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I'm having a problem right now where, when I place notes on certain lines of staves, they simply don't make a sound at all.

When I then move the note up and down the staff, some of the notes sound, while others don't.

Obviously this hampers my ability to compose the way I want to, and I'm being forced to seek out sub-optimal work-arounds, which degrades the overall creative quality.

I'm hoping this is happening simply because I've overloaded the score, rather than because of some more serious Notion problem. (I probably have overloaded it, as I have 58 staves [many divisi], with 9 VSTs adding an extra burden.)

Can anyone confirm that this is the reason this is happening? Has anyone else had this problem?

Currently using Notion 4 on a 2008 Mac Pro (desktop - OS X 10.9.2, 32GB RAM) and 2010 MacBook Pro (OS X 10.9.1).
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by Surf.Whammy on Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:39 pm
The most probably explanation is that you have too much stuff in the NOTION 4 score . . .

This happened in NOTION 4 running in 64-bit mode when I added two instances of MachFive 3 (MOTU) and loaded each one with a single "heavy" sampled instrument, where for reference there are four of them, as I recall (Fender Jazz Bass, Star Drums, Grand Piano, Fender Telecaster, Fender Rhodes Mark '79 Electric Piano, Upright String Bass) . . .

These are highly sampled instruments, and they also have scripts, so they are very nice; but for example the Telematic has 9,562 keygroups and takes about a minute to load when MachFive 3 is running in standalone mode . . .

When I use a MachFive 3 instrument in a NOTION score, I limit the total to 10 VSTi virtual instruments--and this is running in 64-bit mode . . .

I do nearly everything with VSTi virtual instruments; and as a rule I limit each NOTION score to 20 staves; and I generally avoid using any VST effects plug-ins, since I do the producing, mixing, and mastering in the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application, which usually is Digital Performer 8 (MOTU) . . .

THOUGHTS

There are some "heavy" VSTi virtual instruments, and there are some "heavy" VST effects plug-ins . . .

The 4GB 32-bit application workstation limitation does not apply when NOTION is run in 64-bit mode, but there are other limits . . .

I suppose that if one has a large display, it might be possible to see more than 20 staves at once, but the practical reality in the digital universe is that there is a reason the editing window for posts is about the size of a 3" by 5" note card, where to be more specific this actually is larger than the field of vision that can be in focus, so while it might be nice to have a virtual festival of instruments in a single NOTION score, I am not convinced that it is very practical . . .

Of course, it depends on the primary goal and whether the primary goal is (a) to produce sheet music or (b) to generate high-quality audio . . .

When the goal is generating high-quality audio, I think the strategy of composing in layers is the most practical, where 10 to 20 instruments is fine for a layer . . .

I usually keep five instruments common to a set of synchronized NOTION scores, where the purpose is to have an audible reference to the different parts of a song, which actually reduces the number of new instruments for each NOTION score, but so what . . .

The strategy begins with a basic rhythm section, and when it is coming along nicely I do a "Save As . . ." to clone it, where I add a suffix like "PT-n", where the basic rhythm section is "My-Song-PT-1.notion" and the next section or layer is "My-Song-Pt-2.notion", and so on . . .

They key is to have the structure of the song developed before starting to work on additional layers, since this avoids needing to change the structure later, although it is possible to change the structure later, since everything can be reproduced and modified . . .

This also is the case with real instruments and singing, but instead of redoing what already is recorded, I do a bit of splicing and overdubbing, all of which is done in the DAW application . . .

For example, everything in "Feel Me" is done with virtual instruments, except the real electric guitar and singing. For a while it had two verses, where the first verse also was the third verse; but it needed another verse, so I wrote the lyrics and then modified the song structure to add what then was the new third verse, which is followed by the fourth verse, which is a repeat of the first verse, although a separate performance rather than simply copying and pasting the first verse . . .

