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Thread: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

  1. #1
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    Default Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    Not sure on the complexity of this so it might be a long term wish or a pipedream. I'd like to be able to assign several channels to my MIDI Keyboard and while music is playing to lay down and save a series of beat tracks. HLS would recognize notes played and their length would be channel ON info and volume info would be dimming.

    I've been using the MIDI Reader addin in Vixen to do something similar to this and even though it's not a perfect in software solution it really speeds up laying down tracks. I've also been told LSP has their version of Midi input as well but I don't use LSP so I can't vouch for how that works there.

    In Vixen the MIDI reader essentially allows you to assign notes it reads in a MIDI file to channels in your sequence then parses the file to create channel info. The shortcomming there is it only reads MIDI files already saved so I have to create a file in my sequencing software the same length as my actual audio, save it, and then assign it as the music file for a sequence. Then I run the MIDI Reader to get the channel data. Finally, I reassign my MP3 to the sequence and copy the data to other channels and play with it.

    Even jumping through the hoops above I find it many times faster and accurate than a traditional beat track input. A typing keyboard and a mouse just seem to have limitations in their design when it comes to this that a MIDI instrument overcomes. Sustained notes, very fast notes, and chords are the most obvious ones that come to mind. With a MIDI input method I can have any number of channels limited only by my hardware come on and end independently with different dimming information and length all in the time it takes to play the music through once at real speed.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    Interesting idea - let me sleep on it.

    If you doing all of that just to get a BEAT track - HLS may already be light years ahead to help you with that.

    Sounds like up to now - you are only using your ears to determine Beat Track effects.

    Might I also suggest using your eyes.

    Use HLS's DSP audio filter capability - use a LOW pass filter with a corner about 300hz - Order of 2 to 5 - Gain of 1.

    This will remove most instrumentals - leaving only the bottom frequencies of the vocals and the LOW frequency audio most refer to as the "Beat".

    It is then very easy to drop your beat effects down as you can SEE them as well as HEAR them.

    Hope that helps.

    By the way ... make sure you use version 7B or higher.

    Earlier - I applied the DSP filter to both channels. With the hi-powered filters I use now - what you hear can go into the dirt real fast --- since I'm using DSP to enhance the visual side - not the audio side.

    In version 7B, I introduced the capability to keep the Right channel unchanged and just modify the left (which I display) ... This is the default --- a check box allows both channels to be filtered.

    Now you have full control over the audio - from both a visual and audible point of view.

    Joe
    Link to my DownLoad Site: [B][COLOR=#ff0000][URL]http://www.joehinkle.com/HLS[/URL]

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    EDIT: Ignore me:
    I think he is talking about useing a physical midi device to program channels. So you press C it turnes on channle3 A turned on channel1 etc. Also note some midi devices can hold and control the length of the note.
    "Jack of all trades, master of none,

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    kingofkya is correct. In my case I use a 66 key Midi Keyboard. But the range of devices and input options is huge from modified Rock Band instruments to drum pads. I believe there are apps that also allow tablets like Ipads to function as a Midi input as well.

    I call them beat tracks but I do them for every voice/instrument I want to sychronize to lights not just drums/bass. Basicly I use what I make with Midi for a road map (current plan is to import these sequnces from Vixen into HLS to play with RGB for this year), then I can merge/copy that info to channels all over the place with just a little massaging.

    I haven't messed much with HLS filters but I have used them in all sorts of music software packages. The problem with them is individual instruments get lost in the middle just how the tech for it is. It's same reason software that tries to take an MP3 and make a musical score or a midi out of it automaticly is generally pretty terrible. Filters tend to work alright for the outer edges of extreme notes (drums/bass as an example) but the mids tend to muddle together as once a track is pushed together a computer can't tell whether a piano, vocalist, or saxaphone was making that frequency.

    Let me see if I can kind of put a screen cap video together of what I'm talking about speed wise and it might make it more clear.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    Alrighty here's a quick and dirty example of how I do parts in Vixen with a Midi Keyboard. I normally would decide on which instrument throught the song I wanted to focus on and do a pass for each one to be more precise. So if I was really doing this to use in a show I would have likely done orchestra hits on one pass, piano on another, flute/trumpet solo on another or some such. Since here I just was doing the input example I kind of jumped around to different parts to show what can be done, flaked on some complicated parts I wasn't ready for. For some that might say "I can't play any musical instruments" the notes only correspond to lights, so it's really just me banging away on my keyboard to the part of the music I want to light.

    One slight note, I'm a Cam Studio noob and it wasn't grabbing audio so I did have to readd the music to where it was playing when I was doing this. That was the only video editing, no fast forwards or skip arounds in time. I listened through this song once before recording to get a general feel.

