Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Support & discussion regarding DAWs and MIDI sequencers.

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habbe
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby habbe » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:09 pm

tnovelli wrote:Your basic beat/pattern/sequence thing sounds about right to me. Kinda like Seq24 maybe. I think Hydrogen would be great for a lot of things, actually... works with ALSA and JACK, has a decent sampling synth and a very awkward sequencer... "just" needs a better UI and variable-length patterns. Add audio recording and you've got a DAW. If I could merge Hydrogen with the UI from Traverso DAW, that'd be freaking awesome.


On the contrary, transform Hydrogen into a LV2-plugin without the sequencer, use it with Ardour3 and the traditional Hydrogen becomes obsolete.

tnovelli wrote:There's quite a mismatch between MIDI and notation... Notation is a shorthand, with details left for the performer's interpretation... MIDI needs some tweaking to get the right timing, volume, timbre, etc for each note... Notation needs visual tweaking... and there's no standardized file format capable of representing all those different tweaks (as far as I'm aware)


Yes, and it will be a long time before we get a new (open) standard for this. I think the right decision at this time is to keep the composing process separate; first finish the composing work, then export to a DAW if needed.

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English Guy
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby English Guy » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:53 am

Forgive me if missed a mention of it reading through, but muse sequencer is an integrated audio midi sequencer that has a score editor.

paulmerchant
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby paulmerchant » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:25 pm

habbe wrote:On the contrary, transform Hydrogen into a LV2-plugin without the sequencer, use it with Ardour3 and the traditional Hydrogen becomes obsolete.


drmr is an LV2 plugin that will load and play Hydrogen drum kits. Even though this already makes the kits more easily playable by Ardour3 and other midi sequencers that support LV2, Hydrogen is far from becoming obsolete.

habbe
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby habbe » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:08 am

paulmerchant wrote:drmr is an LV2 plugin that will load and play Hydrogen drum kits. Even though this already makes the kits more easily playable by Ardour3 and other midi sequencers that support LV2, Hydrogen is far from becoming obsolete.


I use drmr, but of course it still lacks functionality compared to Hydrogen, even if I wouldn't really use, for example, the effects, anyway.

I don't get why people like modularity of the Linux (audio) programs... I understand that if you don't want a DAW then Hydrogen might be awesome in the future also, but wouldn't things be easier with one program in the background, taking care of connections and stuff? I think highly of Ardour3, to me it makes Hydrogen and every other sequencer useless, unless there is something that prohibits its use in live concerts.

nilshi
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby nilshi » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:53 pm

tl;dr: don't integrate notation inside a sequencer, integrate sequencer into notation programs, it is the natural order.

I don't understand why people automatically assume that a sequencer must get notation features.
I see it the other way around. The notation format holds more information, it is more "dense", than midi/sequencer/playback typically has and needs.

The consequence: You can always start in notation and pack with additional interpreter features (think of "interpreter" as in a human musician or a computer musician) or loose the notation information and degrade the format to a playback only format (aka export to midi, ardour, qtractor etc.) , which makes editing certain things easier, or at least people are more trained to edit this way, but is a one-way solution.

It is a one-way because you can't get good notation from playback information only. In a broad sense that means that midi, qtractor, ardour import into a notation editor will always "fail", look ugly and needs a lot of manual tweaking.

But more important: This also means that in an integrated editor, even at a level of incremental edits, will never be perfect. Example: You edit in notation, then switch to pianoroll view and insert a rectangle with your mouse. You just created a note which can have 3 roles ("names": D#, Eb, Fbb) in music and is unknown which one it is unless you specify it with an external intelligence (a human, or a A.I in the future). Don't be mistaken: You have to specify this every time, even with a notation editor, but these have good and tested systems to make it as easy as possible.

Nils
P.S. I am working on this program.

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tnovelli » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:17 pm

habbe wrote:I don't get why people like modularity of the Linux (audio) programs... I understand that if you don't want a DAW then Hydrogen might be awesome in the future also, but wouldn't things be easier with one program in the background, taking care of connections and stuff? I think highly of Ardour3, to me it makes Hydrogen and every other sequencer useless, unless there is something that prohibits its use in live concerts.


Yeah, Ardour3 is impressive... I'd rather use it than 5 separate apps strung together with JACK. It's just that it's taken so many years and it's still not production-ready. And it shouldn't require JACK. And it has too many library dependencies. And the plugin landscape is a mess.

