Sunday, August 19, 2012

More EWI tricks - adding 4 part harmonies with EWIVoicing

Got some time to play more with the Akai EWI-USB MIDI wind instrument and put together a funk piece. Still getting the techniques down but used some very interesting software in this one:

I put the piece together in Logic 9 and used WIVI Band for the sounds (Trumpets, trombones, Tenor Sax and Clarinet). WIVI Band is a scaled down version of the Wallander software modeled instruments giving you several of the best instruments in the set which sound pretty realistic particularly when you can use breath controls for expression.

I also came across a very cool application (Mac only), that creates harmonies for any scale you specify and lets you spread them across multiple MIDI channels and consequently multi instruments. This lets you play a brass section all at once in harmony! Very impressive program and its free. Its made in Japan with a semi-broken english page available but I got most of it figured out. The program is EWIVoicing and runs as a stand-alone application on OSX.

This makes using it in Logic a little different than a plugin. You have to use a virtual MIDI port which you set up in the MIDI control panel:

The 4 MIDI channels for the 4 parts is perfect for WIVI band which provides 4 MIDI channels for each instance of the plugin. All you have to do is select one instrument in each tab in WIVI Band, fire up the EWIVoicing and select the desired scale, octave and algorithm to use. Now when you play on the EWI, all 4 parts come right in! 

I used it for the ensemble part of the piece above. I also added solo tracks for Tenor sax and Trumpet. Still learning the tool but I was pretty happy with the sound. Won't fool any jazz musicians but I think the parts sound reasonably realistic. 

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