Discuss Notion Music Composition Software here.
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It can tell me if I have TOO MANY beats in a measure, after all. Why not the other way?
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by Surf.Whammy on Tue May 25, 2021 12:30 pm
I'm guessing you probably are not among the select group of folks who compose songs about ladies underpants . . . :)

THOUGHTS

There is a rule regarding how many beats are allowed in a measure--depending on the time signature, of course--but there is no rule that requires each measure to be full in the sense of having exactly the maximum number of beats allowed in each measure . . .

In addition to having a strong focus on composing songs about ladies underpants, there also is what one might call the "anarchist Jazz perspective", where the primary rule is to ignore and violate all rules . . .

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it's like coloring books in elementary school when the teacher has nearly no talent and little understanding of art, hence issues arbitrary commands that crayons must never be used outside the lines and no white space is allowed . . .

As a child, I had strong anarchist tendencies and responded to such edicts by coloring only outside the lines or first using "normal" coloring but then covering the entire page with black crayon and using a pencil point to etch odd lines that revealed the colors underneath . . .

It wasn't until I was in high school that I had an art teacher who was an anarchist and, among other things, was quite pleased by the plaster of Paris "mountains" I created with newspapers and toothpicks to represent the suppression of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie and aristocrats . . .

This is one of the pieces I created with metal wire, wire screen, hardware cloth, liquid steel, and wood when I was in high school . . .

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Surreal Man

MY STRATEGY

If there is only one quarter note in a measure and it's on the first beat, then I do not fill the rest of the measure with rests . . .

But if there is only one quarter note in a measure and it's on the fourth beat, then I put rests before it so that it's positioned on the fourth beat . . .

If I need to be certain that the measure is full, then I add more notes until one of them turns red, and work backwards using shorter duration notes until the measure is full, which is very helpful when I am doing elaborate drumkit rhythm patterns and electric guitar strumming patterns . . .

SUMMARY

There is a limit to the amount of information (notes and rests) that can populate a measure; but there is no specific rule regarding having less information in a measure; and measures are allowed to be empty . . .

Over time, as you use NOTION to create more songs, you will develop an intuitive sense of the way measures are populated . . .

When there are too many notes and rests in a measure, NOTION provides the visual cue of turning the overages red; but there is no visual cue to indicate when a measure is not fully populated or empty, other than there being fewer notes and rests, including the measure being empty, so the visual cue is the sparseness or emptiness of the measure . . .

If it's an empty measure, then I do not put rests in it, mostly because it's not necessary . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by SwitchBack on Tue May 25, 2021 2:27 pm
For me it’s one of the gripes I have with Notion, being used to notation systems that automatically insert rests where notes don’t touch and to fill up the bar. One of them even allowed grouping patterns to automatically split and tie notes and rests e.g. on the beats.

Anyway, with automatic rests it’s immediately visible where the gaps are. Would be a nice (and time-saving) option to add to Notion too.
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed May 26, 2021 8:20 am
There is another, perhaps more subtle reason for not adding rests to the tails of measures . . . :ugeek:

THOUGHTS

Having measures padded with trailing rests might be useful when the goal is to produce printed sheet music, but this is not what I do . . .

I use NOTION to play VSTi and AUi (Mac only) virtual instruments that are hosted in Studio One Professional and occasionally are hosted in NOTION (like Realivox Blue [RealiTone], my favorite virtual female soprano) . . .

This is similar to using NOTION in live performances to augment or to act as orchestras and other musical instrument groups; and my thinking is that everything requires computing, which in turn requires processor and system memory cycles . . .

In other words, since trailing rests generally provide no useful purpose in these scenarios (using NOTION as a player or as an orchestra in a live performance), I think they use system resources frivolously . . .

Whether this hypothesis is accurate is another matter; but as a thought exercise one might ponder what happens when you fill a measure with 128 separate instances of 1/128th rests . . .

Filling an empty measure with a single, whole rest (a four-beat rest in 4/4 time) probably does not incur significant overhead; but I think that forcing NOTION to examine and act on 128 separate instances of 1/128th rests probably incurs significant processing overhead . . .

As explained in my previous post, it is necessary to provide (a) leading rests and (b) intermediate rests between notes when so desired; but I see no purpose in providing trailing rests . . .

The software engineering perspective is that everything notated in a measure requires some amount of examining and computing; and in the three scenarios--using NOTION as a playing device that reads music notion; translates it to MIDI; and then sends the resulting MIDI (a) to Studio One Professional to tell Studio One Professional how to play its hosted VSTi and AUi virtual instruments; (b) uses the MIDI to play its native virtual instruments in a recording session; or (c) uses the MIDI in NOTION as a live performance, virtual orchestra playing the native NOTION instruments and sounds--I think optimizing for the most efficient computing makes good sense . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by SwitchBack on Wed May 26, 2021 9:03 am
Well, printed or on screen alike, music notation is for the human reader. And there is absolutely no drawback in showing rests where they should be, based on the place and length of the MIDI notes entered. It isn't additional MIDI information but merely translating MIDI to sheet music for the human eye.

