I’m new to Ardour. I like what I’ve seen in Ardour so far, it’s one of the most advanced DAW’s I’ve seen in Linux. I’m more used to using Cakewalk Sonar, and so I find myself comparing the features of Ardour to Cakewalk. In Cakewalk, there is a built in feature to see Midi tracks in editable Music Notation form on a Music Sheet. In Ardour, I found out how to use the Step Entry for Midi (by right clicking on the record button), how to directly add notes to tracks, and referencing the piano board to the left hand side. While this is useful, I would like to edit Midi tracks by music notation. I would also like to print the music notations for the musicians that play my tracks. Does Ardour have this feature? If not, will this feature be added? Any help that can be offered would be greatly appreciated!
I got some help in the Ardour IRC as well, and am sharing it here for others. There was an initial confusion about what I was using Midi for.
To clarify some confusion I ran into in the IRC about what I use Midi notations for in a Daw, it is an incredibly useful aide to my work flow. Midi does not by any means become part of the final product of the music. My Workflow is to first score a new song I’m writing on Music Sheet paper with a guitar and a piano. Then as I have done since 1998, I will use a DAW like Cakewalk and go into the editable ‘staff view’ (which shows Midi notes like Sheet Music) and use the mouse and note controls to roughly lay out the flow of a track instrument and work on the timing right along side the actual live recordings of the instruments themselves. This also allows the music to be printed into sheet music for my Musicians which helps for real instruments to be recorded live, because they have something a little more refined to practice to. I will then print the music notations for all of my live recorded instruments that have been refined in the DAW itself with staff music notations and use that to copyright and publish the music.
Here is the IRC Chat for reference:
Hello, I’m new to Ardour. I found out how to use the Step Entry for Midi, but i would like to edit Midi tracks by music notation. Does Ardour have this feature?
Malcolm: it does not
Malcolm: music notation and MIDI is a rabbit whole of issues. For notation, no problem. But normally MIDI in a project can get complex very quickly, especially with humanisation.
Malcolm: I use Logic Pro mainly, but even then there are problems.
AlexMitchellMus What is Logic Pro, and how could I use it with Ardour? Would I have to frequently import and export my midi files between both of these programs?
Malcolm: Ardour is a replacement for Logic Pro
but Logic pro is proprietary software…
For me, music notation is very critical for place holders while mixing, and printing out sheet music for my musicians. I got used to cakewalk since I first started using it in 1998, and Cakewalk came out with midi music notations all the way back in 2000. Ardour has a lot of excellent features, and I plan on using it when I’m on my Linux partition,but it lacks the music notation feature that is critical for mine and my musicians needs…
Malcolm: you do realise that humanised playing does not read well on a score? it looks horrible unless you quantise it first and remove duplicate notes and then youve ruined the feel of the swing
ie, there is no good mapping of real playing onto sheet music
i think the best you could get would be to internally quantise the raw midi just for the purposes of displaying the sheet music and any editing would snap the note to the exact position and ruin the humanised way it was played initially
I have not had any problem with using Midi to create music notation. I use drums as a tick track, real musicians follow the music I have scored, they practice, then we record it in tracks and we don’t lose the swing. The Midi is not part of the actual music, but it is very helpful for translating the music to sheet music as an aide for my musicians. It has been an invaluable tool for a long time.
ah thats different i guess as a guide it would work
damo22 Thank you for providing advice Damo, and everyone else who has responded to my query about Ardour regarding midi music notation.
i thought you meant the midi was part of the actual recorded material that would become rendered to the track
and you also wanted to have it displayed as score
I completely understand, Midi sounds like toy music most of the time, but i always keep Midi tracks muted while being a representation of the actual ‘notes’ on the actual recorded music.
i tried to do this one time with other programs and it always sounded toy like
I would really like to move from cakewalk completely, but the music notation that cakewalk has is the only thing keeping me with Cakewalk and with a Windows OS partition. If Ardour ever implements Music Notation, along with all the other features it already has, i would not have any excuse to use Cakewalk.
Ardour is so close to being a Cakewalk replacement.
i think rosegarden has this feature, don’t quote me on that
I have had extensive trouble getting rosegarden to work with my equipment and up-to-date Linux OS. Ardour just seems to ‘work’.
id believe that
i stopped writing music with score and ardour was all i needed
Ah, I find it vital to score music not just as a mixing aide, but because then we can copyright the music and send it to a publisher.
fair enough, sounds like you need something then
And I would definitely love that something inside Ardour
i wonder if you can use something that hooks into ardour via jack
so you would manage the midi from another program and just play it back simultaneously with ardour using jack sync
Thank you for mentioning that, I will do research and find out what I can hook into Ardour through Jack.
Hmm, I wonder if MuseScore can be hooked into Ardour.
it has jack support
but what is your workflow?
do you create the notes with mouse?
ie, do you draw the score first
or do you play something
I write out the music first on score paper with a guitar and piano, and then I do a rough score with a mouse in a DAW like cakewalk, and that is where I work on the timing.
the best way i can see that may work for you, is once you have done it on paper, enter the score in musescore and tidy it up in there, and then jack sync to ardour and have the score displayed while recording audio in ardour?
you can also export your midi into ardour after its all done
Awesome, I will learn how to set all this up, and this could very well be may way out of Cakewalk for good
by arming a midi track and setting the musescore output as ardour midi input
it may be annoying to get the sync right initially
or musescore may be able to save as .mid
I do wish it was integrated into ardour already for full system-wide real time integration, but your suggestion is looking to be a decent alternative for the time being. You have been very helpful Damo.