Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file

Posted by: Lesley55

Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 05:15 PM

I tried doing this and only the melody was exported. Perhaps Real Styles can't be exported thus way?
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 06:51 PM

RealTracks are Audio files, not MIDI, so generally cannot be exported as MIDI.

Some RealTracks have RealCharts which is the RealTrack that has been transcribed to MIDI

If a RealTrack has an associated RealChart, it will have an underline (short or long) with its name:
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 07:32 PM

So can the RealChart aid in exporting to MIDI file?
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 07:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Lesley55
So can the RealChart aid in exporting to MIDI file?

Yes, if it has MIDI data, the simplest way is to use these two steps to get your MIDI file:
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 07:45 PM

In a sense. If a RealTrack has notation (a RealChart), it is MIDI that can be saved to a file. RealCharts are sometimes exact performances, but other times they are just for educational purposes and lack any data for expression, volume etc.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 07:50 PM

Matt has made a very worthwhile point. Don't expect any expressiveness in the data. The MIDI file is likely to just be a manually created transcription.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 08:04 PM

Lesley,

In addition to the above advice, it's also possible to set BIAB to save Realcharts as midi by default.

To do that....

1. Enter "Options | Preferences | Realtracks" and select the option I've indicated on the upper image below.

Then....

2. When you save as midi first time, set the midi options to save Realcharts, too.

Once the above two settings are in place, they won't need setting again unless they are changed for some reason.

Regards,
Noel
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 09:40 PM

If I save everything as midi, will the MGU file it lose expression when it is played on Band-in-a-Box? Or should I have two versions -- a midi and an MGU?


Another question -- I want to make the melody quite quiet (for a play along), except for an 8 bar fill in the middle of the song (I made the notes "invisible" in this section). What is the best way to do this?

I have tried playing around with "settings for current bar", but I'm not sure what the numbers mean, as in "louder per bar" it wants you to give it a number.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 10:49 PM

Lesley,

The MGU and SGU files are BIAB's file types. These save ALL information relating to the backing track you create. MIDI files, on the other hand, only save MIDI information and by saving only in this file-type, you'll will lose some data that was present in the BIAB file.

In other words, if you want to keep the best possible file with the most information, MGU/SGU files are the way to go.

Regards,
Noel
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/15/18 10:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Lesley55
Another question -- I want to make the melody quite quiet (for a play along), except for an 8 bar fill in the middle of the song (I made the notes "invisible" in this section). What is the best way to do this?


In Bar Settings (F5), set the "Melody | Change By" (Volume Changes button) to something like -20 for the first bar in the 8 bars you want the melody to be quieter. If -20 is still too loud, try -30, etc. Negative values reduce the volume and positive values increase it.

After the quieter 8 bars, you'll need to use F5 again to set the melody back to normal.

Regards,
Noel
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 12:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Lesley55
Another question -- I want to make the melody quite quiet (for a play along), except for an 8 bar fill in the middle of the song (I made the notes "invisible" in this section). What is the best way to do this?

I have tried playing around with "settings for current bar", but I'm not sure what the numbers mean, as in "louder per bar" it wants you to give it a number.

If you want Quiet, as in cannot hear it, just choose Mute
If you want quieter, just choose reduce by say a value of -80 and listen to the result (you can choose a value of -127 to +127). Feel free to experiment with values.
Remember to choose Back to Normal at the bar where you want the sound to resume/return to normal.
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 12:50 AM

Thanks so much for this information!

When I use F5 and make a change does it just change one bar, or all the bars from there on? I'm guessing the later? But the red outline only appears around the bar number of one bar.


Without this forum I would give up in despair. The manual seems to lack detail about some things. Or it is difficult to find the information, if it is in there. Sometimes I try googling a question, and usually this forum pops up. I found one post that Noel had made in 2010, I think.

I hope BiaB is paying you helpful BiaB veterans because you provide a very valuable service.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 02:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Lesley55
Thanks so much for this information!
When I use F5 and make a change does it just change one bar, or all the bars from there on? I'm guessing the later? But the red outline only appears around the bar number of one bar.