On top of that: It also saves the time to enter the rests. If there's a gap then a rest of appropriate notation appears. Drag a note to close the gap and the rest disappears. Simple as that.

Same thing with e.g. a 3/1 note: This is one MIDI event but last time I tried in Notion I had to actually enter 3 notes and tie them. What a waste of time. Enter a 3/1 note and let the app take care of displaying it as it should rather than having to enter 3 MIDI events, then tie them, to have Notion merge them into one event in the background. You can if you want to, but ugh...
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by michaelmyers1 on Wed May 26, 2021 12:08 pm
Sounds like a good candidate for a Feature Request!

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
with small AOC monitor for additional display
macOS Big Sur 11.4
2 - 500 gb + 1 tb external SSD for sample libraries
M Audio AirHub audio interface
Nektar Panorama P1 control surface
Nektar Impact 49-key MIDI keyboard
Focal CMS40 near-field monitors
JBL LSR310S subwoofer
Notion 6 + Studio One 5 Pro

http://www.tensivity.com
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by SwitchBack on Wed May 26, 2021 2:05 pm
By all means be my guest :) I hardly use Notion (for reasons mentioned) and lost view of what's happening there. So if regular users with better knowledge of Notion, like maybe yourself, think it's a good idea too then have it implemented :)
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed May 26, 2021 8:08 pm
Regarding the OCD idea of filling every bit of blank space with one or more rests, what is the point? :roll:

THOUGHTS

Consider the following example, which is the prototype basic rhythm section for the verses of my new song, "Tell Me Why (I Love You)", done this way so I can develop the vocal melody "by ear" and practice singing it . . .

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There are zero trailing rests, and the music notation is not visually cluttered . . .

[NOTE: There are a few leading, quarter note rests in otherwise empty measures; and this is a way I make a "Post-It" to remind myself where it might be useful in the future to explore adding some notes or phrases . . . ]

What does it accomplish to fill all the blank space with arbitrary rests? :roll:

Behind the scenes, when arbitrary rests are present, the NOTION engine has no option but to examine each rest regardless of whether the rest does anything other than force extra computing . . .

Doing a bit of anthropomorphizing, a trailing rest says "Don't do anything or make any sounds. I'm here solely to remind you visually to do nothing--except you can't just do nothing. Why? Great question, and the answer is that you must look at me and acknowledge my existence and consequently my right to clutter the music notation and to consume processor and system memory resources for no practical reason. In other words, I'm special and you can't cancel me because I'm woke" . . . :P

MUSIC NOTATION VS. MIDI

The most important thing to understand about music notation and MIDI is that there is no one-to-one mapping of music notation to MIDI, and there is no one-to-one mapping of MIDI to music notation . . .

Converting music notation to MIDI and converting MIDI to music notation is an art, not a science . . .

MIDI uses an entirely different timing strategy than music notation; and this also is the case for things like volume levels, panning locations, and pretty much everything else . . .

Many of the MIDI parameters allow integer values that range from 0 to 127; and values like 100.22 are not supported by MIDI in this context . . .

MIDI timing uses a clock based on ticks, and there is no one-to-one mapping of ticks to such things as quarter notes and quarter rests . . .

[NOTE: More correctly, it's Pulses Per Quarter Note (PPQN), Pulses Per Quarter (PPQ), and Ticks Per Quarter Note (TPQN), but so what, more so because there are different time-based definitions and some of them are nearly absurdly primitive and date back years ago to the time when games like "Pong" were state of the art, more or less, at least beginning in the early-1980s . . . ]

MIDI has definitions for a lot of things that appear in music notation, which is good . . .

There also is what one might describe as (a) the music notation mindset and (b) the MIDI mindset, where for practical purposes I consider the music notation mindset to be the dominant perspective . . .

Intuitively, I think in terms of a combination of music notation and "by ear" strategies . . .

Except for a few years when I was in a liturgical boys choir and then over half a century later when I started focusing more on proper music notation, my primary focus has been and is "by ear", the perspective that uses a different type of mentation to map everything, although there is a strong mapping of this perspective to music notation, but without the formality and visual aspects of music notation . . .

A simple example of "by ear" thinking is that the chord progression {A Major, D Major, E7, D Major, A Major} with perhaps a minor or ninth variation, is what I call a "Louie Louie", since according to "by ear" standards, chord progressions are named after either (a) the first song you learned that has the chord progression or (b) the artist or musical group that recorded the song you heard on the radio or other popular media . . .

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The great aspect of this "by ear" mnemonic system is that it is deep and rich; but the negative aspect is that it probably makes sense only to you and the other mutants in your various garage bands, all of whom in many respects are idiots but skilled in composing, playing, singing, and performing songs, where for example this group of idiots includes the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and so forth, perhaps even including Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber . . .

In its most primitive form as I define it, music notation is binary in the sense that it's based on powers of two, where for example, in a 4/4 time signature, a whole note gets four beats, while a half note gets two beats; a quarter note gets one beat; and then there are the even fractions (eighth, sixteenth, and so forth) . . .

A half note can be singly dotted to represent three beats, and NOTION supports double-dotting . . .

This adds odd durations to the equation, but odd only is a specific way . . .

