I’m exploring creating analogue sequence-style composition with repeating, evolving note sequences. Cubase Elements does not seem ideally suited to this on its own. I’ve tried using the excellent plugin sequencer Full Bucket Sequencair and I’d like to control the gate time of the notes as they are playing into Cubase but Sequencair has no means to do this. Can anyone suggest a straightforward method, ideally one that doesn’t involve buying anything else?
Are you sure? On their website it really looks like you can control the gate. And for software like this it would be weird if you couldn’t.
Sure, Sequencair permits control of the gate time for individual notes, but no means to link all the notes’ gate times and move them as one. This facility seems oddly lacking in a lot of sequencers, both hardware and software. Cubase, so far as I can tell, doesn’t offer it either.
Does it use MIDI Note On & Off messages to control the gate?
It’s not really clear what you are trying to do.
I want to create a sequence of notes, then as they play, control the gate time of them all as one. For example, my Yamaha MODX synth has a dedicated Gate Time knob on its panel to control that parameter of its thousands of arpeggios. I’m looking to do the same with sequences, which surely must be simple to implement. These would not be MIDI note on messages but CC.
OK, I don’t know that specific synth. But typically a control like that would be used to control the gate’s length as each one plays. So it’s not setting the length for all the notes but rather as each note plays it uses the current setting of the knob to determine how long it should play. I assume that if your MODX is playing arpeggios and you turn the Gate Time knob that the note lengths change as you do that.
If Seqencair doesn’t have a mechanism that lets you modulate the gate length set in each step, Cubase can’t magically give it that capability. If you are recording the sequencer’s output as MIDI Note data you could use the Input Transformer (which might be Pro only - I’m not sure) to change the Note length either to a specific value (e.g. all quarter notes) or a multiple of it’s current length (e.g. half, double). And of course if you record the note data you can edit it however you like later.
There does not seem to be a means to fulfil what appears to be a simple task: continuous control of gate time in a sequence. Cubase’s Input Transformer has only crude control, as you describe it. Step Designer (Artist upwards), the Cubase analogue-style sequencer plugin, looks like a much more basic version of the free Sequencair and the description of it on Steinberg’s site shows nothing about controlling gate time, which it accurately labels Step Length, apart from when the sequence is not running. Its only use of MIDI data is to choose which sequence is running.
As for editing note data after recording it, that is certainly possible but not live, while the sequence is playing. This seems to be beyond Cubase’s design capabilities.
There might be other VST plugins around providing continuous control of gate time, so I’ll investigate further.
What you are describing sounds better handled with the sustain and release of the synth you are using-not the sequencer. Automate the parameters of your synths ADSR to have the length evolve over time.