Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

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danjcla
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Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by danjcla » Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:10 am

Recently ran across this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6AYBV5yuQA (154k views) - which is a review of the eCorder - https://www.ecorder.io/ - a $1850 electronic recorder review by Sarah Jeffery / Team Recorder (who has 123k YouTube subs).

I'd love to see her do a review of the WARBL, and it'd be good publicity assuming she'd give a positive review - quick research shows the most popular WARBL review currently is on CutiePie who has 49k subs and 16k views for the review video. And I haven't seen any reviews of WARBL from the perspective of a professional recorder player.

So if @admin would be willing to lend one, I'm guessing she'd love to review it. (Although I see there is currently a backlog so perhaps time it until that's resolved.)

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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by 2Dog » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:23 pm

I like CutiePie but hers was too basic. She should do a follow up. The best review, I have seen is form Matt Willis and is posted on Andrew's site. This is a real acoustic pro that knows midi software and other electronics related to pipes and whistles. I wish he would offer a well structured patron sponsored series of instructions on playing the WARBL.

After watching the eCorder review you can appreciate the design and form factor of the WARBL a lot more. Much more value with WARBL if you know how to connect to and have an ios or Mac device.

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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by admin » Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:46 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I may see if Sarah wants to review WARBL, though of course it has some limitations when used as a recorder because it doesn’t have the double holes.
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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by danjcla » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:33 pm

admin wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:46 pm
[The WARBL] has some limitations when used as a recorder because it doesn’t have the double holes.
If there's a market for a $1850 electronic recorder, perhaps it'd make economic sense to offer a WARBL with those extra holes at a premium over the standard model :-)
Last edited by danjcla on Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by danjcla » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:44 pm

On a related note, I'm wondering if you've thought about making the sensors repositionable, either with wires or by separating the sensor PCB from the other circuitry, in a sort of daughterboard configuration, so you/people could attach it to custom PCBs in other hole spacing configs - idea being that it's really cheap to get a custom PCB printed, and not super-hard even to SMD solder a few sensors, but it does tend to be hard to SMD solder other components, and at least last time I looked into it, years ago, getting one-off boards with component placement made was quite expensive.

Have you considered selling just the PCB+placed components as an option? If you'd sell it at whatever profit you'd usually make, but then offered replacements if the user manages to totally F-up the board at just cost+shipping & handling, I bet people would try their hand at converting normal plastic instruments to custom WARBLs. Or, alternatively, people could 3D print stuff, looking around there seem to be free 3D printable models of most small wind instruments, including recorders, which people could use as a base, editing to have appropriate internal attachment points, etc. Or people could 3D print shims that fit with the WARBL board(s) inside standard instruments.

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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by 2Dog » Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:57 pm

Now you got me going again. I have had that thought also but for a DYI retrofit and repurpose of old acoustic wind instruments. The WARBL internals would be perfect for that as they could slip inside of even a flute. If you look at the EMEO that is kind of what they did with a new sax for $1500. I have an alto sax hanging on the wall begging to be repurposed into a midi controller. Wouldn't need to take it apart to install the proposed DYI kit. It would involve pinning the number of keys that you can use shut so the don't move, like they do when you get a new instrument to seat the pads, and attaching removable buttons where the fingers are normally placed. I would suggest the type of buttons the Roland AEs have. You couldn't use the side keys except one of the lower ones as there aren't enough holes on the WARBL. The octave button could be attached near the octave key. The other 3 buttons could be attached near the rt thumb rest of the sax. I tried magnetic attachment but the sax is not made of metal that a magnet will interact with. The wiring harness would have to be different for each type of instrument with at least a 30 pin connector to the WARBL guts which would be placed in the bell. The number of buttons needed would equal the number of holes and buttons on the WARBL and you would use the WARBL's fingering patterns that already exist. The wiring harness would be mostly external but where it does come out of the lower hole on the bell there would also be the drain tube so there would me no moisture within the instrument. The air tube would be routed through the neck so you just attach your regular mouth pice to the neck as you normally do. The tube would have to long enough so you could take the neck off for storage in the case and to pull the WARBL internals out of the bell for connection purposes. There would be no lip bending control similar to the EMEO. I say removable so you could even retrofit a playable sax that you may want to use later or sell. Can't say enough about silent practice. Throw some battery powered wireless midi stuff in the bell and you are untether like a real sax. The out of production PUC+ will work. Mix in some motion sensing for pitch bend. If I had Andrew's skill I would have already done this.