Tuplets are where syncopation is introduced; and it's useful for a variety of reasons, including drumkit rhythms, rhythm guitar chord patterns, and lead guitar solos . . .

Explained in a general way, my perspective is that notes and rests when natural or dotted provide the ability to do primarily "even" types of patterns, even though in the aforementioned dotted half-note example, the result is three beats, and three is an odd number, of course . . .

Another way to consider this aspect is that it's the "integer" perspective, where one defines "integer" as including fractions like {1/8th, 1/16th, 1/32nd, and so forth} . . .

In the traditional, mathematical definition of "integer", fractions are not included, but so what . . .

Borrowing and redefining another standard mathematical term, "real", this is the way I characterize syncopated music notation, which is done primarily with a combination of tuplets, rests, and notes, where the goal is to create syncopated phrases that are not particularly "even" or "odd" in the aforementioned "integer" sense . . .

Mathematically, I suppose it's all real, since integers are included in the set of real numbers, but so what . . .

[FACT: Internally at the code level, it's all floating point arithmetic, which makes it a flavor of real arithmetic that is supported specifically by a set of functions and so forth that make it easier and faster to do certain types of computing. There are true integer activities, for example counts of various things; so in toto it's a blend of various types of language constructs . . .]

SURF'S SOMEWHAT OCD ACTIVITIES

My general perspective regarding music is that if it works for the composer, musician, singer, arranger, producer, lyricist, audio engineer, and so forth, then so long as no animals are harmed, it's good . . .

I have my set of rules, including my strong "by ear" perspective, which also is good . . .

But there are times when I embark on what at least initially are OCD activities, where one such episode occurred after my house was nearly burned to the ground and I was rebuilding it . . .

More precisely, carpenters were doing the work, but I was supervising . . .

Being an aficionado of Simpson Strong-Tie metal connectors and Reisser steel screws, I instructed the carpenters to install a Simpson Strong-Tie connector on everything, including each stud, rafter, joist, beam, and so forth . . .

Each stud has a metal connector at the bottom, attaching it to the sill plate or second story plate, and each one has a metal connector at the top . . .

It's not every other stud . . .

It's every stud and every other piece of framing lumber . . .

The Reisser steel screws are made in Germany, and they are sufficiently strong to stop a 1.5 HP Makita 120V drill with a Snap-On tool T-25 star bit without snapping-off the screw head or stripping the T-25 star bit, presuming one has sufficient upper body strength to control this type of drill . . .

Over time, some variation of this metal reinforcing strategy has become more popular and in some parts of the country are required as part of building codes, especially in areas prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and so forth; but at the time it was viewed locally as being a but nutty, really . . .

The metal connectors and screws, as well as the labor required to install them, double the material cost and probably double the labor costs for framing, but so what . . .

I think the general consensus locally was that I was a bit of a loon, but this changed when Hurricane Rita went directly over the house . . .

Across the street there were 100+ year-old cedar trees that literally snapped about five feet above ground level, but perhaps 150 feet away at the house, everything was good . . .

One of the carpenters told me that using 1.5" roofing nails instead of staples was the best way, so I gave it the OK; and even though there were wind gusts to 150 miles per hour, only one shingle fell off the 3/4" plywood roof; and I think it was a spare left on the roof in case a repair was needed . . .

Putting rests everywhere in music notation might be similar; and if it's your cup of tea, then it's fine with me; but I see no point in it . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by SwitchBack on Thu May 27, 2021 4:07 am
So that’s why I wrote that it should be an option, just in case someone got in the habit of using rests to remind them that something else could go there ;)

And thank you for the example you posted. Does it play exactly as you want it? Because by your own assessment there’s no 1:1 between notation and execution and I agree. So how does Notion do it?

Thoughts: I think that Notion stores whatever input you provide so it can reproduce it on display and in play later. Let’s call the format it uses for this MIDI+, a format that allows for fractions and nuances and bar lines and all. It then displays in music notation the closest representation of the MIDI+ format that music notation in Notion allows. Which isn’t hard because MIDI+ like MIDI and music notation is a closed set of options and parameters. At this point it is also easy to display (as an option) gaps between notes as rests and (as perhaps a separate option) display rests to the end of the bar too. So these rests only exist on the display, not in MIDI(+).
On playback Notion will use its more detailed MIDI+ format to produce output to instruments that can handle it, or render it to MIDI if that’s the best the instrument can handle. It doesn’t play the music notation from the screen but it plays (to the best abilities of the instrument) exactly the input you provided at the start. So if you didn’t enter a rest then it won’t send a rest. It will just release the key as you did/wrote and strike the next one when you did/wrote.

So that’s it really, to the eye of the human reader.

And I applaud your prudence regarding your roof. :)
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu May 27, 2021 8:50 am
I did an experiment to get a better sense of the cost of rests . . . :)

THOUGHTS

I created a NOTION score with a single, basic treble staff and then populated four (4) measures with 128 each of 1/128th rests for a total of 512 of the 1/128th rests . . .

Then I saved the score and created a second NOTION score but left it empty . . .

Both NOTION scores have the standard, default 33 measures . . .

