I’ve always used pitch-bend (set to octaves) to create riser effects. Then I thought about perhaps using a pitch shifter plugin to do the same task, but without the effort of going into the instrument and change the pitch bend range.
Anyone tried this, and can share your experience and tips?
I usually program them from scratch in VPS Avenger or Phase Plant, unless I’m using some specific riser tool or sample library.
Haven’t tried using a pitch-shifter for this, but I suspect it might be interesting… They have certain artifacts, which may well be desirable in this case. For better quality and more “life,” I’d also consider doing it multiband, with per-band pitch-shifters with different settings and slightly different modulation. Working on narrower frequency bands will likely help the pitch-shifters, especially if the original audio is very complex.
I might play around with this a bit later! Maybe a Multipass preset that turns any input into a Sheppard riser, or something. You can recursively use these modular containers within each other now, so there’s basically unlimited bands, layers etc.
Thing is, pitch bending when applied to samples is the same thing as pitch shifting, correct? I want to use Kontakt string sustains etc. But the default pitch bend in Kontakt is 2, so everytime I need to go into the editor and change. That is when I thought that a pitch shifter FX might have the same end result as pitch bending a full octave?
No, pitch-shifting (as the term is used in effects) changes the pitch by manipulating or resynthesizing the sound one way or another. It’s essentially the same thing as time-stretching; to do it off-line, you could first time-stretch (or contract), and then resample/change the playback speed to get back to the original duration.
I’m pretty sure most advanced samplers these days can do both time-stretching and pitch-shifting, but in most (all?) cases, the standard response to pitch bend is to just vary the sample playback speed. That is, if you bend up an octave, samples play at twice the recorded speed, and duration (or loop length where applicable) will be half of the original.
More sophisticated libraries may actually use pitch-shifting, or some combination of pitch-shifting, resampling, and/or crossfading through the multisamples, but that’s pretty much sample modeling domain. You’ll not find this in a library that isn’t explicitly designed to handle pitch bend, as it’s CPU intensive, and requires various tricks and extra development effort to work well, without significant artifacts.
Ah, that is why I seem to get better results with pitch-bending in Kontakt, than pitch-shifting FX so far. Pitch-shifting seems to introduce a lot of harsh/digital sounding artefacts. =/
What I did was load up a string library, went into the editor of Kontakt, and then simply changed the pitch bend setting to 12. The problem, as I mentioned above, is that I have to do it every single time I try a new library. There is no changing the “default pitch bend range” in Kontakt as far as I’m aware.