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Hi all,

I'm new to presonus and I'm writing for a voice quartet with SATB. I'm got the out-of-range colours to show, but unfortunately these are default - as I'm composing for specific people, I'd like to modify the ranges.

Would this be possible? e.g. if my soprano person has a slightly lower range than the normal soprano then when I'm writing I'd like not to exceed that person's comfortable range. I thought it might involve making a custom instrument but I couldn't do it.

Thanks in advance!
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by jamalbee on Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:22 pm
Hi,
Some years ago, there was a question about out of range notes not sounding. Surf.Whammy answered it with many details. His knowledge being beyond my understanding-but though I'm willing to help- I'll direct you to the discussion and will let you sort it all out...

viewtopic.php?f=167&t=3593
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by Surfwhammy on Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:19 am
colinng wroteHi all,

I'm new to presonus and I'm writing for a voice quartet with SATB. I'm got the out-of-range colours to show, but unfortunately these are default - as I'm composing for specific people, I'd like to modify the ranges.

Would this be possible? e.g. if my soprano person has a slightly lower range than the normal soprano then when I'm writing I'd like not to exceed that person's comfortable range. I thought it might involve making a custom instrument but I couldn't do it.

Thanks in advance!


I think this is possible, but (a) I need to do a few experiments and (b) if it is possible, then it will involve doing something which is an "advanced activity" that involves "tweaking" NOTION application resources . . . :)

THOUGHTS

At the moment I am not in the sound isolation studio and am using the demo version of NOTION 6 (current version), which does not have the individual vocal "Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass (S.A.T.B.)" voices enabled . . .

I think this is due to running the demo version, so when I am back in the sound isolation studio I will see whether the "S.A.T.B." voices are enabled, since I have the full version of NOTION on the Mac Pro in the sound isolation studio . . .

I'm guessing this is the case based on (a) knowing I am running the demo version at the moment and (b) searching the PreSonus NOTION shop for add-on sampled sound libraries specifically to expand NOTION but not finding a voice or vocal "expansion sound" product . . .

Nevertheless, the specific information is available in the demo version's application resource bundle, which the way it works on the Mac . . .

For reference, I do everything on the Mac, and since among other skills I am a software engineer or whatever it's called these days for colloquial purposes . . .

I have been doing application development and database work since 1975, and when I first started the activities were named "programming", "database analyst", and "operating system deity", with the latter being the ring that controlled all the other rings . . .

There were no "Computer Science" degrees in those days, and Computer Science was considered to be a new category of "Mathematics" . . .

A "computer" was called a "mainframe", and all the hardware would fill a 2,000 sq. ft. house . . .

For practical purposes, the smallest commercial mainframe was an IBM360, but there were other types of computers that also were smaller . . .

There were no personal computers, but so what . . .

Skip forward a few years, and personal computers appeared and became ubiquitous, with Apple, IBM, and Microsoft being the key players . . .

Today I am a registered Apple Developer and a registered Propellerhead Rack Extension developer, among other things which primarily give me access to proprietary information about how everything works when one generally is a "software engineer", although now there is a virtual festival of titles, including "application architect", "system architect", "database architect", and so forth with additional modifiers like "designer", "analyst", and so forth, since everything is more specialized . . . .

There also are a bunch of activities for the web and the various "clouds"; and there are specific activities that focus on digital music production where this is my general focus--except that for the most part I focus on achieving what is likely to be a nearly impossible goal, which specifically is to beat Captain Underpants and become the most famous composer and performer of songs about underpants, possibly in the known universe . . .

As best as I can determine, in this arena there are Captain Underpants and three other like-minded folks, the latter of whom all are based in Texas, which says something but I'm not sure what . . . :P

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With this in mind, it's important to understand that if there is a way to do what you desire, then it involves what colloquially is called a "hack", hence must be done in such a way that you can undo it, which certainly is possible on the Mac . . .

I do everything on the Mac, but it's possible this can be done on a Windows machine, although if it can be done on a Windows machine, then I can't tell you how to do it; but there are some Windows folks who probably can provide the necessary information . . .

One of the great aspects of Mac applications is that they tend to have readily access resource bundles where everything is not obfuscated, which means that you can look at it and do stupid things, which is where the concept of a "developer machine" comes into play . . .

Specifically, the ready availability and high visibility of Mac application resource bundles almost taunts one by saying, "please hack me" . . . :P

Developers (which is another name for programmers and software engineers) have "developer machines"; and these are no different from regular machines (or "computers"), except that they have developer software and lots of other developer-focused stuff, which overall makes them excellent for doing truly stupid experiments which somewhat routinely destroy the operating system and all the application and support software . . .