[NOTE: There are not so many instruments, but most of them are "sparkled", which maps to having two or three copies of each instrument panned to different locations, where they are playing the notes for one part but in two or three different locations depending on the specific notes and time in the measures, where for example there are two or three kick drums and two or three snare drums playing rimshots. One of the synthesizers is done this way, as are the chimes, and this creates rhythmic motion as well as creating a bit of FUN for the "Youth of Today", or the Chinese, as I like to call them, which is where the most hits per hour for the MP3 version happens. Did I awake one morning and have this bright idea for a career path? Not really. When my last job ended approximately 15 years ago, the local employment office counselor told me that after a careful review of my skills, it appeared there were two careers for which I was well-prepared: (a) professional truck driver and (b) teen idol in Japan. I did not have a truck, so the decision was easy, and I am thinking that China is just a stepping stone away from Japan . . . :P ]

phpBB [video]


If you do everything on tempo and use measures and all that stuff, then it is easy to modify the structure of a song to add new sections (verse, chorus, bridge, interlude), as well as to make other types of structure changes . . .

It takes a while to modify the NOTION scores, but there is a pattern to it, and after a while you develop an efficient system . . .

Composing, producing, mixing, and mastering a song in layers requires having a system, as does doing the recording work for real instruments and singing, but (a) this is the way it is done most of the time; (b) it is the only way for one person to do everything; and (c) it works, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by wcreed on Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:31 pm
Are you sure the notes aren't out of range?

Bill Reed
Notion 6, Sibelius 8.4, Finale 25, Overture 5, Cubase 8.5
Win10 x64, 32GB RAM; iPad2; Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Kontakt, VSL VI Pro, VE Pro, EWQL Orch, Choirs and Pianos
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by adrianosica on Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:08 pm
wcreed wroteAre you sure the notes aren't out of range?


Wouldn't they still sound, though?

BTW: since Surf.Whammy has also replied on this post, I did purchase Notion 5 and took a tour of it. Really nice program.

Back to wcreed. I'm reading the manual in full before I dive right into Notion, and somewhere I came across that notes out of range for a particular instrument will change color. Did I miss that those notes will not sound, also?

Adriano
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:30 pm
adrianosica wrote
wcreed wroteAre you sure the notes aren't out of range?


Wouldn't they still sound, though?

BTW: since Surf.Whammy has also replied on this post, I did purchase Notion 5 and took a tour of it. Really nice program.

Back to wcreed. I'm reading the manual in full before I dive right into Notion, and somewhere I came across that notes out of range for a particular instrument will change color. Did I miss that those notes will not sound, also?

Adriano


wcreed makes a good observation, and it is a fact that there are ranges of notes for which sampled sounds are provided, which also can include variations depending on the articulations, dynamics, and techniques, where although no examples come to mind at the moment, my recollection is that some techniques have a limited range of notes compared to the standard range of notes, but I think this depends on the specific sampled sound library . . .

For example, the Vienna Symphonic Library (VSL) Legacy Contrabassoon provided in Kontakt 5 has 12 playable notes running from A#0 to A1 . . .

[NOTE: There was a discussion earlier this year or perhaps last year regarding the lowest playable note for Bassoon, which included Contrabassoon; and there are "extenders" that lower the range below what is considered to be the "standard range". The notes for the Contrabassoon are shown in light blue and are the notes in the lower register. The light blue notes in the higher register are keyswitches, as are the pink notes. Generally, playable notes are light blue and keyswitches are pink, but this depends on the specific instrument and library . . . ]

Image
Contra Bassoon (Kontakt 5) ~ all relevant keys shown

This is the same section of the keyboard in Kontakt 5 for one of its Concert Grand Piano sampled sound sets . . .

[NOTE: "Middle C" (C4 in standard scientific pitch notation in the US) is identified by a red dot. Some systems, typically in Europe, refer to "Middle C" as C3, which is the case with Miroslav Philharmonik. This might be the case with Kontakt 5 as well, but I use the actual notes to determine the pitch in Kontakt 5 and consider the numeric indicator at the lower-left of the Kontakt 5 keyboard to be a relative indicator for the number of octaves the keyboard has been shifted from its default position, which is the case because the lowest note in the two images of the Kontakt 5 keyboard (see above and below) is C0 rather than C1, again using standard scientific pitch notation as defined in the US. Another thing that happens is that 'Concert A" in the US is 440-Hz but it might be a different value in some European systems, which is important to check in NOTION Preferences for "Global Tuning", since as I recall NOTION uses a non-standard European definition for "Concert A", so it needs to be set to standard "Concert A" in the US, which is 440-Hz if you expect the notes to be in tune with other instruments in the US that follow the generally accepted standard . . . ]

