Old 04-03-2011, 07:41 AM   #1
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Default v4: CC Modifier for "compress/expand"?

Would you guys find it useful to be able to select a group of CC events and have a mouse modifier for spreading them further apart or cramming them closer together?

Basically, you could select a bunch of velocity CCs, click and drag UP and they would spread apart from each other, increasing the dynamics. If you click and drag DOWN, the gap between their values would shrink and they would be compressed towards one value, effectively eliminating the dynamics.

This would be EXTREMELY useful for drum related stuff with MIDI, especially when using Reaper's fantastic "create chromatic midi from selected items" to convert drum tracks to MIDI. I find a lot of the time the velocity curve I end up with isn't dynamic enough when using that function because there is so much headroom in my original tracks. This CC "compress" modifier would allow me to literally drag life into my drum tracks and would be a wicked addition to Reaper!

Excuse the fucking horrid GIF I had to make by hand on OSX:


Gets the point across at least. Watch the outline of the CCs, not the colored section, the GIF export is fucking terrible and didn't draw any of that stuff right.

Last edited by AdamWathan; 04-04-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:51 AM   #2
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In short: YES!
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:32 AM   #3
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Would you guys find it useful to be able to select a group of CC events and have a mouse modifier for spreading them further apart or cramming them closer together?

Basically, you could select a bunch of velocity CCs, click and drag UP and they would spread apart from each other, increasing the dynamics. If you click and drag DOWN, the gap between their values would shrink and they would be compressed towards one value, effectively eliminating the dynamics.

This would be EXTREMELY useful for drum related stuff with MIDI, especially when using Reaper's fantastic "create chromatic midi from selected items" to convert drum tracks to MIDI. I find a lot of the time the velocity curve I end up with isn't dynamic enough when using that function because there is so much headroom in my original tracks. This CC "compress" modifier would allow me to literally drag life into my drum tracks and would be a wicked addition to Reaper!
This sounds great. How would the threshold be determined? In Cubase's ME,the velocity function has Add/Subtract, Compress/Expand and Limit. Mind you, this is a dialog box similar to Reaper's Transpose or Quantize. Anyway, it seems that Cubase assumes the threshold to be a midpoint between the highest and lowest value of the notes selected. Whereas when the MIDI Compression plug-in is used as a channel insert effect, threshold is a separate value that is chosen. I could also see the threshold being determined by where you initially click after you've depressed the modifier keys. Hmmmm.

And then of course ratio is simply a function of how high or low you drag.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:33 AM   #4
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Indeed
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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This sounds great. How would the threshold be determined? In Cubase's ME,the velocity function has Add/Subtract, Compress/Expand and Limit. Mind you, this is a dialog box similar to Reaper's Transpose or Quantize. Anyway, it seems that Cubase assumes the threshold to be a midpoint between the highest and lowest value of the notes selected. Whereas when the MIDI Compression plug-in is used as a channel insert effect, threshold is a separate value that is chosen. I could also see the threshold being determined by where you initially click after you've depressed the modifier keys. Hmmmm.

And then of course ratio is simply a function of how high or low you drag.
I would take the threshold as maybe the average value of all selected notes? And dragging moves them closer to or further away from that average, so the amount each CC would move per "drag unit" would be different for each CC depending on how far from the average they are, so that once the limit for "drag units" is reached, all the CCs reach the average value simultaneously.

Or, alternatively the threshold could just be 127, which would also work I think. Compressing them moves them all towards 127, but the higher values would move towards it slower than the lower values so that all values hit 127 simultaneously. Expanding them would just do the same thing but in reverse, the higher values would still move slower than the lower values.

Too bad this is such a hard thing to mockup, heh...
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:27 PM   #6
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Compress/Expand would be very useful.
The threshold could be an inserted value and in the case the respective field is left blank, the average value of the selected notes.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:29 AM   #7
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That'd be very cool!
Nice idea!
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:05 PM   #8
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.

This would be EXTREMELY useful for drum related stuff with MIDI, especially when using Reaper's fantastic "create chromatic midi from selected items" to convert drum tracks to MIDI.
Can you please explain how do you convert drums to midi using that method?
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Would you guys find it useful to be able to select a group of CC events and have a mouse modifier for spreading them further apart or cramming them closer together?
YES!!



