glissandos on vsti bass

Hello fellow NTrackers

Im writing quite a bit with bass vsti’s for rock…using mainly the Sampletank bass module which I dig.

Anyways…Can anyone of you MIDI afficianados explain or screenshot (preferred) show me how to get that fret slide glissando from one note to another on a string with N-Track.

Im not going too crazy with glissandos except for that last note in a measure where it has an expression that really counts.

Much appreciated!

The easiest thing to do is to manually enter a series of slightly overlapping notes - chromatic - from the note you start on to the one you want to end on. The major problems with MIDI is that the attack will start again for each note and the overlapping may be played differently by different synths. Take polyphony into consideration - don’t overlap enough notes so sustaining notes will be cut off.

If you think about it, this will create the sound of running you finger up the keyboard on a piano. That’s obviously not what you want. Second, you won’t want it to sound like each note is getting replucked. Experimentation with the note overlap and MIDI note velocity goes a LONG way to overcoming the piano finger sound.

There doesn’t need to be much overlap at all, but some helps a lot. As for velocity it probably should be low enough that the notes are almost buried. Each time the next fret is hit when sliding there is a bit of a pluck sound, but not nearly as much as when actually plucking even when using a very bright sound. Keep the first and last notes much stronger, and have the first note overlap more than the ones in the middle - the glissando notes.

Don’t discount using a separate MIDI track on a different MIDI channel and with a different bass sound to do just the glissando parts. Doing that can eliminate the “too plucked” problem.

No, this isn’t perfect. It probably won’t sound like the real thing, but it almost can when in the mix - sufficiently masked. And, this can sound very relistic when using sounds that don’t have a lot of attack. The more attack in the sound the less easy it is to get it to work.

Here’s a thought from the Think outside of the box department…

This is just thinking out loud, and please treat it as such…

With midi drumming there is a problem that they call the ‘machine gun efffect’. If you do rolls on the snare, the attack comes into play in the same way that Phoo mentioned.
Roland sorted that out in their higher end drum modules by ‘moving’ the ‘entry point’ of a sample when it dedects a roll to ‘miss’ the attack part of the sample.

If you use Soundfonts (or another sample based vsti) you can maybe do the same type of thing:

Record the ‘normal’ bass notes that will cover the range of the effect you want. One by one (chromatic) with spaces in between.
Pull each of 'em into a wave editor. Experiment with cutting the ‘attack’ part off. Not all at once - there’ll probably be a point to where it starts to sound like the ‘attack’ of the next fret bordering the next note.
Cut all of them (excpept the 1st one) like this, and then do 1 of the following:

1: (If you want to use soundfonts)
Pull these sounds into a soundfont, and then use this SF on a seperate channel doing the normal chromatic midi notes.

2: (If you don’t want soundfonts)
Put these (in the wave editor) right next to each other so they sound about right (speed and pitch). Then stick it in where it needs to be.
You could probably time stretch this wave to fit in with the timing perfectly. If you do go through the effort you could end up (over time) with a couple that you could use in other songs as well.

Like I said, this is probably to ellaborate to do, but here it is anyway.


In FL Studio (fruity loops) there was a setting for some type of slur, or something like that. I may have been using a VSTi, like boo-bass in FL studio, i can’t remember exactly at the moment. I could set the setting kinda high, then put a bunch of overlapping notes, and it would completely smooth transition all over the place. was quite cool

I don’t know if SFZ has that possibility or not, but figured I’d throw the idea out there.

Edit: you’re using sampletank. maybe there’s something similar. Maybe get the demo of fruity, should be enough to do what you need.