The change applies from that bar forward. Even though the red line appears at the location of the change, it continues until a different change is made elsewhere (further) in the song.

Quote:
I hope BiaB is paying you helpful BiaB veterans because you provide a very valuable service.

You comment about being helpful is greatly appreciated.

There are many dedicated forum members here. We're all just end-users, simply volunteers. Many have considerably more experience than me, and continue to unselfishly share their skills.

This really is a very great forum, because of the quality of all of the members.
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 01:34 PM

Ok, I have got the melody loud and soft where I want it. Thank you all!

As an aside, why is volume referred to as velocity sometimes?
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 01:40 PM

Velocity as it applies to MIDI means how hard you strike. Think of how hard you might press a key on a piano, for example, on a scale of 0 to 127. For most purposes, it translates into volume.
Posted by: jford

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 01:58 PM

Quote:
For most purposes, it translates into volume.


This is generally what happens; however, some synths respond differently depending upon the velocity (how hard you strike the note). Sometimes you get a harsh sound at higher velocities, or sometimes you get a different articulation. But yes, velocity and volume generally are related.

That being said, all MIDI notes have a specified velocity in a range from 0 to 127, but the track the MIDI data is on also has a specified volume setting. So velocity is sort of like volume within volume (or as I like to view it, the strength of the note at that volume setting).

So, if your volume settings went from, say, 1 to 10. Then, if you strike a note with velocity of 127 (the highest velocity), and your volume is set to 8, that's the loudest that instrument will play at volume 8. If you up the volume to 10, then velociy 127 is the loudest it will play at volume 10. You can kind of think of velocity as the strength of the note in relation to the volume setting.

But conversely, you can hit a note with velocity of 127 at volume 1 and it will be very quiet; however a note with velocity of say 50 at volume 10 would be louder than the note at volume 1, because it's all relative.

Hope that made sense, or maybe I made it worse.
Posted by: Ryszard

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 02:22 PM

Some general, rather than technical, comments:

1. MIDI export defines my work style. I often create the framework for songs in BIAB, then port them into Propellerhead Reason, which is, among other things, a high-quality MIDI-based soft synth. From there I revoice, expand, and massage at will.

2. Jford’s remark about “different synths” responding differently to velocity is actually a patch-dependent effect called “zoning.” It is caused by mapping different samples (digitally recorded sounds) to velocity values. A simple patch might have a clean electric piano sound from 1-80 and a distorted sound from 81-128 to simulate overloading an instrument amplifier at higher volume.

Of course, it can be much more complicated; I have a book on the subject. It is not germane to the discussion, but it’s pretty interesting!

Richard
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 02:46 PM

Lesley, as you can see MIDI is very complex which is why people who are good with MIDI are sometimes referred to as "midiots".

I'll mention General Midi or GM because Biab is based on GM. GM is the simple brain dead way to work with midi. The Coyote Wavetable synth that is included with Biab along with the Sfzorando synth are both GM. They have a limited soundset and have limited control over the individual patches (instruments). This could be good enough for you and if so stop here, you're happy don't mess with it.

BUT if you want to have much better sounds, more control which means much more realistic sounds then you have to move up to more expensive softsynths like the aforementioned Reason, Sampletank, Kontakt etc. Those are NOT GM meaning you have to manually set each instrument for each part inside Biab, they will not simply play automatically. Well, they might play SOMETHING, but not what you expect. The piano track for example may be sounding a completely different instrument, even drums. Hearing that will cause you to post here in a panic if you don't understand what's happening.

The complete explanation of this is long and complex, I'm just giving you a heads up about it.

Bob
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 03:04 PM

Thank you for all this additional information, though some of has gone right over my head!

I am an absolute beginner with regards to midi. I asked about it because someone at the chromatic harmonica forum (where I have been posting links to my play-along videos) asked me if I could supply midi files, so he could adjust the tempo. So I think i just need basic, simple midi for that--a simple midi accompaniment.


I'm going to sneak in a non-midi question: How do you handle a "pause" , that is, an upper semi-circle with a dot inside it, above the staff line. Is there a way to make Band-in-a-Box pause?
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 03:46 PM

That's called a fermata.

