Steve Kowarsky

I have played the bassoon as an accomplished amateur for about 60 years, off and on, a musical odyssey that eventually brought me to Carnegie Hall in 2003. Now I am exploring the Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) as an alternative and a workaround for some of the special challenges of the physical bassoon.

I publish my work on Facebook, often with videos. Most of my videos are also on my YouTube channel. However, I'm making hearthis.at my primary musical collection. I like the interface. Unlike Soundcloud, they allow up to 320 kbps MP3 files, and they are aiming to support uncompressed CD quality as well.

The Akai EWI USB is the instrument I am using. I work mainly with Garage Band running on a Macbook Air. My primary source of virtual instruments is Wallander Instruments. They are exceptional. I use the outstanding bassoon from Sample Modeling. For bassoon, they top even Wallander. I occasionally use the Garritan Personal Orchestra instruments provided by Akai with the EWI USB.

I have two main workflows. Both start by finding a MIDI file for a piece I want to play.

I usually open the MIDI file first in Sibelius, which can print the part or parts I will be playing. Sibelius also works very well with a product from Wallander called Note Performer, and many of my backing tracks are created by exporting to audio from Sibelius using Note Performer, then bringing the audio tracks into Garage Band, where I record the MIDI output of the EWI USB.

I also have some great MIDI piano performances from pianoaccompaniments.com. With these, I can bypass Sibelius and render them directly in Garage Band using the extraordinary and surprisingly affordable PianoTeq instruments. PianoTeq is a great find. The realism is amazing. I can also use PianoTeq in Sibelius.

I will be happy to discuss my methods in detail with anyone who is interested.

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I have played the bassoon as an accomplished amateur for about 60 years, off and on, a musical odyssey that eventually brought me to Carnegie Hall in 2003. Now I am exploring the Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) as an alternative and a workaround for some of the special challenges of the physical bassoon.

I publish my work on Facebook, often with videos. Most of my videos are also on my YouTube channel. However, I'm making hearthis.at my primary musical collection. I like the interface. Unlike Soundcloud, they allow up to 320 kbps MP3 files, and they are aiming to support uncompressed CD quality as well.

The Akai EWI USB is the instrument I am using. I work mainly with Garage Band running on a Macbook Air. My primary source of virtual instruments is Wallander Instruments. They are exceptional. I use the outstanding bassoon from Sample Modeling. For bassoon, they top even Wallander. I occasionally use the Garritan Personal Orchestra instruments provided by Akai with the EWI USB.

I have two main workflows. Both start by finding a MIDI file for a piece I want to play.

I usually open the MIDI file first in Sibelius, which can print the part or parts I will be playing. Sibelius also works very well with a product from Wallander called Note Performer, and many of my backing tracks are created by exporting to audio from Sibelius using Note Performer, then bringing the audio tracks into Garage Band, where I record the MIDI output of the EWI USB.

I also have some great MIDI piano performances from pianoaccompaniments.com. With these, I can bypass Sibelius and render them directly in Garage Band using the extraordinary and surprisingly affordable PianoTeq instruments. PianoTeq is a great find. The realism is amazing. I can also use PianoTeq in Sibelius.

I will be happy to discuss my methods in detail with anyone who is interested.

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