Have you ever tried to pitchbend a chord on a keyboard? It never works as you expect. Sometimes it would be great to transition from one chord to another gradually, like you can with single notes. But there’s a problem: you can’t bend a full chord with conventional synth pitchwheels because the same up/down range applies to every note. So usually the chord you end up bending to is out of key.
I’m about to get into some nerdy details, so some of you may want to skip right to the example to simply hear the yuckiness I’m referring to. Let’s say we’re in the key of C major. Bending a CMaj (C,E,G) chord up will produce DMaj (D,F#,A) which is out of key in this context. For this chord to bend in key, we need to bend up to Dmin (D,F,A). The second degree of the fingered chord (E) would need to be raised 1 semitone to F, rather than the 2 semitones required by the others.
Here’s an audio example of an attempt to bend triads in C Major using standard pitchbend: (more…)