Midi editing


Wayne (Reed) Knazek
 

Below are some edit ideas based on how I make backing tracks. AND . . . 
there is some info about terms and functions you need to understand if
you want to edit midis. Along with a few graphics.

I can't comment much on Anvil Studio. I used it a bit when it
first came out. Liked it and purchased the whole bundle. But
it's not my favorite software re midi editing.

Obviously it does a good job re editing! Some of our pro members
use it extensively!And we all know they make some pretty great
sounding midis!

My approach to editing is a little different from most sequencers. I've
been a computer programmer since 1968. So I look for different
qualities in software, different functions that need to be available
for me to work the way I work. Not saying that's any better than
anyone else! Just different. Different perspective, and different
logic approach to programming.

IMHO: Band In A Box has 2 midi editors. PowerTracks and RealBand.
RB has a powerful audio editor and built in audio library. Looks like
PowerTracks, but has more functions.

I used PT exclusively for editing until RB came out, and now use it ONLY
for building/sequencing a midi. PT is I think $50?  Maybe $70.  I think it's
THE editor to use, until you want to invest in an audio editor that has a
library of real recorded instruments you can use in your tracks. It's not
available as a stand alone product. It comes with BIAB. I actually update
BIAB every year or so only so I get the current updated RealBand. I haven't
used Band In A Box more than a dozen times since I first got it in 2006.
And never used it to make a backing track. Only used it to make learning
tracks for students.

If you're only going to work with midi, I suggest PT because it has infinitely
more tools, and more powerful than basic editors like Anvil, etc. And it can
be set up to use Timbres Of Heaven! So you can get very good sound quality!!!
But this is only MY opinion! Again, some of our pro members here use Anvil
and love it!

That being said . . . I use midi only to sequence the instruments. Get the arrangement
how I want it. Intros, verses, outros, etc. Get each instrument in there, etc. I don't
worry about how any instrument sounds, because I use much better, high powered
software to get the sound I want. TOH is excellent! But not what I want for performing
backing tracks! I use MixCraft with Melodyne. Once the midi arrangement is perfect, I
save the midi, and open it in MixCraft, and select the instruments from that library.

Then do all the track balancing, etc. from there. MC has much better instruments - by far!
Then I render each midi track into a .wav. And use audio editing software to get each
track to sound how I want it. The instrument "sound" is already what I want. No I can
apply REAL compression, etc. and engineer the sound of each track. Then balance the
tracks together.  And set the final mix output so it's the same volume as all my other tracks.
And render the tracks all together into one final backing track. That final .wav file is then
converted into MP3 format. I play the MP3s thru the PA, using a laptop and run ITunes
as the player, and Minilyrics software as the lyric scroller.

NOTE: MixCraft is a different platform editor than most are used to. It does not constrain
you into using only 16 channels! It doesn't use channels in the conventional way. There are
NO channels! Each track is it's own "channel".

EX: With channels, let's say drums are on channel 10. So whatever you do to one drum,
you do to ALL! So if you want heavy reverb on your snare, you end up with heavy reverb
on your kick drum (BAD!) and cymbals (WORSE!). Even if you split the drums to different
tracks, you cannot have different tracks on the same channel using different effects, or parameters.
(You can if you use use different synths/banks, etc.. But that's more difficult, and a lot more work,
and not easy for beginning sequencers.)

With MixCraft, I can have a snare drum on track 11, add reverb, and pan it dead left.
I can have a kick drum on track 12, ZERO reverb (You DON'T want reverb on your kick!)
I can have a Crash 1 cymbal dead left, and a Crash 2 cymbal dead right.  Woodblock or a cowbell
with reverb.

THEN . . . I can have 5 toms, Low & High Floor tom, Low, Mid and High Mount Tom . . . 
on tracks 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17. And I can pan them each differently so they move from left to right,
or right to left. Each tom in a different place.

Say 0 is dead left and 100 is dead right. I can set the toms to pan: LFT 0, HFT 25, LMT 50
MMT 75 and HMT 100. So when the "drummer" plays a roll around all the toms, there is spatial
movement. You can hear the drums moving left to right.
Inline image

With conventional midi, drums are all on one channel. Only one track will control the effects and
parameters (events). But with MixCraft, each track is basically it's own channel! So you have a HUGE
amount of flexibility.

