MIDI Expressions/Articulations/Controllers? I must be a DA..

Hi all.

Read below the mail that I sent as a Support Request-form. Well it sucks asking these kind of a dumb*ss questions but I’d really like someone to help me like a six-year old kid. So I’m gonna try this Forum.

MIDI and everything around it has always been a kind of a “dark area” for me and I’ve learned a lot but some “little” :slight_smile: concepts, like the ones on the subject line, are still weird to me. Below is the picture from Guitar Pro 4.08 that is mentioned in the text below. Hope you gurus can help this old-school audio-freak!


I saw from the Cubase 6 tutorial videos about the new VST Expression 2 system and people seem to love the feature also. However, I never have understood MIDI too well for some strange reason and I don’t even know (and don’t have anyone to ask them about) what are MIDI Articulations and Expressions? And what are MIDI controllers?

Sorry to be asking that from you, but when I was reading the C5 manual a few months back, I couldn’t really get the idea. I don’t have any external MIDI-capable device; I just program the notes by hand so are those three things of any use for me at all?

What I’d like to be able to do, is like programming like Staccatos or something, or any different type of dynamics for my, say, violins with Halion Symphonic Orchestra. Maybe Vibrato or ANY KIND of dynamics that you could imagine. Do the expressions/articulations/controllers have something to do with those?

Is there some kind of a comprehensive document on these available about these things? Since I understand that the manual doesn’t exactly teach you how to, say, install you Operating System, since one has to know the basics - like the concepts of MIDI for example, but I don’t. The Operating system isn’t the problem for me, it was just an example > :slight_smile:

One example of this MIDI-stuff is the legendary software Guitar Pro. There you have effects like “dead note”, “palm mute”, vibrato, tremolo, grace note, Hammer On/Pull Off etc. etc. etc. See the picture attached. So I’m pretty sure that GP uses something like Expressions/Articulations/Controllers of different type/kind but I don’t have a slightest clue that how and what. And that is depressing.

Also I found the pitch-bend from Cubase but the scale is a weird and narrow 3 semitones or something. And that really is NOT enough! Plus editing the midi-values manually by entering some value… I haven’t found the way to do it. Like getting the Pitch back to value 0… How do I do that?

OK, nothing more right now. Hope you can help me, while waiting for the Cubase 6 to arrive in the post > :slight_smile:

Thank you,

-Tommi Tiihonen

Well, Tommi,

The problem to understanding this for you looks to be the fact that MIDI is one thing, and the stuff that the software designers create, such as midi expression and the like, are different things.

Midi is a set of rules and specifications that has remained unchanged for many years, and the other stuff is layered on top of it, so to speak. To understand the latter you need to understand the former. Those terms like dead note, etc are not midi terms, but they are terms for functions that use midi to get the job done, but hide the actual midi command that is being sent.

It’s beyond the scope of the Cubase or other sequencer manual to explain the basics of midi, so I suggest doing a google search for midi tutorial, or check this pdf file.

Best of luck,


Thanks, Steve! I will.

Yep - true - I should have googled first but thought that maybe someone could lighten it up for me with only a few sentences :slight_smile: Anyway, I’ll check that link you provided. Thanks again,

  • Future MIDI-guru