Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch

Posted by: VideoTrack

Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 12:22 AM

I wonder if anyone can advise if I'm doing something wrong. I want to select a custom MIDI style and add it to a track.

1: I right-click on the empty Melody track and choose 'Select custom MIDI style for this track'

2: I want a Slow String patch, so I choose Slow Strings as the Patch and then press 'Choose Style with this patch' (Figure 1)

3: I select 'BOSANEW' as the style which clearly shows it has a Strings track using Slow Strings. I press OK (Figure 2).

4: I now need to select which track I want to use from BOSANEW.STY. However, in the drop-down there is no Strings track. The tracks that are shown are actually the names of the tracks in my already existing song, not the ones in BOSANEW.STY (Figure 3).

5: It now gets more complicated/weirder. I now get a message that 'Slow Strings is on Guitar 2 track of Style BOSANEW' and 'it will be placed on the track that you chose: Flute. This is OK'. (Figure 4) When or how did I choose Flute? I had chosen to put it on the Melody track. There was never a track named Flute.

6: I press OK and it places the MIDI patch on the Melody track and labels it 'Strings' (Figure 5). I wrongly think I've succeeded.

7: I generate the song and it renames the Strings track to Flute and doesn't have any MIDI data. It is an empty track (Figure 6)

I've watched the online video and read the help and I believe I'm doing this correctly. Any advice? Can anybody see an error in my workflow?
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 05:27 AM

Hi Video Track.

I think you problem stems from the fact that you are trying to use the melody track.
This is not part of the original style and you are in fact trying to load 2 styles at once one on the style tracks and another on the melody track.

I would have thought you should be loading the custom midi style to the style track that you want to replace then choosing which track from the custom style to use as a replacement for your original style track that you are inserting on.
I may be be quite wrong I have not tried this but it seems logical to me.
As this keeps the style tracks where they should be the first 5 tracks, and the melody free for melody notes.

Mike
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:09 AM

What you are trying to do actually sounds like a good idea. I remember doing something similar a few years back with moderate success. The trick was you can not assign a midi patch to a track in a style which does not initially have midi data assigned to it. So the idea of moving over midi data from a track from a different style sounds like the thing to do.

Then more recently there was a video where new features were apparently added which made this appear like it would be easy-peasy. So I just now spent 20 minutes giving it a go as you indicated. I get the same results - kinda a mess. So there must be another way. If I get a little more time today, I will look for the video and/or type a different approach and see what I can get.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:13 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Head

.. you should be loading the custom midi style to the style track that you want to replace then choosing which track from the custom style to use as a replacement for your original style track that you are inserting on.

Mike


Mike, on first read this sounds like crazy BIAB-speak. grin But you may have it with the Melody track. This track has always been different and may be the culprit here. I can tell you some of the initial issues I see is the track naming convention which assigns different names to the tracks (original BIAB track naming versus name of the instrument on the track) - this can be very confusing.

Dan
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Head
Hi Video Track.
I think you problem stems from the fact that you are trying to use the melody track...

Mike, thanks for stepping in and your response is genuinely appreciated.
I would have thought that by now (2019), if I could not use the melody track for this task, then the option would have been disabled, or at least a reasonable warning would have been provided. Instead, it was absolutely accepting to allow me to proceed. I'm intrigued.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:26 AM

It looks so simple in this 2019 video. It may be the Melody track as Mike suggested... the demo uses the Strings Track
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:29 AM

Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
The trick was you can not assign a midi patch to a track in a style which does not initially have midi data assigned to it. So the idea of moving over midi data from a track from a different style sounds like the thing to do.

Dan, you're on the money here. I have gotten it to work before, but it is totally hit-and-miss. That clue about having some MIDI data already on the track might be the clue.

Meanwhile, absolutely nothing I have read states that a user cannot add a MIDI style to a melody track. After all, that track is designed for MIDI, no?

