AnsweredAre there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language?

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rogeriodec
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2018/08/20 23:42:56 (permalink)

Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language?

We all suffer from the terrible limitations of CAL Script.
At the same time, it would be a great strategy to allow users themselves to create software improvements, thus to fill gaps that could take years to be developed by the bakers, while relieving pressure on them.
But we are currently "hostage" to CAL Script, annoyingly limited and outdated.
Band Labs, meet this request: invest in a more advanced scripting interface for the user!
You and all users will benefit from this!

post edited by rogeriodec - 2018/08/21 00:44:48

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#1
Audioicon
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/21 01:13:36 (permalink)
rogeriodec
We all suffer from the terrible limitations of CAL Script.
At the same time, it would be a great strategy to allow users themselves to create software improvements, thus to fill gaps that could take years to be developed by the bakers, while relieving pressure on them.
But we are currently "hostage" to CAL Script, annoyingly limited and outdated.
Band Labs, meet this request: invest in a more advanced scripting interface for the user!
You and all users will benefit from this!




Given CBB is a free product, I do not see such thing happening.
Since the inception of Cakewalk, there are been a place between Home and Commercial and after all these years, the system is stuck in between.

Looking at all of the feature request, I can only imagine the conversation as to how to move forward. You make a good point but I just don't see things going in that direction, especially when you profile most Bandlab users, they are at a different place.

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/21 02:49:14 (permalink)
rogeriodec
We all suffer from the terrible limitations of CAL Script.
But we are currently "hostage" to CAL Script, annoyingly limited and outdated.



 
What! No we don't. It only effects MIDI, so Audio only users are unaffected.
Most MIDI users never touch it.
 
How are we "hostage"? I've never used it. It's never effected me. Most times someone suggests a CAL option I think 'Oh maybe I should look at CAL sometime, but I either, do it this way or don't have that obstacle".

 
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azslow3
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/21 08:34:14 (permalink)
rogeriodec
But we are currently "hostage" to CAL Script, annoyingly limited and outdated.
Band Labs, meet this request: invest in a more advanced scripting interface for the user!
You and all users will benefit from this!


Some time ago I have seen that... And one of the users has suggested Lua as an alternative (I guess based on REAPER success in Lua scripting). I have decided to have a look at that language and even "invested time" into a possibility to use Lua MIDI processing in Sonar.
Result? NO ONE, not even the user which has asked for that, have ever tried to use the possibility.
 
So sorry man, I seriously doubt someone will benefit "from this".

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msmcleod
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/21 08:52:38 (permalink)
azslow3
rogeriodec
But we are currently "hostage" to CAL Script, annoyingly limited and outdated.
Band Labs, meet this request: invest in a more advanced scripting interface for the user!
You and all users will benefit from this!


Some time ago I have seen that... And one of the users has suggested Lua as an alternative (I guess based on REAPER success in Lua scripting). I have decided to have a look at that language and even "invested time" into a possibility to use Lua MIDI processing in Sonar.
Result? NO ONE, not even the user which has asked for that, have ever tried to use the possibility.
 
So sorry man, I seriously doubt someone will benefit "from this".


 
I can't see this happening either.
 
As I mentioned in another post, I've got a rough design for a LUA implementation using the ControlSurface API, however in order to do per-event MIDI processing it would mean programmatically writing CAL scripts on the fly and running them in the background.
 
In the end, I decided (a) It would be a horrible hack, and (b) I've not got the time to do it any way.
 
Unless BandLab extend the API to included access to the track data, only BandLab can implement this sort of thing in any reasonably clean way.... and extending the API in a "safe" way is not a trivial task, so I don't see that happening either seeing they've got a small team.
 
Given that Reaper is pretty cheap and already has scripting capabilities, it might make more sense to do your MIDI processing in Reaper and import the MIDI back into Cakewalk.
 
There's no rule that says that everything must be done within Cakewalk.... I mean plenty of us would quite happily use SoundForge as an external editor for audio, so I don't see why MIDI should be any different.
 

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Whistlekiller
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/21 13:24:10 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby tlw 2018/08/21 15:38:39
I didn't know I'd been suffering. Thanks for pointing it out!

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rogeriodec
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/22 01:20:59 (permalink)
Okay, I disregarded users that only use the audio part of CbB. So it's only natural that they're mocking because they do not really know the MIDI part.
I have to thanks a lot to the bakers for the improvements of the MIDI part, especially from last year until today. I do not see a better MIDI editor than CbB Piano Roll.
But whoever constantly uses MIDI knows that there are still many limitations. And these limitations could be met by the users themselves if there was a decent scripting language. Just that.
 
