A couple of things I am noticing

MusE is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities, aiming to be a complete multitrack virtual studio for Linux. http://muse-sequencer.org/

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windowsrefund
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A couple of things I am noticing

Postby windowsrefund » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:14 am

Running a freshly baked 3.0.2 here and learning the work flow by watching Michael Oswald's awesome youtubies. That said, I'm seeing a few things that I'd like to mention.

Piano Roll - So I'm working on a drum track and I am so bugged out by the slight differences between the Pointer tool and the Drawing tool. For example, when I use the Drawing, I can move notes horizontally but I can not move them vertically. I really don't even see why the "move left or right" functionality is even made available at that point since it's like a "tease" and only a subset of what the end user might really want to do with the note. I'm trying to think back to my time with Cakewalk.. I really can't remember but something feels really off here.

Velocity manipulation when notes overlap. So for example, a snare and hithat are played together but I want to treat the snare like a ghost note by lowering only its velocity. I can see this was considered since the snare's image is toggled to black when I use the Pointer tool to select the note. At the same time, the "active" (the one selected) note's velocity is drawn in blue while the "non active" note's velocity is orange. I'd think at this point, I could just adjust the velocity and it would only take effect on the active note. That doesn't seem to happen. Instead, both notes end up having their velocities changed. This makes me very sad. A work-around is obviously to slide the note over, adjust the velocity and then move it back but......... that's just retarded. So I'm wondering what I'm missing here. Is this a known thing? Are people just working around it?

I submitted another PR, this time for a .idf related to Drumwork's CocellKit. However, I'm seeing some kind of insanity which I can't fully explain just yet. Seems that if I open MusE, start a new file, create a single MIDI track and assign the Instrument and Patch to it, all is fine. However, if I then load a LV2 plugin, the assigned Instrument/patch I just added is gone in the previous track's mixer panel. The Instrument still seems to be assigned but there's a "?" in the patch area. Any attempt to click on it just does nothing. Like I said, there's definately something hellish going on there but I wanted to get moving and didn't want to dive too deeply into it. If needed, I'll circle back and try to provide more detail.

I also mentioned in the PR that it would be really nice if the Instrument Editor displayed the actual MIDI Note Number rather than the note itself 2 times. I'm referring to the "E-Note" and "A-Note" columns. The actual MIDI Note Number itself (0-127) would be more useful in many cases.

Did something change with the "Shift + Right click sets left range marker" Global option? On my system, it's actually the CTRL key along with a right click that ends up allowing me to set the left marker.


Zooming in and out is starting to become a chore. Piano Roll always seems to be displayed using a small (perhaps 10%) zoom level. I'm constantly having to use that scroll bar on the bottom right to zoom in. In fact, I even remapped a few keybindings in order to do it quicker. The real problem though is the fact that MusE never seems to maintain any sense of what the last zoom level was set to for a particular window. Without that, we're just doing the same thing over and over again........ forever.

I think that's all for now. Interested in the feedback...

windowsrefund
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Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby windowsrefund » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:47 am

It would also be nice if the Piano Roll were able to switch tracks; perhaps with a pull-down menu which, when clicked, would display a list of tracks. That way, the zoom level would be maintained.

Tim E. Real
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Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby Tim E. Real » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:03 am

windowsrefund wrote:I can move notes horizontally but I can not move them vertically.


In the drum editor, in drawing mode you can move the notes anywhere even after placing them on the canvas.
However, I see that in the piano roll, in drawing mode they can not be moved vertically after
placing the notes on the canvas.
Hm, I could swear that it used to work. Maybe not. Right you are... I'll take a look.

windowsrefund wrote:Velocity manipulation when notes overlap. So for example, a snare and hithat are played together but I want to treat the snare like a ghost note by lowering only its velocity. I can see this was considered since the snare's image is toggled to black when I use the Pointer tool to select the note. At the same time, the "active" (the one selected) note's velocity is drawn in blue while the "non active" note's velocity is orange. I'd think at this point, I could just adjust the velocity and it would only take effect on the active note. That doesn't seem to happen. Instead, both notes end up having their velocities changed. This makes me very sad. A work-around is obviously to slide the note over, adjust the velocity and then move it back but......... that's just retarded. So I'm wondering what I'm missing here. Is this a known thing? Are people just working around it?


