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#149137 - 02/02/12 01:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: John Conley]
pwarren Offline
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Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 826
Loc: BC, Canada
Quote:

I am so tired of the issue. I use midi. I have some Norton stuff. But the posting just to justify the clip slinging of a few weeks ago, and to drag up the free advertising ad(vertising) nausum, is getting to me.

I think himself has been too generous. It's his sandbox. The constant questioning and re-hasing of this tired horse is starting to smell.

All this has just been said. I feel like I'm in kindergarten.




I'm not sure I follow this John. However, I'm not trying to rehash anything. I was trying to offer a way of making midi guitars sound better and stimulate discussion on that subject.
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#149138 - 02/02/12 03:37 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: John Conley]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3350
Loc: WV, USA
John,

Quote:

I am so tired of the issue. I use midi. I have some Norton stuff. But the posting just to justify the clip slinging of a few weeks ago, and to drag up the free advertising ad(vertising) nausum, is getting to me.

I think himself has been too generous. It's his sandbox. The constant questioning and re-hasing of this tired horse is starting to smell.

All this has just been said. I feel like I'm in kindergarten.




I think you're being more than a little cranky and unjustified in your comments to Bob.

Since the topic is MIDI and BIAB, who's better qualified than Bob to comment on it? Especially since he makes his living playing live music while using BIAB and MIDI as a backup band.

Add to that the fact that he's created thousands of arrangements using BIAB and MIDI and created numerous styles, and then we have an inescapable conclusion. "Notes" is more qualified to talk about the subject than any of us. He also freely shares his knowledge with those of us on the forum.

For the record, I don't have any of "Notes" stuff, but it's only because I can't afford it right now. Bob is a valued member of the forum and he shouldn't be discouraged from sharing what he knows about BIAB and MIDI just because you're tired of reading it.

Here's a tip just for you...... Don't read it.

I feel safe in saying that most of the rest of us would like to read what "Notes" has to say.
_________________________
Bob
................................
http://soundcloud.com/bobcflatpicke/music-in-the-mountains

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#149139 - 02/02/12 05:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: bobcflatpicker]
Tommyc Offline
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Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2473
I don't hate MIDI ,but the examples I listened to don't sound like real instruments at all. Maybe if you are drunk in a bar it would be OK. I sent the links to a Real Studio and he said you must be kidding if you think it sounded like real instruments. But to each his own said the old lady kissing the cows behind. So I bow out of any more threads discussing the merits of MIDI or lack there of. Thanks to all that brought out the examples it has confirmed my thoughts of MIDI and since I have no products to spam to PG costumers as some do I hope you are happy with the sound of your music. I will still listen to your examples and just chuckle to myself.

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#149140 - 02/02/12 06:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: Tommyc]
pwarren Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 826
Loc: BC, Canada
Quote:

I don't hate MIDI ,but the examples I listened to don't sound like real instruments at all. Maybe if you are drunk in a bar it would be OK. I sent the links to a Real Studio and he said you must be kidding if you think it sounded like real instruments. But to each his own said the old lady kissing the cows behind. So I bow out of any more threads discussing the merits of MIDI or lack there of. Thanks to all that brought out the examples it has confirmed my thoughts of MIDI and since I have no products to spam to PG costumers as some do I hope you are happy with the sound of your music. I will still listen to your examples and just chuckle to myself.




Did you listen to the Hendrix style clip I posted? It's in the first post of the thread. If you did you still don't think that sounds good?


Edited by pwarren (02/02/12 06:33 PM)
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#149141 - 02/03/12 07:33 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: pwarren]
Tommyc Offline
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Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2473
Yes I listened to all the links on this page ,it did not sound like a real guitar. It didn't sound awful just not like a real guitar,it was better than the Sax though. Over the years I have played guitars that were MIDI controllers they all sounded better as a piano than a guitar. If PG didn't think the same they would have stayed a MIDI only program,don't you think they changed for the better?