This is balanced by having the ability to restore everything, which is done on the Mac in several ways but primarily with internal or external hard drives and bootable backups created with SuperDuper! . . .

SuperDuper! (Shirt Pocket)

I also use DiskWarrior (Alsoft), and about a year ago, it paid for itself by making it possible to recover data from a crashed hard drive . . .

I do full bootable backups regularly, but the primary hard drive on the Mac Pro started being flaky about two weeks after the most recent full bootable backup, so there was information on the flaky hard drive that had not been backed-up . . .

If I ran Time Machine (Apple), it would not be a problem; and since I discovered lat year that there is a way to turn TimeMachine off, I probably should start running it, but so what . . .

If a few experiments verify that there is a way to do what you desire, then I can and will tell you exactly how to do it on the Mac; but it's important to understand that while it will not destroy your machine, there are a few things which are prudent to do, the primary of which is to do it in a way that makes it easy to undo it . . .

THE GOOD STUFF

There is a specific file in the NOTION application resources bundle that looks to have the necessary information; and for soprano voice, this is how it looks . . .

Code: Select all
<property key="inrl" name="Instrument range low">60</property>
<property key="inrh" name="Instrument range high">84</property>

This is XML code, and the integer range values are based on the MIDI Specification, where by general agreement "Middle C" has the integer value "60", which maps to "C4" in scientific pitch notation when "Concert A" is 440-Hz . . .

Scientific Pitch Notation (Wikipedia)

[NOTE: The default reference tuning pitch in NOTION is not standard "Concert A", so if you want your songs to be in standard tuning, then you need to change it to 440-Hz in NOTION Preferences, at which time you can enjoy an hourly shortwave radio broadcast of "Concert A", which for all practical purposes has been provided continuously since 1945 to ensure that Big Band musicians can tune their instruments during world wars and peace-time cocktail parties and dances . . . ]

A440 (Wikipedia)

By default, NOTION has the low-range of a soprano vocalist set to "60" and the high-range set to "84", which colloquially or perhaps officially is called "Soprano C" and in scientific pitch notation is "C6" . . .

As you know, some soprano vocalists have a higher range, with a coloratura soprano's range extending to "F6" . . .

And there are sopranos with highest ranges which are lower than a general soprano . . .

Presuming it's possible to "tweak" the NOTION ranges for vocalists, both the low-range and high-range integers can be adjusted, but adjusting the ranges does not necessarily map to there being corresponding sampled sounds for the adjusted notes . . .

For example, if the high-range value for a soprano is changed from "84" to "87", then while "F6" will display as an "in-range" note, there probably will be not sounds for it, as probably is the case when the default or standard low-range is made lower . . .

Since you want to lower the range for a soprano, I think this can be done rather easily . . .

My favorite virtual soprano is Realivox Blue (RealiTone), and she has four-octave range . . .

Image

Image

Realivox Blue (RealiTone)

[NOTE: This is best enjoyed when listening with studio quality headphones like SONY MDR-7506 headphones (a personal favorite). There are motion effects, and it's mixed for headphone listening. It's the most elaborate song I have done, and it even includes synthesized cat purring, which is a producing technique I created to enhance my singing in a subtle way. I think it's an original producing technique, but who knows . . . :D ]

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

After I do a few experiments, I will post more information . . .

Lots of FUN! :)
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:54 pm
I'm in the sound isolation studio, and everything works as predicted . . . :)

THOUGHTS

[NOTE: Mac OS X is built on top of a UNIX base, so some of this stuff goes back to the 1970s; hence when a youngster suggests that having a new Mac and running the latest version of Mac OS X is "so like today or something", you can enjoy a grin and think to yourself "if you consider the 1970s to be so like today or something, then yeah, you're so today and retro" . . . :P ]

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I modified the XML file in the NOTION application package (a.k.a., "bundle") resources folder as follows:

[NOTE: I use UltraEdit (IDM Computer Solutions, Inc.) to edit hexadecimal and other types of files; and it has color-coded formatting for a variety of different file type, as well as the ability to create custom color-coding. Color-coding can be a bit overwhelming visually the first time you encounter it; but when you are working with stuff like this frequently, you learn how to use the color-coding to make the work easier. Since the respective file is a text file but a different type of text file, it can be edited on the Mac using the "TextEdit.app" utility, but remember not to change the extension to ".txt" of you TextEdit for editing purposes . . . ]

UltraEdit (IDM Computer Sollutions, Inc.)

