Assigning fader via pitch wheel in Cubase/Kontakt


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So I'm slowly realizing that I need some kind of MIDI controller with at least 4 faders in order to make realistic sounding string parts or any other part for that matter (refering to cinematic music), unfortunately my keyboard doesn't have those built in. It does, however, have a pitch wheel, and I can modulate the pitch in Cubase/via Kontakt. So I was wondering, until I get a hold of a MIDI controller (counting on getting a cheap one for Christmas hah), would it be possible to assign the pitch wheel to something else, for example volume/expression/modulation/vibrato control? Or do I have to be patient and wait for a proper controller?
I'm still kind of a noob at using Cubase and Kontakt; I've tried messing around with it a bit but without luck and can't really find any good tutorials either.
 
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To anyone interested, this is what I found out: I think if it would have been possible, it would have been by going to Device Setup, Quick Controls, 'Learn' and then moving the wheel. However, nothing happened as would be the case with a midi controller, so I don't think it's possible unfortunately (at least not what I know of).
 

SeaGtGruff

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It might be possible, although I'm not fluent enough with Cubase-- and definitely not with Kontakt-- to know whether they can do it. But there are MIDI processor boxes-- such as the MIDI Solutions Event Processor or the MIDI Solutions Event Processor Plus-- that could do what I think you're talking about.

The problem is that the Pitch Bend Wheel generates a particular kind of MIDI event-- a Pitch Bend event-- but I believe that most MIDI mapping in DAWs is done using Control Change events. So it might be a little different than just mapping the Pitch Bend Wheel to some function. You might be able to do it by using Cubase's MIDI effects function, which is a function that you add to a MIDI track the way you add an effect (such as Reverb) to an audio track. The MIDI effects plug-in can filter specific types of MIDI events, so you might be able to use it to set up something that looks for Pitch Bend events and replaces them with Control Change events.

But as I said, I'm not fluent enough with Cubase to know if it's actually possible, and if so, how difficult it would be to set it up.
 
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Thanks, I tried taking a look but I must confess I don't know enough about Cubase (yet) to figure it out. I still don't quite understand how effects are applied in Cubase. I can sometimes right click on the track and 'show all aoutomation', and the sustain from the sustain pedal will show (though only sometimes?) as an editable lane, but not for the pitch bend. Cubase registers the pitch bend, but I have no idea where to find it or (if possible) change it to something else. I guess I need to watch some more tutorials about automation/applying effects.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Most DAWs will show only one type of MIDI event per "lane"-- and when you think about it, the piano roll is itself an "automation lane," since the Note events are automated (or sequenced). Bit if the MIDI track contains non-Note events, they will be shown in a second (usually smaller) lane below the main lane that contains the Note events.

If there are multiple types of non-Note events-- which is highly likely-- then the MIDI event with the lowest status value will usually be displayed by default, but there should be a drop-down list box near the automation lane that lets you select a different type of MIDI event to display-- including event types that aren't used in the track yet, in case you want to add them, but the event types that are already present will often be highlighted in some way, such as shown in bold text in the list box, or in black text versus gray text.

Depending on the DAW, you might be able to display multiple automation lanes at once.
 

John Garside

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I don't think Pitch Bend can be used for this.
Why? Because the electronics behind the pitch bend wheel sends out a two byte value in a message substantially different from a Controller message of one byte. It means the pitch bend is 0 to 16 thousand and something, the controller 0 to 127.
The pitch bend is interpreted as -8000 - 0 - +8000 (roughly) by the MIDI device.
The pitch bend wheel automatically moves back to centre position, other controllers do not.
But it's only my opinion.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Some keyboard instruments take the cheap route and don't use the Fine Value (LSB), only the Coarse Value (MSB). My Yamaha PSR-E keyboards are examples of this. If I change the Pitch Bend Range to the maximum value (plus-or-minus 12 semitones), there's a noticeable stepping in the Pitch Bend. :(
 

John Garside

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True enough, Michael, but the return to mid point and the different message type still pose problems to turn pitch bend into a CC# message. IMHO.
Don't they?
 

SeaGtGruff

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Yes, I would think so-- I was mainly just bemoaning the fact that my keyboards can't do high-resolution Pitch Bend. But "you gets what you pays for"! ;)
 
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I'll try to see today if I can't find a drop down menu, otherwise I think I'll leave it for now - I don't want to spend hours on something I'm not even sure is possible.
 
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Couldn't even get any automation to show at all even though recording the pitch wheel... Well ..
 

SeaGtGruff

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Select the track in Cubase.

In the "MIDI" menu, select "Open Key Editor."

In the area below the piano roll, click on the controller description just below the piano keys to pop up the list of available controllers, and select "Pitchbend" to see the Pitchbend events in the controller lane.
 
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Oh I see! Thanks so much, I see it now. I'm also able to display multiple lanes at once.
Sorry for the late reply btw., been pretty busy with my studies.
 
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I've tried using automation to change the volume now, but I can't seem to get it working. I can't hear any difference in the volume even though I've enabled 'R' after overwriting the volume. What am I doing wrong?
 

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Oh I see, nevermind, I finally found out what those folders with the VST's names on were for :D
Hmm, I wonder if I can't use the midi fader in the side menu to control this... the knob in kontakt is kinda hard to handle with a mouse.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Experimentation is the mother of discovery. :)
 

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