Image
Concert Grand Piano (Kontakt 5) ~ partial range of keys shown

Scientific Pitch Notation (Wikipedia)

[NOTE: In the following diagram of a keyboard, "Middle C" is light blue (cyan) and "Concert A" is yellow . . . ]
Image
[SOURCE: Standard Concert Pitch (Wikipedia) ]

The Contrabassoon in Miroslav Philharmonik has a broader range which runs from A0 to A3, as shown in the following image from NOTION 5, where the View option is set to "Concert Pitch" . . .

Image
Contra Bassoon (Miroslav Philharmonik)

THOUGHTS

Only notes within the supported range for an instrument will be played; so as wcreed observed, it is possible that notes are not being heard because they are out of range . . .

It also is important to understand that NOTION 5 only can display "out of range" color information when it knows (a) the instrument assigned to a staff and (b) the range of the assigned instruments . . .

This might appear to be a general feature, but for a VSTi virtual instrument without a specific NOTION 5 supported internal mapping, NOTION 5 does not know which specific instrument is assigned to a staff. Additionally, when there is no mapping of which NOTION 5 is aware, NOTION 5 cannot determine the playable notes for a specific instrument when it is provided by a VSTi virtual instrument . . .

Even when there is a known mapping, this does not imply automagically that NOTION 5 has sufficient information to show "out of range" notes, which is the case for the Miroslav Philharmonik instruments using the NOTION 5 mapping . . .

Consider the following image which shows the native NOTION 5 Contrabassoon with an "out of range" note as indicated in red. The lower Contrabassoon is the Kontakt 5 Bassoon . . .

[NOTE: The "out of range" note for Contrabassoon is indicated for the native NOTION 5 Contrabassoon but not for the Miroslav Philharmonik Contrabassoon, which for reference is the NOTION 5 mapping . . . ]

Image
Contra Bassoon (NOTION 5, Miroslav Philharmonik)

Basically, if you are using VSTi virtual instruments, as best as I can determine, you will not see "out of range" color indications . . .

Lots of FUN! :)
Last edited by Surf.Whammy on Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by adrianosica on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:43 pm
Surf.Whammy,

You are a champ and a nice fellow. I don't know where you live, but I owe you a few beers :D
As I said earlier, I'm reading the manual before I get involved with Notion, just to get the gists of it. I believe, it will eliminate a lot guessing later on.

You said:
Even when there is a known mapping, this does not imply automagically that NOTION 5 has sufficient information to show "out of range" notes, which is the case for the Miroslav Philharmonik instruments using the NOTION 5 mapping . . .


Can this be corrected/created in the rulers for specific VSTis?

Thanks
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:10 pm
adrianosica wroteSurf.Whammy,

You are a champ and a nice fellow. I don't know where you live, but I owe you a few beers :D
As I said earlier, I'm reading the manual before I get involved with Notion, just to get the gists of it. I believe, it will eliminate a lot guessing later on.

You said:
Even when there is a known mapping, this does not imply automagically that NOTION 5 has sufficient information to show "out of range" notes, which is the case for the Miroslav Philharmonik instruments using the NOTION 5 mapping . . .


Can this be corrected/created in the rulers for specific VSTis?

Thanks


Glad to help! :)

The instrument range information for native NOTION 5 instruments is stored in "BuiltinInstruments.tpk" file, which is a list in the NOTION 5 application package on the Mac; and the general rule and best advice is not to tinker with these types of files, since they are used by internal code and need to be pristine . . .

[NOTE: This is part of the "BuiltinInstruments.tpk" file, and it provides information for the native NOTION 5 Contrabassoon, which includes note range information. For reference, the MIDI Specification defines "Middle C" as "60", so the highest note of the NOTION 5 Contrabassoon is D#4, which is the D# that is a three half-steps higher than "Middle C", which is C4 in standard scientific pitch notation in the US . . . ]

Image

Custom rules do not include this type of information, so as best as I can determine the "out of range" feature only applies to native NOTION 5 instruments . . .