Image

This is the result for Soprano Chorus and Soprano vocalists . . .

Image

In this example, I changed the range for Soprano Chorus and Soprano from {60, 61, . . . , 84} to {66, 67, . . . , 75} for purposes of showing "out of range" notes, so that with this custom modification the "in-range" notes for Soprano Chorus and Soprano run from F#4 to D#5 . . .

Changing the "in-range" values only affects the way notes are displayed with respect to being "in-range" or "out-of-range" . . .

It does not affect whether the notes are audible . . .

HOW TO DO THIS ON THE MAC

[IMPORTANT: Remember that there are two places for each "S.A.T.B" voice, where for example, there is a set of this stuff for "Soprano Chorus" and for "Soprano". It's all in the single file, but there are two sets of data for each voice . . . ]

(0) Close and exit NOTION, so that NOTION is not running when you do this stuff . . .

(1) Locate "Notion.app" in the "Applications" folder and right-click on it to display the context menu for the application, which creates the following result . . .

Image

(2) Double-click on the "Show Package Contents" context menu item, which takes you to the "Contents" folder that you will expand to see the following data . . .

Image

(3) Double-click on the "Resources" folder, which shows you the data in the "Resources" folder, which mostly will be subfolders . . .

(4) Double-cick or expand the "Lists" subfolder, where you will find the following ".tpk" data file . . .

Image

(4) VERY IMPORTANT: Copy the "BuiltinInstruments.tpk" file and paste it somewhere so that you have the original version, hence later can restore it . . .

(5) Drag the"BuiltinInstruments.tpk" file--the one in the "Lists" subfolder, not the copy you made for safe-keeping-- and drop it on the TextEdit application, noting that if you don't know how to do this, then you probably don't want to continue the exercise, because while it's not super-advanced, it requires some advanced knowledge of Mac OS X and how everything generally is arranged. I suggest dragging-and-dropping, because I keep TextEdit in the Dock. TextEdit is one of the applications I use frequently for this type of stuff. If it's not in your dock, you will find it in the "Applications' folder's "Utility" subfolder, or you can use Spotlight to find it and then double-click on it, after which you can run TextEdit to get it into the Dock. As you probably know, if you right-click on it while it's in the Dock, you set it to stay in the Dock . . .

(6) The XML data will be visible, and you can do a search on the type of voice to find the relevant "range" items. There will be several of them, since for example there are "Tenor Saxophone" items and so forth; but you want to find the "range" items for the voices and vocal stuff . . .

(7) Be careful what you change and limit it specifically to the "range" stuff. It's probably best not to save the changes until you do all of them and have verified that you made the changes correctly. If it becomes a mess, then don't save it, and start over at Step (5) . . .

You will need to know the MIDI integers for the ranges of the various voices you intend to modify, of course; so it's better to get the MIDI integer information first to limit bouncing around from one application to another . . .

We have established that "Middle C" is MIDI integer "60", but to determine the actual ranges for the various "S.A.T.B" voices you will need to examine the "BuiltinInstruments.tpk" file . . .

IMPORTANT

Since on the Mac, (a) NOTION is an application and (b) Mac applications tend to be self-contained separately from certain types of data, if a new version of NOTION becomes available and you install it, then it will overwrite the changes you made to the "BuiltinInstruments.tpk" file . . .

For this reason, if you install a new version of NOTION, then (a) this range-modifying technique might not work and (b) you must not presume arbitrarily that nothing else has changed in the new version, both of which map to needing to determine all over from scratch whether this will work . . .

The new version will work, because it literally and physically replaces the old version with new stuff; so you get all new stuff . . .

Consequently, you probably want to disallow automatic NOTION updates . . .

Instead, you want to be notified so you can move from the current version to the next version when you decide to do this . . .

One way to make this easer is to rename "Notion.app" to something like "Notion-Vocal-Modded.app", which you can do directly in the "Applications" folder . . .

And before renaming it, you can copy it to a folder so you have a pristine backup copy . . .

It's also important to understand that in some instances, this can use one or more of your NOTION activations, but it depends . . .

I am comfortable making tiny custom modifications like this; and for me the worst case is that I use all the NOTION activations and need to purchase more activations or perhaps ask the NOTION folks to reset my NOTION activations . . .

As I recall, you get five activations; so if you have activated NOTON only one time, then you have four activations remaining, although doing this particular custom modification probably won't use an additional activation, which is the case here in the sound isolation studio . . .