This is the result in terms of score size:

Image

This is obvious and expected; and it is strong evidence there is a cost associated directly with populating measures with rests when they are not needed for playback and live performance purposes . . .

There also is a cost when the score with the 1/128th rests is played, since NOTION needs to examine each rest and show the current playback position bar moving from rest to rest . . .

REWIRE MIDI STRATEGY

As explained and demonstrated in several of my projects in the forum, I use NOTION for ReWire MIDI staves, with perhaps a handful of exceptions where VSTI instruments are hosted directly NOTION, with one exception being Realivox Blue (RealiTone), my favorite virtual female soprano . . .

It's easier to work with Realivox Blue directly in NOTION, at least during development, since the phonetic phrases she sings are mapped to deep bass keyswitches, which in turn maps to using a grand staff . . .

Creating and fine-tuniing the phonetic phrases is easier when it's done this way--all in NOTION, so everything is in one place . . .

If I need to enhance the phonetic singing with Melodyne (Celemony), then I do this in Studio One Professional using the corresponding Audio Track after the NOTION generated audio has been recorded to the Audio Track in Studio One Professional . . .

Otherwise, the NOTION score has ReWire MIDI staves that send MIDI to Studio One Professional to play VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One Professional on Instrument Tracks . . .

This strategy focuses NOTION on doing what it must do and is optimized to do very efficiently, which in part is the case because NOTION is not hosting the VSTi virtual instruments, hence only needs to focus on music notation and mapping it at runtime to MIDI and then sending the resulting MIDI to Studio One Professional--with the exception of Realivox Blue and perhaps another VSTi virtual instrument which is easier to work wth when it's hosted directly in the NOTION score . . .

At present, I am doing this on a 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro (Early 2008) running macOS El Capitan, and it's able to handle somewhere in the range of 20 VSTi virtual instruments when hosted the VSTi virtual instruments are hosted in Studio One Professional 4, hence my focus on optimizing everything . . .

Once I have 20 or so instruments and their corresponding music notation working nicely, I record the generate audio from the Instrument Tracks to Audio Tracks and then Save the Studio One Professional ".song", followed by doing a "Save As . . . " to create a new version, after which I remove all the Instrument Tracks and then do submixes of the Audio Tracks, which then makes it possible to work with another set of 20 or so Instrument tracks and corresponding ReWire MIDI staves in the NOTION score . . .

I make versions of the NOTION score to be consistent, but a NOTION score can have a lot of ReWire MIDI staves--easily 50 to 100 of them--so it's not really necessary to consolidate the NOTION score i this strategy, but I do it anyway in case I need to revisit something . . .

One might wonder, "Since most or the songs have a basic rhythm section, perhaps a horn section, and various Latin percussion instruments, chimes (which I use a aural cues for when verses and choruses start), and various specialty instruments, why do you need so many Instrument Tracks and ReWire MIDI staves--typically at least 100 or more for complex songs?" . . .

The answer is that while the instruments are similar to the instruments in the following song by Ricky Martin, I duplicate or triplicate nearly everything in the basic rhythm section (drumkit, bass, rhythm guitar, keyboard, and lead guitar) . . .

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So, for example, instead of having one kick drum, I have three kick drums panned far-left, top-center, and far-right, which I also do for the snare drum rimshots . . .

For the cymbals and other drumkit components, I have two tracks each, panned far-left and far-right, which I also do for the Latin percussion instruments, with the exception of maracas and a few others, which I do like the kick drums (far-left, top-center, far-right) . . .

This way it's very easy to position the drumkit and to introduce motion for headphone listeners, where one technique is to alternate the kick drums from far-left to far-right and then at various times to position the kick drums monaurally at top-center . . .

And I do this for the other basic rhythm section instruments, which overall maps to 20 or perhaps 50 tracks just for the drumkit and Latin percussion instruments . . .

Once the audio generated by a set of Instrument Tracks is recorded to Audio Tracks and I do sub mixes, everything is manageable and visible on an Apple 30" Cinema HD Display without being visually cluttered; and this is what appears in my YouTube music videos for each version of a song . . .

Some folks can deal with hundreds of tracks all at one time, but it's too much for me to manage and I find it easier to work with submixes and a few individual tracks for instruments and singing that benefits from the ability to adjust separately from submixes--mostly snare drum rimshots, kick drums, electric bass, lead guitars, and singing . . .

For reference, I got the idea of doing submixes and working primarily with submixes rather than individual instruments by watching some YouTube videos by George Martin and Brian Wilson, where they worked primarily with a handful of submixes rather than with hundreds of individual tracks and corresponding "sliders" . . .

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This is another of my songs, and it has very elaborate instrumentation and singing, including Realivox Blue . . .

