Does a glide strip midi controller exist?

I would like to be able to hold one or perhaps 2-3 notes on a midi keyboard and glide them up or down with a separate controller that is a glide strip attached on the top of the keyboard. Does anything like that exist. I got thinking about it because Roli has introduced the Seaboard Rise 2

Hi, I’d need to know how they do it. It sounds like a modified version of pitch bend. I think if your synth (or plugin) supports pitch bend with a wide range (across the keyboard) , it may be possible.

However if it results in sending many note-on note-off messages, it will likely be a bit choppy.

Do you have a video that demonstrates what this looks like? What is your Synth or Plugin that you would be sending the MIDI to?

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care


Also available for paid consulting services: bome@sniz.biz

Hi Steve,

I won’t be buying this due to it being $1400 but check out the videos in the middle of the page:

Seaboard RISE 2 | ROLI

Yes, they are likely using MPE. This can be probably be programmed in MT Pro, however would take some time to do. It is likely using both different MIDI channels, and different plugins for each channel.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care


Also available for paid consulting services: bome@sniz.biz

The ASM Hydrasynth has a touchstrip above the keyboard, but it’s also around €1200.
It does come with a great synthesizer.

On the more affordable side, the Arturia Keystep series have little touch strips on the left side of the keyboard for pitch bend and modwheel.

Like Steve said, the Roli uses MPE.
But if you just want all notes to glide equally, only pitch bend is needed.
There are some plugins that support MPE, like Arturia Pigments, and most of them support pitchbend.

MPE uses a single channel for each note of polyphony, it uses pitch bend on that channel to glide the note. Implementing pitch bend is not that difficult, but MPE uses special messages to configure the controller for each instrument.

MPE spec:

Hi dsteins,
Somewhere on the interwebs, I saw a guy who has built that for himself. I think his approach can be duplicate by Bome MIDI Translator.

He was using a synth engine with a pitch bend range of +/- 2 semitones, but the method can be adapted to whatever. The separate controller was an endless encoder sending relative CCs.

  1. Hold down some notes.
  2. Turning the encoder clockwise sends rising pitch bend messages.
  3. Just before the pitch hits 2 semitones above the original, the original notes are killed off.
  4. Instead new notes are sent 2 semitones above the original with no pitch bend messages.
  5. Loop back to 2.

Same procedure going down in pitch.

If you want a glide controller (also called ribbon controllers or soft potentiometers), Doepfer makes one, and Eowave makes something like it called Ribbon 2. They’re expensive, but don’t cost thousands.

BR, Mathias

Indeed this strategy might work, however great care would need to be taken to ensure no break between switching pitch bend and note messages so that you don’t get sound glitches.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care


Also available for paid consulting services: bome@sniz.biz