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Randall Petty

Best starting point to learn midi instrument replacement

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On 2/20/2019 at 6:00 PM, abacab said:

the fretless bass part is written from E-2 and up. The E-2 thru B-2 notes are silent in SI-Bass without transposing the part. So +12 transpose in the track inspector fixed that!

1. How do you view the actual notes in the midi track --- all I see are lines etc? 
2. What opens track inspector?

thanks

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16 minutes ago, Randall Petty said:

1. How do you view the actual notes in the midi track --- all I see are lines etc? 
2. What opens track inspector?

thanks

1. Double clicking on any MIDI clip will open it up in the Piano Roll View editor in the lower pane.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=0x200C6

2. Top menu > "Views > Inspector".

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=0x2043F

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2 hours ago, Tezza said:

So in cakewalk, I can load a synth in the synth rack and assign it midi channel 3 and then just create a midi track put some notes on it make sure it's transmitting on midi channel 3 and it will trigger the synth, without any instrument track, is this how it works?

To  insert a synth in the synth rack, you have several choices: (1) insert it with a simple instrument track, or (2) insert it split into separate MIDI & audio tracks (you can have multiple audio outs if the synth supports that), or (3) no tracks. If you split the tracks you can see more details for each track type in the track header with them split.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Browser.11.html

You can just place a synth in the Cakewalk synth rack without adding the tracks needed for the synth to operate.  A synth instance requires a MIDI track for data input, and then must output sound to an audio track. So you will at least need to add another audio track.

You can either route the original MIDI track to the new instrument, or move/copy the MIDI data to the new instrument or MIDI track.

NOTE: There are many strategies you can use to organize your tracks and maintain control over clutter. You can use track folders, color code tracks, hide tracks, etc.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Arranging.51.html

Edited by abacab
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6 hours ago, Tezza said:

With the midi files, what happens when it comes to bouncing down the tracks to audio, for example, with the example you have given of jay bass and the gentleman piano, will the midi tracks bounce down to audio? or does it end up somewhere else.

In Cakewalk, bouncing really only applies to audio tracks. http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Mixing.47.html

To mix down a MIDI track, or render it to audio, it needs to be played through a virtual instrument and any assigned FX. So depending on the instrument you have assigned to that MIDI track/channel, that is what you will get when you mix it down.

There are several ways to accomplish this:

1. Freeze the track. Cakewalk bounces the synth’s audio data to the synth track. Cakewalk disables the synth’s output, and disables the FX Rack on the synth track. This is handy if you just want to lighten the CPU load a bit, or to quickly render a single track. You can unfreeze with a single click.

More info here: https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Mixing.23.html

2.  Soft synth audio recording. This was a new feature added a few years ago. In addition to recording a performance as MIDI data, you can also record a soft synth’s audio output to any audio track in real-time. This allows you to treat a soft synth like an external hardware synthesizer.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=SoftSynths.27.html

3. Export mix or tracks to audio tracks.

More info here (skip to option #3): https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Knowledge-Base/2007013079/Converting-or-Recording-MIDI-to-Audio

Edited by abacab

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23 hours ago, msmcleod said:

I use instrument tracks almost exclusively.

Even if a VSTi is multi-timbral, I'll usually opt for having separate instrument tracks and accept the overhead of having more than once instance of the VSTi running.

My reasons are:

  • I can easily swap out one synth for another on a per track basis
  •  I only have to worry about one track instead of two and I can freeze them separately if needed.

 This actually is an advantage to make all your processor cores work.

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 Do any other DAWs have anything like the TTS?   For working with something like this it is still one of the best apps.

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1 hour ago, kitekrazy said:

 Do any other DAWs have anything like the TTS?   For working with something like this it is still one of the best apps.

For opening GM MIDI files and automatically loading the GM sounds, I am only aware of two others, besides Cakewalk with TTS-1. I agree that Cake and TTS-1 are probably the best option for this GM workflow! :D

I also own Studio One Pro 4, and that will do it, but not quite as gracefully IMHO. It opens each GM sound in a separate instance of the Presence XT sampler, which is a mono-timbral instrument. I think in many cases that TTS-1 actually sounds better initially, maybe perhaps because Cakewalk is more MIDI aware. But one cool thing you can do without a script in SO4 is to explode the pitches in a MIDI drum track to separate MIDI tracks. But you can also use CAL to do the same in Cakewalk, so SO4  only saves a few mouse clicks.

I tried a demo of Cubase Elements 9 a couple of years ago, and I seem to recall that it will open up a GM file with the bundled Halion Sonic SE instrument. But I passed on that purchase at the end of the trial period, and no longer have that one available.

Edited by abacab

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10 hours ago, abacab said:

To  insert a synth in the synth rack, you have several choices: (1) insert it with a simple instrument track, or (2) insert it split into separate MIDI & audio tracks (you can have multiple audio outs if the synth supports that), or (3) no tracks. If you split the tracks you can see more details for each track type in the track header with them split.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Browser.11.html

You can just place a synth in the Cakewalk synth rack without adding the tracks needed for the synth to operate.  A synth instance requires a MIDI track for data input, and then must output sound to an audio track. So you will at least need to add another audio track.

