Not knowing for sure what a maven is, I won't admit to being one. But on the midi question - there are a couple aspects to it.
First is that behaviour of polyphony is a property of the synth, not of the midi protocol. Midi just sends Note on/off pairs; it's up the synth to interpret them. The better synths with true polyphony will use a FIFO (first in, first out) approach, so that multiple instances of the same note will indeed sound independantly. This will be turned off in the same sequence they were originally turned on. But cheaper soundcard synths will turn off all instances of a given note with the next note-off.
The other thing is that the percussion channel is usually handled differently from the other channels. Again, implementation varies, but most better synths try to make the percussion fit the instrument. For instance, a crash cymbal, once struck, will continue to ring even if you send a Note Off. (This means that if you want to achieve the effect of grabbing the cymbal to mute it, you have to use a volume or expression controller on the entire channel.) What's more, the cymbal will of course continue to sound if you hit a bass or snare drum. But if you hit the cymbal again, it stops the original sound and starts a new one instance.
I couldn't hear a difference on my XG system between a drum roll done the easy way, and one done with the alternating staves trick. The sound was identical because each Note-On restarts the sound sample, independantly of Note-Off.
Some instrument sounds are in pairs; the most notable is open and closed high-hat. In better synths, these sounds are mutually exclusive, just as they are in real life. Same with muted vs normal congas, ride vs ride bell, etc. But of course a high-hat sound can be concurrent with a crash or ride cymbal, etc.
Rose:The 2nd trombone had A Ab A Ab A Ab A Ab A Ab A Ab A Ab A Ab.
That one's notationally so ugly that it would be only marginally better if written as either enharmonically incorrect version Gx Ab G A G A ... or A G# A G A G ...
The most elegant way of dealing with this particular construct would be to notate it as a tremolo. This looks like a half-note A single-beamed with a half-note Ab. You'd need only two of those to accurately convey the two whole-notes' worth of alternating 1/8's.
Actually, midi note number is a severe liability if you want to operate outside of the usual boring 12-tone system. But it's unlikely to change, so we work around it. ;-)
To explain, perhaps, why double accidentals are used: Let's take for example a harmonic minor scale on A. The notes are:
A, B, C, D, E, F, G#, A
Note that there's one of each letter (except the last one, which is the octave.) Now, let's take the same scale starting on A#:
A#, B#, C#, D#, E#, F#, Gx, A#
The leading tone (second to last note) has to be "some kind of G" otherwise it wouldn't be a correct scale. That's why we have to call it Gx (G double-sharp) instead of A, because we already have an "A" (the tonic, A#).
Create a new staff as always. Set it to Channel 10 (Staff Properties | Midi tab). Each note will now be a different instrument in the drum kit. See drumref.nwc in your Samples folder for which notes correspond to which instruments.
On some sound cards and synths you can select different drum kits by changing the instrument patch; example - the "Acoustic Bass" patch gives a different kit than the "Grand Piano" patch. Consult your soundcard/synth's manual for the available kits.
Well, there is no "midi send command" per se. You merely have to select the appropriate device to send the midi stream to your external keyboard instead of the internal synth on the soundcard. This device will usually have a name such as "MPU-401 External Midi" or "Brand X External Midi" etc.
From NWC you can either select the device directly (via Tools | Options | Midi tab), or else choose the "Midi Mapper." If you choose the Midi Mapper, whatever you have assigned as the default Windows midi device (via Control Panel | Multimedia | Midi tab) will be applied within NWC.
(Dana wrote: Hmm ... let me see if I have the process straight.)
Yup. That's the gist of it.
If you get clever, you can do other weird things if you have a sequencer (or don't mind manipulating text versions of midi files). For instance, you can temper a piano according to one temperament (using pianotun.exe for its chordal support, using up 12 of the available midi tracks) then combine up to three single-instrument tracks tempered to a *different* temperament by miditemp.exe (plus optional drum track). This is sort of a "parallel concetenation" as opposed to the "serial concatenation" described above for your project.