So, I use RealBand to build. MixCraft to engineer. I think MixCraft is around $160? Render to .wav. Edit
the audio in audio software. Mix, render, convert to MP3.

Here are some basic, generic functions you need to know and
understand if you want to do any editing . . .

Grid / Snap / Markers / Block

Grid (if your software has a Grid function) is a visible way to
easily see each measure. It's incredibly easy to grab a section
of a grid and apply ANY function to it. Highlight a grid section,
on what ever tracks needed, then you can apply to the highlighted
section. Change key, tempo, copy/paste, etc.

If you'd like to hear a sample with drums panning across the set, left
to right, let me know. I'l post some examples.

Inline image

Snap makes it easy to grab a section in any view. You can set the Snap
so the cursor snaps to a specific part of any measure by setting where
you want the Snap to occur. EX: On the "1" count of a measure, or snap
to nearest quarter note, eights note, etc. (1/16th, 1/32nd, etc.)

Markers are INCREDIBLY important! You can set (and name) a marker
at ANY place across the tracks. EX: The marker could be at say, measure
13, on the "1", named "Bridge 1". Or "Pre-Chorus 1". And another marker
say at measure 22, named "Verse 2", or "Chorus 1".

Now you have a visible marker so it's easy to know where the sections are
in your tracks. AND . . . even more importantly . . . You can grab a section
between markers using . . .

Block: Click your cursor anywhere within the marked area, then select
Block. It will highlight the entire blocked area within the markers. And
precisely!

Hopefully you know the computer basics and know how to use your Shift
and Ctrl keys. Once you highlight a blocked area you can select what tracks
you want to apply the block to.

Now you can apply functions to the exact area you want to edit. Change key,
tempo, copy, etc.

You can copy the area, then paste it where ever you want or need. Set a marker
for the place you want to paste in the blocked/selected area. Click on your "Move
to Marker" key, then use the "paste/insert" function.

I suggest getting very comfortable using these few functions.

Here are some examples, but will look different between software editors. This mid example is a work in progress.
Ignore the 2nd Verse 2. Should be Verse 3.  The graphic examples here are from Audio Pro PowerTracks.

Inline image

Inline image


Inline image




Roy Collingwood
 

Thanks Wayne.
A lot of info there to read, it'll take a while to let it all sink in!

Roy


A banker is someone who lends you an umbrella when the sun is shining, and who asks for it back when it start to rain.
Come visit me: 




On Wed, 6 Jan 2021 at 13:45, Wayne (Reed) Knazek via groups.io <thenettrainer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Below are some edit ideas based on how I make backing tracks. AND . . . 
there is some info about terms and functions you need to understand if
you want to edit midis. Along with a few graphics.

I can't comment much on Anvil Studio. I used it a bit when it
first came out. Liked it and purchased the whole bundle. But
it's not my favorite software re midi editing.

Obviously it does a good job re editing! Some of our pro members
use it extensively!And we all know they make some pretty great
sounding midis!

My approach to editing is a little different from most sequencers. I've
been a computer programmer since 1968. So I look for different
qualities in software, different functions that need to be available
for me to work the way I work. Not saying that's any better than
anyone else! Just different. Different perspective, and different
logic approach to programming.

IMHO: Band In A Box has 2 midi editors. PowerTracks and RealBand.
RB has a powerful audio editor and built in audio library. Looks like
PowerTracks, but has more functions.

I used PT exclusively for editing until RB came out, and now use it ONLY
for building/sequencing a midi. PT is I think $50?  Maybe $70.  I think it's
THE editor to use, until you want to invest in an audio editor that has a
library of real recorded instruments you can use in your tracks. It's not
available as a stand alone product. It comes with BIAB. I actually update
BIAB every year or so only so I get the current updated RealBand. I haven't
used Band In A Box more than a dozen times since I first got it in 2006.
And never used it to make a backing track. Only used it to make learning
tracks for students.

