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Dave G

Large pitch bend troubles (RPN)

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Posted (edited)

Trying out the demo of Rapture Pro, I'm learning about large pitch bends. I thought this would be easier, but I'm ashamed I have to ask for help on this.

Rapture handles typical pitch bends (instrument bend range defaulted to 2), normally. However, I'm having difficulty managing larger pitch bends...

First, in the Controller pane, I draw a Wheel line from 0 - 8,192. Then, once I set the UP knob higher than 2, that overrides every RPN level I'd set in the controller pane. Perfect for one static bend range throughout the track, but certainly not open to flexibility for multiple ranges programmed in the track.

So I can't set varied ranges, because that UP knob set to 24; every pitch bend on the track will go the full two octaves. This setting doesn't leave the track open to a variety of pitch bends, just one set to 24 notes.

May I please get some insight on this function? Is there another step I'm missing to set variable RPN's/bends in a Rapture instrument track?

Screenshots included: a) Two test pitch bent notes, drawn to 8,192, each rising to the key of the next note, b) the Perform section of the instrument Element window, defaulted to 2. First note bend rises by one octave; the third note bend rises two octaves.

Thank you in advance. :)

 

bend.jpg

RP (bend).jpg

Edited by Dave G

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You know the demo is limited to 30 days and there is no way to purchase the synth.

The pitch bend range is set in the performance module shown in the image above.

Just like the Pitch Bend opcodes in sfz, there is no way to modify them on the fly.

Rapture Pro like most soft synth is not a GM instrument.

 

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Thanks for the clarification on this.

That is disappointing...

I would hope that Rapture would fulfill that need for the extra flexibility. Looks like back to TTS-1 for using RPN controllers when the need arises.

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Can you not automate the pitch bend range parameter(s)?

Or you can change the pitch bend range on the fly using NRPN events. 

In the PRV, you can see all of Rapture's accessible parameters listed.  The one you're after in Bend Up and Bend Down.  Or you can change the parameter with Write automation

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dave G said:

That is disappointing...

I would hope that Rapture would fulfill that need for the extra flexibility. Looks like back to TTS-1 for using RPN controllers when the need arises.

I don't understand. Some midi controllers have a fixed bend range so the synth and controller have to match. Even if the controller has a programmable bend range the controller's and synth's bend ranges have to match. You wouldn't change the bend range on the fly. Once the bend range is set then the value of the bend message determines how much the pitch changes. Pitch bend messages are relative to the bend range. Keyboards often have a value of 2, guitar to midi controllers are often 12 or 24 - allowing you to slide up/down the neck. Using a midi controller you do it by ear and it's very simple. The idea of rising to the next note changes based on the bend range - what value rises to the next note depends on the bend range.

Edited by rsinger

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24 minutes ago, rsinger said:

 You wouldn't change the bend range on the fly.

I do this in all of my MIDI projects for the SW1000XG.

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4 minutes ago, Promidi said:

I do this in all of my MIDI projects for the SW1000XG.

Why?

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8 minutes ago, rsinger said:

Why?

Sometimes I temporarily need a range greater than the default of 2

Yes, I could just keep it at a range other than 2.  However, most of my pitch bend are 2 semi tones.  It's far easier to achieve this using PB=8191 when the range is 2.  If the range was always at a fixed value > 2, then I would have to be very accurate with the mouse to achieve a bend of 2.

Besides, I have a Studioware panel combined with a CAL script where all I do is enter the required bend range, and the CAL script enters the correct RPN event to achieve it.  I have a separate button just for 2  -I just click it, and it enters an RPN0 > 256 (which makes the range 2)

With the Studioware panels and CAL scripts, this is very fast.

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Posted (edited)

OK, you're drawing it in, not playing it? And of course there's higher resolution with smaller bend ranges...

Edited by rsinger

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9 minutes ago, rsinger said:

OK, you're drawing it in, not playing it? And of course there's higher resolution with smaller bend ranges...

That is correct.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Promidi said:

Can you not automate the pitch bend range parameter(s)?

Or you can change the pitch bend range on the fly using NRPN events. 

