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Topic: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

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  1. #1

    Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    I've finally cleared my plate of a mountain of immediate projects (and am waiting on a horror film mockumentary from my brother's film group to score), so I now have some time to get back to some tool/toy development. It's been on hold forever, but it looks like the first task on my wishlist is to make MFX plugin versions of the MaestroTools set for GOS.

    So I just wanted to ask: is anyone interested in this? I'm going to want it for my own purposes, anyway, but I figure that if others need it too then it'll give me a little extra steam to get it done quicker.

    First up: Auto-Alternator, hopefully over this holiday weekend. I'll post again when something is ready to download.

    - m

  2. #2

    Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    I would LOOOOOOOOOVE to have MFX versions of Maestro Tools!

    Make sure that Jeff Hurchalla isn't already on the case. Last time I pinged Gary G. on it, he said that Jeff might take time to look into the MFX spec.
    Houston Haynes - Titan Line Music

  3. #3
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    Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    Markleford,

    It would be fabulous to have a MaestroTools MFX plugin. Yes, may Halion users have requested this and new samplers coming to market soon would also benefit. Jeff has been busy on other projects and has not been able to do an MFX version.

    I think you are a super-hero Markleford. Maybe you need to be memorialized as an action hero.

    Gary Garritan

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    I think you are a super-hero Markleford.
    Amen to that. I use his auto-legato MFX tool every time I use GPO. Couldn't live without it. Works great with a wind-controller, too. And I love all the wonderful tools Jeff has given us, too.

    But let me pitch a really pie-in-the-sky idea to you, Markleford. Have you ever seen Alexander Lotov's Midi Finger Conductor? I love that program, use it all the time. If you've never seen it, it's the old Casio "one-key play" idea reborn. Load it up with a midi file, then "perform" the piece, using just two or three (or however many feel right, musically) keys of your keyboard. Eliminates the keyboard-marksmanship aspect of playing the music and lets you concentrate on expression. Play a whole Beethoven sonata like drumming your fingers on a table. So maybe it's a bit of a cheat, but you still have to be a musician, and you do have to know your piece of music inside out.

    One small problem with MFC is that it strips out all event data except pitch values when you're loading up your midi file, so that when you perform the file, everything gets sent to channel 1 (actually to channel 1 or 2 -- i.e., "left hand part" or "right hand part," because the thing is geared towards performing music that was written for keyboard).

    Maybe I'm crazy for wanting this, but I wish I had an MFX tool, like MFC, but geared towards performing ensemble pieces -- string quartets, brass quintets, or -- dare I say it? -- orchestral music.

    To accomplish this feat the MFX tool would have to remember which channel each note came from, and send it back to the same channel during performance.

    In my dreams I could step-enter, say, my string quartet or brass quintet in Finale, open it in Sonar, assign instruments, channels and tracks, and ask this MFX tool to snarf up the notes (and temporarily clear the tracks) -- and then, when I performed the piece, the notes would get laid back down into the correct channels and tracks, instead of all going to channel 1 or 2. Et voila! -- a humanized version of my piece.

    OK, so I would still have to go track-by-track afterwards and add modwheel expression, edit velocities, maybe randomize note starts just a little, etc. -- but an awful lot of valuable nuance would get recorded on the first pass, and the ensemble would be tighter than if I performed each line separately, as I can already do with MFC (that is, if the line's too hard for me to play without the MFC crutch). And if I were worried about re-aligning the performed version to a grid, I could include a "beat" track in the performance, and then do a Sonar "fit improvisation."

    Is this a nutty idea or what? Please consider it, Markleford. You've never failed me in the past.

    Greg

    =============

    So many threads to hijack, so little time . . .

  5. #5

    Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    [Woo, looks like my thread got cloned from the GOS forum. Guess I'll echo that stuff here...]

    Jeff is fine with me doing an MFX version: he even offered to give me more info on the internals if I needed it.

    And I've been on the bench far too long for action hero status: I'm an INaction Hero!

    - m

  6. #6

    Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    Quote Originally Posted by Oksi Moron
    Is this a nutty idea or what? Please consider it, Markleford. You've never failed me in the past.
    Definitely nutty...

    That's an interesting little bit of kit. I imagine there's a way to distill the essence of it to something simpler, though! Do you use it more as a tool to save you time on entering scores, or is it a humanizing process?

    To me, the heart of the matter is the construction of the master (breathing, expressive) tempo line, no? Apart from that, much of the nuance comes in the variance of individual tempo lines, when instruments are rushing or dragging.

    I'm already plotting out a track tempo shifter plugin to allow you to draw an envelope to determine how far ahead or behind an instrument is (there is an MFX limitation with buffer windows that I've yet to elegantly solve). As for live conducting of the master tempo track, I got the "nutty idea" to use my Wacom drawing tablet as a baton a while back, but I'm nowhere near having the gobs of time needed to go down that path!

    As for taking a step-entered pitch file and playing it "live", I think that can be done. That seems to be an ease-of-entry versus necessary-score-familiarity proposition, though: is it worth it? After all, if you're doing that over a static tempo map, then viewing the piece in staff view or as a printed score would just be jibberish!

    But my oh my, you *have* hijacked this thread! Perhaps this idea should be discussed in its own thread instead.

    - m

  7. #7

    Red face Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    Many apologies for hijacking the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markleford
    Do you use it more as a tool to save you time on entering scores, or is it a humanizing process?
    More as a humanizing process. It's especially good for performing lyrical solo instrumental music, where you might play more freely with the tempo. Of course there's a lot of tweaking to be done after the performance, such as rolling chords, fixing long-note durations, etc. But at least you capture a lot of your timing nuances.

    To me, the heart of the matter is the construction of the master (breathing, expressive) tempo line, no?
    Abo-solutely -- so plan B is simply to use the existing MFC to lay down a guide-track, complete with an embedded beat line, then split out the beat line to a separate track, then do a "fit improvisation" to that track to create your tempo map. And if you really want to split out some of the remaining instrumental lines that got all glommed together onto channel 1 during the MFC performance, you can select the notes line by line in piano roll view, reassign them to their own channel via properties, then run the Sonar "split channels to tracks" CAL script.

    Apart from that, much of the nuance comes in the variance of individual tempo lines, when instruments are rushing or dragging.
    Agreed. Well, maybe the tool I'm imagining would best be used to lay down just the "background" lines, to establish some tempo humanization, and not the whole shebang all at once. But I'm imagining a tool that would give you the choice to snarf up and perform just one track's worth of notes at a time, or the whole piece all at once, or anywhere in between.

    I'm already plotting out a track tempo shifter plugin to allow you to draw an envelope to determine how far ahead or behind an instrument is (there is an MFX limitation with buffer windows that I've yet to elegantly solve).
    That sounds fabulous! Give us that, and maybe I'll forget this other nutty idea of mine.

    As for live conducting of the master tempo track, I got the "nutty idea" to use my Wacom drawing tablet as a baton a while back, but I'm nowhere near having the gobs of time needed to go down that path!
    I've played around with tempo conductor software, such as MidiMaestro and InTime, and while they're pretty neat, I like also being able to nuance individual lines to some degree during the performance, as you can already do with MFC, even though it gloms all the lines together onto one or two channels/tracks.

    That seems to be an ease-of-entry versus necessary-score-familiarity proposition, though: is it worth it?
    "Is it worth it?" is a question I ask myself every day, doing any of this stuff. All I can say, not being you, the potential executor of my wishes, is that if the tool I wish for existed today, I'd probably find a good use for it ;-)

    After all, if you're doing that over a static tempo map, then viewing the piece in staff view or as a printed score would just be jibberish!
    Well, as I'm saying, part of the idea is to generate a humanized tempo map, and then realign the performance to the new grid, so that the performance wouldn't look like gibberish.

    But my oh my, you *have* hijacked this thread!
    Sorry! My first impulse was to PM you via your TenCrazy site, but for some reason I couldn't bring up your contact form in my browser.

    Greg

  8. #8

    Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    Quote Originally Posted by Oksi Moron
    That sounds fabulous! Give us that, and maybe I'll forget this other nutty idea of mine.
    Righto: it's already on the (never-ending) list, so hopefully someday!

    Sorry! My first impulse was to PM you via your TenCrazy site, but for some reason I couldn't bring up your contact form in my browser.
    Ooops, yeah, something was a bit wonky with that. Fixed now.

    - m

  9. #9

    Re: Upcoming: MaestroTools MFX

    Okay, TenCrazy.com MFX AutoAlternator is up. Check out the thread here:

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ad.php?t=27597

    - m

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