Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel

Posted by: Tony V

Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 09/07/07 07:36 AM

From what I've seen, you can use the mod wheel to create a vibrato effect for guitar voices.

Are there any other uses for the mod wheel? What instrument voices are commonly used with it and for what purpose?

Same questions about the pitch wheel. When do you ever use that?
Posted by: Mike Warren

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 09/07/07 08:56 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Tuan Vo:
From what I've seen, you can use the mod wheel to create a vibrato effect for guitar voices.[/b]
The modulation wheel can be programmed to do a wide range of things in most synths. With some modern synths there is limited access to those sort of parameters so you often have to put up with what the synth manufacturer has chosen to do with it. The most common uses are to feed a LFO to either the oscillator(s), filter or amplifier sections. Sometimes it just controls the volume or filter cutoff.


 Quote:
Same questions about the pitch wheel. When do you ever use that? [/b]
In any situation you want to bend a note. It is mostly used with monophonic lines on lead breaks.
Posted by: ZeroZero

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 09/07/07 08:52 PM

If you have your paino linked to a computer and digital work station such as Cubase - you can use the output from the mod wheel to control various parameters of VST instruments - such as vibrato. It depends on the VST your using. The idea would be that if you want a change in sound (of any sort) that is grabbable by the mod wheel - so that you can quickly tweak it, say a rumble in a synth sound (low oscillator) then if the synth of VST is programmed to recieve the input, you can change the sound with the mod wheel

Zero
Posted by: Stephen Hazel

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 09/08/07 02:52 AM

pitchbender, modwheel, pedal, sliders, knobs, pads, buttons - they can all control anything on a synth if you know how.

My keyboard (Roland PCR-800) has 50 controllers!

Even the Audigy's soundfont synth will let you control LFO rate, amplitude envelope, filter cutoff, reverb amount, chorus amount, pan, etc.

There are a ton of things you can do if you learn how. Pick up a book on sound synthesis. It's a pretty big topic, but it's all over the web too.

and VERY COOL \:D

check http://shazware.com/piano
Posted by: Tony V

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 09/08/07 05:24 AM

Thanks for the info, everyone.

I've always been interested in synthesizers (I love 8-bit style video game music... and epic trance), but found the topic to be overwhelming.

For one, I have absolutely no clue on how to start learning about it. Also, I'm a beginner piano player, so I have absolutely no ability to compose, therefore I figured why bother learning about synthesizing now when I probably can't do anything with the cool sounds I'll be making.

Secondly, I can see from synth people that they tend to have lots of hardware that are alien to me. I can go so far as to understand sound cards and tone modules. What confuses me are those big panels with sliders and knobs, mixers, equalizers, turntables, etc. I also see pics of 3-6 keyboards being hooked up together... Confuuuuuuuusing! \:o

I find it all to be very intimidating and that discourages me from looking more onto this kind of thing.
Posted by: Stephen Hazel

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 09/12/07 04:26 PM

Well, it really isn't TOO confusing.

Just go hunting for midi files that "sound freaky" and load them into a sequencer and display the controllers.
There's pan, volume, aftertouch, pitchbend, and then you get to synth specific controls that do crazier things - filter cutoff, lfo, etc.

Read up on all the control changes your synth of choice can respond to to figure out what's possible.

Those big huge panels are analog synths.
They're expensive as heck.
I only have a Yamaha CP-33 for piano keyboard, Roland PCR-800 for a ton of tweakable controllers ($250 or so), and my audigy card (synth on a pc card) that'll respond to all the controllers.

That's all you really need to play around.

And the upside is that you don't even need to know how to play piano to make a decent synth track - it's mostly controller tweaking.

Of course, you WILL want to know how to front those synth tracks with REAL solos and such.

...SteveH
Posted by: lreg487

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 08/14/08 06:16 PM

I have always wanted to know if you can buy a seperate pitch and modulation whell sperate from the keyboard and plug it into the output of the keyboard, and a seperate amplifier. (like a wah peddle or proccesor)

If anyone has any feedback on this I would like to hear it.

Luke
Posted by: propianist

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 08/16/08 07:14 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by lreg487:[/b]
I have always wanted to know if you can buy a separate pitch and modulation wheel separate from the keyboard and plug it into the output of the keyboard, and a separate amplifier. (like a wah pedal or processor)
If anyone has any feedback on this I would like to hear it.
I remember seeing one of these years ago, it was a third-party add-on product with pitch-bend and modulations wheels in a little portable 5 inch plastic box, which was connected using standard MIDI ports.
Basically the idea never caught on, for a number of reasons - if there was still demand for these products, companies might be making them today.

With a loose portable add-on device, as you physically push the wheels, the lightweight box keeps sliding around all over the place, unless you can stick it down to the keyboard with Velcro or gaffer tape.

You might think people with a domestic digital piano with 88 weighted keys but no pitch / mod wheels would be a target market, but even if you could send MIDI pitch-bend and mod control data into this digital piano, the instrument may not be designed to recognize and respond to it, and won't have any user-programmable facility on-board to offer assignable MIDI controller parameters anyway, so the wheels are useless for that digital piano anyway.
For a synth keyboard however, if it is designed and built to recognize and perform with pitch / mod data, chances are it will already have its own wheels built-in already.

The only real use is for taking MIDI output from a nice 88 note digital piano, going Thru a pitch/mod wheel add-on, to merge the MIDI out data, and feed In to a synth rack module or computer software that can use pitch / mod data. However, there are so many other useful control parameters you could have handy as well, so most companies these days offer universal MIDI controllers with many assignable knobs, sliders, and buttons, rather than just pitch/mod.

But there are devices like this you could buy...

The top one, Kenton KillaMix Mini has an X-Y joystick that could be used for pitch / mod plus 9 assignable knobs and buttons, but uses USB rather than MIDI.



Posted by: lreg487

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 08/16/08 05:47 PM

Hey thanks, I will definetly consider purchasing one of these!
Thanks alot

Luke Regier
Posted by: Eternal

Re: Pitch Bender and Modulation Wheel - 08/18/08 02:26 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by lreg487:
Hey thanks, I will definetly consider purchasing one of these!
Thanks alot

Luke Regier [/b]
I would too, if it wasn't for the price tag. Almost $500. I'd much rather build one myself...