Old 02-26-2016, 07:12 AM   #1
schwa
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Default Notation editor and special MIDI handling

This thread is for discussing potential special MIDI handling features in the notation editor.

Please keep in mind that the notation editor is in early development and nothing too exotic will be implemented until the basics of notation are stable.

It's also most helpful to us if the discussion is focused on incremental steps rather than a giant wish list. The most useful thing to think about from our point of view is the not the interface seen on the screen, or what dialog windows or file formats are used, but instead the specification of what types of data need to be linked to what.


For example:



1. Percussion notation, or any situation where the written notation differs from the desired MIDI output. We could potentially expand the existing MIDI note name interface to support mappings like this:

36 "Kick" 64
44 "Hat pedal" 62 "X"

Meaning, a MIDI note with pitch 36 will be displayed in the piano roll with the name "Kick", and displayed in the notation editor with pitch 64 (F4). A MIDI note with pitch 44 will be displayed in the piano roll with the name "Hat pedal" and displayed in the notation editor with pitch 62 (D4) and an "X" note head.

Is this reasonable?



2. Linking articulation and dynamics to MIDI messages. For example, a staccato marking triggering a key switch, or a crescendo marking triggering CC volume messages.

We could potentially add a new interface to support mappings like this:

FFF B0 07 7F
Staccato 90 00 7F

Meaning, FFF articulation is linked to CC volume 127. Staccato articulation is linked to the note C0 with volume 127. (This is written in raw MIDI but that does not mean the user interface will be.)

Is this reasonable?
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:49 AM   #2
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With regard to mapping score markings to playback elements, I don't it is something that should be fixed because it varies so much between different sample libraries. I think it should be customisable per track and something that can be saved with track presets or loaded from an external file - it may be a good idea to leave the interpretation of such markings to a plugin that could access the notation API or provide a some kind of dedicated playback editor.

Having some defaults for playback though would be good, like CC7/CC11 for dynamics and reducing the length of staccato notes.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:54 AM   #3
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yes reasonable.

in time:

some techniques are done as text above the staff - "pizz" "sul pont"
tremolo is indicated by slashes on stems.
these can be combined ie "tremolo sul pont" would have the text "sul pont" and slashes on the stems.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:56 AM   #4
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thought: it would be awesome to hover over the indication to see/edit the key switch...
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
1. Percussion notation, or any situation where the written notation differs from the desired MIDI output. We could potentially expand the existing MIDI note name interface to support mappings like this:

36 "Kick" 64
44 "Hat pedal" 62 "X"

Meaning, a MIDI note with pitch 36 will be displayed in the piano roll with the name "Kick", and displayed in the notation editor with pitch 64 (F4). A MIDI note with pitch 44 will be displayed in the piano roll with the name "Hat pedal" and displayed in the notation editor with pitch 62 (D4) and an "X" note head.

Is this reasonable?
HELL YES!!!


A good idea here, if expanding the note name file type is in order, is to allow us to REMAP the pitches however we see fit. So that we don't have a linear chromatic piano roll, but notes would be reordered/remapped according to the note name file visually - in piano roll view (not notation!). This would help very much for drum maps that are all over the place, which means you could list all snare articulations in one group of notes, then all hihat articulations in another group of notes, and so on.

Is that reasonable, too?

Last edited by EvilDragon; 02-26-2016 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:20 AM   #6
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I hope this isn't a bad time/place to ask this, or if it has already been asked & answered elsewhere.

What is the goal of the notation implementation? Is it to accurately display what has been created/imported by other means?

Is it meant to be a complete edit/display/print solution, with no need for editing in piano roll to get from idea to full orchestration?

Something in between?

Just curious and the answer(s) might guide the input/feedback you receive.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:41 AM   #7
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Default Yes, very reasonable.

Yes, very reasonable.

Finale 2009 had percussion midi maps that prioritized very much the same things. I think I attached an image.

A couple things that will help the notation of percussion in REAPER:

1. Notehead character choice both closed noteheads (<= quarter) and open noteheads (>= half).

2. Choosing which voice notes appear by default. The main example would be playing in a drumset part and having the kick drum/kick drum and snare drum default to the bottom voice.

I'm a percussionist, I write and teach music for kids, I worked for MakeMusic for a few years, and I use REAPER.
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File Type: gif Percussion Map Designer.GIF (19.1 KB, 313 views)
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaction View Post
I'm a percussionist, I write and teach music for kids, I worked for MakeMusic for a few years, and I use REAPER.
Welcome!
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:12 AM   #9
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Default Thanks!

