Skip to main content

Topic: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML (Read 36191 times) previous topic - next topic

Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
I've been a long time, casual user of NWC since v1.30.  It has served me well enough to keep me from buying Finale PrintMusic, or worse.

I just purchased SharpEye for music scanning, which outputs NIFF, MusicXML, and MIDI.  (See my review of SharpEye vs PhotoScore ).

The MIDI output of SharpEye2 is great, but NWC import of the MIDI is pitiful visually (dotted quarters broken into tied eights, slurs and triplets lost...) and aurally (mechanical, unmusical) and NWC does not import NIFF or MusicXML.  I've put in a suggestion for this in NWC2 but I'm not holding my breath.

I just tried the Igor Engraver demo and the imported MusicXML sounds just like the SharpEye MIDI...great, but do I really have to spend US$300 to get NIFF/MusicXML import and good MIDI?  (The UserInterface on Igor was really weird compared to NWC's intuitive editing.)

That's my thoughts...
Alan

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #1
I have only been using NWC for a few months now and I totally agree with you about the midi importing. I feel that after playing the original then importing it into NWC it seems to me to be a different tune entirely from the one I just listened to. I think this is one part of the software that needs a complete re-vamp.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #2
Well... The users of NWC2 have not been sitting on their hands. Meet NWC2 and the masters of PHP, who get wishes granted, regardless of the time of the year (Christmas or no!)

I think that dotted quarters will be dotted quarters again, and so on. If you have NWC2, great; if you're entitled to it, go and get it; if not, upgrade - you will not regret it.
(No, I have no Noteworthy-shares to my name.)

regards,
Rob.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #3
OK, I ordered the CD; We'll see if MIDI performance is improved any.

I imported the same MIDI into PrintMusic last night.  Wow!!! It looked just like the original, lacking some slurs, and it sounded even better than the original.  US$59 for good MIDI... (I did find two bugs in their demo pretty quickly, but both have workarounds.)

I'll still try NWC2 when the CD arrives, but I was pretty impressed with PrintMusic.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #4
I think that part of what Rob was referring to was that NWC2 now has the capability of interfacing with tools that can be written by the user. I've written one already that converts those funny dot combinations back into triplets (though it needs some input from the user to recognise the triplets).
The MIDI import of NWC can be tweaked (mainly adjusting note granularity and rest granularity) to achieve better results, but it does all take a fair bit of time to go through the import wizard each time.
As I don't use the import wizard much, this feature has been of little interest to me.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #5
does nwc2 import midi velocities and controllers, like volume,  and pitch bend, and import multiple voices as ties???

example for "import multiple voices as ties":

1/8 note 1/8 note
1/4 _________note is imported like:

1/8 note    1/8 note
1/8 note_tie_1/8 note

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #6
Is it possible to export NWC 1.75 file to NIFF ?

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #7
Nope, just native file format or MIDI.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #8
--quote:Reply 5 by user111 ("ME") on 2004-11-29 11:46:56--
does nwc2 import midi velocities and controllers, like volume, and pitch bend, and import multiple voices as ties???

example for "import multiple voices as ties":

1/8 note 1/8 note
1/4 _________note is imported like:

1/8 note 1/8 note
1/8 note_tie_1/8 note
--quote--
Dat wud a gud feacha te hav be, but ight now it in NWC missin' iz. An' wy gav no one me a comment fo' my question abov?

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #9
but ight now it in NWC missin' iz.=but ight now, iz it in NWC missin'.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #10
I'm posting in English word order again. The previous one I posted was in German word order.

Dat wud be a gud feacha te hav, but ight now it missin' in NWC. An' wy ain't nobody giv'n me a comment fo' my question abov?

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #11
To answer abstain
I tried it in vain
I have to confess
You're no more, no less
Than a regular ass in the pain.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #12
Alan's observations on the strangely poor ability of Composer 1.75 (and earlier) to import Midi Files and convert them into proper notation has annoyed me on several occasions.  It is particularly odd considering Noteworthy Player seems to do a rather better job - both in actually playing Midi Files and in converting them into suitable notation - and all without asking any questions about instrument and velocity changes, note/rest sizes, and so on.

However, I suspect that when Player plays the File it's playing the original Midi File, not what you'd get if you saved the visible notation in Midi format.  And I suppose that one of the problems Midi import faces is in many cases it is simply impossible to decide for certain how a Midi File should be notated.  For example, since - so far as I am aware - the Midi File doesn't store barline data (though it does store the time signature), how can the import software determine whether the piece starts with a whole bar/measure or only part of a bar/measure (and if it gets it wrong then everything thereafter is screwed up)?  For another example, strictly speaking Composer apparently only knows about the Performance Styles legato/tenuto (which sound much the same) and staccato, although if a staff has no set Style then its notes are played rather as if they were marcato - that is, each actually separated/spaced from the next rather than flowing on into it (like "note  note  note ... " instead of "notenotenote ...").  So, if a note appears to be shorter than its full length then it might be "marcato", or it might be staccato, or it might be somewhere in between ... and it might not actually fit whatever Composer itself would use for one of its defined notelengths, and so the import process starts with the nearest larger note and simply adds smaller and smaller tied notes until the result's the right length.  Mind you, I appreciate that this is not the whole story, for if I import back into Composer one of my Composer Files output in Midi format it still gets note lengths "wrong" - in particular, bits that were legato come back as "marcato" (though at least that is easily dealt with by suitably inserting a Legato Performance Style.

