Programming PithFactor to work as a pitch bend

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    • #108573
      DanaSud
      Member

      I am running an instrument through the pitch factor that does not have pitch bend capabilities.  I would like to simulate the pitch bend wheel on a keyboard.  I was doing this before using guitar rig on my laptop and a SoftStep foot controller but I don't want to drag around the laptop anymore and the PF sounds better.  

      Is it possible to set up the pitch factor to do this?

      Can someone detail how this would be set-up?

      Just FYI – when I used guitar rig and the soft step,  I had programmed one foot pressure controller on the SoftStep to control a virtual pitch pedal for whole step up and a separate controller and pitch pedal for whole step or octave down.  

      Thanks in advance for any help,

      DS

    • #123272
      brock
      Participant

      Here's where I'm stuck on this question: Is it possible to directly hook up the SoftStep foot controller to tthe PitchFactor, without a SoftStep MIDI Expander?  I suppose that it would involve providing USB power to the foot controller, and using the Expand port to connect to the PitchFactor.  I can't determine if this is a viable (or even safe) option for MIDI routing.

      Of course, if you do have a SoftStep MIDI Expander, then I can follow up with a step-by-step recipe on the PitchFactor's end.  I had forgotten just how powerful and capable the SoftStep foot controller is.  You have plenty of options to achieve exactly what you want, once I'm sure that the direct routing will work (or that you have the Expander option).

      As general examples, the PF will respond to Pitch Bend messages, or CC from 0-99.  You'll be able to set the range limits (half / whole step; octaves) on either the SoftStep XMT side, or the PitchFactor's RCV end.  The PF has MIDI Learn.  You have a variety of algorithms to choose from for pitch-bending, and can variably glide or hard-snap to pitch.  And, with two independent pitch shifters, it's possible to bend two intervals at once, land on 'blue' notes, fade or switch between targeted pitches, etc.

    • #123273
      DanaSud
      Member

      Hi,

      Yes,  I am using the expander to connect the SoftStep to the pedal.  It works fine.  Mostly I was wondering what settings I need on the PF for this.

      Thanks,

      DS

    • #134375
      brock
      Participant

      OK,  let's get the basics out of the way.

      Cable from  the SoftStep Expander MIDI Out  to the PF MIDI In.

      Match the PF MIDI channel to the SoftStep [System settings -> MIDI -> RCV CH].

      Set the PitchFactor to receive [System settings -> MIDI -> OUTPUT -> THRU]. 

      Now, set up the pitch shifter parameters.

      [System settings -> MIDI -> RCV CTL -> KB2 for the Pitch A knob].

      [System settings -> MIDI -> RCV CTL -> KB3 for the Pitch B knob].

      You mentioned using SoftStep foot pressure controllers to facilitate the pitch bends.  Your pressure switches will have to be sending a CC message between 0-99, or a MIDI pitchbend message.  I'll use CC1 here for Pitch A, and CC2 for Pitch B under System settings -> MIDI -> RCV CTL.  [KB2 < C1, and KB3 < C2].  If you tap the right switch a second time, LEARN will allow you to pick up the CC message from the SoftStep.

      In that same system level, if you tap the left footswitch a second time, you can set the PitchFactor range limits that an incoming MIDI message [0-127 value] will sweep.  You have to be fast here.  For a whole step down:  Tap the left switch, turn the Pitch A knob to UNISONMIN VAL is displayed shortly thereafter.  Tap the left switch again, turn the Pitch A knob to – 2nd.  MAX VAL is displayed shortly thereafter.  A cycle of three left footswitcxh taps should show you the minimum value, the maximum value, and back again to KB2 < C1.

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      Of course, you can set the "range limits"  on the SoftStep transmitting side, and leave the PitchFactor parameters at "full range".  You'll have to know / experiment with what CC values will result in an octave down, whole step up, etc.  As an example, I put together a chart for the  H910/949 algorithm here.  One thing to note:  The CC values are going to be the same for some of the PitchFactor's effects, and different for others.  Some algorithms have a coarser pitch resolution; others much finer.  MIDI CC value 0-127 is going to be distributed differently; depending on the number of parameter values in the 'target'.

