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MIDI is driving me crazy!


Superbobus

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Guys, please help me out with this for once and for all:

At this moment I'm about to just settle with the fact that I'm a MIDI no-no and I will always be.

For my composition I recently decided to get Finale 2004 and an Evolution USB controller. That should be much better than the CS6x plus I can take it with me and compose everywhere... I thought.

Quotes from user guides and salesmen:

"Just plug it in and it works."

"Click the hyperscribe tool and the metronome will start counting. Recording will follow in two bars."

Well, IT DOESN'T WORK!!! (suprise eh?)

The iBook is recognizing the controller and the MIDI test is correct. Finale sees the controller, also gets signal, but I don't hear no sound when I'm recording. And now it's so far off that the g*dd*mn hyperscribe tool just shows a little square around the bar (as in mass editing) and doesn't record at all!

Again I spent hundreds of euros and the crap doesn't work, or is so overcomplicated that I don't know where to start.

Read the f**king manual? Did it the whole day and can't find the right answer. HOW DO I SET UP MIDI IN FINALE SO THAT I CAN HEAR MYSELF WHEN I'M RECORDING, is that too much to ask, you Coda guys?

They won't answer anyway so I'm trying my luck over here. Anyone, pleaeaease?

Hopefully that will make my anger go away and the I finally (Finale?) can start writing (it's possible from the computer keyboard but I really dislike that).

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Have you tried the Finale online forum for support?

 

I use Sibelius and the Sibelius online forum has helped me many times with sofware problems. I have also read many Q & A hardware issues there as well.

 

While you're waiting for a response from someone here, you may as well post a question there.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I might look over there.. I don't think it's a hardware problem. Just tried the Evolution with a stupid program, MusicPlanet 10 which looks like a toy, but at least with gave me sound.

The biggest question is now: how do I properly record myself in Finale and how can I see what I'm doing on my controller?

I'm already glad it's not the hardware.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Originally posted by Botch.:

What are you using for a sound source? Forgive me if Finale has one built-in now, its been years.

I guess you mean the internal speakers in this case, otherwise an M-audio FW410.

What's really weird is that in playback I DO hear sound, well that was until hyperscribe started acting funny and didn't record at all anymore.

 

Thanks DH, for the forum tip! It was a messed up MIDI thru setting. If you guys have any tips on MIDI tutorials, let me know. Maybe it's not hopeless with me after all.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Super,

 

Sounds like you're OK now, still not comfortable with MIDI. Here's a way to think about MIDI that might help you in the future.

 

MIDI operates a lot like recording. There's a signal chain consisting of a source (microphone), intermediate devices (cables, preamp, mixer, amplifiers, etc.), and an output device (speaker, headphones, or hard drive). If you keep this chain of devices in mind (or draw a picture if it helps), it will help your troubleshooting.

 

In your case, it sounded like the signal was getting from the keyboard into Finale, but you heard no sound. To solve this problem, look at how Finale sends its signal to the next device in the chain. (Usually, it would be called something like a "MIDI Out" setting.) This MIDI out would go to an internal sound card or an external MIDI device.

 

(Note: It's not clear from your post as to what device is generating the audio. Your FW410 can send MIDI out to an external sound generator or send audio out, but it can't generate audio. It will help you immensely to be able to identify every device in your MIDI signal chain.)

 

The basic technique is to follow the signal chain until you get to the broken link. Fix it and keep going until your problem is solved.

 

This may sound simplistic and I know it won't fix all MIDI problems, but it takes care of most.

 

Hopes this helps,

Murray

Casio PX-5S, Korg Kronos 61, Omnisphere 2, Ableton Live, LaunchKey 25, 2M cables
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If I'm on the road and want to compose a little bit, I don't want to take too much stuff with me. I thought, just the Evolution and the iBook would do, but from what I'm reading from MurMan, I would still need an audio interface and speakers. Is that what MIDI thru is doing, just sending MIDI data directly into the computer's audio output? Because it seems to work now without the load of the FW410. In Finale sound goes directly to the internal speakers.

Another question. If I want to use the controller, e.g. in Ableton Live, do I have to set MIDI to the Evolution and MIDI out to the FW410? Like this: Evolution->iBook->FW410->speakers.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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MIDI is pure control information and has nothing to do with audio. It just tells which note you hit with which intensity and whether you pushed the pitch bend wheel or hit the sustain pedal.

