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Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3
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Dm
Posted 2007-07-07 8:31 AM (#13928)
Subject: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3


Hi!

I've managed to load my IT modules, and they work almost fine (except for it lacks original pitch bends), and it allows to enter notes from MIDI keyboard while in pattern edit mode. But I can't make it produce any midi output

What I do is:

1. Creating new Revisit VSTi instrument
2. Adding new midi track, assigning it's input to 'All MIDI inputs', output to 'ReViSiT'
3. Going to Instrument List in Revisit, and pressing F4 until the Pitch/MIDI tab appear.
4. Selecting 'Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth' as output device (or any other physical MIDI device, including external Yamaha synth - they all work fine if selected as midi output for Cubase track; VST host as output didn't work either ).
5. Clicking 'Input', 'Output' and 'Thru' buttons so they change color to dark (dark color means "enabled", I guess? Anyway, I tried in both states).
6. Leaving Midi channel set to 1, Program no., LSB & MSB to "---".
7. Trying to play a note on a midi keyboard - Cubase shows that it reads midi input, but nothing is played.
8. Clicking 'Play' word in the Instrument list column for that instrument, and then pressing 'Q' on the computer keyboard. Nothing is played, although if I create wav-based instrument, it gets played this way.

What am I missing? What is the right way to make Revisit send output to MIDI device?
Is it intended behaviour that midi-input works in Pattern edit mode, but does not play instrument selected in the instrument list?

Thank you!
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chrisnash
Posted 2007-07-07 10:20 PM (#13929 - in reply to #13928)
Subject: RE: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3



Developer

Posts: 746
50010010025
Location: England
Hi Dm,

As you guessed, reViSiT currently only has MIDI note-entry and MIDI pattern-output (OUTPUT), not MIDI instrument audition (the INPUT/THRU buttons affect nothing). They're on the list of things to do!

So, you should still be able to get pattern notes played as you enter them in the Pattern Editor, and MIDI instruments will naturally output as you play patterns.

'Hope this helps.

All the best,
Chris
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Guest
Posted 2007-07-08 10:09 AM (#13930 - in reply to #13928)
Subject: RE: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3


Thanks, Chris!

Finally I've ran midiyoke & midiox and discovered that there is midi output from ReViSiT - probably there were midi ports conflict or something... Now everything works ok.

Thank you for the great software! I was looking for such program for a long time, since the moment I wasn't able to run Impulse Tracker any more in new environment. And Revisit is the best solution around for those accustomed to Impulse Tracker.

As to pitchbends - I've used a lot of 'Fx' commands in volume column effects in my old modules, but unfortunately Revisit even doesn't load them
Honestly, I don't know any player besides Impulse Tracker itself who is able to process 'Fx' pitches correctly...
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CS_TBL
Posted 2007-07-08 10:25 AM (#13931 - in reply to #13930)
Subject: Re: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3



Expert

Posts: 512
500
Location: Netherlands
I dunno whether the following sounds like barbarism, but I'm/was an avid IT user as well, and from the moment I've been using reViSiT I've not made something with IT again. Perhaps it's better to completely remake old tunes from scratch using VSTi's? Just loading back older tunes might sound handier, but chances are that with recent VSTi's you'd be using alternative ways to accomplish the same. E.g. the classic use of echo-channels is not really important anymore since you'd just route a VSTi's output to a delay effect, and apart from that, many VSTi's have some kind of DSP inside.
So, in short: are those old .IT files really important to you as they are? Or could you better recreate them from scratch using VSTi's?
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chrisnash
Posted 2007-07-08 1:06 PM (#13932 - in reply to #13931)
Subject: Re: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3



Developer

Posts: 746
50010010025
Location: England

Dm:

I'm afraid "Amiga" pitch slides are something that have bit the dust in reViSiT. Aside from backwards compatibility, I can see no advantage to using them. Indeed, "Linear" slides are considerably easier to work with, as they'll give you the same relative pitch slide regardless of original note pitch. Amiga slides are almost two decades old, and are long overdue for retirement. reViSiT's slides are, of course, 100% equivalent to IT's "Linear" slides.