Thanks! But...I may or may not have lurked on most pre-release threads for the past couple years.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwa View Post
2. Linking articulation and dynamics to MIDI messages. For example, a staccato marking triggering a key switch, or a crescendo marking triggering CC volume messages.

We could potentially add a new interface to support mappings like this:

FFF B0 07 7F
Staccato 90 00 7F

Meaning, FFF articulation is linked to CC volume 127. Staccato articulation is linked to the note C0 with volume 127. (This is written in raw MIDI but that does not mean the user interface will be.)
That would be beautiful. A few points however need to be taken into consideration. While that would be very nice for dynamics, most VSTi used different patches for different articulations. There are three main ways to switch between them depending on the instrument: MIDI channels, keyswitches, and velocity range.

Having a way to link the articulations to this would give us a extremely powerful tool. And then we would simply need an "articulation lane" in the piano roll editor and we would have a tool as powerful as the Expression Maps in Cubase. Being able to assign articulations in a visual and consistent way without having to remember all the keyswitches and channels is a huge workflow improvement.

One other thing to take into consideration: some of this indications are applied to all the notes that follow them until a new indication override it, while some others apply only to the not they are attached to.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:17 AM   #11
Jason Brian Merrill
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Schwa, I just want to thank you for taking this time to ask user's input. This isn't uncommon here, but I know much work this might be.

I think the ideas are spot on and as long as we can come up with a good default setting and then edit them to our needs we are good to go!
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:49 AM   #12
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Defaults would be good, for example CC64 being pedal marks. On that note, it would be great if recorded MIDI on a track was automatically notated.

On the dynamics front, cresc/dim need the first/only event sent to contain info about time and final value/adjustment.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:57 AM   #13
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Thanks for all, Schwa!! This initial development is already extremely promising!

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiiscompos View Post
There are three main ways to switch between them depending on the instrument: MIDI channels, keyswitches, and velocity range.
And, in some cases, CC values can also change articulations, i.e. : CC16 value 10 is assigned to Legato, value 20 to staccatto, etc... (CineSamples, some Chris Hein libraries & Prominy, to name a few)

Allow me also to remind about the usefulness of linking slurs to legato overlaps - and sorry, please, if this has been discussed elsewhere -. I don´t know if it is fair to quote a couple of features from Sibelius here, but one could even define the overlap range for slurred notes and the length for unslurred ones (in both cases, with percentages of written values)
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:00 AM   #14
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I have largely kept out of the discussions on this but I would like to say a huge thank you to Schwa for the wise and sensitive way in which he is approaching the whole Save editor.
Excellent job,

(but I would still love to have the hybrid stave option some time )
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Old 02-26-2016, 12:26 PM   #15
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As others have said, different libraries have different methods of triggering articulations, dynamics, etc.

Using industry standards (for both notation and midi) is a good place to start. I'll also suggest using a single source for notation standards (Behind Bars by Gould has been mentioned elsewhere and is excellent).

A few specifics:
1. Percussion mapping to general midi is a good default but should be editable.
2. Dynamics would be best mapped to CC 11 (expression) and maybe velocity, but again, should be adjustable/optional (already easy to map CC with JSFX). Consideration should be given if midi data already exists in CC 11.
3. Legato/slurs should have some impact, but this may be the most widely varied implementation. EWQL libraries have separate patches (midi channel change), Garritan uses CC 64, others use keyswitch, the list goes on. However, I would think that in all cases the prior note should end at or after the next note in a slurred phrase (unless the next note is the same pitch)
4. Piano pedal markings should trigger CC 64 by default (again, should be customizable).

I'll have more thoughts on this later.

Last edited by pcartwright; 02-26-2016 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 02-26-2016, 12:49 PM   #16
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This is probably a little off topic, so I apologize in advance. The way I see it, there are essentially 4 layers to notation based midi.

1. Notes and rests (done)
2. Dynamics
3. Per note articulations (such as staccato where the articulation or technique only applies to that note)
4. Multi note articulations (such as sordino where the articulation or technique applies until turned off by some other instruction)

That being said, layers 2 and 4 should chase the most recent instruction regardless if Reaper plays the command. That is, if a user is in one area of the project where strings are muted and jumps to a section with un-muted strings, the playback should reflect un-muted even though the play cursor never crossed the actual instruction.

Again, off topic. Carry on with specifics and incremental ideas.
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Old 02-26-2016, 04:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Following-on from what ED has said, I think we need to start a percussion-notation guide thread or document here in the forum as percussion notation is different to melodic notation. We can provide sensible ideas and information from, and using this, that will help Schwa write a decent percussion mapping editor. There seem to be plenty of notation users here to home in on a manual of "good practice" and notation explanation.