[NOTE: This is best enjoyed when listening with studio-quality headphones like SONY MDR-7506 headphones (a personal favorite). Lots of motion in this one, and for reference it was done with Digital Performer (MOTU) as the Digital Audio Workstation DAW) application, which was before I switched to Studio One Professional specifically for ReWire MIDI, although now I think the newest version of Digital Performer also supports ReWire MIDI. The Digital Performer mixer has a more mellow overall tone, which is nice, but I prefer the Studio One Professional mixer, in part since it's what one might call "gracious" in the sense of not requiring a complete remix when you add more instruments and singing. In the same way that physical mixing boards have unique sonic characteristics and behaviors, this also is the case with DAW mixing boards, and I like the Studio One Professional mixing board . . . ]

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Project: "Sweet Hour of Prayer" (PreSonus NOTION Forum)

I have a newer machine--dual 3.46-GHz 12-core Mac Pro (Mid 2010) that runs the current version of macOS Mojave and does nearly everything except for not having AVX support--and it might be able to handle more than 20 or so Instrument Tracks at one time, but perhaps not . . .

If the new, super-peppy Mac Pro can handle hundreds of Instrument Tracks, then it's too much for me to handle; so the current strategy of working with iterations of 20 or so Instrument Tracks in Studio One Professional and corresponding ReWire MIDI staves in the the NOTION score is practical, as is saving an elaborate set of versions of everything in case I need to revisit something later (which I tend to avoid vigorously but plan to be able to do via archiving and so forth, should it be necessary) . . .

Lots of FUN :)

P. S. Having automagical rest populating as an option works for me, so long as (a) it doesn't take precedence over another more desired bit of new functionality like support for piano pedals (all three and the various combinations and alternatives, not just the standard sustain pedal), and (b) it doesn't affect computing resource usage when turned-OFF, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by SwitchBack on Thu May 27, 2021 9:26 am
Interesting experiment as it nicely shows how much it could save, in file size too, when you don't have to enter rests anymore after Notion can show rests where they are without entering them in the file or anything. Beautiful! :D
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu May 27, 2021 1:06 pm
SwitchBack wroteInteresting experiment as it nicely shows how much it could save, in file size too, when you don't have to enter rests anymore after Notion can show rests where they are without entering them in the file or anything. Beautiful! :D


I can envision virtual trailing rests working, but why and for what purpose? :)

THOUGHTS

In one design, (a) manual trailing rests would be permanent parts of the NOTION score file, but like virtual trailing rests could be visible or hidden via an option--noting that part of this functionality already exists . . .

One might suppose there also could be an option to chose all or a subset of virtual trailing rests and then to make them permanent on a selective basis, where to make a set of virtual trailing rests permanent, they need to be selected manually or perhaps using a "Select all virtual trailing rests" function . . .

So long as the virtual trailing rests actually are virtual and do not exist in the NOTION score file, the impact on performance would be minimal, so long as the virtual trailing rests are not visible . . .

[NOTE: It might be more efficient to have the ability to reify virtual trailing rests and to include them in the NOTION score, which later could be made virtual again, hence are removed from the NOTION score; and the reason is that it requires computing to do any of this, hence make it an option and do the reifying offline when the user so desires. I do not see this as something desirable during playback or in a live performance, because computing the locations and values of trailing rests is not an innocuous activity . . . ]

Yet if the virtual trailing rests are visible, then this would impact performance, if only because the moving position indicator during playback needs to include them when moving forward along what then becomes a combined real and virtual timeline . . .

PRODUCT MANAGER PERSPECTIVE

Decisions to add new functionality generally are made by the product manager in cooperation with customer support, advertising, marketing, product specialists, software engineers and so forth . . .

There always are lots of things in the new functionality queue, and determining which new functions and capabilities to add to the product requires a bit of decision-making, cost-benefit analyses, level of effort determinations, and so forth . . .

Observing that by definition, the virtual rest concept applies only to trailing rests, this probably does not require a huge amount of software engineering; but it also is not trivial . . .

Modern software tends to be object-oriented (OO) in one way or another (Mac and Windows); and while adding new code and parameters (methods and properties) to classes, objects, and so forth might appear to be simple, it's not the least bit simple; and the reason is that one of the hallmarks of object-oriented programming systems (OOPS) is nested interactions where doing something in one class or object instance often causes something apparently unrelated to happen in another class or object instance, with this loosely being described as a form of inheritance, where for example saving a version of a NOTION score probably causes other things to be reexamined to ensure the new version is correct in every respect--and in fact, one of the suggestions from NOTION Technical Support when certain problems occur is to do a "Save As . . . " or something similar to ensure everything is pristine, typically followed by exiting and the restarting NOTION and opening the saved NOTION score to get a fresh, verified NOTION score . . .

Consequently, there are at least two aspects to adding new functions and features:

(1) adding code to do the new functions and procedures

(2) ensuring the code for the new functions and procedures does not have unintended consequences

On the quality control side, this can require more extensive testing, where the general goal is to verify there are no paths or sequences of activities that cause strange or unexpected and undesired behaviors . . .

One of my favorite examples of what otherwise appear to be trivial bits of code occurs when a non-Amazon Prime customer in Toledo, Ohio purchases from Amazon a bright orange Frisbee at exactly 12:01 PM on April Fools Day in a leap year on February 29th . . .

Due to a truly strange and unanticipated code interaction in a remote Amazon cloud supercomputer, an Amazon Prime customer in Denver, Colorado receives a package of Hershey Kisses and a DVD collection of the Greatest Hits of Zamfir (The Master of the Pan Flute) and wonders "Why?" . . . :P

And then it needs to be documented in the NOTION User Guide . . .

