Why pitchbend doesn't work so well.

ajaym
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:22 am

Why pitchbend doesn't work so well.

Postby ajaym » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:38 am

SO....
I am still in the process of turning the Qunexus into a true musical instrument (i.e, working around some of its current software limitations in order to make it more playable).

I can say that the hardware really is superb, but the software has a few issues that could do with a bit of a tweak - but, props to the engineers, it's pretty cool the way it is!. (I bought two of these devices so you can figure I like the Qunexus very much).

Now, one thing I was disappointed about was the pitch bend 'nub'. It really doesn't seem to offer very precise control. Yesterday I had a look at the MIDI data coming from it and found something interesting. If you set the pitchbend range to 12 semitones, it outputs the full range of data and the control and precision look quite good. Incidentally, the nub is also pressure sensitive, something I have only at this stage had a quick look at, but that's a cool feature too.

But set the range to 2 semitones and the volume of data and the control over the pitch value degrades significantly. What I think is happening is that the software simply clips the values when a lower range is specified. It should, instead, divide the full control range by a constant value to produce a smaller bend range, thus not losing the intrinsic resolution of the physical controller.

I'm gonna try implementing this in the JS plugin I'm already using to fix the tilt pitchbend issues - I'm pretty optimistic this will greatly improve pitchbend accuracy. In the interim if you set bend range to 12 and you have the ability to control bend sensitivity independently at the plugin level, you may find that the pitchbend control experience improves greatly. If this turns out to be the case, I'll add this to a list of firmware issues I'm gonna beg KMI to implement.
ericzang
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:15 am

Re: Why pitchbend doesn't work so well.

Postby ericzang » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:47 am

Thanks for your work, I also would really like to see the pitchbend playability (and other controls) optimized to an ideal state. Maybe KMI can hire you? :-)
ajaym
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:22 am

Re: Why pitchbend doesn't work so well.

Postby ajaym » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:32 pm

There is also somewhat of a technique to using the nub. Press down but not too hard. Then rotate your finger rather than rocking from side to side. The pressure range over which bend works reliably is fairly narrow. Too little or too much and it doesn't engage. Once you've found the 'sweet spot' you're ok but this is a nuisance when you're putting your finger back on the nub to bend an initial note. Having to engage in foreplay with a pitch bend control is one unnatural act too many :). I'm thinking of getting my plugin to show a visual indication whenever a data stream is received from the Qunexus. Or - a brilliant thought strikes me - could we not send this to one of the LEDs. Hmmmm....

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