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Using aftertouch on stage: your experiences, please!


Ashville.Guru

Using Aftertouch Live  

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  1. 1. Using Aftertouch Live

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Hey all,

 

My new Arturia controller is the first keyboard I've had with aftertouch, and I've been programming sounds and patches to make use of this over the past week. Exclusively for live playing. And this got me wondering: how many here have used aftertouch on stage? In what ways?

 

I'm interested in stories of how it's augmented your musical expression, and your experience with it in general.

 

- Guru

This is really what MIDI was originally about encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith
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Yes I use it on certain sounds, can be useful depending on what you program it to do, the classic one being pitch modulation on pads and leads, but obviously there are many applications.
Roland Fantom G6, D-70, JP-8000, Juno-106, JV-1080, Moog Minitaur, Korg Volca Keys, Yamaha DX-7. TG33, Logic Pro, NI plugs, Arturia plugs etc etc
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Aftertouch is a natural extension of keyboardplaying for me. I love the extra expressiveness and miss it when it's not there.

 

It's also the one thing that Roland did better then everyone else. For me, anyway.

 

I typically route it to modulation, but sometimes to FX as well.

 

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Aftertouch is a natural extension of keyboardplaying for me. I love the extra expressiveness and miss it when it's not there.

 

It's also the one thing that Roland did better then everyone else. For me, anyway.

 

I typically route it to modulation, but sometimes to FX as well.

 

Funny what you say about Roland as I agee their programming options for aftertouch are very well done, but on my D-70 AT is great but on the Fantom G it's a bit of a hard press to get it going! Haha, oh well.

Roland Fantom G6, D-70, JP-8000, Juno-106, JV-1080, Moog Minitaur, Korg Volca Keys, Yamaha DX-7. TG33, Logic Pro, NI plugs, Arturia plugs etc etc
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Depends on the keyboard in use.

 

The aftertouch response on my trusty DX7mkIIFD and my KX76 is unacceptable and you might break your fingers or a key.

Both never happened though,- even I used the aftertouch but you don´t have control over specific notes while playing runs and phrases at faster tempo.

With the Kurz PC361 I use it all the time but have to be very carefull not hitting the keys too hard when aftertouch is active but don´t want it to kick in.

It´s a bit hard to have control over it and it needs some practise.

My 88 weighted keys board has no AT.

 

A.C.

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I love aftertouch primarily when I am playing orchestrally or carrying sustained leads. (Not in a jazz trio.) It's just something to extra have in your bag of tricks, when you are not playing very pianistically.

 

The two specific applications that work for me are:

 

1-Some kind of vibrato or chorusing

2-Some kind of timbral change when you dig in (bring in an inharmonic partial or change the pulse-width or something)

 

These small changes seem to happen after the note is struck. For big swells and wahs I prefer a footpedal.

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I use aftertouch live a lot, especially on leads. One example: my Genesis band does Squonk and I use aftertouch to "bend up" that lead sound that runs behind the vocal. In other places, I use it to add emphasis or bring in vibrato or other effects. I would never own a keyboard that didn't have it.

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

My Genesis Tribute Band: www.sellingfairfaxbythepound.com

 

 

 

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For big swells and wahs I prefer a footpedal.

 

Since the PC361 became my prefered synth action controller, I appreciate the option adressing MOD wheel and AT for the same purpose, so when I don´t have a hand free to operate the MOD wheel I use the AT.

I agree on footpedals for swells and wah,- that´s why I use 2 expression pedals w/ the PC3.

I also use all the switch/ ft-switch options and the ribbon controller devided into 3 sections to get different physical controllers for different ZONEs/MIDI channels.

 

A.C.

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After-touch onstage, especially in a 2nd "top" tier board is practically a requirement for me, unless I'm playing organ. The really funny thing is, I didn't even realize how many boards today didn't come with after-touch until the op posed this question! How times have changed!

----------------------------------------------------------

 

Gig: Yamaha MODX7, NumaCompact 2x Studio: Kawai ES-920; Hammond SK Pro 73; Yamaha Motif ES7 w/DX,VL,VH; Roland Fantom S; Kawai MP-6

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I use it a lot on both my S70XS and Stage. Mostly for modulation/vibrato type stuff. I'd rather have it done with aftertouch than using the mod wheel when I'm also trying to pitch bend on a lead.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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In addition to the uses that everyone has mentioned (which are my more common use of aftertouch) I just programmed a marimba sound the other day to introduce a roll on AT. I'm looking forward to using it live soon. I use AT a lot on my 61 key top board, but really don't use it on my 88. Of course, my 88 is used mainly for piano and EP type sounds.