Ultimately this guide and some percussion mapping presets should help any user display their drum/percussion MIDI as dots. Maybe the guide can be accessed through the Action list or help menu, and/or downloaded as PDF or similar at a later, more mature stage in the notation editor's development.

Essentially, the mapping should consist of note to line and note-head rows, but some (eg Hi-hat trigger notes) need to consider CC values to determine the notes' dot status. I'm not enough of an expert here to contribute on other "notation punctuation" and how might relate to percussion MIDI, but I'm sure other users will add to the picture.


Edit: I hadn't considered what MM&U has added, with drum rudiments and their shorthand symbold. Perhaps the guide might be more of a good idea, as many users who might be use normal notation would not be so familiar with the convention for drums. That wiki page is certinly a good start!

Maybe with High-hats, some input is needed from CC04? ie:
18 "HH trigger" {CC04>96} 79 "XO" --open hat
18 "HH trigger" {96>CC04>64} 79 "XH" --half-open hat
18 "HH trigger" {CC04<64} 79 "X" --closed hat
42 "Closed Hi Hat" 79 "X"
44 "Pedal Close" 41 "X"
46 "Open Hi Hat" 79 "XO"


This is the only complication I can think of immediately to the percussion notation MIDI and note head mapping -many e-kits and all drum software worth using supports trigger+CC04 translation.

Also, cowbells, triangles, bell articulation, rimshots, ghost notes, etc will need to be detected and symbols added (triangles, circles, brackets, etc).

Are we thinking of a text-entry mapping format here? Could there be a more user-friendly front-end to setting this up?




Edit: Looks like those more knowledgeable than me have taken this up. If Schwa can take all this on-board, it's going to be a fantastic tool




>

Last edited by planetnine; 02-26-2016 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:29 AM   #18
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Also, cymbal chokes are usually activated by one of three methods:

* another note (Addictive Drums)
* channel aftertouch (Toontrack)
* poly aftertouch (Roland V-Drums and TD modules)
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:08 AM   #19
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Great input, the only thing I had to say has already been covered. Crescendos and diminuendos should be CC 11 by default.

I think a bunch of simple defaults to make it work 'out of the box' would be good, as in GM percussion to the 5 line stave, foot stems down, hands stems up etc.

ppp --> fff dynamics markings map to a range of velocities, by default, but easily swapped for either keyswitch or channel change, depending on the VSTi or library in use.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:05 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamish View Post
Great input, the only thing I had to say has already been covered. Crescendos and diminuendos should be CC 11 by default.

I think a bunch of simple defaults to make it work 'out of the box' would be good, as in GM percussion to the 5 line stave, foot stems down, hands stems up etc.

ppp --> fff dynamics markings map to a range of velocities, by default, but easily swapped for either keyswitch or channel change, depending on the VSTi or library in use.


Yes. I'm sure we will produce standard Superior Drummer, EZD, and other drum ROMpler mappings as a community -we can ask the Devs to include the common ones.

Do other DAWs accommodate percussion notation in their score editors? How do they do it? Do they have mapping settings?



>
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:29 AM   #21
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Microtonal notation doesn't make a lot of sense in DAWs because there isn't a lot of plugins that support it (much less support it in a consistent, standardized way).
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:56 AM   #22
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http://xenharmonic.wikispaces.com/Li...ftware+Plugins

I know more than a few people who use native instruments stuff

There's also this software made for reaper

Alt-tuner is a Jesusonic plug-in that runs inside Reaper
http://www.tallkite.com/alt-tuner.html
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #23
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You don't understand. That's support for microtonal scales - but this is still tied to the regular MIDI keyboard. In other words, once you load a tuning file into such a plugin, middle C (MIDI note 60) will always be one specified microtonal pitch (for example). There would be no way for Reaper's MIDI editor to discern between a regular middle C, and a middle C a quarter-tone off, IOW you couldn't send a middle C and middle C quarter-tone off to the plugin by using just MIDI note 60 and some pitch bend/sysex data...


Let schwa first deal with bog-standard notation. Nothing exotic is needed for now.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:52 AM   #24
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double flat and double sharp, I've seen them before. But otherwise, yeah let's save it
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:53 AM   #25
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Double flats/sharps have nothing to do with microtonality, though. They're pretty much standard (and yes, Reaper should support them by default when notation hits the streets).
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:58 AM   #26
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he posted those above. I was simply commenting on that.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:45 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Double flats/sharps have nothing to do with microtonality, though. They're pretty much standard (and yes, Reaper should support them by default when notation hits the streets).
Yes, true -- double sharps are e.g. appropriate where a sharp note has to be raised by a half note if it leads to the next note on the scale. That's pretty much standard notation.

