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Michael McBroom

When is 10/8 Not 10/8?

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I'm using the Staff View here, but I imagine the PRV will reveal the same oddity.

Okay, I composed a piece of music with a 10/8 time signature, using Band in a Box to generate the accompaniment. It did what it was supposed to do -- well, sort of. BiaB made a hash of things from the standpoint of its Staff View also, but that's a topic for the folks over at PG Music. So anyway, I took this composition, saved it as a MIDI file, then imported it into CW. Before i imported the MIDI file, I took a blank CW template and set it up with a 10/8 time signature. Imported the file, no hitches, no glitches. It sounds fine in CW, but the only problem is, when I go to view the piece from the Staff View, even though it's supposedly showing a 10/8 file, it is playing it as if it is 8/8, or 4/4, whatever.

At the top of the Staff View, it's showing ten hash marks per measure. But the music is being displayed as if there are only eight 8th notes worth of time value per measure, resulting in the music moving up one quarter note's value each measure. When I listen to the piece, I can count notes in the composition from one measure to the next, and arrive at ten 8th notes per measure. I can also optically count ten 8th notes per measure -- in some sections. In others not. That's where it gets messy. There are sections of the piece, especially held chords, where there are only eight 8th note values being shown. And just to make things really confusing, even in these spots where eight 8th notes (values) are being shown, I can still count ten 8th notes per measure as I listen to it. Weird, huh. 

Now, I suppose I could go into the file and physically change the time values in these sections that are displaying things as eight beats per measure. But that won't account for the fact that, when I listen to these measures, I'm counting ten beats, even though only eight are being displayed. 

I'm not sure what to do about this. I mean, the music is unaffected. It's 10/8 from beginning to end. It's just the appearance  in the Staff View (and probably the PRV as well) that's messed up. It would be nice to get things to agree, though.

Any ideas? Is there a fix for this?

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The staff view in Cakewalk is, um...  how should we say... real basic. If you just have to look at notation I would advise using a real notation program. I have absolutely no trouble in the piano roll view with all kinds of crazy time signatures that change back and forth all over the place and PRV follows them just fine.

I've never bothered with Cakewalk's staff view

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I'm aware of the Staff View's shortcomings. I've learned to live with most of them. But it would be nice if it were internally consistent at least.

I suppose I could import the piece into MuseScore, one of the best notation-based piece of software out there. I just haven't taken the time to get good at that interface yet. But even if I did, who's to say that CW's Staff View wouldn't do the same thing again, if I re-import the file into CW.

 

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Cakewalk's staff view is abysmal. Always has been and does not seem to be much of a priority. Even a cursory search will reveal thread after thread going back into the deepest reaches of prehistory.

I am not one to tilt at windmills and this one is tilting at windmills.  You're certainly free to do as you wish, but my advice would be to throw in the towel .

It sounds like the staff view is truncating what is being displayed. Odd time signatures display just fine in PRV.

I don't know about your workflow, but composing in the DAW doesn't work for me. As someone who can semi read music, the PRV is confusing for writing stuff out; I find it great for editing, though. I tend to write everything in notation first, then export the MIDI and open it in Cakewalk.

MuseScore is not very difficult and to get better you have to fork out some real money. I would highly recommend it. I use either that or Guitar Pro depending on what I'm doing.

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If the PRV is also displaying incorrectly, then the MIDI file from BiaB likely had issues baked in. 

You might try 'Opening' the MIDI file as a new project rather than 'Importing' it into an existing project to understand what was in the file.

There are probably a number of ways to fix this, but I'd need to see the project file to understand exactly what's going on and whether a global change can fix it or it needs to be done measure by measure.

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So you got it sorted? If not I'm happy to take a look at fixing the Project. If BIAB has rendered the MIDI start times, durations and time signature incorrectly but playback has the right absolute timing, one possible solution is to have the CbB play the project while you re-record the MIDI in another DAW (can be an old installation of SONAR) via hardware or virtual MIDI cable. Don't ask me how I know this. ;^)

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bdickens, well, BiaB tries at least. With this piece, since BiaB doesn't have a provision for anything smaller that a quarter note as a beat value, I selected 5/4 as the time signature. To display this, BiaB alternates between one measure of 2/4 and one of 3/4. This is fine, but when you play the piece, the staff view's scroll goes kablooey. So you can't follow the notation as the piece is being played.  <sigh> But at least the playback is correct -- I mean, in 10:8 and all.

The only other exotic time signature I've tried in BiaB is 11:8. It plays it back faithfully, but there's no capability within BiaB to display any sort of time signature that would work. Odd that BiaB has an 11:8 style, but no way to display it (same goes for 10:8, I suppose). I can configure the tune as MIDI and d/l it into CW, either by import or just loading it via File|Open -- doesn't matter. I can then assign the correct time signature, but the same thing happens with 11:8 in CW. It displays 11:8, but a lot of the notes that are displayed are not aligned properly.

Honestly, at this point, I'm past caring. The tunes sound right, which ultimately is most important.

 

 

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