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Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: someone2 on November 28, 2007, 05:50:03

Title: Eighth noties, Half notes, staccato touch, am i missing sthg here?
Post by: someone2 on November 28, 2007, 05:50:03
 My first post, be gentle :)
I just found about Milky Tracker today, and I think it is a wonderful program. Kudos to everyone who made it possible.

I am totally new to tracking. I play piano, and though I could benefit from a tracking program...

anyway... i started using it, and I am noticing the program doesn't have a way to specify things like..

1. Eigth notes, half notes, full notes? All notes seem to be the same length
2. Ties? How to tie two notes?
3. Staccato touch? How to get that?
4. The damper pedal?

Are these features there, and i couldn't find them? I am sure they must be, dammit :) I just have no idea how to access them. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.  ???
Title: Re: Eighth noties, Half notes, staccato touch, am i missing sthg here?
Post by: Novus on November 28, 2007, 09:24:33
I think you're trying to stay a little too strongly-tied to traditional musical notation. ;)

One thing to keep in mind is that traditional musical notation is for the purposes of showing a human being how to play a piece of music. But with tracking software, the computer is replacing the piano-player. Rather than showing a person how to play the song, you have to show the COMPUTER how to play the song. And that means you sometimes have to think less like a musician and more like a programmer. A musician can fill in a lot of details of tone and take little liberties and interpretations with a piece of sheet music, but a computer can't. A computer will do EXACTLY what you tell it to do, nothing more, and nothing less. But the more precise you are with your instructions, the more natural you can get the music to sound. :)

Most tracking software is composed of patterns, and each pattern is composed of rows. If it helps, you can just think of each pattern as a "measure," and each row as a "beat." There's usually 64 rows in a pattern, so the length of your note would be determined by which row you enter your first note on and how many rows go by before you enter your next note. A whole note would be 64 rows, a half-note would be 32 rows, a quarter-note would be 16 rows, an eighth-note would be 8 rows, a sixteenth-note would be 4 rows, a thirty-secondth-note would be 2 rows... well, I'm sure you can do math. ;)

Ties you can just do by treating the two tied notes as one note. Say you have two eighth-notes tied together. One-eighth plus one-eighth is two-eighths, which rounds to one-fourth, also known as a quarter note. Continuing the example from above, that quarter note would be 16 rows.

For staccato touch, you would just need to use the volume control there in the column to do a quick volume ramp down on your note, maybe playing the original note at the max volume of 64, then going 48, 32, 16, 0 in the volume column in the next 4 rows to quickly bring the volume down instead of letting the piano sample play out to the end.

For a damper pedal... that's kinda advanced. Probably the best way would be to either use piano samples that were recorded or created with the damper pedal pressed down to begin with, or use a piano sample that has a carefully-done loop at the end to create the illusion that the pedal is being held. In either case, any note that you want to have played WITHOUT the damper pedal would either need to have a cutoff command or a quick volume ramp-down (see staccato above) at the point when you want the sound of the note to end.
Title: Re: Eighth noties, Half notes, staccato touch, am i missing sthg here?
Post by: someone2 on November 28, 2007, 18:44:33
Novus, you are incredible! Your single post was much much more helpful than all the vidoes/manuals/tutorials I had to go through. Thank you so much  ;D  ;D

After your post, everything suddenly made sense. I went back, and I actually could create something real quick. Swan Lake in Alto Sax (attached with this post)!! My first piece I ever create in MilkyTracker, and I dedicate it to you :) Thanks
Title: Re: Eighth noties, Half notes, staccato touch, am i missing sthg here?
Post by: Novus on November 29, 2007, 08:20:24
You're welcome! Glad I could help. ;D I'll have to grab the song when I get home later.

I actually took piano lessons when I was a kid. It didn't stick too well, but it's basically how I learned musical notation, and I still remember how a piano works and how it's supposed to be played... I just can't play it very well myself. It helped a lot when I got into tracking later on, though I had to tear myself away from musical staffs for writing song ideas. I actually developed my own little tracker-based shorthand just to make it easier on myself. And to this day, when I get a melody idea I want to save, I use that shorthand instead of a musical staff, even if I don't intend to track it out. It's just faster. ;)