 

You need a sond generator to make audio from MIDI. This can be a rack synthesizer where you plug-in your MIDI cable coming from the Evolution or a software synthesizer running on your iBook.

 

The iBook itself will not create any audio from incoming MIDI data. Also, the FW410 is an audio i/o unit and not a sound generator, so you cannot send MIDI data to it to make it sound.

 

MIDI thru means that any data which arrives at the MIDI IN jack is immediately output to the MIDI OUT jack. Often, you have the opportunity to specify which type of data will be passed-thru, e.g. filter any aftertouch data.

 

A program like Ableton Live would be configured as follows: MIDI IN coming from the Evolution going to a track (you probably have to specify the MIDI channel in addition), the track is triggering a software synth which generates the audio, the audio goes to the mixer in Ableton Live, and finally, the master output of this mixer is routed either to the iBook's internal sound interface (the iBook's speakers) or to the FW410. In case of the FW410, you either need additional active monitor speakers or use a headphone.

 

I hope this either helps or confuses you just a little more ;)

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Originally posted by galiwaves:

MIDI is for cheaters

Disagree.

 

MIDI is just a tool, like may other things we use. While there is no doubt that MIDI makes it possible for some to "cheat", there are others who basically just use it as another type of recording environment.

 

Also, the ability to stack multiple synths together to make big sounds is a blast, no matter which way you slice it. :thu:

 

dB

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Hey, Super,

 

Finale's hyperscribe mode to me is not a real "musical" tool for midi input. I use Sibelius; it allows midi input without taking a bunch of steps. You can adjust the playback for rigid timing or as expressive as your technique will allow. I use this program for the notation end of my work; Logic for most of the midi work. Logic is very "musical" feeling...

 

Back to notation: I think you can buy a cross grade for Sibelius; you ought to download their demo and give it a spin.

Composer/Performer at Roger Hooper Music

Product Trainer at CASIO

www.rogerhooper.com

 

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Originally posted by Roger Hooper:

Hey, Super,

 

Finale's hyperscribe mode to me is not a real "musical" tool for midi input. I use Sibelius; it allows midi input without taking a bunch of steps. You can adjust the playback for rigid timing or as expressive as your technique will allow. I use this program for the notation end of my work; Logic for most of the midi work. Logic is very "musical" feeling...

 

Back to notation: I think you can buy a cross grade for Sibelius; you ought to download their demo and give it a spin.

Sibelius is very, very hard to get here, or you just copy it and then all kind of crack hassle and instability issues will follow.

I know it's a great program, but they really ought to do something about their distribution channels in Holland.

As for Ableton, if I understand it right, in MIDI preferences I choose the Evolution for input and the FW410 for output. BTW, the Evolution is really a neat little tool.

http://www.bobwijnen.nl

 

Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life.

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Originally posted by galiwaves:

MIDI is for cheaters

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Disagree.

 

MIDI is just a tool, like may other things we use. While there is no doubt that MIDI makes it possible for some to "cheat", there are others who basically just use it as another type of recording environment.

After taking about an hour to get one 7 second loop just right, I think I might have to learn MIDI. This was a guitar loop, though, and I would imagine editing guitar MIDI data is much different than a synthesizer because there are so many different sounds that come from a guitar which are differnt that how a synth's sound varies. Nonetheless, having that ability to sometimes "cheat" and have my recordings in perfect time would be awesome. :D
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Originally posted by galiwaves:

MIDI is for cheaters

To me, nobody said it better than Joe Zawinul:

 

"MIDI is a powerful weapon. Now any fool can pull the trigger. In the hands of a real musician, it's the most valuable tool since the invention of synthesizers."

 

(From a Korg ad, 1986)

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fwiw...the recording i submitted for the new KC comp was done using midi and couldn't have without it but almost no cheating was involved. Everything was tracked live all the way through for each instrument, the only thing I quantized was one bar of the bass line near the end of the song to tighten up what I was trying to do there.

 

Yeah my timing isn't perfect but I do prefer it that way to over-fixing. I'm still trying to capture live band energy when I'm tracking by myself...not always but most of the time.

 

In short, cheating is relative ;)

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