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Topic: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

  1. #1

    Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    These are going to sound like really dumb questions, because I have been using JABB since its release, but I've never had the need to slide between two notes before. Now I am trying to do a tenor trombone slide in JABB and I can't get it to work. I feel that I must be missing something obvious here (so obvious that it isn't mentioned in the manual or in Sonar Help).

    I am using Sonar 6 PE. I have a track where the last two notes of a phrase go from the Eb below middle C to the D (one half-step). So, my first question is, is a slide like this even possible on a real trombone? I'm looking at a chart of all the trombone positions and it looks like all you have to do is slide from third position to fourth. My second question is, is the interval too small to be noticed? (Maybe that's why I can't hear any difference.)

    Finally, I'm wondering how people who have gotten this to work in Sonar have actually done it. I prefer to tuse the Even List view for editing controller data so that I can precisely control when an event begins and ends. But I've tried a lot of placings for the cc 20 events (before the first note, between the first and second notes - which overlapp, before the first and after the second, before the first and between the first and second, etc.) but nothing seems to work. I've also tried a lot of different cc values, since I can't find any sort of guide as to which numbers to use. I've tried 0, 64 and 127, each as start and end values in combination with the other. But, again, if there is a way to make this work, it has eluded me.

    (PS - I have no pitch bend wheel on my MIDI keyboard controller, so that is not an option for me.)

  2. #2

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Hi, EJR

    That is a pretty short interval to notice. But depending on the tempo and how dense the orchestration is at that point, it could still be heard.

    Now, here's the good news:

    "...(PS - I have no pitch bend wheel on my MIDI keyboard controller, so that is not an option for me.)..."

    You're already using a version of Sonar, and sound adept at using the Piano Roll View. Guess what? You can do pitch bend right there, the same as all the CC controllers, without needing the physical wheel on a keyboard.

    Go to the menu, don't select "controller"---pitch bend is its own unique choice.

    Logically enough, you start drawing pitch bend data from the Center of its pane. A horizontal guide line appears for pitch bend. Don't forget to hold down "Ctrl" as you draw in data, so you can get continuous sweeps of data.

    Sweeping from zero to all the way to the top will get you the full potential pitch bend as set up in the Kontakt Player. Opposite direction, of course then you're bending down.

    When you get to the second note--you have two choices. One would be to leave the pitch bend at its full value and change the note being played so that it's the correct pitch after its been bent. OR you can put in the new note as it really should appear, and put a value of Zero pitch bend right before it starts--Experiment to see which method gets you what you want. The first way will be the most natural, but the second method keeps your staff display correct.



  3. #3

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Well, I'm glad that I sound like I know how to use the piano roll view, but I almost never actually use it. It was hard enough for me to learn how to read music. I can't deal with yet another metaphor for the same aural information. I edit primarily on the staff view, challenging as it is, and make fine adjustments on the Event List view.

    Unfortunately, I don't see any menu item labled "pitch bend" on the piano roll or any other view. Nor can I find any reference to how to apply this effect or edit it in the Help menu. One topic says that it can be done, but gives no clue as to exactly how. Another deals with mapping a physical device to pitch bend data. Useless. I assumed that it wasn't possible if a physical pitch wheel wasn't detected.

    In any case, I'm at a loss as to how to manually edit pitch bend or portamento data on the event list. This is all MIDI data, right? If so, I should be able to enter the CC data.

  4. #4

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Hello again, ejr

    Your reply surprised me a bit - I understand that using a sequencer program is a Lot to get under control, but I'm here to assure you that the Piano Roll View is veritable Heart of your MIDI harnassing power.

    I'll step back a few years, and I was using Sonar's Event List a lot also. It is a useful screen, to be sure. BUT - picture this scenario:

    --Say you want to erase all of the data for one controller type. You could go to the Event List and laboriously click Delete repeatedly on the thousands of entries - a very long process if you're dealing with something like CC1 which is bound to have a lot of data.

    OR you could go to the PRV, click on the appropriate pane, and in literally two seconds have all the data erased using the eraser.

    Now, to the specific problem at hand - because Pitch Bend is what you want to use for this Trombone slide:

    Go to PRV - go ahead, bite the bullet and go there, - Click on the upper left box, the Grey one, not the very top-most box. This is where you ask to edit various kinds of MIDI data. Click "New Value Type." Your project doesn't have any pitch bend in it yet, so it will be new.

    Then in the pop-up, far left says "Type"--Use the arrow and choose "Wheel" instead of the default "Control."

    Click OK and now you have a controller pane with the horizontal line I mentioned earlier. Use your drawing tool, just as I said in my first reply. You'll be able to get that slide in precisely the way you want.

    All the views in Sonar are useful. Track and PRV are where you can be the most productive. Really. Go there now and try it.


  5. #5

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Thanks for the clarification. So "wheel" means pitch wheel (which I don't have), not Mod wheel (which I do) and can access by controller 1? I was looking for a similar cc number that corresponded to the pitch bend wheel, expecting the terminology to be consistent (or at least some mention in the documentation to set me straight about that.

    I assume you meant for me to draw to the bottom of the panel, not the top (because I want to bend the pitch down) and to hold the Shift key down, rather than the Ctrl. I realize we may be dealing with different versions of Sonar here, but the latter is what worked on my copy.

    Unfortunately, I'm not very happy with the pitch bends I'm creating. Maybe it's just my ears, but I am having a very difficult time landing on the note that I want (the more important of the two since it ends the phrase). I think what I really want to do use the portmento command to slide between the first and second notes. The JABB menu says to use cc 20. But it doesn't seem to have any effect on the sound whether I draw a series of controller events in the piano roll view or enter a start and end event on the Event List layout. (Assuming the latter is possible, some guidence about which values to use would also be helpful.)

  6. #6

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Ejr, hello again - Yes, pitch bend is in a special category of MIDI data, not in the family of "controllers." That's why I explained that in the PRV menu you have to choose Wheel instead of the default "Control."

    But it sounds like you understand that it doesn't matter if you're using a keyboard with a wheel, or Anything - since all possible MIDI control can be applied in the PRV.

    I was trying to point out that when you use the pitch bend pane, there's a horizontal line at the middle of it which is Zero--That way you can insert data in either direction you want. So yes of course in the case of a descending Trombone slide, you want to go down.

    I'm using Sonar 8 now, but it was the same in Home Studio 7 that the CTRL key needs to be held down when inserting continuous data, otherwise you're only able to insert single events at a time. You're saying Shift seems to do that in your version of Sonar - OK, I guess that has to be the case. Whatever key it takes to access the drawing of continuous curves.

    The note you land on is determined by what bend scale you set for the Trombone INSIDE KP2. Just set the bend to how big of a step you need, then when you draw in full Down bend--it will land exactly where you want.

    Or, method two--do the bend, but insert a Zero bend right before the Correct note, rather than the off-set note. See?

    Portamento is much more difficult to control. What you're wanting to do is standard MIDI practice which should be a simple two second task.

    To use Portamento, which I don't recommend for this, you must also use CC64. Insert that first, then CC20. It's all very fiddley and for me at least, inconsistent.

    EDIT: Here's the URL to a recent discussion about Portamento:


    If you want to send me this section of the MIDI file, I could do the pitch bend I've described in two replies now, and you could see what was done.

    Use the email in the drop down under my name here.


  7. #7

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Thanks for your offer, but I think I've got it now.

  8. #8

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Hey, good, ejr! - I just now edited my last response, directing you to the recent discussion thread about Portamento.

    To make this thread more useful for future viewers, maybe you could add some info about what you did to solve your issue. Was it drawing in Pitch Bend that worked for you, and setting the bend range in KP2? Or did you get Portamento to behave the way you wanted? Or...?


  9. #9

    Re: Some Dumb Questions regarding Trombone Slides

    Just played with the pitch bend for now. I got it to do what I wanted, but didn't really care for the effect in the mix. Maybe I'm better off with the portamento or portamento + legato. I really have to spend more time with this and decide what works best for the piece. Thanks for the link.

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