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Thread: Text-based midi --> DAW?

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    Text-based midi --> DAW?

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    Hi! I'm looking for a smooth way to compose tunes in text-based form and then import them to a DAW such as Logic. Obviously the text files need conversion to MIDI before importing the MIDI files into the DAW, I suppose. Any hints on which text-based language I need to consider?

    I've tried MML for chiptunes but found its layout too awkward. I'd like an option where I'm not tied to the DAW all the time when composing.

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    I know I'm probably stupid and this is some new fangled idea but how do you compose tunes in text, and why would you do this? MIDI is normally music, or numerical data for controlling other gizmos - I don't see how you compose music with words?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    I know I'm probably stupid and this is some new fangled idea but how do you compose tunes in text, and why would you do this? MIDI is normally music, or numerical data for controlling other gizmos - I don't see how you compose music with words?
    Of course u can compose tunes in text. You write symbols for notes, for example CDEFGAB, and symbols for note attributes (such as note lenght) in a plain text editor, and a program will later convert your symbols to a MIDI file. There exists some programs built for this purpose. This way you can quickly write small riffs or chords without having to open your DAW, or even on a tablet, or maybe you can transcribe an entire Beethoven symphony in a text file and later convert your text file into MIDI which can be edited in Cakewalk or Logic.

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    Why on earth would anyone wish to create music using such a crazy and stupid system? That's the bontempi solution to art? It's even worse than trying to create music with a mouse by clicking on grids - which most people moved away from years ago.

    I do understand that some people don't understand music, and find repetitive riff/pattern based music what they want in this world, but they can click on proper screens in a DAW and visualise what they're doing - great for synths and stuff plus of course drums - but the notion of typing in note names, and note lengths is just like thinking painting by numbers is realistic art. Only a fool would transcribe a Beethoven symphony in this way - it's just plain daft.

    MIDI needs so much data to be realistic. If you suddenly have an idea and a tune pops into your head, you hum it don't you, so you record it into your phone and then stick it into your DAW. You really convert the tune in your head into letter names, how long each letter name lasts and how loud it is - that's not music it's a memory test! Many people dismiss tab, but it does do a job - text is just a very inefficient way of getting music into a machine. How would you enter a chord?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Why on earth would anyone wish to create music using such a crazy and stupid system? That's the bontempi solution to art? It's even worse than trying to create music with a mouse by clicking on grids - which most people moved away from years ago.

    I do understand that some people don't understand music, and find repetitive riff/pattern based music what they want in this world, but they can click on proper screens in a DAW and visualise what they're doing - great for synths and stuff plus of course drums - but the notion of typing in note names, and note lengths is just like thinking painting by numbers is realistic art. Only a fool would transcribe a Beethoven symphony in this way - it's just plain daft.

    MIDI needs so much data to be realistic. If you suddenly have an idea and a tune pops into your head, you hum it don't you, so you record it into your phone and then stick it into your DAW. You really convert the tune in your head into letter names, how long each letter name lasts and how loud it is - that's not music it's a memory test! Many people dismiss tab, but it does do a job - text is just a very inefficient way of getting music into a machine. How would you enter a chord?
    In the earliest text-based music languages, called MML, you had different tracks for entering chords. Modern text-based languages, at least Abcnotation or Takt, have more developed commands for chords (ie. "play these three notes together".)

    Of course you would want to have a DAW to transcribe a Beethoven symphony. But I only have one DAW. With text-based languages, I could work out individual bits and pieces of Beethoven a symphony while I'm at the office or on a train, and later on import them as MIDI into my DAW. I wouldn't have to wait til I get home to transcribe, for instance, the second theme of the exposition in the first movement of said symphony.

    BTW, what do you mean by "tab"?

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    Well, there's ABC notation and tools to convert that to midi do exist. Haven't tried either though.

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