Note/score/midi-file editing/midi-editor question

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PoorFellow
PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
edited June 2023 in Social Club

I have what I feel is a rather stupid question that will only too much display my limited ability to use any musical instrument and lack of understanding of same.  But I dreamt for a long time about getting a keyboard to play but only relatively recently got the financial opportunity to buy...

So now , I got many ideas about wanting to do something but find myself with two major problems. One of them is understanding the softwares enough to do creative settings of my own to produce the sounds that I want and the other being that when I try to play then I am not good enough at playing so that I often have to retry a passage or something or I do not hit the keys with appropriate time intervals to to hit the note at the beat every time.

The first problem knowing the software (not a question here) then apart from using presets then I guess that only time and studying will help since this is an extremely wast area and it is impossible to express or translate to other other than by the sounds like this or that , but maybe also a little like that other and then how do I do that. And one either needs to learn or have a sound engineer to ask all the time ! 

However as for the other problem , the question here , which by the way is regarding the midi notes and their representation of my keyboard play tries, then I hope that there is some program with better and more intuitive interface than what I have seen and tried previously.


So question :

Can someone, anyone , please recommend me a very easy to use program that will allow me to do quantization of the midi notes from a midi file and then delete one or more notes, or part of 'score' and then program will contract space or leave be as I desire and something that can also easily alter pitch of midi (transpose notes ?) and play speed *of midi file* and/or save to file including altered play speed and maybe even allow wok on 'beat' of file ?

To me it all sounds as ought to have been a rather trivial matter but every single time I try one of them 'piano roll' things in a DAW or something then I don't think that it is that easy. I would also really like to do the same with chord representation in midi (polyphonic midi if possible)(I don't even know if that is possible or not in one file or if it requires more files playing at same time) , and something that could very easily do chord transposing (don't know if it is the right word) , as I have discovered that transposing of midi/notes is far from simple if one wants to do it oneself and (apparently requires knowledge of something called 'circle of fifths' and what not)...

(I do know that e.g. my N.I. S61 allows for quantization by click of a button but that does not cover my need !)


I guess that most here will consider me a bit dense and rather ignorant but I do not know very much about neither music notation nor about midi note or midi chord representation and hence I would really like to get my hands on some very intuitive and very easy to use software that can do all the described above !


Sorry about the lack of tags , apparently there is no 'midi' tag or anything related that I thought appropriate !

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  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
    Answer ✓
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    I will keep it simple: Every DAW, every single program for music creation, no matter how simple or complicate, has Quantize and offers you various ways for the quantization of your Midi files. Actually, not just Midi, but any kind of project files, even audio! Anything can be quantize, though many times you will find yourself to move notes with your mouse, i think it is unavoidable.

    We can discuss if further tomorrow if you wish, but i have to warn you, the only way to learn about music creation is not by small lessons on a forum, not by books or videos, but with get your hands dirty. Really dirty! With failures upon failures and then, experiment, again and again.

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  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    I will keep it simple: Every DAW, every single program for music creation, no matter how simple or complicate, has Quantize and offers you various ways for the quantization of your Midi files. Actually, not just Midi, but any kind of project files, even audio! Anything can be quantize, though many times you will find yourself to move notes with your mouse, i think it is unavoidable.

    We can discuss if further tomorrow if you wish, but i have to warn you, the only way to learn about music creation is not by small lessons on a forum, not by books or videos, but with get your hands dirty. Really dirty! With failures upon failures and then, experiment, again and again.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
    edited June 2023
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    However, today's technologies offers you the possibility to use more easy (but less creative) ways. In such case here are 2 good choices, where you don't need to care much about quantization, as most things are done auto (or semi-auto)

    1)

    2)


    ...of course you can always combine methods, and mixed them up, doing some basic hard work automatically and then, refine manually.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
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    Thank you for the kind response and for taking your time.

    Quote: "the only way to learn about music creation is not by small lessons on a forum, not by books or videos, but with get your hands dirty. Really dirty! With failures upon failures and then, experiment, again and again."

