The YDS-150 effectively emulates an authentic saxophone experience digitally—from the sound and key layout to feedback from the instrument—while maintaining the sense of unity between the saxophone and musician. The Digital Saxophone breaks the barrier to entry for new or returning musicians providing the ability to quickly express themselves creatively and musically.Unlike MIDI Wind Controllers, the YDS-150 incorporates a key structure that replicates that of a traditional saxophone, offering players the natural feel to which they are accustomed. A genuine brass bell enhances the acoustic presence of the instrument thanks to the company’s new proprietary Integrated Bell Acoustic System technology. The sound and vibration of the speaker unit at the top of the instrument are transmitted to the bell through the sound pipe, and in turn, the instrument itself vibrates similarly to a traditional saxophone. Vibrations are carried to the mouth and fingertips through the mouthpiece and keys to give players authentic instrumental feedback. What’s more, the Digital Saxophone sings with longer reverberation thanks to the brass bell, making it possible for musicians to play in a naturally expressive way.

EWI Solo

How do you take the venerable Akai EWI, and make it total garbage? You strip away the wireless, make it longer, and give it a shitty speaker.

For your pleasure, the “geniuses” at Akai have brought forth…..the EWI Solo.

Sheet Of The Week – Yellow (Coldplay)

One of my favorite songs. So simple….so great.

  Yellow by Coldplay for Eb Instruments (103.1 KiB, 7 hits)
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  Yellow by Coldplay for Bb Instruments (103.6 KiB, 3 hits)
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Pedalboard 4.0

Covid-19 lockdown has lead to some experimentation. And some rethinking of what I wanted the pedal board to be able to do.

First, when doing gigs, sometimes you get a venue where they insist on doing their own sound. Fine. But then they have a “board” which has 16 inputs. And the keyboard player needs stereo input. And so does the guitarist. And the singer’s multi-effects pedal is stereo. And so…..there are now no inputs left. So the EWI you brought along can’t be used.

OR the venue has a “sound guy” who’s really just there for the free drinks and the people. The “sound guy” is not going to be adjusting any volumes. Well, depends if he has a drink or not.

And….what if you want to run the EWI through an effects chain? And the sax? Can you do both at the same time?

Pedalboard 1.0 attempted to address this by using the Eventide MixingLink. However, I could never get the volumes of the two inputs to be close to the same. Generally, the sax mic was a lot louder than the EWI. Even with the MXR MicroAmp on it, it was sort of hit and miss.

Pedalboard 2.0 didn’t really fix the problem of the EWI, and introduced a POG, and a Pageturner.

Pedalboard 3 ushered in a smaller board, and me giving up on trying to get the EWI on the effects chain. Pedalboard 3.1 had some changes. I dumped the POG, added a reverb, and made an Arduino page turner. The EWI was still not included.

Which now brings us to Pedalboard 4.0……

Continue reading Pedalboard 4.0

Vindor ES2 Wind Controller

If you can forgive the Youtube videos they have up of a guy clearly in need of some serious Jonathan Van Ness intervention, a company called Vindor has a intriguing, reasonably priced wind controller that is actually shipping. I believe they had a version 1 of this but I never heard of it.

Anyhow, it features:

  1. Louder integrated speaker with clearer sound*.
  2. Use MIDI, built-in oscillators, internal physical model or sample player (using SD card).
  3. Pitch bending and effects through gestures.
  4. USB-C connector*.
  5. MIDI through USB or DIN via inexpensive external adapter*.
  6. Works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  7. Playback through USB (Vindor ES becomes headphones and microphone).
  8. 4 hours of untethered play time if using headphones.
  9. 1/4″ jack for connecting with amplifiers and effects pedals.
  10. OLED screen for interactive configuration.
  11. HiRes MIDI support provides 14-bit resolution (16000 steps vs 127) for synths that support it.

Sheet Of The Week – Natural (Imagine Dragons)

I haven’t been “regular” on the sheet of the week stuff for a while. Professional career both music and education have been in the way. Though that has NOT meant that I haven’t been doing songs. Far from it. It means I have not had the time nor motivation to make some of the songs “publishable” enough for me to put up. A lot of them just are the melodies with no lyrics. Some have a couple notation things that need fixing. Etc.

Anyhow, here is another one by Imagine Dragons. Enjoy.

  Natural by Imagine Dragons for Eb Instruments (106.3 KiB, 5 hits)
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  Natural by Imagine Dragons for Bb Instruments (109.2 KiB, 2 hits)
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Automating Your Backups

One of the MOST important things to do is backup your music files. It doesn’t matter if you use Finale, Sibelius, Musescore, or whatever. You need to back it up. And sometimes, you need to just backup the whole folder just to have a copy “just in case”.

I’ve been using a script on my Mac to do this. It makes an archive, using Keka, and puts it in a path where it gets Synced to Google Drive. And it will also go through and delete archives older than 100 days. I generally also move things to another folder on Google drive to have a monthly archive of stuff as well.

Anyhow, the script is this. It is triggered by crontab.

cd /Volumes/mygoogledrive/Documents\ Archive/Finale\ Archives/

/Applications/Keka.app/Contents/Resources/keka7z a -t7z -r -m0=lzma2 -mx=9 -mfb=64 -md=32m -ms=on FinaleArchive-$(date '+%Y-%m-%d').7z /Volumes/mygoogledrive/FinaleDocs/

find /Volumes/mygoogledrive/Documents\ Archive/Finale\ Archives/ -type f -name '*.7z' -mtime +100 -delete

UPDATE: Did a little tweaking, moved to using ExpanDrive, and the original script was not working right. Here is the updated one.

ArchiveName=FinaleArchive-$(date '+%Y-%m-%d').7z
/Applications/Keka.app/Contents/Resources/keka7z a -t7z -r -m0=lzma2 -mx=9 -mfb=64 -md=32m -ms=on $ArchiveName /Volumes/GoogleDrive/FinaleDocs/*
mv $ArchiveName /Volumes/GoogleDrive/Documents\ Archive/Finale\ Archives/
find /Volumes/GoogleDrive/Documents\ Archive/Finale\ Archives/ -type f -name '*.7z' -mtime +100 -delete

Since I pay for a google business account, I was using Google Filestream. But this will also work with Google Backup and Sync. Or things like InSync or ExpanDrive (highly recommended). Keep in mind if you use Backup and Sync, or InSync, the archives stay on your computer. Using ExpanDrive or Filestream puts them into a temp space while it gets uploaded to Google. But you can adapt the basic idea to whatever online storage thingy you have. OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.

BUT PLEASE BACKUP. There is NOTHING worse than losing something you have spent hours on. Time Machine, Backblaze, whatever. But do something.

Sheet Of The Week – Real Friends (Camila Cabello)

Gearing up for new gigs and learning new songs…….here is a great song by Camila Cabello.

  Real Friends by Camila Cabello for Eb Instruments (143.0 KiB, 3 hits)
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  Real Friends by Camila Cabello for Bb Instruments (149.5 KiB, 3 hits)
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