Volume column effects were planned for v0.91 (the next version), but I'm beginning to rethink the idea. It has always been my intention to add a facility for multiple effect columns (possibly after v1.00). Come that time, volume column effects will be largely obsolete, and only serve as a confusing alternative, with less flexibility. So far, I recall only two people (including yourself) mention them, out of 1000's of users and 100's of emails, so the motivation for coding them has somewhat diminished. In IT, for example, I never used them myself. The decision isn't final, and I appreciate that, if nothing else, it would be a very efficient use of screen "real-estate". Comments, anyone?

At least initially, you shouldn't need to use loopback drivers like MidiOx, etc. - reViSIT's MIDI output can be set to "VST Host", in which case it will be dispatched internally to the host sequencer. From there, you need only create a MIDI track in the host, and select the "reViSiT" as its MIDI input - and, of course, your desired MIDI output (e.g. a MIDI port or VSTi instrument). Naturally, this feature is dependent on the host, and you may need to arm "recording" or "monitoring" for that track. However, Cubase SX3 works just fine (it's my primary test platform).

CS_TBL:

I'm not sure I completely follow. Are you saying that instead of reloading old IT modules, you should redo them from scratch, using VSTi instruments? Using reViSiT? If so, why not just load up the old IT in reViSiT anyway and simply strip the parts that you want to do using alternative methods? For example, why not just delete the echo channels and switch that instrument's output to a VSTi with an echo effect?

If I look back on some of my IT modules, some of which I'm looking forward to completing or 'remixing' with modern technology (if I ever get the time!), two things come to mind: a) it'd be an awful lot of work to re-enter even the basic musical data (melodies, harmonies, etc.), and b) I'd probably want to do a lot of that in reViSiT anyway, thus duplicating the original IT file. Indeed, a lot of the groovy stuff I wish to retain verbatim (drums, beats, synth sequences, etc.) are groovy because they use IT's unique tools (that good ol' Oxx command).

Additionally, even if you did want to move out of reViSiT, you could 'bounce down' an IT file melody by switching its output to MIDI and then recording the MIDI to a track in the host. In days gone by, before reViSiT, I once set all of IT's instruments to MIDI and recorded the module to a hardware sequencer before taking the resultant MIDI file into Cubase to rework. Thankfully, those days are gone.

All the best,
Chris

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CS_TBL
Posted 2007-07-08 2:51 PM (#13933 - in reply to #13932)
Subject: Re: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3



Expert

Posts: 512
500
Location: Netherlands
It may depends on the particular .IT file. Let's list some things that have been normal in my IT workflow but are redundant with today's rev/vsti configs.

- the already mentioned echo channels, I usually had either 2 or 4 echo channels for a leadsound, spread evenly across the stereo image, those eat up your patterntracks.
- 2 channels for a stereo sound, when adding single sounds like orch.hits, crashes, cymbal-crescendi, timpani-crescendi, other stereo effects, these sounds were scattered all around the place, making the overview quite unstructured, esp. without track-naming.
- simple instruments, compared to today's complex instruments (with complex I mean stuff like keyswitching, dynamic layers, layered sounds, various controllers). There could've been 10 sounds in IT all being articulations or side-effects of one single instrument (like a flute orso), all those notes could now be replaced by a single instrument on a single channel.
- multiple channels for fast runs (harp etc.), rather than the -scheduled- local pattern-in-a-pattern (or whatever you're gonna name that)
- in large-scale tunes -such as orchestral ones- musical choices have been made based on having only 99 samples, I used to be quite skilled in those choices.. one has to, working for 10 years with it. With today's configs I wouldn't have to think about my samples, I simply use what I want to use. This would mean that rebuilding a tune using a recent config offers me to arrange/orchestrate things I wasn't able to do in .IT. So, apart from having higher quality samples, the fact that I have *more* samples, and thus more coloring choice, make re-creating from scratch an attractive option.

Of course, one could load back an old .IT and manually tweak and shake the whole tune, but that would feel a bit like adding recent hardware into an older PC, while a new PC with the same hardware offers a new future-proof base. I can imagine choosing to soup-up an old .IT tune, but -depending on the tune- I wonder whether it's actually not faster to restart from scratch and make truly optimized patterns with optimized VSTi instruments it would make the tune look organized and future-proof. Organization is especially handy for large orchestral pieces with the intention to have it played -something I'm opting to do btw!- and thus printed to a score. Such tunes can't really be "hacky" or "messy".

