closer to the “Michael Brecker Effect” as programmed on the Oberheim XPander by Robby Kilgore:

One implementation is ewiVoicing by Yanase:

Then, there’s Johan Looijenga’s 30€ MIDI Real-Time Harmonizer, based on Max.
Got a free 3-month license to Max thanks to ROLI and might get an academic license afterwards. Will probably try to reproduce the same kind of effect. (A bit like those Patchman packs: would rather create something and learn from the experience than buy someone else’s product. It’s more for the experience than for the money.)

The issue with all of these is that they require a laptop/desktop. Been trying other solutions for that reason.
On iOS, there’s MIDI Rotator from Thomas Gullion.
Found it a bit finicky, but it’s fun when it works.
Some Thor patches, provided by the same mkirino01, allow for a similar effect.

Was able to reproduce the “Michael Brecker Effect” with a simple Sonic Pi script. On a Raspberry Pi 3 with a low-latency sound module (the pisound HAT from Blokas Labs), it works quite well. Makes for a portable, battery-powered setup.

My hope with the XV-2020 was to have that kind of an effect directly on the device. So much for that. Will probably focus that part on the Raspberry Pi.

So, thanks again for your help, Royce! It really got me over a hump. Not sure what was off in my attempts, but your advice convinced me that my approach was the right one. Then, starting from a factory patch made a big difference.


— Alex
Posts: 2
Joined: 19:45, 4 November 2017

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