Notes from the Shore

Work, marriage, kids and music

Making Music

I’ve run into some interesting issues in rendering Praise to the Lord the Almighty. First, there are two ways of turning MIDI data into music. The first and more obvious way is to simply play the music with the software synthesizer and make a digital recording of it. The second, and more desirable way of doing it is to do the rendering internally, without audibly playing the music. This way the computer can do it’s work at it’s own pace (usually faster than playing directly) and also allows processing of effects that are too cpu-intensive to process in real time smoothly.

Using PowerTracks I can process any vst softsynth this way, but with Finale and the GPO player, I’m locked into real-time rendering. This has caused some mismatch with the various tracks. I went to the Finale Forum and Daz, who is like the Robin Hood of the Finale forum, came through again.

There are two ways to apply Human Playback. It can be applied to the track as MIDI data, or Finale can interpret the information “on the fly.” From an earlier post, you may remember the problems I had using the “Apply as MIDI data” option, so I’ve been using the “on the fly” option ever since. This is the way to go while writing, but it was causing my problems.

It seems that when using the HP “on the fly” the playback is never the same twice. Even when the “randomize timing” option is turned off, there are still minor variations in the timing. This lead to each of the individual tracks being slightly out of sync with each other.

It turns out that the solution to this conundrum is to turn off HP from playback, and apply it once to the entire track as MIDI data. I did that this weekend and brought a sampling of tracks into PowerTracks and sure enough, they lined up – with one caveat.

The start time of each track still appears somewhat random, but it’s easy enough to snip a little time from the beginning of each track until they line up. From then on out, they fit like clockwork.

Well, that’s enough for now. In my next post, I’ll describe the rendering process more thoroughly, including a workaround for multiple instruments on the same MIDI channel with different volume and panning assignments.

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