I can install any firmware update up to 1.3.0, but all the ones since then fail with an error along the lines of 'Unable to write HID record'.
Does anyone know how to get round this?
@EzRecoridngs I'm not affiliated with Sylphyo at all, I'm just a Sylphyo owner. To me, it's a very useful tool -- your needs are probably different but I'll give my view of it.
The Sylphyo is primarily a MIDI controller. As a MIDI controller it's very good, because compared to the alternatives it:
-- is small and light
-- has no moving or sensitive parts
-- is sensitive to finger movements allowing you to 'half hole' notes fairly effectively
-- has a very generic set of controls and fingering mappings
-- is frequently updated
This doesn't mean it's perfect. But if I could have only one MIDI controller, I'd have this one.
The onboard sounds, as you say, are a bit 'Star Wars'. But they fulfil a useful purpose -- they mean you can play it with nothing but a speaker/phones connection, so you can work out ideas quickly and practise with it.
From my point of view the faults are:
--no bite controller
--occasional latency issues -- I can't be sure if this is my imagination but I feel like it was quicker when it used an ordinary Midibeam, rather than the new controller. I can't prove it though.
--No custom fingerings, and weird omissions with certain fingerings
--The engineer in me is offended and confused that it needs to have TWO mini synths per Sylphyo.
The internal sounds are useful to have but not a core part of the proposition. It's an expensive MIDI controller, but then it's a very good MIDI controller.
There are a few tin whistle Kontakt instruments out there -- SoundIron has one that doesn't seem to me to be particularly great, and there's one in Ventus Ethnic Winds which sounds much better, as well as a good shakuhachi.
The Ventus whistle has a complicated system for doing automatic ornaments, which I suppose is aimed more at those using keyboards. It's almost possible to do proper ornamentation on the Sylphyo anyway. All these options, and SWAM of course, usually sound a good deal more like a real instrument than a VL-70m does.
As for latency, well... the onboard Sylphyo sounds have low latency so you could route those through headphones and let the 'real' instrument on the PC lag a little.
It depends what you want to do -- earbuds and the onoboard sounds are perfectly good if you want to experiment and amuse yourself.
I would say that the SWAM instruments (https://audiomodeling.com/solo-woodwinds/) are incredibly good, and if you want to sound like a flute or sax, you won't regret getting a platform that can run the SWAM plugins.
@join Thanks for your reply. An updated fingering would be great! I have included a chart below that represents what I personally think I would like to have for whistle fingerings -- I will also run this past someone more skilled than I and let you know if any modifications are suggested.
With regard to fingering:
Other comments about whistles:
--Most accidentals are played with half-holing; the cross-fingerings vary from person to person and from whistle to whistle so you will find many opinions and no single truth! The sharp and flat pinky pads should do fine for many players but I have suggested cross-fingerings in the chart below.
--Tin whistle players are not generally used to using their thumbs at all -- if there were a system to handle overblowing to change octave, that would be very interesting. I imagine it's hard to implement. Perhaps it can be done in software.
--Tin whistles are a transposing instrument, in which six fingers down is always written as the D above middle C, even on my meter-long low A whistle! Therefore in the fingering chart I have started from D.
With regard to half-holing, I will practise!
So, I bought a Sylphyo a few days ago, just because it seemed like an interesting thing, and I'm really happy with it.
I was curious whether it can be played like a whistle (I wanted to be able to practice the whistle silently with it) and I have a few thoughts and questions which I will share because sharing is good:
Half-holing: I was hoping to use the key-bend feature to do half-holing like on a whistle. It's a great feature and lots of fun; it's the kind of thing that separates the Sylphyo from earlier generations of controller. You can't actually use it to half-hole, though, because as far as I can see it can only bend an existing note, not start a new note -- so you can't play C natural by putting your finger down half onto the pad, but you can play B and then bend it up to C natural. Is this a limitation of MIDI? Or am I using it wrongly?
Fingerings: Neither 'whistle' nor 'celtic' seems quite right and I can't tell if I'm doing something wrong!
-- On 'whistle' I can't take my thumb off the octave key to go to the upper octave; I have to actually slide it up. This is a strange and (more importantly) slow motion, so 'celtic' is much much better. I also don't quite see why 'whistle' starts from C when D whistles are the default and six fingers down is generally thought of as a D (or perhaps 'generally' just means me...). For some strange reason I also can't perform a 'cut' on A (so I have L1 and L2 down, and I quickly lift L1 to make a 'cut'). It just doesn't react to that particular movement. Agh!
-- Celtic is better because you have very cleverly made the upper 'D' gingering do the right thing no matter where my thumb is! That's excellent, so I can move over the octave break easily without squeaks. But on 'celtic' I can't play a two-finger C natural (L2 and L3 down)! It plays a G instead! Bah! Curses! Also for some reason on 'celtic' both the pinkie pads flatten rather than sharpen.
Here is where a bit of configurability would make so much difference. At the moment I'm using 'celtic' for my whistle playing.
Thanks for listening!
I really like the Sylphyo; I love the single-piece design and I find it amazingly like an actual instrument to play, compared with the clicky buttons on an AE-10, for instance. If you make any cool add-ons I promise to buy them all right away.
First let me say how interesting and promising your device looks!
I'm interested in it because it's the electronic device that seems most likely to feel like a tin whistle; I'd like to be able to practice silently and also use my tin whistle skills (which by the way are minimal) to produce other sounds.
I have a few simple questions about what it can do:
can we define our own fingering? This would be useful as neither the Celtic nor the whistle fingering is exactly what I want.
does the key bend feature work well enough that you can reliably use it for accidentals? On the whistle you half-hole to get notes like e flat, for instance. It seems to me that this us really important if you want to really play it like a whistle.
can you overblow to get an upper octave? I'm assuming not but I thought I'd ask just in case!
is the plan of producing a reed mouthpiece still alive? Nothing to do with the whistle obviously, but if there were one that'd be great.
Any and all answers appreciated! Thanks to Aodyo for coming up with this innovative device.