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#149142 - 02/03/12 08:22 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: Tommyc]
MikeK Offline
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Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 2030
Loc: Buford, GA
Yep, Tommy. Agreed. For the better for sure. At the same time, I do respect either side. You can make crappy music with MIDI and RD's/RT's, or good with either or both. I do prefer the real stuff, though

Cheers,
Mike
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Mike

My Music * PC: Avatar FX8366ice AMD FX-8350(4.0GHz) 16GB DDR3 6TB HDD+128GB SSD HDD Capacity NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Win 10 64-Bit. AKAI EIE PRO Sound Interface. BIAB/RB 2018

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#149143 - 02/03/12 10:14 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: MikeK]
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4190
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
As long as the tone is 'in the ballpark' you can emulate the instrument. After all, what is good tone? (We've been here before, but for the newbies). Is good guitar tone Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Jimmy Page, Joe Pass, Eric Gale, Slash, Jeff Beck, Vai, EVH, Kessell, Wes Montgomery, George Harrison, Brian Setzer? And on which guitar? Which amp? Which FX pedal?

The trick to making a MIDI file sound like the instrument you are emulating is to use the continuous controllers available to copy the nuances and articulations of the instrument in question. This requires:
  • Analytically listening to the instrument to hear how the particular instrument gets its expression - if you play a guitar patch like a piano you aren't going to fool anyone
  • Exploring the patch you are using to see which expressive nuances of the instrument you are emulating you it will reproduce (play these)
  • Exploring the patch to see which parameters of the patch will definitely not sound like the instrument you are emulating (avoid these)

It's a little like a comedian/impressionist emulating a famous person. When you hear the comedian 'doing' George W Bush, Obama, or any other famous person, you hear the famous person, not the comedian. Now the comedian does not have the same voice as the person he/she is 'doing' so why do you hear the President (or whoever else he/she is emulating)? Because the comedian has reproduced the nuances of the famous persons speech pattern, repeated the nuances he/she can reproduce and avoided ones he/she cannot.

In emulating an instrument, you can't just plug in the notes. Saxophones often 'scoop' up to notes in the beginning of the phrase and other stressed notes, vibrato on a sax is usually greater below zero pitch than above it, vibrato is often delayed and variable, longer notes are seldom held at the same volume for the duration of the notes, the dynamics of a phrase are never constant, phrases need to breathe, slight distortion can be added at times, etc., etc., etc., depending on the song and part you are playing.

Most guitarists use vibrato from pitch zero to higher and back, unless they are using the whammy bar, then for most guitars it's below zero pitch and back, guitarists use hammer-ons/pull-offs often, other expressive elements are slides, bends, etc., etc. Listen and copy.

There is an art and science to it. But if you want to play your own music instead of someone else's music, these are the things you should learn.

There are a couple of benefits to this
  • This will open your ears to music, you will listen to music in an entirely new way and get more pleasure out of music knowing how the instruments got their expression
  • It will make you a better musician on your own 'home' instrument.
I know that learning to emulate guitars, saxes, and other instruments have even helped me get more expression out of my 'pure synth' patches. I use tricks playing acoustic saxophone that I learned while trying to emulate a few things Jimmy Smith did on B-3 organ. When I learned to play lead guitar, I brought along things I learned on saxophone, like leaving room for breaths in my phrasing.

True I get a little defensive when people say that MIDI cannot sound like "the real thing". What you are really saying is that you cannot make MIDI sound like the real thing -- and with an attitude like that, you will never learn to make MIDI sound like the real thing. But remember, over half the MIDI sound modules on the market use digital samples of the instruments to make their sounds. The digital sample is as real as the sound on the audio loop. It is a recording of a real instrument. The reason why it doesn't sound right is because the player hasn't acquired the skills to make it sound right.

Music is a lifelong learning process. When I was in school, according to the Florida Bandmaster's Association I was the best saxophone player in the state each and every year that I went to state contest. I'm not saying that to brag. The point is this, I have learned new things about saxophone and/or music constantly since then. Sergei Rachmaninov said, “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” What I think he meant and what I agree with is that if you live to be 120 years old, there are still things you can learn about music.

Learning is growing, and when you quit growing, you are dead.

Those clips I made in my last post were done on a synth module that was made in the 90s. It doesn't even use sampled voices but relies on Physical Modeling synthesis. But yet I could fool dozens of guitarists on a guitar forum into thinking it was a real guitar.