If you're only going to work with midi, I suggest PT because it has infinitely
more tools, and more powerful than basic editors like Anvil, etc. And it can
be set up to use Timbres Of Heaven! So you can get very good sound quality!!!
But this is only MY opinion! Again, some of our pro members here use Anvil
and love it!

That being said . . . I use midi only to sequence the instruments. Get the arrangement
how I want it. Intros, verses, outros, etc. Get each instrument in there, etc. I don't
worry about how any instrument sounds, because I use much better, high powered
software to get the sound I want. TOH is excellent! But not what I want for performing
backing tracks! I use MixCraft with Melodyne. Once the midi arrangement is perfect, I
save the midi, and open it in MixCraft, and select the instruments from that library.

Then do all the track balancing, etc. from there. MC has much better instruments - by far!
Then I render each midi track into a .wav. And use audio editing software to get each
track to sound how I want it. The instrument "sound" is already what I want. No I can
apply REAL compression, etc. and engineer the sound of each track. Then balance the
tracks together.  And set the final mix output so it's the same volume as all my other tracks.
And render the tracks all together into one final backing track. That final .wav file is then
converted into MP3 format. I play the MP3s thru the PA, using a laptop and run ITunes
as the player, and Minilyrics software as the lyric scroller.

NOTE: MixCraft is a different platform editor than most are used to. It does not constrain
you into using only 16 channels! It doesn't use channels in the conventional way. There are
NO channels! Each track is it's own "channel".

EX: With channels, let's say drums are on channel 10. So whatever you do to one drum,
you do to ALL! So if you want heavy reverb on your snare, you end up with heavy reverb
on your kick drum (BAD!) and cymbals (WORSE!). Even if you split the drums to different
tracks, you cannot have different tracks on the same channel using different effects, or parameters.
(You can if you use use different synths/banks, etc.. But that's more difficult, and a lot more work,
and not easy for beginning sequencers.)

With MixCraft, I can have a snare drum on track 11, add reverb, and pan it dead left.
I can have a kick drum on track 12, ZERO reverb (You DON'T want reverb on your kick!)
I can have a Crash 1 cymbal dead left, and a Crash 2 cymbal dead right.  Woodblock or a cowbell
with reverb.

THEN . . . I can have 5 toms, Low & High Floor tom, Low, Mid and High Mount Tom . . . 
on tracks 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17. And I can pan them each differently so they move from left to right,
or right to left. Each tom in a different place.

Say 0 is dead left and 100 is dead right. I can set the toms to pan: LFT 0, HFT 25, LMT 50
MMT 75 and HMT 100. So when the "drummer" plays a roll around all the toms, there is spatial
movement. You can hear the drums moving left to right.
Inline image

With conventional midi, drums are all on one channel. Only one track will control the effects and
parameters (events). But with MixCraft, each track is basically it's own channel! So you have a HUGE
amount of flexibility.

So, I use RealBand to build. MixCraft to engineer. I think MixCraft is around $160? Render to .wav. Edit
the audio in audio software. Mix, render, convert to MP3.

Here are some basic, generic functions you need to know and
understand if you want to do any editing . . .

Grid / Snap / Markers / Block

Grid (if your software has a Grid function) is a visible way to
easily see each measure. It's incredibly easy to grab a section
of a grid and apply ANY function to it. Highlight a grid section,
on what ever tracks needed, then you can apply to the highlighted
section. Change key, tempo, copy/paste, etc.

If you'd like to hear a sample with drums panning across the set, left
to right, let me know. I'l post some examples.

Inline image

Snap makes it easy to grab a section in any view. You can set the Snap
so the cursor snaps to a specific part of any measure by setting where
you want the Snap to occur. EX: On the "1" count of a measure, or snap
to nearest quarter note, eights note, etc. (1/16th, 1/32nd, etc.)

Markers are INCREDIBLY important! You can set (and name) a marker
at ANY place across the tracks. EX: The marker could be at say, measure
13, on the "1", named "Bridge 1". Or "Pre-Chorus 1". And another marker
say at measure 22, named "Verse 2", or "Chorus 1".

Now you have a visible marker so it's easy to know where the sections are
in your tracks. AND . . . even more importantly . . . You can grab a section
between markers using . . .