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Old 04-04-2011, 02:24 PM   #10
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I am constantly adding velocity control JS plugins and gluing the results -- which closes the midi editor and required it to be reopened, redocked, repositioned, and the filter window likewise positioned.

A CC compression/expansion tool would save so much time.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:33 PM   #11
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Can you please explain how do you convert drums to midi using that method?
Sure thing sir http://adamwathan.com/reaper/r4dtm.swf
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #12
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how about these 3 choices

scale cc (about center)
scale cc's (absolute)
and
shift ccs

I think the words "xompress" and "expand" would lead users to expect the usual threshhold ratio and ballisticts controls - "scale" is clearer I think...

Last edited by semiquaver; 04-04-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 04-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #13
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Thank you very much!!
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:45 PM   #14
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how about these 3 choices

scale cc (about center)
scale cc's (absolute)
and
shift ccs

I think the words "xompress" and "expand" would lead users to expect the usual threshhold ratio and ballisticts controls - "scale" is clearer I think...
That is probably the more accurate name for the functionality I'm trying to get, good call!

Can anyone think of anything that does this sort of thing in another program in some way? Would be nice to post a vid. Massey DRT does something similar but it's not easy to see, maybe I'll do a vid anyways but a GIF would be better.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:13 PM   #15
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Something like this (watch the outline of the CC, the filled section didn't export properly in the shitty GIF)

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Old 04-04-2011, 04:33 PM   #16
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little off topic but Adam do you have any other tutorials for drum editing or tips ?
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:38 PM   #17
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The semantic debate of "compress/expand" brought to mind a common problem.

It is often useful to compress or scale large dynamic sections while retaining high frequency material (as one would with very long attack and release settings and a low ratio threshold on an audio compressor); or vice versa, where large scale dynamic's are kept in tact but variation from event to event is smoothed (similar to a compressor with hysterisis)

Since we can describe two parameters with the mouses x/y when drag scaling, it would be great to have gestural tool that would allow for an interactive control to scale it in anyway that is needed.

What do you think?
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:05 PM   #18
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little off topic but Adam do you have any other tutorials for drum editing or tips ?
Here's two YouTube vids that cover 2 different drum editing methods in Reaper...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlnO1XjRh0Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTfnp5W4peg

More in depth slip editing tutorial but so small it's hard to see what's going on :/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMaF-...eature=related

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMSMj...eature=related
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:10 PM   #19
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seen them all thx anyway
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:29 PM   #20
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I guess we need to do an FR to add, "Create linear MIDI item from slices" into the Dynamic split items window along with a separate action. The chromatic workflow came from the Propellerhead ReCycle days and from mapping out "loops" chromatically across a hardware sampler. Some of us would just like to trigger multi-layered/velocity drum samples(not loops), as you have demonstrated.

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Old 04-04-2011, 05:46 PM   #21
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AdamWathan, what do you think about compressing/expanding the CCs horizontally? You know, making a bunch of selected CCs "faster" or "slower"? That could be amazing as a new mouse modifier!
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:48 PM   #22
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AdamWathan, what do you think about compressing/expanding the CCs horizontally? You know, making a bunch of selected CCs "faster" or "slower"? That could be amazing as a new mouse modifier!
No real input here, honestly the only CC I ever use is velocity for my drum hits when I convert them to MIDI, heh... I don't really even understand your suggestion, I'm MIDI retarded.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:21 PM   #23
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No real input here, honestly the only CC I ever use is velocity for my drum hits when I convert them to MIDI, heh... I don't really even understand your suggestion, I'm MIDI retarded.
Forget the MIDI. Finish the ReaDRT extension.