You can either route the original MIDI track to the new instrument, or move/copy the MIDI data to the new instrument or MIDI track.

NOTE: There are many strategies you can use to organize your tracks and maintain control over clutter. You can use track folders, color code tracks, hide tracks, etc.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Arranging.51.html

Thanks, I am aware of this, The question I am asking is about midi channels:

"So in cakewalk, I can load a synth in the synth rack and assign it midi channel 3 and then just create a midi track put some notes on it make sure it's transmitting on midi channel 3 and it will trigger the synth, without any instrument track, is this how it works?"

This is what was being inferred by the example given. Also, you have double posted this information.

Edited by Tezza

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9 hours ago, abacab said:

In Cakewalk, bouncing really only applies to audio tracks. http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Mixing.47.html

To mix down a MIDI track, or render it to audio, it needs to be played through a virtual instrument and any assigned FX. So depending on the instrument you have assigned to that MIDI track/channel, that is what you will get when you mix it down.

There are several ways to accomplish this:

1. Freeze the track. Cakewalk bounces the synth’s audio data to the synth track. Cakewalk disables the synth’s output, and disables the FX Rack on the synth track. This is handy if you just want to lighten the CPU load a bit, or to quickly render a single track. You can unfreeze with a single click.

More info here: https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Mixing.23.html

2.  Soft synth audio recording. This was a new feature added a few years ago. In addition to recording a performance as MIDI data, you can also record a soft synth’s audio output to any audio track in real-time. This allows you to treat a soft synth like an external hardware synthesizer.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=SoftSynths.27.html

3. Export mix or tracks to audio tracks.

More info here (skip to option #3): https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Knowledge-Base/2007013079/Converting-or-Recording-MIDI-to-Audio

Thanks, I am aware of some of this, I am referring to the example given:

"With the midi files, what happens when it comes to bouncing down the tracks to audio, for example, with the example you have given of jay bass and the gentleman piano, will the midi tracks bounce down to audio? or does it end up somewhere else".

The answer appears to be no.

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7 hours ago, kitekrazy said:

 Do any other DAWs have anything like the TTS?   For working with something like this it is still one of the best apps.

Cakewalk is the only DAW that opens a GM .mid file, places all the midi files in tracks and assigns instruments to them to play through the TTS. Seamless and easy. Cubase might do something similar but I have yet to find that DAW very easy to use.

Others do it in varying degrees of clumsiness, some open the midi files but assign no instruments, some strip the patch data from the file upon opening, some assign a general sound instrument but do not assign a specific instrument to each track individually, some do, whatever, Cakewalk is by far the easiest, another feather in Cakewalk's cap. In terms of wanting to open GM midi files available on the net and assign your own instruments, Cakewalk is the easiest DAW to do that in.

Although you wouldn't know that from reading this thread. Far too many unnecessary complicated comments. This is how I will do it:

1. Download the .mid file from wherever on to your computer
2. Launch Cakewalk, open the .mid file in Cakewalk
3. Cakewalk loads the necessary tracks with the midi data and feeds then to the TTS
4. Save the song as .cwp Cakewalk file
5. Pick a midi track instrument you want to replace
6. Load your new instrument with a simple instrument track
7. Drag the midi data from the midi track to the new instrument track
8. Delete the midi track, repeat 5-8 for the other instruments
9. Finally, delete the TTS instrument...done!

You don't need to do any routing at all because the new instrument tracks you create will automatically route to the relevant instrument that is placed in the synth rack when you create them. There is no need that I can see for keeping midi tracks and routing them to instrument tracks doubling the number of tracks in your project.

Edited by Tezza

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Yes, CbB automatically loads TTS-1 and performs the necessary setup to play a MIDI file using TTS-1 if there are no MIDI output devices selected in preferences. If there is a MIDI output device selected, CbB simply opens the MIDI file and does not load TTS-1.

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1 hour ago, Tezza said:

Thanks, I am aware of some of this, I am referring to the example given:

"With the midi files, what happens when it comes to bouncing down the tracks to audio, for example, with the example you have given of jay bass and the gentleman piano, will the midi tracks bounce down to audio? or does it end up somewhere else".

The answer appears to be no.

In example #3 the answer is yes, because you are exporting files from the project. In #1-2 the audio remains within the project, so no to those.

There are several ways to accomplish this:

1. Freeze the track. Cakewalk bounces the synth’s audio data to the synth track. Cakewalk disables the synth’s output, and disables the FX Rack on the synth track. This is handy if you just want to lighten the CPU load a bit, or to quickly render a single track. You can unfreeze with a single click.

More info here: https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Mixing.23.html

2.  Soft synth audio recording. This was a new feature added a few years ago. In addition to recording a performance as MIDI data, you can also record a soft synth’s audio output to any audio track in real-time. This allows you to treat a soft synth like an external hardware synthesizer.

More info here: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=SoftSynths.27.html

3. Export mix or tracks to audio tracks.

More info here (skip to option #3): https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Knowledge-Base/2007013079/Converting-or-Recording-MIDI-to-Audio

Edited by abacab
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