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Topic: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

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  1. #1

    Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Learning a lot about MIDI here guys, (Thanks, Randy) and while implementing a few of the great tips a few questions have been raised. Hope I make sense.

    I've changed the mod wheel on my Akai MPK 61 Controller to send CC#11 info vs. CC#1. When I use the wheel when recording a passage/phrase, should the data be recorded with the notes? I've perused the Sonar manual re: recording CC data, but haven't found anything. Nonetheless, when I record a passage/phrase the CC data is not recorded, and any manipulation of the sound is drawn in after the fact. Is this normal? Or I'm I missing something?

    Also, when layering patches, does the CC#11 data for one voice recorded on say Midi Channel 12 Track 16 affect the phrase recorded on Midi Channel 12 Track 17? Or, should one draw (or record, see above) different data?

    Thanks in advance. Learning more and more about GPO and thoroughly enjoying the experience. I appreciate all the advice on the forum, and love listening to compositions posted by the members. Can't wait to get something completed to share with everyone (also shaking in my boots :-)

    Don
    Baja Oklahoma

  2. #2

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by donplee View Post
    Learning a lot about MIDI here guys, (Thanks, Randy) and while implementing a few of the great tips a few questions have been raised. Hope I make sense.

    I've changed the mod wheel on my Akai MPK 61 Controller to send CC#11 info vs. CC#1. When I use the wheel when recording a passage/phrase, should the data be recorded with the notes? I've perused the Sonar manual re: recording CC data, but haven't found anything. Nonetheless, when I record a passage/phrase the CC data is not recorded, and any manipulation of the sound is drawn in after the fact. Is this normal? Or I'm I missing something?

    Also, when layering patches, does the CC#11 data for one voice recorded on say Midi Channel 12 Track 16 affect the phrase recorded on Midi Channel 12 Track 17? Or, should one draw (or record, see above) different data?

    Thanks in advance. Learning more and more about GPO and thoroughly enjoying the experience. I appreciate all the advice on the forum, and love listening to compositions posted by the members. Can't wait to get something completed to share with everyone (also shaking in my boots :-)

    Don
    Baja Oklahoma
    Hi, Don - In the up-coming and final chapter of the IO video tutorial, I have a section about using MIDI controllers. The visual aids should make things clear. I show both recording data, and drawing it.

    CC1 or CC11 can be recorded at the same time as the notes. It's just often easier to focus on the notes alone, then go back and record controller data in another pass over the track. That's what's being done in the video series.

    But there's a problem in your set up since no data is apparently being recorded. You say you changed your mod wheel to send 11 instead of 1. It's possible you didn't do that correctly. -- You also need to make sure you're using an instrument that responds to volume control like that. The percussion instruments, including piano, for the most part only use velocity to control their volume. You also need to make sure you're in record mode when recording the data, even though you're not recording notes.

    MIDI data recorded on one track only effects the instruments set on that track's MIDI channel. So, no, recorded or drawn data on one track won't effect an instrument on a different track and channel. That's the way you want it - You need full control over each instrument without it being effected from data on other tracks.

    Randy

  3. #3

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Thanks for your response, Randy. The more I get into GPO and Sonar (v8.2) Midi the less I seem to know :-)

    So, you are saying that CC Data existing on, say Track 12 Midi Channel 12 WILL affect notes recorded on track 13 Midi Channel 12. Not that this is desirable - just asking. So, if I were to read between the lines, would I ascertain from your comments that it isn't good practice to stack voices on the same Midi Channel? Given this scenario, one could have 3-4 string patches reacting to the same CC#11 data. Right? Is no good, right?

    To clarify on the CC data not being recorded, I was under the assumption that if I record notes, say, on midi channel 12 using the mod wheel, the corresponding CC data would be recorded where I would see it in PRV mode, in the Channel 12 CC#11 pane. You appear to be saying the data can be recorded real time - but it's not happening for me.

    Can't wait for the next installment, and I guess I'll hit the Sonar manual for some answers, too. Apparently I missed some data recording-related piece of info.

