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Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

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outteh
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby outteh » Thu May 01, 2014 10:12 am

Another great source of information on MIDI from the MIDI Manufacturers Association. Keep this link handy as new updates and additions to the protocol are usually available here. :D

http://www.midi.org/

mick
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby mick » Thu May 01, 2014 1:57 pm

:shock:
Edit some days later . . . . .
Tom, I get it now! I've been trying to work out the CC thingy but this explains perfectly whereas previously they were just meaningless numbers. In Sibelius there are CC numbers normally hidden (show/hide button) because i hadn't a clue I just ignored them because dynamics are written with musical symbols, so not only does this help me with Mixcraft but Sibelius as well. :D I thank you greatly for your work.

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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby chibear » Mon May 05, 2014 7:13 pm

A Practical Application of Command Codes & Key Switches.

This was supposed to be a post about expression (CC11) applications, but when I looked at the graphics it was obvious there were more questions that needed answering so I dissected a violin solo from Romanze which occurs at 4:52 HERE

I tried as clearly as I could to decipher the use of velocity layers, keyswitches, and command codes. My ideas of the use of CC11 in strings have come to me from the study of the MIDI files from mockups from Dan Kury, which he was kind enough to share with me.

The VSTi used is the solo voilin from Kirk Hunter's Spotlight Solo Strings.

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In future projects I am going to further separate the vibrato into the 3 elements of speed, intensity, and hold time, probably CC1, CC110, and CC111.

This was not the best example to use for CC11 as there are often more and fluid changes. For this and CC1 it is very important to make smooth curves as any 'raggedness' shows up in the playback. As it is now I have to go in and edit each errant entry which becomes tedious.

EDIT:
WIth Mixcraft 7 I've totally changed my approach for passages like this In general, I have replaced CC11 with automating the output nob/slider in the vsti, the other vibrato controls have been reassigned from CC#s to host automations in Kontakt and also given automation lanes. CC#s are now restricted to being assigned to on-off switches (like CC64) where complicated drawing is not necessary.
Last edited by chibear on Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:00 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby Mark Bliss » Wed May 07, 2014 10:05 am

Well at least you started with a basic, simple example..... :shock:

I'll come back with some questions later, but for now, a humorous illustration as to how far behind I am from this example.

A few nights before this was posted, I decided to start from scratch on a midi project simply to experiment and learn. My initial plan was to create two tracks, a melody and a bass line, and experiment first with different instruments and sounds, then explore the cc controls and just see what happens.

I arranged a simple pair of 4 bar tracks, and spent the next 1/2 hour trying to find an errant note that I couldn't see. Finally I finally recalled this occurring once before and zoomed way in and found a little blip hardly bigger than a grid line. Deleted it and the four bar clip is playing right.

After playing it a few times through with different instruments and sounds, I decided the loop is a little short and doubled the clips to make them 8 bars so I could add a little interest, Now no matter what I did, at the start of the second 4 bars of the melody clip, a note would hang. In loop mode or not, different instruments, nothing but vel on/off in CC....... Messed with that for a full hour. Never finding the cause, got tired, deleted the project and picked up one of my Mandolins. Played it for a little while, satisfied that though I might not play it well, at least I knew what the problem was when it didn't sound right......... 8)
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outteh
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby outteh » Wed May 07, 2014 12:00 pm

Mark this can get really frustrating, especially when looping and trying to keep things in sequence. Just a suggestion though, instead of deleting the project , post it for the rest of us to help you with it. We've all been through this, maybe we could see the issue and give some future help for avoiding it? :D

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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby chibear » Wed May 07, 2014 2:31 pm

+1 to Ton's post.

As far as my conglomeration, don't try to digest it all at once. Take each setting and try to understand it. I put them up in the order I usually work on them. For awhile I tried to put everything in at once and was not able to keep track of it all (OFC or maybe just not doable for me) and it pretty much sounded like crap. LOTS of time invested with very little return. So now I make each a step.......and try to be patient 8)
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby Mark Bliss » Thu May 08, 2014 4:01 am

Thanks guys, appreciate the suggestions and will remember it when necessary. But like I said, it was just funny to have had so much trouble with the simplest thing, then see Pierre's example..... Wow!

It really wasn't frustrating me much at this time, as it was just the simplest of experiments, nothing serious. Unlike the hours I spent a few months ago on that piano/string accompaniment piece I had hours into and just couldn't get the strings to sound anything like I wanted!

I'll study a bit more and mess with it when I get some more time, and I'll be back with questions.

On a side note, there is a question left open in another thread I hoped we could address. Trevor asked about arpeggiation in the Mixcraft VSTi's. I recall Greg pointing out that several of them had the capability, but I cant recall the specific ones he mentioned, or find the thread. Like Trevor, I have examined the controls of each, and have no clue. Maybe we could add the topic here and find some pointers.
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby outteh » Thu May 08, 2014 8:13 am

The MinimogueVA has an arpegiator function. An arpeggiator is a built in device in synthesizers, it will listen to the keys you play (chords). when you play a chord it will play (depending on the settings "up" ,"down" , "up/down") each of the played note beginning with the lowest one, after that it will play the next.. if it is set to down it will of course play the highest note first. if it is in random mode ANY of the held notes will be played! So it is "random" but it will of course only play one of those you played as a chord!