Nevertheless, it is possible to use a native NOTION 5 instrument staff and then to assign a channel of a VSTi virtual instrument to it, which then makes it a surrogate for the VSTi virtual instrument channel. This requires some extra work, since there needs to be a hidden staff for at least one VSTi virtual instrument, where one VSTi virtual instrument can provide instruments for several staves this way but at the expense of losing intimate custom rule mapping for articulations, dynamics, and techniques. Switching the staff from (a) native NOTION 5 instrument to (b) VSTi virtual instrument surrogate requires a few user actions, which depending on how often you need to do this tends to add what one might call a "busy" level to composing, which I think already is a rather busy activity . . .

Another way to do this is to create a pair of user-defined custom templates for a particular ensemble or set of instruments, where one template uses the native NOTION 5 instruments but the other uses a set of VSTi virtual instruments, with the key to this strategy being to have the instrument staves in the same exact order . . .

Then you can work in the VSTi virtual instrument score and do a "Select All" to copy all the music notation, which you can paste into the NOTION 5 instrument score to see whether any notes are "out of range" . . .

For reference, in this context a "user-defined custom template" is just a NOTION 5 score that you create and save in a folder. Typically, this will be a score with all the instruments but with no notes or other music notation. When you want to create a new song based on this particular set of instruments, you will open the user-defined template and immediately do a "Save As . . . " to make a new score, which will be the one you will use for your new song . . .

This is the way the predefined score templates in NOTION 5 are done, but they are stored in the Mac application package. The only difference will be that the predefined score templates for NOTION 5 are available as menu items. Your user-defined custom templates will be found in the folder where you store them. There is a way to add them to the NOTION 5 menu, but is not not recommended, since doing an update to a new version of NOTION will overwrite the Mac application package, hence using a folder that you create in a handy location is the recommended strategy . . .

THOUGHTS

The reason I did not mention "out of range" notes in my first reply to this topic is that I interpreted the description of the problem as being a matter of resources, which can cause a virtual festival of odd behaviors . . .

You can verify what happens by doing an experiment where you repeatedly add new instrument staves assigned to VSTi virtual instruments. Sooner or later there will be too many VSTi virtual instruments for NOTION 5 to handle in a single score, and odd things will begin happening, where the most likely outcome will be that NOTION 5 crashes, but as everything moves near to the upper limit the odd behaviors are a bit more random and unpredictable . . .

My perspective on this is that the audio is generated via Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms, which sometimes is referred to as Digital Audio Processing (DAP), and the key aspect is that there is a limited amount of time for doing all the processing when the goal is to have virtually instant real-time audio production . . .

For this reason, I think that certain types of error checking and bounds checking are not done, because they take too much processing time. Whether this is what happens is another matter, but everything is fine so long as you do not put too much stuff in a single NOTION 5 score, where "stuff" in this context refers to instrument staves, native NOTION 5 instruments, VSTi virtual instruments, VST effects plug-ins, and so forth . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. Except when I am providing examples, I usually do everything with soprano treble clef staffs and VSTi virtual instruments where, depending on the range of the specific instrument, I use the "Transposition" feature for the staff to cause the notes as notated to play one or two octaves lower or higher, although nearly always one or two octaves lower, since only cats and dogs hear the higher few octaves . . .

This strategy is based on the fact that there are 12 notes and 8 or so octaves, where approximately half of the octaves are higher than "Middle C" and half of the octaves are lower than "Middle C", which is my best guess for the reason it called "Middle C" . . .

One consequence of this is that it tends to map to developing a better sense of the range of instruments, which is only one of the many rewards for using the soprano treble clef for everything, where (a) it is not so difficult to memorize the notes from three lines below the staff to three lines above the staff and (b) the notes always have the same names and locations since everything is done on one staff, hence one less bit of nonsense to add to the "busy" aspects of composing . . .