Block: Click your cursor anywhere within the marked area, then select
Block. It will highlight the entire blocked area within the markers. And
precisely!

Hopefully you know the computer basics and know how to use your Shift
and Ctrl keys. Once you highlight a blocked area you can select what tracks
you want to apply the block to.

Now you can apply functions to the exact area you want to edit. Change key,
tempo, copy, etc.

You can copy the area, then paste it where ever you want or need. Set a marker
for the place you want to paste in the blocked/selected area. Click on your "Move
to Marker" key, then use the "paste/insert" function.

I suggest getting very comfortable using these few functions.

Here are some examples, but will look different between software editors. This mid example is a work in progress.
Ignore the 2nd Verse 2. Should be Verse 3.  The graphic examples here are from Audio Pro PowerTracks.

Inline image

Inline image


Inline image




DF Tweedie
 

Wayne ...

What an OUTSTANDING tutorial! Thank you.

I really appreciated your details regarding MixCraft and channels.

One thing I was a little unclear about were your comments about Power Tracks and RealBand. I couldn't understood whether you meant that RealBand had more functions as a DAW, but that Power Tracks was equivalent as a MIDI Editor; or, that RealBand also had more MIDI editing functions than Power Tracks.

Would you please clarify.

Thanks,

DF


On Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 5:45 AM Wayne (Reed) Knazek via groups.io <thenettrainer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Below are some edit ideas based on how I make backing tracks. AND . . . 
there is some info about terms and functions you need to understand if
you want to edit midis. Along with a few graphics.

I can't comment much on Anvil Studio. I used it a bit when it
first came out. Liked it and purchased the whole bundle. But
it's not my favorite software re midi editing.

Obviously it does a good job re editing! Some of our pro members
use it extensively!And we all know they make some pretty great
sounding midis!

My approach to editing is a little different from most sequencers. I've
been a computer programmer since 1968. So I look for different
qualities in software, different functions that need to be available
for me to work the way I work. Not saying that's any better than
anyone else! Just different. Different perspective, and different
logic approach to programming.

IMHO: Band In A Box has 2 midi editors. PowerTracks and RealBand.
RB has a powerful audio editor and built in audio library. Looks like
PowerTracks, but has more functions.

I used PT exclusively for editing until RB came out, and now use it ONLY
for building/sequencing a midi. PT is I think $50?  Maybe $70.  I think it's
THE editor to use, until you want to invest in an audio editor that has a
library of real recorded instruments you can use in your tracks. It's not
available as a stand alone product. It comes with BIAB. I actually update
BIAB every year or so only so I get the current updated RealBand. I haven't
used Band In A Box more than a dozen times since I first got it in 2006.
And never used it to make a backing track. Only used it to make learning
tracks for students.

If you're only going to work with midi, I suggest PT because it has infinitely
more tools, and more powerful than basic editors like Anvil, etc. And it can
be set up to use Timbres Of Heaven! So you can get very good sound quality!!!
But this is only MY opinion! Again, some of our pro members here use Anvil
and love it!

That being said . . . I use midi only to sequence the instruments. Get the arrangement
how I want it. Intros, verses, outros, etc. Get each instrument in there, etc. I don't
worry about how any instrument sounds, because I use much better, high powered
software to get the sound I want. TOH is excellent! But not what I want for performing
backing tracks! I use MixCraft with Melodyne. Once the midi arrangement is perfect, I
save the midi, and open it in MixCraft, and select the instruments from that library.

Then do all the track balancing, etc. from there. MC has much better instruments - by far!
Then I render each midi track into a .wav. And use audio editing software to get each
track to sound how I want it. The instrument "sound" is already what I want. No I can
apply REAL compression, etc. and engineer the sound of each track. Then balance the
tracks together.  And set the final mix output so it's the same volume as all my other tracks.
And render the tracks all together into one final backing track. That final .wav file is then
converted into MP3 format. I play the MP3s thru the PA, using a laptop and run ITunes
as the player, and Minilyrics software as the lyric scroller.

NOTE: MixCraft is a different platform editor than most are used to. It does not constrain
you into using only 16 channels! It doesn't use channels in the conventional way. There are
NO channels! Each track is it's own "channel".