    Since I left it pretty compressed what you see is
    1)Showing Vixen with no channel data, just 16 empty channels and adjustable preview is setup
    2) Swap to audio software and lay down a midi track to the music playing and export it (software is Reaper)
    3) Back to Vixen assign midi to sequence, use Midi Reader to map channels to notes and parse song
    4) Quick scroll showing the data now there
    5) Assign MP3 to sequence and play show as is



    Not sure about people more experienced than I but for as dirty as that was I couldn't get anything that close for 16 channels in under 7 minutes with traditional mouse/typing keyboard input methods. Since I'm using RGB I would have to copy data to more channels set colors etc if this were a track I was using but this seems to give me a fast and accurate baseline to build from considering the time involved.

    I could envision being able to do this to say segments in HLS and in a perfect world without the step of hopping out to external software.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    I'm an Electrical Engineer by education with zero musically skills - so what you do is greek to me but I think I understand the concept.

    Tell me if my 40,000 ft view is correct.

    You listen to the song - as you do - you play keys on a midi keyboard.

    You would then like to map the key events (key, position in song, duration of key down) on to a unique set of channels per unique key.

    If that is true ... midi keys could be processed to HLS segments (if pixels) or regular channels - resulting is a form of auto sequencing.

    Is that what you are asking?

    Joe
    Link to my DownLoad Site: [B][COLOR=#ff0000][URL]http://www.joehinkle.com/HLS[/URL]

    [/COLOR][/B][IMG]http://joehinkle.com/HLS/HLS%20Logo%20Small.jpg[/IMG]

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    ^ Sounds right to me. Also joe when you add midi you also gain support for some dj controlers, witch could help others. Setting up button/note mapping might take a way a bit of ease of use but, hey may as well if its easier for some.

    Also for thous of who don't want to drag out the midi device. It mayab e a good idea to make this generic so you can map a key on the PC keyboard to channel as well as midi devices.
    Last edited by kingofkya; 10-11-2012 at 12:19 PM.
    "Jack of all trades, master of none,

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    Quote Originally Posted by JHinkle View Post
    You listen to the song - as you do - you play keys on a midi keyboard.

    You would then like to map the key events (key, position in song, duration of key down) on to a unique set of channels per unique key.
    Correct. With the additions of Velocity (midi data related to how hard a key is pressed) would translate to dimming info, and in the mapping a 1 to many relationship could be established both ways. Where either 1 key could light 10 segments/channels, or 1 segment/channel could be activated by several different keys.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingofkya View Post
    It mayab e a good idea to make this generic so you can map a key on the PC keyboard to channel as well as midi devices.
    That could be a good intermediary however PC keyboards do have some limitations in that aspect. You can see them on virtual keyboards like http://www.bgfl.org/custom/resources...iano/index.htm
    1) holding down keys to make a sustained note is actually read as 1 press a delay then rapid repeating of the key
    2) When tapping a note to repeat it real fast or doing complicated rythyms they just can't keep up and start missing presses or adding in phantom presses. This was the first big flaw I noticed in software with beat tapping from a keyboard.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    Quote Originally Posted by injury View Post
    Correct. With the additions of Velocity (midi data related to how hard a key is pressed) would translate to dimming info, and in the mapping a 1 to many relationship could be established both ways. Where either 1 key could light 10 segments/channels, or 1 segment/channel could be activated by several different keys.

    I will allow you to assign a Dimming Curve to the Midi input so you can control how Velocity is mapped to Intensity.

    Joe
    Link to my DownLoad Site: [B][COLOR=#ff0000][URL]http://www.joehinkle.com/HLS[/URL]

    [/COLOR][/B][IMG]http://joehinkle.com/HLS/HLS%20Logo%20Small.jpg[/IMG]

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Feature Request: MIDI Instrument Input

    Quote Originally Posted by injury View Post
    Correct. With the additions of Velocity (midi data related to how hard a key is pressed) would translate to dimming info, and in the mapping a 1 to many relationship could be established both ways. Where either 1 key could light 10 segments/channels, or 1 segment/channel could be activated by several different keys.


    That could be a good intermediary however PC keyboards do have some limitations in that aspect. You can see them on virtual keyboards like http://www.bgfl.org/custom/resources...iano/index.htm
    1) holding down keys to make a sustained note is actually read as 1 press a delay then rapid repeating of the key
    2) When tapping a note to repeat it real fast or doing complicated rythyms they just can't keep up and start missing presses or adding in phantom presses. This was the first big flaw I noticed in software with beat tapping from a keyboard.

    They key thing is most of the time a issue with cheap wireless keyboards most have 2-3 max keypresses. Wired ps2 and usb are a little better but they also have some limitations as well, think is 6 or 7 keys. Also that player is flash and seams to be setup for one keypress max.
    Last edited by kingofkya; 10-11-2012 at 02:04 PM.
    "Jack of all trades, master of none,

    Certainly better than a master of one"
    Projects:
    [URL]http://hackaday.io/project/1092-Raptor12-AC-light-controller[/URL]

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