[NOTE: 3 lines and 6 lines below the staff are identified in red, while 3 lines and 6 lines above the staff are identified in blue, which is the purpose of the color-coded lines in the diagram . . . ]

Image

In nearly every instance, the soprano treble clef staff is the first staff one learns as a child; and done this way it is only staff one needs to learn, which has the vastly useful reward of making oneself highly proficient in it as time moves forward, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :ugeek:
Last edited by Surf.Whammy on Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by adrianosica on Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:16 am
Surf.Whammy wrote
Custom rules do not include this type of information, so as best as I can determine the "out of range" feature only applies to native NOTION 5 instruments . . .

Nevertheless, it is possible to use a native NOTION 5 instrument staff and then to assign a channel of a VSTi virtual instrument to it, which then makes it a surrogate for the VSTi virtual instrument channel, although this is a lot of extra work . . .

Another way to do this is to create a pair of user-defined custom templates for a particular ensemble or set of instruments, where one template uses the native NOTION 5 instruments but the other uses a set of VSTi virtual instruments, with the key to this strategy being to have the instrument staves in the same exact order . . .

Then you can work in the VSTi virtual instrument score and do a "Select All" to copy all the music notation, which you can paste into the NOTION 5 instrument score to see whether any notes are "out of range" . . .



Definitely a nice workaround, but still a workaround.
I don't expect PreSonus to apply all kinds of Rules, just too many plugins out there. I thinks, if they could open the system (Rules) a bit more, that would be a plus and it gives the user the option to create/customize according to plugins owned/used.

Thank you as always.
Adriano
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by jasonchildress on Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:46 am
Surf.Whammy wrote...as a rule I limit each NOTION score to 20 staves...


If it were practicable, this would be a good idea, and I think it would obviate the two problems I've recently been having with my overloaded scores:

1) the overall sound getting overloaded and "shorting out"
2) random notes not playing when I plot them on the staff

The challenge is that my compositions tend to be quite complex, requiring many more than twenty instruments; so I'm not sure how I would put your idea into practice and still be able to play back the entire piece as I'm creating it.

wcreed wroteAre you sure the notes aren't out of range?

Yes, I'm sure. It's not a range problem, it's random notes within the instrument's range not playing. I verified this by trying all the notes in multiple octaves: "holes" appeared randomly in all octaves. (Plus I know the general range of most of the instruments.)

adrianosica wroteWouldn't they still sound, though?

I don't think so: when you try to plot a note above or below the instrument's range, it doesn't make a sound.

Thanks for your input everyone.

Currently using Notion 4 on a 2008 Mac Pro (desktop - OS X 10.9.2, 32GB RAM) and 2010 MacBook Pro (OS X 10.9.1).
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by ghess1000 on Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:59 am
Jason, if you haven't already, try soloing or muting some tracks and see if it plays back correctly. If so, than you are likely overloading your computer, Notion or both. If it still has problems, I'd suggest reinstalling the sample library as it may have been corrupted.

Notion 6
MacBook Pro 15" Retina 2.3 Ghz Quad i7
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by Surf.Whammy on Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:16 pm
jasonchildress wrote
Surf.Whammy wrote...as a rule I limit each NOTION score to 20 staves...

If it were practicable, this would be a good idea, and I think it would obviate the two problems I've recently been having with my overloaded scores:

1) the overall sound getting overloaded and "shorting out"
2) random notes not playing when I plot them on the staff

The challenge is that my compositions tend to be quite complex, requiring many more than twenty instruments; so I'm not sure how I would put your idea into practice and still be able to play back the entire piece as I'm creating it.


The key to this strategy is to use a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application for producing, mixing, and mastering . . .

As shown in the following diagram, you begin with a NOTION score that is the Basic Rhythm Section for your composition; and you do this in NOTION running by itself. Save the NOTION score with a meaningful name that has "-PT-1" as the suffix (for example, "Song-PT-1.notion") . . .

Image

Once you have the Basic Rhythm Section the way you like it in terms of the various structural sections of the composition (verse, chorus, bridge, interlude, and so forth), you can exit NOTION and start the DAW application, followed by starting NOTION, which begins a ReWire session where the DAW application is the ReWire host controller and NOTION is a ReWire slave . . .

