Pitch wheel

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The Minimoog was the first synthesizer to feature a pitch wheel, visible at the left of the keyboard.

In electronic music, a pitch wheel is a control on a synthesizer to pitch bend (portamento) — to vary the pitch in a continuously variable manner.

The first synthesizer with a pitch wheel was the Minimoog, in 1970.

Alternatively, pitch bend controllers on synthesizers may have appearance of joystick, knob, or ribbon.

In the MIDI specification, the pitch wheel may send 16,384 possible variation values. The General MIDI specification recommends that the total range be ±2 semitones,[1] though this Pitch Wheel Range (or Sensitivity) can be adjusted using General Midi Registered Parameter Number 0, 0.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pitch Wheel (MIDI specification)