I could however imagine that freaky tunes with all kinda rhythmic effects (offset, SDx, retrigger etc.) could somehow cause a problem perhaps, when redoing with other VSTi's.

There would be a usage for converting IT2 tunes, and that would be loading 'em in another instance of reViSiT, which is on the todo iirc, then one could c/p essential bits without having to mess-up in the loaded file -where one doesn't always have enough space to move around things-.

I actually tried loading back an .IT and revamp it some while ago already. The process failed because of the mentioned things. I would be putting the old tune in a new jacket, but it wouldn't really be a fundamentally new arrangement. One might think that erasing channel echos and double tracks (for stereo sounds) gives new tracks for extra sounds, but that usually sounds nicer than it is in reality.

Let's summarize it by saying that the internal sampleplayer from IT differs a lot -in scope- from the options we have today. Let's compare it with Vangelis' music from the early 80's, let's take Chariots of Fire for instance. If we'd be orchestrating that one, would we take his original tapes and replace 'm with orchestral samples? I don't think that would work. (synths in a new jacket) I'd rather rebuild/orchestrate the tune from scratch and really make it suit the new possibilities. I think that analogy is quite close to the IT-reViSiT situation here.

Note, obviously I keep referring to orchestras, but that's purely because that's my thing .. :P

Edited by CS_TBL 2007-07-08 3:06 PM
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chrisnash
Posted 2007-07-08 5:47 PM (#13934 - in reply to #13933)
Subject: Re: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3



Developer

Posts: 746
50010010025
Location: England
> Note, obviously I keep referring to orchestras, but that's purely because that's my thing .. :P

I think perhaps this is the crucial element here - IT wasn't really that well cut out for classical, which is a whole different compositional experience to other genres. As you say it couldn't handle the number of instruments or the articulations. However, in other genres, the issues you mention are less of a concern. Perhaps it's that trackers aren't the best way to ape music based in real instruments, but - instead - are the best way to create synthetic, super-real soundscapes. Saying that, you can use a tracker to get the fine control of pitch, etc. that is still lacking from MIDI. However, for a piano part (for example), you'll want to play it in with a MIDI keyboard on a sequencer. However, a drum part, your back to trackers again. Someone should come up with a way to use them together.

I also want to point out that some people will simply want to work in an IT-environment and won't care for all the mousing about required if you want to configure and string together VSTi and VST's. I, for one, don't want to spend hours recording, configuring, mapping, loading my own samples. I'm happy with sound modules and sample libraries with presets. I'm not as interested in the 'sound' as I am the music. Instead of using an interesting sound, I'd rather use an unremarkable sound in an interesting way.

Some specific comments:

Echo Channels: Sure you can have delay effects, but I probably still wouldn't always use them - if I'm using echo's in a prominent creative capacity, I want control over each echo - the option to have some notes echoing and some not, or have echo notes actually differing in pitch. Tracking was always about fine control, and as soon as you stick your sound through a MIDI-like connection (such as VSTi), you lose that control.

Stereo Samples: Personally, I never really used stereo samples except for the very occassional atmospheric sound effect. This was, as you mentioned, because they were so cumbersome to do in IT. Of course, stereo samples are supported on single channels in reViSiT, but even then they aren't as flexible as splitting the two channels into two instruments. For example, pan a stereo sample hard left and it mutes the right channel - it doesn't mix the two together, as you could do with seperate samples. Again, it comes down to genre and personal preference.

Hardware Analogy: I find this analogy a little tenuous. Aside from the fact that the whole reason to future-proof a PC is exactly so that you can add hardware to it later to keep it up-to-date, I see an IT file as simply a collection of notes, melodies, harmonies, rhythms, ideas, etc. that can be loaded in reViSiT. For some there may be a layer of fine-editing on top that is perhaps obsolete and that might even make it more of trial to update, but I think this will be relatively rare. However, for many there might be a layer of fine-editing that is still apt and suitable for the new levels of sound quality and sonic options.

