Best Way to Modulate Synth Pitches for Bass Slides, etc

I’ve been using Cubase for many years, but one thing I have struggled with is using midi expressions and automation. I want to make a synth bass slide down, but I’m not sure exactly where to do this. There is a midi automation lane for pitch, but also expression maps?

Are there any good tutorial videos on how to do something like this?



I always use the pitch bend automation lane in the midi editor, not a separate automation lane. When editing midi, you usually find velocity automation underneath (by default), however, on the left top of the velocity lane header is a drop down option that lets you select a different midi message to be automated, like pitch bend or modulation (mod wheel). You can also add an extra lane dedicated to pitch bending, in case you prefer to edit both velocity and pitch at the same time.

Not at my DAW right now, otherwise I would have attached screens.

Hope this helps.

Thanks! I remember seeing a video on expression maps. Any idea how I could use that? They are still a foreign concept to me.

Also, you can pick a monophonic synth bass patch and include a ‘glide’ time so the bass note slides down or up. This might be smoother than using a pitch bend depending on the patch used and the sound you’re after.

But, the pitch bend method is great. You can, of course, just record the pitch bend after the note is played.

For example, you have a whole note and you want it to bend down a whole step and then return. Record or edit in the whole note and then go back and put in the pitch bend. Make sure you click on “show all used automation”

Good luck.

where are you doing this bend automation? drawing it in the midi editor window? If so, I need to find the correct CC parameter, is that correct?

The pitch bend appears under the midi track, but it doesn’t show by default. You have to click the little downward triangle and then add the lane for your bender data. Very easy to also just record the benders when playing the part, or recording the benders after the part is recorded. If you record them while, or after playing, you can always go back and edit the data. This aspect of Cubase is probably one of its strongest features.