Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

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danjcla
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Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by danjcla » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:57 am

I'm looking through the fingering charts, and they all seem to be based on other instruments, which are limited by the physics of air, and also which all evolved before scientific research into user interface design was a thing.

I'm wondering if anyone has thought about a fingering chart that would be optimized for the WARBL as its own thing, rather than as an emulation of something else.

Am I correct in thinking that, of the currently available options, the "Extended Gaita" fingering provides for the widest range of musical expression with the instrument? Or is it not that simple - e.g. in allowing for more notes (as in available octaves), does the possibility of doing some set of things to those notes diminish?

Is the "fingering_charts.ino" file directly edited, or is it automatically generated somehow? Much of it is easy to understand, what I'm not sure about is where numbers in the curly brackets {} come from and what they mean, and why only a few of the fingerings say what octave each note is in (C4, C5, etc.) - https://github.com/amowry/warbl/blob/ma ... charts.ino UPDATE: this is answered over at viewtopic.php?f=5&t=115&p=537&hilit=arduino#p542

Are the notes hard-coded for speed, or because there just isn't an algorithm that could be used to generate them? An advantage of a 'WARBL" fingering is that I'd think you could come up with something reasonable that follows a simple, consistent algorithm instead of hard-coding each note. I'm sure there are issues, but based on viewtopic.php?f=5&t=115&p=537&hilit=arduino#p537 there are 256 possible chords, which would mean it should be possible to simultaneously have access to a full piano keyboard plus several other more limited instruments from the WARBL. Or keep a lower octave range, but make it possible to play a vast array of chords.

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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by admin » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:27 pm

I could certainly look into a WARBL-specific fingering chart. Yes, I think the extended Gaita chart currently offers the widest range. I think the only real limitation of charts like that that maximize the number of notes is that it increases the possibility for error and "crossing noise", where the device picks up intermediate notes because there are so many that it detects. I guess there's also the challenge of learning new fingerings...

The fingering charts are edited manually-- as you probably saw, there are a few different types of charts in there, optimized for different instruments, though they mostly follow a similar pattern. Because different people made some of the charts and I made some at different times, the commenting procedure varies ;)

Yes, the hard-coding is primarily for speed: Because the charts are simple lookup tables, it can find any entry in the array using its index, which is the current fingering pattern expressed in binary, so it's extremely fast. That's correct, there are 2^8 possible combinations for 8 holes, so you could in theory have a lot of notes, I think it's mainly the limitations above that might make it a bit challenging to play ;) It's an interesting idea, though!
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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by 2Dog » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:12 pm

In my case, the fingering system was not a major factor when I purchased, as I was not familiar with any of the initial fingerings. There was no system that I knew so I was expecting a large learning curve, as is the case with all instruments. What attracted me is the ability to play in bag mode, no internal sounds or battery, and small form factor for a midi wind controller. I had played other wind controllers for years and I had the hardware and software already. Andrew was able to help me with a fingering system that was somewhat familiar with (Extended Saxophone) to cut down my learning curve substantially. I don't see any attraction for a fingering system that no one is familiar with and is not close to an acoustic instrument's fingering.

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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by danjcla » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:08 pm

The attraction would be for two classes of people, who may overlap:

(a) People like me, a person who is looking for a new instrument, and has no deep previous experience with this class of instruments. It would seem to me it'd be possible to come up with a fingering system based on an easy-to-remember short set of rules instead of based on what is needed to make wind physics work.

(b) People who have no problems picking up new systems, and want to be able to use all 256 notes the WARBL is capable of, to for example create a pennywhistle capable of chords. At the moment, you can't even do this computer-side, as their is no fingering system where the WARBL sends out a different MIDI signal for each fingering.

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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by 2Dog » Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:59 pm

Deleted post.
Last edited by 2Dog on Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:37 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by admin » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:43 pm

Sorry, I didn't see this post until now. When you refer to arpeggiating chords, are you talking about playing all three notes simultaneously, or somehow stepping through the individual notes?
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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by 2Dog » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:13 am

I tried setting a chording fingering system up with another controller similar to the WARBL that allows user programming a custom fingering system but it didn’t work. Main reason is you actually support the instrument with your fingers and it was too easy to keep hitting wrong notes.
Last edited by 2Dog on Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by admin » Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:19 am

Oh, I see, so each of the three holes that you've marked for each chord will trigger one of the notes in the chord. There's no problem sending polyphonic MIDI either (in theory).
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Re: Would it make sense to have a "WARBL" fingering?

Post by 2Dog » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:38 am

Deleted post as it is very problematic. That is, I only have been able to test the theory on a wind controller with capacitive touch keys and it was not polyphonic when I hit two of the separate notes that had each note only assigned to one key. The keys were very sensitive and I was not used to playing like that so I found when trying to grip the instrument a lot of notes were touched in error. I am still planning on trying later if I can figure out how to change the key sensitivity and how to hold the instrument differently than I am use to.

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