See that little square icon just to the left of the velocity graph?
The icon looks like a small vertical piano on the left with three velocity lines coming out of the right side.
Hover the mouse over it. It says: "All/per-note velocity mode"
Click it. The icon changes to a small vertical piano with one note lit yellow and one velocity line coming out.
This informs that the velocity graph is now in "per-note" mode.
Now click any note in the real piano graphic to the left of the note canvas.
The note will remain yellow informing it is the current selected piano note.
Now the velocity graph shows the velocity ONLY for that piano note.
Modify its velocity and it will NOT affect any other notes on the piano.
Now click another note on the piano. Modify its velocity. And so on.

Alternatively, if you ever get stuck, open the Event List Editor on any midi part.
All events are shown in a list format, and note characteristics can be changed.

windowsrefund wrote:I submitted another PR, this time for a .idf related to Drumwork's CocellKit. However, I'm seeing some kind of insanity which I can't fully explain just yet. Seems that if I open MusE, start a new file, create a single MIDI track and assign the Instrument and Patch to it, all is fine. However, if I then load a LV2 plugin, the assigned Instrument/patch I just added is gone in the previous track's mixer panel. The Instrument still seems to be assigned but there's a "?" in the patch area. Any attempt to click on it just does nothing. Like I said, there's definately something hellish going on there but I wanted to get moving and didn't want to dive too deeply into it. If needed, I'll circle back and try to provide more detail.


MusE can take some time to learn, it sounds simply like the midi track is now pointing to
the LV2 plugin synth track, and synth tracks CANNOT be told to use .idf files.
It is the synth itself which defines all the characteristics of its instrument - it is in fact its OWN instrument.
Synth tracks therefore supply, from info contained in the plugin itself, all the instrument information such
as patch names, controller names and ranges, and so on.
Thus, when a synth track is chosen as a midi track's output device, it is NOT possible to select
your own instrument for the midi track in its mixer strip 'rack'.
Yes, I've considered many times whether to allow .idf files to be applied to synths, but it doesn't make a lot of sense.
There's the possibility that choosing some random or wrong .idf file would prevent it from working at all
or be a complete mis-match for that synth.

The one area where you have some control is with Drum Tracks - even if they drive a Synth Track device.
With Drum Tracks you can create, modify, load and save drum maps.
The reason for being able to do this is so you can change various drum parameters, drum note names etc.
This is essential for a real hardware midi device where this information is basically not possible to know.
Not many plugin architectures provide that information either - especially if the plugin is a drum synth.
I don't know of any mechanism in LV2 that lets us retrieve drum note names for example.
Thus drum maps are a hard fact of life when dealing with such plugins, or external midi hardware.
Thus with DrumGizmo for example, you have to load a drum map of some kind.

Note that there is one exception to this rule: Our very own FluidSynth MESS synth SoundFont loader.
If you compile MusE with fluidsynth enabled, AND support enabled for libinstpatch (from the great Swami project),
then information about drum note names is magically garnered from the SoundFont file that is loaded.
That is, all drum note names are automatically filled in from the names in the SoundFont file.
You can of course modify the drum map further as you desire.

See that? If we had that kind of power with LV2 or DSSI or VST, that would be great!
Theoretically we might not even need drum maps at all with synthesizer plugins then...

windowsrefund wrote:I also mentioned in the PR that it would be really nice if the Instrument Editor displayed the actual MIDI Note Number rather than the note itself 2 times. I'm referring to the "E-Note" and "A-Note" columns. The actual MIDI Note Number itself (0-127) would be more useful in many cases.


