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Re: swinging notes

Reply #50
It's against my better judgment to return to this thread, and many of the issues I will raise belong in other threads, but let me explain where I am coming from. 

I prepare practice aids for a choir with a rather broad range of styles. (We perform part song for male voices in styles ranging from early music (Palestrina, Praetorius) through art songs (Strauss, Schubert, Dvorak, Grieg, Brahms, Rachmaninov) sea chanteys, grand and light opera (Wagner, Verdi, Gounod, Herbert, Lehar, Bizet, Rossini, Puccini, Mascagni, Sullivan), oratorio (Handel, Hayden, Mozart, Beethoven), seasonal music, anthems and spirituals, to Broadway (Porter, Sondheim, Rodgers, Gershwin, Hart, Webber, Bernstein), folk songs, gospel, rock, jazz, modern classical (Randall Thompson, Mac Dowell), barber shop, rap and even the occasional tune by Felix Mendelssohn, among  a great many others.  We sing, whenever possible, from the original publisher's scores, but I must provide a kind of super intelligent metronome/pitch pipe which will teach the notes and basic rhythms, leaving more rehearsal time for learning performance style, dynamics, breathing and other things that turn the notes to music.  Thus, to me, NoteWorthy is a sequencer first and a printing program only for emergencies.  (And I must distribute in .nwc form, not .midi because muting staves and slowing tempos is something my audience must be able to do.)

I will be posting such an emergency in a more appropriate thread, but the gist of the problem follows.  I started with a lousy manuscript was unreadable in performance, but NoteWorthy insisted in putting much too much space between notes, and wouldn't let me squeeze a measure down by a single millimeter to avoid having one measure in a line rather than two, which really should have been able to squeeze down, this time more significantly, to get three measures on a line and a reasonably compact score that would minimize page turns for the accompanist.

Bottom line; I think NoteWorthy Composer (it's official full name) is a much better sequencer than it is an engraver, and I can not understand why so many really obvious and easy to fix problems in both areas are ignored.   

Re: swinging notes

Reply #51
It's against my better judgment to return to this thread, and many of the issues I will raise belong in other threads ...
I would suggest: How do I get more notes on one line?
NoteWorthy insisted in putting much too much space between notes, and wouldn't let me squeeze a measure down by a single millimeter to avoid having one measure in a line rather than two.
If you post a scan of the two (or three) measures you would like to get on one line, perhaps someone will help. There are too many techniques and topics devoted to this subject to summarize.

As an engraver, NWC2's primary vitrue is that it handles simple things quickly.
Registered user since 1996

Re: swinging notes

Reply #52
Quote
I started with a lousy manuscript was unreadable in performance, but NoteWorthy insisted in putting much too much space between notes, and wouldn't let me squeeze a measure down by a single millimeter to avoid having one measure in a line rather than two,

Hi bidderxyzzy. There must be a lot of notes in those bars if NWC will only handle one bar per system!

I have extracted and printed hundreds of instrumental parts using NWC2.  Typically, I get between 5 and 7 bars per line, depending on how many notes there are in the bars.

Have you tried experimenting with:
Staff metrics?  Downsizing can make quite a difference and increase the number of bars in a line.  My band (most of whom well over 50 year of age) are okay with font sizes as small as 12.

Distance between staffs
There's enough built in flexibility to control the number of pages.  Changing the font size for the notation helps, and so does adjusting the upper and lower staff vertical sizes.


I'm not terribly good at adjusting margin sizes, but that might help too. 




Re: swinging notes

Reply #53
G'day bidderxyzzy,
If you're only missing out by just a few milimetres or so on fitting your extra bar in then may I suggest you try one of my alternative fonts?

Go here: http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Fonts to access the download page.

The suites are designed to be used as a whole - I.E. if you use NWC2MusikDingsSerif for you system font, the MusikTextSerif is the matching text font, MusikTextEuroSerif is the matching Euro text font, MusikDingsSerif is the matching musical symbols font and MusikChordSerif is the matching text chord construction font.

The reason I suggest trying one of the suites is that I have deliberately reduced the horizontal space consumed by many objects.  E.G flags, rests, clefs etc..

As David mentioned, adjusting your margins can help - go to: |File|Page Setup|Margins (tab)  I usually use 1.27 cm (0.5 inch) but can go as low as 0.5 cm (0.2 inch) before I start to get the edges clipped by my printer.  Of course, a small left margin leaves nothing to bind with but my charts are usually in folders with "page protectors" - clear plastic sleeves with a binding edge to allow insertion in a ring binder - thus no binding space needed.

As for giving your fellow choristers music to hear and rehearse to, I suspect you have created a small "rod for your back".  In order to make the score look "proper" you need to use hidden staves to get the sound right in a lot of cases - the unfortunate side effect of this (for you) is that your users cannot simply mute the staff they see...  It's already muted (probably).  The would need to mute the hidden staff that's doing all the work.

