xylophone possible?

xylophone possible?

Postby ericzang » Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am

I'm interested in buying the aerodrums, but would like to mainly use it for xylophone type instruments. I would like to use about 10 or more notes.

Is this possible to setup currently, or perhaps with planned future versions?

Ideally I would like to use the midi out function and play Kontakt.

This looks amazing, thanks very much!
ericzang
 
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Re: xylophone possible?

Postby Sipaliwini » Fri May 30, 2014 10:32 pm

A few people asked us about using Aerodrums as a xylophone at NAMM, but we still haven't tried it yet (none of us is a competent xylophonist), so I cannot give you a definitive answer.

It is definitely possible to try it in the current state of the program, but you would have to work around the drum specific features:
1) You would have to add enough pieces to your "drum kit" to have enough keys. The pieces display as preset icons of different sizes that can overlap if placed near to each other. This won't be ideal when using the display to aim your strikes. Consciously picking smaller pieces (e.g. cowbell, ride bell, splashes, but not ride or crashes) will help in that respect
2) While the program is able to discriminate 10+ strike regions arranged on a single horizontal line, it is hard to predict how difficult you will find it to consistently strike the regions you intend
3) Because Aerodrums currently doesn't have a feature to assign a custom MIDI note to a drum kit piece, you will have to create the mapping manually in Kontakt, by looking up the pieces you chose to use in Aerodrums' MIDI table ( you can find it at http://aerodrums.com/manual/#midi-map )

I know this all sounds daunting for now, but I really wish you tried it, as we hope to eventually provide a dedicated xylophone mode.
Sipaliwini
 
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Re: xylophone possible?

Postby ericzang » Sat May 31, 2014 2:48 pm

Thanks much for the reply. I'm browsing the manual to get more of an understanding how I might set it up.

About overlap I read: "Because Aerodrums can distinguish between near and far drums, it is not a problem if drum icons overlap significantly on the screen." But will overlap be an issue when arranging elements in a horizontal line? That is, if there is overlap horizontally two elements will be triggered at once?

If that is true, then using smaller elements will be important. I don't know the number of smaller elements available. If I want more smaller elements, can I use the new or duplicate element function?

If so, then in the drum kit editing screen and a new element is created, or an element is duplicated, does this new or duplicated element also get assigned a new midi note number?

I'm am not specifically a xylophone/mallet player, so I am happy to arrange the elements in ways other than the piano keyboard. For example I would like to play african marimba sounds, gamelan instruments, etc. Perhaps the elements could be in 2-3 rows of 3-5 elements each, or a circular pattern like a hang drum, or a semi circular arrangement around me. Such arrangements may allow me to use larger elements instead of needing lots of the smallest ones.

Thanks again!
ericzang
 
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Re: xylophone possible?

Postby Sipaliwini » Sat May 31, 2014 4:48 pm

ericzang wrote:About overlap I read: "Because Aerodrums can distinguish between near and far drums, it is not a problem if drum icons overlap significantly on the screen." But will overlap be an issue when arranging elements in a horizontal line? That is, if there is overlap horizontally two elements will be triggered at once?


This comment in the manual is about the fact that Aerodrums' display of the drum kit elements is 2D. We didn't want users to feel like they shouldn't position their drums in 3D (using more or less reach) just because they look like they are overlapping a lot. Striking with one stick can never trigger two elements at once. Only the element whose center is nearest to the strike location will trigger. What I meant with my previous post is this: if you pick the cowbell to represent the E slab, the ride for F and the ride bell for G, when you place them equally distant from each other on a horizontal line, they will behave the way you expect, but visually you will have the illusion that you are more likely to hit F, because the ride icon looks so much bigger and overlaps the cowbell and ride bell icons.

Currently, all the element types except the ride bell have a display size that is bigger than what you would expect a xylophone slab to be, including the smaller ones which are cowbell, splash and very high tom. And it is not possible to change an element's icon.

About the MIDI assignment, you can see in Aerodrums' MIDI table that some element types can appear twice or more, (e.g. splash). In your drum kit element list, when you have several elements of the same type, their MIDI note is determined by the order in which they appear. We are not satisfied with the current logical link between an element (which must have samples), and the MIDI event sent. We are working on a drum kit composition interface that will be more friendly to MIDI users.

ericzang wrote:I'm am not specifically a xylophone/mallet player, so I am happy to arrange the elements in ways other than the piano keyboard. For example I would like to play african marimba sounds, gamelan instruments, etc. Perhaps the elements could be in 2-3 rows of 3-5 elements each, or a circular pattern like a hang drum, or a semi circular arrangement around me. Such arrangements may allow me to use larger elements instead of needing lots of the smallest ones.
Thanks again!


Definitely, the closer you arrangement matches a drum kit, the less contrived your interface will feel. As we add features to the instrument composition side of Aerodrums (assignable MIDI note, custom icons etc), it will be less and less the case. Sorry I cannot give dates.
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