 

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/23 09:17:59 (permalink)
rogeriodec
Okay, I disregarded users that only use the audio part of CbB. So it's only natural that they're mocking because they do not really know the MIDI part.
I have to thanks a lot to the bakers for the improvements of the MIDI part, especially from last year until today. I do not see a better MIDI editor than CbB Piano Roll.
But whoever constantly uses MIDI knows that there are still many limitations. And these limitations could be met by the users themselves if there was a decent scripting language. Just that.
 
 
We’re only pulling your leg Roger. I was just amused by you speaking on behalf of everybody like that without a preceding questionnaire or poll. I use audio and MIDI and have done for years with this program and it’s predecessors. I just don’t have a problem with it, that’s all.

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/24 21:58:17 (permalink)
Well, I support the use of a standard scripting language whenever and wherever possible.  Yes, even for "free" software.  There's lots of free software that makes excellent use of Python, for example.
 
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rogeriodec
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/24 23:58:55 (permalink)
Positively Charged
Well, I support the use of a standard scripting language whenever and wherever possible.  Yes, even for "free" software.  There's lots of free software that makes excellent use of Python, for example.
 
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Right. I know Python. Do you know how to communicate Python With CbB?

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/25 10:34:18 (permalink)
My suffering is vast, but not due to CAL.  Although most of my stuff is audio, I find that the CAL "undup" capability is quite useful when dealing with Addictive Drums editing, especially when layering fills.  Sometimes you get a doubled snare hit that goes "whack whack whack WHACK whack".  Sucks hunting those down manually, especially if you wind up somehow with hundreds.

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Brian Walton
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/25 12:04:23 (permalink)
Never used CAL it any other scripting as it relates to creating music.

Very few musicians care about such things let alone how to use the tool.
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msmcleod
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/25 12:12:35 (permalink)
rogeriodec
 
Right. I know Python. Do you know how to communicate Python With CbB?



The short answer, for all practical purposes is, you can't.
 
There are currently two ways of communicating with Sonar/CbB:
 
1. As an Audio VST or MIDI VST (e.g. AzLua is implemented as a MIDI VST)
2. As a custom control surface through the ControlSurface API.
 
For what I think you want it for (i.e. manipulating MIDI data), AzLua is about as close as you'll get to having MIDI control outside CAL, but in the end it's just a MIDI effect, so you'll have to live with the limitations of what a MIDI effect can do.
 
Outwith the usual control surface operations, the most the control surface API can do is invoke key shortcuts and menu commands - basically anything you could assign a hardware function key to. But manipulating MIDI data at the event level, it can't do. Also, unlike CAL, none of the cakewalk "commands" are parameterised, so many of them will use default parameters or pop-up a dialog.
 
What the control surface API can do however, is run CAL scripts. So in theory, you could programmatically translate parts of the LUA/Python script into a temporary CAL file, then run that in the background.
 
Getting information out of the CAL program is tricky though... My thoughts around this were that since the control surface DLL is already loaded, invoking a CAL DLL command on the same DLL to store any results would allow the results to be available to the rest of the LUA/Python script.
 
 
Doing any of this is a huge job though, as you'd basically have to:
1. Write a completely new Control Surface DLL
2. Embed Python or LUA into the DLL
3. Find some way of overriding/implementing new Python/LUA functions to call the Cakewalk API functions
4. For any loops, translate them to CAL
5. Deal with all the parameter passing / external file creating & locking / DLL loading & unloading issues.
 
None of the above is trivial.
 
So unless BandLab provide a new API (or extend the Control Surface API) to allow direct access to the track/clip data, and extend the command invoking to allow parameters, I doubt if anyone would want to take this on.
 

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pwalpwal
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/25 13:07:46 (permalink)
we don't know what any of bandlab's plans are, or even if they have any

just a sec

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/26 06:01:02 (permalink)
Quite a few years ago it was announced that CAL was being being deprecated. Can’t find the appropriate reference; sorry

Deprecated according to techterms.com

In the world of software development, "deprecated" refers to functions or elements that are in the process of being replaced by newer ones. The term comes from the word "deprecate," which means to disapprove of something. While deprecated items may work in the current version of a programming language, they may not function in future updates. Therefore, software developers are advised to replace deprecated items with other options.

Midi would be enhanced by means other than a scripting language.
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/26 06:34:02 (permalink)
mudgel
Quite a few years ago it was announced that CAL was being being deprecated. Can’t find the appropriate reference; sorry

Deprecated according to techterms.com

In the world of software development, "deprecated" refers to functions or elements that are in the process of being replaced by newer ones. The term comes from the word "deprecate," which means to disapprove of something. While deprecated items may work in the current version of a programming language, they may not function in future updates. Therefore, software developers are advised to replace deprecated items with other options.

