Microtonality

Hello,
Imho, the best thing which could happen to Cubase would be a full microtonality support.
In particular, I think about the ability to import a doricolib containing custom intervals into a track without having to tweak pitchbend values.
I know I can do that in Dorico but… Cubase is and remains Cubase isn’t it?
It’s a suggestion… and a dream.

2 Likes

Well… I would not hold ny breath, but I love the idea.

Why? Is this that difficult? For the finest devs in the world?
Ok it’s not my job so let’s say: not ready for Cubase 12 I admit, but 13 will do it for sure.

1 Like

The issue is more about playback and of how to connect to the sound module, virtual VST or physical synths/samplers. Steinberg multi-timbral VSTs generally do support it, but not in every case, and there’s no standardization among other software and hardware manufacturers. Further, though Steinberg provides the means to tune individual notes in the VST 2 and 3 spec, only a handful of vendors chose to support it.

Cubase is tonality aware in its own way, there’s no global concept for Keys, instead particular editors implement it. The entire program is based on 12 tone structures, maybe down to its very roots.

Dorico, on the other hand was designed for microtonality from before the first alpha release.

1 Like

“Dorico, on the other hand was designed for microtonality from before the first alpha release.”
All is said. Dorico is the future.
Unfortunalety, I don’t like Dorico interface and workflow that much: not fluid, not sensitive, not… ah! it’s a juvenile program of course.
Too bad to have so few choices to write microtonal music in a natural way: some instruments in Halion, some soundfonts, Pianoteq.
But nothing from UVI, nothing from Native, nothing from Sine… will they all miss the train?

The microtone train. All aboard, the two of you!

There are workarounds.

1 Like

For notation, take a look here: Microtonal accidentals - Cubase - Steinberg Forums
For playback, I would use Expression Map.

shock
What? How? Please, tell. (pretty please, it’s my birthday. I need a rast happy birthday to me. :rofl:)

I would rather use Note Expression. You can create custom microtonal intervals with Note Expression (‘tuning’ parameter). It’s very neat.
But you find this parameter only on some instruments in Halion Sonic or the Grand for instance.

1 Like

It depends on the VST, as long as it can be controlled using CCs, one just needs to send the correct message to the instrument.

A specific CC value tied to tuning, applied as an articulation through an expression map?

yes.
.

1 Like

I actually have been following a music theorist/researcher who is advocating for better support for microtonality. I recently attended one of his virtual talks.
He pointed a few things:

  • Microtanility is very common outside of western theory
  • The MIDI MTS protocol has built in support for microtonality but many software manufactures don’t support it.
  • He spoke to several software companies who supported his ideas but nothing came of it.
  • Consumers need to make demands.

I support this but more importantly the absence of microtonality looks like very dated, biased, baggage that should be of the past.

1 Like

I tried to set this up today, but I got mixed results.

  • For one, I can’t accurately tie the CC value to a detune value. (Meaning that I have to assign a range of CC 1-127 to a range of tuning parameter -200 to 200.)
  • Two, when I set up the expression slot as an attribute, it won’t reset tuning to default (maybe there’s a default CC value I missed?), I have to follow up with a “normal tune” articulation, but then I get “slides” when they swap quickly.
  • I also tried note expression. That was good, especially the easy copy/paste between notes, but I have to give it more time to see how it flows.
  • I tried to use the LE to automatically create a pitch bend event of a specific value under the qualifying events, that was a disaster. I didn’t even know where to start.
  • Micro Tuner gets the job done a surprising number of times. If not for the little quirk with retriggering and incompatibility with some plug-ins, it would be much more valuable.
  • In the end, most of the time I revert back to brute force painting pitch bend. Thank god for the new snap feature, because it surely goes faster than before, but still…

By the way, is there any good reading material on the Logical Editor? I have read what the manual offers, but I can’t put it to good use. Plus, there’s a limit to the good will of forum members that help and help again!

1 Like

What instrument are you doing this to?

Any instrument that will listen. Ideally, I want to be able to do it with any instrument.

But, I’m mostly using Halion Sonic Se (loading HSO through it), Retrologue, Padshop - I’d love Mystic and Prologue too but they won’t listen - and Pianoteq Stage also obeys to Micro Tuner which is a pleasant surprise.

Edit: Some behaviours of MicroTuner that don’t allow me to use it with all the instruments as much as I would like can be found in the link below. I would be obliged if someone could have a look at the project and offer some insight on why things work as they do.

As far as the LE, if you post your preset someone will likely help.

About Note Expression, here is my way:

  • I load an VST3i (Halion happy family -but not every instrument!-, or The Grand…) on a defined channel;
  • in NE inspector, I activate the Tuning parameter and I restrict the range of values: Max. value to 1 and Min. value to -1 (one half-step up and down);
  • I select the note/s to modify and apply the LE preset “Create VST3 Tuning One-shot”;
  • I open the NE editor and activate “One-shot mode” (upper left corner) and “Horizontal snap” (upper right corner)
  • I move the mouse to reach the value in cents I want and I alt_click to write it in the editor.
  • I can then navigate to the next note to treat and so on.

You can also select all notes with same pich and process them all together.

There are interesting commands to experiment with: particularly Paste NE and Invert values.

If it helps…

2 Likes

This is what just I do.

What I would wish for is that Note Expression commands be available to use in an expression map as articulations.

There this other plugin with which one can use microtonality with all VST instruments

it has a setting for “Mono / MPE” :
which sets whether MicroToner works by forcing the virtual instrument in Mono mode (works with all virtual instruments) or in MPE (Poly) mode (works only with MPE compatible virtual instruments