Cubase - Microtonal Tuning for MIDI Keyboard

Discussion in 'Sequencers and Music Software' started by zanshin777, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. zanshin777

    zanshin777

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    How to do that?

    Does Cubase support that or do I have to use an external Plug-In? Which one do you recommend?

    Thanks
     
    zanshin777, Mar 7, 2018
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. zanshin777

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    830
    What sort of microtonal tuning are you talking about-- tuning the frequencies of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale, such as for Pythagorean tuning based on the key of C (or A, or D, etc.); or tuning the frequencies of MIDI Notes to get scales with other numbers of notes, such as 24 notes in an octave?
     
    SeaGtGruff, Mar 8, 2018
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. zanshin777

    zanshin777

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yes 24 notes in an octave.

    Quarter Intervals.
     
    zanshin777, Mar 8, 2018
    #3
  4. zanshin777

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    830
    Okay, I don't see anything in the manual about microtonal tuning, other than Hermode Tuning which isn't what you're asking about.

    How are you hoping to use microtonal tuning?

    Are you hoping to use it "live" while playing your keyboard, and if so then how do you plan to get 24 notes per octave when there are only 12 keys per octave on your keyboard? Do you perhaps intend to use only 12 notes per octave except that some of the notes in the scale will be tuned up or down a quartertone?

    Or are you hoping to create MIDI sequences that use microtonal tuning in the piano roll editor such that the number of keys per octave on the keyboard is not an issue?

    Based on what little I found online while looking for a solution, it seems that the best option-- assuming you need to be able to use up to 24 notes per octave as opposed to only 12 notes but with some of them tuned at quarter intervals-- would be to use two different MIDI channels, with one channel tuned in the standard way and the other channel tuned 50 cents higher or lower than usual. One way to do that would be to use Pitch Bend on the second channel to raise or lower all of the notes by 50 cents. This wouldn't really lend itself well to a live performance situation, since the actual keyboard doesn't have 24 keys per octave, although you might be able to assign two overlapping zones to the two MIDI channels and switch between them as needed.

    On the other hand, if you don't actually need to use more than 12 notes per octave, then you might be able to adjust the tuning of each note such that some of them are 50 cents higher or lower than usual.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Mar 8, 2018
    #4
  5. zanshin777

    zanshin777

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have an idea. I don't know if it is applicable or not. This is for "live" applications.

    I want to set 2 buttons on the MIDI keyboard.

    When you press a regular key on the MIDI keyboard with one of them those buttons;

    you get the pitch which is the pitch + 1/4 inteval (not chordal (harmonic))

    Actually the set button applies 1/4 pre-bend the key you hit.

    When you press a regular key on the MIDI keyboard with the other set button;

    you get the pitch which is the pitch + 3/4 interval (not chordal (harmonic))

    Actually the other set button applies 3/4 pre-bend the key you hit.

    Is it possible? How to do that?
     
    zanshin777, Mar 9, 2018
    #5
  6. zanshin777

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    830
    I don't remember if you said what keyboard you're using, but MIDI keyboard controllers often have ZONE buttons that are used to define zones (or ranges of keys) on the keyboard and then toggle the zones on or off as desired. Each zone can be set to a different MIDI channel. If you define two or more zones that span the entire keyboard, assign each zone to a different channel, and apply different amounts of pitch bend to each channel, you can play notes that are shifted by different amounts depending on which zone you've got activated, such as
    - Zone 1 - Channel 1 - Pitch Bend = 0 cents,
    - Zone 2 - Channel 2 - Pitch Bend = +25 cents, and
    - Zone 3 - Channel 3 - Pitch Bend = +75 cents.

    You could also use a single zone and channel, and perhaps program some buttons to send different pitch bend amounts, but this would mean that when you applied a given amount of pitch bend it would affect all notes which were currently playing on that channel. That's why you'd really want to use different channels.

    That also brings me to another point, which is that if you play a note on one channel with one amount of pitch bend, then play another note on another channel with a different amount of pitch bend while continuing to hold down the previous key, the keyboard is now set to the other channel such that when you release the first note it will send its Note Off message on a different channel than its Note On message had used. In other words, you're going to have problems trying to play live. This wouldn't be an issue if you're playing back sequences from tracks in your DAW, because you can program the Note On/Off events on whichever tracks you want.

    Now, if you only ever need to shift certain notes-- that is, certain notes of the scale will never be shifted, but other notes will need to be shifted by some amount-- then it might be doable live using note filters in addition to applying different amounts of pitch bend to different channels. In that case you might not need to use the ZONE buttons on the keyboard at all, since you might be able to define the zones with the tracks in the DAW and note filtering.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Mar 9, 2018
    #6
  7. zanshin777

    zanshin777

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have Nektar Impact LX61+. It doesn't have "Zone Feature".

    But it has "Assignable Buttons"

    If you wouldn't play chordal even two-notes together It won't be a problem. Right?
     
    zanshin777, Mar 11, 2018
    #7
  8. zanshin777

    zanshin777

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1

    The solutions seems like confusing while performing.

    There are probably more notes than 12 notes in a scale when playing microtonally. You split the scale into 2 octaves on the MIDI keyboard while microtonal notes are in one octave and the others are in another one.

    If you play with this set up you set the notes microtonal let's say c2 to c3 range and c3 to c4 normal.

    You play a microtonal note in the c2-c3 range than you goes adjacent not microtonal note but you have to play on the next octave which is very confusing while performing.
     
    zanshin777, Mar 11, 2018
    #8
  9. zanshin777

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    830
    I had thought about the two-octave idea, but rejected it because it would be too awkward to use successfully when playing live. It seems like being able to play live is the real problem, because you would really need some kind of microtonal keyboard, rather than trying to kludge a solution for using a standard chromatic keyboard.

    Have you ever looked at Cockos REAPER? It's very affordable as DAWs go. You can use it for free on a trial basis and the trial never expires-- but I went ahead and purchased it since it's so inexpensive, despite the fact that I was hardly ever using it and I already have too many DAWs. The reason I ask is because I happened to see the following page when I was searching for information about microtonal tuning in Cubase:

    http://xenharmonic.wikispaces.com/DAWs

    By the way, that page mentions "a pitch key tracking setting" in Cubase which can be used to "get 24 keys per octave," but I haven't looked into that yet.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Mar 11, 2018
    #9
  10. zanshin777

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    830
    SeaGtGruff, Mar 11, 2018
    #10
  11. zanshin777

    zanshin777

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you very much for the information.

    Before buying that I'll try to assign pitch bend effect on some buttons of the MIDI keyboard.
     
    zanshin777, Mar 11, 2018
    #11
  12. zanshin777

    SeaGtGruff I meant to play that note! Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    830
    alt-tuner looks interesting, but is also kind of pricey. It can use different methods-- MIDI scale-tuning, or pitch bend-- and you could do either of those things on your own. I guess the benefit of alt-tuner is that it does all the grunt work for you.
     
    SeaGtGruff, Mar 12, 2018
    #12
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.