In the PRV, you can see all of Rapture's accessible parameters listed.  The one you're after in Bend Up and Bend Down.  Or you can change the parameter with Write automation

The only function I know of to do this is to draw the RPN's into the Controller Pane, but Rapture Pro's Bend value overrides that completely. And if it did work, you could insert several RPN's into your track at every different pitch bend, but it would ignore them.

I've never used NRPN events. How does that relate to RPN?

7 hours ago, rsinger said:

I don't understand. Some midi controllers have a fixed bend range so the synth and controller have to match. Even if the controller has a programmable bend range the controller's and synth's bend ranges have to match. You wouldn't change the bend range on the fly. Once the bend range is set then the value of the bend message determines how much the pitch changes. Pitch bend messages are relative to the bend range. Keyboards often have a value of 2, guitar to midi controllers are often 12 or 24 - allowing you to slide up/down the neck. Using a midi controller you do it by ear and it's very simple. The idea of rising to the next note changes based on the bend range - what value rises to the next note depends on the bend range.

I don't understand it either. (Unless I'm misunderstanding your explanation...?)

I can't draw a 3,072 RPN in the beginning of the track as a catch-all to each pitch bend above 2 notes. Every pitch bend has to be preceded by a custom RPN that sets its range.

In the PRV screenshot of my original post, I've drawn two pairs of notes: the first of each pair bent upward to match the key of its partner note (the 2nd and 4th notes). The Wheel line is drawn all the way up to 8,192. 

I also inserted two RPN events (not pictured) in the Controller pane. The first one, inserted before note 1, tells it to bend up one octave (1,536). The second one, inserted before note 2, tells it to bend up two octaves (3,072).

But those two RPN instructions will be ignored because I already told the Rapture to default bend by 24 anyway. So it will do that with every pitch bend in the track. Therefore, this setting cancels out varied bend ranges unless they are the typical default pitch bends (2 semitones).

Should I want large bends in my projects, this could be an unfortunate impediment and restriction to my creativity. However, TTS-1 allows this technique.

Fortunately, TTS-1 allows the option of either setting a range in the synth window or drawing RPN's into the Controller Pane. And as you play the track, the Bend Range display value changes accordingly with every RPN event that is passed.

Edited by Dave G

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1 hour ago, Dave G said:

I've never used NRPN events. How does that relate to RPN?

 

If you have a MIDI track driving a VSTi (or a SIT), then all parameters that are automatable are also listed as NRPN events.  For Rapture Pro, the one you're after is BEND UP {1 to 6} and Bend DOWN {1 to 6}

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Promidi said:

If you have a MIDI track driving a VSTi (or a SIT), then all parameters that are automatable are also listed as NRPN events.  For Rapture Pro, the one you're after is BEND UP {1 to 6} and Bend DOWN {1 to 6}

Okay. So that being said, how would one use NRPN in the PRV Controller Pane the way I would normally use RPN to set the pitch bend range in the fly (rather than just once from the GUI?)

I was looking around for this information, and I couldn't find any documentation of NRPN being applied to control bend range events in the PRV.

Still, however, I guess Rapture Pro is a moot point because I'm using the demo and Pro is no longer available for sale. 😕

Edited by Dave G

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20 minutes ago, Dave G said:

Okay. So that being said, how would one use NRPN in the PRV Controller Pane the way I would normally use RPN to set the pitch bend range in the fly (rather than just once from the GUI?)

I was looking around for this information, and I couldn't find any documentation of NRPN being applied to control bend range events in the PRV.

Still, however, I guess Rapture Pro is a moot point because I'm using the demo and Pro is no longer available for sale. 😕

You're right about it being a moot point.

However, you can enter NRPN events the same way you enter any other events.  When you add a Controller, you select “NRPN” as type.  Rapture actually has 12 Bend NRPN events available (6 elements, separate up and down).  Unfortunately, that values do not correspond to the actual range values. 

The formula is NRPN value = 16383 * (range / 24)

If you have a Rapture patch that uses all 6 elements, then you would need to issue the bend event for each element.

Personally I would use automation.