    Thanks!

    Dono
    Baja Oklahoma

  4. #4

    Post Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by donplee View Post
    So, you are saying that CC Data existing on, say Track 12 Midi Channel 12 WILL affect notes recorded on track 13 Midi Channel 12. Not that this is desirable - just asking. So, if I were to read between the lines, would I ascertain from your comments that it isn't good practice to stack voices on the same Midi Channel? Given this scenario, one could have 3-4 string patches reacting to the same CC#11 data. Right? Is no good, right?
    No. Controller data recorded on any MIDI channel will only affect that channel's notes. So separate curves, or what have you, will need to be drawn into each channel. Of course, what you may want to do is copy the curve, once you've got it sounding correct, from one channel to the next. If the data is drawn into multiple tracks then I guess something is set to OMNI somewhere. Randy may be able to help here.

    Stacking voices can work as an initial approach to hearing the overall sound, but it is a better technique, once the basics of preparing a song are done, to copy the track, however many times are needed, to separate tracks with a time shift of a few ticks, dependant upon tpqn resolution.

    As an example, I am sequencing a piece of Bach, Qui Sedes from the B minor Mass. I write the Violins I track on channel 1 and initially have it output to three players all on the same MIDI channel, just to hear what it sounds like. I move on to violins II and violas etc.

    After getting the notes right, I go back and add expression and other controller data.

    In the second pass, I copy Violins I to a spare track, but offset the copy by a few ticks earlier, then copy it again to yet another spare track, this time a few ticks later. Each of these copies are then assigned to a different MIDI channel. (Often this means having a second copy of ARIA with the extra instruments assigned to that.) Or, I go back and change the MIDI channel assignment, in ARIA, of violins 1 player 2 to the 1st copy MIDI channel, and Violins 1 player 3 to the 2nd copy. This makes for a far more realistic sound.

    Further, I will often "tweak" those two extra tracks, modifying the notes slightly here and there, and also tweaking the expression data slightly. It all adds to the realism.

    As Randy says, it is often easier to concentrate on getting the notes correct first and then either drawing in or "playing in" the controller data. And yes, you should be able to record the movements of the mod wheel, sending cc#11 values, either during the playing of the notes, or afterwards as you add the controller data.

    To clarify on the CC data not being recorded, I was under the assumption that if I record notes, say, on midi channel 12 using the mod wheel, the corresponding CC data would be recorded where I would see it in PRV mode, in the Channel 12 CC#11 pane. You appear to be saying the data can be recorded real time - but it's not happening for me.
    There is a setting in Sonar,that I guess Randy can help you with, that allows the recording of controller data.

    I'm getting to grips with Sonar myself, after having used another sequencing program for the last 15 years!
    Oh, and Randy, I have Sonar 7 not Sonar 6 as I said earlier.

    Any help?
    SXJohn.

  5. #5

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    The more I get into GPO and Sonar (v8.2) Midi the less I seem to know


    If I'm not mistaken you should be on the more stable 8.5 version...right Randy?

  6. #6

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by donplee View Post
    So, you are saying that CC Data existing on, say Track 12 Midi Channel 12 WILL affect notes recorded on track 13 Midi Channel 12. Not that this is desirable - just asking. So, if I were to read between the lines, would I ascertain from your comments that it isn't good practice to stack voices on the same Midi Channel? Given this scenario, one could have 3-4 string patches reacting to the same CC#11 data. Right? Is no good, right?
    Hi, Don

    SysExJohn has done a great job of passing on helpful info in his reply to you.

    His explanation of the work he's doing on the Bach piece is a description of how more advanced MIDI users often work on their projects, especially classical music. The key point is that if the same MIDI data is going to be used to play multiple instruments, i.e. a violin line multiplied in order to build up an ensemble of strings, then the data is copied and pasted into multiple MIDI tracks where it can be altered slightly in order to avoid the unnatural effect of the instruments playing absolutely perfectly together. Notes are shifted in time slightly, notes are moved, and different controllers may be recorded so that volume changes, for instance, aren't identical in the tracks. This technique involves a different MIDI channel for each instrument, and multiple instances of ARIA.