And even if the sounds were inferior, that doesn't matter to the audience. After all, does Dr. John, Madonna, John Lennon, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart and dozens of other stars have great voices? No, but they have great expression for their targeted audience. Expression is much more important than tone.

So don't say that MIDI sounds are inferior and then expect me not to debate the point with you.

So repeat after me:
  • MIDI has no sound
  • Synthesizers have sounds and are played by MIDI messages
  • Some synths sound cheesy, some sound excellent, some use digital samples of 'real' instruments, others us different froms of synthesis
  • There are 128 continuous controllers available to make the articulation and expression of the synthesizer sound emulate the instrument you want to play
  • Movie soundtracks, blockbuster recordings, virtually modern synthesizer, bands from local venues to national exposure, and even symphony orchestras use MIDI and they wouldn't use it if it was in any way inferior
  • The audience doesn't care about the finer points of tone, they want to hear the song and they want to hear it expressed well
  • With MIDI you can play your own music, with audio loops you can only assemble what others have played
  • There is more than one right way to make music, and MIDI is not inferior to any other way.


Using MIDI I have played on Cruise Ships, 5 star hotels, Television (ABC, NBC, CBS, MTV and BBC), Yacht Clubs, Country Clubs, and in a dozen or so different countries. I make my living doing music and nothing but music, and MIDI is a major part of that. In other words, there isn't anything wrong with MIDI. It is one of the finest tools in our musical toolbox.

There, I've said it again.
_________________________
Bob "Notes" Norton smile Norton Music
http://www.nortonmusic.com

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
& Fake Disks for MIDI and/or RealTracks

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#149144 - 02/03/12 10:38 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: MikeK]
Tommyc Offline
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Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2473
You could buy a cheap guitar and save a ton of money, time and it would sound just like a real guitar. My used Strat Ultra cost $200 my 65 Vox amp $350 but you can find even cheaper stuff on eBay. If I was a Sax Player I would play a real one. If real instruments sounded worse than MIDI instruments you would never see anything else in a real studio. All real studios have a disproportional amount of equipment geared towards real instruments and real voices. They all have what they need to make MIDI sound great also,but in all the 100's of sessions I've ever done no one has ever said why don't you play your MIDI guitar it sounds better than your real guitar. I have played piano parts on a MIDI guitar,but I still would rather have the real piano that it was trying to emulate. People that want to use MIDI should use it, when all else fails I use it. It's just not my Biab go to guy and until PG made Real Tracks I saw no need to update just to get more MIDI, I would just edit it to get what I wanted or just make a new style. I would think the average user would save a fortune just using Real Tracks by not having to keep buying something to make MIDI work for them. You can get some very Pro sounds and never leave a PG product start to finish just by using their latest and greatest RT's. But for me I need a lot more to make MIDI passable for me. PG must have paid a small fortune to accomplish this Incredible new RT lineup, musicians of this quality in a real studio would be more than most could ever afford. Just ask your local studio how much to get these guys and have them wait while you write a song!

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#149145 - 02/03/12 11:24 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: Tommyc]
pwarren Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 826
Loc: BC, Canada
Quote:

Yes I listened to all the links on this page ,it did not sound like a real guitar. It didn't sound awful just not like a real guitar,it was better than the Sax though. Over the years I have played guitars that were MIDI controllers they all sounded better as a piano than a guitar. If PG didn't think the same they would have stayed a MIDI only program,don't you think they changed for the better?




Ok, I see where the disagreement lies. You are saying the Hendrix style guitar doesn't sound like a 'real' guitar and on that I agree. I never claimed it did. What I did claim is that it sounds 'good'. And I maintain that claim. The sound that's possible now with BiaB midi tracks is orders of magnitude better than it was with prior versions.

Furthermore, I have said all along, and many others have said the same, that when mixed with RTs and RDs these guitar tracks can fool a non-musician. As a bassist I might not be fooled by a particular midi bassline even dressed up with good FX and emulation since I'd likely spot the problems with articulation and expression. But I'd quite likely be fooled by a good sax line since I know nothing about sax. To me that means midi has become far more usable than it was in the past.