An example of such a parallel concatenation is our song My Best Friend. (Note that you have to download the midi version to hear the tempering).
Not so simple for songs that change between scales *within the song* [and some do]. For those, perhaps there's no substitute for the brute-force all-manual method. If so, ah well. If there is another alternative ... I'd be listening.
Yes, there is another approach. Create, export to midi, and temper the two (or more) sections independantly, then string 'em together either using a sequencer (Cubase, Cakewalk, Massiva etc.) or other utility. One such is "midicat.exe", a freeware DOS utility available here
Yes, Dana, equal-tempered scales that contain a multiple (or submultiple) of 12 tones are relatively straight-forward, and "pocket calculator stuff" as you put it. (Where it gets trickier is when arbitrary absolute ratios are involved.)
So you're right, if you have a 72-tET (72-tone Equal Tempered) scale, it would have six equally spaced notes for each of the 12-tET tones. I think your analysis is correct, but a little off in the implementation. Each group of six 72-tET tones would correspond to one 12-tET tone, with appropriate pitch-bends:
1 = A PB=0 2 = A PB=+683 ( = 1/6 of 4096) 3 = A PB=+1365 ( = 2/6 of 4096) 4 = A PB=+2048 ( ... etc.) 5 = A PB=+2731 6 = A PB=+3413 7 = A# PB=0 8 = A# PB=+683 ...etc.
(Note that only integer values are possible, since it's represented by a 14-bit number.)
There are other ways of implementing it, for instance you could use the whole range of the pitch-bend parameter (four 12-tET semitones) such that you only actually use three 12-tET notes (for example, B, D#, and G) each of which can be pitch-bent to a group of 24 of the 72-tET notes.
But I suspect the formula given first would be more practical.
OK. The root cause of this problem is that Windows only allows one client at a time to use any given midi device. There are ways around it, the best is "Hubi's Midi Cable" (google on it if interested) which will let you do strange things like play more than one midi file at the same time.
Before resorting to that, however, try this. Go to Tools | Options | Midi Tab | Port Usage pulldown. Set to "While Playing". Now open a few windows, and see if they're all playable. (Note: you can still only play one at a time, of course.)
From Explorer, hold the CNTL key and click on the NWC files you want to open, in order to select them (highlight them). (If the directory contains only NWC files and you want to open all of them, simply select one of them then press CNTL A to select all.) Right-click, Open. Should launch NWC and spawn as many windows as you have files selected.
Works on 95 and 98SE, should work fine in all versions AFAIK.
Jussi's right. However, if you have two independant midi playback devices, both capable of selecting different drum banks, then you can select the appropriate device in the Staff Properties | Midi Tab device pulldown.
The MIDI cable has 5 pin Din connectors on both ends. This aparently was once the standard for MIDI although I have never seen a DIN connector on a computer.
It's still the standard for midi, and you're right; computers don't natively come with midi support.
The closest thing is the joystick port on many soundcards, which with a suitable adaptor cable (containing a relatively simple interface circuit) can be used for midi in/out.
My computers have all the usual serial, parallel, USB
OK, so either a USB or serial midi interface unit would work for you. There are even parallel port interfaces, but these probably will be even harder to find than the serial version.
and the little round ones that look like mini versions of the DIN, one green and one yellow. They have a key in the center so it can only go in one or the other. I was told that one of these is for the MIDI input.
Those are PS/2 ports, usually reserved for keyboard and mouse, though I suppose you might be able to find a midi interface that uses these.
I am unclear on if I have the proper driver for this also.
The driver would come supplied with the midi interface.
The MIDI pull down in NWC list "Play devices" and the record pulldown asks for an input device but the window in empty and I presume that is where the keybord driver should be. Is this right? Where is it or where do I get one?
See above. If you happen to have a soundcard with a joystick connector, the installation software for the soundcard should also install the external midi driver. It will show as "MPU-401 External midi" or something to that effect. If not, you have to use an external midi interface and the installation software supplied with it.