However this is where a tempo staff can help - even if it ain't perfect.  It can reduce the need for hidden staves. 

I know I appear to be "harping on" on this, but as has already been said by a few of us, pedagogically it is better if your musicians and choristers learn to read from scores presented in standard notation for the style being performed than from a more complex, and possibly distracting, "exact representation".

This can also help in your space availability difficulties.  To return to the swing example for a moment, a crotchet/quaver triplet takes up more horizontal space than 2 quavers...  If you write the quavers and swing the hidden tempo track you'll get more on a page.  And you'll have a more "standard" or "traditional" score to boot.

NWC performs admirably for my modest needs.  I reduce 3,4 and 5 page scores to 2 (3 if I must) pages for use by our music team at church.  At the same time I can often make the score somewhat easier to follow.  I usually also make the text chords for the guitarists much larger.

Another use is for recreating parts for the big band I'm part of - many score are so illegible 'cos of the pitiful handwriting of the arranger it just ain't funny - you pay so much for some of them and they can't even be bothered to supply a legible chart :(

Oh yeah, I also do a bit of practice stuff for myself - I currently attend an improv. class and it helps to rewrite stuff (usually supplied in concert treble) so I don't have to keep transposing in my head - distracts from what I should be learning.

Quite a few people use the charts I produce - I've had few complaints - especially since I put "SwingDings" together.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: swinging notes

Reply #54
Oh yeah, I also do a bit of practice stuff for myself - I currently attend an improv. class and it helps to rewrite stuff (usually supplied in concert treble) so I don't have to keep transposing in my head - distracts from what I should be learning.
I'm surprised that "learning to transpose in your head" isn't one of the things you're 'sposed to be learning :)

But you bring up a point that isn't discussed much: NoteWorthy as a learning tool. I always mess up one measure of a piece that the wife and I are playing tommorow for a cocktail hour. She covers for me pretty well, but I tire of her having to do that, so I keyed a couple measures into NWC2 and after a few dozen loops, I now grok it. With luck, I still will tommorrow.
Registered user since 1996

Re: swinging notes

Reply #55
G'day Rick,
I'm surprised that "learning to transpose in your head" isn't one of the things you're 'sposed to be learning :)

Actually, the real history goes something like this:

  • At about age 8 or 9 I learned to read treble clef - for piano accordion - I'm a gentleman, I don't play one ;)
  • Then I started learning trombone - in a brass band where everything was in transposed treble clef
  • Except for the occasional Tenor clef part - which is easy, treat it as transposed treble and add 2 sharps to the key sig.
  • Next I started playing in church where everything was in concert treble so I started transposing by hand
  • After a while I got to the point I could transpose "on the fly" in my head pretty well.
  • Got hold of NWC sometime about here and started transposing the parts by computer instead as I wrote or used parts that weren't simply lead sheets.
  • More than 35 years down the track I started in the big band - everything's in concert bass clef - what the hell's this bass clef thing..????..!!!  ;)
  • Took a while but now I'm comfortable in bass clef.
  • So now I rewrite all the new stuff at church into bass clef for myself - but I don't transpose on the fly much anymore unless we pull out an old song so I'm a bit rusty
  • BUT - if I'm reading chord symbols rather than the staff there's no problem

It's all a matter of practice...  And I prefer bass clef or transposed treble.  The former 'cos that's what I predominately use now and the latter 'cos I'll never forget it - even my bass clef reading is kinda transposed - you see a note in the second space and think "C", I think "D"...  But only when I'm playing, not when I'm working in NWC.  It's all a bit wierd really.  :)
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: swinging notes

Reply #56
Quote
Bottom line; I think NoteWorthy Composer (it's official full name) is a much better sequencer than it is an engraver, and I can not understand why so many really obvious and easy to fix problems in both areas are ignored.  

I think it does really well as both. As a composer, I find both that it helps me get the sound right (the sequencer angle) and puts out great-looking scores and parts (the engraver angle). But you have to meet it on its terms, and you have to be willing to put in the necessary work.

The need for hidden tracks to get the sound right is due more to deficiencies in MIDI than it is to deficiencies in NWC. A machine will simply never sound like a human without a great deal of tweaking, because that "human element" really consists of small variations in timing, volume, accent, etc. - you can notate these, but the score gets very messy very quickly, and it's best to hide them. Performers get intimidated, or lost. (And by the way, very fine adjustments to get the sound "just right" aren't necessarily going to help people who take your file home and play it on their own machines. The MIDI standard may be universal, but sound cards differ in their ability to interpret it accurately. I have some issues with my Soundblaster.;-)

Getting that "professionally engraved look" is also often a matter of extra staves, in this case layered together. This is particularly necessary in choral music, where performers often have to follow one of several independent lines on the same staff. To maintain that independence, you really must write the lines on individual staves and then superimpose them.  Putting items on separate staves and then layering them allows very fine adjustments to be made to notes, dynamics, etc., without affecting anything else in the music. Takes a little extra work, but it's a lot better than hiring an engraver.