Explained another way, it might appear to be a simple or perhaps trivial software engineering activity, but in practice nothing is simple or trivial in software engineering, quality controlling, and so forth . . .

The other significant activity for product management is determining priorities with respect to which of a virtual festival of potential new functions and features to approve . . .

Consider the follow set of possibilities:

(1) add support for a sustain pedal

(2) expand (1) to include all three, standard piano pedals

(3) add support for guitar pedals to (2), so that (1), (2), and (3) interact with virtual instruments and effects plug-ins hosted in Studio One Professional when NOTION is focused on ReWire MIDI staves, and also applying when VSTI virtual instruments are hosted in NOTION but effects pedals are hosted in Studio One Professional

(4) add more presets for third-party VSTi virtual instruments, perhaps starting with one or two but then adding more in subsequent versions (minor, not major versions)

(5) add support for scales and modes beyond simple key signatures, where for example a song in Ionian mode could be transformed automagically to Dorian mode or Harmonic Minor scale, where the extreme of this occurs in Melodyne, which has a mind-boggling set of such capabilities, scales, and modes (not just a few, but hundreds of scales and modes, including Indian, Japanese, and Chinese scales that are significantly different from Western scales and modes) . . .

[NOTE: Since this possible new feature for NOTION already exists with Melodyne (Celemony), I consider this one mostly to be frivolous, because it can be done easily in Studio One Professional with the Melodyne Editor. It's a Gestalt type of thing, where the fact of the matter is that NOTION, Studio One Professional, and Melodyne provide a deep and rich set of functionality, including Studio One Professional having Celemony's Audio Random Access (ARA) technology which interactively on the fly prepares audio recorded in Audio Tracks for quick processing with Melodyne. To be precise, the strategy is to modify the Audio Tracks in Studio One Professional to reflect the desired scale or mode; export it as MIDI; import the MIDI to a new NOTION file; convert the MIDI to music notation; and there you are, where your NOTION score now is in the scale or mode you selected in Melodyne in Studio One Professional. There is another way to do this more directly, but that's another topic . . . ]

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Is doing any of those new functions and capabilities less important that providing what I consider to be OCD support for trailing virtual rests?

What makes more sense, (a) providing at least minimal support for sustain pedals or (b) providing support for virtual trailing rests?

My perspective is that I like the concept and functionality of the sostenuto pedal, and if the music notation works on ReWire MIDI keyboard staves and is sent to Studio One Professional correctly when the respective VSTi or native virtual instrument supports it, then my vote is for adding keyboard pedal support to NOTION and then as time allows adding support for guitar effects pedal notation on ReWire MIDI staves for purposes of engaging effects plug-ins hosted in Studio One Professional, with the same applying to keyboard pedal support in NOTION, at least with respective third-party VSTi virtual instruments that support pedals, where in this regard I do not recommend providing virtual support for pedals when the engine, sampled-sound library, and respective instrument have no support for pedals . . .

In other words, if the virtual instrument of effects plug-in has pedal support, then add the music notation to control it; but otherwise do not waste time trying to emulate pedal behaviors when no such behaviors exist in the virtual instrument or effects plug-in, because some of this can be emulated in Studio One Professional via automation . . .

Yet another functionality which probably is relatively easy to provide is the ability to select a sequential set of measures and then to colorize the background, where for example one might have a light blue background for verses; a light yellow background for choruses, and a pink background for lead guitar solo sections . . .

Background section colorizing is something I think is practical and useful visually with minimal computing overhead required . . .

At present, I identify the various sections of a song with text ("VERSE", "CHORUS", and so forth) . . .

SUMMARY

What would you rather have in a new version of NOTION:

(1) virtual trailing rests?

(2) keyboard pedals?

(3) effects plug-in pedals?

(4) optional background colors for sections of measures?

(5) something else?

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by SwitchBack on Thu May 27, 2021 1:56 pm
I gladly leave picking a favourite to those who use Notion a lot, as I said before :)

My initial response was to the question: "Why can't I see how much room I've got left in a bar" (paraphrased) by suggesting a solution used in some other notation software which Notion could adopt for displaying 'gaps' on a bar: Not a core change but an (optional) GUI change. One that e.g. also allows you to drag a note across a bar and see the displayed rests before and after the note or to other notes adjust automatically on screen. Some may like it :)
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu May 27, 2021 2:38 pm
It's nearly always a good strategy to devote at least some attention to thinking outside the box . . . :ugeek:

THOUGHTS

Intuitively, there usually is a good reason when I think something is frivolous or might be frivolous; and if I focus on science, then the truth soon is revealed, although it might take a week or two to have the required epiphany . . .

The way it works here in the sound isolation studio is that the more I delve into minutiae, the more likely a bit of serendipity will lead to an epiphany . . .

Specifically, after wandering into Melodyne's mind-boggling support for a virtual festival of scales and modes--hundreds, about which most folks including me have no idea in a conscious way--it just occurred to me that for folks who have Studio One Professional and NOTION, the ability to add trailing rests already exists . . .

I did a quick experiment to confirm this, and the experiment began in a ReWire session where Studio One Professional is the ReWire host controller (started first) and NOTION is the ReWire helper device (started after Studio One Professional). . .