Microtuning is interesting but imo far more esoteric --- let's focus on getting the basics of Western notation down in a user friendly way, nicely integrated with midi as well. If you set this up well, you could really be on the bleeding edge of what a lot of people have been searching for for years ...

Kudos once again to the Reaper developers, you are AWESOME.
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:34 PM   #28
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I'm talking about the ability to add user created fonts and stuff like that. I agree focus on the standard notation and just have an option to create your own. Whenever
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:54 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
You don't understand. That's support for microtonal scales - but this is still tied to the regular MIDI keyboard. In other words, once you load a tuning file into such a plugin, middle C (MIDI note 60) will always be one specified microtonal pitch (for example). There would be no way for Reaper's MIDI editor to discern between a regular middle C, and a middle C a quarter-tone off, IOW you couldn't send a middle C and middle C quarter-tone off to the plugin by using just MIDI note 60 and some pitch bend/sysex data...


Let schwa first deal with bog-standard notation. Nothing exotic is needed for now.
"Quote: Almost all synths can be retuned polyphonically even if they aren't intended to be retuned. Vst vs. vst3 doesn't really matter. All that's required for a softsynth is that it respond to midi pitch bend messages without delay (i.e. without "scooping"). For "hardsynths", i.e. workstations, it must also be multitimbral, and you must also be able to turn off local control. Other than the Nords, which are mostly bi-timbral, you can retune all but the cheapest keyboards (the kind with built-in speakers and a slot for batteries).

As for the DAW, the main requirement is that it not overwrite the midi channel information like Ableton Live does. So most DAWs work well. Reaper works great.

The usual method is to use multi-channel pitch bends:
http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...8&postcount=17

There are easier methods, but they only work for certain synths: Kontakt, PianoTeq, the xen-arts synths, high-end Rolands, and perhaps others."

I agree. Let Schwa focus on the standard notation. Especially right now.

At some point down the road.. If we could load our own fonts and so on.. all of this sort of stuff could be done by users as add on's.
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Old 02-27-2016, 01:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planetnine View Post
Yes. I'm sure we will produce standard Superior Drummer, EZD, and other drum ROMpler mappings as a community -we can ask the Devs to include the common ones.

Do other DAWs accommodate percussion notation in their score editors? How do they do it? Do they have mapping settings?



>
Not that I have seen. This would be awesome.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:11 PM   #31
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Not that I have seen. This would be awesome.
Yes, Logic has had a "mapped drums" function for twenty years, although it is pretty appallingly arcane and clunky, and I have every hope that we can do much better. I particularly hope for the option for swappable user-created presets so we can spread out the workload - so users can tackle mappings for individual plugins or kits and share our work with the community in some easy-to-distribute-and-install format.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:19 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by kerryg View Post
Yes, Logic has had a "mapped drums" function for twenty years, although it is pretty appallingly arcane and clunky, and I have every hope that we can do much better. I particularly hope for the option for swappable user-created presets so we can spread out the workload - so users can tackle mappings for individual plugins or kits and share our work with the community in some easy-to-distribute-and-install format.
Agreed
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:23 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by memyselfandus View Post
Not that I have seen. This would be awesome.

Well... the editor doesn't exist outside of Schwa's pizza-powered lab ATM, editor first, presets second



>
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:32 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planetnine View Post
Well... the editor doesn't exist outside of Schwa's pizza-powered lab ATM, editor first, presets second



>
That's why I like the idea of user-editable/exchangeable presets - if the devs give us that, we can take that ball and run with it.
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Old 02-27-2016, 03:36 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by swiiscompos View Post
That would be beautiful. A few points however need to be taken into consideration. While that would be very nice for dynamics, most VSTi used different patches for different articulations. There are three main ways to switch between them depending on the instrument: MIDI channels, keyswitches, and velocity range.

Having a way to link the articulations to this would give us a extremely powerful tool. And then we would simply need an "articulation lane" in the piano roll editor and we would have a tool as powerful as the Expression Maps in Cubase. Being able to assign articulations in a visual and consistent way without having to remember all the keyswitches and channels is a huge workflow improvement.

One other thing to take into consideration: some of this indications are applied to all the notes that follow them until a new indication override it, while some others apply only to the not they are attached to.
Yes, that is an excellent point. Pretty much every VST is programmed differently, and even within one and the same VST, the midi messages to e.g. create a crescendo can be different.