Checking it out as commented further in the pull request.

windowsrefund wrote:Did something change with the "Shift + Right click sets left range marker" Global option? On my system, it's actually the CTRL key along with a right click that ends up allowing me to set the left marker.


Not sure, will have to check.

windowsrefund wrote:Zooming in and out is starting to become a chore. Piano Roll always seems to be displayed using a small (perhaps 10%) zoom level. I'm constantly having to use that scroll bar on the bottom right to zoom in.
In fact, I even remapped a few keybindings in order to do it quicker. The real problem though is the fact that MusE never seems to maintain any sense of what the last zoom level was set to for a particular window. Without that, we're just doing the same thing over and over again........ forever.


Don't forget there are the zoom and pan tools, beside the pointer and draw tools.
They offer continuous, 'borderless mouse' zooming and panning functions.

Unfortunately windows such as the Piano Roll and Drum Editor do forget all local settings once they are closed.
It's a consequence of how those windows work. If the situation is examined in detail, it is seen that there
isn't much we can do about it. For example suppose two piano roll windows are opened on the same midi part,
and say the zoom is changed in one of them. Then both windows are closed. What should happen when
a new piano roll window is opened on the midi part? Should it use the zoom setting from the previous second window
or the previous first window? I wish there was a way. Maybe someday we'll figure something out but for now
we're stuck with that behaviour.

Hope that helps with some of the really deep-meaning-but-explainable quirks you might be seeing...
Tim.

Tim E. Real
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Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby Tim E. Real » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:51 am

It is the synth itself which defines all the characteristics of its instrument - it is in fact its OWN instrument.
Synth tracks therefore supply, from info contained in the plugin itself, all the instrument information such
as patch names, controller names and ranges, and so on.


I must clarify this to avoid any further confusion:
An LV2 synth plugin can be loaded as a MusE synth track, as you can see.
Then any midi track can be told to use that synth track as an output device.
So far so good.

You will notice that some LV2 synths supply a full array of midi patch names and selectable midi patches.
However you will notice that some LV2 synths do NOT provide any patch names or patches.
In fact these plugins do not even respond to midi patch changes.
Thus you will see a "?" in the patch name display and will not be able to see or select any patches!
This might explain what you are seeing in your original post.
These plugins, and some of the others, often instead supply what are called 'presets'.
Not to be confused with midi presets or patches, these 'presets' simply supply a bunch of
plugin controller values - not to be confused with midi controller values.
Thankfully, Andrew D. wrote support in MusE for these LV2 'presets'.
If you don't see any available patches, therefore, try the 'presets' list available in the midi mixer strip rack,
I think by right-clicking on the patch name, or maybe left click. In that neighborhood.

Hope that helps.
Tim.

windowsrefund
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Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby windowsrefund » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:50 pm

Tim,

Thanks for getting back to me with so much feedback. You're helping me to understand a few things and I appreciate having the chance to show you what I'm seeing through the eyes of someone who is just starting to use this software. By the way, I'm always lurking in #lmuse on freenode if you're ever in the mood to chat about any of these things... I "think" that's the correct IRC channel for this project?

Tim E. Real wrote:In the drum editor, in drawing mode you can move the notes anywhere even after placing them on the canvas.
However, I see that in the piano roll, in drawing mode they can not be moved vertically after
placing the notes on the canvas.
Hm, I could swear that it used to work. Maybe not. Right you are... I'll take a look.


Yea, I'll admit I'm still a bit confused between the concept of Drum Editor vs. Piano Roll. I figure the "window" is a Piano Roll regardless and that it's just a matter of drawing the notes as <> rather than [ ] when the track is of type "Drum Track". If I'm right and the concept of a "Drum Editor" is just being carred over from days of old, perhaps it's just time to retire the concept in order to avoid any confusion? In any case, I'm curious to see what comes out of this portion of our discussion.

