You need to be logged in to post on the forum
Topic Options
Index
#71313 - 04/27/10 06:30 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix?
g-man Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 1
Hi all,
If this has been covered I could not find it in the search engine. I use midi and biab to back me and my wife's jazz duo. I use some midi files I find on the internet. Some of the files seem to play louder than others. It's kind of a hassle having to manually adjust the volume for each song on the sequencer on the fly with a guitar in one hand. Is there a trick to make all the files play at the same volume. I've messed with it for hours and can't seem to find the key. I can adjust the volume in midi as it's playing and when I try to save and then use again it goes back to the original level. Can you tell me if this is a midi thing and how to fix it or does biab have a quick fix for it. Thanks for any help and info you can provide.

G-man

Top
#71314 - 04/27/10 07:59 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: g-man]
Gary Curran Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
There are quite a few items that would cause differing volume levels on different midi files. Unfortunately, I know of no way to 'normalize' all MIDI files to be the same on the fly. That would involve changing volume levels, velocity levels, expression levels and who knows what else.

I would suggest that the best solution is 'go prepared.' Have all of your files already tweaked and set up so that they are at the same volume level for what you expect to play. That will require opening each file in a sequencer, like Real Band or Power Tracks Pro Audio, and adjusting volume and velocity levels so that everything is the same.

You might consider, instead of using MIDI files, converting each to a high quality .mp3 or .wma file. That way, each is already set at a known volume.

Nothing makes a gigging musician look bad, both in the eyes of customer and the person hiring you, then someone who is jumping all over stage to make changes from when a new song starts.

So, tweak the songs so that they are all the same level, and you'll never be surprised.

Gary
_________________________
Music touches everyone, and everyone can touch music, if they wish.

Top
#71315 - 04/28/10 02:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: g-man]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13730
Loc: Australia
Hi G-Man,

Another possibility that might work for you is the Normalize Midi Velocities to.... This is found under Opt >> Preferences >> Arrange: it's on the upper right side of the pop-up box. I'd set this to, say, 80 or 90. (Velocity controls MIDI volume and having all songs set to the same value should assist.)

Regards,
Noel
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


Top
#71316 - 04/28/10 09:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Noel96]
Notes Norton Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4450
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Unfortunately normalize doesn't work.

It raises the highest peak to the maximum non-distorted level.

So if one song has one loud peak and the rest of the song not so loud AND another song has a soft level with no peaks, after normalizing, the soft level song will sound MUCH louder than the one with the loud peak.

It isn't easy, and there is no instant gratification fix that I know of.

But then, if it were easy, a lot of people would be doing it and my clients wouldn't pay me for having so much fun on the gig.

You will have to "master" your MIDI or mp3 files (whatever you choose for your backing track).

That will involve listening, comparing and adjusting the levels - continuous controller 7 on each MIDI track of each song, or the volume of mp3 tracks. Then when you get on the gig you will find that you will need to go back and readjust a few from time to time.

It often takes me 2 or 3 tries of balancing to get my backing tracks right. For some reason, "mastering" at home is different from the gig. Probably due to the differences between my home system and my PA system (which is too much work to set up in the living room).

Although it's a lot of work, and takes a lot of time, it's worth it in the long run.

Insights and incites by Notes
_________________________
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

Top
#71317 - 04/28/10 02:48 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: g-man]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6592
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Quote:

Hi all,
If this has been covered I could not find it in the search engine. I use midi and biab to back me and my wife's jazz duo. I use some midi files I find on the internet. Some of the files seem to play louder than others. It's kind of a hassle having to manually adjust the volume for each song on the sequencer on the fly with a guitar in one hand. Is there a trick to make all the files play at the same volume. I've messed with it for hours and can't seem to find the key. I can adjust the volume in midi as it's playing and when I try to save and then use again it goes back to the original level. Can you tell me if this is a midi thing and how to fix it or does biab have a quick fix for it. Thanks for any help and info you can provide.

