Old 06-07-2016, 02:23 PM   #1
Alkamist
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Default Zoom in really close on pitch bend? (for MPE instruments)

I just got a Roli Seaboard and I am really liking it so far. The only downside I've found to using it in REAPER however is that it uses pitchbend over a giant range. Currently it is essentially impossible to edit any of this information because you can't zoom in far enough, even if you make the lane take up your entire screen.

I was just wondering if there is some sort of easy workaround for this anyone has found; maybe I'm missing something. If not I think it would be cool if the devs implemented some sort of way to zoom in vertically on a CC lane, even without expanding it.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:14 AM   #2
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Giving this one a good bump. I recently got on the MPE train with Seaboard block. While editing the other CC is as nice as it gets in Reaper, with the help of "select CC with Notes" (insert the usual "this could be more comfortable" caveats here), editing pitch bend data is practically impossible, because

a) as the OP points out, the data is taking place in a marginal visusal range, so that a semitone bend makes little visual difference in the CC lane even when the lane height is maxed out. Don't even try to see a finger vibrato if you like to keep some eyesight for later use.
b) there is no aid as to which value you'd need to bend to straight pitch values.

To illustrate, here is a snippet of Reaper's pitch bend lane fully expanded vertically in a maximized MIDI editor window. (Because of forum attachment restrictions this only shows the area around the center line, it is as zoomed in as you can get on my screen):


You can tell that some note goes first up a bit and then bends down to a bit lower than the original pitch. Editing this is bound to fail. (And this is just a single note. I leave to your imagination how lost I am when looking at chords with bends or vibrato that would need fixes.)


To help with issue a) a vertical zoom as proposed would do, but for solving problem b) Reaper would need to be aware of the pitch bend range the input device is supposed to send (that would be 48 semitones as per default on ROLI devices, but can and must be possible to be changed. EG Omnisphere can bend 24 semitones max and for Kontakt it's only 12 semitones. Given such an option Reaper could help with horizontal guidelines at straight tones.




Bitwig (and probably other DAWs too) has this part covered nicely by overlaying the pitch bend data to the notes area of the piano roll, so you can see at a glance which note bends to which and where it does a vibrato (and can edit those curves right there). That way the user doesn't need to think about channels at all when editing MPE pitch bend.

The (almost) same musical snippet looks like this in BW:


Here you can see very clearly what is happening, even the slight vibrato that I played is visible and editable. Plus I can tell that the downward bend is ending up slightly sharp and go in and fix it with an easy select and drag edit. It's equally easy to change the bends to reach any other interval while keeping the transitions neat and smooth if I am so inclined.

I believe that this is the direction to think about for Reaper as well. While Bitwig only has this for pitch data I think it would be worth the effort to go further than that and make other controller data visible in the notes area too (thinking Cubase's Note Expression here)
Playing MPE stuff is heaps of fun, and with time there will be more devices sending that data, now that it's officially in the MIDI specs. I am very happy that Reaper is pretty good at dealing with the data - apart from pitch bend. Please consider putting in some effort here.
Attached Images
File Type: png MPE_Pitchbend_BW.png (42.4 KB, 54 views)
File Type: png MPE_Pitchbend_Reaper.png (8.6 KB, 55 views)

Last edited by gofer; 04-07-2018 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Fixing brain glitches and add more words
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:47 AM   #3
juliansader
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alkamist View Post
I just got a Roli Seaboard and I am really liking it so far. The only downside I've found to using it in REAPER however is that it uses pitchbend over a giant range. Currently it is essentially impossible to edit any of this information because you can't zoom in far enough, even if you make the lane take up your entire screen.
Does the Seaboard utilize only a small part of the pitchbend range? If so, you can probably use a JSFX to compress the pitchbend range, which would allow you to draw over the entire range.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gofer View Post
Bitwig (and probably other DAWs too) has this part covered nicely by overlaying the pitch bend data to the notes area of the piano roll, so you can see at a glance which note bends to which and where it does a vibrato (and can edit those curves right there). That way the user doesn't need to think about channels at all when editing MPE pitch bend.

The (almost) same musical snippet looks like this in BW:


Here you can see very clearly what is happening, even the slight vibrato that I played is visible and editable. Plus I can tell that the downward bend is ending up slightly sharp and go in and fix it with an easy select and drag edit. It's equally easy to change the bends to reach any other interval while keeping the transitions neat and smooth if I am so inclined.
A potential problem with drawing the pitchbend envelope on the piano roll is that the effects of pitchbend depends wholly on the virtual instrument, not REAPER. A full-range pitchbend may shift the VI pitch by a single semitone, or a whole octave, or may even do something entirely different like activating a guitar squeal harmonic.

(BTW, if you use the inline MIDI editor together with ReaControlMIDI and take envelopes (or track envelopes drawn in the media item lane), you can get envelopes curves overlaid on the piano roll.)
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by juliansader View Post
Does the Seaboard utilize only a small part of the pitchbend range? If so, you can probably use a JSFX to compress the pitchbend range, which would allow you to draw over the entire range.
No, you can use the full range (48 semitones per default) if you have got a Seaboard with that many "keys". But that's the rare case. Normally you deal with much less. Consider that you don't don't dial in vibrato with a modwheel, but by wiggling the finger right on the "key" which directly transmits as tiny pitch bend changes. I could of course set the Seaboard and the instruments I play to, say, 2 or 5 semitones and it would be sufficient for most of what I play, but who would want to do that, even if he uses the full range ever so rarely?


Quote:
Originally Posted by juliansader View Post
A potential problem with drawing the pitchbend envelope on the piano roll is that the effects of pitchbend depends wholly on the virtual instrument, not REAPER. A full-range pitchbend may shift the VI pitch by a single semitone, or a whole octave, or may even do something entirely different like activating a guitar squeal harmonic.
Yep, it would be necessary that we can tell Reaper which pitch bend range to assume for on-note pich display to make sense. EG Omnisphere can do +-24 max, with Kontakt I can mostly use +-12 while Equator (the ROLI synth) and some others do the full 48.
I need to set the Seaboard to match that when switching to another instrument, that's the nature of the beast. So different tracks will need a different range setting (in Reaper this will probably be per-take).
This is needed as well if Cockos opts for proper guidelines in the current pitchbend lane plus a zoom feature. Which I'd consider the lesser alternative to solve the issue.

But solve it they definitely should. It really is a roadblock as it stands now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliansader View Post
(BTW, if you use the inline MIDI editor together with ReaControlMIDI and take envelopes (or track envelopes drawn in the media item lane), you can get envelopes curves overlaid on the piano roll.)
Neat one! Curves is not a priority for me, although if drawn in the piano roll they are probably inevitable .
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