(1) In the NOTION score, I created a Piano grand staff and added a sparse set of notes to several measures, where most of the measures only had one or two quarter notes with no rests in any of the measures.

(2) Then I sent the music notation from the NOTION score to Studio One Professional, which created a blank Instrument Track with the corresponding MIDI.

(3) In Studio One Professional, I created a new Instrument Track with Addictive Keys as the VSTI virtual instrument and then dragged the MIDI from (2) onto the Addictive Keys Instrument Track, and then played the notes to verify there were no sounds other than the notes sent from NOTION.

[NOTE: I named the Addictive Keys Instrument Track "Piano", which is important for sending back and forth to and from NOTION . . . ]

(4) Next I sent the notes from Studio One Professional to NOTION, which populated a new staff with the MIDI sequences sent from Studio One Professional.

(5) Finally, I converted to music notation the MIDI sent to NOTION from Studio One Professional to the staff named "Piano", and each measure had trailing rests.

[NOTE: In this experiment, the notes sent from Studio One Professional are shown on a single staff, but it's easily transformed to a Grand staff in NOTION Score Setup. The best way to do this is to create the "Piano" Instrument Track in Studio One Professional before sending the piano notes from NOTION to Studio One Professional, in which case going the other way the notes arrive from Studio One Professional on a Grand staff; but I did it a different way, hence the MIDI notes and rests sent from Studio One Professional to NOTION arrived on a single staff named "Piano" . . . ]

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SUMMARY

The PreSonus ecosystem (Melodyne, NOTION, Studio One Professional) provides the functionality required to add trailing rests . . .

If having trailing rests rings your bell, then there is a way to do it (see above) . . .

On a related note, there are a lot of things like this that are not documented anywhere perhaps other than in this forum . . .

Adding trailing rests is not something I do, and overall I see no point in it; but there is a way to do it when you have Studio One Professional and NOTION; and when you understand how a ReWire session works, it takes just a few minutes--send from NOITON to Studio One Professional, and then send from Studio One Professional back to NOTION . . .

Lots of FUN! :+1

P. S. As time allows, I plan to do a YouTube video to demonstrate this, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by SwitchBack on Thu May 27, 2021 3:30 pm
Whilst interesting it is of course not a very effective workflow when you're in that creative mode of plonking in the notes and wonder if you can squeeze in another one. By the time S1 is up and running you've worked it out yourself, and lost the vibe... :cry: So it would have to be Notion or noting to be helpful.
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by davidbullock7 on Thu May 27, 2021 7:38 pm
michaelmyers1 wroteSounds like a good candidate for a Feature Request!


Yep, if only they *actioned* feature-requests. :?
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by davidbullock7 on Thu May 27, 2021 8:15 pm
Sigh. Whether showing implied-rests or no-implied-rests, it' be nice to know if I've got a 16th or an 8th to work with. It matters mainly for:

1) Crossing the measure-line when focused on a measure. I know roughly what duration of note I want, but without counting all the 16ths, need to put a portion of the note in this measure and tie it to the remaining amount of the next measure. Fairly reasonably, Notion considers each measure to be the 'bounds' of an edit, and will try to stuff the notes into the that measure. Maybe it would be reasonable to also have a 'shove along' mode, where for example, pasting a quarter into a bar with enough space for an eighth will 'push' the extra eighth into the next measure, subtract an eighth from the note at the end of the previous measure, and tie it automatically across the measure-line. This would ripple to at least as far as the next 'not actually full' measure (ie. a measure that is 'incomplete or empty' as regards the editing process). Bonus points if you can make this 'insertion mode' decision for the most-recent edit after you've already done it. In shove-along mode, you'd actually NOT want notion to be displaying implied rests - if there were 'free space' in a measure to accommodate the new durations, the 'ripple' of the shove-along could end there and not affect the rest of the work. If Notion were showing rests - and you thought they were rests *you'd* put in, it might be surprising that they disappear. I guess the implied rests could be shown in red, just as excess notes are. That would at least be consistent.

2) Sanity check at-macro. Maybe I missed an 8th or 16th, perhaps because of a cut/paste, and I've not yet noticed. If it were flagged to me earlier, I could have perhaps have approached the work I'd just done differently and avoid rework.

So that's my vote for it: show implied rests in red (though a greyed-out red), just like excess notes are. Also, have a 'shove along' editing mode. (Maybe the latter already exists and I haven't RTFM enough yet ... which would be completely true).
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by Surf.Whammy on Sun May 30, 2021 3:09 pm
I did another experiment based on the previous experiment . . . :)

THOUGHTS

Based on the perspective that a back-and-forth trip to and from NOTION to Studio One Professional might be too complex for some folks, I connected a few more dots and essentially the same experiment using sparsely populated measures, but instead of having Studio One Professional in the sequence, I did it solely with NOTION . . .

(1) I exported the NOTOIN score as MIDI.

(2) Then I imported the MIDI to NOTIOn.

This created a new NOTION score with trailing spaces . . .

WHAT THIS SUGGESTS

Primarily these experiments strongly suggest that PreSonus has the algorithms required to add trailing spaces to measures . . .