 

One word of warning though: once you get used to aftertouch you won't want to do without it. And few boards below the flagship models have it anymore. :(

Live rig: Roland FA-08, Yamaha MOTIF ES 6, laptop for supplemental sounds.
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It's important enough to me that I won't own a synth that doesn't have it. I've tried and I simply can't deal with them. It drives me nuts that synths I'm lusting over don't come with it...

 

I also think that a synth company that cheaps out and markets a $2000.00 synth and doesn't include it are screwing over their customers simply to lower costs. (Do you hear me Roland?)

 

..Joe

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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Depends on the keyboard in use.

 

The aftertouch response on my trusty DX7mkIIFD and my KX76 is unacceptable and you might break your fingers or a key.

Both never happened though,- even I used the aftertouch but you don´t have control over specific notes while playing runs and phrases at faster tempo.

With the Kurz PC361 I use it all the time but have to be very carefull not hitting the keys too hard when aftertouch is active but don´t want it to kick in.

It´s a bit hard to have control over it and it needs some practise.

My 88 weighted keys board has no AT.

 

A.C.

 

Al Coda nails it(thought it was just me) as regards to finger breaking after touch pressures on the venerable DX7ii. Old ancient Korg Prophecy has the best AT I've felt so far, and when it's right it feels very natural, adds some expression, and best of all transmits to anything that's ready for it.

Polyphonic aftertouch is the grail for some AT people but I've yet to experience it.

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See. Told ya!

 

Cool thing these days is that AT easily maps to VST's and apps that can graphically display AT while you're playing. Helps a lot when learning how to control it or verify that it's there.

(A polyaftertouch Realtime display would probably make my head explode.)

 

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I used it more in the past when both my keyboards supported it. Now I only have it on my Stage 2 88 and you really have to dig in on that key bed.

 

A couple setups ago I had a Roland VR-760 as my top board, which had a great feeling waterfall keyboard that also supported after touch. I would frequently assign Leslie speed to AT ..I know...Hammond heresy. But it let me kick in the Leslie with one hand and was quite "natural" to me.

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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I used it most in my old rig when I wasn't using a pedal. I find it can be tricky to get good control range with it. A lot of times, I'd treat it more as on/off than continuous. Foot pedal is much better for wide ranges of control. But still, for some things, it's more natural than trying to combine with foot pedal movements, especially in a 2-tier setup with multiple sustain pedals.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I got so used to having aftertouch on my Kurzweils that when I got the Electro 3 I missed it. I have all three actions in the PC3 series, and it IS easiest to control on the 76 key "lightly-weighted" board; but it still works well on all three.

 

I use a lot of orchestral patches - and it makes a real difference in the sound. I also run with a CC pedal set usually for volume on each board for easy adjusting my balance in the overall mix.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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Lately I haven't played the kind of music that benefits much from it, as I'm playing almost entirely vintage keyboard sound (for blues & soul).

 

My MR76 has it, and I like it a lot for mod on lead tones. If I used brass patches (ugh) or strings much, I'd want it for swells.

 

I liked the fact that I could change Leslie speed using it, on built-in organ sounds, but those built-in organ sounds don't compare to a clonewheel. No doubt I could have figured out how to map it when I used NIB4, but I didn't.

 

So, I'm somewhere between the 3rd and 4th option, but I picked the 4th. It isn't particularly useful for me now, but I've enjoyed it in the past. I won't dedicate a big budget to it, but I can understand folks who do.

 

Ideally there'd be a 5th option, for "it made a huge difference and is very important to me", which I would not have picked.

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Thanks to everyone for the very interesting posts, do keep them coming...!

 

In addition to the uses that everyone has mentioned (which are my more common use of aftertouch) I just programmed a marimba sound the other day to introduce a roll on AT. I'm looking forward to using it live soon.

Coincidence - that's exactly what I've been doing the past couple of days, but with a sampled Indian instrument, the Santoor (hammered dulcimer), where rolls and bounce notes are very important articulations. Works like a charm, and I can't wait to use it live! Need to put in many hours of practice before, though.. :P

 

(A polyaftertouch Realtime display would probably make my head explode.)

Here you go: this plus this ought to do it...! ;)

 

A lot of posts talk about the difference in sensitivity. The Arturia has a built-in calibration feature, which I found very useful.

 

Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to more experiences.

 

- Guru

This is really what MIDI was originally about encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith
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It's also the one thing that Roland did better then everyone else. For me, anyway.