G-man




There's several different issues going on here and I've been there and done that. Using biab live and using midi files live are two different things. I finally gave up trying to play a midi file live using Power Tracks because messing with the mouse on a gig is just not practical plus as you found out not all midi files were created equal. It's a complete pia trying to remix several hundred Real Book files track by track. Burning the tunes to MP3 also is not practical to me because of the mixing problem. Notes is absolutely correct but he's a long time and full time pro at this and I'm not. After years of experience you can tell even if you're at home if the mix is correct or not but for me, I get on the gig and if the drums are way too loud even though they sounded great at home, then that song is useless because it's a finished stereo mix and you can't simply pull the drums back.
What I wound up doing is using Biab only, no midi's. I use a standard mono PA and I pan the bass and drums right and everything else left and use a stereo out plug that I split to two channels on my mixer. Then I have some control by adjusting one of those mixer channels. Between the gain itself and just turning up or down the bass control I get good enough control over the bass and drums.
Yes, you lose some of the nice individual song specific parts in a well done midi file but it's just not worth it for me to mix all those for the 10 or 12 times a year I might do a Biab gig. The Conductor feature works great live, btw.
If I needed to put together a real professional show like I used to do years ago, then yeah I would put in the time just like Notes does.

Another issue you mentioned involved changing a midi file live and saving it but then later when you play it again, nothing's changed. That's because there are imbedded midi volume changes in the file that you have to strip out before your changes will stick. There can be other control changes in that file too that can bite you that need to be removed. You didn't mention what sequencer you're using but it will have a midi edit window and you have to go in there and remove those cc's. That's more work for you to do before you can use that midi file consistently on a gig and another reason why I gave up on using midi's live. For jazz especially, Biab alone is good enough.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

Top
#71318 - 04/28/10 03:30 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: jazzmammal]
Muzic Trax Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4962
Loc: California
G-man,

There is a .seq (sequencer) button in Biab. When you have your midi file open in Biab, click the .seq button and select either Melody or Soloist channel there. This opens an edit box. You can select the offending midi channel there and lower the velocities of that track in one global swoop. It will lower that tracks velocity and should be lower in volume. You can do this for each, non Biab midi track there.

If I was gigging and needed a certain riff or midi channel phrase in a song, here is how I would set up my songs in Biab:

1. Load song
2. Select appropriate Biab style
3. Delete any unnecessary midi tracks using .seq button (but keep the "riff/certain song phrase" midi track)
4. rechannel those tracks to something other then the Biab midi channels (using .seq button)
5. Open piano roll and set my volume levels using CC#7 (make sure you have correct midi channel selected)
6. With Piano Roll open: set my patch, chorus & reverb levels for EACH non Biab midi channel.
7. Once satisfied with Biab midi/RT mix, (Save & convert to wav/mp3/wma etc . . .)
8. You could even use a Biab Real Track(s) if mixing to wav/mp3/wma etc . . .

You will need to do this for EACH midi file you intend to use on a gig.

I have found that if I import a midi file into Biab and keep the song's signature midi riff(s), alongside an appropriate Biab style, it is hard to tell the difference between the Biab midi vs the original, usually. You can search for an appropriate style by typing in either the band name or song name in the Biab style picker's "search" box. The "G" button there will continue your search for the next available style that matches your initial search query.

Doing all of this on the "fly" will not work, takes too long. But, take a day or two and edit some files. Once you have them in wav/mp3/wma format, no need to hassle with the mix again.

Trax

Top
#71319 - 04/28/10 09:33 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Muzic Trax]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
What works for us (YMMV) is to use a free pgm called "mp3gain". We use mp3 as our final song file output and then use the mp3 gain pgm to adjust to uniform volumes. I might not be understanding what your goal is. When we are playing we certainly would not have time to adjust volumes for each and every track let alone the song as a whole. I just want to play, keep in contact with the audience, and make sure I'm using the right song on the stand.

I know what you mean about songs acquired via the net. I always make a number of changes to those. I normalize all of my audio files through WavePad, a free program such Audacity before using the mp3 gain pgm. Good luck!

