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VST Synth Programming Question - Pitch Modulation

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VST Synth Programming Question - Pitch Modulation

Postby daniellondon » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:26 pm

Hi Guys,

I’m a relative noob with synth programming so thank you in advance for your patience. I have two questions:


1) What is the best synth, in terms of ease, to achieve the following result?

2) So I want to start with a chord containing three notes, and then I want those three notes to transition to another chord and then maybe another chord.

The only way I can think of is manually modulating each note separately. But then how would I select the target pitch of the modulation without guessing? And does the modulation wheel not have a limit in terms of how far the frequency can be modulated to? The ideal synth would have a visual representation of each note (kind of like Redmatica Autosampler had) and then I could select a target destination for each note.

But yeah, I’m looking for an elegant solution to this. Ideally I would like to be able to control the speed of this transition too - maybe some sort of curve so that it speeds up towards the end.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel
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Re: VST Synth Programming Question - Pitch Modulation

Postby desmond » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:10 pm

daniellondon wrote:2) So I want to start with a chord containing three notes, and then I want those three notes to transition to another chord and then maybe another chord.

The only way I can think of is manually modulating each note separately. But then how would I select the target pitch of the modulation without guessing? And does the modulation wheel not have a limit in terms of how far the frequency can be modulated to?

So, I'd probably reduce the complexity:

- Split the chords into three single note instances (ie, one instance of the synth for each note in the chord). Now, you only need to deal with one note transition in the synth at a time.

- Use portamento to transition note pitches, with an appropriate speed and curve (if your chosen synth can do this, that's a bit more advanced). So, you hold one note, and then when you press the note in the next chord, the pitch will smoothly transition to whichever note you play.

Then you make your chord arrangement between each of the three synths (with the same sound), with one synth doing one note.

You could use polyphonic portamento (if the synth supports it) to glide all the notes in a chord in one instance of the synth, but you usually don't have control about which voice is used for which note - that's generally allocated by the synth. It might be good enough for your purposes, but if you want specific note to go to specific other notes, then I'd use the first method.

There might be other ways, they are the first few off the top of my head...
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Re: VST Synth Programming Question - Pitch Modulation

Postby Logarhythm » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:17 pm

Edit: Desmond beat me to it, but we had similar ideas :thumbup:

There might be a synth that could do it polyphonically, but it sounds complex since the notes may all need to move different relative amounts.
Could you accomplish what you're aiming for using a separate instance of the VST for each note of the chord, and just use them monophonically with portamento to transition to the next note?
Gives you control over rate and probably more flexibility in terms of moving between notes.
An instance per note also means you could potentially use the pitch bend lever/wheel/stick to accomplish the same thing, although hitting the right note could be more of a challenge!

The great thing about VSTs is that you can have multiple instances running, in ways that would be frighteningly expensive to replicate in hardware ;)

(Also in terms of the mod wheel having a limit - this is usually set at the synth end, where you determine how wide a range it can control, albeit generally within some limitations)
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Re: VST Synth Programming Question - Pitch Modulation

Postby daniellondon » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:25 pm

Thanks for the reply guys. Yeah I would probably attempt to do it a similar way as a sort of 'bootleg' solution. I guess I was just wondering if there's any synth that could do this polyphonically in some sort of unique or elegant way. I know Reaktor lets you do some wizardry in it's "Environment" but it would probably take x10 the amount of time rather than just programming each note individually.
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