I think this particular custom modification can be useful in the scenario where you know the vocal ranges of specific singers; and although it takes a while to explain how to do in writing with a few images, it's not a particularly difficult thing to do . . .

Here in the sound isolation studio, it takes just a few minutes to do all this stuff, which is the case because I have done stuff like this enough times to be able to find everything and to decide whether it is something which is practical to do, as contrasted to not being such a good idea . . .

Lots of FUN! :+1

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!
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by colinng on Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:08 am
omg. thanks for the VERY detailed explanation but I *am* (unfortunately) a windows user and I think editing the config file might be a little out of reach.

I just changed everyone to clarinets and made do with the voice ranges lol. Surfwhammy, I'm sorry to let all your effort go to waste :( I'll go pore over your entry a couple more times and see if I can make sense of it.
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by Surf.Whammy on Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:31 pm
colinng wroteomg. thanks for the VERY detailed explanation but I *am* (unfortunately) a windows user and I think editing the config file might be a little out of reach.

I just changed everyone to clarinets and made do with the voice ranges lol. Surfwhammy, I'm sorry to let all your effort go to waste :( I'll go pore over your entry a couple more times and see if I can make sense of it.


Some of this stuff can be a bit overwhelming when you're not a software engineer or whatever . . . :)

THOUGHTS

Perhaps one of the forum folks who knows a lot about Windows will provide a bit of help on how to do this in the Windows universe?

I started in Windows in early 1987 and until about 15 years ago knew more about Windows than about the Mac, but now I know more about the Mac--mostly because I have not done anything on a Window machine in about 15 years . . .

The way it works in both universes is that there are (a) applications and (b) data . . .

Some of the data is kept separately--usually because it's large (typically gigabytes [GB ]) . . .

Other data is small and typically is used frequently by an application for a variety of reasons, which makes it logical to "package" it with the application . . .

On the Mac--which always has applications that are easier to install than Windows applications--the design strategy is to "package" or "bundle" an application with its essentially data . . .

In the Windows universe, applications also have essentially data, but instead of the essential data being "packaged" or "bundled" inside the application, it's installed and kept separately--at least in a general sense for purposes of understanding how it works . . .

As I explained, on the Mac you just need to right-click on the application executable and select "Show Package Contents . . . " to get to the supporting data, since it's all "packaged" or "bundled" into what for practical purpose is one thing . . .

Something somewhat similar happens in the Windows universe, but it's more abstruse . . .

In other words, on the Mac an application travels with its essential data, all as one thing; but in the Windows universe an application is kept separately from its essential data . . .

The essential data is there, as it is on the Mac; but it's not all all inside the application's "package" or "bundle" . . .

Nevertheless, the essential data travels with the application but in different locations on the hard drive . . .

Not having a Windows machine at present, I am doing a bit of guessing; but for reference I designed and programmed installation software for Windows applications, so I know a good bit about the way Windows applications and their essential data is "packaged" and "bundled"--at least the way it was done perhaps a decade ago, although it's probably done pretty much the same way now . . .

When one considers (a) "economies of scale" as it applies to computer software and (b) the need to have both Mac and Windows versions of an application, it becomes highly likely that designing and programming the essential data is the same on both platforms (Mac and Windows), at least in a general sense . . .

On the Mac, the relevant stuff for this topic is in a ".tpk:" data file which is bundled with the Mac application . . .

Having two entirely different designs for an application with respect to code and essential data is a lot more work than considering the essential data the same way on both platforms (Mac and Windows) . . .

In other words, if a set of essential data on the Mac is in a ".tpk" file, then it's probably exactly the same in Windows . . .

The difference is not the essential data but instead is a matter of where the essential data is stored on the computer . . .

On the Mac, the essential data is contained inside the application; but in the Windows universe, the essential data is kept in other places . . .

There also are differences in what one needs to do to modify essential data on the Mac versus the way it's done in the Windows universe, but so what . . .

There also are differences in such things as account privileges, administrator privileges, and so forth . . .

On the Mac, most folks run with "administrator" privileges, which maps to being able to do nearly everything--even when it makes not sense or is a bit risky . . .

In the Windows universe, I always ran with "administrator" privileges or whatever set of privileges mapped to being able to do everything; but this is not always the case for every Windows user . . .

I suppose the current version of Windows continues to have a System Registry and lots of other things that it has had pretty much since 1987; and if this is the case, then some of an application's essential data will be kept in the System Registry and various sets of data files which are stored in very specific locations that make sense for a Windows application . . .

It's all there, but instead of being self-contained as it is on the Mac, it's what one might call "spread out" in the Windows universe . . .