    I were 'afraid' of that would be how it would be done as I (of course) have already tried more DAWs and stuff prior to posting here , posting here is actually not the first or 'easy thing' for someone like me to do..

    But I just thought that maybe there would be something a lot simpler out there than what I have seen before, I have tried (as in poking lightly at) maybe , I dunno , five different Piano roll editors and not really tried anyone that made me feel that it were intuitive or easy ,, but I guess that maybe that is how it is.. ?

    I of course already try stuff in-between and actually also try to be really creative , it's just , you know , the learning curve appear to be almost vertical when presented with so much new stuff that all sort of inter-connect. Like my N.I. S61 comes with a lot of software and a DAW , got other DAWs , finds out that apparently few DAWs are without flaws , especially if one does not have a huge amount of money to channel into buying an expensive one, but I just mean , some DAWs have problems with VST3 , and some may no longer support VST 2 ? (or was it VST 1) version and often the (insert fitting swear word) will just hang or simply not do what it's told, or just play no sound if it has a problem with the plug-in , then that either leaves the user wondering , frustrated or whatever , then only a lot later one learns that the DAW can not combine VST2 and VST3 on same project without fail, then the interface on most DAW leaves a hell of a lot to be desired when it comes to being intuitive and user-friendly , then you find out that apparently one sometimes need to route inside the DAW to make stuff work (loopback ?) , I mean , Christ ! , it's like looking at a mile high wall with few or no apparent grips for climbing , because so much is taken for granted that people are supposed to know.. I guess that e.g. the Ableton Live 11 Lite does a relatively good job at trying to be 'user friendly' but still... Then when trying to understand to transpose/pitch change ? something then I find out that I need to understand 'the circle of fifths' , understanding which fully will not happen any time soon , then if wanting to be a little creative using e.g. simple modules in a modular synth then one discovers exactly how much one needs to understand to even try to create what one thinks ought to be simple like adding 'tremolo' , 'vibrato' or 'wah wah'.. (Swear word) , even trying to control a synth already put together looks as if almost requiring a sound engineer education if not using presets, even if more simple than a Granular synth. I mean , I completely get it , I got to get my hands 'dirty' and 'try and fail and try again until succeed' but all is like mountains to climb...

    Hence I want to try to simplify with some 'simple' projects where I create some music of my own to edit and try to 'reuse' stuff and maybe also create 'chord combinations' , "musical patterns' , 'phrases" , whatever . But I think it all anything else than easy and simple and I think the amount of stuff to learn to be extreme , like if I have/had to major in music and graduate from some prestigious university rather than 'dabble' in music ! 🤣

    Ah ! , well , actually then nobody ever promised me that any of this were going to be easy ! 😂

    Thank you very much for posting and for discussing it with me but you do not need to 'discuss' any of that any further with me I will just have to continue as best I can which is strangely enough what I have already been doing ! 😉 😁

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
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    Thank you , I will have to look into that tomorrow or later , thanks ! 😀

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
    edited June 2023
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    @ Sunborn ,

    I will mark you response as having answered question though I think answer more complex (for further explanation read long scribble below !)


    First of all , then again thank you for responding and for taking your time...  

    Your plug-in suggestions are, though very interesting, not what I want generally speaking since they are not so much about being creative oneself but more about letting the program doing the creativity for you...  I do however really like the idea of the TranceEngine and maybe I will check that out later in the future...

    Back in your initial comment you wrote as a response that "the only way to learn about music creation is not by small lessons on a forum, not by books or videos, but with get your hands dirty. Really dirty! With failures upon failures and then, experiment, again and again." . 

    And as far as that going as answer to my question here regarding "Note/score/midi-file editing/midi-editor" then I think that you are right and still wrong , and while wrong still right !  I mean what you write is somewhat correct as learning by doing yourself is the better way and the real way to get to know stuff, but I think that you also miss something (would be a really tall order to ask you to catch on to this) because I think that the problems here are multiple and overlapping.

