Adding programatic sound to QC

usefuldesign.au's picture

Can anybody recommend a easy sequencing program (demo or shareware preferably) I can save a midi file in. I just want to enter a diatonic scale of all the notes in a couple of octaves and save as .mid. Then open it in GarageBand, assign a synth and effects and record to an .aiff file for use in QC.

I want exact timing so each new note is same length (say crotchet) and starts right on beat. I found the GarageBand '08 sequencing tools inadequate to say the least. Only way to enter score is playing it in and quantising seems hit and miss, esp on note length where it doesn't seem to do anything. I don't have proper MIDI keyboard atm — getting good result on QWERTY is very hard.

I need accuracy so I can use the start and end time values in track to select the note for playback with Kineme's Audio File Player patch (rather than making a track for every note and note length).

Need to add basic monophonic (at this stage) tones to my QC comp. Dust's DLS Synth plugin seem like a worthy candidate but I couldn't get it happening.

Not much in way of documentation but I think I did everything right. The plugin has installed but no sound when i run the sample composition :/ I copied the .dls file to same folder as composition so file path "

Is there anyway of playing the internal (sound-card) synth by sending it MIDI messages from QC? Presumably not, that's why Dust made DLSSynth right?

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franz's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

I would recommend using Ableton Live in conjunction with QC for playing Midi or Audio Files. It is simply one of the best DAW on the market. And it works flawlessly.

Not free tho'.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

Thanks Franz I'l check it out.

I'm really looking for something I can embed in the QC comp and distribute. As a test case for inter composition messaging (MVC) , I'm making a QC Simon that can operate across machines. Player 1 and master composition on Mac 1, Player 2 on Mac 2 etc etc

I'd be happy to type the MIDI file in TextWrangler.app but (a) the .mid files I looked don't seem to be in ASCII and (b) I can't find a detailed description of the file format.

idlefon's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

Ableton Live is my no.1 recommendation as well. If you only need midi, another great software is numerology @ http://www.five12.com/ . it's a midi-heaven :D

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

I agree with all of the comments so far (Ableton is awesome), but I feel like I have to give a head's up on Reaper as well:

http://www.reaper.fm/about.php

It's really flexible, they don't charge an arm and a leg for new versions, etc. I love that I can create busses at will, use midi and audio together constructively (you can use a midi track to key a compressor on an audio channel and vice versa). Updates happen frequently, so you aren't stuck in super-bug land like with most all DAW's. There's robust support for "skins" so the work environment can look like ProTools, for example, or whatever.

There's a full trial version for download, so it can't hurt to try. They ask you to pay for the discounted license (or full license) as applicable.

You'll probably go wild when you find out about js plugins in Reaper.

dust's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

the dls synth works fine for me. i would say try putting your dls or sf2 files into your /Library/Audio/Sounds/Banks thats where they are supposed to go.

then call them with a long url string like "/Library/Audio/Sounds/Banks/mySF2.dls"

as far as my tests are concerned all dls and sf2 banks have worked for me. there are so many of them on the internet i'm sure you can get just about any sound sample you would want.

if you want to make you own dls or sf2 file i suggest to use PolyPhontics. They have some free midi tools, the program works like a sampler you add your sound sample of a given note and octave set some adsr and you have a soundfont.

as per a sequencer daw program, i would think it was possible to use garageband. maybe i'm wrong its been sometime but you can click on a midi track then click on the eye in garageband. i think this pulls up a little midi editor making it possible to move your notes around ? maybe its all different now some kids at school where telling me garage band automagically quantizes live input now ?

there is http://reaper.fm/ it used to be free. i think for midi stuff pd is the free solution. there is the iphone solution with iSequence for a few dollars you can sequence and export midi or audio from it ?

let me know if you can't get the dls synth running a bank.

idlefon's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

JS in Reaper?? that's pretty awesome. cheers George!

dust's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

i like reapers integration with ninjam. it makes it possible to sync up midi plugins to ninjam. ninjam lets people collaborate musically over the internet. its a wierd way to jam, if you know how to play music you can totally jam out over the internet. there are various ninjam servers both private and public. you can go to http://ninbot.com/ and find some servers. like with any kind of chat room type message board type of thing that isn't private means anybody can join your jam, which is sometimes wanted and unwanted. certainly you can plug right into ninjam but if you use midi plugins etc... its better to use reaper because you don't have to route everything through soundflower.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

Okay I'l try shifting the .dls file I had it in same folder as comp and tried it in the QC plugins folder as well (wasn't sure what the input path was relative to the comp is normal/only possible usage for relative path, I guess).

Report back. It's late and just discovered all these posts. Have to wait till tomorrow.

usefuldesign.au's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

js plugins — I'm in!!

Will check it out… my needs are so, so simple...

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

The reaper people make stuff flexible, in my opinion. I've always liked the attitude they have...the support for editing the GUI appearance is a really great bell and whistle, and I wish QC users could have an editor skin file, trade them around, etc.

There's no doubt that when it comes to time stretch/loop/edit on the fly, ableton, and acid have long been strong. If I had to do something where I was mixing and editing on the fly, I would probably wind up using Ableton, just because of the comfort factor of it having been stress tested for doing just that, by so many people.

However, reaper is just a great daw all around, and for $40 for the "junior" license, it's a really great deal. I think that the demo version doesn't actually have any limitations on it though; it's a full version, and that it's more like an honor system. I'm not sure, I paid, because I thought it was well worth it.

cybero's picture
Re: Adding programatic sound to QC

Thanks for the link and info about Reaper, sounds [and looks] brilliant. Just about to download the same. Currently looking into the beta 64 bit version.