You are here

How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Mobile Man » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:54 am

I like composing prog rock that contains a lot of keyboard. I am a guitar player with little keyboard skill, so I spend a lot of time fixing the timing, duration, and velocity of my keyboard inputs in a MIDI editor. I own a guitar with MIDI output, but I have not found it easy to play a guitar with the style used on a keyboard. I probably won’t get much better at playing the keyboard, and it is not practical for me to have others perform my keyboard parts. I’m hoping to find software capability that can help.

Like most folks, I can tap with a finger or two on a drum pad with fairly accurate timing, duration, and velocity. It would save me a lot of time and effort if I could first enter a sloppy sequence of notes and chords (just to capture their pitches), and then tap a drum pad or single keyboard key repeatedly to enter the desired timing, duration, and velocity for each of the events in that sequence. The software would apply each successive tap’s timing, duration, and velocity to the next event in the sequence, until the tapping runs through the entire sequence. I want to use this for MIDI, but this technique could also be used to edit a sequence of audio events, and would enable a smooth human feel.

So, where can I find this type of tap-one-key input/editing capability? I use Cubase, Reason, and Reaper, and the closest that I can find seems like Dr OctoRex’s Alt Groups capability, which enables a single keyboard key to cycle through a group of different samples, but this is not MIDI-oriented, appears to be a bit fiddly to set up, and seems like it is not intended to cycle through a large number of sample events. Is there is a simple way to do something like this with hit-points or the new Cubase drum replacement capability? Is there another software product that does this?
Mobile Man
Poster
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:06 am

Do it the other way round. Play in the part on "any old notes", but get the rhythm right. Then go back and edit the pitches. Even accomplished keyboard players do this sometimes! When on a roll, don't worry about wrong notes but keep the "feel" going. Pitches are easy to edit, rhythm is much trickier,once you've lost the flow.
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5645
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:21 am

Cubase lets you play a rhythmic part using any notes, then subsequently play in the notes and/or velocities using your MIDI keyboard again. Look for the MIDI socket icon and the step/MIDI input controls in the editor toolbar. Cubase even selects each note for you in sequence as you progress, making the process quite painless.

This would be the simplest approach and is one I use on occasions when my prog ambition outstrips my prog ability - if only there was a way I could create guitar parts so easily...
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9970
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.


Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby desmond » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:07 pm

The Casio VL-Tone had this feature - it was great for learning.

I sometimes wish modern DAWs would have this, because it's actually quite useful, particularly with complex parts...
User avatar
desmond
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6500
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:00 am

mu:zines | music magazine archive | Latest: MT Dec 90
Needed: SOS April 1993. Can you donate your copy to complete the early SOS archive?


Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Mobile Man » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:37 pm

Excellent advice! I will start to do it that way, however, the timing, duration, and velocity aspects are more often the aspects with which I need to experiment, so I still would like a way to automatically cycle through a sequence of notes with single-key for editing those aspects.
Mobile Man
Poster
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Mobile Man » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:23 pm

Very good advise to leverage the Cubase capability for "Editing Notes Via MIDI" (that's what the manual calls this capability). It would allow me to step through a set of previously-entered notes, and record new velocity and/or pitch values. This would enhance the the other recommendation provided here for first entering any old pitch with the desired timing, duration, and velocity. I will start working with that style as it is much better than what I do now.

I would also like to do this editing in real-time, as the piece plays, but it seems like this Cubase editing technique happens without the sequence playing in real-time (I haven't tried it yet, so please forgive me if I'm mistaken on that).

Also, this capability does not appear to assign new timing and duration values while stepping through notes (seems like it is just for pitch and velocity), and I really wish I could do that too. Timing and duration are obviously aspects that often need experimentation and adjustments across a lot of notes.

It still seems to me that entering the pitches first, and then layering the timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one-key tapping would be a more natural way to do this. It comes the closest to naturally orchestrating the sequence. Cubase seems to be very close, if only they would include the on/off timing as part their stepped editing capability, and enable that editing in a real-time playback mode. Any advice on where to find that additional capability?
Mobile Man
Poster
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Adam Inglis » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:00 am

My Roland MC50 hardware sequencer does this - absolutely brilliant. Sorry - that's not much help to you is it!
Seems such a simple and musically-useful idea, you wouldn't think it hard to implement in a modern DAW...
User avatar
Adam Inglis
Regular
Posts: 328
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Gold Coast Queensland Australia

Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Mobile Man » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:58 pm

I found a custom JS plug-in called RoundRobin Faker created by Youn back in 2007 that translates a single MIDI note into a "round robin" of sequential MIDI notes across a flexible range of MIDI notes that you define.

With this, it appears possible to do a DAW sampler-based approach in the following way:

1) Create the desired MIDI track in Reason by just entering the pitches without regard to timing, duration, or velocity
2) Bounce the track to audio
3) Slice the track up into a REX file with Recycle
4) Drag the REX file into NN-XT or Dr. Rex and they will map all the slices automatically across different notes in sequence
5) Rewire Reason as a slave to Reaper
6) Make an empty MIDI track with the RoundRobin Faker FX plug-in on it as an effect
7) Configure RoundRobin Faker to target the note range that Reason has used to contain the mapped slices
8) Connect a MIDI controller to the Reaper track, and tap the right single note - as defined in RoundRobin Faker (play it along with another track for the song so you can match the timing)

I haven't tried it yet, but if it worked as I imagined, the single note input into Reaper would become translated into into sequential notes that trigger the mapped NN-XT or Dr. Rex slices in the proper sequence.

Of course, this approach:
- is complicated - still easier to do it per the previous advice in this thread
- requires converting the MIDI track into audio
- necessitates buying Recycle and forces the use of REX-based slicing
- will only work on as many notes as the sampler will hold

Anybody have a way that eliminates some of these issues?
Anybody want to create custom code for a DAW that would do this in just MIDI?
Mobile Man
Poster
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Re: How can I tap in MIDI timing, duration, and velocity aspects with one key across a sequence of events?

Postby Mobile Man » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:10 pm

Of course, the above technique would also be useful for doing what the RoundRobin Faker was originally intended: for triggering a large number of variations on a single drum hit to create a drum track that sounds completely natural.
Mobile Man
Poster
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Santa Monica, CA


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests