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Portamento between two notes? [SOLVED]


pilby

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This question is for David Nahmani.

 

I just finished chapter 5, and I noticed you covered using Hyper Draw with pitch bend and velocity, but you didn't cover Portamento Time. At first, I thought doing portamento would be very similar to doing pitch bend, but apparently not.

 

Do you know of any resource elsewhere that clearly illustrates how to apply portamento to two notes? For example, if I have C3 and C4, and I wanted my C3 note to glide to C4, nothing taught in the chapter helps me in effecting this.

 

Any help would be immensely appreciated. Thanks.

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if I have C3 and C4, and I wanted my C3 note to glide to C4, nothing taught in the chapter helps me in effecting this.

 

That's because you are reading a chapter on MIDI editing/programming in Logic, and portamento is typically not done with MIDI editing/programming, but simply by adjusting the glide time on your synth.

 

So... what synth are you using?

 

PS: Since this question really has nothing to do with my book, I have edited your title to better reflect what the topic of this thread is about. Please, in the future, try to use a title that summarize what your question is rather than just a generic "Re: logic pro 9 and logic express 9 book" - especially when the question is not related to the book!

 

Thank you.

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I am not using tone generators or synthesizers. I am using solely a M-Audio Oxygen 61 midi controller keyboard (for note input) and my Logic Express 9 sounds. There are no other external devices whatsoever.

 

It's odd you would think portamento has little role in MIDI, because that's the only place I could think of using it in. When recording with live instruments (e.g. guitar, violin, bass guitar, etc), portamento is an "innate" property of those instruments because one could easily glide/slide one's fingers to produce the effect. But in MIDI, particularly if the midi controller is a keyboard, there is no way for me to do that.

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I am not using tone generators or synthesizers. I am using solely a M-Audio Oxygen 61 midi controller keyboard (for note input) and my Logic Express 9 sounds.

Your "Logic Express 9 sounds" are synthesizers. Or, to be more accurate, they are most probably channel strip settings, which are made out of multiple plug-ins, one of which is a software synthesizer.

 

It's odd you would think portamento has little role in MIDI, because that's the only place I could think of using it in.

That was an odd statement, first because it pretends to reiterate what I said (even though it's not what I said), second because it designs MIDI as a "place", which is one thing MIDI is not. MIDI is a performance language for electronic instruments, namely, synthesizers. Typically, portamento is something that is not handled by MIDI (the performance), but by the instrument (and the way it interprets MIDI data).

 

So open your instrument/synthesizer's manual, and look for "portamento", or "glide". Adjust to taste. Then any MIDI sequence with legato notes will produce portamento or glide.

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I neglected to apologize to you in my last response for having used your book as the title on my message. Reading back, I can tell that irked you, and I certainly didn't do that on purpose, especially if I knew it would offend you.

 

Going back to your response, all I have is Logic Express. I have not purchased any plug-ins yet. I've only had my iMac for 2 weeks, and I'm very rusty on how technology has changed since I was last doing this. So bear with me if I misunderstand, but are you saying that there is no way I can create the portamento effect given the setup that I have (i.e., a midi controller keyboard and Logic Express 9), and that the only way I would be able to achieve that effect is to output MIDI information to an instrument/tone generator that is portamento-capable? That leaves me puzzled on how Logic Express was able to accomplish Pitch Bend, which is essentially a half-step/one-step portamento, without the need for any hardware.

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I neglected to apologize to you in my last response for having used your book as the title on my message. Reading back, I can tell that irked you, and I certainly didn't do that on purpose, especially if I knew it would offend you.

I have this thing about thread titles ;)... The more descriptive the thread titles, the easier it is later for other members to search for information. Read Me before posting - Forum Guidelines (#2)

 

Going back to your response, all I have is Logic Express. I have not purchased any plug-ins yet. I've only had my iMac for 2 weeks, and I'm very rusty on how technology has changed since I was last doing this. So bear with me if I misunderstand, but are you saying that there is no way I can create the portamento effect given the setup that I have (...)?

I'm not saying that.

 

Logic comes with its own collection of Logic plug-ins. When you "choose a sound" in Logic Express, I'm assuming you create a new software instrument track, and select a sound from the Library? That means what you're selecting is a channel strip setting for the currently selected track. If you look at the inspector, you'll see that channel strip. When you click on different channel strip settings in the Library, you'll see the channel strip being populated by different little blue rectangles, those are plug-ins. The ones toward the top in the "Inserts" section are the processing plug-ins (compression, EQ, delay, distortion, etc...), and the one in the instrument field (right below the "i/o" label) is the software instrument. Typically that is either a synthesizer or a sampler plug-in.