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:58 PM   #24
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Holy drumtracker, batman...! So this is actually Toontrack's Drumtracker (I own it and I hate it 'cause it's 100% offline) built in Reaper? Schweeeeeeet!!!
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:48 AM   #25
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No real input here, honestly the only CC I ever use is velocity for my drum hits when I convert them to MIDI, heh... I don't really even understand your suggestion, I'm MIDI retarded.
Like you can compress/expand selected notes:

[IMG]http://img688.**************/img688/3708/compand.gif[/IMG]

We should be able to do the same with CCs (and yes, even velocities - in that case the notes would move as well)!
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:29 AM   #26
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Isn't this CC behaviour exactly what Cubase 6 recently brought to the table? C6 has small handles when you create selections from which you can skew/compress/expand/scale CC-values REALLY intuitively, by just dragging the handles. This is something I'd love to see in R4!
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:24 AM   #27
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Looking at my mockup I'm realizing that what I really want I guess is just a modifier to edit CCs logarithmically instead of linearly so things move slower at the top and faster at the bottom. That would be perfect for me and probably fairly simple to add with any luck!
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:30 AM   #28
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Looking at my mockup I'm realizing that what I really want I guess is just a modifier to edit CCs logarithmically instead of linearly so things move slower at the top and faster at the bottom. That would be perfect for me and probably fairly simple to add with any luck!
+ The other way around of course. But yes, should be fairly simple to add and also a very useful feature.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:49 AM   #29
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Oh wow, I haven't checked reaper 4 in details yet, I didn't know about this "create chromatic midi from selected items". I am so excited to test this method along with the new "dynamically split items" sensitivity option!

And yes, to come back on the original thread subject, I am totally for this sort of midi velocity compressor option. Brilliant idea.

+1 on my side, I would use this VERY often.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:01 AM   #30
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Looking at my mockup I'm realizing that what I really want I guess is just a modifier to edit CCs logarithmically instead of linearly so things move slower at the top and faster at the bottom. That would be perfect for me and probably fairly simple to add with any luck!
I was actually wondering if there wouldn't be a slightly better way to think it. I'm totally ok on the logarithmic move BUT I would prefer that on the selected notes:

- the highest velocity note does not change at all if you add velocity
- the lowest velocity does not change at all if you lower the velocity

Basically, there would be a max velocity ceiling if you add velocity, and a minimum floor if you remove some. All other notes would "logarithmically" reach the maximum or minimum value among all the selected midi notes. Would sound more logical to me, you could do a better adjustment. Then if you just to to add or remove velocity, you just have to stop activating the mouse modifier.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:33 AM   #31
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The minimum floor thing would ruin it for me because then you completely lose the ability to ADD dynamics to the notes. I want to be able to spread them further apart. A simple logarithmic increase/decrease would work I think, that's what the gif is showing anyways. You would just drag down to decrease everything logarithmically, then increase them all linearly to maintain the new spread while returning the highest value to where it needs to be

The simpler we make it the better chance of being implemented, hehe...

Having a floor when dragging down would be the equivalent of dragging up an then reducing all of them evenly, which removes half of the functionality of the request
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:43 AM   #32
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The minimum floor thing would ruin it for me because then you completely lose the ability to ADD dynamics to the notes. I want to be able to spread them further apart. A simple logarithmic increase/decrease would work I think, that's what the gif is showing anyways. You would just drag down to decrease everything logarithmically, then increase them all linearly to maintain the new spread while returning the highest value to where it needs to be

The simpler we make it the better chance of being implemented, hehe...

Having a floor when dragging down would be the equivalent of dragging up an then reducing all of them evenly, which removes half of the functionality of the request
Ah yes, I had just totally swapped the add dynamic part. I was just thinking on how to remove it.

