Seattle, WA

Hey cm.o!

As the title implies, I'm looking to use mGB in tandem with a MIDI controller and am hoping to find a lightweight vibrato solution that I can kick on and off with something like the mod wheel on my keyboard.  Anyone have experience doing something like this?
Would greatly appreciate any insight and recommendations!


I would think any MIDI controller with ample programmable knobs would also have the capability to do what you want. Any controller which has a pitch and mod wheel should be able to give you both manual control with the pitch wheel and automated control with the mod wheel (where the higher up you set it, the stronger the vibrato would be, which is what I think you want). However, you may have to program the envelope shape for that effect and/or assign it to the mod wheel, possibly from presets that come with the keyboard if it comes with them at all. As long as you're sending MIDI data to one of the channels available (1-4 since these are the default channels assigned to the four GB channels in mGB), it should register on that channel.

I personally haven't done this so I'm only speculating but I do compose in FL Studio to control GB and NES and I know for a fact that pitch is determined by the channel level pitch control (not a specific MIDI CC) so unless your controller uses something other than standard MIDI (unlikely if it was made in the 90's or later), I don't see why it wouldn't function that way with mGB as well.

As far as specific hardware, I would check out some YT video reviews of light MIDI controllers and see which ones have the features that would allow you to do this. Andrew Huang has reviewed a bunch and I recall seeing one that looked perfect for this use but can't seem to locate the video at the moment.

Unless of course you want something that is a stand alone pitch/mod wheel that can 'intercept' output MIDI from a separate device (be it another external controller or a computer running a DAW), in which case that sounds to me like a homebrew job as I haven't seen anything like that before that also lets you designate specific channels. Having said that, and I could be wrong, but I believe you can use some external controllers as a slave wherein you can apply parameters not being applied by the master MIDI source (that is, if you're playing a composition from a DAW that doesn't have pitch parameters set already, there will be no interference from the slave controller). And that controller, theoretically, can be anything that has a programmable mod wheel (or pre-programmed with vibrato envelope), channel specific designation and can be set as a slave MIDI device (not MIDI through).

Also, I rarely use MIDI hardware in this way so forgive me if none of this is accurate lol. I just saw no one had chimed in yet and thought I'd offer that I do know if it could help at all.

Last edited by Doctor Octoroc (Nov 21, 2019 6:21 am)


If your controller has a lfo that you can assign to an lfo this is easy, like the squarp can do it:

Seattle, WA

Thanks for the suggestions, guys!
I ended up going a different route to get us "seaworthy" in time for live performances.
I'm using FL's Patcher/Control Surface plugins in tandem with Sytrus to mimic NES pulse waves.
The patch uses one of the MIDI controller's beat pads to toggle between two of Sytrus' operators--one that has vibrato and one that doesn't.
When the vibrato voice is engaged, the mod wheel controls the vibrato strength.  The amount can be configured via an XY Controller that lets you set a min/max value for the vibrato strength.
It's not a rock-solid solution since toggling can cause an audible click during performance.
It does the job for now, but I'd like to improve it a lot more.

It sounds like your suggestions are way more in-line with what I'd like to do.  In particular:

if you're playing a composition from a DAW that doesn't have pitch parameters set already, there will be no interference from the slave controller

Thanks again for the suggestions, guys.  As I try to optimize the live loadout, I'll likely refer back to here.

P.S. Love your Christmas album, Doctor Octoroc smile