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Discussion Starter #1
I’m thinking about getting one of these for live playing and recording. How easy are they for a sax player to play? Can I connect a midi to usb cord to it and get all my Logic Pro x sounds my rig is gonna be Apollo duo with MacBook Pro line out to board. Any input would be appreciated thanks
 

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Easy to play if you acclimate to the super light action and adjust the wind sensitivity to your liking. You cannot just plug into a MacBook and Logic without a MIDI/USB interface like those offers by iRig or Focusrite. Sounds that respond well to Breath Control are usually customized. Check out Patchman Music!
 

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Yep, real easy. Takes a while to get used to all the extra octave keys, though they're lots of fun when you do. And it's a real kick sounding like a flute, drum, or pipe organ. But it doesn't really respond or feel like a sax.
 

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Yea I put in a call to him today . He fixed my old wx 11 and it played for a few months before breaking again . I bought that one from an idiot on this forum who sold it to me broken and then said he wouldn’t take it back. Patchman lives like 10 minutes from my house but didn’t want to really deal with me in person. He finally agreed to let me take it over to”fix” it. I heard that it is possible to run a midi cord straight out of the wx5 into a usb but your telling me it’s not possible . Just wondering if anyone really has tried this and if it works good or not . Patchman’s used prices are almost the same as brand new prices and I wasn’t that impressed with my last transaction with him
 

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I have had the Lyricon, WX 11, WX 5, EWI 5000 and now the AE10. If you want to connect to a Mac, which I do, you will need a midi interface with the WX but you don't need one with the AE 10. I played sax for 20 years and then only wind controller for 20 and just recently got back into tenor, alto and clarinet. Still like the AE the best but it is a different beast compared to the sax. I took about 2 years of research and following the AE until I sprung. I would not sell the AE 10 G but sold all the others.
 

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Oh sorry, I checked and mine is actually the WX-11. Not sure how it differs from the WX-5. Hmm, maybe I'll haul it out and play it tomorrow....
 

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I've got a WX and I've had other electronic wind gizmos. But like 3dogie, I much prefer my Roland Aerophone AE-10 now. Some nice internal sounds, battery powered, very sax-like fingering but with extra octaves up and down. I don't connect it to my Mac and play other sounds. If that's a requirement, I can't comment on that. Maybe 3dogie can say some more about that. But I've played the AE-10 several times at a regular jam and the audience and other players liked it. Check out the Aerophone thread before you make a purchase decision.
 

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Thanks for all of your input . Yea I’m looking to connect the wx5 to my MacBook so I can use the sounds from logic so I don’t have to get a tone generator. I’d like the Roland but really don’t want to spend big bucks for it ... yet but the do look cool the sounds in logic are wonderful and I think if I can do it I’d save 500 and be just as happy . Hope somebody has done it and can share their experience with it
 

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Thanks for all of your input . Yea I’m looking to connect the wx5 to my MacBook so I can use the sounds from logic so I don’t have to get a tone generator. I’d like the Roland but really don’t want to spend big bucks for it ... yet but the do look cool the sounds in logic are wonderful and I think if I can do it I’d save 500 and be just as happy . Hope somebody has done it and can share their experience with it
When I had my WX 5 I used the midi out portion of a mi.1 https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-MID...qid=1538708134&sr=8-9&keywords=bluetooth+midi to interface with my Mac via bluetooth le. The WX5 has a powered midi out. I cut the midi in portion off so it didn't dangle around. It also worked on the EWI 5000. That way you have wireless midi.
 

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I have a WX5 and I connect it using an iRig Midi interface which supports USB or Lightning for my iPad. I also connect to my computer through the Midi in on my presonus audio interface. If you want a lower cost, USB based controller, the Akai EWI USB is an option. I chose the WX5 because it is more sax like than the EWI. The Aerophone wasn't out when I picked up the WX5.

I control sound plugins in my DAW and iPad only...no external hardware based sound sources. It can still cost you some bucks though as most sample based plugins are not wind controller friendly. And the ones that are can cost you. Synths are much more playable. Both are a ton of fun though...even if samplers don't quite respond the way you'd want.

Check out TonyOstinato on YouTube. His videos are great and he plays a WX5.
 

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Check out TonyOstinato on YouTube. His videos are great and he plays a WX5.
Tony is a true master and has taken it to the highest level but his work is on a PC. I tried to reverse engineer it on a Mac using a AE 10 but didn’t get far as some of the plug ins are not availbe for Mac. Also you need to use an WX5 as he programmed some keys to send patch changes.
 

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I use a WX7 with a couple iOS devices and my laptop. I have a $30 MIDI Plus 2x2 interface from Amazon...2 in, 2 out. Works great with the laptop or iPhone/iPad. It's class compliant so no separate drivers are necessary. The laptop is the most convenient synth host for me, there are quite a few free VST synths out there and some of them are very good. Ichiro Toda's Synth1 is amazing with the wind controller. Very expressive. I also like MinimogueVA, Memory Moon's Messiah ($30), Podolski, and a few others. I prefer the "electronic" sounds, especially the more old school synth stuff.