I listed the specific ".tpk" file for the Mac, and there should be the same file somewhere on your Windows machine . . .

About a decade or so ago, I could tell you exactly where to find it; but today, as William Shakespeare revealed in "Much Ado About Nothing" via Constable Dogberry (paraphrasing), "When the age is in, the wit is out" . . .

The practical perspective is that there is a file which contains text, and there are lines of text in this file which tell NOTION the range of each instrument and voice with respect to notes being in-range vs. out-of-range . . .

So, you just need to devise a way to find the relevant data file and then to modify it, where the modifications involve changing the integer numbers for the instrument or voice . . .

For me, it's trivial; but this is because I have been doing software engineering for over three decades . . .

For whatever reason, I generally presume that everyone else knows more about everything than I do; but this is not always the case . . .

Mostly, I think it's a matter of being magnanimous, which tends to be a good thing . . .

Another key bit of information is that software engineers (a.k.a., "developers") tend to do experiments which occasionally destroy all the software on the machine, where the only way to recover is to reinstall everything (operating system, applications, data, and so forth) . . .

For this reason, developers have what I call "developer machines" and recovery hardware and software, which on the Mac maps to doing bootable full backups, which then make it easy to restore a machine to its good working state before one does something stupid . . .

Developers do a lot of stupid things, and we have easy ways to recover from out stupidity . . .

It's a lot like designing and testing a new airplane, where for example destructive testing is done to verify that a landing gear works correctly on thousands and thousand of take-offs and landings over the expected 40+ years the airplane is expected to fly safely . . .

Doing this with applications and data sets is a bit different, but the concepts are similar . . .

Basically, it's no different from doing bootable full backups regularly so that if a hard drive malfunctions, you only need to get a replacement hard drive and then restore everything from the most recent backup , , ,

The primary difference is that what one might call "normal" people do backups but never need to use the backups, or at most need to use a backup one time in the unusual event of a hard drive malfunction . . .

In contrast, developers might do this once a week; and on "test machines" might do it several times a day . . .

Another key difference is that developers have development software that specifically includes the ability and associated licenses to enable them to do stupid things without needing to purchase more licenses for the operating system and so forth . . .

Microsoft as development software, as does Apple; and one the Apple side, it costs about $100 (US) a year for the developer stuff--once you are approved as a registered developer, which has a few requirements but is not Draconian . . .

This developer stuff includes previews of upcoming versions of operating systems and application development software, as well as extensive documentation on the way everything works . . .

In some respects, it's like being a medical doctor; having your own clinic with all the equipment; and a complete library of medical books . . .

And when one is a developer, it's the only way to get all the information about everything, much of which in one way or another is "proprietary" . . .

One might suspect that the NOTION ".tpk" file is "proprietary", but the perspective here in the sound isolation studio is that if I can look at it and you can look at it, then we can have a conversation about it and tinker with it . . . :+1

There are folks who participate in this forum who are advanced Windows users and who for the most part just need to know that the pitch range data is in a ".tpk" file . . .

They know where the file is stored, or can find where the file is located;, and this is all the information they need to know to do a bit of thoughtful tinkering without making a mess of things . . .

It's easy to do on the Mac, and it's probably just as easy to do in the Windows universe--at least if it doesn't involve messing with the System Registry . . .

On a related note, when I was doing development in the Windows universe, I had several machines; and as a "hobby" type of activity, I would infect one of the machines with a gnarly virus and then study it to devise a way to remove the gnarly virus . . .

At the time, there were some amazing viruses, and I like to solve puzzles; so for me this was a great "hobby" . . .

Mostly, it was a matter of what in the Windows universe are called "hooks", which among other things run in the background and do funny stuff . . .

Once you learn about "hooks", you tend to wonder why Microsoft allows "hooks" to exist . . .

What can a Windows "hook" do?

I can create a "hook" that runs in the background and scrutinizes everything the Windows user types on the keyboard . . .

Then every time the user types a specific work, the "hook" changes it to something silly like "throw a banana cream pie at Bill Gates" . . .

So, with this Windows "hook" installed and running, the text of an email that includes the word "company" results in "throw a banana cream pie at Bill Gates" every time the word "company" appears . . .

Dear Employees:

The throw a banana cream pie at Bill Gates is going through a transition during which the throw a banana cream pie at Bill Gates is increasing its presence in the market.

This is an exciting time for the throw a banana cream pie at Bill Gates, and we should all be very pleased with the success of the throw a banana cream pie at Bill Gates.

Thank You, and Keep up the Good Work!

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!

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