Anyway, I decided to write my own sequencer/sampler from scratch. After 2 weeks, I have a prototype. Nothing fancy: C, ALSA, SDL graphics, custom UI. (I considered modding Hydrogen but I didn't feel like dealing with 45 kloc of college-level C++, heh.) Hopefully in another week it'll be finished enough to share.

There's one feature I haven't seen in other sequencers: patterns loop points... so you can have, say, a 3-beat lead-in, 4-measure repeating section, and 2-measure lead-out. Insert the pattern in a track and expand it to repeat as many times as you want. Pretty slick. I have plans for variations and transformations (transpose, time stretch, reverse, etc) eventually. Nice features for a notation program, but why implement notation when I can export to MIDI or MusicXML and format it in MuseScore? I guess it's doable, but it's too much work as long as the only practical *realtime* languages are C and C++. Maybe someday.

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tux99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:28 pm

tnovelli wrote:There's one feature I haven't seen in other sequencers: patterns loop points... so you can have, say, a 3-beat lead-in, 4-measure repeating section, and 2-measure lead-out. Insert the pattern in a track and expand it to repeat as many times as you want. Pretty slick. I have plans for variations and transformations (transpose, time stretch, reverse, etc) eventually.


Sounds very interesting, I have always missed a pattern based MIDI sequencer in Linux (no, trackers aren't the same).

My most favourite pattern based sequencer ever was PowerChords Pro on Windows 3.1, I still have a copy of it but I really don't want to use Windows anymore.
http://www.midi-classics.com/p1344.htm
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tux99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:25 pm

falkTX wrote:And one thing I'm still missing after all this time - a good and working JACK-MIDI sequencer.
Don't devs realize the timing issues ALSA-MIDI comes with?


I have used ALSA MIDI for approx. 10 years now and never noticed any timing issues. Can you please explain what timing issues in which circumstances you are talking about? Is it maybe a problem with software synths? (I only use hardware synths)
Also I'd imagine adding another layer (Jack will still have to use an ALSA as back-end to communicate with MIDI interfaces) will certainly not improve any timing issues.

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tux99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:40 pm

Ah, ok so sequencers should ideally support both ALSA MIDI and Jack MIDI, not one or the other, as ALSA MIDI is needed for hardware synths, while Jack MIDI seems preferable for software synths.

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tux99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:06 pm

falkTX wrote:
tux99 wrote:Ah, ok so sequencers should ideally support both ALSA MIDI and Jack MIDI, not one or the other, as ALSA MIDI is needed for hardware synths, while Jack MIDI seems preferable for software synths.

But since you can just use a2jmidid I don't see the point of supporting ALSA-MIDI now.
(Unless the sequencer needs sysex for some reason?)


Sysex is commonly used with hardware synths, also adding layers is never a good idea, therefore direct ALSA MIDI support for external hardware synths is essential.

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tnovelli » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:09 pm

Last time I used JACK-MIDI, which might have been over a year ago, I had issues with it dropping events... some dropped notes, some notes stuck on... gah. ALSA-MIDI worked fine. I got the impression that JACK-MIDI was an abortive project.

Now I'm wondering if it's possible to handle ALSA audio and ALSA MIDI in the same thread... and soon I'll be wanting to add MIDI input to my program. Not that the timing issue really matters to me, as I'll just be using a MIDI keyboard to input notes, probably more step-sequencing than realtime.

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby nilshi » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:25 pm

Creating alsa(-only) software is naive and ignorant

tux99
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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tux99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:34 pm

NilsGey wrote:Creating alsa(-only) software is naive and ignorant

That's very convincing... Care to contribute something useful rather than just throwing insults around?

brummer

Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby brummer » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:46 pm

tux99 wrote:
NilsGey wrote:Creating alsa(-only) software is naive and ignorant

That's very convincing... Care to contribute something useful rather than just throwing insults around?


Yes Nils, be careful what you said, tux99 is here and he know exactly what is allowed to say, and what is just trolling :lol:

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Re: Integrating a note editor inside a recorder/sequencer

Postby tux99 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:01 pm

falkTX wrote:I agree with NilsGey, ALSA-only apps are not desired right now.

NilsGey made a sweeping statement without even saying if he refers to MIDI or Audio or both, or elaborating why he thinks so.

I agree that Jack Audio is essential and that also offering Jack MIDI can be useful for software synths, but it always depends on the specific program. For example a patch editor for a hardware synth has no reason to use Jack MIDI. Also if as you said sysex doesn't work well over Jack MIDI then only offering Jack MIDI would be a bad idea for any program that potentially could be involved in sysex MIDI traffic (incoming and/or outgoing).


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