I am beginning to think this is a programmatical issue (note how I'm careful with my terminology wink )
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:35 AM

I still suspect it may be user-workflow. Even the demo shows multiple ways to complete this task. I am getting my second cup of coffee now, wife still sleeping I plan to duplicate a different workflow from the demo and see if I can get this to work, if time permits. grin
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:37 AM

Dan, yes, this is one of the videos that I reviewed also (several times). Note that nothing is disabled for the Melodist or Soloist tracks. Every track is available to be selected for use.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:39 AM

Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
I still suspect it may be user-workflow. Even the demo shows multiple ways to complete this task. I am getting my second cup of coffee now, wife still sleeping I plan to duplicate a different workflow from the demo and see if I can get this to work, if time permits. grin

Dan, I hope the wife is really tired. All help is appreciated. Big grin
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:44 AM

Worked first time on the Strings track ....!!

Watch the video to get the concept.

I had a BIAB Retrack Style (all RTs). I inserted a Orchestral Strings midi track over the RT on the Strings track with only a couple clicks of the mouse straight from the mixer menus.

Not sure if it mattered, but I unchecked this box... Just too often confusing for me to deal with it.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 06:48 AM

Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Worked first time on the Strings track ....!!

Yep. The Strings track being one of the first 5 tracks?
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 07:01 AM

So have you got it going?

If so, not a "programmatical issue" after all. This is just how BIAB works. It can drive newbees crazy while older veterans just scratch their heads. I do believe cooler heads prevailed in this instance. grin
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 07:06 AM

Hi

Well it seems then it is as I said you must use a style track.
The first 5 tracks are considered to be the style tracks , after all if you you disable the style in a song it only disables the first 5 tracks, the melody track and the soloist and audio if present still play.You cant make a six track style by putting a style track on the melody track.

So it seems to me if your want to modify a style then you have to modify a style track.

Just my take,
Mike
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 07:17 AM

Hope we are not premature in our conclusion. But it look like you hit the nail on the Head Mike.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 07:22 AM

Can't disagree with anything mentioned except that if I can't 'Assign a custom MIDI style' to the Melodist or Soloist tracks, then those tracks simply shouldn't be available for this function. No?

I'm going to report it. Hopefully they can fix it. Why waste two unused tracks?
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 07:34 AM

Mike and Dan, thanks. You found the reason, but <groan> the underlying problem clearly is in the program code itself. There is no reason that those tracks are unusable for that function, and clearly nothing prevents them from being used, but try using them and the results are completely awry.

There are other underlying problems also. If I try to place the custom style on a RealTrack instead (as suggested), it still gives me the choice of the names of the existing RealTracks in my song instead of the name of the track from the custom style. Check it out:

This entire feature is riddled with issues. More work required. I don't think we actually won, yet. But you better believe that your input is thoroughly appreciated smile .
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 07:37 AM

Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
Can't disagree with anything mentioned except that if I can't 'Assign a custom MIDI style' to the Melodist or Soloist tracks, then those tracks simply shouldn't be available for this function. No?

I'm going to report it. Hopefully they can fix it. Why waste two unused tracks?


There are more than just two wasted MIDI tracks. As you probably know my pet peeve with BiaB is that all of the MIDI tracks are preassigned. I really want all 16 MIDI tracks open for the user. If this were the case you would not be having your problem.

Note that there could be a radio button where one side would be as is now and the other side would be all MIDI tracks open for the user.

YMMV
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:01 AM

The other frustrating thing is that is actually hit-and-miss. Sometimes I can get it to work. Don't ask me why or how, but I can apply a custom MIDI style to the Melodist track.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:02 AM

Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
There are other underlying problems also. If I try to place the custom style on a RealTrack instead (as suggested), it still gives me the choice of the names of the existing RealTracks in my song instead of the name of the track from the custom style. Check it out:


As pointed out - Turn off the "auto generate track labels" feature. A long time source of confusion.

But back to point, how did the inserted midi track work out for you? As you can tell, not many folks use this feature but I suspect it can be a cool idea.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:08 AM

Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
The other frustrating thing is that is actually hit-and-miss. Sometimes I can get it to work. Don't ask me why or how, but i can apply a custom MIDI style to the Melodist track.


