Microtones in scrub playback

I’m using pitch bend for microtonal tuning, which works well, but it’s not playing back the correct pitches when I use scrub playback. Instead it resolves to the nearest semitone above, so A qt# sounds as a Bb. With scrub turned off, if I select the note it sounds correctly. Is there a setting somewhere that I’m missing? I’m running ver 5.1, and I note that there was a fix for microtonal scrub in the 5.0.10 release.


I’ve been looking into this, and it seems to be working OK for me. What playback device are you using?

Hi Daniel,

I’m using VSL Ensemble Pro. As I say, it does receive midi pitch bend during playback, correctly, though. The scrub is actually doing something, because if I first select a microtonal note it will sound correctly, but then scrubbing over the same note immediately will ‘straighten’ it to the upper semitone.

I can’t explain that. Dorico is sending a pitch bend message, if required, for every note that it outputs when scrubbing.

I’ve set up Kontakt and it’s exactly the same problem. In both VSL and Kontakt I can see the pitch bend controllers moving for playback and selection, but with scrub it resets the controller to 0.

To test this, I configured the Default expression map to use pitch bend and created some 24-EDO notes in a simple piano project. As I scrub, I can see the HALion Sonic pitch bend wheel moving to different values. So it really does seem to be working as expected here.

I set up a new project as you describe above, using Halion Sonic. I can confirm that it works as expected for playback and for scrub i.e. I can scrub microtones. The only thing I noticed is that the pitch wheel moves during playback, but not when I scrub. But so far, so good.

If I replace Halion Sonic with Kontakt or VSL in the same basic project, it will playback microtones, but not when scrubbing.

Might there be something in the implementation that in some way works for Halion, but not for these others? If it’s simply a case of sending the pitch bend information at the start of the note, then I can’t see why it would work for playback but not for scrub. The fact that, for Halion, both scrub and playback work, but it doesn’t move the pitch wheel (for me) during scrubbing, and does during playback would seem to suggest something different in the process.

Dorico sends the pitch bend message immediately before the note in both cases. I’m really not sure how to account for the difference in behaviour.

If I set Halion Sonic as the Playback device, and then set the microtonality playback to VST Note Expression, in both cases (PB and scrub) the pitch wheel graphic does not move in Halion. i.e. it only seems to move when midi pitch bend is selected, and crucially only during regular playback. Therefore, is it possible that scrub is only using VST note expression, regardless of the setting in the expression map?

No, I really don’t think so. I have checked carefully in the debugger and pitch bend messages are definitely being sent, along with the messages to play the notes.

Thanks for looking into it, Daniel. That’s puzzling then! I am at a complete loss to explain why it’s not working for me.

It’s fixed! Thank you for 5.1.10 @dspreadbury - microtonal scrub works great now!

I didn’t really change anything, though I made a tiny tweak that could conceivably have accounted for the difference. I’m glad it’s working for you as expected now.

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