One random example: Hollywood Strings Diamond by Eastwest - the powerful 1st or 2nd strings patches ("powerful" means you have to have a powerful computer or they won't play back decently) - crescendo is controlled by midi expression pedal, and simultaneously you can control vibrato with the mod wheel. Using both in combination gives you the ability to create that beautiful lush "Hollywood" swell that is typically only possible with live players.

Beautiful! But here's the trick: if you use these powerful 1st strings patches for say 1st violins, but another patch for second violins where the dynamics are controlled through e.g. velocity, then a crescendo hairpin needs to be "translated" differently for 1st and 2nd violins.

So you see, it gets tricky because there are so many different VSTs out there ...

Sibelius has "solved" this in a very intricate way - they have mapped all possible instruments into a huge mind map project, and programmed Sibelius such, that if you set up a score, or add an instrument, Sibelius automatically picks the right instrument for you, and any dynamics and technique are automatically translated into the appropriate playback.

Very clever, but ... it's also develishly complicated if you try to use your instruments, rather than the built in Sibelius sounds. I won't go into details but the bottom line is that you need "soundsets" to translate the Sibelius midi messages into something the external VSTs can understand and play back properly.

I've spent years trying to understand how exactly that works, and at some point I just gave up ... fortunately someone did not give up, Jonathan Loving, and he spent a huge amount of time creating soundsets for Sibelius and third party VSTs which he sells on his website (the soundset project).

http://www.soundsetproject.com/

Even with the soundsets, installing them and setting up a score using your own VSTs is very far from intuitive ... which is why these days I prefer to use another third party VST, "NotePerformer", very cleverly programmed and light impact.

The problem is that in the end of the day, because Sibelius offers so little way to manipulate the midi and audio, it's still going to sound like a computer midi playback ... even with the most expensive Eastwest Hollywood VSTs. But with Reaper this could be different! Because Reaper allows infinite control over audio and midi so you can tweak it to your heart's delight, without having to go back and forth between a notation program (be it Reaper, or Finale, or Notion, or whatever) and Reaper.

Sibelius was primarily designed as a notation program, for live players, not for the playback. This "playback versus notation" has been contentious issue for years on the Sibelius forum.

All this aside, what you guys (= Cockos developers) might want to do is talk to Jon Loving and see if he has any ideas on this. He's a very smart guy and nice too, helped me well in the past (I was actually one of the people who encouraged him to start this whole sound set project, several years ago). I'll see if I can get a hold of him.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:46 AM   #36
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I have a hunch that this thread is going to end up (eventually) with Expression Maps implemented... In due time, in due time. Not for 5.20.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:52 AM   #37
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Briefly, ED, what are "expression maps", please? What do they map to? The searches I did didn't mention notation much, really.



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Old 02-28-2016, 05:16 AM   #38
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Briefly, ED, what are "expression maps", please? What do they map to? The searches I did didn't mention notation much, really.



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Expression maps are a Cubase feature that allow you to assign notation symbols to keyswitches/channel changes/CC changes/MIDI changes. The possibilities are very powerful, the implementation is not so much. My biggest gripe with expression maps is that it can't map everything under a slur to a single expression map (ie, legato), instead you must have a little slur symbol over every note that you want to legato...

It also has a piano-roll editing mode too which shows you which "expression" is currently being mapped with a bunch of horizontal bars underneath the piano roll.

Steinberg had the right idea but it wasn't anywhere near good enough to make me want to switch and I have a feeling the (eventual) Cockos implementation will be substantially more powerful (and musical). I really really (really) love where this thread seems to be going.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:52 AM   #39
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Thank you. So from notation to MIDI, sort of complementary to the percussion mapping. This is for more realistic playback of big VSTis and Kontakt, etc, when the source is composed by writing notation on stave.

Stuff I've read is making sense now...



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Old 02-28-2016, 12:16 PM   #40
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Thank you. So from notation to MIDI, sort of complementary to the percussion mapping. This is for more realistic playback of big VSTis and Kontakt, etc, when the source is composed by writing notation on stave.

Stuff I've read is making sense now...



>
Yeah, that's it. The big trick is to make it easy for individual users to create their own mapping, without having to be a super expert in scripting and programming. Every VST is laid out differently, we can't reasonably expect the developers to do all that, but we are a big community and we can help each other out ... similarly to, e.g., the themes. Some of the VST are huge --- Hollywood Strings Diamond has hundreds of patches just for strings --- and it's a personal thing (user preference) too as to which you want to pick for a certain passage.

That would be very cool.

I don't have Cubase myself, by the way, so I don't know how the expression maps work.
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