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Hey! I was wondering if you could put notes between the treble and bass clef of a grand staff in Notion so I don't have to split the voicing. The idea is that it looks something like this: Image

I've tried enabling the cross-staff option but it ends up looking terrible and doesn't work as I expect it to. It won't allow me to put sextuplets or have shared rhythms across the staff.

When in doubt, compress the hell out of everything. Then blame it on your VSTs. :+1
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by Surfwhammy on Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:41 pm
ignacioraglianti wroteHey! I was wondering if you could put notes between the treble and bass clef of a grand staff in Notion so I don't have to split the voicing. The idea is that it looks something like this: Image

I've tried enabling the cross-staff option but it ends up looking terrible and doesn't work as I expect it to. It won't allow me to put sextuplets or have shared rhythms across the staff.


I did a bit of analyzing and experimenting in an attempt to make sense of your question and music notation example, perhaps with a bit of success . . . :)

THOUGHTS

[NOTE: I have been enjoying quite a few cups of very strong coffee continuously for about 12 hours, which tends to make me a bit chatty; so take all this with a grain of salt. It's mostly stream of consciousness writing, which is what I do when I am in "coffee achiever" mode . . . :+1 ]

There is a way to do what you showed in your music notation example; but while it's possible with cross-staff beaming, ultimately I am not convinced it makes any practical sense . . .

Other than having two synthesizer keyboards--one for treble staff and one for bass staff--I am not aware of any instruments other than stringed instruments that have the ability to play the same notes in different ways, with a concert harp being somewhat of an exception, although probably not . . .

Consider a standard six-string electric guitar . . .

There definitely are ways to play essentially (but not tonally) the same note, where for example, "Middle C"--which for reference in non-transposed pitch on electric guitar is the 1st fret on the high-pitch "b" string--can be played in a few different ways, including at the 5th fret of the low-pitch "G" string and on the low-pitch "A" string at the15th fret . . .

[NOTE: Because I learned string bass and electric bass before guitar, I call the {"E", "A", "D", "G"} strings "low-pitch" for both electric bass and electric guitar; but I call the {"b", "e"} strings "high-pitch", since this makes more sense to me and emphasizes the similarities among these two instruments, even though at standard tuning ("Concert A" at 440-Hz being the reference tuning pitch, which is not the default reference tuning pitch in NOTION, hence must be changed in NOTION Preferences if you want your songs to be in standard tuning as defined in the Unites States, something that then allows you to use the 440-Hz tone which is broadcast hourly by the federal government for purposes of making it possible for musicians in Big Band orchestras to tune their instruments), the strings on electric guitar are one-octane higher than the similarly named strings on electric bass, where for example the low-pitch "A" string on electric bass is 55-Hz, but the low-pitch "A" string on electric guitar is 110-Hz, which is a fact that intentionally is suppressed by the like-minded descendants of the same folks who had a team meeting several centuries ago and decided it was a bright idea to devise a system of music notation where the exact same note on a grand piano can have a virtual festival of names like {A###, C, and D♭♭} with the goal being to make it as difficult as possible for the proletariat to read music notation. The proletariat--being a group of typically bright individuals--developed the "by ear" techniques which I embrace vigorously, even though today I know more about music notation and music theory than I did when I was in a liturgical boys choir, which was several years before I realized that having a fan club was a key aspect of engaging productively in what I call "Darwinian Activities" . . . ]

Once I connected a few relevant dots and realized what the pitches of the notes actually are, it became apparent to me that doing this makes no practical sense and tends to make everything more complex than it needs to be, as well as probably more difficult to understand . . .

You can do this in NOTION, but as best as I can determine there are fewer scenarios where it might make sense than scenarios where it makes no sense . . .

In practice, it forces musicians and singers to be proficient in both treble staff and bass staff, which here in the sound isolation studio is antithetical to the rule that keeping everything as straightforward and simple as possible is the best strategy, with the alternative version of this rule being that avoiding everything abstruse and obfuscated is a desired and worthy goal . . .

Toward this goal, I do everything on treble staves, although there are a few scenarios where I cannot avoid using a grand staff or a guitar or bass tab along with a treble staff, which I transpose in NOTION Score Setup so that guitar notes are notated one-octave higher than they are played, which I do to ensure that "Middle C" for electric guitars is the same notated note as for a grand piano . . .