      The quality and characteristics of your pitch bends depend greatly on what PF effect that you select.  If you just want to use a single pitch shifter, move the Pitch Mix to that side.  You may want to run 100% wet on the Mix knob (for an authentic pitch bend).  The PitchFlex algorithm is tailor-made for this kind of effect.  If you use that, you might want to "bind" your SoftStep MIDI message to PDL (instead of CC1 < KB2 / CC2 < KB3).  In fact, that's a cool trick for any of the algorithms.  Program any combination of PF knobs to an expression pedal sweep, then control the entire 'crossfade' from an external MIDI message [System settings -> MIDI -> RCV CTL — PDL < C1].

       

      Here's another thread with some related information.  Let me know how all this works out for you.  There are some advantages to sending a MIDI pitchbend message (like return-to-center), but that has it's own quirks in the PitchFactor.  If you get into some of those deeper SoftStep options, I'm sure that you be able to pull off some amazing effects with the PitchFactor. 

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    • #134378
      DanaSud
      Member

      Brock,

      Thanks for the quick and thorough reply!

      Correct me if I am wrong but if I use pitch A for pitch bend down and Pitch B for pitch bend up then I would also need to set up those same controllers to instantly change the pitch mix respectively to 100% for pitch A or Pitch B.  Otherwise I would hear some of the original pitch mixed in.  

      Alternatively I could use Pitch A only mixed at 100% and then experiment with MIDI values that will result in the appropriate bend.  OR could I set the max value at +2 1/2 steps and min value at -2 1/2 steps and then set up one foot controller from MIDI value 64-0 and one for 64-127?  
      Which would be better or are they essentially the same?

      Thanks in advance for the help 

    • #134379
      brock
      Participant
      Quote:
      if I use pitch A for pitch bend down and Pitch B for pitch bend up then I would also need to set up those same controllers to instantly change the pitch mix respectively to 100% for pitch A or Pitch B.

      Yes.  You could use a CC message to snap the Pitch Mix from fully counterclockwise to fully clockwise [System settings -> MIDI -> RCV CTL -> KB1].   A value of 0 would be full left / Pitch A, and a value of 127 is equivalent to full right / Pitch B.

      Quote:
      Alternatively I could use Pitch A only mixed at 100% and then experiment with MIDI values that will result in the appropriate bend.

      Of course.  I only meant to show that it's possible to use two pitch shifters.  In many cases, you'd only use one or the other.  Sometimes duplicating the same settings in both Pitch A & Pitch B leads to some nice doubling effects; especially when one shifter is delayed by a few milliseconds from the other.

      Quote:
      OR could I set the max value at +2 1/2 steps and min value at -2 1/2 steps and then set up one foot controller from MIDI value 64-0 and one for 64-127?

      You could.  With a versatile controller like the SoftStep, I'd take it a bit further.  I'd set up an entire 'scene' of ten switches, and program each switch to produce a commonly used interval in the PitchFactor.  One for a whole step up, one for a whole step down, one each for the octaves, fifths, etc.  I do that here with my FCB-1010.  Of the 100 presets, I have a few banks of 10 that control individual PitchFactor presets.  Each switch toggles static CC values, and each of those values corresponds to an interval in Pitch A / Pitch B.

      Quote:
      Which would be better or are they essentially the same?
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      That's hard to say.  It would depend on the application, the instrument, and the desired results.  Your particular "instrument … that does not have pitch bend capabilities" could be a MIDI piano, or it could be a clarinet.  A MIDI piano wouldn't sound "natural" no matter what approach you took, but there might be ways to make the clarinet more believeable.  In some cases, you might actually want  unnatural results – glitchy, lo-fi, and regenerated beyond recognition.

      The fast & easy way would to use all those factory PitchFlex presets, vary the pitchbend interval by changing presets / program changes, and have one SoftStep switch do all of your bends (at maximum range).  It works, but it squanders much of the depth in the SoftStep and PF.

      The "road less travelled" (programming the SoftStep and the PitchFactor presets to meet your needs) takes a bit more work, but it's more satisfying and rewarding in the long run.  Combining program change and MIDI CC remote control is even more versatile.  If you need some help with those CC values per-algorithm in the PitchFactor, I have unorganized notes scattered about here on many of the modes & effect parameters.

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