Tim E. Real wrote:See that little square icon just to the left of the velocity graph?
The icon looks like a small vertical piano on the left with three velocity lines coming out of the right side.
Hover the mouse over it. It says: "All/per-note velocity mode"
Click it. The icon changes to a small vertical piano with one note lit yellow and one velocity line coming out.
This informs that the velocity graph is now in "per-note" mode.
Now click any note in the real piano graphic to the left of the note canvas.
The note will remain yellow informing it is the current selected piano note.
Now the velocity graph shows the velocity ONLY for that piano note.
Modify its velocity and it will NOT affect any other notes on the piano.
Now click another note on the piano. Modify its velocity. And so on.


Wow, uhm....... yep, I see that guy.. Uhm, maybe it's time to make that thing a little larger or just redesign it to some degree? It's like some kind of smurf piano and the functionality behind it couldn't be more unintuitive. Thanks though, for pointing it out. Obviously, this is the missing link!

Tim E. Real wrote:Alternatively, if you ever get stuck, open the Event List Editor on any midi part.
All events are shown in a list format, and note characteristics can be changed.



Oh yea, totally. I remember spending plenty of hours in Cakewalks "Event List" back in the day. Now that you brought it up, I can't help but throw an idea your way. Wouldn't it be awesome if the Piano Roll (or Drum Editor?/both) contained a toggle which, when activated, would show an embedded view of the Event List along the left or right side; kind of like a mixer channel in the Arranger window? Of course, that would only increase productivity if it were synched with the Piano Roll itself. In other words, if we're 2 minutes into a track and working on it in Piano Roll and toggled an embedded Event List, we'd expect the events shown to be at that same "2 minutes in" portion we're currently viewing. Just a thought......

What's probably still an even bigger win is what I mentioned before, having the ability inside Piano Roll to nagivate to other tracks. A pull down menu kind of thing...

Tim E. Real wrote:MusE can take some time to learn, it sounds simply like the midi track is now pointing to
the LV2 plugin synth track, and synth tracks CANNOT be told to use .idf files.
It is the synth itself which defines all the characteristics of its instrument - it is in fact its OWN instrument.
Synth tracks therefore supply, from info contained in the plugin itself, all the instrument information such
as patch names, controller names and ranges, and so on.
Thus, when a synth track is chosen as a midi track's output device, it is NOT possible to select
your own instrument for the midi track in its mixer strip 'rack'.
Yes, I've considered many times whether to allow .idf files to be applied to synths, but it doesn't make a lot of sense.
There's the possibility that choosing some random or wrong .idf file would prevent it from working at all
or be a complete mis-match for that synth.

The one area where you have some control is with Drum Tracks - even if they drive a Synth Track device.
With Drum Tracks you can create, modify, load and save drum maps.
The reason for being able to do this is so you can change various drum parameters, drum note names etc.
This is essential for a real hardware midi device where this information is basically not possible to know.
Not many plugin architectures provide that information either - especially if the plugin is a drum synth.
I don't know of any mechanism in LV2 that lets us retrieve drum note names for example.
Thus drum maps are a hard fact of life when dealing with such plugins, or external midi hardware.
Thus with DrumGizmo for example, you have to load a drum map of some kind.

Note that there is one exception to this rule: Our very own FluidSynth MESS synth SoundFont loader.
If you compile MusE with fluidsynth enabled, AND support enabled for libinstpatch (from the great Swami project),
then information about drum note names is magically garnered from the SoundFont file that is loaded.
That is, all drum note names are automatically filled in from the names in the SoundFont file.
You can of course modify the drum map further as you desire.

See that? If we had that kind of power with LV2 or DSSI or VST, that would be great!
Theoretically we might not even need drum maps at all with synthesizer plugins then...