Note: The way I use NRPN events in Cakewalk is to control drum parameters for an external SW1000XG card (an various other parameters)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Promidi said:

However, you can enter NRPN events the same way you enter any other events.  When you add a Controller, you select “NRPN” as type.  Rapture actually has 12 Bend NRPN events available (6 elements, separate up and down).  Unfortunately, that values do not correspond to the actual range values. 

The formula is NRPN value = 16383 * (range / 24)

Personally I would use automation.

In another topic, I learned that RPN + pitch bend function doesn't work in Cakewalk Sound Center either. This was after I tried entering a Wheel (i.e. full octave pitch bend) automation lane, then an RPN automation lane in the Track window. The Wheel lane worked fine, however, the RPN automation wouldn't work for me either. Just wouldn't do what I thought it was supposed to do (at the time).

I may try using NRPN events in the Controller pane to see if that works out. But it's been an extensive amount of research and discussion for this simple little function, that may be all for me. Noted, of course, I don't use an external controller/keyboard. I mouse draw everything into the PRV; just the way I've grown accustomed to this hobby.

Taking everyone's input into consideration, if large pitch bends otherwise absolutely cannot be done in the DAW using this method, I'll probably just say quits on that experiment. And just go back to using a TTS-1 instrument track for large pitch bends, as this is where I've confirmed RPN's to work as, when, and often as needed in the track progression.

I realize that a large pitch bend of, say, six notes, an octave or more isn't realistic unless I want to create some sort of flair or outrageous fancy upward/downward effect for an instrument. But I feel that a pitch bend of a default of two semitones might restrict some creativity at some point. (shrug)

Edited by Dave G

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Dave G said:

I don't understand it either. (Unless I'm misunderstanding your explanation...?)

I can't draw a 3,072 RPN in the beginning of the track as a catch-all to each pitch bend above 2 notes. Every pitch bend has to be preceded by a custom RPN that sets its range.

It doesn't help with your problem, but I was trying to explain the design. On the HW midi controllers and HW sound modules I have the bend range is buried inside a menu and is not a parameter you change when playing a song. You set a bend range on your midi controller and you set the bend ranges on any sound modules you are controlling to match. That allows you to change your bend range. 

Midi pitch bend messages change when you play a song - on a keyboard the pitch wheel is there to manipulate in real time, it's not buried in a menu. Midi pitch bend messages are relative to the bend range. The value in a pitch bend message to raise a pitch a half step is different if the bend range is 2 than if the bend range is 12. If you want to bend up a fifth somewhere in your song  you set the bend range to 7 at the beginning of the song and if you bend up or down a half step you put the appropriate value to achieve that and like wise for a whole step bend. For any given bend range you need to calculate what pitch bend value you need to bend to the interval you want. That is how I understand the design and that is likely what you'll find on midi controllers and sound modules. If you record someone playing a midi controller this is what you'll see. Bend ranges are already set and when you record a midi performance you'll see pitch bend messages and if there is a wide bend range you'll note the peaks of the curves will be at different values for half step, whole step, and bends of a third and so on.

Given that you're free to do whatever you want and if TTS-1 is easier for your composing methods you should use that.

Edited by rsinger

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Posted (edited)
On 10/5/2021 at 6:49 AM, Promidi said:

However, you can enter NRPN events the same way you enter any other events.  When you add a Controller, you select “NRPN” as type.  Rapture actually has 12 Bend NRPN events available (6 elements, separate up and down).  Unfortunately, that values do not correspond to the actual range values. 

The formula is NRPN value = 16383 * (range / 24)

Thank you for the explanation. I've researched the potential usage of NRPN for pitch bend range, but couldn't locate anything useful.

Would you please elaborate on the equation you provided above, maybe give an example? I still kinda fail to understand this compared to a typical 2-note bend or an RPN bend...

Edited by Dave G

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3 hours ago, Dave G said:

Thank you for the explanation. I've researched the potential usage of NRPN for pitch bend range, but couldn't locate anything useful.

Would you please elaborate on the equation you provided above, maybe give an example? I still kinda fail to understand this compared to a typical 2-note bend or an RPN bend...

RPN 0 to control pitch bend range is a Roland GM standard (also Yamaha XG).  TTS-1 also follows this standard.  Even then the RPN values are derived by 128 x Range.