[NOTE: My strategy for electric guitar and electric bass is to keep the notated notes on the treble staff in what I consider to be logical ranges. I know the notes and the names of the notes, and I know that the electric guitar notes are played one-octave lower, while the electric bass notes are played two-octaves lower. For example, there is one "Middle C" on the treble staff, but for electric guitar it's played one-octave lower, and for electric bass it's played two-octaves lower. When I started playing electric bass, I didn't wander into being totally specific, since it's too much information that cannot be processed rapidly in real-time. If I play the note at the 3rd fret of the low-;pitch "A" string on electric bass, it's just "C", which is the same name when I play "C" at the 5th fret of the low-pitch "G" string or anywhere else. Giving specific names like {super-low C, low C, not-so-ow C, Middle C, high C, and so forth} is too much information that serves no useful purpose. They're all "C"; and some of them are lower, while others are higher. The "low vs. high" aspect is a matter of octaves, and it's just something you know intuitively. When I am producing electric bass, I have a specific set of bass instruments and effects plug-ins that I use to create a deep bass tone. My primary bass instrument in the virtual world is the Höfner Beatle Bass that came with one of the add-on sampled-sound libraries for SampleTank 2 (IK Multimedia), which I imported as a "legacy instrument" to SampleTank 3 and so forth. It's an excellent deep bass, but I augment it with synthesizer bass, and several other virtual bass instruments like Cyclop (Sugar Bytes) for wobbling, which includes usually having two or three instances for panning purposes and "sparkling". Having two or three virtual basses lets me control where the bass sounds appear, which can be {far-left, top-center, far-right} depending on where I want the respective bass notes to be heard and whether I want to put the notes into motion, which I call "sparkling". It usually a virtual festival of electric bass, and over the years I have refined it to create deep bass with clarity, which primarily is positioned in the center of the mix . . . ]

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Cyclop (Sugar Bytes)

I do the same thing for electric bass, except that I configure the treble staff so that its notated notes are played two-octaves lower than notated . . .

[NOTE: The primary exception regarding grand staves is Realivox Blue (RealiTone)--my favorite virtual female soprano--which is the case because changing phonetic phrases is done with keyswitches on the bass clef, as well as such things as indicating a repeated phonetic phrase of phoneme is to be sung at the same pitch as the previous one . . . ]

Image

Realivox Blue (RealiTone)

As a consequence of being in a liturgical boys choir, I can sight-sing soprano treble clef; and this is the only clef that makes intuitive sense to me . . .

Here in the sound isolation studio there are exactly 12 notes and 10 or so octaves, at least 2 of which are provided to annoy cats and dogs, hence serve no useful purpose because for humans they are either (a) subsonic or (b) supersonic, although if your studio quality sound system has a pair of deep bass subwoofers, then there is a bit of merit to providing subsonic notes, even though they are tactile rather than auditory or sonic . . .

When all the note are on a treble clef, it's easier to determine visually what is happening; and this leads me to suggest that doing either (a) cross-staff beaming or (b) splitting the notes over the treble and bass staves is done primarily to make it easier to identify and to play the notes, although this has the aforementioned problem of forcing musicians and singers to be proficient in reading and playing or singing notes on both bass and treble staves, which here in the sound isolation is not the best thing to presume . . .

This is the way the example you provided looks when all the notes are on a treble staff . . .

Image

If this is played on a grand piano, I think it is easier to separate the notes into left-hand and right-hand in groups of three within each sextuplet; and although it might appear at first to be difficult to determine, over the long run I think the ability to determine the best way to play the notes should be a visual activity based on the music notation being as straightforward and simple as possible, which here in the sound isolation studio maps to keeping treble notes on treble staves rather than splitting them between treble staff and bass staff . . .

If I were playing this on electric guitar, then playing it as a series of triplets looks to be the best strategy; and at least for the first sextuplet this appears to be possible, which without having an electric guitar handy but being able to visualize one tends to suggest that each triplet can be played with two fingers on the fretboard, where one finger plays two strings and the second finger plays one string, which suggests these triplets can be played very rapidly on lead guitar with equally rapid and simple picking techniques (one three-string upward strum for each triplet when the notes in the sextuplet form a particular geometric sequence, which also might be downward strums, depending on whether the pitches are low-to-high or high-to-low, and so forth) . . .

[NOTE: For example, the first triplet is {e♭, b♭, A}, where the first two notes are played with one-finger pressing on the 11th fret for each string (high-pitch "e" and "b" strings, respectively) and the last note is played with the second finger at the 14th fret on the low-pitch "G" string, which tends to suggest that these triplets probably are easy to play on lead guitar. This is similar to the way one plays the synthesizer phrase for "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (Beatles) on lead guitar . . . ]

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[NOTE: A few years go there was a discussion in a music forum about what to do if you can't think of any lyrics; and one of my suggestions was to start with two songs that you like, where the idea is to rephrase and change the lyrics. Someone asked for an example, and this is the example I composed using ideas from "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" (Beatles) and "Not Myself Tonight" (Christina Aguilara) . . . ]

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[NOTE: For reference, the orchestration is done with music notation and virtual instruments in NOTION . . . ]

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On grand piano, I think it must be played with both hands where the left hand plays one triplet and the right hand plays the other triplet, with this being the case primarily because the keys on grand piano are spread linearly rather than being stacked as they are on lead guitar . . .

