Glide is a great way to add some movement to a bass or sub that isn’t already there. Glide is also a great way to ensure that your bass / sub-bass notes hit the sweet spot on speaker targets by covering a broad range of frequencies at once.
For glide, you will need to have overlapping notes in your midi for the glides between notes, set your synth to monophonic, and finally tweak the glide time settings in the synth.
I oftentimes have trouble remembering in all the VST / synths that I use where the settings are for getting glide and end up debugging the synth, losing my flow. I’ve created this little guide to make it easier to find some glide settings in various software synths help out when glide is not working as expected.
General guide to getting notes to glide in MIDI
In general you need to set a synth to be monophonic (mono) so that it just plays one note at a time. This is the first setting you should configure.
Next, you should set note overlap so that the glide from note overlaps with the glide to note. Some synths will glide regardless of note overlap (or if you enable portamento). Here is an example of notes with overlapping midi in the Ableton note editor.
Beyond that, it’s a matter of setting up the synth.
Glide in Vital
In Vital, you will find the relevant parameters in the bottom right of the VST. Set voices to 1, enable Always Glide, and set the Glide parameter.
Glide in Serum
Glide in Serum is enabled in the bottom right-hand corner of the VST plug-in window.
Glide in SubLab
For SubLab, you must first select the glide tab on the mod section of the VST plug-in window:
After the glide tab is open, set the glide time as appropriate to how long you want the notes to glide.
Note that for SubLab / SubLabXL the notes must overlap for glide to be enabled.
Glide in Kiloheartz PhasePlant
For PhasePlant, the glide section is on the bottom left of the VST plug-in Window.
Glide in Minimal Audio Current
Current has placed the Mono and Glide controls in a spot similar to Serum, on the bottom right of the VST plug-in Window.
Note that if the keyboard and glide settings are not in the VST, you must click the WAVETABLES tab on the top section and then close any currently open modulation settings by clicking the X button on the bottom section.
Glide in Ableton Instruments
In Operator, you must click the pitch shell in order to access the Glide parameters. After you click the pitch/spread/transpose shell, you will see the relevant glide and glide time parameters in the information details screen.
You can set voicing to mono in the Time / Tone / Volume shell of Operator.
Setting up glide in the Ableton Analog instrument requires you to both enable the glide / glide time from the Volume / Vibrato / Unison shell and set the voices to mono from the information display.
In the Wavetable instrument, glide can be set in the right-most section of the Instrument shell:
In the Drift instrument, glide and mono voicing can be set on the right section of the shell:
In Sampler, the glide settings are in the pitch / OSC shell.
The voices / mono setting of Sampler is in the Filter/Global shell.
Final thoughts and checklist
Remember to check the following settings in your synths when trying to get glide to engage:
- Is the synth setup as mono?
- Are notes overlapping / legato?
- Is glide enabled with glide time set to a reasonably long duration?
If you can find and enable all those settings, you should be able to hear glide when the synth produces its sounds.