OK, that can be frustrating crazy . This was my first thought, it is workflow.

BIAB has redundant menus and workflows to accomplish the same thing. I have suspected some work and some may not. Don't have the time to really birddog these possible inconsistencies since that would interfere with making music.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:15 AM

Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
As pointed out - Turn off the "auto generate track labels" feature. A long time source of confusion.

But back to point, how did the inserted midi track work out for you? As you can tell, not many folks use this feature but I suspect it can be a cool idea.

Dan, yes, if "auto generate" turned off then it gives the default (legacy) track names which unfortunately simply highlights another issue that needs attention crazy

I can get it to work 'sometimes' but I cannot find what enables/prevents this from working always.
Because I've had it working previously on many songs quite successfully tells me this is very possible, as you can see from posts above. Just sometimes it doesn't work. If only I could have that code in a debugger in a development environment... The PGM team could find this easily, I'm sure.
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:25 AM

Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
Can't disagree with anything mentioned except that if I can't 'Assign a custom MIDI style' to the Melodist or Soloist tracks, then those tracks simply shouldn't be available for this function. No?

I'm going to report it. Hopefully they can fix it. Why waste two unused tracks?


Hi
I don’t think they are wasted as I do not think that the intelligent style arranger works on any more than 5 parts (the first 5 tracks in the mixer).
So style data on the melody track would be ignored by the track generator, when assembling the backing style to suit your chord progression.
I think ?
Mike
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:28 AM

I wonder, is there a limit of five tracks documented somewhere or is this an educated assumption?
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 09:00 AM

You're on a roll Trevor. This is either a bug or the Help file is incorrect.

The screenshot is from the Help window that opens up if you hit Help from the Midi Tracks Picker. It clearly says it includes "even the Melody and Soloist tracks" in the top part of the pic and then it's in the yellow box "Melody is OK".

This kind of thing I would use RB but it's part of Biab so it should work.
Posted by: Dave

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 09:02 AM

VideoTrack, Have you tried to do any of this in the Stylemaker, essentially you can build a hybrid style. I have used this function extensively, but probably never onto a melody track. It certainly works to put an instrument from another style on the soloist track.

As was noted previously, when you change the style on a song using the style picker, it doesn't affect the melody that is already there.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 09:06 AM

I just added a supermidi track to the melody track of a Real Track Style song (all RTs).
And I added a custom midi style to the soloist track.

Workflow: Right Click on the empty track in the mixer (Patches). Select options... done

I am now convinced it is workflow. There is a right way to do it and a wrong way.
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 10:09 AM

Hi all

Yes indeed Dan looks as if I underestimated BIAB it has just worked fine for me on the melody track. I chose the patch to be bright piano as I had enough guitar on there and its fine you can see that my voice is bright Piano although I am using the guitar 1 track from the midi style.
All info shown in the mixer track for melody is spot on and it works well.
So it does in fact seem you can use the melody track for this and I was wrong to doubt it.
Mike frown blush
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 11:47 AM

Cool. So it's been established that this can work, and the problem is why it sometimes doesn't?
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 12:32 PM

Yes, I think this is another example of the Help files needing some help. MusicStudent, I think you're correct too, it's a combination of workflow and the different screens being very confusing.

In my case I'm testing a song that was an old downloaded midi style that I changed to a Real Style, then changed a couple of parts. Lots of experimentation. It's a Crooner style and I messed around with using the original Strings track for a second Crooner horn section. I then replaced that track with a Vibes soloist. Now, I replaced the Vibes track with a Strings track using this procedure including a different style for that track.

In the Midi Track Picker window I changed the Vibes to Strings then to the right selected a style that has a strings part in it. I hit OK and the mixer and instrument both changed to Strings. Good I thought but then I hit Play and it goes back to Vibes but it sounds like a Strings part. Then I manually right clicked on instrument and selected Strings and now it's ok, it's playing strings and the mixer and instrument also shows Strings.