 

Double-click that synth or sampler plug-in and look for a glide or portamento parameter. If you tell us what instrument you're using, I can help you further.

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Let me see if I can help you out a bit here...

 

Portamento and pitch bend both create the effect of one pitch gliding to another. The distinction between them is very simple: pitch bend is something that you impart to a note either manually (by moving the pitch bend wheel) or by drawing in pitch bend information directly on the region (hyper draw, when it's displaying pitch bend). Portamento (sometimes called glide) doesn't require any kind of MIDI data to create the pitch-gliding effect. It's essentially a function that provides automatic gliding pitch transitions from one note to the next.

 

On some synths/samplers, you have to play notes in legato fashion to hear the effect. So even if portamento is turned up, you won't hear the effect unless you play notes legato. On other instruments there is the option to have portamento enabled all the time, allowing for pitch glide to occur between notes played in detached fashion, or, the legato-enabled portamento.

 

Finally, as David pointed out, if you're hearing sound from Logic Express, you're playing a plugin synth or sampler. No two ways about it. Time to crack the manual and look a little deeper into what's actually going on so that you can get a better handle on things.

 

Good luck!

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Double-click that synth or sampler plug-in and look for a glide or portamento parameter. If you tell us what instrument you're using, I can help you further.

 

I think I understand now. The last time I was doing this (about 15 years ago), the computer I used for MIDI music would "burp" when the screensaver came up; that didn't bolster my optimism that it could handle software sounds at all. What didn't connect in my mind right away during our discussion was that today's "plug-ins" are actually replacements for the tone-generators and sound units I used to use (e.g. Proteus 1XR, JV880, Yamaha FB01, etc.) After all, those units did have software inside them, it's just that today, that software need not always reside in hardware but can instead be installed as "plug-ins". So I now understand that the function of plug-ins is identical to the role of tone generators, both of which are synthesizers.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're saying that if I told you what instrument I was trying to create a portamento effect on, you will try to identify which plug-in software is responsible for "synthesizing" that sound and would try to help me tweak that plug-in?

 

But here is my confusion. The Hyper Draw drop down actually has "Portamento Tempo" as one of the MIDI CC it can work with. It is also manipulated by the use of "knobs", no different from the way I would manipulate Volume. Yet, trying to effect portamento via the Hyper Draw doesn't seem to produce any effect. Because these plug-ins came with Logic Express 9 by default, I had tended to think that Apple must've developed in such a way so that making Portamento adjustments via Hyper Draw would automatically "communicate" with the appropriate plug-in to effect portamento.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you saying I still do have to pull up the plug-in interface, and that simply using Hyper Draw's "Portamento Tempo" is inadequate?

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... as David pointed out, if you're hearing sound from Logic Express, you're playing a plugin synth or sampler. No two ways about it. Time to crack the manual and look a little deeper into what's actually going on so that you can get a better handle on things.

 

Good luck!

 

Thank you for responding, ski, any help/advice I can get from anyone will always be greatly appreciated. In fact, it was your response that finally sunk it in me that "plug-ins" today essentially replaces hardware tone-generators (e.g. Proteus 1XR, JV880, etc.)

 

You're right, I have quite a bit of catching up to do, and part of that is being here hoping to learn from those who are a lot more experienced and knowledgeable than I.

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Double-click that synth or sampler plug-in and look for a glide or portamento parameter. If you tell us what instrument you're using, I can help you further.

 

I figured it out. Thanks for telling me it was a "glide" parameter, because it was somehow set to "off" by default, and turning it on and setting the "length" of the glide was all I need to do.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 years later...

THANK YOU!

 

Literally started using Mainstage last week with my first controller. This post explained a lot!

 

Hardware: Alesis Vortex Keytar Controller

Software: Mainstage 3

Instrument/Synth: ES2

 

 

Now, it was THIS post that clarified portamento for me. Following these instructions, I turned up GLIDE in the Synth and got the results. However, why does the the MIDI Signal System http://www.midi.org/techspecs/midimessages.php#3 have designated paths for Portamento and it's parameters?

When I map my Vortex to these controls, they do nothing like David said ("You don't set it in MIDI, you set it on your instrument."), so is there no way to control those parameters with my hardware?

 

Is it that this is just an explanation of the language originally designed for a hardware synth and that a Controller simply cannot pull this off?

 

This stuff is too cool....

 

 

Thanks again!!

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