And the present incarnation of Player has its own oddities, which I suspect are deliberate.  Thus, it's quite infuriating that it won't allow a File to be played from anywhere except the beginning!  It's also rather irritating that it doesn't let you select any part of the score and then Ctrl-C and Crtl-V copy it into an open Composer window.

Ah, well ...!

John H, 10/Jan/06

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #13
I've been using NWC since '96.  Import was never meant to be more that a starting point to get some notes into the program.  At that time (and still unresolved) there were legal issues about programs facilitating copyright abuse.

Programatically, intelligent import can be done, but if done too well (at least here in the US), one is likely to get sued.

There is a simple reason why midi export is good. The song has to be converted to realtime midi to play it.  It is not very difficult to add a timestamp to each midi command and buffer it for export.

I have long suspected that fermatas and breathmarks were never realtime midi commands, just delays in the stream, and that that is why they are not exported.

Gee, breathmarks and fermatas aren't even in the spellchecker.
Not much chance of them being added to midi export any time soon ...

My 2 cents
Registered user since 1996

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #14
In my opinion, the viewer is clever enough but completely useless.
I cannot tell the members of the choir 'well, here is the .nwc file, now adjust the sound a bit, so you hear your own voice group better (put it at max volume, choose a stereo pan, choose another instrument) so I have to send at least 4 versions to the choir members. Not very practical.
The viewer should be able to set properties for a bar - AND have a 'go to bar number' option.
The viewer then remains a real viewer: printing is not necessary, neither is changing a single note. I wish...

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #15
Hi, Rick G/Rob d H.

Rick says Import was never meant to be more that a starting point to get some notes into the program.

OK.  But it would be nice if they were the "right" notes.

He observes that at that time (and still unresolved) there were legal issues about programs facilitating copyright abuse.

Yes.  I've been reading some of the correspondence (in different bits of Forum) about Copyright Infringement.  Although the Rules differ from Country to Country, basically it's potentially an infringement to copy anything - any work ... whether the music itself (as in, say, making a copy of a CD, or keying the notes into Composer) or the printed Score that identifies the notes (thus all my keying-in of Choral Music from Novello (and the like) Scores is technically an infringement of the Copyright in the printed score; no-one ever seems to consider this possibility!!).  I include "potentially" because whether there's any extant Copyright to be infringed depends (in sometimes quite complicated ways) how old the Work/Score is and when it was first published/performed.  Thus, key in Handel's "Israel in Egypt" from the current Novello Score, and, while you don't infringe any Copyright in the original music - it's too old - you DO infringe the Copyright in the printed Score.  Key in, say, Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" from the Boosey & Hawkes Score and you infringe both Copyrights!  And key in from a printed Score a recent arrangement of a work ... well, there's probably Copyright in the arrangement music itself (and in its Score) even if not in the original music!

And don't think they can't "prove" it was their Score; if you did it faithfully it's usually not that hard!

Generally, though, the Novellos of this world don't care about it that badly, though with a (recently) living Composer B & H might!  Or Novello might get pretty irritated by the copying of, say, the Laurie/Dart version of Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas" (the one I used was made in the early 60s, and revised in 1974).  Especially if you started running off and selling printed versions of the Notation File you make!

Copying a Midi File is certainly potentially infringement of some copyright ... with the Handel it's probably the Copyright in the Score (although I admit there are some Score Versions that are so old they're out of Copyright).

Rick adds: programatically, intelligent import can be done, but if done too well (at least here in the US), one is likely to get sued.

Exactly!

Rob remarks that the viewer is clever enough but completely useless, saying that he cannot tell the members of the choir "Well, here is the .nwc file, now adjust the sound a bit, so you hear your own voice group better (put it at max volume, choose a stereo pan, choose another instrument)" so he has to send at least 4 versions to the choir members. Not very practical.

Well, yes and no.  First, have a look at my Free Downloadable Choral Music Website - http://www.the hoopers.demon.co.uk .

Second, you/your Choir can download (from my Site: but see the comments about it) the "simple" freebie Sequencer "Recording Session" from Midisoft (that was their name: they recently got swallowed up by someone else).  This allows you to do exactly what you want to do ... send each person an UNemphasised Midi File, and have them tweak it themselves using the Session Real-time Mixer Board (and, Rob, see my earlier Wish List Items comments about Composer having just such a facility!).