Midi would be enhanced by means other than a scripting language.



This isn't always the case. Deprecated means that it might continue to work, but isn't being developed or supported any more, and at some point may be removed. Although this can mean that is might be replaced by something new, this isn't always the case.
 
Noel posted something here: http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=1886350&mpage=1  indicating CAL was deprecated as far back as 1999. 

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SimpleManZ
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/26 15:25:52 (permalink)
Brian Walton
Never used CAL it any other scripting as it relates to creating music.

Very few musicians care about such things let alone how to use the tool.

I can see with you. It seems like the OP assumes everyone knows the scripting. I use MIDI. It is the purpose I use the DAW. I have even used some of the available CAL but have never tried to understand how they are built.
 
Then too, is the future development of the MIDI specifications, aka MIDI 2. CBB has to implement this first, after which some kind of 'Scriptures' can then fill in any weakness or imaginative concepts.
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/26 17:23:56 (permalink)
msmcleod
Noel posted something here: http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=1886350&mpage=1  indicating CAL was deprecated as far back as 1999. 



Wow, last Noel's post about CAL is 2009... 
I just do not understand why they do not invest in a user-friendly script interface.
As I said, this is a practice that can unlock the queue of bakers' tasks, at the same time making the software evolve with the collaboration of all users.
That is, it is a win-win relationship.

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#18
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/26 18:11:20 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby wjdecker 2018/08/27 12:35:04
Usually avoid this type of thread because it not something users can do anything about. Few facts, a lot of opinions/speculation (this post is no exception) and I do not believe in the unicorns and rainbows promised by the OP.
 
As someone who has cut their share of code, I can say it would be nice but...
 
rogeriodec
As I said, this is a practice that can unlock the queue of bakers' tasks, at the same time making the software evolve with the collaboration of all users.

Saying it does not make it so. Creating a new scripting system is not a simple task which given the limited development resources would impact other development. Once created it would be another piece of CbB that must be maintained placing a further drag on development not to mention QA and Support. It is not write once and done. CAL is proof of that. 
 
Is there any evidence that all users (your words not mine) would collaborate, use or even care about this? There are many more threads where users complain about having to perform computer tasks instead of being musicians. My take away from that is most users do not want to program their computer. They would rather have performances captured by the DAW and have tools to work with the data NOT create their own tools.
 
CAL and scripting do get mentioned in the forum but not that often. Sure, one could say it is because CAL development stopped around 2000 or the choice of language used as the basis of CAL is not very popular. There was a reason CAL was deprecated 18 years ago. My guess is for the same reasons there is little chance of a replacement: it was difficult to maintain, provided low return on investment, many of the commonly used scripts were replaced with built-in features and MFX plug-ins.
 
If I were looking for a programmatic solution to MIDI manipulation today, I would probably write my own tools around MIDICSV since I could use any spreadsheet as an event viewer.
#19
chris.r
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/29 18:51:33 (permalink)
Brian Walton
Never used CAL it any other scripting as it relates to creating music.

Very few musicians care about such things let alone how to use the tool.

That's entirely not true.
 
I have no idea about programming languages yet CAL scripts saved me loads of hours of MIDI editing so many times.
 
And I hope for more.
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msmcleod
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/29 19:58:54 (permalink)
chris.r
Brian Walton
Never used CAL it any other scripting as it relates to creating music.

Very few musicians care about such things let alone how to use the tool.

That's entirely not true.
 
I have no idea about programming languages yet CAL scripts saved me loads of hours of MIDI editing so many times.
 
And I hope for more.




+1 to this.
 
Much as I'd like there to be improvements on CAL and/or a replacement, I doubt it will happen. I think scook summed it up pretty much.
 
In the meantime, CAL does most of what I need for bulk editing in MIDI, especially as this tends to be needed less and less nowadays.
 
At one point (around Sonar 3 or 5), I had a CAL script which would go through all my hardware MIDI tracks, and solo and bounce each one down to audio, including cleaning up & splitting up my MIDI drums into bass drum, snare, hats, toms & overheads - all automatically, while I'd take an hour or so for lunch.
 
As newer versions of Sonar appeared, certain functions started to break, and I had to run parts of it manually. Now I'm pretty much 100% VSTi for synths, so it's no longer an issue.
 
