Mission: Pitch Bend

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Mission: Pitch Bend

Postby Fabuloso » Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:27 am

Hi again, everyone...I'm in pain, again.

Pitch Bending. Okay, here's the problem: I want to bend a note a full octave up, but I soon realized that the program only lets you bend a note about four notes up or down...(I realize also that some instruments don't lend themselves to bending, but in this particular case I am attempting to bend a square wave sound)

Is it that I have to create the illusion of a full bend by placing separate notes closely together? This I attempted to do, but the bend of the first note would effect the pitch of the second note, even when I indicated that the time of the first bend should end with the note. Furthermore, how is one to correctly read a string of bent notes if the sounded pitch is different than the indicated note?


Re: Mission: Pitch Bend

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Postby andychap » Fri Aug 29, 2003 3:54 pm

You might find this article from another forum of intrest to you.

Before the fine art of pitchbending is completly lost, I'd like to submit some knowledge about how to get good bends without having to rely on the preprogrammed two semitones - or whatever interval you use.
When we play our keyboards and synths a lot of us tend to use full travel on the wheel ending up at preset interval. While this is both easy and comes with a guaranteed result, it's also a very non-musical way of playing. A violin player for instance will adjust his semitones automatically according to the key he or she is playing. Our keyboards comes tempered from the factory ? which is a good thing, becuase it allows us to play in any key. For soloing in general and for pitchbending particulary it?s far from perfect.
Bending the pitch using the wheel without relying on a previously programmed interval may be hard, because you will obviously have to use your ear. It's may also be difficult to manage the wheel accuratly because of the load of it's spring.
Many players use their thumb for bending. While this may seem obvious due to the shape of the wheel it may not produce desired results - or - at least it will be harder than neccesary. I get much better results using three fingers. A firm grip using your thumb, index and middle finger provides a better connection between you and the note. Sounds strange? Think of the violin player again. He?s got one of the best physical connections to the tone there is ? next to his voice.

The most common place to set the interval is at the recieving device i.e. the patch that hold the sound. Either on your hardware synth, soft instrument or sound module. The wheel will always send the same messages. Whereas most MIDI-controllers move in 128 steps only - pitchbend has thousands of steps ensuring that bends are free of zipper-noise. The other common controller that has a vast number of steps is the expression parameter. Remember that MIDI-controllers often can be routed to other parameters than the one they were designed for. Again this would be done in the recieving unit.
As for intervals for pitchbending I suggest that one does some experimenting to find the travel that suit yourself and your chops.
For a listen to some really virtuoso pitchbending I suggest these songs (both from the album Camel: I can see your house from here) check out the minimoog work of Kit Watkins on the songs Ice and Wait. The moogsolo on "Ice" were mentioned by Jim Aikin at Keyboard mag as an example for people who didn't want to believe that a simple synth could be as expressive as any acoustic instrument. The songs mentioned may not suit your musical taste, but the musicianship on these examples is nevertheless unquestionable.

Eivind Fivelsdal
Oslo, Norway
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 7:26 pm
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