Setup for practicing with score and/or audio backup?

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cleinias
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 2:53 pm

Setup for practicing with score and/or audio backup?

Post by cleinias »

I am trying to relearn how to play a music instrument after many years spent being otherwise busy and I am trying to figure out a convenient setup in linux (I have no access to Windows/Macs apps, I switched to linux-only computing many years ago).

Here is what I would like to do:

1. Import a midi score / music xml score / Audio track into the app
2. Possibly, change tempo/pitch of the above
3. Play all or a section of the track (for midi/mxl: selected tracks also) while recording myself playing my acoustic instrument over it (overdub the original, that is)
4. Listen to the combined recording and hopefully get better.

Here are some optional desiderata that would also be very helpful;
5. Transcribe the recorded input sound to common notation (for comparison with the score)
6. Add backing rhythm tracks not in the original score (to make practice more fun, especially for scales and studies)


I've tried several options, but I have yet to hit the sweet spot it seems. That may just be because I have not learnt how to use these programs well, of course. Here is what I have tried so far:

A. Audacity. Works well for imported audio tracks, transposing and changing tempo, as well as for recording over it. Unfortunately, it won't show a midi/mxl track in common music notation, which make using it a practice tool more difficult

B. Ardour. Much more powerful than Audacity, but in this context it seems to have the same limitations.

C. Musescore. Great for manipulating music scores and playing them back, but no recording option

D. Rosegarden. I thought it would be the best choice, but I have yet to learn how to import an audio file (I assume it is possible, but can't figure out how). (Also, I can't get any audio out, but that seems to be such a common issue, I'm confident I'll find out how to use jack soon).


At this point, my best options seem to be Audacity for audio tracks and Rosegarden for notated music. I'm looking forward to other suggestions from real musicians.

Cheers

merlyn
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Posts: 640
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: Setup for practicing with score and/or audio backup?

Post by merlyn »

I would use a combination of Musescore and Ardour, connected together through the JACK patchbay. That's the Linux way, isn't it? :D Do one thing and do it well.

cleinias
Established Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 2:53 pm

Re: Setup for practicing with score and/or audio backup?

Post by cleinias »

I must admit it hadn't occurred to me to combine apps the way you pipe i/o on the command line. Your idea sounded excellent, until I fell into a jack rabbit hole I haven't climbed out yet. Judging from the forums, it seems I am not be the first one...

j_e_f_f_g
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Posts: 1063
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:48 pm

Re: Setup for practicing with score and/or audio backup?

Post by j_e_f_f_g »

If you want backup accompaniment for the purpose of practicing your technique, you may want to look at my program "BackupBand". That's one of its main purposes. BackupBand features a robot drummer, bassist, and rhythm guitarist that know how to play in over 60 different musical styles. The robots can analyze your live playing (on a MIDI controller), deduce what chord your playing (as soon as you play it), and play along with you in one of the 60 styles. Alternately, you can give the robots a chord progression to play (ie, a "Song Sheet") ahead of time if you don't want to "conduct" them live. Either way, BackupBand offers a menu of musical arrangements all ready to go, with no need to record anything yourself. It's a self-contained graphical program, so setup and use is simple and fast.

You can get it at:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/backupband/files

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