Since I use BiaB mainly for backing tracks to play bass or sing to the holy grail of midi is not whether it sounds absolutly 'real' but whether it creates the illusion of jamming with a great musician like Hendrix and IMO it does that.
_________________________
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#149146 - 02/03/12 11:35 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: Tommyc]
pwarren Offline
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Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 826
Loc: BC, Canada
Quote:

If real instruments sounded worse than MIDI instruments you would never see anything else in a real studio.




Once again this is where the difference in opinion lies. I'm sure nobody ever meant that midi can sound better than a real istrument played by a real player. If you were doing this intentionally, which I don't think you are, that would be a strawman argument. Easy to dismiss because no one is really claiming this in the first place. I think it's just a misunderstanding of what is really being claimed about midi, that midi can now sound good enough to give an illusion of a real player and instrument especially when combined with RTs and RDs and especially to a non-musician.
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#149147 - 02/03/12 11:39 AM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: MikeK]
pwarren Offline
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Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 826
Loc: BC, Canada
Quote:

I do prefer the real stuff, though




So do I. But you can't do covers with RTs alone. That's why the improvement to midi is so startling. I find I can now do a signature guitar lick using midi and have it sound good enough to give the illusion of a real player.
_________________________
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#149148 - 02/03/12 12:08 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: pwarren]
MitchC Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 581
It's not really midi that has improved is it ? It is the availability of better VST's etc. for rendering the generic midi data.

The 'Hendrix' experiment is really to tout the Amplitube plugs more than the midi. It's the rendering that makes it sound 'good' (matter of opinion though).

As a guitar player, I would never use midi for guitar parts. What I need it for is horns, strings, occassional acoustic bass guitar, percussion. If these were available as RealTracks, by all means I would use them instead of rendered midi parts (except where I needed a signature line, lick...but NEVER midi guitar in my case)

On a side note, I find it amusing that this topic is so polarizing ! Almost as much fun as political or religious doctrinal threads elsewere.

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#149149 - 02/03/12 12:33 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: MitchC]
pwarren Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 826
Loc: BC, Canada
Quote:

It's not really midi that has improved is it ? It is the availability of better VST's etc. for rendering the generic midi data.




Yes, that's what I was really emphasizing in the original tip. Strangely (or not) the discussion soon turned to the value of midi itself.

Quote:

The 'Hendrix' experiment is really to tout the Amplitube plugs more than the midi. It's the rendering that makes it sound 'good' (matter of opinion though).




Actually, while I like Amplitube a lot, I couldn't get the Hendrixy sound from amplitube with any of the free presets. I used the Camel Crusher distortion pluggin and the Juicy77 amp (plus a little phaser) to get that sound.

Amplitube is great for cleaner sounds but Juicy77 is miles ahead for overdriven guitar leads IMO.

Quote:

As a guitar player, I would never use midi for guitar parts. What I need it for is horns, strings, occassional acoustic bass guitar, percussion. If these were available as RealTracks, by all means I would use them instead of rendered midi parts (except where I needed a signature line, lick...but NEVER midi guitar in my case)




Agreed. As a bass player I wouldn't use midi for bass even though I generally suck.

Quote:

On a side note, I find it amusing that this topic is so polarizing ! Almost as much fun as political or religious doctrinal threads elsewere.




I know. I guess midi advocates are liberal and RT advocates are conservative. Those on the far left or right will never agree because they don't even hear each other. Only moderates can have a coherent conversastion.

Yep, it does sound a lot like politics.
_________________________
BiaB 2013 b366, RB 2013 b4, WinXP Pro SP3, Toshiba M70, 1.8GHz 2GB RAM 100GB HD. Focusrite Saffire 6 USB, Ketron SD2.BiaB Wiki

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#149150 - 02/03/12 12:37 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: pwarren]
Tommyc Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/08/11
Posts: 2473
Quote:

Quote:

can fool a non-musician.



I think there are a lot of musicians on this site, some quite good.

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#149151 - 02/03/12 12:41 PM [Off-Topic] Re: BiaB 2012 revolutionizes midi... [Re: pwarren]
MitchC Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 581
Sorry, I thought the Camel Crusher and Juicy77 were patches available in Amplitube. I'm sure the full blown version of Amplitube would have the distortion sounds desired... not willing to invest the $239+ for it however.

A thread title of 'New VST's enhance midi..' might have diffused the midi debate a tad (I doubt it though) ;-)

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Announcing…The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

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