Do the mapping of instrument tracks in the NOTION mixer to ReWire channel pairs; connect it to 20 stereo tracks in the DAW application; and then record the NOTION generated audio as soundbites or raw audio clips in the DAW application . . .

At this point, the NOTION generated audio is stored in the DAW application project on a hard drive as high-quality raw audio and is available on the 20 tracks in the DAW application mixer . . .

Save everything, and then do a "Save As . . . " of the NOTION score to create a synchronized clone, which you will name for example "Song-PT-2.notion" . . .

I usually keep 5 of the instruments in the NOTION score common so that if I want to work with NOTION by itself there are reference instruments (bass, kick drum, piano, melody instrument, counterpoint instrument). This is flexible, but as a rule I keep 5 instruments common most of the time . . .

[NOTE: The outputs of the tracks in the NOTION Mixer need to be routed to ReWire channel pairs when you are working in a ReWire session, but when you decide to work with NOTION by itself then you need to change the output routing in the NOTION Mixer to "Output" so that you hear the audio. The rule on this is that in a ReWire session, the host controller is responsible for presenting the audio and the ReWire slaves only send their audio to the ReWire host controller, so you only hear (a) already recorded audio in the DAW project and (b) audio sent from the ReWire slaves. When NOTION is running by itself, it is responsible for presenting the audio, which requires changing the output for each channel you want to hear to "Output" (which actually is "Master" in the drop-down list, but so what) . . . ]

At this point, you can start working in ReWire sessions, since the audio for the already recorded instruments now is in the DAW application. The presentation of audio is handled by the ReWire host controller, which is the DAW application . . .

When you are working on "Song-PT-2.notion", 20 of the instruments are in the DAW application, but you have 15 new instruments that are sending their audio to the DAW application, so (a) you hear everything but (b) you can control what you hear via Solo, Mute, and so forth . . .

Once you finish the work on the next set of 15 instruments, you can record them as soundbites in the DAW application and then clone the NOTION score to create "Song-PT-3.notion", where you can add another 15 instruments; and so forth and so on . . .

When the total number of tracks in the DAW application is around 50, I like to start doing submixes of different instrument sections, where for example I might do a submix of ensemble woodwinds to combine several individual woodwind instruments into a section, where the submix, which is one stereo track in the DAW application mixer, replaces perhaps 5 to 10 separate woodwind tracks. The original audio for the 5 to 10 woodwind tracks is stored on disk, but it is replaced in the mix by a single stereo submix track. This reduces the number of tracks in the DAW application mixer and keeps it manageable. Effectively, a submix is a layer; and you are building a song in layers, because it is not practical to have 100 or more tracks in a DAW application mixer, since (a) you cannot see all of them at once and (b) it is entirely too busy to be useful for high-level producing. In other words, you want to keep the total number of tracks in the DAW application mixer at a maximum of 50 at any given time, which is plenty for submix tracks and any solo instrument tracks that you want to keep separate so that you have more intimate control when producing; but even at 50 tracks it probably requires a bit of horizontal scrolling to get to all the tracks, so it tends to be better as the song progresses to do more submixes, which you always can revisit if necessary, because the original raw audio is there unless you intentionally delete it. Most DAW applications support non-destructive editing in one way or another. When you do a submix, the various effects are applied, hence this also makes more system memory and resources available when a single stereo submix track replaces a set of tracks (monaural and stereo) that have separate effects on a per track basis . . .