CAL was great back in the Pro Audio days when 90% of what you did was MIDI, but I get the feeling (certainly from this forum) that this is less and less the case. Audio is by far what most users are dealing with.
 
Alexey's AzLUA is probably the best alternative to CAL, and it's pretty easy to work around its limitations by duplicating your clips into a temporary track while you do all the processing.
 

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/08/31 22:51:43 (permalink)
+1 to CAL.
It may be considered somewhat limited and primitive, but that doesn't mean it's not also extremely powerful.
 
I use CAL quite a bit, has saved me tons of time, and actually makes it possible to FIX things that otherwise would be pretty much impossible.
 
As far as I'm concerned, CAL is a little piece of magic :-)
 

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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/04 01:08:33 (permalink)
With this solution discovered by Scook, I think that now it's possible to use 3rd language scripts like AZ Lua or another MFX like Frank's MIDI Plugins, since the only restriction on the use of these MFXs was that they only worked for the entire track.
Now with this solution, one can easily apply an MFX for clips or even just a few selected notes. 

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#23
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/04 13:09:06 (permalink) ☼ Best Answerby rogeriodec 2018/09/04 14:22:10
It's a very interesting question and I definitely understand how meaningful it is as a workflow tool and helpful to many members of the community.
 
Unfortunately I hope you guys don't mind me sharing candidly this is not something that we have planned or intended to put time into - scook's post is spot on - it's not write once and done and does create some complexity and introduces dependencies which creates some challenges on the go-forward. I know this may be disappointing to some power users, but rather than going back and forth whether people care about it (I guess if the question is asked, then they absolutely do!) I thought it would be helpful to clear up 
#24
Meng
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/04 13:11:48 (permalink)
That being said, never say never - if we do find some creative ways to pragmatically implement better scripting language support it would of course be something we would consider.
 
#25
jpetersen
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/04 23:23:36 (permalink)
Something that would help a lot for little effort:
 
Document the API!
 
Publish a list of those things CAL has access to.
 
#26
msmcleod
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/05 01:15:42 (permalink)
jpetersen
Something that would help a lot for little effort:
 
Document the API!
 
Publish a list of those things CAL has access to.



I've been using CAL Cakewalk/Sonar since Pro Audio 7, and the documentation has always been a bit sparse.
 
If I remember rightly, the docs were slightly better in the Pro Audio days, but it's been reduced since it was officially deprecated. I guess they don't want to draw too much attention to it, especially as functions can cease to work with changes in the software.
 
But keeping docs up to date, is exactly the sort of thing scook and Meng were talking about. This, and making sure that every time you add functionality to Sonar, that CAL or any other API (a) supports the new functionality, and (b) continues to work with backwards compatibility.
 
The best and most comprehensive documentation I've come across is here:
 
http://members.ziggo.nl/t.valkenburgh/Cakewalk%20Application%20Language%20Programming%20Guide.pdf
 
Beyond using CAL, there is some support for accessing commands via the Control Surface SDK.
 
The list of commands is here:
 
https://github.com/Cakewalk/Cakewalk-Control-Surface-SDK/blob/master/Framework2/CommandIDs.h
 
The biggest downside of the Control Surface SDK however, is that there's no way of passing parameters to any of the commands.
 

Mark McLeod
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#27
Cookie Jarvis
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/05 18:13:01 (permalink)
When I first started with Cakewalk( the company, not the software ;) ) I thought it was great that they had a scripting language for users...and then found absolutely no use for it ;) I play guitar, record audio, I play my keyboards I record audio, I play a VSTi, I record Midi.... the most I need to do is edit flubbed notes in PRV. So why am I suffering from .cal neglect? I'm gonna have to go with Brian on this one...unless someone can think of a use for musician's like myself :)
 
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michheld
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/13 10:27:51 (permalink)
when I started making music on my Amiga in the late 80ies there was a software called "Face The Music" by "Maxon Computer". They invented a so called "Sound Effect Language". The aim of this nice script-based language was to modify the sounds in realtime.
=> What about a script language with the possibility to manipulate automation parameters in realtime?
At the moment you have to "paint" or click these automations with your mouse.
It'd be nice to "program" them using a script language with loops, variables, mathematical functions, timers etc.
(just dreaming like a programmer...)
#29
rogeriodec
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Re: Are there any Band Labs plans to create a more modern script language? 2018/09/13 19:07:17 (permalink)
michheld
 
It'd be nice to "program" them using a script language with loops, variables, mathematical functions, timers etc.
(just dreaming like a programmer...)


As you can see in the Meng's answer, this dream will not come true, at least with Bandlab's products...

rogeriodec.com.br


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#30
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