    One major problem regarding what concerns the question is the high expectations that one tends to have for one self and for the software one uses. Like I am constantly trying to bite a lot more than I can chew because everything (software) I try sort of expects me to be able to do more or know more than I actually can and do , while I myself as a reaction sets the bar too high for myself and expects myself to be able to do this or that while I really need to just concentrate on learning to use the building blocks one by one. However that also gets to be complicated because so much software have this or that problem where one at least as a novice needs to try forgive that and then just use the software as much as it can be used to learn and then go to next whatever to learn more. All is however complicated because when one is a novice then one also often do not know when it is the software fails and when there is just something that one do not know.  Those making poor software surely has a lot to answer for in that respect because one tends to give up when software fails , especially when it fails without it being obvious...

    Translating all of the above into relating to the original question then rather than me being put off by the complexity of a Piano Roll editor or the fact that some Piano Roll editors are really poor then I should try to concentrate on learning the basics of Piano Roll editing on what I myself finds is the least of a turn off.  And for that I think that watching videos can be good to get introduced into the basic functionality and basics of what program offers and then as you point out then go get ones hands dirty , really dirty by actually using the product and then allow oneself to shop around for what is most agreeable while still remembering that one can not expect perfection and that it is all about being in a learning process where you don't get anywhere unless one do as you suggests "the only way to learn about music creation is not by small lessons on a forum, not by books or videos, but with get your hands dirty. Really dirty! With failures upon failures and then, experiment, again and again.". 

    What learned me most here apart from your suggestion where me trying to Google "very easy and intuitive piano roll editor" and then start to read pages and watch videos until I saw something that I thought , well , that looks as something that I ought to be able to learn to do. And that in turn of course to some degree initially depends on product presentation while later so much more depending also of product quality and real degree of ease of use... I might go back later and watch more videos and read more pages to pick another product , or I may go back and watch a lot more videos about initial product that I chose to learn even more about that. 

    What I in fact have chosen to look into first is the use of the Piano Roll Editor in Mixcraft !  Why ? Because it looks as if I will able to understand and do what is presented and just as important then there is a lot more video help to basic functionality which while maybe not really helps you get anywhere then furthers understanding of that which looks extremely confusing and put off-ish at a glance. And greatest of all then I already have Mixcraft in collection in library.  Here I think it most important to remember that it does not really matter if Mixcraft is something that otherwise satisfies me or not as long as it is able to learn me Piano Roll Editing. So I might continue using Mixcraft or might try something else to learn something else. Anything that furthers my understanding and learning by doing is a good thing even if flawed in other respects as long as it do not make me pick up any bad habits, which I am of course too in-experienced to understand anyhow ! 🤣

    Mixcraft reference :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94_oD-sT5tE&ab_channel=Mixcraft   

    P.S. Supposedly then , quote : "FL Studio's piano roll is very simple". Also , quote : "Reaper lacks of the advanced tools FL Studio has but with it´s mouse modifiers you can set it exactly like FL Studio works!!"

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    @PoorFellow hello again :-)

    Few quick answers from me:

    About DAW: There are just 6 or 7 that worth your attention, because a DAW is usually a life-time learning process! And this is the fun! I think you are trying to learn too many things at once and this is neither fun, neither learning. I use Cubase and only Cubase, since 1998 (i also tried Ableton for a year, but it is not my thing, so i left it) and still, there are a lot of options that i have no idea what they do, simply because i never needed them so far! For example, the whole Score section, i doubt if i opened it more than 10 times all those years.... So, my advice is to first learn some basic things about general and important functions and the, focus on what you need now, and forget the rest (for now)! You are on a learning process so it is very OK to test various DAW in order to find what is best for you, but, once you decide you have to focus on this one. Otherwise you will end-up knowing a little bit of everything, but nothing complete.