One way to do it in BIAB is to slow down the tempo for that measure. Press F5 on the measure and there are two types of tempo adjustment. Then go to the next measure, do F5, and set the tempo back to normal.


Posted by: Noel96

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 04:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
One way to do it in BIAB is to slow down the tempo for that measure. Press F5 on the measure and there are two types of tempo adjustment. Then go to the next measure, do F5, and set the tempo back to normal.


That's how I do it, too. If you have a look at the below thread, it might help you understand how to do it a bit better.

http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=451427
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 10:18 PM

Thanks for this information about tempo.
I notice that when you press f5 to change tempo it doesn't have a "return to normal" option (the way it has for volume).

And if you decrease it by -10, then later increase it by plus 10, it doesn't return to the original volume. I suppose you would have to increase it by 10/9 , or 11.111... to get it back to the original volume.

So does this mean I am better to put in values for the tempo instead of percent changed? I have entered "Old Man River", and it seems slow down and then resume speed repeatedly. I'd rather use the percentages so I could change the overall tempo more easily.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 10:53 PM

Lesley,

If you are using the % decrease and then increase, your mathematics looks to be correct. This is because the % value uses the current tempo to calculate the new tempo.

That's why I use absolute tempo values in the "Tempo change to" box.

Regards,
Noel
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 11:16 PM

Ok, thanks Noel. I guess absolute is the way to go.
My song seems to have got it's brain scrambled and the melody gets out of sync with the RealStyle part way through the song. I hope I can fix it by taking the percent changes out.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/16/18 11:37 PM

Lesley,

I wonder if this strange behaviour arises from one or more tracks being frozen. (I thought that tempo stood outside of freezing but I might be wrong. It's also possible that absolute tempo stands outside of freezing but percentage tempo does not.)

To test these possibilitie....

1. Make bar setting changes using %.

2. Unfreeze any frozen tracks.

3. Regenerate song.

Now repeat the above except instead of using %, use absolute values.

Was the behaviour the same?

Regards,
Noel
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/17/18 05:58 AM

Right; the percentage of change formula is the amount of change over the starting amount. After you change tempo, the starting amount differs.
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/17/18 04:05 PM

Is there a way to tell which RealStyles have RealCharts? Maybe a way to filter the list of RealStyles?
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/17/18 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Lesley55
Is there a way to tell which RealStyles have RealCharts? Maybe a way to filter the list of RealStyles?


RealTracks with Charts are indicated in the RealTracks Picker. You can also sort by column.

Also, if a RealTrack has an associated RealChart, it will have an underline (short or long) with its name at the top of the BiaB form (see my first answer to your original question in this thread).
Posted by: Lesley55

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/17/18 06:11 PM

Thanks, Video Track.

I don't seem to have a column labelled "Chart" in my table. But I notice one labelled "type".

The type is either R, RM or M. I guess the M's are midi. I selected a midi style (Country Piano - Country Ballad - S). I dragged the tracks over to the "MID" corner of the box in the upper left. then clicked on it to audition the file. Only the melody plays in the file.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/17/18 07:53 PM

This is in the RealTracks picker, not the StylePicker:
Posted by: Icelander

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 01/20/18 08:35 AM

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
The Coyote Wavetable synth that is included with Biab along with the Sfzorando synth are both GM.
Just a minor nitpick, the Sforzando is absolutely not a GM based synth - unless the way you spelled it isn't a typo like I've presumed here and you are in fact talking about a different synth entirely, in which case you might be right.
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 02/27/18 12:31 AM

I missed this post. To clarify, the Sforzando that PG is including is preset with the HiQ sounds which use the GM convention so it plays with Biab seamlessly as if it is a GM synth.

I know there are several GM soundfonts around that load into the player and if you're using one of those then it's a GM synth. I think what you're saying is it's not locked in to being a GM synth, it depends on what type of soundbank you're loading into it.

Bob
Posted by: Icelander

Re: Exporting from band-in-a-box to a MID file - 02/27/18 05:42 AM

I'm not going to argue semantics with you (I refuse to play this game of always being right!), but I'd appreciate if you would at least refrain from telling others what they are 'trying to say'.