Applying pitch bend to an audio sample

I’m new to the Sampler Track. How do I use it with a long audio sample to apply pitch bend or glide as it plays?

Errrr… send PitchBend to it.
Additionally you have a pitch envelope…

…and of course the usual pitch setup.

This is all so obvious that I wonder why you ask. Am I missing the point?

Well no, it’s not obvious to me. I want to process an audio track by applying pitch bend to a section of it. The sampler track appears to be designed to silence the original track and make it available to play from a MIDI source. I’m plainly misunderstanding something very simple.

The sampler track isn’t designed for long samples unless you’re creating a pad or ambient sound.

You can glide from note to note with the sampler but when using it in that way it’s intended for shorter samples, monophonically a note at a time.

You can take a long piece of audio and slice it in the sampler and trigger different samples with different notes.

Ah, I see. So how do I apply pitch bend to a section of a long audio track?

I do this with PitchDriver, but it’s available in Nuendo only.
There is no plugin in Cubase.

Mark the area that you want to change with the range tool. Then got to menu Audio → Processes → Pitch Shift.

There you might want to change to Envelope if you want a gradual change…

…or to Transpose if you want to change the entire section.

Alternatively you could record (or even hand edit) a MIDI performance of you playing what you want on the Sampler Track including the Pitchbend - just like you would for any virtual instrument. Then use Render In Place to convert the MIDI performance into Audio.


What are you trying to achieve by doing this? Depending on your goal the Sampler Track might not be the best tool for the job.

Ah, that seems to be a process unavailable in my Cubase Elements.

I had a long, single-note drone over many bars played on a synth which I then rendered to an audio track. I could indeed put the pitch bend on the MIDI track and re-render, but that gives a different effect. I was wanting the distortions of pitchbending an audio sample, so I thought I could use the sampler track to do this, but I’m not sure how.

I am not sure I should have known which edition of Cubase you use. Maybe you like to hand out this kind of info in the future?

I think you could use a sampler track to possibly achieve what you want.
Please note: a sampler track works basically as a sampler. You do not edit the original audio event but rather the audio file gets loaded into the sampler and then you can apply some basic sample editing like trimmming and fading and furthermore use synthesis. You play the sample on your midi keyboard as if it is just another instrument.
Just try to use MIDI pitch bend while holding a key. The pitch bend range gets defined in the lower left corner in semitones.
In the Pitch section you can find Glide. Also you can try the pitch envelope of the pitch section. Please refer to the links I posted above.

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Thanks for the advice, Johnny. I will be sure to add ‘Elements’ when I post questions in future, as it wastes repliers’ time proposing solutions I can’t use. I can see how this can work with the sampler track. It’s not ideal. For example, I have a very long drone/pad sample track; I create a single Note On track to play it. When I am editing various segments to, say, apply pitch bend, Cubase plays the sample from its start but with the pitch bend I’ve added to the later segment, which is audibly misleading. It’s fine when I play the whole piece from the start, but I suppose I’d have to pay again for a better version of Cubase to solve this.

Go to Edit → Preferences → MIDI; make sure the option “Chase Events” is activated. Maybe that helps.

That was already on. I understand why this nuisance happens: there’s only one Note On event for a long audio sample, so when I play the sample to edit it, naturally it plays from the start - there’s no way for Cubase to play from the middle of a sample if it’s triggered from the start.

Hi @Airlane1979

I see that Cubase Elements ships with Groove Agent SE. Groove Agent provides some pitch bend functionality.
I’m not allowed to post links but there are YouTube videos about it, e.g. “Cubase Tips and Tricks: Groove Agent Pitch Bend and MIDI Dissolve Tutorial” from Talking Leaf Media.
Hope that helps?

I tried it myself working on a long sample in Sampler Track - and you are right, playback in the middle of the Note event always triggers the sample from its beginning.
That is not the case when using VST Instruments for long pad or string sounds for example.

I don’t know if this behaviour is by design or ought to be considered a bug.

Either way, for now you’re screwed. Seems like what you want to do can’t be done with Elements.
(I don’t think Groove Agent SE will help in your case but there is no harm in trying it.)

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Interesting idea. I’ve just tried it and there’s a problem with using long samples in Groove Agent: once they are started by clicking on a pad, they can’t be stopped until they end. Which makes editing them a bit tricky when they’re several minutes long.

Yeah, Groove Agent is very versatile and at first it’s not always obvious how to achieve things.
“In the sample tab you can also go to ‘One Shot’ and switch it to ‘Until Release’ , then your sample only plays back as long as you press the pad.”

Does that work for you?

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It looks promising. I will explore this using a YouTube tutorial video by One Man And His Songs and see how I get on. Thank you.

Having looked at this, I don’t think it’s designed for multiple pitch envelopes along very long samples. Even though it has a lot of nodes, there doesn’t seem a way to apply pitch bends through them at various segments of a long time line. I’d want to make a selection at, say, 45-51s into the sample, apply the bend; then do something similar at 98-105s, and so on. Using a single pitch envelope from the start of the sample is not really the way to achieve this, it seems.