    By the way, Cubase has a great piano-roll/midi/quantization system. You can have an "auto-quantize" option enable, and then just play, real live, as you feel. Finally you can do minor corrections manually. Another way, that i like to work (but you have to be a musician / or at least know something about music theory and definitely have a clear vision of what you want to create) is to draw the notes instead of playing. In this way, you will almost never need quantize.

    About DAW having problems with VST3: Throw them in the rubbish bin immediately and never deal with those again. VST3 is the present, and most importantly, the future, for many years to come!

    I stop here, for now. One step at a time, that is how you get real knowledge (no matter how smart someone may be).

    Advice: Avoid writing so many things on a single comment, especially so many different things... people usually never read them. Focus on one case each time, so the others can follow your thought and read you without get bored, and at the end, help you. If you write the "story of your life" (metaphorically speaking) on every single comment it becomes a novel, not a comment. :-)

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
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    Thank you ,

    About my writing , yes , I really ought not try so hard to explain so much !

    About DAWs , Cubase is expensive. Otherwise should I ban a program or a game every time there were a problem I would have little or no programs or games and probably no OS on my PC

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    You do not need a Pro version to make music!

    You can start with something simpler (and cheaper) and after some time (months, or more likely, years), when you will be more experienced (and hopefully, more rich! 😋) you can upgrade to "Artist" or to "Pro".



    Cubase is just an example. The same rules apply to all DAW, more or less

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
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    Maybe I do not need more than Elements to 'make music' , but the discussion were originally about midi/score editor of which Elements also only have Basic version and you need Cubase Pro to get the Advanced version of Score Editor and Pro is 6 X the price of Elements and I wouldn't have that kind of money for a DAW in any foreseeable future anyway... ! . Also , I am not new to Steinberg , I already have an account there and have looked at their software many times...

    https://www.steinberg.net/cubase/compare-editions/

  • tomgoldschmidt
    tomgoldschmidt Member Posts: 1 Newcomer
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    I agree with the statement that you are trying to swallow too much in one gulp. About the choice of a DAW : Acoustica Mixcraft has a very logical workflow, so it is not too difficult to remember. Is is not very expensive and exists in two versions, one cheaper (79 $) than the other (149 $), you can start with the cheapest and later upgrade to the other one at a fraction of the price. You can also download a free demonstration version. (I have no relation with Acoustica except that I like Mixcraft a lot). Cakewalk is free and powerful, but IMHO the workflow is much less logical than Mixcraft's. Reaper is unexpensive and very powerful, but difficult to master if you do not spend a lot of time with it. Magix Studio One is also less intuitive, but powerful and not expensive. Cubase is powerful but expensive, as you have noticed. Etc...

    About learning : try step by step. Download a simple free DAW or a demonstration version, (there are quite a few), record a very simple MIDI track, READ the manual's part about the MIDI piano roll, then try modifying your track in simple ways first : move a note with your mouse, play to hear the difference. Move it up and down, or left or right, then both together. Then change a note's length, first with your mouse cursor, then with the "Quantize" function, after reading the manual's pages about it. You will sometimes swear, but with trial and error, then trial and a small encouraging success, you will learn and develop reflexes.

    Then try, for example, putting some reverb on your track, modify the amount, the length of the reverb. Then try it with a delay... Then learn how to automatize those parameters... Etc.

    I think you will get better results and more pleasure using a reasonably powerful DAW that you know inside out than a very powerful one in which you stumble.

    Also, when you are experienced, choosing a DAW will be a matter of taste. You can love a program that another musician does not like at all.

    Good luck !

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,524 mod
    edited September 2023
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    Thank you very much for the kind answer..

    I understand why you like Acoustica Mixcraft and I even upgrade my Mixcraft to version 10 Pro a while back !

    Still , it's not the midi 'score editor' I am looking for but perhaps you are right that it's a matter of investing enough time into whatever program that one choose to be better. But I really don't know !

    Still thank you so much for the answer ! 🙂

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