Forum rss-feed


General Discussion: Support the Continuum's portamento mode

Most Recent

written by: 0beron

Yeh, sorry - in text form it's hard to express enthusiasm about our latest convoluted Eigenharp idea without coming across as too forceful. :-S

written by: geert

Mon, 17 May 2010 07:11:17 +0100 BST


I think there's a way to quite intuitively support continuous pitch bends or slides between notes by building in support for the Continuum's portamento mode. It allows you to setup an interval in between which notes aren't re-triggered. Instead, a smooth pitch transition is implemented, based on the relative pressure of two notes. The speed of the pressure change and the relative difference allow you to change how the pitch transition behaves. For instance, if you apply the same pressure on two notes, the pitch will be in the middle. I find that it allows you to very intuitively control slides in any directly and based on your hearing are able to control intermediate notes. As long as you press any of the keys that are within the interval, the portamento mode continues, so you can create guitar-like whammy bar sounds.

Check out this video at 2m06s:

On the Eigenharp, apart from the pitch bends, this could maybe also be used with the upcoming 'combined key press' feature that was discussed many months ago (to increase the range of the Pico in monophonic mode). This could but a keygroup into portamento mode when a predefined key is pressed at the same time.

What do you think?


written by: 0beron

Mon, 17 May 2010 14:29:43 +0100 BST

I've been playing with the legato/glide controls in Trilian, which allow a precise glide of any distance, but over a fixed time period. This portamento behaviour would be fantastic to get full, precise control over slides. +1 from me!

It's a bit like a small tablet PC I have, where I discovered you could click and drag by using two fingers - pressing the object you want to pick up, then pressing the destination slowly, then releasing the first finger will gradually float your selection from one finger to the other without having to drag across the intervening screen space.

written by: Tenebrous

Mon, 17 May 2010 14:51:08 +0100 BST

My laptop touchpad and the touchscreen on my phone both do this 'averaging' as well, so it's pretty common.

written by: geert

Tue, 18 May 2010 11:30:22 +0100 BST

Just thought of another enhancement for this. The portamento slide mode could be aware of the courses in a keygroup. This sort of corresponds to the strings of a guitar. In this mode, you wouldn't have to setup an interval, when you play two simultaneous notes on the same course (which isn't physically possible if it were a guitar string), then it would slide from one to the other based on the relative pressure. I think that this could be very intuitive and expressive.

written by: Tenebrous

Tue, 18 May 2010 11:41:44 +0100 BST

Geert - I think that'd work really nicely! +1 from me.

written by: mikemilton

Tue, 18 May 2010 12:33:55 +0100 BST

Actually, this is already how "mono" portamento works on the physical models except for the control by pressure. Play in a course and you get a slide (at a fixed rate) play multiple courses get multiple notes


written by: 0beron

Tue, 18 May 2010 12:47:47 +0100 BST

I'd noticed the course-based mono in the physical models, and was thinking it might be in need of one (optional of course) tweak to make it really guitar - like: At the moment if you play one note, then slide to a lower note, it does what a mono-synth would do and dutifully plays the lower note. On a guitar/cello however, putting your finger on a lower fret without releasing your other finger on the higher fret won't do anything. Replicating this on the eigenharp would make certain fingering patterns more forgiving, say bar chords or similar, since you don't have to worry about putting other fingers down on the strings after the bar finger, the upper ones always take precedence.

written by: mikemilton

Tue, 18 May 2010 13:09:28 +0100 BST

Yes, that would be a really neat improvement.

It might be that it is really worth separating out cello from guitar (although they share a string model underneath) so that the 'options' in each come as a set. I'm guessing that a guitar player might want to implement hammer on/off behaviours (changing the attack rather than portamento) and, of course one is plucked and the other is bowed

written by: 0beron

Tue, 18 May 2010 13:31:46 +0100 BST

I'd imagine that the 'options' would be controlled by some combination of workbench plumbing, existing agents, text config files or belcanto scripts. It would be nice to make enough fundamental building blocks like mono behaviour, pressure portamento, and the other articulation/strumming things from this thread, that you could easily slot them together to build a cello setup, a guitar setup, or allsorts of other combinations.

written by: mikemilton

Tue, 18 May 2010 14:06:04 +0100 BST

Well, these two approaches are not mutually exclusive. Many want to be able to delve into the models (I sure do) but, at the same time, packaging instruments so that those who do not want (or are not yet ready) to delve is a great convenience for them and, really for everyone.

Isn't this really the same as either selecting a VL patch or tweaking / authoring it? My observation is that the number of people selecting patches is greater than the tweakers and *far* greater than the authors but they are all perfectly happy with the approach

written by: 0beron

Tue, 18 May 2010 14:56:20 +0100 BST

I think we're talking about the same thing - by 'slot them together into setups' I meant that these setups could be provided as-is to people who just want to play with patches, while also saying that the internals should be as modular as possible and not just indivisible 'guitar agents' and 'cello agents' .

written by: mikemilton

Tue, 18 May 2010 15:19:49 +0100 BST

I sorta thought we were having a vehement agreement (smile)

written by: 0beron

Tue, 18 May 2010 15:42:10 +0100 BST

Yeh, sorry - in text form it's hard to express enthusiasm about our latest convoluted Eigenharp idea without coming across as too forceful. :-S

Please log in to join the discussions