EX: With channels, let's say drums are on channel 10. So whatever you do to one drum,
you do to ALL! So if you want heavy reverb on your snare, you end up with heavy reverb
on your kick drum (BAD!) and cymbals (WORSE!). Even if you split the drums to different
tracks, you cannot have different tracks on the same channel using different effects, or parameters.
(You can if you use use different synths/banks, etc.. But that's more difficult, and a lot more work,
and not easy for beginning sequencers.)

With MixCraft, I can have a snare drum on track 11, add reverb, and pan it dead left.
I can have a kick drum on track 12, ZERO reverb (You DON'T want reverb on your kick!)
I can have a Crash 1 cymbal dead left, and a Crash 2 cymbal dead right.  Woodblock or a cowbell
with reverb.

THEN . . . I can have 5 toms, Low & High Floor tom, Low, Mid and High Mount Tom . . . 
on tracks 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17. And I can pan them each differently so they move from left to right,
or right to left. Each tom in a different place.

Say 0 is dead left and 100 is dead right. I can set the toms to pan: LFT 0, HFT 25, LMT 50
MMT 75 and HMT 100. So when the "drummer" plays a roll around all the toms, there is spatial
movement. You can hear the drums moving left to right.
Inline image

With conventional midi, drums are all on one channel. Only one track will control the effects and
parameters (events). But with MixCraft, each track is basically it's own channel! So you have a HUGE
amount of flexibility.

So, I use RealBand to build. MixCraft to engineer. I think MixCraft is around $160? Render to .wav. Edit
the audio in audio software. Mix, render, convert to MP3.

Here are some basic, generic functions you need to know and
understand if you want to do any editing . . .

Grid / Snap / Markers / Block

Grid (if your software has a Grid function) is a visible way to
easily see each measure. It's incredibly easy to grab a section
of a grid and apply ANY function to it. Highlight a grid section,
on what ever tracks needed, then you can apply to the highlighted
section. Change key, tempo, copy/paste, etc.

If you'd like to hear a sample with drums panning across the set, left
to right, let me know. I'l post some examples.

Inline image

Snap makes it easy to grab a section in any view. You can set the Snap
so the cursor snaps to a specific part of any measure by setting where
you want the Snap to occur. EX: On the "1" count of a measure, or snap
to nearest quarter note, eights note, etc. (1/16th, 1/32nd, etc.)

Markers are INCREDIBLY important! You can set (and name) a marker
at ANY place across the tracks. EX: The marker could be at say, measure
13, on the "1", named "Bridge 1". Or "Pre-Chorus 1". And another marker
say at measure 22, named "Verse 2", or "Chorus 1".

Now you have a visible marker so it's easy to know where the sections are
in your tracks. AND . . . even more importantly . . . You can grab a section
between markers using . . .

Block: Click your cursor anywhere within the marked area, then select
Block. It will highlight the entire blocked area within the markers. And
precisely!

Hopefully you know the computer basics and know how to use your Shift
and Ctrl keys. Once you highlight a blocked area you can select what tracks
you want to apply the block to.

Now you can apply functions to the exact area you want to edit. Change key,
tempo, copy, etc.

You can copy the area, then paste it where ever you want or need. Set a marker
for the place you want to paste in the blocked/selected area. Click on your "Move
to Marker" key, then use the "paste/insert" function.

I suggest getting very comfortable using these few functions.

Here are some examples, but will look different between software editors. This mid example is a work in progress.
Ignore the 2nd Verse 2. Should be Verse 3.  The graphic examples here are from Audio Pro PowerTracks.

Inline image

Inline image


Inline image




Wayne (Reed) Knazek
 

I apologize for not getting back to the group sooner.
I had another heart attack Wednesday early afternoon.

I'm back home now. 3 more stents, and all worked out
as great as could be hoped for.

I got home a little bit ago. Lots of catching up to do.
And will be taking it really easy for a few days at least.

I'll post more details re RealBand and PowerTracks
later today or tomorrow.