It also suggests that doing this in situ as a feature is a bit frivolous, hence only is done automagically in certain scenarios where it is logical to do this . . .

(1) There is a computing resources cost to doing this, and the cost is prohibitive unless NOTION and Studio One Professional clearly are not doing anything in real-time on the fly, which maps to the two scenarios where (a) Studio One Professional is use with NOTION to send and receive notes and (b) NOTION is used in standalone mode to export and then to import MIDI.

(2) There is a common sense aspect and corresponding cost to allowing something like this; and the fact of the matter is that over the long run, it's a frivolous activity. Specifically, it's a frivolous activity which needs to be discouraged, since relying on it effectively discourages people from advancing in their understanding of music notation, composing, and so forth. Explained another way, allowing ad hoc insertion trailing spaces makes it less likely composers ever will learn to keep track of beats in a measure, an intuitive and "by inspection" skill which is very important.

NOTION GRAPHIC USER INTERFACE (GUI)

NOTION has an highly-optimized graphic user interface (GUI) where the focus is on keeping everything as simple visually and operationally as possible . . .

Originally, years ago this was done to make NOTION practical to use in live performances; but over time the strategy and perspective was kept consistent . . .

For this reason, it's possible--but incorrect--to view NOTION as a simple music notation applications which is not ready for professional work, but this is not the case and never has been the case . . .

Explained another way, NOTION is designed for professional composers and performers; and I suggest those folks know how many notes fit into a measure, but occasionally need a visual reminder when they put too many notes in a measure, said visual cue being that the "over" note(s) turn red . . .

Here in the sound isolation studio, I have been using NOTION pretty much daily for over 10 years; and at first I tended to have more than a few red notes when composing; but now it's rare ever to have a red note . . .

Lately, the only time I use the "red note" capability is when I am designing an elaborate drumkit pattern or a sophisticated lead guitar solo with a lot of syncopation and rapid notes . . .

Mostly, it's focused on 32nd notes, but I am getting more skilled in this aspect; so the "red note" capability is helpful occasionally when I have a blend of different duration notes in a measures . . .

Observing that I play "by ear" and for the most part cannot play guitar, bass, and keyboards by sight-readying sheet music, my abilities in this regard are improving slowly but surely . . .

Curiously, I have been able to sight-sing music on soprano treble staves for over half a century; but so far doing this with my primary instruments has been elusive . . .

I can almost do it with electric bass; but it's not happening with electric guitar and keyboards . . .

Nevertheless, the more I work with music notation for electric guitar and keyboards, the more it begins to make intuitive sense, which is good . . .

For reference, with electric guitar and keyboards, this focused on melodies, not on elaborate chords, but so what . . .

SUMMARY

Trailing rests can be added entirely within NOTION; and it's done by exporting as MIDI and then importing as MIDI, which creates a new NOTION score . . .

The other, easier way is to append notes until one of them turns red, at which time if for example it's a quarter note, then change it to an eighth note and see if it stays red or turns black . . .

If it turns black, then add a dot to it and see if it turns red; and so forth . . .

This procedure let's you determine how much unused trailing space remains in the measure; and doing it this way over time will you you a more intuitive sense of how much stuff actually is in a measure simply by looking at it . . .

If you ever expect to be able to sight-sing or to sight-play music notation, then this is a skill you need to make intuitive . . .

When I was teaching myself how to play lead guitar, I practiced series of notes and phrases over-and-over for hours over several days or weeks until I could play them using muscle memory rather than needing to think about it in any immediately conscious way . . .

It was a lot of work and at times was very frustrating; but in this respect it's like teaching yourself how to juggle tennis balls or oranges--slow and cumbersome at first, but after a few weeks and several bushels of oranges, it becomes intuitive, at which time you can start focusing on tossing the tennis balls or oranges over your shoulder from behind, which is a certain crowd pleaser . . .

In the absence of a physical or mentational limitation, the only reason most folks cannot do things like this is a combination of (a) lack of interest and (b) inability to practice when the results initially are frustrating, take too long, or in the case of lead guitar cause fingertip blisters that are too painful, hence folks give-up rather than learn how to manage fingertip blisters and "power-through" the pain . . .

[NOTE: This lead guitar was composed and performed in real-time on the fly on the first and only take. I knew the chords, which mostly is all I need to know or at least to have a few clues what the chords probably are. It sounds like a Wall of Lead Guitar, because I ran it through series of cascading echo units and other effects pedals, which was made all the more interesting due to the Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster being custom-modded to have two output signals, each of which was run through its own set of effects pedals, including a pair of DigiTech Whammy pedals for rapid octave-jumps, and a pair of wah-wah pedals for tonal textures. This was when I was doing everything with real instruments, which was about two years before I discovered NOTION and for the most part went nearly totally virtual (except when it's easier to play something on a real guitar than to attempt to do it with music notation and a virtual guitar . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
User avatar
by davidbullock7 on Mon May 31, 2021 7:47 am
I found a poor man's "not enough beats" ... turn on the sequencer overlay. If the last note's sequence-shadow isn't crossing the bar-line, you've not filled the measure.

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