Glide, also known as portamento, is a feature that allows a note played on a keyboard or sequencer to glide or slide smoothly from one pitch to another, rather than jumping abruptly from one pitch to another.
Glide is typically controlled by a dedicated glide or portamento module or can be integrated into the oscillator or keyboard module. When glide is engaged, the synth will interpolate between the current pitch and the next pitch played, gliding smoothly between the two notes at a user-defined rate.
The rate of the glide can be controlled by a dedicated glide time or portamento time control, which determines how quickly the pitch will glide from one note to the next. Longer glide times create a more pronounced glide effect, while shorter times result in a more subtle effect.
Glide is often used in expressive playing, allowing users to create smooth, legato lines and transitions between notes. It is especially useful in lead and melody lines, as well as in bass lines where a smooth transition between notes can create a sense of flow and momentum.