 

Yeah me too. What Roland gets right is that it's difficult to falsely trigger aftertouch on it's keyboards. Yes it's a bit of a push on the keys to get it going, but that's for a reason.

 

Rolands also do a good job of distinguishing between initial velocity and aftertouch, which can be a problem for me when I'm on other brands. Just playing hard will also trigger aftertouch on my Yamahas (for example).

 

I use it a lot on synth sounds (usually opening up a filter or adding resonance) and love it on my V-Synth - where it's implemented especially well.

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My Alesis Fusion had a decent after touch. The best implementations seem like there's a solid end of key travel on initial strike without engaging AT, then a definite additional travel with some actual travel as opposed to just pressure. You can feel the range of AT travel in the keys so that there is mechanical feedback in addition to audible.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I use it for a lot of stuff. Even used it on organ patches. I setup the aftertouch to switch speeds on the rotary effect..... or turn the phaser shifter on/off on EP patches. Plus a a huge amount of expression related applications like everyone one else uses.

 

Jupiter 50 would have been a kickass board if they would priced it up a little bit and included aftertouch..... still not sure what Roland was thinking.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I use aftertouch live a lot, especially on leads. One example: my Genesis band does Squonk and I use aftertouch to "bend up" that lead sound that runs behind the vocal. In other places, I use it to add emphasis or bring in vibrato or other effects. I would never own a keyboard that didn't have it.

 

Wow you have a Genesis band! Cool! The pitch bend aftertouch trick is good one. As is the leslies speed. Also making FX changes and volume changes too.

 

OT: hey BillW I can see from your sig no Fantoms now, have you gone over the the Kronos fully now?

Roland Fantom G6, D-70, JP-8000, Juno-106, JV-1080, Moog Minitaur, Korg Volca Keys, Yamaha DX-7. TG33, Logic Pro, NI plugs, Arturia plugs etc etc
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Hmm. I seem to have four short, barely related responses to this thread.

 

I also use channel AT all the time on my Fusion. Favorite trick: 1/4-tone bend up in response to pressure, lets me play guitar patches with a very visible guitar-like vibrato.

 

My otherwise very nice AX-Synth uses left hand pressure to send mod wheel, and a knob to send aftertouch. Dumb, dumb, dumb....

 

I had to shop and shop to find a MIDI controller with channel aftertouch, in this case an M-Audio Axiom.

 

I greatly miss the polyphonic aftertouch that was on my now-gone Ensoniq samplers. As far as I can tell, polyphonic AT is no longer sold, true?

-Tom Williams

{First Name} {at} AirNetworking {dot} com

PC4-7, PX-5S, AX-Edge, PC361

 

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Here's my experiences:

 

Roland JX-10: Works just okay for brightening the filter, but have to practically stand on it to activate. Dedicated slider just above the pitch paddle is nice. Wish it was more sensitive.

 

Korg 707: Only 49 keys but great keybed for synths. AT is best for vibrato...filter is just so...plasticky on this pure FM engine.

 

Yamaha SY77: AT is very useful as pitch bend, filter sweeps, and vibrato, if just a tad too sensitive.

 

Yamaha EX5: WAAAAYYY too sensitive! So easy to set it up to modulate any parameter, but constantly accidentally trigger it. Wound up disengaging AT on most of the patches. Heck, with three wheels, a short ribbon, and six programmable knobs, AT is nice but not always needed.

 

Roland Fantom X6 & 7: Nearly perfect AT feel for my tastes. A tad stiff for some, maybe. Someone earlier mentioned triggering rotary...yep, love it. Filter, vibrato, pitch bend works great for me and generally only activates when I want it to. Use it at every gig.

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I use aftertouch live a lot, especially on leads. One example: my Genesis band does Squonk and I use aftertouch to "bend up" that lead sound that runs behind the vocal. In other places, I use it to add emphasis or bring in vibrato or other effects. I would never own a keyboard that didn't have it.

 

Ditto - I use my XP30 to bend notes on the Verghese ProSoloist Rack+ - ironic, using and 90's keyboard and rack to replicate the aftertouch on a 70's synth!

 

Bill W - bend "up"? :confused: Also in Los Endos?

Also used in Entangled for the aftertouch vibrato.......

 

R

Alan

Yamaha CP70B;Roland XP30/AXSynth/Fantom/FA76/XR;Hammond XK3C SK2; Korg Kronos 73;ProSoloist Rack+; ARP ProSoloist; Mellotron M4000D; GEM Promega2; Hohner Pianet N, Roland V-Grand,Voyager XL, RMI
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