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Automating MIDI-Pitch bending and aftertouch

Adding pitch bending or aftertouch can add a lot of subtlety to an otherwise plain sounding midi region and help humanize it.

Automation: pitch bending

Pitch bending and aftertouch both work the same way, through automation. Right click the MIDI track's header > Automation > Bender (or Pressure) > choose the channel you want to bend.

Using the Draw tool, as for all the automation, allows to create a gradual change from one drawn point to another. A line in the center produces no change to the pitch, while a line above the center will bend the pitch to a higher note (up to 4 semitones) and a line going under the middle will bend the pitch to a lower note.

The values can be anything between 0 (-4 semitones) to 16383 (+4 semitones). No automation or a value of 8192 means no pitch shifting.

Aftertouch works very similarly, though the values are between 0 and 127. It should be noted that aftertouch differs from velocity, as aftertouch allows to slightly change the timbre or create a vibrato, while the velocity sets the power with which the note is played (e.g. on a keyboard, the key is hit).