How do I use a Breath Controller in Dorico 4

Happy Holidays all

I was wondering if anyone has had success using a Breath Controller like a USB MIDI Breath and Bite Controller 2 from the Swedish company with any of the SWAM and audio modeled instruments?
I am running Dorico Version (Dec 6 2022) on Mac Ventura Intel OS version version 1.1.
Dorico recognizes the USB Breath controller however when I initiate the SWAM instrument plug-in midi learn function no midi event are detected.
Both the Breath Controller and the SWAM plugin are defaulted to Midi Channel 1.
The Swam plus-in needs to detect midi input for expression before it will sound any notes and I like triggering the Expression. via the Breath controller.
Any ideas how I can get these 3 to work together?
The stand alone Swam instrument and plug-ins loaded in Gig Performer 4 work fine with any of the swam instruments. When load the plug-in within Dorico 4 it seems to be not allowing the Breath Controller to communicate with the plug-in.
Also the Play Tab Midi Instruments found objects does not include the USB breath controller even though it’s listed with the Midi Devices.

Thank You

I’m afraid I’ve no idea how you might get this going. Paging @John_at_Steinberg, who can perhaps look at this when he’s back after his Christmas holidays.

Thanks Daniel

I just tried hooking up my TEC breath controller with similar results. And when I went searching for how to do it, I found this recent post.

I believe that the MIDI Instruments in the Play tab are for output, not input. In other words, Dorico can send MIDI data to a VST or to a MIDI device that can receive MIDI data and produce sounds.

My keyboard works fine for key input. I have a CC2 control knob on it (which is the same as what the TEC breath controller sends out). and that also works. I can record both notes and CC data, including CC 2, but only from the keyboard, and the Audio Modeling VST sees everything.

Hello dear colleagues,
Yes, Dorico isn’t designed the same way as Cubase, or any other DAW. Still it doesn’t have per Channel / Track MIDI Input. For Example in Cubase you can specify to receive data from All Midi Devices, or just one by user’s preference.
I hope that will be improved in the next major version! :slight_smile: I would like to take advantage of using Divisimate for much faster note input.

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info, but I don’t understand your reply. The problem is not about being able to specify which MIDI inputs go to which Dorico instruments (tracks), the problem is that without specifying any MIDI input, Dorico seems to capture input from one device while totally ignoring another. What makes my keyboard work, but not the breath controller?

I don’t know about the OP, but I’d be happy if Dorico captured data from all MIDI inputs simultaneously.

It’s possible that the problem is specific to the TEC breath controller. Dorico might, in fact, support MIDI input from more than one device (I’ve not tested this), just not the TEC breath controller.

Hi @Antonio_Freixas,
Exactly the thing I was trying to explain in my previous comment, makes me think that, by design (currently), Dorico supports only single MIDI input device, or at least (if multiple) only keyboards. Probably it still doesn’t support devices like Breath Controllers, or MIDI Guitars, or MIDI wind controllers?!
The fact that you can’t specify the MIDI Input Method by Staff/Track basis means that something is still limited by design.

Best wishes,
Thurisaz :slight_smile:

You could be right, but it would seem odd.

I haven’t looked at the MIDI standard in some time, but I don’t remember anything that identified devices as being “keyboards” or “breath controllers”.

Dorico lists all the MIDI input devices in the Preferences panel and provides ways of disabling specific devices. If it only supported “keyboard devices”, Dorico could simply not list them in the panel. Why list devices it knows it won’t use?

It doesn’t seem like it’s a lot of work to handle multiple MIDI streams. If Dorico can handle multiple devices, then it really doesn’t matter if they are keyboard devices or not–the work is the same. One way to test your theory would be to connect two keyboards and see what happens.

No, not really. As I said, there is nothing wrong with using the input from all MIDI devices. And you can limit the devices in the Preferences panel.

Happy New Year to you and all the Dorico team. Can’t wait to see what’s ahead for Dorico. Thanks for making this past year a happier one for me. I :heart: Dorico​:hugs:

1 Like

I use that breath controller and Leap Motion all the time and they work perfectly fine for me, either individually or both at the same time, including playing and recording controller data.

However, on Windows I usually need to re-install breath controller app after almost every Windows update. It appears as though these updates modify parts of the generic USB driver that BBC2 uses, and what follows often is that Cubase, Dorico and all SWAM instruments continue to list the controllers as available in settings but no longer receive any input from them.

Dorico does support multiple midi input devices at the same time (He said, surveying the mess of chords under his desk :slight_smile: )

All MIDI input goes to the stave you have selected for input, so it might be as simple as selecting a note on the stave for the sop Sax, and being sure the SopSax goes to the vst you want? Nothing selected- nothing received or heard.

This is the part that is different about Dorico. Since the purpose is composing and not performing, midi input follows the stave you are working on so that just as you can use the same keyboard to enter bassoon and string parts, you could also use your breath controller for that. Heck, I even have a Space Grapefruit as a midi controller. Sorry if I said the obvious, but the obvious bites me on occasion.

This sounded promising, but didn’t work. It did remind me of something: I normally use the TEC breath controller on my laptop and I usually compose on my desktop. So what I should have done was verify that the breath controller worked with a VST outside of Dorico, and not just with TEC’s breath controller utility program.

The breath controller was actually not working with anything.

A long time ago, TEC sent me this fix, which I had applied to my laptop, but not my desktop.

The built in Microsoft USB-MIDI driver has a long standing known bug,
please see the following link for a description and troubleshooting

Solving the Windows MIDI Port Problem - Modules and MIDI - Harmony Central

You can get the breath controller to re-enumerate and the built-in
Microsoft USB-MIDI driver to reinstall by doing the following:

  1. connect the breath controller to your computer
  2. go to the Windows device manager, right click on the breath controller
  3. uninstall the driver
  4. unplug the breath controller
  5. reboot your computer
  6. plug the breath controller in the computer again and let the Windows
    device manager do its job, it can be slow. Also, make sure no software
    (including ours) is trying to open any MIDI devices during the

So I tried this and it worked. I first got it running with one of Audio Modeling’s instruments using their stand-along player, and then I tried it with Dorico.

This does not fix the OP’s problem. @fosterjazz said that they were able to use the stand-alone SWAM instruments, which was not my case. The OP could try this, though—it won’t hurt and might help.