I would be cool if you could temporary attach something over the existing WARBL holes that would trigger them remotely. That way you could use the WARBL as is and just offer the wiring harness and buttons. Maybe a one size fits all. Thinking fiber optics. The light would be on until you hit the button and it would go dark to simulate your finger. Make any sense? Could be mounted to a tube that the WARBL would slip into?

"The photodarlington responds to radiation emitted from the diode only when a reflective object or surface is in the field of view of the detector." The question is, is there a way to electronically simulate the reflective object?

If you can figure this out it would lend itself to midi gloves. Strap the WARBL in its enclosure to your arm and link it to buttons mounted in the appropriate finger of the appropriate gloves. Forget having to retrofit the acoustic instrument. Power everything with a rechargeable usb power brick. Just pick it up and play it semi-normaly.

All the midi gloves attempted that I have seen use only motion sensing and no buttons capable of being used to play, or simulate playing and acoustic instrument. Using the WARBL along with gloves and a tub in your mouth or bag you would have a totally unique approach. You would be able to simulate playing bag pipes with just taping your fingers on your leg.

It would make sense then to give the WARBL a polyphonic mode as you don't have to worry about griping an instrument and hitting false notes. Just finger the chord on your leg. I already worked out the fingering for this but nixed the idea using wind controllers as designed.

A quick search indicates that the sensors can be triggered by a reflective object. I put a black pen up to the sensor and it didn't trigger the sensor until I move to a metal color part of the pen. The pen had a white light on it but that did not trigger the sensor until I put it into the sensor and it didn't matter if it was on or off. If there is a color of light that would not trigger the sensor that would be the answer as you don't want to introduce latency into the equation. Looking for something that can change from non reflective to reflective and that can be controlled by a button or switch. Thinking I might get out my LED Christmas lights to check the colors out.

According to one site "White light contains all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum, so when the color white is being reflected, that means all wavelengths are being reflected and none of them absorbed, making white the most reflective color. Dark colors absorb a lot more heat than lighter ones because they absorb more light energy." Hoping to find a dark colored light that doesn't trigger the sensor. Then you simply keep that color on as close to the WARBL's sensor range and then turn it off with the switch to activate the sensor. That's the theory. If the color thing works, just need to find a colored USB LED light that could be attached to the WARBL with a Velcro strap.

So I dug around in my wife's Christmas stuff and I think I found the type of bulb and batter power set up. https://www.hobbylobby.com/Christmas/Li ... p/80892000

Unfortunately the were white so it triggered the note when place on the sensor. Next I need to test the colors out but the lights we have are all larger and they have a nipple on the end. The micros come in colors https://www.hobbylobby.com/Christmas/Li ... p/80890788 so I need a trip to Hobby Lobby or order on line.

Update: The colored lights did not work. I think I have gone as far as I can.

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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by admin » Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:53 pm

Sorry to be slow to respond to these, I'm currently taking some time off to spend with the family before the start of the school year. I think it would be tough to simulate a reflective object unless there's some material that can change color, because WARBL is constantly sampling the ambient light and cancelling that out, so it will likely cancel out any lights that you shine on it. Without that cancelling algorithm, you could definitely trigger the sensors by just shining a light on them, so your approach would work with the addition of a software tweak. However, it does seem like a bit of a round-about way of triggering the sensors ;)
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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by 2Dog » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:46 pm

The potential is enormous if this could be triggered by light. This would introduce the least latency. Slip something over the WARBL and connect it to switches and you could have midi gloves or repurpose old instruments and convert them to midi. The WARBl would have to be able to work like it does now also. The mico bulbs of battery powered Christmas lights might be enough light to trigger. Game controller like buttons could be used to temporally mount on old saxes or metal clarinets. I have both. I don't see this being very expensive and could have a good profit margin. If you "tweak the software" can it be reset easily? No harm must be done to WARBL!

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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by admin » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:24 pm

You'd basically just have to install new firmware to make the change, but I'm not sure how many people would make use of it. If you want to experiment I could try to make a special version of the firmware in about a week after I'm back to work. I would make it so that the LEDs in the sensors never turn on, and the transistors just monitor the ambient infrared radiation constantly. Ideally you'd want to use infrared LEDs, but normal LEDs might emit enough in the IR spectrum to work. However, I suspect you'd be adding quite a bit of latency to the system with mechanical switches etc., so I'm not sure how practical it would be.
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Re: Lend one to "Team Recorder" for a Review?

Post by 2Dog » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:09 pm

If you feel there would be any latency added then it's not going to work. I am not skilled enough to take this any farther so you can put it on the "back burner".

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