If this is intended to be played on brass, woodwind, or bowes instruments, then I think it probably must be done "normally" without being able to use the "triplet-splitting" strategy with two hands, which even for a two-handed instrument like flute is the case, if only because it makes no practical sense to make such major repositioning hand movements so rapidly on a flute or piccolo . . . .

SUMMARY

It's possible to do this in NOTION, but since I am not in the sound isolation studio working on the Mac Pro (Early 2008) running Mac OS X "El Capitan" but instead am on a MacBook (13-inch, Aluminum, Late 2008) running Mac OS X "Yosemite", I had to separate the sextuplets individual with bar lines and to enter the notes and to make changes in very specific ways to prevent the current version of NOTION from crashing, all of which took several hours over two days, but so what . . .

For most folks, I think devoting so much time to this would be practically impossible due to the frustration; but the reality in the universe according to me is based in part on my experience in what I think was one of the most boring and receptive jobs in the 20th century, which specifically happened when I was in college and worked in a grocery warehouse where over several years I put individual "sticky" price labels on approximately 50 million tubes of Crest® toothpaste . . .

Once you do that for a while, you realize it's highly likely that nothing possibly can be more boring and repetitive, which in terms of practical reality is one of the reasons I was able to teach myself how to play lead guitar--an effort which for a few years mapped to playing three-note phrases over and over and over until I could play them rapidly without needing to think about much of anything . . .

[NOTE: This is a song I composed and recorded in 2007, which was when I was playing all the instruments--one at a time--in real-time on the fly. It's best enjoyed when listening with studio quality headphones like SONY MDR-7506 headphones, which is the case because I recorded, produced, and mixed the song while wearing SONY MDR-7506 headphones (a personal favorite), with this being before I discovered the vast importance of having a calibrated full-range studio monitor system, which is the only way you can trust what you hear. This also was during the time when--except for the basic chord pattern (done on a keyboard synthesizer for this song) and lyrics--I composed, played, and sung everything in real-time on the fly on the first take based on an audio engineer in the 1970s telling me that "on the R.A.M album, Paul McCartney did everything either once or at most twice", which I thought was amazing, although nearly three decades later I discovered that what he actually was telling me referred only to a handful of vocal harmonies, not to everything. Being remarkably naive in some respects and believing everything people say at times has advantages, especially when you misunderstand what they are saying. In this instance, the misunderstanding led to years of doing everything in real-time on the fly, which today maps to being able to play a lead guitar solo spontaneously even when it sounds terrible. Put the spotlight on me and have Pretend Elvis say "Take it, Surf!", and I go to town. I started switching to music notation and virtual instruments in 2010, because overall I have more control over the way the songs sound, which is a producing and audio engineering thing. For reference, this song is on my first album, which internationally has sold over one copy in Japan . . . :P ]

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[NOTE; This is one of my songs from 2008, where other than the rhythm guitar chords and lyrics, everything was composed and played or sung in real-time on the fly on the first take, although I did some of the vocals two or three times to add a bit of harmony. The only way to enjoy this and the stereo motion-based effects is to listen with studio quality headphones, noting that while it might appear to be several lead guitars, it's only one custom-modded Stratocaster with two independent output signals which I ran through two sets of stereo effects pedals--including multiple cascading echo units and two DigiTech Whammy pedals--one for each independent output signal, thereby creating what I call a "Wall of Guitars" . . . ]

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[NOTE: This is the last song I did with real instruments, which was in January 2010, a few months before I switched primarily to virtual instruments and music notation . . . ]

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Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. Starting soon after I switched to NOTION and discovered the NOTION Forum (which now is the PreSonus NOTION Forum), I began replying to posts, at first focusing on the easy questions since I didn't know a lot about any of this stuff as it applies to music notation, virtual instruments, and so forth . . .

In some respects, it's a bit like putting "sticky" price labels on tubes of Crest toothpaste, and I consider it to be like "pop tests" in school, except that I can take all the time I desire . . .

For me, this is the way I learn most easily--doing experiments and writing about the results--and after doing this for nearly 10 years, I have learned a lot more useful stuff than I would have learned otherwise . . .