Stay safe!  Wayne


Wayne (Reed) Knazek
 

PowerTracks (PT) was Band In A Box' (BIAB) first midi editor/DAW.
It has some audio editing features. I used it for years. You can convert
a midi track to .wav (audio track) and can edit the audio many ways.
Add effects like reverb, tremolo, chorus, distortion, etc. You can
also edit dynamics, like change volume, fade in/out, Pan . Etc.

PT is still a BIAB product, but RealBand (RB) is their newer, more
functional DAW. It has a powerful audio library (RealTracks - RT)
of many instruments you can use in your seq. 

The two interfaces look pretty much the same, except for the menu 
selections for adding audio from the RT library.

You could have your midi made, with drums, bass, keys, etc..
Then you can go into the library and pick from a huge list of styles
of each instrument, and you will have a real, played track in your seq.

Example: You have a Blues midi. You can pick from several Blues
based bass patterns and have them entered into your midi/seq, and
it will be in tempo with your midi. Same with drums, horns, etc..
That bass pattern will follow the chords and tempo of your midi.
Many drum kits to pick from. Keyboards, horns, strings . . . 

It has MANY styles you can use. Each instrument has many to choose
from just as you do with midi. So your Blues midi could have one of
many different Blues/Shuffle/Swing bass patterns, and different bass
instruments.

The audio editing tools to edit the track you brought into your seq
are the same as are in PT.

Note: Once you bring in an audio track, your seq is no longer a "midi"
file, The file has both midi and audio tracks, and will be saved as a .seq,
not a .mid.

You can also save/convert/output your entire seq as a .wav file. And/or
as MP3.

So both PT and RB do the same things, up to a point. Moving up to RB
you have a powerful library to choose from to make your midis sound
much more real, as in, like really players, which technically, it is.

Both PT and RB can use Timbres of Heaven, but it takes a bit of time to
get it set up. So you have pretty outstanding midi sound.

The audio instruments sound like real instruments. And much better than any
midi can sound.

MixCraft is another DAW altogether that uses a platform unlike any other I've
ever seen anywhere. No "channel" restrictions is crazy flexible! And has exceptional
sounding instruments. But to be fair, PT is around $70 or so. RB comes with BIAB.
And MixCraft costs about $160. Like everything else in life . . . you get what you pay for!

For a lot of people who are in the learning curve of midi programming and sequencing, 
most midi editors, using TOH, are pretty good.

If anyone would like some examples, I can make a track using PT.  Save it. Then open it
in Anvil, RB and MixCraft and make an MP3 from each of the 4, using the various functions
so you can hear the differences.

Or you can send me a midi file you like, and I'll do the same with that file.

Stay safe!  Wayne


Blues, Latin Rock, 60's R&B, Rock-a-Billy, SURF, Good ol' Rock-n-Roll! Midi/Sequencers and Performers Group: https://groups.io/g/IGotDaBlues
8,000 Midi Files! Backing Trax and Timbres Of Heaven soundfonts! https://groups.io/g/MIDKAR
Learn to play guitar, blues harp or ANY instrument at amazing speed!  "I Just Wanna Play The Darned Thing!"
and "Learn To Shred" Text & audio newsletter! (Training & learning tips) Plus midi & MP3 jam tracks!


Sergio Ferreira
 

Hi, Wayne.

I'm sad to hear that you had a heart attack and glad to hear that you are recovering the health.

My best wishes for you.

Sergio Ferreira


Wayne (Reed) Knazek
 

Thanks so much!

Blues, Latin Rock, 60's R&B, Rock-a-Billy, SURF, Good ol' Rock-n-Roll! Midi/Sequencers and Performers Group: https://groups.io/g/IGotDaBlues
8,000 Midi Files! Backing Trax and Timbres Of Heaven soundfonts! https://groups.io/g/MIDKAR
Learn to play guitar, blues harp or ANY instrument at amazing speed!  "I Just Wanna Play The Darned Thing!"
and "Learn To Shred" Text & audio newsletter! (Training & learning tips) Plus midi & MP3 jam tracks!


On Saturday, January 9, 2021, 05:36:17 AM EST, Sergio Ferreira via groups.io <srmf_santos@...> wrote:


Hi, Wayne.

I'm sad to hear that you had a heart attack and glad to hear that you
are recovering the health.

My best wishes for you.

Sergio Ferreira