I’ve spent many a night thinking about a series of little improvements/hacks that would improve the playability of my beloved instrument. Many of these are software-based ideas to do (hopefully) clever things with the MIDI data stream. I’ll do a separate post on where those are heading soon.
But some of these modification involve changes to the physical instrument itself. These require more of a permanent commitment and so I tend to procrastinate longer before taking the plunge. I started with a few simple aesthetic changes (replacing chrome hardware with black, etc.). The first major upgrade was to add a variation of the embouchure sensor originally developed by Matt “Patchman” Traum. The first photo shows the original version of the EVI mouthpiece. While Matt’s design has the sensor above the mouthpiece, I decided to try placing the sensor below the mouthpiece. It just feels a little more natural and then I don’t have to deal with the whole mustache issue 🙂
I’ve programmed the new controller to add growl to VL70m voices. This was sort of an obvious first experiment but I’m also starting to experiment with some of the other patch parameters – scream, throat formant, tonguing. As with most things, you start with the changes that provide clear in-your-ear audible feedback and then progress to more subtle (musical?) controls.
Bottom line – I’m enjoying the flexibility of the extra dimension of control. And I’m approaching this as discovering new subtleties within an existing instrument rather than treating this as a whole new instrument.