OK, Thank you for explaining this. I'll need to read the last part over a few more times in order to better understand (I haven't messed with too many plugins yet) but I now understand .idf files are not appropriate for use with synths. Good to know. I see the PR has been merged though.... Maybe get that .idf out of there now...... sorry, my bad (as they say). So about these "drum maps". How does someone go about creating one? This is the original question I had when I was watching the youtube video I mentioned. The person doing the video really just kind of skipped right over it and I see he "loaded" a .map file he had on his harddrive. While I suspect he created the file manually, there's no information anywhere that explains what it should contain. Once I saw things were not working as expected with the .idf (and now I know why), I hacked through it by manually changing the instrument names inside Piano Roll (or Drum Editor?). If that's the way to do it, that's fine but I'm still curious about these .map files. Also in the case of CrocellKit, it comes with .xml files which show which samples are mapped to which Midi Note Numbers. Unfortunatley, there's really no place inside MusE that shows the Midi Note Numbers so that makes it difficult. That's why I mentioned the E-Note and A-Note columns earlier.

Tim E. Real wrote:Don't forget there are the zoom and pan tools, beside the pointer and draw tools.
They offer continuous, 'borderless mouse' zooming and panning functions.


To be honest, I don't think I even noticed them yet. I'll take a close look tonight when I'm back infront of things. Hopefully what ever functionality they provide can be bound to keystrokes. I find the rodent to be a real drag in terms of productivity.



Tim E. Real wrote:Unfortunately windows such as the Piano Roll and Drum Editor do forget all local settings once they are closed.
It's a consequence of how those windows work. If the situation is examined in detail, it is seen that there
isn't much we can do about it. For example suppose two piano roll windows are opened on the same midi part,
and say the zoom is changed in one of them. Then both windows are closed. What should happen when
a new piano roll window is opened on the midi part? Should it use the zoom setting from the previous second window
or the previous first window? I wish there was a way. Maybe someday we'll figure something out but for now
we're stuck with that behaviour.

Hope that helps with some of the really deep-meaning-but-explainable quirks you might be seeing...
Tim.


Yep, you make a great point and I can totally appreciate that race condition. This is the exact reason it would be great to allow the user to change tracks from within the Piano Roll itself :) That way, you're as zoomed as you want to be and can then just look at something else.

Tim E. Real
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:36 am

Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby Tim E. Real » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:55 pm

A quick note: Your .idf file work is not entirely in vain.
See latest comment here about why .idf files are still necessary:
https://github.com/muse-sequencer/muse/ ... -410266793

Luc
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Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby Luc » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Oh wow, Muse... I had forgotten it even existed. It stopped working for me more than one year ago. It freezes, it crashes, it crumbles... Reinstalled. No joy. Such a shame.

Tim E. Real
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:36 am

Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby Tim E. Real » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:08 pm

Luc wrote:Oh wow, Muse... I had forgotten it even existed. It stopped working for me more than one year ago. It freezes, it crashes, it crumbles... Reinstalled. No joy. Such a shame.


Pardon me, we're having a constructive conversation here, about an application that works
and has developers ready and willing to answer questions and help.

Do you have something of value to contribute or a valid question to ask?

Luc
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Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:04 pm

Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby Luc » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:42 pm

Actually, no.
I'm just surprised that it is mentioned seldom here, to the point that I really forgot it existed. I used to find it interesting, but I really forgot it existed.
And it really is broken.
I didn't intend to be sarcastic in any part.

finotti
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Re: A couple of things I am noticing

Postby finotti » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:10 am

Luc wrote:Actually, no.
I'm just surprised that it is mentioned seldom here, to the point that I really forgot it existed. I used to find it interesting, but I really forgot it existed.
And it really is broken.
I didn't intend to be sarcastic in any part.


Just because it's not working for you, it doesn't mean it's broken. Many of us use it frequently.

If you have any interest in getting it working, I suggest you open a new thread. The developers are quite helpful.


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