As to the "many really obvious and easy to fix problems" - perhaps you are expecting too much of a beta release? Helping the NWC programmers find and fix these problems is a principal purpose of this forum.

I guess it's really all a matter of perspective. My masters' thesis was a piece for concert band - 20 staves per system, 53 folio-size pages. I wrote it all out on blueprint parchment using a calligrapher's pen and a straightedge (I had to create the staves as well as the notation) on a drafting table I built specifically to do the thesis. This was in 1967. Had NWC been available then, even in much more rudimentary form than we currently find it, I would have knelt down and kissed the feet of the person who brought it to me.

Re: swinging notes

Reply #57
Quote
The need for hidden tracks to get the sound right is due more to deficiencies in MIDI than it is to deficiencies in NWC.

There I have to differ with you. MIDI is very flexible.
Noteworthy Composer rigidly accepts notes on specific boundaries and durations (except where articulations affect note length). My notator of choice allows me to display the notation as I wish while altering the underlying MIDI structure to allow variations in the playback quality. It also allows the manipulation of individual attack velocities, start times and note duration without affecting the appearance of the score.
I can (and do) write straight eighths that swing or sixteenths of constant duration on several staves while the rhythm plays in swing simultaneously.

Noteworthy Composer is excellent for QWERTY keyboard entry but I found the restrictions in MIDI editing and the notation, particularly the rigidity of the measures per line, lines per page governed by staff size control, too limiting for my use.
As for sequencing - the best way to get a good result is with a **sequencer** that uses an editable Event List or Piano Roll.
Here is an example - MIDI file exported from a notator and enhanced in Cakewalk 3.
Sequenced with the Chaos 8Mb soundfont on an AWE32 then recorded as an mp3.
(Old software and hardware - c1993)

http://tinyurl.com/2rq3rh/SolidBlue.mp3
Tempo 225 bpm - Swing quantized at 62%

Barry Graham
Melbourne, Australia

Re: swinging notes

Reply #58
Barry,

   Try comparing your output to the "moonlight.nwc" in the NW2 samples directory.  The abrupt square dynamics in your output are there, but not very good, musically.  I am not really expert here, but from what I have seen, NoteWorthy is the best MIDI sequencer around. 

Re: swinging notes

Reply #59
What are "abrupt square dynamics"?

NoteWorthy Composer is not the best "sequencer" around.

Can NWC do the following:-
Allow editing of individual note velocity (even within chords)?
Allow individual notes and/or tracks to "slide" in time.
Allow alteration of durations to non-standard note lengths.
Allow ticks-per-quarter resolution greater than 192.

You've heard what I can do with a "sequencer" - let's here your NWC contribution to the swing debate.
It will have to be a MIDI file so I can study it6 in an Event List.


Re: swinging notes

Reply #60
NoteWorthy Composer is not the best "sequencer" around.
Agreed. But it is one of the easiest to use. I suppose if I spent the last 40 years restoring piano rolls, a piano roll UI would be easy.

Can NWC allow editing of individual note velocity (even within chords)?
  • Yes. Put each note of a different velocity on its own staff.

Can NWC allow individual notes and/or tracks to "slide" in time.
  • Maybe. I don't know what you mean by this.

Can NWC allow alteration of durations to non-standard note lengths.
  • Note On is hampered by the much discussed lack of n-tuplets.
  • Note Off is tunable down the nearest 64th note or so.

Can NWC allow ticks-per-quarter resolution greater than 192.
  • NWC2 allows only 192[abbr=Parts (ticks) Per Quarter Note]PPQN[/abbr]. Adequate, given the Note On limitations.
  • Easily expanded (I suspect), should there be a need.

... let's here hear your NWC contribution to the swing debate.
How about a link to a "swing score" that isn't under Copyright? We could have a contest.

It will have to be a MIDI file so I can study it in an Event List
This is a bit snarky, don'tcha think? Any NWC file will export perfectly to MIDI for your event editor.

All this said, NWC2 would be much improved if:
  • More than 4 events could be defined in an MPC. (Lose the sliders, please.)
  • MPC's allowed an offset down to PPQN.
  • MPC's would allow a HEX string defining an arbitrary MIDI message.

If you have lots of money, or make money sequencing, NWC2 is not your tool.
But don't sell it short.


Registered user since 1996

Re: swinging notes

Reply #61
I have no doubt you believe it is easy to use.
But NWC is NOT the best sequencer around (as claimed in the post I answered).
Eric wouldn't even claim that!

I stand by my claims:-
If you wish to produce notation use a notator.
If you wish to produce MIDI sequences use a sequencer.


Re: swinging notes

Reply #62
And NWC is both! Or perhaps neither? I'm confused ;-)

Re: swinging notes

Reply #63
Not confused - NWC is both.
But neither fish nor fowl!