TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Tell Your Friends about Gear that you love

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

User avatar
ecurb
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:37 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Sydney Australia
Contact:

TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by ecurb » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:44 pm

Hi guys,

I don't generally go on about gear. I really don't. But I've been having too much fun with my last couple of hardware additions not to share. I am mostly using both of these for orchestral virtual instrument mockups. Though I can see either of them being pretty cool for other synth type sounds too.

Firstly, I've added a breath controller. Not the kind with keys on it, I'm not a real wind instrument player - just the type that you blow into and that lets you map your breath pressure to CC1, or 2, or 11, or whatever your particular virtual instrument uses to control dynamics. The one I got is from a company called TeControl. I lashed out and got their deluxe model which tracks and maps the tilt of your head and how hard you're biting on the mouthpiece as well as your breath pressure. As you'd expect, this thing is just great for woodwinds and brass.

Second, I got a thing called Leap Motion, that's been around a few years now. It's basically a USB motion sensor that you sit down anywhere flat, like on your desktop, and it can track exactly the position and angle of your hands as you move them over the top of it. The cool thing for musicians is when you hook it up with a program called GecoMIDI that lets you map those motions to MIDI controller data of your choosing. From there you can do pretty much what you want with it; just for basics, I've immediately found it to be really effective for putting life into sustained string patches. Set it up so lifting or lowering your hand controls the dynamics. If the patch has separate control for vibrato, set that to respond to moving your hand towards/away from yourself.

In both cases, it can get a lot funkier - depends what kind of controls your virtual instruments support and what exactly you want to do with them. I'm just using these tools with "conventional" sample libraries (almost exclusively EastWest) at present. Aside from some very clever stuff a fellow called Chet Singer did for Reaktor, I don't have any of the new generation of physical modeling instruments - if I did I'm sure I'd be even more hooked on what this hardware can do. But even with the older style of libraries, I am finding this pair of gizmos to be a serious time saver. Makes it so much easier, quicker and more intuitive to get the kind of expression I want into orchestral instruments.

Anyway, that's enough of a rant. For anyone who's working with orchestral sounds a lot and who doesn't have something like this happening already, I really recommend doing a bit of Google searching, there are plenty of Youtube videos out there showing what you can do with these things. Cross reference breath controls and/or Leap Motion with sample modeling if you really want to be impressed :-)

Thanks for reading,
Bruce.

User avatar
davekropf
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:08 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by davekropf » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:16 am

Gah! I'm so on the fence about getting a breath controller for CC11. Must... control... wallet...

Thanks for the review!

User avatar
annayarbrough
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 1273
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:18 pm
Gender: Female
Location: New York City
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by annayarbrough » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:20 am

Suuuper interesting.

User avatar
davekropf
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:08 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by davekropf » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:52 am

Yeah, I've been looking for an effective CC11 controller for a while because knobs, sliders, and pedals (oh my!) just don't cut it for me.

User avatar
hummingbird
Total Pro
Total Pro
Posts: 6892
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:50 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by hummingbird » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:32 am

I have a wind controller already but I'm sure interested in Leap Motion & GecoMIDI. That sounds really cool :) I have the nobs on the keyboard controller and have expression etc I can add in the DAW. But to be able to 'play' with a real movement and have it mapped into Midi.... definitely gonna check that out and get it on the wish list!
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

Link: Vikki Flawith Music

jonnybutter
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 826
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:37 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by jonnybutter » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:52 am

I have had the TEControl breath controller for a couple years, and although I think it's kind of expensive for what it is physically, it does work well (and I understand it's a niche product, and that you are also paying for the software utility, which is good).

For expressive MIDI, it's hard to beat a breath controller. Have seen the Leap Motion but no experience yet. Intrigued, but other things on the to-buy list before that! Thumbs mostly up for the TEControl thojgh

User avatar
davekropf
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:08 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by davekropf » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:00 am

jonnybutter wrote:I have had the TEControl breath controller for a couple years, and although I think it's kind of expensive for what it is physically, it does work well (and I understand it's a niche product, and that you are also paying for the software utility, which is good).

For expressive MIDI, it's hard to beat a breath controller. Have seen the Leap Motion but no experience yet. Intrigued, but other things on the to-buy list before that! Thumbs mostly up for the TEControl thojgh
You say, "mostly up." What keeps you from giving it a full-throated recommendation?

jonnybutter
Committed Musician
Committed Musician
Posts: 826
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:37 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by jonnybutter » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:48 am

You say, "mostly up." What keeps you from giving it a full-throated recommendation?
Only that I think it's a little expensive for what it physically is. But that, and the fact that it's not super robust physically, are only small small side beefs. The TEControl breath controller works very well, and is WELL worth it if you get into it and use it. A breath controller is just an awesome thing for MIDI. I'd also note that Yamaha doesn't make them anymore, so it's either a TEControl for $100-200 or a very expensive one the name of which escapes me at the moment (german name I think). That other one is something like $800-900 :shock:

User avatar
mojobone
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 11758
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 4:20 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Up in Indiana, where the tall corn grows
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by mojobone » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:33 pm

Now I want to dig out my old Yamaha breath controller, which is in a box somewhere since the last move, I theenk. It weighs all of an ounce and you don't wanna know what I paid for it.
The Straight Stuff; Roots, Rock & Soul

http://twangfu.wordpress.com
http://twitter.com/mojo_bone

User avatar
Kolstad
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 4344
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:19 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: TeControl Breath Controller and Leap Motion

Post by Kolstad » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:20 am

That Leap Motion & GecoMIDI made me think of the Theremin. Wonder how much the theme for Barnaby has grossed!? :D

Going to get one of those. Its just too cool to not have tried.

The breath controller has been on my shortlist for years, now Im going to plunge in. Wonder if it is useful to get the one with the bite or just the regular one, any experiences? I think there is also one where you can assign additional CC's when you move the head to the side and more, but I can't remember the company. Maybe a japanese one..

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest