Playing midi files like a real midi player on BIAB


david harris
 

Hi,

I play music from midi files I find on the net all the time. I play flute and like jazz (especially Brazilian), pop, and classical - think Mozart flute concertos. What I have been doing is using a midi program, Digital Orchestra Pro (DOP), because it is a very plain vanilla midi implementation that is pretty easy to operate. Most important is the fact that when I play back a file, DOP has a great notation presentation. It is, of course, a literal translation of midi instructions, but that's fine, once you get used it - it's kind of an Urtext. 

For real recording, I use Sonar Producer, or Pro Tools,(and I play DOP on another computer to generate backup)  but Sonar is terrible for live playback, and Pro Tools is just an all-around pain to use for anything. I think it only exists to force you to buy hardware (and, yes, I've run Pro Tools on a full spec control panel - not an improvement, unless you want to spend the rest of your life learning Pro Tools and nothing else.)

For a sound module, I use a Yamaha Motif Rack XS, which sounds very good. In fact, I once made a CD and gave a copy to a friend who performs all the time, and her husband is pro sideman, bass, who has been on many albums. What I liked best is when they asked me how I could afford to hire all those pro musicians to back me up!!

But, I like BIAB's playback-notation screen better than any other program's; I especially like how it moves to the next page a little before the music gets there - DOP only turns pages at the time the music does; usually ok, sometimes a real pain.

My question is very simple. Is there a way to get BIAB to just play the midi music as written in the file? I have not been able to get it to do this. All I really use it for is to create solos - they're kind of canned, but are a good starting point, and can be fun to riff around. I mean, I can get a file off the internet (and I have a more than 20,000, right now - only about 5,000 or so have been arranged for me to play) and arrange it for my software, equipment, key, etc. that lies nicely with the flute in about 3 minutes or less. So, I'm hoping that BIAB has a simple way to do this.

Dave Harris



Arthur Trinchera
 

Hey! I play flute to and sax. Just saying hey. I love the notation in biab too. Have you tried opening the midi files in real band. I think it separates then into separate tracks better.


On Sat, May 29, 2021, 6:31 PM david harris via groups.io <dgharris=syr.edu@groups.io> wrote:
Hi,

I play music from midi files I find on the net all the time. I play flute and like jazz (especially Brazilian), pop, and classical - think Mozart flute concertos. What I have been doing is using a midi program, Digital Orchestra Pro (DOP), because it is a very plain vanilla midi implementation that is pretty easy to operate. Most important is the fact that when I play back a file, DOP has a great notation presentation. It is, of course, a literal translation of midi instructions, but that's fine, once you get used it - it's kind of an Urtext. 

For real recording, I use Sonar Producer, or Pro Tools,(and I play DOP on another computer to generate backup)  but Sonar is terrible for live playback, and Pro Tools is just an all-around pain to use for anything. I think it only exists to force you to buy hardware (and, yes, I've run Pro Tools on a full spec control panel - not an improvement, unless you want to spend the rest of your life learning Pro Tools and nothing else.)

For a sound module, I use a Yamaha Motif Rack XS, which sounds very good. In fact, I once made a CD and gave a copy to a friend who performs all the time, and her husband is pro sideman, bass, who has been on many albums. What I liked best is when they asked me how I could afford to hire all those pro musicians to back me up!!

But, I like BIAB's playback-notation screen better than any other program's; I especially like how it moves to the next page a little before the music gets there - DOP only turns pages at the time the music does; usually ok, sometimes a real pain.

My question is very simple. Is there a way to get BIAB to just play the midi music as written in the file? I have not been able to get it to do this. All I really use it for is to create solos - they're kind of canned, but are a good starting point, and can be fun to riff around. I mean, I can get a file off the internet (and I have a more than 20,000, right now - only about 5,000 or so have been arranged for me to play) and arrange it for my software, equipment, key, etc. that lies nicely with the flute in about 3 minutes or less. So, I'm hoping that BIAB has a simple way to do this.

