Muted notes and muted staves 2007-10-10 12:24 pm NWC's handling of muted notes/staves is troubling to me.Currently (as of Beta 2.20), muted notes are played back as if they were rests. Muted Staves are treated as if all the notes/chords are muted. Simple, but perhaps too simple.I would expect a muted staff to be removed from playback.This would allow the user to set up multiple tempi and MPC staves and experiment by muting staves. Currently, I copy the staves into NotePad and insert/delete them from NWC. I can't save a work in progress, without starting the whole process over.For MIDI Export, I would expect that a muted staff would not be exported. No Lyrics (if attached to the muted staff), and no track. It makes no sense to me that "Display only" staves should be exported. Often, I have to look at the text output of MF2T, and I'd rather not have to wade through all the track data. It would be so much easier to mute all the staves but one, mute the notes on it up to the problem area, export it and see needed info at the top of the MF2T output.This might even improve the perception of the product. I look at a lot of downloaded MIDI files, and when I see an armload of empty tracks, my reaction is: What lame program produced this?It is too soon for me to have an opinion on whether muted tracks should be excluded from nwctxt.To discuss muted notes, a short explanation of MIDI is useful. MIDI files are almost entirely comprised of delta times and messages. The message tells the MIDI player what to do, the delta time tells it how long to pause before doing it. To produce a note, a program can send a note on message (containing the channel, pitch and velocity), pause, then send a note off message (containing the channel and pitch). Almost no software does this (including NoteWorthy). Instead, they send: note on, pause, note on. The second note on is identical to the first, except that the velocity is zero. This is interpreted by the MIDI player as a "note off". Most discussions of MIDI simply use "note on/off" as a shorthand for "note on/same note off with velocity=0".Treating muted notes as rests has a few problems.It can produce the dreaded stuck note:Quote!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)|Instrument|Name:"Recorder"|Patch:74|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0^|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:0|Opts:Muted|Rest|Dur:Whole|Rest|Dur:Whole|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:b0!NoteWorthyComposerClip-EndThese are hard to find.I would suggest that muted notes produce a note off. There is no harm in producing a note off without a previous note on. Many programs will send a 128 note offs X 16 channels encompassing every MIDI note as a brute force "kill switch". Every MIDI playback device must be able to deal with it. There are seldom many muted notes in a playback staff. The file and processing overhead would be undetectable to the listener.I would suggest that grace notes produce a note off, but no pause.This is what I would expect a muted grace note to do. I don't expect, nor desire it to inject a pause into playback. I can't see a downside to this change as a muted grace rest could be used to simulate NWC's current playback behaviour. Advantages:More accurate playback. When the grace note is supposed to fall before the beat, it is disturbing to hear a pause before the principal note, more so when there are notes in other staves sounding on the beat. Only the grace notes would need to go to a separate playback staff. Putting a lot of notes on non visible staves defeats one of NWC's great benefits: verifing notes via playback. NWC's default grace note slurs often need to be fixed and this delays playback even more. Example:Quote!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)|Note|Dur:8th,Grace,Slur|Pos:0|Opts:Muted|Note|Dur:Whole,Grace|Pos:1z|Opts:Muted|Visibility:Never|Chord|Dur:4th|Pos:-4,-2,1!NoteWorthyComposerClip-EndTies to nowhere. There is a French term for this that escapes me. Looks like this:Quote!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)|Note|Dur:4th,Tenuto|Pos:0|Chord|Dur:4th|Pos:-4^,-2^,1^|Chord|Dur:4th,Grace|Pos:-4,-2,1|Visibility:Never|Rest|Dur:4th!NoteWorthyComposerClip-EndAs a piano player, this tells me to give a weak accent to the note, and full duration to the chord. It also suggests that future "tenuto" articulations are weak accents rather than duration modifiers. Ravel's Forlane has dozens of these. Playback is only off by a 32nd note, but it seem logical to me that one ought to be able to mute the grace note and get accurate playback.Slurs. Muted, hidden grace notes are very useful for adding arc to slurs, but I'd rather not hear their effects.The biggest advantage to me is that the program would do what I expect. For the person starting out, I would think it even more important.IMO, Software that does unnatural things in an attempt to be "accurate from its own point of view" is not friendly. Last Edit: 2007-10-10 01:09 pm by Rick G.