MiniMogue.jpg
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To test this out just open up the MiniMogueVA and with the musical typing keyboard or your controller hold a note and click the arpeggiator on. It will start to oscillate, you can then adjust the mode and speed and begin to get a feel for what it does. If you want to try something neat, hold down a 3-note chord and play with the controls.
I don't use it much I think I only used it on one song I have done so far.

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Sample MIDI Project File

Postby outteh » Thu May 08, 2014 8:45 am

Mark, and any one else who wants to have a sample project to play with. I'm sure most of you will recognize this tune. It's a country piece I have been working on that uses several of the MIDI CC commands. I'm still playing with this as I think the fiddle and steel guitar could use a bit more work to get them sounding a little better and the piano work could use some pedal and "humanization". I used the panning command and volumes to set this up so you can hear what they do by themselves in MIDI without adjusting any track parameters. Anyway, download from dropbox and play around with it.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lubif6nzqk7nggn/AAB5_BFJGLbURM1Au_JhC8Iha

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby Mark Bliss » Thu May 08, 2014 9:43 am

Thanks Tom!

I missed that on the Mogue, have to try it out!

And i'll have a look at the project over the weekend and see what I can absorb!

Thanks again buddy!
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby trevlyns » Sat May 10, 2014 11:08 pm

Thanks for the pointer Tom :D

There just seems to be so much going on in vsti's (synths) for guitar guys like me to comprehend..

Anyone (Maybe Chris Collins or Mitchell Sigman) fancy putting together some video tutorials for us lesser mortals? I'm thinking maybe taking the vsti's that come with Mixcraft in turn and running through the various features.

Maybe I'll post a similar request over on the main forum too..
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby Mark Bliss » Mon May 12, 2014 10:47 am

Alright, two quick, early questions to start, I'm looking at Toms project, fiddling with the fiddle and slide guitar. Thanks again for this Tom, interested stuff going on there!

How much of the CC stuff are you guys "playing in" via pitch wheel, expression pedal, or other controllers, and how much are you adding/editing later? (I.E. HOW do we get there?)

I right click on the instrument icon on the MIDI track and some have reverb and/or delay VST's that pop up. Where are they inserted at?

There will be more........ 8)
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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby outteh » Mon May 12, 2014 11:55 am

Glad to see the project might help a bit. Keep in mind that when you choose a VSTI instrument from Mixcraft it may already have some effects in use (reverb, EQ, etc.). This is how Mixcraft interprets (sets) the sound for that particular instrument. They are taking a standard GM soundfont and editing it with effects to get the sound they want for their instrument. So, if it doesn't sound right to you, you can delete their effects (or manipulate them) to get the sound you want. For me, I use the pitch wheel while recording the VSTI instrument so I know where I want the crescendo or pitch adjustment to be used and then I go in and edit that pitch parameter to be more accurate and closer to what I want. It's painstaking at times, but usually produces reasonable results. Expression command for most instruements is just another volume control. But it allows you to set the volume for the track (using the volume control) one time and then use the expression command to raise or lower the volume of select pieces or notes. More to follow. :D
Last edited by outteh on Mon May 12, 2014 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby outteh » Mon May 12, 2014 3:46 pm

Additional info: Most of Mixcraft's standard VSTI's respond to the common general MIDI commands, reverb, chorus, pitch, modulation, etc. Some do not. For example, the VB3 VSTI responds to the modulation command as an adjustment to the Rotary Speaker slow/fast switch. This is what the creators of the VB3 VSTI wanted to use to control this feature. In Chibear's post, he mentioned using some of the non-assigned commands to control his violin parameters. This is because the Kirk Hunter's String software allows users to control this type of manipulation of the strings. And through those specific commands, which can be assigned to functions and switches, are available in the software package. These types of commands won't do much for standard GM midi instruments. So again, it's a little overwhelming but doable depending on the VSTI, the software package and the controller being used. In my case I only have a simple controller, M-Audio KeyRig 49. It only has a pitch wheel, modulation wheel, and octave control switch. So I am limited to functions I could assign to the controller to assist in doing more functions WHILE recording. I have to do special things in the piano roll AFTER recording. I don't have any special software packages either because I don't do orchestral or major music synthesis. OK for now? Keep the questions coming. The others will chime in here also. :D

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Re: Midi Control Commands (CC) and how to use

Postby outteh » Mon May 12, 2014 3:54 pm

Additional Info: As I mentioned in the previous posts, Mixcraft assigns effects to their specific instruments to achieve the sound they want from a standard GM MIDI instrument sound. Thus the Pedal Steel Soft sound for Mixcraft uses the GM Midi Hawaiian guitar sound and adds Classic Delay and Reverb to get their sound. You can see these effect changes by clicking on the Show Details tab in the VSTI instrument screen.

Details.jpg
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