Regards,

John H, 11/Jan/06

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #16
Whoops, sorry - it's http://www.thehoopers.co.uk ... no space.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #17
Oh, Gawd ... it's too late, my brain has stopped functioning ... http://www.thehoopers.demon.co.uk.  Yes!!

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #18
I just finished putting together a VisualBasic.Net program to convert MusicXML files into text files containing NWC Clip fragments.

It's quite basic yet and may not support all features it could support, but that's a start. Anyone's interested?

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #19
Yes please:-)

Tina

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #20
You can download it from here

It's a command-line tool, no interface yet.
mxml2nwcc.exe [name of the xml file]

The tool will output a set of text files, each once containing a NWC Clip for one staff, or the first line of lyrics (if any) for that staff. Lyrics may not fit exactly, I did the best I could for a program written in 4 hours.

The tool is not perfect, there is several things not supported or not translated yet (for instances all bar lines are created as single)

And yes, the program connects to internet. I haven't been able yet to prevent it. The XML parser finds the DTD url in the MusicXML file and always want to download it, for verification purposes.

Current version is "0.1 minimalist alpha". Since the download is only 7kb, you can check once in a while if a new version is available. I may create a simple web page for it if I see a lot of interest. Comment, Bug reports, Suggestions: see the readme file.

Requirements: Microsoft .Net Framework (You can get it through Windows Update.)

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #21
Thanks. I've got it but it's too late tonight to play with it. (Still trying to figure out the .net framework thingy)

Tina

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #22
You may already have the framework on your machine without knowing it - Just try to run the program. If you get an error such as "mscoree.dll not found", you are missing the framework.

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #23
Hi John H,

As I understand it, copyright isn't quite as simple as you make out when writing out music that appears on someone else's publication.

Assume a work by a 17th century composer has been faithfully reproduced in a recently issued anthology of old music.  Copyright in this music never existed since copyright law didn't exist in the 17th century.

Even though you're working from the recently published page of written music, the publisher does not own the copyright in the music itself.  You can reproduce that to your heart's content.  What you cannot do is copy the stuff that represents the publisher's intellectual effort - things like the exact layout of the page, the format of the notes; any annotations by the publisher, reinstrumentation or transpositions, or symbols the publisher has added that weren't in the public domain material.

In some jurisdictions (Canada, for instance), the courts have held that you can make a single copy of anything for your own use.  You just can't distribute it.  So, if you wish to import someone's midi file for your own use, you're not offside.  Burning it to CD for distribution, and publishing it as a score and parts, would be violations, since the composer and possibly the arranger of the composition have copyright in the work and there are mechanical reproduction rights too.

Here's a conumdrum.  Ms Famous Musician records baroque music with her own interpretation of tempos, pauses, dynamics, articulations, etc.    While you can make a single audio copy of her recording (in Canada) for your own use and you can transcribe the music you've heard her play onto paper, can you legally notate her articulations, dynamics, etc. that she created and are not found on the original score?  If your answer is no, then what about her articulations, dynamics, etc. that were taught to her during private music lessons from an acknowledged virtuoso?

Re: Thoughts on NWC - importing MIDI, MIDI playback, NIFF/MusicXML
Reply #24
Hi, David P.

You are right that Copyright isn't (quite as) simple; in the days before I retired, when I was an IPR lawyer, I did my best to avoid problems that were Copyright-relevant!  But for Forum simple is ... simplest, yes?

You make the example of a work by a 17th century composer that has been faithfully reproduced in a recently issued anthology of old music.

Much of what you say is so, but ... "faithfully" reproduced?  C17 Scores tended to be hand-written, so merely typesetting one, with all the interpretation, revision and editing that is invariably involved, requires effort which is not simply "mechanical", and creates an original Work in which Copyright potentially exists.  And while, yes, you can reproduce the music itself to your heart's content, unless you go back to the source papers you're infringing whatever Copyright there may be in the printed Score you used. The very essence of infringement is unfairly taking advantage of someone else's effort; merely by using the printed Score that is what you have done!

I'm not going to offer a comment on Ms Famous Musician ... well, I am, but I'm not sure about it (as I said, I did my best to avoid Copyright matters!).  I would say that her performance, with its "novel" tempos, dynamics and so on, is an original Work in which there must potentially be Copyright.  However - and now I talk only about UK Law -  as the 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act states in Section 3(2), this Right doesn't become actual until the Work is recorded (in writing or otherwise) ... but, surprise, surprise, as 3(3) states, whether that "recording" is by the Author and/or with the Author's permission is irrelevant, so that in your example we have a perhaps rather counter-intuitive conclusion that YOUR observing and notating everything (as you suggest) both brings the Author's Copyright into existence and simultaneously infringes that Right!  Mind you, as 3(3) then implies, you could possibly have your own Copyright in your notated recording.

Isn't Copyright fascinating!

Regards,

John H, 12/Jan/06