Pitch Bend (MIDI values) explanation please


I want to insert a simple pitch bend message to create a “hammer-on” effect on a (MIDI) guitar part. On previous versions of Cubase I’m sure it was possible to do this by inserting a value of 96 for a semitone or 127 for a full tone - inserting another of value 64 immediately after the note to “restore” the natural state. However, Cubase 7 seems to display pitch values in values of thousands, which I don’t understand, I thought MIDI values were always 0-127 or 1-128. - Is there a way to insert pitch bend values as simple 0-127 messages in the list editor?

Thanks, MD

Where are you putting this value in?

When I draw pitch bend into a midi controller lane (Piano roll editor with the pencil) I get 8191 max, zero is off.

When I adjust a pitchbend value in the list editor I get 0->16382 (8192 is off).

In fact, this difference is a bit rubbish really because it should be standardised across all editors. Hey hum.

OK, so the explanation… Pitchbend uses two distinct midi messages, one for the higher 7 bits (Most Signifiant Bits) and another for the lower 7 bits (Least Significant Bits). Together these give you a higher resolution of control than just 0-127 (which is what CCs have), and that’s needed because we’re more able to detect pitch inaccuracies. In previous versions we controlled the pitch using these two values separately in the editors, but now it looks like Steinberg have now rolled these into a single value ranging across the whole range. So, you need to use equally space values that span across the ranges I’ve mentioned above. E.g. -8191, -4096, 0, 4096, 8191.

Also, Steinberg, can we have a pitchbend automation lane please too??

I have created myself a Track Control script to control just the MSB of pitch shift using a Midi plugin which I can then control with an automation lane, but it’s far from the nicest method, much better if it was built into the automation system.


Thanks Mike, that does make sense, although I prefer the old method. I’ve actually gone from Cubase 5.1 VST to Cubase 7 in one move so a lot of things are different. From your explanation about combining two controllers, I’m assuming they’ve done the same thing with the Bank Select in the Inspector - at one time it was possible to enter CC00 and CC32 for MSB and LSB, which was great for my Roland gear, but now there’s only one entry box so I gather you have to do a bit of arithmetic for this too?

Yeah, it looks like they’ve done the same thing with the bank select as you say! Strange because unlike pitch bend most if not all manufacturers quote the MSB and LSB separately in their midi spec so why combine then I wonder?

I wish Steinberg would let us automate PC and BC too!!