Entering Notes with the Midi Recorder
  1. Set up a new document or open an existing score.
  2. Select MIDI Recorder... from the Audio/Midi menu. The MIDI Recorder panel will appear:

The MIDI Recorder is used for recording tracks from a MIDI keyboard and transferring them to your score. You can record up to 16 tracks, and can transfer the recorded material to any location in the score. Each track can be transferred to a single staff, or the track can be split between two staves (which need not be continguous). As well, you can specify which voice you want the track transferred to, so it is possible to transfer more than one track to a single staff.

The Record and Playback controls are located on the left side of the panel:

These controls allow you to Record MIDI from your keyboard, Read Standard MIDI files (created by other music applications), playback the original recording (or imported MIDI file), and playback the quantized recording (or imported MIDI file).

- Quantization refers to the process or adjusting the rhythm and durations of a live performance to create a more metrically accurate version of the music.

The procedure for recording tracks of MIDI and transferring them to your score is as follows:

  1. Set the metronome speed, volume and time signature
  2. Set the number of measures of pickup you want (this is the number of measures counted out before the recording starts)
  3. Set the sound playback device you want to use - MIDI, Apple DLS, or Audio Units.
  4. Select the track you want to record on by highlighting the record button for that track.
  5. Click on the Record button in the Record and Playback controls and begin playing on your MIDI keyboard.
  6. Click the Record button to stop recording once you are finished playing.
  7. Quantize the performance by setting the appropriate quantization values and clicking on the Re-quantize Midi Data button.
  8. Listen to the quantized score by clicking on the Play Quantize button. If the quantized performance does not sound correct, adjust the quantization settings and click on the Re-quantize Midi Data button again.
  9. Continue recording other tracks if desired.
  10. Set the staves and voices to which each recorded track should be transferred.
  11. Set the measure number and beat position of the score that you want your recording transferred to and click Transfer to Score.

Step 1: Set the time signature and metronome.

The time signature for the metronome is set in the same fashion as the time signature is set in the Document setup - with sliders for the setting the numerator and the denominator. The metronome volume, tempo, and number of pickup measures can also be set. The metronome will only play if the M.M.On box is checked. During recording and playback, a metronome flashes on every beat and the current measure and beat are displayed.

Step 2: Set the record track

The 16 tracks have buttons for record, playback, a button to clear the track and a button to indicate whether or not the track should be quantized (either after a new recording is made or when the Re-quantize button is clicked.) You can record in only one track at a time. In the example above, track 1 has already been recorded, and the user is now playing track 1 while recording on track 2. To clear a track, simply click on the clear button.

The Quantize radio buttons allow you to quantize different tracks with different sets of quantization values. Once you have correctly quantized a track, turn the Quantize radio button off on that track and the track will no longer be quantized

Step 3: Click on the Record button

Play your music on your MIDI keyboard using the metronome as your guide. Remember to wait for your pickup measures before beginning.

Step 4: Click on the Record button again to stop the recording.

There are two playback buttons. The first is for playing the original recording (or imported file) along with any errors or rhythmic inaccuracies that it may contain. The second play button (called Play Quantized) is for playing and stopping the quantized version of your performance.

- The Turn Notes Off button is used to turn off any "hung" MIDI notes. (These are notes that continue to sound when the stop button is pressed.)

Step 5: Quantize the performance

The Re-quantize button applies the current quantize values to the tracks that are set to be quantized. To check that you have used the best quantization values, listen to the quantized score by clicking on the Play Quantized button.

There are two sets of quantization values. The first set indicates the minimum value of rhythmic precision that will be allowed. (Eg. when set to a sixteenth note, all beat positions and durations will be rounded to the closest sixteenth note.) The second set of values indicates how much notes will be extended to fill in the rests between notes. This is necessary since it is not always possible to play notes without separating them and thereby placing a short rest between them. Experimenting with different quantization values and listening to the quantized score should help clarify the effect of various settings.

Step 6: Continue recording other tracks

You can record as little or as much MIDI data as you want before transferring it to the score. Sometimes it make sense to record an entire composition before transferring it, while at other times it may be better to record short fragments and transfer each one independently and then clear the track from the MIDI Recorder.

Step 7: Set the staves and voices for the transfer

The bottom section of the MIDI Recorder allows the staff and voice for each track to be set. The staves in the score are identified by the Staff ID (which is the idnetification number that appears at the right edge of a staff). If you want the track divided between two staves, then indicate the second Staff ID and a split point. Notes above the split point will appear on the first staff and notes below the split point will appear on the second staff. (The split point is indicated as a note name and octave number - middle C is C3). You also set which of the three possible voices you want to transfer the track to. Normally the first voice will be selected unless you want to transfer two tracks to the same staff in which case you will set one track to have stems up and one track to have stems down.

Step 8: Transfer your performance to the score

Set the measure number and beat position and transfer your quantized recording to the score.

First, set the starting measure number and beat position for the transfer. This is where measure 1, beat 1 of your quantized recording will appear. You should also set whether you want the pages to be formatted and whether you want rests to added wherever appropriate. When you are ready to send the quantized recording to the score, click on the Transfer To Score button. If you now want to make a new recording, remember to clear the data currently in the tracks by clicking on the Clear buttons on all the active tracks.

- You must have an document open in order to transfer your recording to a score. If several scores are open, the transfer is made to the front-most score.

- If notes are transferred to an area of the score where there are already notes, the new material will be merged with the original score material.

- If more than one track is transferred to the same Staff ID and the same voice, the data will be merged on that staff.

See also

© Keith A. Hamel 1998-2005 - All Rights Reserved