I can also MIDI my WX7 to my DW8000 and a Yamaha MU50 sound module. With just those 4 pieces of hardware (controller, DW8000, MU50, and laptop), there's a vast range of noises I can make. It's also nice to have a keyboard controller for plunking out chords and stuff.
 

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I have a two WX-5's and two VL70M's (one with the Patchman chip) so that I always have a backup. I've hooked up the WX5 directly to a couple of my keyboards; however, using the PCM sampled sound sources did not play or sound realistic. The physical modeling sounds in the VL70- Yamaha Virtual Acoustic Tone Generator, specifically designed for the wind controller, are very responsive and sufficiently realistic for the praise band I play with every Sunday. The WX5 has multiple fingering setups - I have mine set for saxophone (option c) with alternate fingerings enabled. Setting the wind and lip sensor adjustments are critical to obtaining a realistic feel. There are numerous important differences with the WX5 versus playing my tenor or alto sax:

- The fingering on the WX5 is very fast and light;
- The WX5 takes nominal lip pressure on the plastic read, so you don't need to have much of an embouchure to play it;
- The WX5 take very little air to produce a sound (depending upon the breath sensor settings) so you don't need a strong set of lungs
- The number of sounds available to play are only limited by the sound module - the VL70m has 256 presets and 64 custom settings
- The Patchman Sounds, especially the sax sounds, are much more realistic that the V70m presets.

To get more realistic performances, I play within the normal range of the instrument and articulate the notes consistent with the instrument being emulated - for example, I get a more realistic trombone performance using the pitch bender on the WX5 which extends the pitch bending beyond what is available from the cantilever under the reed, and avoiding rapid note changes.

Having said all that, I don't think anyone will mistake the wind controller for my tenor sax any more than they will mistake my Korg keyboard for our baby grand piano.
 

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I have a two WX-5's and two VL70M's (one with the Patchman chip) so that I always have a backup. I've hooked up the WX5 directly to a couple of my keyboards; however, using the PCM sampled sound sources did not play or sound realistic. The physical modeling sounds in the VL70- Yamaha Virtual Acoustic Tone Generator, specifically designed for the wind controller, are very responsive and sufficiently realistic for the praise band I play with every Sunday. The WX5 has multiple fingering setups - I have mine set for saxophone (option c) with alternate fingerings enabled. Setting the wind and lip sensor adjustments are critical to obtaining a realistic feel. There are numerous important differences with the WX5 versus playing my tenor or alto sax:

- The fingering on the WX5 is very fast and light;
- The WX5 takes nominal lip pressure on the plastic read, so you don't need to have much of an embouchure to play it;
- The WX5 take very little air to produce a sound (depending upon the breath sensor settings) so you don't need a strong set of lungs
- The number of sounds available to play are only limited by the sound module - the VL70m has 256 presets and 64 custom settings
- The Patchman Sounds, especially the sax sounds, are much more realistic that the V70m presets.

To get more realistic performances, I play within the normal range of the instrument and articulate the notes consistent with the instrument being emulated - for example, I get a more realistic trombone performance using the pitch bender on the WX5 which extends the pitch bending beyond what is available from the cantilever under the reed, and avoiding rapid note changes.

Having said all that, I don't think anyone will mistake the wind controller for my tenor sax any more than they will mistake my Korg keyboard for our baby grand piano.
 

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I have played WX7, 11, and 5 and I find 5 to be the best and most versatile of the three.

I have a WX5 setup guide in my "Tips and Tricks" section http://www.nortonmusic.com/wx5.html feel free to use what you want from that page.

I prefer the WX with hardware synths, especially the VL70m with the Patchman Turbo Chip. The VL70 with it's physical modeling synthesis makes it feel like you are actually playing an instrument instead of controlling a synth. Plus the latency with a hardware synth is usually less (almost zero).

I have some very old WX/VL clips here http://www.nortonmusic.com/clips.html - the fidelity is poor as the recording technology was and it was also the days of dial-up modems so the bandwidth is narrow, but you can get a feel of what the VL can do.

Art at WindWorks Design used to build and offer a phantom power supply with a regular MIDI out for Yamaha Wind Conttrollers http://www.windworksdesign.com/music_wwbat.php but he is no longer selling them. You might find a used one somewhere.

The WX5 also uses batteries (get rechargeables please) or a 'wall wart' power supply and has a MIDI out so the Windworks product just gets rid of either one cable or batteries in the WX.

How easy to play? Depends on the synth you are using. Fingering is easy, breath is easy, lipping is easy, sax fingerings with just a few minor differences are easy to adapt to. If you play sax, the biggest adaptation would be learning to play the synthesizer itself (whichever one you choose, and they are all different)

People on this forum https://www.patchmanmusic.com/forum/ are friendly and helpful and some have more experience with soft synths and macs.

Have fun with it.

Notes
 
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