More basically, what is the input connector on the computer called? Is this a serial port?
What does it look like? Is it a little rectangular hole, about 1 cm by 0.5 cm? If so, that's a USB port (Universal Serial Bus). It's a kind of serial port, as the name implies. MIDI is a serial protocol. But that doesn't mean you can just plug into USB. You'll need an external midi interface box. One such is made by Edirol. There's several others shown at the zZounds site.
Can I use a serial port and just wire a 9pin connector to my "MIDI" cable?
If, on the other hand, the connector you're talking about is the older DB-9 serial port (a trapezoidal-shaped connector with two rows of pins, 5 in one and 4 in the other) as the previous sentence seems to imply, you'll find it a bit more difficult finding midi interfaces. I happened to stumble on a DIY project for building one yourself. There does seem to be at least one commercial version still available from Midilink.
Unfortunately, this is one of those applications for which NWC is not (at this time) ideally suited, since it can't be synchronized to an external midi clock. In principle, though, you might be able to tweak the tempo of your "click track" to exactly match that of the sending synth. But it will be fiddly at best.
I've done a similar operation, importing a sequence from an old drum machine, by using Cubasis (the low-end version of Cubase). I believe that Cakewalk has a midi-clock synch option too.
Assuming that you've got your keyboard working with your NWC or midi files, here's what you need to do to record it:
Get a cable with suitable connectors to plug into your keyboard's LINE OUT jacks at the one end (these will usually be two 1/4" mono jacks) and your sound card's LINE IN jack at the other (1/8" stereo). If you can't find a cable like this and don't have the interest/experience to make your own, you might be able to use the keyboard's HEADPHONE output (1/4" stereo jack); you can then use the ordinary run of cable with 1/8" plugs at both ends, and use a 1/8" to 1/4" adaptor (just like come with most headphones nowadays) to adapt it at the keyboard end.
You'll then need a wav recording/editing application. The soundrec app that comes with Winwoes is pathetic, and won't work for more than about a minute. A really good one is CoolEdit by Syntrillium Software (Ack! Seems it's been recently acquired by Adobe. Proceed at your own risk), a fairly decent one (with rudimentary editing capability) comes with recent builds of the freeware "Exact Audio Copy" CD ripper. There's a simple one that you can use to replace the existing soundrec.exe at one of my webpages (scroll to bottom of page).
Start the recording application, and hit PLAY in NWC or your midi player, and the wav will record. Hit STOP when done, and save it to disk. From there you can burn direct to CD, or encode it to mp3 using any of available mp3 encoders for archiving (raw wavs are HUGE) or web publishing.
In the demo file CAVERNS, this problem has been solved, but I cannot see how it has been done... any help appreciated.
There are two aspects to this:
1) Give the staves an invisible name. This is easiest to do by using "non-breaking spaces", which you can enter directly into the name field by holding the ALT key while typing 0160 on the numeric keypad. The top staff's name would be one of these nbsp's, and the second (left hand) staff would be named with two consecutive nbsp's.
2) Now enter a text item as the very first item (before the clef), "Piano ", (note that a few ordinary spaces follow the actual letters) using the Staff Bold font setting, alignment "before other staff signatures", justification "right." Adjust its exact positioning by changing the number of ordinary spaces after the "Piano" portion.
No, not really, since NoteWorthy Composer does not contain its own instrument sounds. It can only use the sounds that your computer sound system has available.
But if your sound card is of a type that allows the use of soundfonts (Creative SBLive! family or Audigy family) then you can add or change the available sounds. Similarly, if you have external software such as TiMidity and a suitably fast computer, you might be able to use soundfonts even without a soundfont-based sound card.
Some of these controllers (e.g. reverb and chorus) are available in NWC by using "multi-point controllers" (MPCs). The Help system has quite a bit of info on using these. If you want a more detailed explanation, download the NWC Command Summary from the Scriptorium