Another strange thing, in the Picker window the From track says Horn Section. That wasn't even the original part in the original RT style, it was an RT horn section part I had added, then changed to midi Vibes and now just changed to Strings! Confusing to say the least. It seems like all my previous changes and the fact this started out as a 25 year old original Biab midi style is messing with the system too.

And, as I'm doing this my brain is going DO THIS IN REAL BAND! But, it's part of Biab so let's see what's up.

Bob
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 02:27 PM

To add to my last post and I'm laughing here. What it's doing is taking the patch from the last one used, not the current one. I'll get specific, I'm using Witchcraft with the Sinatra midi style. On the Soloist track I go into the Midi Track Picker window, seclect Harpsichord plus a style that goes with it. Again, hit OK in that window and the mixer and soloist changes to Harpsichord but when I hit play it's playing piano which is the last patch I tried in the first song. Like before I had to manually change the midi patch to Harpsichord and now it plays that. And it is a harp style part. I changed to to organ, selected a style with organ and doing all that again hit play, it goes to Harpsichord. Change it to guitar it plays Organ until I manually change that. The last one I changed to accordion, I picked a cajun zydeco accordion style and I get Organ playing that accordion part. Why I'm laughing is organ playing a bouncy zydeco style in Witchcraft almost fits!

I see no difference in doing this by right clicking on the instrument part up top or using the mixer. Same o same o.

One more thing, Undo doesn't apply for this function, the last Undo is me changing the part volume in the mixer. I think this is related to a comment I made in another thread. If you're changing styles there's no Undo for that.

Bob
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 03:18 PM

Trevor, to get back to your original post, forget most of those screenshots. Here's what you do:

1. Right click on the Melody track and select Custom Midi Style.
2. Select the patch you want and the style.
3. Forget everything else.
4. Hit OK, then hit Regen.
5. You get the correct style on the Melody track but the prior instrument patch.
6. Manually change to the correct patch and you're good to go.

I was selecting Melody in the From box but that doesn't seem to make any difference. I just now tried all of them. What it's doing is if you go back in it's showing your patch you just selected for the Melody track. I don't know what that box for now because it doesn't seem to do anything.

The Automatic Patch naming function seems to be working correctly, all of our confusion was caused by the bug, and yes it's a bug, that this function seems to be using the previous patch when you Play (but the style you selected is playing) and you have to manually change it.

Other than that it seems to be working fine and it saves OK too. It's a bug and the workaround is you have to manually change the patch after the first time you generate the song. At least on my system, latest build. I've done this about a dozen times.

Bob
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 04:57 PM

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Trevor, to get back to your original post, forget most of those screenshots. Here's what you do:

1. Right click on the Melody track and select Custom Midi Style.
2. Select the patch you want and the style.
3. Forget everything else.
4. Hit OK, then hit Regen.
5. You get the correct style on the Melody track but the prior instrument patch.
6. Manually change to the correct patch and you're good to go.


Thanks for that detail. When I try that exact workflow, I do get the correct style, but when I re-generated, it always delivered an empty track.

However, after further experimenting, I found that if the last track in the top 5 was frozen, then the Melodist or Soloist track didn't generate. I could unfreeze any or all other tracks and nothing was generated. The 5th track needed to be unfrozen.

I even created a new song with nothing on Track 5. If it was frozen, the selected MIDI style on the 6th or 7th tracks never generated.

This I think is the last piece in the puzzle. I don't use this word lightly, but yes, another bug. Perhaps someone could verify?

Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 05:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave
VideoTrack, Have you tried to do any of this in the Stylemaker, essentially you can build a hybrid style.

Dave, no, I hadn't tried that. I was following the steps in the PGM video. However, as mentioned above, I think I now found the actual reason.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:05 PM

I reported it to the developers. Let's see what happens.

Thanks everyone for their input.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 08:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Cool. So it's been established that this can work, and the problem is why it sometimes doesn't?

