Portamento / Glissando / MIDI editing

Hi All

I am trying to get more realism out of my virtual instrument library, right now I am only using Halion SE.

I am aware that MIDI controllers, such as Portamento (i.e. gliding between notes) would be active only if the instrument supports them.

My questions are:

  1. How am I able to know if note gliding / portamento is available for a particular instrument (say strings ensemble)?
  2. If it is, how can I control it in cubase?
  3. If I may expand my question, how can you tell what you can and can’t control for a given instrument in Cubase, whether it’s Halion or say Spitfire strings?

    I am aware that you can assign certain knobs on the MIDI keybaord to MIDI cc’s using the “learn” function, but for some reason I never get any results when I try to control portamento.

Thank you

Kind of have to read the product manual I think. Whether portamento’s implemented or not, is down to the synth/sample library, not Cubase. EG in a simple case (a monophonic synth VSTi), I might be able to turn portamento on/off, and set the rate, while programming a sound in the VSTi. Then, if I program overlapping notes in Cubase’s MIDI editor, the synth will interpret those notes and make the porta effect.

Some VSTi’s give you choices about how porta works: maybe you can choose to glide between ANY notes (whether they overlap or not) and maybe you can only portamento between notes that actually overlap on the MIDI timeline.

Making sampled instruments portamento well is quite complicated: imagine if you want to porta between 2 notes which would naturally use different samples… the sampler engine’s got to work out which notes to use, and crossfade between them, while changing their pitch… and I’m not sure how successfully it would work. Also… polyphonic portamento is complicated too - if you play a 5-note chord, then a 7-note chord, which notes should the instrument glide between?

I think there’s instruments out there that do try to implement polyphonic portamento, and portamento between samples… but I don’t know how widespread that is.