    The more time-consuming approach which some users insist on, is to never use copies, but to play the same line of a score new each time. 8 violins? 8 tracks, each recorded anew. The idea is the results will most closely emulate what happens in “real life” when 8 violinists are playing. Can't argue with that.

    But it's not as if the concept of using one MIDI channel to drive multiple instruments is wrong, there are just some drawbacks, as outlined above and in John's post.

    Think of what you've seen in the video tutorials. The Ensemble patches briefly demoed feature instruments which are all on the same MIDI channel. When you play your keyboard, all those voices are triggered at the same time. That's one way Instant Orchestra gets such a thick, complex sound. And in the tutorial theme which is put together over the course of the series, some instruments are assigned to the same MIDI channel.

    For some genres of music, stacking instruments on the same channel like that works fine. And it's a quick way of working up a big sound. In the video series, the whole point is to put music together quickly, and so multiple instruments are assigned the same channel, groove clips are made so that repeating patterns can be placed quickly in the project, and things like the Arpeggiator are used. All of that is part of the “instant” concept, and is entry level MIDI work.

    Going back to the quote from you above, I think you're confusing tracks and MIDI channels. You said “...CC data...on Track 12 MIDI channel 12 will effect notes recorded on track 13 MIDI channel 12...” That's an incorrect set up. You don't want separate tracks on the same MIDI channel. The data on the tracks would compete. You only use one track for one MIDI channel. All the data on that track will trigger any instruments you have in your project which are on that MIDI channel.

    In the video project, I end up with 16 instruments – all the slots in ARIA end up used, but there are only 11 tracks in the project. 11 MIDI channels, each with its own track, driving 16 instruments, because I have a few instruments doubled up on the same channel.

    One MIDI channel—One track.

    Audio tracks are something else. Using the video as an example again, we have all of the instruments assigned to the one default audio out from ARIA. It's called “1/2.” The numbers refer to one Left channel and one Right channel—a stereo pair. Since we have all of the instruments coming out of the same audio out from ARIA, we only need one audio track in Sonar to carry that signal. That track is assigned to pipe in the sound from ARIA audio out “1/2.”

    But we could have had each instrument in ARIA assigned to a different audio out. That's the way I actually work. That method is shown in the final up-coming video chapter in the “Advanced” part of the tute. Working that way, you need to have 16 audio tracks in Sonar.

    Then there are what we refer to as “slots” in ARIA. Those are simply the bins where the instruments are loaded, but the user isn't stuck having them on the default MIDI channel or coming out of the default audio channel. By default those slots are assigned MIDI channels 1 through 16. But obviously those assignments can be changed. That's how we can assign instruments to the same channel. But those instruments which are assigned a MIDI channel already being used by another instrument don't get a separate MIDI track in ARIA – as per the above.

    So you don't automatically have one track per instrument. If all your instruments are on their own separate MIDI channel, then they have to have their own MIDI track in Sonar. But if an instrument is sharing a MIDI channel with another instrument, then it does not get a separate MIDI track in Sonar.

    Quote Originally Posted by donplee View Post
    ...To clarify on the CC data not being recorded, I was under the assumption that if I record notes, say, on midi channel 12 using the mod wheel, the corresponding CC data would be recorded where I would see it in PRV mode, in the Channel 12 CC#11 pane. You appear to be saying the data can be recorded real time - but it's not happening for me...
    And John replied:

    Quote Originally Posted by SysExJohn View Post
    ...There is a setting in Sonar,that I guess Randy can help you with, that allows the recording of controller data...
    Maybe that's the problem. In Sonar, in the top menu, click Options>Global>MIDI. You'll see the list of data types. Have them all checked. That way Sonar is set to record any kind of data you throw at it. If you don't have those checked, Sonar ignores the data as it comes in and doesn't record it.