Matt, it appears to be a bug related to Track 5 being frozen. If I'm adding a track to an existing song, I would normally have all other tracks frozen as I would not want them to regenerate. It is only Track 5 that stops the generation, no other tracks. Let's see if they can resolve.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/22/19 09:30 PM

Nice work diagnosing this.
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 02:59 AM

Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Nice work diagnosing this.

Thanks. Out of sheer frustration there was a requirement to 'leave no stone un-turned'.

I just kept repeating the exercise with big and small changes everywhere, including deploying different Styles, number of tracks, different mix of the number of RealTracks vs MIDI tracks, if the song had been previously saved, if a track had been renamed, and more. But until I found it I had never expected it would come down to the frozen status of a single, very separate track. Who would've thought...

It's over to PGM Team now.
Posted by: MountainSide

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 05:50 AM

Great work on this VideoTrack!
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 05:57 AM

Hi Trevor

the point of frezing is to stop regeneration on a track but:
That does seem strange that having track 5 frozen prevents it from generating on the Melody track or was that frozen as well.

Or had you given up on the melody track, and inserting on track 5 just to test.

Mike
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 06:04 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Head

Or had you given up on the melody track, and inserting on track 5 just to test.

Ha Ha, thanks Mike. No way I ever give up - it's not my nature.

I knew it had worked on the Melody track before so it had to work there again. Tenacity is required.

My screen capture clearly shows the MIDI strings being generated on the Soloist track - but only if Track 5 (regardless of instrument) is not frozen.

Go ahead, try it out.

Cheers,
Trevor
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 06:20 AM

So to add to this, IMHO it is not user workflow, it is not intentional program design, it is an unintended "programmatical issue". There, I never used that word. That word bugs me. Whooops...
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 07:12 AM

Hi Trevor

Well very odd.
Strangely I can generate on the melody track with track 5 frozen.
But if I then try to generate another custom style on the soloist track it will then not! generate until I unfreeze track 5, then I have to re choose my midi voice as it pays no heed to what I asked for , however after choosing say Choir ahhs every thing works fine and both tracks play.

Bit of a mares nest this one methinks.

PS
Mind you I can see that it may need to regenerate parts of the original arrangement to make room and spaces to introduce the extra instrument part into the arrangement.



Mike
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 09:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Head
then I have to re choose my midi voice as it pays no heed to what I asked for , however after choosing say Choir ahhs every thing works fine and both tracks play.


Right, this is what I wrote about. Try 3 or 4 more patches/styles. Example, right now change the patch/style to something else. You should see the Choir still playing but it will play the new style you selected. Do it again just to confirm what I found. Here it keeps remembering whatever the last patch was.

Bob
Posted by: Mike Head

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 10:30 AM

Ok Bob

If I go back to the track that I inserted a custom style on using Choir ahhs,
And then click on insert custom style again it come up with the last settings in the insert custom style screen, if I change the voice patch say to trumpet, it looks as if it has taken in the mixer but when I play, it reverts back to choir ahhs and so does the mixer display.

However if I just choose a mid voice patch for that track in the normal way it does indeed change, and sticks playing the custom style track with my chosen mid voice.

So I can confirm your findings (I think)
Mike
Posted by: VideoTrack

Re: Weird problem with selecting tracks for custom MIDI patch - 09/23/19 04:28 PM

1:
I can confirm Bob's findings. It seems to remember the previous patch used, not the selected one, and unexpectedly jumps to that when the song is generated.

2:
In my case, I was trying to add a MIDI strings track to either the Melodist or Soloist track. The frozen requirements on Track 5 might be different for a different patch, a MIDI Super track etc. If it helps, the MIDI I chose was the Strings track from the BOSANEW Style. Insertion results may be different for other Styles however, including the frozen status, but that was my finding.

3:
At present, I have "Auto-Generate Track Labels" disabled, I found it less confusing while trying to sort this problem out. Normally, I would have that enabled.