Stan
_________________________
Cornet Curmudgeon

Top
#71320 - 04/29/10 03:52 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Notes Norton]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13730
Loc: Australia
Hi Notes,
Quote:

Unfortunately normalize doesn't work. It raises the highest peak to the maximum non-distorted level. So if one song has one loud peak and the rest of the song not so loud AND another song has a soft level with no peaks, after normalizing, the soft level song will sound MUCH louder than the one with the loud peak.



I'm a little confused. I know that the above is how normalize works with audio files. With MIDI, though, I thought BIAB's "Normalize all velocities to..." option that I mentioned above worked differently. My understanding was that it set the MIDI velocities of all notes to the same value. There's also an option to include Melody and Soloist in this. It's not a feature that I've used - I've only read about it. Is my understanding incorrect?

Regards,
Noel


Edited by Noel96 (04/29/10 06:17 AM)
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


Top
#71321 - 04/29/10 07:51 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Noel96]
jford Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10698
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
Hi, Noel -

My understanding of the BIAB normalize function is that it doesn't set all the MIDI velocities to the same value, but instead normalizes each track "around" the specified value. So, if you tell it to normalize at 90, then instead of doing what a normal normalize does, which is to shove the peak value to the highest level and adjust everything else by that same amount, the BIAB normalize finds the middle and then centers everything around that for each track. So you will still have dynamics, but the overall level of the track will have been reduced (if it was too high to start with) or increased (if it was too low to start with). So, if all your songs are normalized at, say, 90, then they should have a consistent sound from song to song, but still retaining the dynamics within the song. You also have the option to include or exclude the melody/soloist tracks from the normalize option.
_________________________
John

HP Win10Pro-64, 8GB
ASUS Win10Pro-64, 16GB
HP Win7Pro-64, 8GB

H/W-Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD, Casio Kbds
S/W-BB/RB2018/Sonar/Reaper/Studio One/Samplitude/MixBus/Notion/Finale/Noteworthy/NI Komplete/Halion/Garritan/IK
Web-http://www.sus4chord.com

Top
#71322 - 04/29/10 08:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: jford]
Notes Norton Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4450
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
The BiaB "Normalize Midi Velocities To" command is an entirely different animal. It does help and I would use it for home practice/jamming, but IMHO it isn't good enough for live performance over a higher gain PA system.

Of course, there is more than one right way to do almost anything and my way is best for me - YMMV

I have a full page on how I make and use backing tracks on stage here: http://www.nortonmusic.com/backing_tracks.html

Feel free to link to it if you find it worthy.

All of the advice might not help everybody, but some of the advice should be good for most people. I've been playing with backing tracks since the mid 1980s. At first I put them on cassette tapes (because 1980s era computers were very unreliable), then MIDI files on a floppy disk hardware sequencer, then MIDI files on a laptop, and now mp3 files on a laptop.

My method gives me the flexibility to call songs on the fly, and go from song to song without any gap between songs when necessary.

It's the sum total of about 25 years experience of being in a duo.

Insights and incites by Notes
_________________________
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

Top
#71323 - 04/30/10 03:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: jford]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13730
Loc: Australia
Hi John and Notes,

Thank you for taking the time to explain about BIAB's normalizing MIDI velocities. I finally understand it.

Regards,
Noel
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


Top
#71324 - 04/30/10 09:44 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Noel96]
Mac Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Think of it as more of a "MIDI Compressor" that uses Velocities to accomplish that task.

This feature was added originally in order to compensate for Style files that had been developed rather early on that are not as loud sounding as later styles. IIRC


--Mac
_________________________
PGmusic FAQs, Tutorials and Updates! click here

You must be Audiominds.
www.audiominds.com

Top
#71325 - 04/30/10 07:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Mac]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Notes, Mac and others have extensive experience and knowledge of the field of sound. I'm just starting to learn from the very beginning. If you are going to really get into doing backups, it would be advantageous to you to start learning about what some procedures are and do, such as "normalize". I'm discovering that just getting all songs to sound "right", at the same volume, is quite an involved process for a neophyte. FWIW

Stan
_________________________
Cornet Curmudgeon

Top
#71326 - 04/30/10 09:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Imported midi files run at different volumes. Is there a fix? [Re: Mac]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13730
Loc: Australia
Thanks, Mac. That analogy works for me.