[NOTE: In the early-1950s, everything started with one-track analog magnetic tape machines and then moved to two-track machines. By the time the Beatles were recording "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", there were 8-track machines, but Abbey Road Studios only had 4-track machines, so instead of using a set of 8-track machines, they used a set of 4-track machines to do multitrack recording, producing, and mixing. This is the way it works in the digital universe, as well, but instead of being constrained by the number of tracks on a tape machine, it is a matter of processor and system memory resources which need to be managed just as vigorously toward the goal of creating a virtual digital workspace where there are no constraints . . . ]

Done this way, for all practical purposes there is no upper limit to the number of instruments and voices (real and virtual) you can have in a project; and one of the fascinating aspects is that you can do things that cannot be done easily with a real orchestra. For example, you can spread the notes of a single instrument over 8 tracks that you have panned to different locations, which is a technique I call "sparkling" and is an excellent way to put the notes of a single instrument into motion with very precise control, as heard in the following YouTube music video where a Psaltery Harp is "sparkled". In the NOTION score, there are 8 Psaltery Harp staves, each panned to a different location; so if you want a Psaltery Harp note heard at far-left, then you put it on the far-left panned staff at the correct time in the measure. It takes a while to separate the notes of what normally is one staff and to spread them over 8 staves, but (a) it works and (b) it is very precise . . .

[NOTE: The primary locations other than far-left, top-center, and far-right are drawn using a linear scale, but in practice they are logarithmic. The dotted curve and yellow triangles show an approximately of the pan law, which maps to the respective volume level at each of the locations. The rainbow panning arc runs from -90 to +90 degrees, with 0 degrees being top-center . . . ]

Image

[NOTE: The motion effect is heard most distinctly and dramatically when you listen with headphones, but it also works when you listen with studio monitors. When listening with studio monitors the reverberation triggers localization due to the Haas Effect, which makes reduces the affect of the panning. This example was done primarily for headphone listening, so for studio monitor listening there are a few more things that need to be done to reduce or to eliminate the Haas Effect. For reference, there is a virtual festival of rules for panning, and some of the rules are logarithmic. Causing a sound to be perceived as coming from a specific location other than far-left, middle (or "top-center"), and far-right is not just a matter of moving the panning knob. There is more to panning than just the Pan Law and Haas Effect. It is easier to do elaborate panning when the target is headphone listening, because with headphone listening each ear hears something completely separate and independent, which is not the case when listening with studio monitors, where each ear hears some of what the other ear hears. This is one of the many reasons it is necessary to be very careful with reverberation and echoes. In particular, reverberation tends strongly to introduce the Haas Effect in a way that is not easy to control, which for all practical purposes (a) destroys precise spatial localization and (b) usually introduces undesired distortion and general sonic blurring. Reverberation also requires significant sonic space to be perceived as a dominant effect . . . ]

phpBB [video]


Haas Effect (Wikipedia)

Panning (Wikipedia)

Pan Law (Wikipedia)

Auditory Spatial Attention (Wikipedia)

[NOTE: It is enlightening to compare the two versions of "You Don't Own Me" (Lesley Gore), where the first is the 45 RPM record and the second is a live performance where there is not massive reverberation on all the instruments. The 45 RPM record is mixed to sound good on radio and jukeboxes, while the live version is more realistic and has much better bass and snare drum rimshots, hence more energy. The overall volume levels are different, but you can adjust them to do a comparison. For reference, the level for the singing, including the effects, in the live performance is set so that it works when she starts singing forte at approximately 1:04 in the song. The level and singing style is more constrained overall to be consistent in the 45 RPM record . . . ]

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THOUGHTS

Using this technique, there is virtually no limit to the number of real and virtual instruments and voices you can have in a song or other type of musical composition . . .

As noted (see above), it also makes it possible to do things that cannot be done with a real orchestra, where for example you can spread the notes of a single instrument across several instrument staves in the NOTION score where you pan each stave and its notes to a different location in the NOTION Mixer, which you then can adjust in the DAW Mixer once the NOTION generated audio is recorded in the DAW project as soundbites . . .

If you wander into 7.2 surround sound and the DAW application supports it, you can have the notes of a single trumpet played all over the room in at least 7 different locations; and since in 7.2 surround sound there are separate front, side, and back loudspeaker units, I suppose you can have several separate orchestras, which certainly is not something that can be done in a practical way in the real world. If you want stereo orchestras, then there are quite a few possible combinations, including the traditional front-stereo and back-stereo flavors. For example, you can mix an orchestra to be stereo using left-side and left-front, where left-side maps to "left" and left-front maps to "right" . . .

