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HappyRon Hill

Best Way To Get Started In Midi For Audio Editors

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I've used Cakewalk for 20 years (with huge breaks of time in there!) I've used it mainly for audio recording and editing, including integrating it with BAND IN A BOX which I use to easily make audio tracks for my songs (I'm a singer/songwriter/guitar player mainly)  This has worked out great and I understand the program fairly well.  However I have never really done anything with MIDI.  I've been a bit spoiled by Band In A Box (and occasionally recording actual musicians) generating really good audio tracks for me that I haven't sat down and really learned to make tracks from midi.

I find the idea a bit daunting.

Don't get me wrong I basically understand how midi editing works and how the functions of cakewalk work and I surely could edit a pre-made midi track if need be.  

But the idea of taking a song I've written and going from chords/melody to a complete track seems a bit overwhelming and I'm not sure how to start to approach that.    I'm used to simply typing in chords and having band in a box doing the heavy lifting, but then you have to take what it gives yo./

Are there really good videos people can recommend and/or libraries of midi tracks.  I occasionally see programs for sale, but they aren't cakewalk specific. 

i'm mainly singer/songwriter type stuff. 

I'm considering starting with learning drums.

Any thoughts appreciated

 

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Session drummer in cakewalk has some patterns.

Programs and midi file in no way have to Cakewalk specific. The only requirement is the synths should be of the vsti standard, and Cakewalk will digest any .MID midi file you can throw at it. The midi track output should point to the aforementioned vsti synth. You can edit the midi with a mouse, record midi with a hardware midi controller keyboard and or midi drums.

Best of blessing learning to play the drums.

 

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It really is a matter of experience and years of use. Wish there was some easy shortcut but it takes time to learn. However there are easy steps to just get to started.

Heres a 3 videos I made a few years back. they are not great but they will get you started.

3 ways to midi

Basic midi 

Drum editing

 

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.  I understand MIDI and cakewalk well enough I'm just struggling on how to get going when starting a song from scratch, IE how to make a guitar part to chords I already have etc. 

Probably will start out with DRUMS since there are built in patterns

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A few decades ago, I used some Roland "Intelligent Arrangers," with a midi track consisting of chords going to the Roland's chord recognition midi channel. The boxes would then "orchestrate" the chords based on various arrangement algorithms (aka "Styles"). It had some options (choice of a basic or an advanced arrangement, fills, etc.).  Not sure if that's the kind of thing you have in mind, but if it is, maybe someone knows if there are plug-ins which do something like that. Just a thought. 

Edited by MusicMan11712 (aka Dr. Steve)

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It sounds as if you are really having a problem composing, harmonizing or orchestrating rather than a MIDI problem. MIDI is just another way to record or notate music and if you already know how to edit MIDI, then you have everything you need to create a symphony from scratch if that is your goal. If you know the notes you want a MIDI controlled sound source to play, the simplest method for getting there is to use some kind of MIDI controller. If you lack the instrumental chops to play a controller in real time, then step record, enter notes in a piano roll editor, play on your instrument of choice or try to use pitch to MIDI conversion algorithms etc. You can even enter notes in an event list editor if you can convert the notes in your mind to note numbers, velocity values and duration. If you do not know the notes you want to play, then MIDI is not an answer to anything.  Band in a Box and other algorithmic composition/harmonization tools may use MIDI inputs and outputs but they are not MIDI--they are computer assisted composition tools. I am not saying you should not use them, but by their nature they are designed to give you a solution to a problem or at best a choice of solutions that may or may not be what you want.

Edited by slartabartfast

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