However, with many modern synths and VSTis, this standard goes out the window.  These synths have their own method.

Let’s have another look at Rapture Pro.

With NRPN events, you can have 16384 discreet values.  However, with Rapture Pro's pitch bend you have 25 discreet values (24 including zero)

What the formula does is changes Rapture Pro's 0 to 24 pitch bend range to NRPN Events 0 to 16384 so you know what NRPN value to use

Another way to get the NRPN value from the required range is to multiply the range by 683     (Which is 16384 / 24 rounded up)

So to get:

A range of  4 semi tones, you use NRPN Bend Up 01 > 2732
A range of  7 semi tones, you use NRPN Bend Up 01 > 4781
A range of 12 semi tones, you use NRPN Bend Up 01 > 8196

I tested this by plugging these values into the event list view and the range does change on the fly as the track is playing

I had 4 notes (All B2) playing, each proceeded by an NRPN Bend Up 01 event and a pitch bend event at maximum (in that order)

Audibly, the notes played the correct intervals (4, 7, 12) even though the note was still displayed as B2 notes according to the PRV

I also opened up the Rapture's edit screen and I could see Element One’s pitch bend value change accordingly while the track played.

 

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Thank you for the clarification on this. I believe this might be my last shot at making this work. Apart from that, back  to existing methods. LOL.

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Posted (edited)
On 10/6/2021 at 3:37 PM, Promidi said:

With NRPN events, you can have 16384 discreet values.  However, with Rapture Pro's pitch bend you have 25 discreet values (24 including zero)
What the formula does is changes Rapture Pro's 0 to 24 pitch bend range to NRPN Events 0 to 16384 so you know what NRPN value to use
Another way to get the NRPN value from the required range is to multiply the range by 683     (Which is 16384 / 24 rounded up)

A range of  4 semi tones, you use NRPN Bend Up 01 > 2732
A range of  7 semi tones, you use NRPN Bend Up 01 > 4781
A range of 12 semi tones, you use NRPN Bend Up 01 > 8196

I tested this by plugging these values into the event list view and the range does change on the fly as the track is playing
I had 4 notes (All B2) playing, each proceeded by an NRPN Bend Up 01 event and a pitch bend event at maximum (in that order)

Per the attached screenshot, I drew three notes with a maxxed pitch wheel event on each (0 to 8,192), resetting it to 0 after each note is played. I inserted three preceding NRPN's which only resulted in a two-note bend, as expected. Then I realized that I neglected the Value drop-down menu...

I don't see a Bend Up/Down selection therein. Which entry from the Value menu am I supposed to select for this technique?

EDIT: I also just realized that the Value menu is dependent on the Track type. This menu appears for a Simple Instrument Track (the one below, TTS-1) and a MIDI Track, yet appears as a numerical input menu for a Waveform Track.

NRPN.jpg

Edited by Dave G

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6 minutes ago, Dave G said:

Per the attached screenshot, I drew three notes with a maxxed pitch wheel event on each (0 to 8,192), resetting it to 0 after each note is played. I inserted three preceding NRPN's which only resulted in a two-note bend, as expected. Then I realized that I neglected the Value drop-down menu...

I don't see a Bend Up/Down selection therein. Which entry from the Value menu am I supposed to select for this technique?

EDIT: I also just realized that the Value menu is dependent on the Track type. This menu appears for a Simple Instrument Track (the one below, TTS-1) and a MIDI Track, yet appears as a numerical input menu for a Waveform Track.

 

The NRPN parameter names that appear depend on the actual synth used.  The Bend Up/Down parameters are Rapture.  The NRPN parameters you’re seeing are for TTS-1

For TTS-1 you need to use RPN0  This is the GM standard for pitch bend range, which TTS-1 adheres to.

In TTS-1, to get the actual RPN value , you multiply 128 by the pitch bend range you want.

To get a range of  4 semi tones, you use RPN 0 > 512      (128 x 4)
To get a range of  7 semi tones, you use RPN 0 > 896      (128 x 7)
To get a range of 12 semi tones, you use RPN 0 > 1536      (128 x 12)

I tested this in TTS-1 and this works.

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