It might take a while, but the effect can be fascinating--like a set of orchestras on a carousel where the listener is in the center and the carousel is spinning slowly--but this type of circular motion also can be varied, since there are few restrictions other than the amount of time you want to devote to doing the composing, producing, mixing, and mastering . . .

I keep the NOTION scores for a song in a common folder, and by following a few simple rules it is possible and practical to make changes as the project develops. Ideally, you want to determine the overall structure (verse, chorus, bridge, interlude, and so forth) when you are doing the Basic Rhythm Section, which for a Classical composition might be a "Sketch" . . .

However, it is possible to change the overall structure of a composition; and since you have all the NOTION scores, you can recreate either (a) the entire composition or (b) selected parts of the composition, which certainly can include making a few revisions to specific instrumental parts as the composition progresses, where you just need to open the NOTION score where the particular instrument appears and then you can edit it and record a new soundbite in the DAW application for the particular instrument, which is something I do occasionally when I think a specific note for an instrument needs to be changed . . .

For real instruments and singing, this is done via overdubbing, but the concept is the same; and if you decide to add a new verse, you can add the music notation and record the new NOTION generated audio after doing a bit of cutting and pasting in the DAW project to add the required number of measures. Then, you just need to overdub the real instruments and singing for the new verse, which is what I did with "Feel Me" (The Surf Whammys) when I added a new third verse, where originally there were two verses with the last verse being a repeat of the first verse but a different real lead guitar and singing performance, where the strategy was to divide the real instrument and singing into two audio clips to preserve the original first, second, and last verse and then to insert blank measures in the DAW project for the new NOTION instrumentation and the overdubbed lead guitar and singing for the new third verse, which works very smoothly and for all practical purposes is transparent. If you did not know I added a third verse, I think it just appears that song always had four verses (three verses and a repeat of the first verse), which is fabulous . . .

[NOTE: This is "hotter" in volume level than the "Sparkled Psaltery Harp" YouTube video, so lower the volume a bit before playing it . . . ]

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Fabulous! :)

P. S. Another advantage of this strategy is that you can have more effects plug-ins in the DAW project, because the DAW application is not doing the virtual instrument music notation work, so it has more system memory available and operates under a different set of limitations and so forth . . .

[NOTE: The total system memory is the same, but in a ReWire session done this way, the DAW application is focused and NOTION is focused, so whatever other limitations they might have are managed better. On the NOTION side when you are using VSTi virtual instruments, the VSTi virtual instrument engines use resources for processing, and this is another consideration. It is not simply a matter of system resources, and your Mac Pro (Early 2008) has the maximum amount of system memory other than doing a doubling thing, which can be done with system memory from Other World Computing but at a very expensive cost. 32GB of system memory is fantastic, really. At present, I have 20GB of system memory on my Mac Pro (Early 2008), and it works nicely. I need to upgrade the video processor, but it is a bit expensive, so it is on the list of "Things to Do" . . . ]

In other words, this strategy focuses NOTION on music notation and generating high-quality audio for virtual instruments, done in conjunction with any VSTi virtual instrument engines you are using in the NOTION score. All the effects work is moved to the DAW project, which is the optimal way to ensure that each application (NOTION and DAW) has the most resources available for what it needs to do . . .

As a general rule, I save everything frequently and about every hour or two exit the applications in the ReWIre session and then start a new ReWire session. This clears all the ReWire buffers and starts everything in a pristine state. It takes perhaps 5 or so minutes, and it avoids problems . . .

Lots of FUN! :ugeek:

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by jasonchildress on Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:46 am
ghess1000 wroteJason, if you haven't already, try soloing or muting some tracks and see if it plays back correctly. If so, than you are likely overloading your computer, Notion or both. If it still has problems, I'd suggest reinstalling the sample library as it may have been corrupted.

Thanks ghess, I will test this out when I get a chance (my computer's operating system has crashed, so I can't try it right now).

I do think, though, that I've simply overloaded the score.

Currently using Notion 4 on a 2008 Mac Pro (desktop - OS X 10.9.2, 32GB RAM) and 2010 MacBook Pro (OS X 10.9.1).

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