Drum Programming: I think the term "freaky tunes" doesn't fully encapsulate all the tunes that use advanced rhythmic features of IT. Aside from dance, drum n' bass, big beat and all the more 'popular' genres, even modern classical has complex rhythmic and percussive elements. Note also: retrigger and SDx both work with MIDI instruments in reViSiT.

Chariots of Fire Example: A glaring problem with your example here is the fact that some of the charm of Vangelis was his use of distinctly electronic sounds - even those of the 80's. Updating for orchestra would lead to one of those terrible CD's of "The RPO plays the music of Queen" or - worse still - "Orchestral Tubular Bells". If I was asked to remix an piece of electronic music, I'd hope to have a MIDI or IT file to start from.

Chris
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Dmitry
Posted 2007-07-09 4:07 PM (#13935 - in reply to #13928)
Subject: RE: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3


New user

Posts: 1

(Previously I wrote here as Dm and guest)

Chris,

I think that people should do work in that they are interested most (especially if they do it for free), so if you have some bigger plans than implementing 20yr-old Amiga slides, then go ahead May be later when you'll have time to work on better compatibility, you can implement this. Who knows, may be in few years it will be a problem even to run DOS Impulse Tracker with disk writer (I can't run it with any sound driver already), and ReViSiT will become the only correct IT modules renderer under Windows...

Are 'Fx' commands I was talking about those Amiga slides? The only reason I was using 'Fx' volume column effect - I found it in IT's help earlier than anything else. Is there any unique volume column effects that can't be replicated with regular effects?

Offtop:
I just thought that tracking may be more like writing articles in TeX in comparison with Word But when I look yesterday at Music TeX I couldn't convince myself that it may be more convenient for anyone to create scores with something like

% mesure 3
\normalnotesize
\barre\NOtes\itenl2G\wh G&\zw N\raise 3.5\Interligne\ds
|\rlap{\cl f}\itenl0k\ibu1m0\qh1k\enotes
\notes&\qbl0b0|\nbbu1\nbbbu1\tten0\qh1{klk}\tbu1\qh1{^j}\enotes
\Notes&\zq d\qb0f\tbl0\qb0b|\qu k\enotes
\temps\Notes&\ibl0d0\zq d\qb0{fb}\zq d\qb0f|\qu m\sk\pt k\qbu1k{-4}\enotes
\notes&\tbl0\qb0b|\sk\tbbu1\tbu1\qh1i\enotes

than just type it in with mouse in Sibelius...

There're few things that I like about Impulse Tracker:
- If your piano playing skills are not so good (which is my case), it allows you to enter score with the speed you like, but still using midi keyboard as input, and the computer keyboard for adjusting rhythm.
- It provides you immediate feedback: while composing, you can always press '4' or '8', to check whether new notes fit well harmonically with those entered earlier. I couldn't find a good replacement of '8' key in any other midi sequencer: Cubase has audition tool, but I couldn't make it play the notes within the current time position from the whole project, it plays only from the current track.
- It allows you to avoid excessive mouseclicking - everything is at the hand, with the distance of just one hotkey. For me pattern navigation with +/-was also much more easier than in midi-sequencers.

CS_TBL:
I don't think many people will find courage to rewrite their old modules from scratch If they do, they still can do it gradually, transferring instruments from old samples to VSTi.
I have a lot of incomplete IT modules, that still can be completed using new VSTi along with old drums and melody patterns.
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chrisnash
Posted 2007-08-01 3:57 PM (#13972 - in reply to #13935)
Subject: RE: Can't get work MIDI in ReViSiT v0.90.2 + Cubase SX 3



Developer

Posts: 746
50010010025
Location: England

Hi Dmitry,

I'll think about Amiga slides when I have some time on my hands. Perhaps a compromise would be an Amiga->Linear slide converter that converts the effect parameters upon import, though I don't know how easy this would be - if it is even practical!

The Volume effects column is simply a cutdown selection of effects available in the effect column - allowing you less flexibility (due to only one parameter digit). It was designed to allow two effects at once.

I don't know if tracking relates to TeX, but perhaps rather Emacs - text not graphics, keyboard-centric interaction, "potent macros" and rich-cursor movement. If you do want a TeX music option, though: try Lillypond.

All the best,
Chris

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