    It's possible the data is there, and the pane which displays it in PRV isn't activated. If you've had the PRV open as you record your data, there's no way the view can be refreshed to include the new pane needed. Close PRV, open it again. When the PRV is freshly opened, any data in the track will be displayed in multiple panes. In the last chapter of the video I show setting up panes ahead of time to avoid confusion. That means that a CC11 pane could first be inserted, then as you record, you'll see the data appear in the pane.

    There are two small menus in the PRV's upper left hand corner. The very top one says “Show/hide MIDI events” when you hover over it. Click that. Everything that's currently available for display is listed. If you've recorded CC11, it'll be in that list.

    You should be able to tell from just listening if CC11 has been recorded.--If it turns out that you're doing everything correctly but the data isn't being recorded, then something's wrong with your keyboard or interface.

    GRB said:
    Quote Originally Posted by GRB53 View Post
    If I'm not mistaken you should be on the more stable 8.5 version...right Randy?
    The last version of Sonar before X1 was 8.5.3. It's not sold anymore, but the free updates are available at the Cakewalk site. There were many updates since 8.2, and I'm not positive the update/upgrade path is still available for all those steps. Each update has to be installed sequentially before going to the next – What you need to do is go to the Cakewalk site, type in “Sonar 8.5.3” in the search bar, and start looking for updates available to you.

    Randy

  7. #7

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Thank you, SysEXJohn. You answered/confirmed several questions in my mind. I really appreciate the help!

    Dono
    Baja Oklahoma

  8. #8

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Randy,

    I've got to digest these responses. Some things are starting to come into focus. Several questions I've developed about workflow are being answered. I can't thank ya'll enough. Stay tuned :-)

    I'll upgrade Sonar later today. Just never got around to it.

    Again - my thanks to you guys!

    Dono
    Baja Oklahoma

  9. #9

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    Hi Dono,
    My pleasure.

    Just to clarify, here is the work from some days back in the sequencer I use.



    You can clearly see the voices that won't be replicated, and the empty spaces awaiting the copying of the initial strings tracks over to them, all suitably labelled up!

    The track number is on the extreme left, the MIDI channel is second from the left.

    So initially Aria looks like this:



    With three Violin 1s assigned to the same MIDI channel. Later as I copy and work upon each copied track, I will assign the Aria instrument to the actual channel of the copy. So, e.g., Violin 1 Player 2 will have its MIDI channel changed to 04.

    But maybe you'd already figured that out.

    Randy's quite right, if I had the time and will power, and the playing skills, I'd play every track in then adjust notes fractionally. But most of the time I work from a score, and I'm working with all sorts of transposing instruments, in Bb, Eb, A, and like the oboe d'amore and often the cor anglais often they are written in C but are played a third and a fifth lower respectively (if my memory serves me correctly) so entering the music in a notation program that automatically does the transposition helps my limited skills enormously.

    Additionally, many of the scores I use of baroque music have the soprano, alto and tenor parts written using the C clef on different lines. Unlike binary, octal and hexadecimal, I can't get my mind around the transpositions.

    And then there's figured bass or basso continuo! There's no way I can work that out using PRV, it's enough struggle to do it in staff view.

    SXJohn.
    Last edited by SysExJohn; 01-21-2012 at 03:27 AM. Reason: missing pictures

  10. #10

    Re: Questions about CC#1 and 11 data in Sonar

    [QUOTE=rbowser-;677322]

    GRB said:

    The last version of Sonar before X1 was 8.5.3. It's not sold anymore, but the free updates are available at the Cakewalk site. There were many updates since 8.2, and I'm not positive the update/upgrade path is still available for all those steps. Each update has to be installed sequentially before going to the next – What you need to do is go to the Cakewalk site, type in “Sonar 8.5.3” in the search bar, and start looking for updates available to you.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, as luck would have it, I am on Sonar 8.3.1 vs. 8.2. It appears there is no upgrade path to 8.5 - first I downloaded the patches and Sonar replied "Nyet!". I've heard too many issues with X1. I'm not unhappy with 8.3.1 - although it crashes once in a blue moon.

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