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Portamento + aftertouch


Dan O

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Do you use these features on your keyboard ?

i like using aftertouch with synth lead sounds / rock guitar leads to name a few and little protamento to give that glide type sound ..........Any one else ?

dano

www.esnips.com/web/SongsfromDanO
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I won't buy a keyboard without aftertouch, especially a synth. If I'm doing a synth solo, I depend on aftertouch for vibrato, filter swells, crescendos, etc. In the band I play with now, I'm the only comping instrument, so I can rarely spare my left hand for controllers.

 

I like a quick portamento for those slippery lead synth sounds, but I prefer to use the bender or ribbon for polyphonic chord slides and such.

 

Speaking of bending, why doesn't every synth on the market enable a feature Kurzweil calls "key bend"? You know, where you play two notes, step on the sustain pedal, release one of the notes, and the bender will bend only the note whose key you're still holding? That is such a cool feature, especially for guitar style double stop bends. I don't know why so many manufacturers overlook it. I remember Ensoniq's had that feature, too. Can any other synth do this?

 

Peace all,

Steve

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Steve

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On my Z1, I've programmed a lead sound recently where I can dial in portamento with the mod wheel, trying to set the sensitivity just right so it's easy to get a subtle little slide or to just crank it for dive bomb effects. I love portamento.

 

Aftertouch: I only own two keyboard. On one, the QS 8, I find you really need to press hard to trigger aftertouch effects. On the Z1, aftertouch is totally trigger happy, and you have to be careful or you get it when you don't want it.

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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My favorite use of after touch is those few keyboards that allow you to turn the rotary effect on and off by just pressing the keys. Seems that the Ensoniq MR7 had that feature. I almost always program modulation for after touch so I can use the wheel for growel, cross fade or filter control. I like to program portamento into single oscillators of a multi-oscillator patch. One bonus to the older analogs with 6 or less voices. You could have a patch with portamento, turn down the volume, hit a low cord, turn up the volume and hit a high cord. You always got a nice, full cord glide if you use as many notes in your cord as are available in the synth.

 

Robert

 

[ 02-01-2002: Message edited by: Rabid ]

This post edited for speling.
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I love portamento too. Probably use too much of it. I tend to use a legato-triggering-with-legato-portamento lead most of the time, so I can alternate staccato and legato play. I like your idea of having variable portamento-time on tap John. Mind if I use it? :)

 

BTW, how is the Z1 working out? They had a burp/downward bend on one of the factory trombone patches that was really cool. I have wondered if that sort of inflection is available on the more artificial lead sounds.

 

For me, poly portamento is just not playable most of the time. More like a special effect than a musical expression. The AN1x appears to do the oscillator based portamento (authentic emulation? ;) ) so you really have to play notes on all the oscillators if you want it to be predictable. If you want to bend from one note, you can just keep hitting that note over and over until all the oscillators tune to that. The Roland starts from last note played so you could write a musical part to take advantage of it I suppose. Really not easy to improvise with though. How do you guys use poly portamento? Any tips?

 

I have mixed feelings about aftertouch. John, it sounds very similar to your situation. I love it on the An1x... I have some aftertouch modulation on nearly every patch. I hate it (not sensitive enough) on the Roland. I wish manufacturers would get standardize more in this area. And yes Steve, I wish the rest the industry would emulate Kurzweil's held-note pitch bend. That rules. :)

 

Regards,

 

Jerry

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Jerry, of course you can steal the tweakable portamento time idea. I'm sure you'll make better use of it than I do. It's a neat expressive variable, but it doesn't do much to hide my lack of chops.

 

As for the Z1, I like it alot. I never expected it to be a bread and butter sound source for me. My work leads evermore toward Gigasampler for sonic staples. The Z1 is the odd bird in my rig and does nicely in that capacity. I haven't had nearly as much time with as I need, but my impression is that it's a real solid a deep VA, and that there is poential in some of the physical models, though only a handful of the (physical model) presets are really usable out of the box.

 

You can hear it in a mix of mine by checking out the "another cover CD tune" thread I initiated, probably a page back by now. The synth lead, whacky vowel vox, synth bass in the solo section, and sporadic blasts of electronic marimba are all the Z1. I think I'll be exploring and enjoying it for a long time to come.

Check out the Sweet Clementines CD at bandcamp
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I use aftertouch constantly. Often, a wheel or ribbon would make for a better controller, but with both hands busy, that's not an option. I like to put every kind of things on aftertouch - filter, vibrato amp and speed, resonance, FM, whatever - but in VERY small doses, then tweak to death till it sounds just right and "natural" for *that* sound.

 

I LOVE portamento. I like very fast times: It has to be playable, just barely noticeable. I like to layer different sounds, one with key-triggered portamento, another with constant portamento, and maybe yet another with no portamento at all. Also, if you want a big analog lead, try layering two similar sounds with slightly different portamento times, then add a bit of delay...

Of course, as with any kind of heavy layering, be VERY careful not to reach the point at which it starts sounding like a theatre organ... :)

 

Another of my favorite tricks is adding portamento to samples of ethnic wind instruments (Mizmar, ulean pipes...). It doesn't sound "authentic" - just very good!

 

Carlo

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