Noel
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


Top


PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® Backing Tracks on the Masterclass 'Melodic Choices' Tour!

The Masterclass 'Melodic Choices' tour with Michael Dolce is on its final month, with dates remaining in Australia!

Michael uses Band-in-a-Box® to create the tracks for this tour!

A few images from the event:
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

A little information about Michael Dolce :
Michael Dolce is one of Australia's premier guitarists whose career spans over 27 years. He has worked with Delta Goodrem, Lionel Richie, The Madden Brothers, Good Charlotte, Keith Urban, Kelly Rowland, Kylie Minogue, Roachford, Jessica Mauboy, Ricky Martin, Ronan Keating, Jessie J, Seal, Will-I-Am, Paulini, Marvin Priest and many more. He is the house guitarist for the hit show 'The Voice' and has been touring the country with his 'Masterclass' series for the past 3 years sharing his concepts, approach, technique and knowledge.

Band-in-a-Box® for Windows - User Programmable Functions

But, what if you want to be able to tell the program to do MORE than that?

Head to Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions within the online manual, and you'll learn more about programmable features like:

The StyleMaker
Create brand-new styles or edit existing styles!

Making RealDrums Styles
Template file included! You can either record a drummer, or you can piece together a wave file using drum loops!

The Harmony Maker
Create or edit your own (or existing) harmonies!

The Soloist Maker and The Melodist Maker
Define your own Soloists or Melodists in whichever style you'd like!

The Guitarist Maker
The program will intelligently arrange any melody to a guitar chord solo by inserting real guitar voicings throughout the piece. There are many preloaded Guitarists to choose from, or you can customize existing Guitarists’ settings or make your own Guitarists from scratch using this feature.

#TBT Band-in-a-Box® 2017 Review - Software for Learning Saxophone

McGill Music Sax School posted a video review of Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows last year, stating "I love using software to help learn saxophone. One of my favourite programs is Band-in-a-Box. It's a really powerful tool for quickly making backing tracks I can use for lessons, or my own practice."

Check it out! www.pgmusic.com/?vid=2AgfV7emdLQ

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac - Importing MIDI Files

Did you know that Standard MIDI files can be read in to the Melodist or Soloist track within Band-in-a-Box? You can use all of the MIDI File, or select channels or a specific range of bars, using these steps:
1. Melody | Import Melody from MIDI File to select a MIDI file from disk using the file dialog.
2. Melody | Import Melody from Clipboard - when the MIDI data is already copied from another program to the
clipboard.

A new window will open, asking for additional criteria - which channels, # of bars to offset..., # of bars to import, include lyrics, include patch changes - and more! Head to our online manual Chapter 10: Working with MIDI to learn more!

YouTube Find - Your First 15 Minutes with Band-in-a-Box

Woody Piano Shack recently got their hands on Band-in-a-Box after a long time without the program - and they're thrilled!!

Check out this video they've shared to their YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/9dxSfwjBvG0

Thanks Woody Piano Shack!

National Dictionary Day - Guitar & Piano Chord Dictionaries

Today is National Dictionary Day!

We offer 2 dictionaries for just $19 each: the Guitar Chord Dictionary & the Piano Chord Dictionary!

Each of these programs are easy to use! Simply choose a root note, select the chord you want to learn, and the Dictionary will play and display the chord!

An Essential Tool for any Musician!

User Tip - Band-in-a-Box® to Reaper: The Basics

Forum user DeaconBlues09 has created a video to demonstrate how easy the process is for them to streamline their workflow with DAWs, particularly Reaper - check it out: click here to watch.

Join the forum discussion.

Forum Stats
28094 Members
57 Forums
54495 Topics
450741 Posts

Max Online: 2434 @ 11/14/17 12:37 AM
Newest Members
Molldur, Frans, Gregle, sergio2018, Pellegrino

28093 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
Noel96 205
Matt Finley 145
Tangmo 143
Will Josef 137
Janice & Bud 134
David Snyder 124
floyd jane 116
Deryk - PG Music 113
Jim Fogle 104
MarioD 104
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays