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Topic: Sequencers and Step Entry

  1. #1

    Sequencers and Step Entry

    I'm in a bit of a quandary.

    First, I'll explain my current situation: I stumbled across a notation program a long time ago called "Note Worthy Composer," which I think I've mentioned here before. So what? Well, over the years I've become addicted to it.

    This is a problem.

    For those of you who are not familiar with it, it is a cheap (like $50) notator designed mainly for general MIDI use. Horrible support for MIDI CCs. You can only work with 18 of them, and even using those is restrictive because you can only set 4 reference points with either an absolute (CC value changes at each point) or "linear sweep" (a linear change between the points) based on wither whole, half, quarter, eigth, or sixteenth resolution. (no dots, no triplets).

    NWC's MIDIcc control:

    For a GPO and JABB user this has "STAY AWAY!" written all over it! If this is the case, you ask, then how come the addiction?

    This notator has the perhaps the best note entry system ever developed! I started using it before I had even heard of Garritan, Kontakt, or any of that stuff. Yet I still use it because of the entry. It is increadibly easy to learn, you'll pick it up in like 2 minutes, and then it's out of your way. You don't have to navigate menus to add groups of measures. Just enter some note, and hit tab to place a bar line. NWC makes note entry almost as easy as entering text into a word processor. The entry's not perfect, though. If you group some notes intop triplets, you can't make chords without de-tripleting them, but the overall ease of use just blows that away.

    Sadly, none of the other notation packages out there can be learned in 2 mintutes and then get out of your way (at least to my knowlege).

    Having spent over $2000 to date on samplers and libraries, I now want to get full use out of them.

    I have decided that I want to go with a sequencer as opposed to another notator. While most Garritan libraries are for the most part notation friendly (and I thank Gary for that ), not all of the stuff I've bought is.

    So, I am ready to bite the bullet and get into sequenceing to have the absolute most control over the MIDI data that I create. I'm sick of not having any real control. It is incredibly difficult, almost impossible, to get convincing dynamics and tempo changes in Noteworthy. Especially when Dynamics are Mod-wheel controlled.

    Here is my problem: I've toyed around with sever free and cheap sequencers (I'm not spending hundreds of dollars on a sequencer with a learning curve until I lear how to use sequencers) and all of them gave me 2 entry choices: 1. Draw it in with the mouse in a piano roll or 2. Live-Record the MIDI data.

    1 is too clunky and slow and my craptastic piano abilities make option 2 a no go as well.

    I want a sequencer that can do step entry. Now I doubt I'll find step entry as easy as NWC's, but I need that one feature to survive in the world of sequencers.

    Does anyone know of any sequencers (preferable ones that can hold 2 or three instances of Kontakt 2 and maybe Ambience, but I'll keep Bidule so that isn't a requiement) with Step Entry that will help my poor lost soul break my NoteWorthy addiction?

    Thanks for your help.

    Another feature I'd like is the ability to create templates so when I do full orchestra stuff I don't end up having to create a whole bunch of tracks every time.

  2. #2

    Re: Sequencers and Step Entry

    I'm not familiar with some of the less expensive sequencers' input options. However, it sounds like you really love your current input method, so perhaps you could still use it in conjunction with a sequencer. Does NWC have a save-as-MIDI option? I'm sure that just about any sequencer could open a saved MIDI file, and you could go from there with the fine-tuning.

    By the way, Sibelius also has a fantastic entry system. It's not a steep learning curve (maybe medium), and once you get the hang of it, putting in notes can be very quick... much like typing in a word processor. Unfortunately, it's a little pricier than what you are looking for, but once you're ready, you should definitely give it a look. They have a demo version you can try out.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  3. #3

    Re: Sequencers and Step Entry

    NWC can export MIDIs, but the export doesn't handle tempo changes very well.

    Plus, I like using one program for everything.

    While I've heard good stuff about Sibelius, I would really rather move to a sequencer. Also, some of the stuff I do sometimes requires me to do multi-track stuff (including mixing audio recordings with MIDI). I'd just like to cut some fat out of the process as well. That way I have time to write more music.

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