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Author Topic: question about your sequencing habits  (Read 1107 times)

Offline 3650guy

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question about your sequencing habits
« on: July 07, 2006, 01:55:27 PM »
what timebase or resolution do you use?

1.  the highest available
2   whats "timebase"?
3.  96 ticks (kasi old school ako)

personally i use 120, but if it opens at 480 and i didn't know it, I'd use it.
coming from an mc50, some of us have a mindset that quarter note values are forever embedded into 24 ticks.  but hey if 480 or higher is available it was put there for a purpose right?


suppose you are sequencing slow songs like "Narito Ako" (Regine) or
"Tell me" (Joey Albert) for example.

would you sequence at 50-70 bpm or would you double the speed and use 2 bars per actual bar (parang fast four ba ang tawag dito) effectively doubling the resolution?

i have some jazz demo files that are sequenced at 250+ bpm and the drums and sax and brass parts really feel alive.... for a midifile that is..

for me, I would use the higher tempo, because yung slow tempo sounds
like you are dragging a heavy load


"And then one day you find ten years have got behind you, No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun" DSOTM

Offline KitC

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question about your sequencing habits
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 08:42:50 PM »
I use whatever timebase is available although, for me, i use a value of  96 or 120 PPQN because of the 'target' medium which has a low value timebase anyway. No need to go high resolution if the target hardware playback device has a max resolution of 96 PPQN anyway.

Ticks and/or parts-per-quarter-note (PPQN) are the usual terms used for timebase. It defines the subdivisions within a quarter note but notice that this is independent of tempo.

On some compositions, I use 480 PPQN when I need fine resolutions, but I'm not like BT where I have to define up to 1/128th and 1/256th notes for extreme stutter edits. To make a sequence ebb and flow, I find that tempo editing is more effective while slight nudges of the snare (or the 2 and 4 beat in 4/4) to lead or lag the beat can give the impression of a laid back groove or an excited feel.
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Offline 3650guy

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question about your sequencing habits
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 09:08:31 PM »
Quote from: KitC
I use whatever timebase is available although, for me, i use a value of  96 or 120 PPQN because of the 'target' medium which has a low value timebase anyway. No need to go high resolution if the target hardware playback device has a max resolution of 96 PPQN anyway.


can you explain this part a bit further?  in essence does this mean that you don't want to "confuse" the receiving midi device by using a higher resolution?

a midi sound module or synth doesn't care about whether or not a sequencer or a live player is triggering it via midi events, its main concern is that it responds as fast as it triggered.... isn't it  

i've never seen a spec sheet on a synth that says about the 96ppq limit.

alam ko yun xp series used risc processors to cope with this extreme midi
data handling..... hang on i'm might be wrong.... where did i put those
damned brochures.....
"And then one day you find ten years have got behind you, No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun" DSOTM

Offline KitC

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question about your sequencing habits
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 09:31:47 PM »
It doesn't matter to the hardware sequencer if you import a 480 PPQN midi file while it's max resolution is only 96 PPQN, it will 'translate' the high resolution file to a resolution it recognizes. Think of it as a form of coarse quantizing. One tick in 96 PPQN is equivalent to 5 ticks in 480 PPQN. If a note  fell at the 2nd tick of 480 PPQN midi file, a hardware midi player will most likely 'pull' that note towards the 1st tick at 96 PPQN depending on how the midi engine was coded. Think of it as 'rounding' errors. Higher resolutions only means more accurate placement of notes in a non-quantized midi sequence - almost like a rubato performance.
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Offline KitC

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question about your sequencing habits
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 09:40:11 PM »
Quote from: 3650guy
alam ko yun xp series used risc processors to cope with this extreme midi data handling..... hang on i'm might be wrong.... where did i put those damned brochures.....


Remember that midi is a SERIAL protocol; notes are sent one by one and in sequence regardless of whether you played all 3 notes in a chord at the same time. In a dense sequence where all 16 channels are playing 3 note chords at the same time, that means 48 notes are being triggered sequentially; on slower processor synths, you can hear this as 'slurring' of chords. The RISC processors used the Roland's synths were optimized to reduce this midi latency to the minimum possible.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire


Offline 3650guy

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question about your sequencing habits
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 10:15:53 PM »
okay my big mistake.

the scenario is software sequencer playing to a hardware multitimbral
midi tone generator....   does this change anything?

if you start from a blank project would you use 96 or 448 as your resolution?

yeah it doesnt make sense loading a 448ppq to a 96 ppq hardware sequencer
specailly since it has a lot of "guessing" to do in realtime.

any file loaded to a project could be saved at a higher resolution right?

how about my second part question?
"And then one day you find ten years have got behind you, No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun" DSOTM

Offline KitC

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question about your sequencing habits
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2006, 11:16:16 PM »
Quote from: 3650guy
okay my big mistake.

the scenario is software sequencer playing to a hardware multitimbral
midi tone generator....   does this change anything?


Again, you are limited by the serial nature of midi. You have to understand that midi latency is not only defined by the number of notes firing at the same time, but also number of voices (or tones) your hardware module can generate simultaneously. This is where the processor really comes into play. You can be sending a 3 note chord on only 1 midi channel, but what if  that patch is using 4 voices? Technically, you're firing off 12 oscillators simultaneously. It gets more complicated when using combis where you could easily use up polyphony.

Remember that each midi port is still a serial port operating at 38400 baud IIRC (or is it 31,250?), and notes are still being sent sequentially. So even if you have a high resolution midi file, you are still limited by the timing inherent in the midi baud rate spec. This is one of the reasons I have more than 1 module aside from variety of sound sources. 'Splitting' the sequence to output to different ports eases the midi bottleneck making timing tighter.  Now this is in hardware. In software, the serial nature of midi is still there but you have higher speeds to contend with making midi latency with software synths almost a thing of the past. (Dizzy yet?)

Quote from: 3650guy

if you start from a blank project would you use 96 or 448 as your resolution?


I usually try to use something in between. I typically think of the target playback device. 96 PPQN is almost universal among all modules; the Triton operates at 192 PPQN max AFAIK. As much as I like to use 480 or even 960 PPQN, I've almost always got Sonar fixed at 120 simply because of the target devices I make midi files for. If it was for personal projects, I use 480.

Quote from: 3650guy

yeah it doesnt make sense loading a 448ppq to a 96 ppq hardware sequencer
specailly since it has a lot of "guessing" to do in realtime.

any file loaded to a project could be saved at a higher resolution right?


It can but like I said in another thrread, experiment first. I've encountered midi file playback problems (speeding up or slowing down) when changing resolutions.
Sonar 4.04PE/5.2PE/7.02PE/8.31 PE, Project 5 v2.5.1, EmulatorX 1.5, Cubase SL2, Ableton Live 7.14,  Intel Q6600 MSI P43 Neo 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800, Emu 1820m, Yamaha DSP Factory, Terratec DMX 6fire