Helpful ReplyContinuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters

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StaringIntoNothing
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2017/03/18 11:23:12 (permalink)

Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters

Am I the only one who wants this?  I see videos and I see friends using Logic and Cubase.  On the piano roll editor, they can draw a continuous curve for modulation and the mod wheel follows the curve.  They can also draw a continuous curve for velocity and the velocity follows that curve.  Sonar, for velocity, if you draw a velocity curve, it only puts a point wherever there a a note struck.  You can't do a curve and then have the note follow the curve.  The curve follows the notes so you have to sometimes go and edit (draw) note by note which is painful to me.  
 
I envision the modulations and velocity changes as continuous and would like to draw them that way.  In my college days we called that calculus (calculate continuous changes) as opposed to mathematics and algebra (calculate fixed things).  Make the notes follow the curve, not the curve follow the notes.    
 
I bought Cubase and was going to switch because I wanted that feature very badly.  But then I discovered that Cubase was written by programmers, not recording engineers and was a P in the A to use as a creative tool.  Sonar was written by recording engineers who also know how to program.  
 
I have been with Cakewalk since Cakewalk version 5 and all versions of Sonar, so I am a huge fan, but wow do I want this feature that the competitors have.
 
Again I ask, am I the only one?
#1
Zargg
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/18 14:29:55 (permalink)
Hi. I usually use "Expression" (CC 11) to change volume of a note during its length. Not sure if that is what you are after? Image below is drawn by freehand.

All the best.

Ken Nilsen
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Zargg

 
 
#2
StaringIntoNothing
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/18 15:04:15 (permalink)
Hey thanks Zargg.  What I am talking about is all of those individual rectangles under the curve.  You cannot draw a real curve.  It is all controlled by the rectangles  and sometimes the note start point affects the curve that you can actually draw.
 
Here is a Logic curve on just one note.

 
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StaringIntoNothing
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/18 15:16:21 (permalink)
By the way, point well taken  Your rectangle curve on CC 11 is a nice curve, so maybe I just need practice at drawing CC 11.  But send me one that looks like that or the Logic curve on the velocity drawing area.  If you can do that, I need lessons from you.  I have never been one to run away from newly defined ignorance on my part.  The sheer tonnage of what I don't know about Sonar Platinum yet could stun a team of oxen!
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brundlefly
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/18 17:13:43 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Anderton 2017/03/18 18:46:45
Velocity is not a controller; it's a parameter of MIDI Note On/Off messages. It can't be sent as a separate message, and a synth wouldn't know what to do with it if it were.  To control the loudness of a note after the Note On, you have to send MIDI Volume, CC7, or Expression, CC11, or possibly some other controller that the synth has been specifically programmed to use to control note volume (e.g. Garritan/Aria player use CC1, Modulation).
 
I understand that Cubase has a feature called Note Expression that essentially links MIDI controllers to Notes. But controllers are still limited to discrete values of 0-127, so though the changes might be displayed as continuous graphically, under the hood Cubase is still going to be sending discrete values like any DAW/sequencer. That's the nature of MIDI.
 
Turning off snap when drawing controllers will let you draw the most continuous changes. You'll get higher controller density when the values are changing rapidly over time, and there will be gaps when the value isn't changing because there's no purpose in sending a controller message that's unchanged from the previous one. That's why you see wider spacing between controllers in the peaks and valleys of the curve in Ken's screenshot.

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#5
bvideo
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/18 19:06:24 (permalink)
For controller values (not velocity), Sonar lets you represent values as curves, called envelopes, instead of events, if you wish. You can convert an existing sequence of events into an envelope if you want. There are drawing tools to create envelopes in a curved fashion, and you can also edit the nodes (anchor points) of curves. Too much detail to describe here, but see 'help' for envelopes and drawing.
 
As brundlefly says, velocity is attached to individual notes. Sonar does not try to represent velocity as a curve, though velocity of a sequence of individual events can be modified by drawing with a continuous mouse motion. The only thing I can imagine for a continuous curve to be useful would be if you are entering new notes between notes that are already there on a curve that is already there. Then presumably a new note would take on the velocity value at that point on the curve. But again, only the values at the note starting times have any effect.
 
The logic curve you drew under one note does not represent any real-life performance of velocity. The velocity at the start of the note is the only velocity value that is performed in real life. Volume or any other controller parameter would be a different story, and Sonar does do curves for that.

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rogeriodec
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/18 19:10:38 (permalink)

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StaringIntoNothing
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/19 02:09:28 (permalink)
Thank you everyone for the education.  It finally hit me that the drawing of the MIDI CCs was tied to the same snap to as the notes.  I would play a track and the mod wheel would look like a smooth continuous curve but when I tried to edit it, I could not get it to draw right to replace what I was seeing with what I wanted.  I tried recording just the mod wheel as a sound on sound track but the both curves were there and I could not figure out to tell Sonar to discard the old one and use the new one.
 
I know that velocity is note by note and that is the way Sonar handles it.  I am just saying, If I could draw a curve that represents the changes I want over time and then have the key down event trigger at whatever place (0-127) the curve was at, it would be more musical and easier to use for me.  There may be something wrong with me.
 
I'll check out those Cal scripts and all of the other suggestion on the next composition.  Again, thank you all for chiming in and helping me.
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Sanderxpander
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/19 08:24:05 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Zargg 2017/03/19 10:21:09
As was already said, velocity is a parameter sent with a note on message. You can't really have velocity without a struck note. You can draw an expression curve (CC#11) if you want to modify the volume of a note over time though (assuming the synth you're using supports this but most do).

The hyperdraw curve you're showing from Logic is CC#07, volume, not note velocity. You can draw this in Sonar just fine at any resolution you want by modifying or turning off the piano roll snap-to-grid setting. You can use the line draw tool if you want a smooth curve, or go freehand. I would recommend CC#11 (expression) over CC#07 (volume) depending on the synth, but sometimes there's no difference.
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dcumpian
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Re: Continuous Curve Piano Roll Edit of Midi Parameters 2017/03/20 12:44:35 (permalink)
Why not use a midi controller to record CC messages? It's a heck of a lot easier and a bit more intuitive. You can always cleanup any mistakes using the PRV editor. If you don't have a midi controller that can send various midi CC messages, change the midi CC in the PRV to an automation track, then you can use the mouse to automatically capture your mouse movements as lines and curves.
 
Here's an article by Craig Anderton that touches on some of this: http://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/sonar-automation
 
Regards,
Dan

 
 
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