How to do smooth slides and portamento's with strings.
First of all make two channels with similar sounding strings as described on the Legato tutorial . Set the panning for both channels the same .
( Upper controlers is Velocity , lower is an example of Expression controller )
The image above shows an example of slide notes made with legato string samples . The notes in this example are 32's in 150 Tempo . Quite fast .
As you can see , the velocities for the short Notes are much higher than the long notes , that depends on our samples-> If the attacks are fast and aggresive , you will have to use smaller velocities or else the result is too rough. If the attacks are slow, we need high velocities or else we won't hear anything .
( upper controllers are Pitch bends, lower one is velocity .)
The second image shows the same channel as the first but copied to a new channel with all the expression data. We will set the second channel to about 50% volume of the first one .
Whenever a note or portamento is moving to a next note that is higer, we'll make a pitch bend which follows that movement ( Upwards ) . Check out the "legato tutorial" for more info on how to do these bends.
There are three types of Slide notes. Depending on how fast we want our Slide to be we will use more or less slide notes . From the first to the second note there is a very big gap , so using chromatic notes would result in a way too big Slide -> So we use Scale notes which are less but effective . The second example is chromatic cause we have a small interval . And the third is random . They all work in the same way more or less but Chromatic notes are the best if they fit.
Velocities on channel two are different, that again depends on what instruments we are using and their attacks . On every situation it will be different so there's no standard . Trust your ears!
An audio demo of the result with bad speech . Second song on the list -> "Portamento tutorial" .
A last thing :
Always work with big tempo's instead of small ones . If you usually work with 50 tempo. Set it to 200 and make your notes longer.
Having a faster tempo in midi is like having a larger resolution in digital cameras. You can fit more controllers/notes in the same space and make them much more detailed. Also , the quality of the expression controllers and the pitch bends will be better since there is more space for the data to evolve .
Slow tempo : 90----93----96----99
Fast tempo : 90,91,92,93,94,95, etc .
That's about it .
If you have any questions please post them here
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If you are trying to approximate real string portamento, it is important also to consider the intervals involved, and the likelihood of the interval being on two adjacent strings.
Two very common string portamentos (typically, solo lines only):
(1) skip of more than a fourth, on the same string: slide the first note UP at most to a note a fourth below the ending note, then skip to the ending note; a very small slide at the beginning is often enough to communicate the gesture (1/4 tone, perhaps).
(2) skip of an octave or more: skip at least a 6th, more for larger intervals, then slide the last third or less, using expression to keep the sliding notes less prominent.
Except for exaggerated, written-in portamenti, a full slide across an interval is unusual. And to get an orchestral section to perform any portamento together is next to impossible. All these just more opinions on using midi to imitate real players -- to write music without reference to real playing is quite possible and often desirable in the midi world.