And for reference, I brew coffee in a French press in the ratio of 1/4 cup of Master Chef® (Massimo Zanetti) ground coffee to 12 ounces of water at the ideal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, something I can do since I have what I call the "South American Coffee Achiever Gene Array", a naturally rapid caffeine metabolizing ability without which makes as little as one cup of coffee at this strength lethal . . .

I like it, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :+1
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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by michaelmyers1 on Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:31 pm
I like a challenge as much as the next guy. I worked at this little problem for almost 45 minutes and finally gave up. I also kept having the program crash on me when adjusting beams, or changing notes to cross-staff, as Surf notes.

This is definitely one that should be submitted to Notion support in a ticket!

iMac (Retina 5K 27", 2019) 3.6 ghz I9 8-core 64 gb RAM Fusion Drive
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Focusrite Forte audio interface
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Notion 6 + Studio One 4 Pro

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by Surf.Whammy on Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:23 pm
I did a few more experiments and discovered a way to do it . . . :)

THOUGHTS

I'm back in the sound isolation studio, so I'm on the Mac Pro (Early 2008), which is running the Mac OS X El Capitan . . .

The same problems with NOTION crashing occur, but I discovered a work-around that's not so bad . . .

The background on this is that not so long after I encountered NOTION crashing on the Mac Book, one of the things I tried was to separate the sextuplets in to their own measures, which worked . . .

Then I deleted the barlines to group them into measures in "4/4" time, which worked to some degree if I did the note entry, tuplet work, and cross-staff beaming in a specific sequence; but this failed ultimately when I tried to make the bass staff into a treble staff . . .

Today, I changed the time signature to "1/4", and everything worked nicely . . .

[NOTE: The computer science rule I use for stuff like this is that doing something one time is a special case, but doing it two times is the general case. This rule usually provides clues to where the coding problem might be--not always, but one-time code is different from more-than-one-time code. I don't have access to the actual code, so I can't step through it in debug mode; but depending on the way the code for NOTION is structured, it might not be such a difficult puzzle to solve. I suppose studying a crash dump might provide a few clues, at least with respect to where there might be a missing error handler or a missing line of code to force a class to initialize. Something like that and probably something nearly trivial to correct. It might be something so simple as a integer variable being 16-bits vs. 32-bits or 64-bits, which can happen when "legacy" stuff is not scrutinized so carefully. The high-level rule is that Mac applications are not supposed to crash; and when they crash, at least they should crash gracefully. There were a few crashes that were not graceful, and this suggests what in the Windows universe tends to be an application variable that goes out-of-bounds and wanders into memory which belongs to the operating system--except when this happens in the Windows universe everything stops working and you have to give the machine a "three-finger salute" or in some instanced do a cold boot, which is something I did one time years ago by setting the index for a watch variable to "-1". No matter what I did, it always crashed when it got to that step in the debugger; and it was so obvious that it took hours of doing the same thing over and over and over before I realized the mistake, which was due to forgetting that the lowest index for an array in C/C++ is not "-1" . . . ]

Image

At the moment, this suggests two possibilities and perhaps a few additional variations:

(1) It only works in "1/4" time, for sure . . .

(2) There might be a music theory rule regarding this--of which I am not aware--and perhaps "4/4" is not a standard time signature for stuff like this; so it doesn't work because nobody would do it this way; hence it never was tested in "4/4" time . . .

If it's legal to do this in "4/4" time--and intuitively I think it is--then it's a rather gnarly bug . . .

Personally, if I had to look at this type of music notation, I like having it separated into single beat measures--but without the cross-beaming, since splitting notes between treble staff and bass staff makes it more difficult to read than when it's all on a treble staff with no cross-beaming . . .

If I were going to play this on a real lead guitar, then I would need to discover the easiest way to play the sextuplets very rapidly, which would map to working on one sextuplet at a time . . .

In turn, for me this makes having one sextuplet per measure in "1/4" time good, because this is how I prefer to work with phrases like these sextuplets . . .

On the good side, this is not something I need to do . . .

And this suggests another experiment, which is to see whether it works when triplets are used instead of sextuplets . . .

Two "3:2" triplets are the same as one "6:4" sextuplet, so maybe it works when it's all triplets?

It's an interesting puzzle, so I might do a few more experiments . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. I did the "all triplets" experiment, and it appears to work . . .

After I changed the sextuplets to pairs of triplets, I changed the time signature back to "4/4" and then deleted barlines so there were eight triplets per measure . . .

NOTION crashed once, but I already had a work-around; so I used the work-around and everything was good--except that when I exited NOTION, it crashed . . .

Triplets appear to be better, but there's a bug regardless . . .

Separating everything into single measures in "1/4" time works, and it's less visually cluttered, which here in the sound isolation studio s fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

The Surf Whammys

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

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