But I wonder if there wouldn't be another, and actually easier thing to do than what is shown in your gif. Let me try to make some sort of a gif. I'll be back with it in a few.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:50 AM   #33
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Having a floor when dragging down would be the equivalent of dragging up an then reducing all of them evenly, which removes half of the functionality of the request
btw, that's not what i meant I didn't mean to move them evenly, but that their ending point is not by default the value 0, but the lowest value of all the selected midi notes.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:14 AM   #34
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Yeah I understand I think, just what you are suggesting is always compressing, either towards the lowest value or towards the highest value, it removes the ability to expand. The reason I need this actually is because of that create chromatic MIDI function. My tracks usually have lots of headroom so even though the MIDI that Reaper generates is velocity sensitive, it's usually all crammed down between 30-70 in re velocity scale. I want to expand that range so I can make the loud hits louder without also bumping the softest hits up into rimshot range. Using what I showed in the gif, I could raise the velocity of all notes as normal, and then use the logarithmic modifier to drag down and bring the quieter notes down further without lowering the high velocities as much. Couldn't do that with a floor!
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:16 AM   #35
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Great idea Adam and don't forget you can grab them all after compressing/expanding and adjust them to an appropriate position, which I think would be most of the time.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:41 AM   #36
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Yeah I understand I think, just what you are suggesting is always compressing, either towards the lowest value or towards the highest value, it removes the ability to expand. The reason I need this actually is because of that create chromatic MIDI function. My tracks usually have lots of headroom so even though the MIDI that Reaper generates is velocity sensitive, it's usually all crammed down between 30-70 in re velocity scale. I want to expand that range so I can make the loud hits louder without also bumping the softest hits up into rimshot range. Using what I showed in the gif, I could raise the velocity of all notes as normal, and then use the logarithmic modifier to drag down and bring the quieter notes down further without lowering the high velocities as much. Couldn't do that with a floor!
Yup, understood. I would use this exactly like you, to "trig" drums after timing them (awesome shortcuts in your slip edit video btw, using it at least partly everyday now to time every instrument/vocals - thanks for sharing with us).

Here is an updated version of what I thought then: in your gif, you either add or remove velocity to all notes. The logarithmic thing will make that some will be more modified than others. I wonder if it wouldn't be better (but that's just a suggestion, I may be wrong) that the FR function either logarithmically gathers or shatters velocities (or whatever is in the low lane). You take the medium value of all notes, then you make notes come closer or away from it. The more the note is distant from the medium value, the more it will move.

That's what I've tried to show in the gif below: imagine all notes are selected. In one case you add dynamic by pulling the mouse up, in the other one you kill it. Compressor VS expander.



Good or bad idea?

You could get what you want like that no? You excite or shrink the dynamic, then lower or add volume.

Last edited by miche; 04-05-2011 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #37
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Both ways I think can accomplish the same thing, your way was actually my original thought! The mockup I made was based on how Massey DRT handles velocity stuff and I find it quite intuitive in actual use so I did it that way. I also thought it might be easier to implement since it's the same behavior we already have when editing CCs but with a logarithmic instead of linear scale.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:22 AM   #38
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Yeah, maybe. As you said, either-way should work the same in the end, et least in the way we use it for drums.

Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope the devs think this update is as necessary as we believe.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:53 AM   #39
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Yup, understood. I would use this exactly like you, to "trig" drums after timing them (awesome shortcuts in your slip edit video btw, using it at least partly everyday now to time every instrument/vocals - thanks for sharing with us).

Here is an updated version of what I thought then: in your gif, you either add or remove velocity to all notes. The logarithmic thing will make that some will be more modified than others. I wonder if it wouldn't be better (but that's just a suggestion, I may be wrong) that the FR function either logarithmically gathers or shatters velocities (or whatever is in the low lane). You take the medium value of all notes, then you make notes come closer or away from it. The more the note is distant from the medium value, the more it will move.

That's what I've tried to show in the gif below: imagine all notes are selected. In one case you add dynamic by pulling the mouse up, in the other one you kill it. Compressor VS expander.



Good or bad idea?

You could get what you want like that no? You excite or shrink the dynamic, then lower or add volume.
I like this version, which is closer to what I understood Adam to be talking about initially. And in an ideal world (a world where I don't have to figure out how to do it) the events would be selected. Then I could press the modifiers to go into compress/expand mode, then I could set the threshold of the action based on the mouse cursor click value position. Then dragging up would expand and down would compress. Or mouse wheel up and down.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:33 AM   #40
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The way the math works out, it doesn't matter at all what you choose as the "center", the values will all still scale the exact same way relative to each other so it really doesn't matter to me. Using the very top or very bottom as the center feels like it would be more predictable to me though, but at the end of the day the values end up spaced out from each other exactly the same way.
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