Dave Harris



David H. Bailey
 

On 5/29/2021 9:31 PM, david harris via groups.io wrote:
Hi,
I play music from midi files I find on the net all the time. I play flute and like jazz (especially Brazilian), pop, and classical - think Mozart flute concertos. What I have been doing is using a midi program, Digital Orchestra Pro (DOP), because it is a very plain vanilla midi implementation that is pretty easy to operate. Most important is the fact that when I play back a file, DOP has a great notation presentation. It is, of course, a literal translation of midi instructions, but that's fine, once you get used it - it's kind of an Urtext.
For real recording, I use Sonar Producer, or Pro Tools,(and I play DOP on another computer to generate backup)  but Sonar is terrible for live playback, and Pro Tools is just an all-around pain to use for anything. I think it only exists to force you to buy hardware (and, yes, I've run Pro Tools on a full spec control panel - not an improvement, unless you want to spend the rest of your life learning Pro Tools and nothing else.)
For a sound module, I use a Yamaha Motif Rack XS, which sounds very good. In fact, I once made a CD and gave a copy to a friend who performs all the time, and her husband is pro sideman, bass, who has been on many albums. What I liked best is when they asked me how I could afford to hire all those pro musicians to back me up!!
But, I like BIAB's playback-notation screen better than any other program's; I especially like how it moves to the next page a little before the music gets there - DOP only turns pages at the time the music does; usually ok, sometimes a real pain.
My question is very simple. Is there a way to get BIAB to just play the midi music as written in the file? I have not been able to get it to do this. All I really use it for is to create solos - they're kind of canned, but are a good starting point, and can be fun to riff around. I mean, I can get a file off the internet (and I have a more than 20,000, right now - only about 5,000 or so have been arranged for me to play) and arrange it for my software, equipment, key, etc. that lies nicely with the flute in about 3 minutes or less. So, I'm hoping that BIAB has a simple way to do this.
[snip]

I don't know if it still is among the shipping midi styles from PGMusic, but there's (or at least there used to be) blank styles that are empty, called blanksw.sty, blank.sty, blank3sw.sty, blank34.sty They were originally released as part of styles disk2, way back when everything in BIAB was midi only.

If you use that style you won't get any added tracks created by BIAB and can import your midi file into a melody track (set to be 16-track) and I think you'll be able to accomplish what you're looking for.


--
*****
David H. Bailey
dhbailey52@comcast.net
http://www.davidbaileymusicstudio.com


burt@...
 

For just playing (and optionally some editing) we use Realband for MIDI files.  

Maybe there's something more to the question, but wouldn't Realband be a better choice for the OP if he just wants to play existing MIDI files?


Hayward Martin
 

This may sound ridiculous, since when comes to MIDI’s, I really have no idea what I’m doing...

But, I  try to use Realband for my existing MIDI’s, I can never get the channel level controls to stay where I put them. They always seem to revert back to full volume on all channels when you hit “play”.   I know that I must be missing something elementary, but Is there a way to get them to stay  where I put them? 

 

Also, is there some way, in Realband, to strip any existing level settings and changes?

 

Thanks for any insight into this!

Hayward

 

From: burt@...
Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2021 8:28 AM
To: main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Band-In-A-Box] Playing midi files like a real midi player on BIAB

 

For just playing (and optionally some editing) we use Realband for MIDI files.  

Maybe there's something more to the question, but wouldn't Realband be a better choice for the OP if he just wants to play existing MIDI files?

 


Wayne (Reed) Knazek
 
Edited

You need to read up on EVENTS. You have an EVENTS list that can set control events.

Examples:
CC7 is volume. Think Master Volume on an amp.
CC11 is kinda like channel volume on an amp.

You can set your overall volume (7) and 11 for the track at say 112 (out of 127). Then for dynamics
throughout the song you can adjust the volume some either up or down using CC11.

Reverb is CC91  Chorus is CC93. PANNING IS CC10. Zero being hard left.  127 being hard right.
You can adjust panning anywhere between 0 and 127. 63 or 64 would be dead center, mono.

An exception would be drums. With many midi editors, drums are on channel 10, and are
considered a mono instrument, and will automatically play at CC10=64, dead center. Even if you
enter a different CC10 value. There are ways around that, but a bit much for a short answer here.

What's happening with your midis is . . . there are EVENTS set in the EVENTS list. So even if you adjust
the sliders, as soon as the midi starts, the EVENTS are read, and move the sliders where they are set
to in the list.

Spend some time reading up about how to set/change events. It's really as easy as typing numbers into a field.

Added note: EVENTS are set for each CHANNEL, not each track.  If you have a piano on tack 4 and 5, both the
same piano, both set to channel 1, (Maybe 4 is left hand and 5 is right hand for instance) . . .

. . . you only need to set events for one of the 2 tracks. And setting events differently
on both will not yield 2 tracks of piano that sound different, or are at different volumes.
If you set volume at CC7 = 100 on track 4, and CC7 = 112 on track 5, both tracks
will play at CC7 = 112. The highest numbered track of a channel per events is the one
used.

If you wanted track 4, left hand to be louder than track 5, or wanted to add reverb to the
right track and not the left, you need to have track 4 on one channel and track 5 on a different
channel. Then set the events for each track.


Hayward Martin
 

Thanks Wayne... Will have to find a MIDI's for dummies book!  Hayward


From: main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io <main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io> on behalf of Wayne (Reed) Knazek via groups.io <thenettrainer@...>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2021 7:42:11 AM
To: main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io <main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Band-In-A-Box] Playing midi files like a real midi player on BIAB
 
You need to read up on EVENTS. You have an EVENTS list that can set control events.

Examples:
CC7 is volume. Think Master Volume on an amp.
CC11 is kinda like channel volume on an amp.

You can set your overall volume (7) and 11 for the track at say 112 (out of 127). Then for dynamics
throughout the song you can adjust the volume some either up or down using CC11.

Reverb is CC91  Chorus is CC93. PANNING IS CC10. Zero being hard left.  127 being hard right.
You can adjust panning anywhere between 0 and 127. 63 or 64 would be dead center, mono.

An exception would be drums. With many midi editors, drums are on channel 10, and are
considered a mono instrument, and will automatically play at CC10=64, dead center. Even if you
enter a different CC10 value. There are ways around that, but a bit much for a short answer here.

What's happening with your midis is . . . there are EVENTS set in the EVENTS list. So even if you adjust
the sliders, as soon as the midi starts, the EVENTS are read, and move the sliders where they are set
to in the list.

Spend some time reading up about how to set/change events. It's really as easy as typing numbers into a field.


Wayne (Reed) Knazek
 

In RealBand, in the tool bar click on Help Contents. Type in "EVENTS". Bingo!


etcjoe
 

Use RealBand that comes with BIAB. You set up the midi driver for your Yamaha, open the midi file and hit the play button. No added instruments etc. You can add stuff if you want. It is pretty simple to use and is a DAW as well. So if you wanted to get a quick track recorded you could do that there. I audition midi files in RealBand all the time.


Hayward Martin
 

Thanks again Wayne! Hayward


From: main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io <main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io> on behalf of Wayne (Reed) Knazek via groups.io <thenettrainer@...>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2021 7:57:45 AM
To: main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io <main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Band-In-A-Box] Playing midi files like a real midi player on BIAB
 
In RealBand, in the tool bar click on Help Contents. Type in "EVENTS". Bingo!


etcjoe
 

If you highlight a track and push F2, you will bring up the events list, usually at the top of this list is the settings for all the CCs (although they can appear throughout to change patches, volume settings, panning etc). As Wayne Knazek explains, these are used to control all aspects of a midi channel and/or track (that is a whole other discussion tracks and channels etc.). I like to have every instrument on different tracks and most MIDI files from the internet are set up this way. If they are MIDI type 0, when RealBand asks you want to expand these out so you can see each instrument and channel on different tracks. Anyway back to the CC's. I like to get rid of the patch changes usually and set this myself, when I open the MIDI file later in my DAW of choice, I don't want it defaulting to general midi instrument as this is usually set in this "Event" list. Because no matter what you think you are choosing as the instrument the Event list always wins and does what it says. There are some good MIDI basic type sites on the web and on YouTube that are helpful in all this. Some trial and error is also a good learning experience!