Some personal lessons about MIDI input in modplug

Started by Exhale, April 01, 2024, 12:51:46

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I thought I would document a few lessons I have learned working with my midi controllers and ompt.

1 - This has improved my accuracy to near perfection is that having a click track is fine, but a better method is to sync up the timing of the midi controller with modplug and rely on a very basic beat on the keyboard to play to. I managed to achieve perfect timing with modplug this way today - note for note. Tell modplug to receive play and stop commands from the keyboard and turn the click track down considerably so it doesnt distract you because it does seem to go very slightly out of sync often - rely on the beat from the keyboard instead and you will get perfect timing. Unfortunately if your keyboard doesnt have built in beats you will need that click track, but still do the other steps I have mentioned and rely on the click track.

2 - Give yourself some breathing room, dont expect to start on the first down beat. Give yourself a measure or two to brace yourself before you start inputting notes... you can delete the dead space afterwards.

3 - Make a single pattern of 1024 with your click track all along the whole thing. You can cut it up later, but it is easier to cut notation from a full pattern, to put them into the smaller patterns with the flexibility of allowing yourself to come in on the first down beat that suits you, than it is to cut and paste pattern halves into the right places when you have started playing half way through the pattern.

4 - Use quantization, there is no shame in it, if you want more fidelity in the quantization, increase the rows per beat and beats per measure to 8/32, 16/64, and double, quadruple and so on your pattern lengths, this will give you coding room on the places notes are laid giving your more space for effects.

5 - I cannot stress this enough, and it is linked to the first tip, take your time to make completely sure the timing is to your liking, as close as possible to what you practiced, it will confuse your brain if it isnt and it will screw up your performance for recording if it is faster or slower than you practiced.

6 - I almost forgot the most important lesson... SAVE as soon as your performance is done... and keep saving as you fix up the code. But this is an important tip for every creative thing you do on a computer. My last performance crashed my modplug while I was working on fixing the code, but I suspect that has something to do with it being 32bit on a 64bit machine or maybe it has something to do with the asio2wasapi driver I am using...

There - that is 4 tips for now, I will write more here as they come to me, and I admit when it comes to the coding coming from the midi devices there is plenty to be desired, but it is usable with a lot of finessing - the last one I made stacked up so many notes one after another in the same channels even though I had given the software 7 channels to work with and was holding down my sustain pedal*... but it was unfortunately lost while I was trying to work on the coding because I stupidly didnt save it... which is fine... I learned specifically the first tip here during that recording session and in my mind making music with modplug and my midi devices is now not just viable, but something I am going to be doing almost exclusively for a long time now. Adding live performances to my tracks will bring new life to many of them I am sure.

*I wish ompt would - when the sustain pedal is being held down, try its best with the room it has been given, to give each note one channel no matter how closely together they are input - but that is something I will need to talk about on the issue tracker.

Good luck with your own adventures into live performances recorded by ompt, and I hope you have plenty of success.

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Saga Musix

Quoteand keep saving as you fix up the code
I would just like to point out that OpenMPT has an autosave feature which many people either are not aware of or actively disable and then always complain afterwards if they lost any progress. Compared to most other trackers, it's practically impossible to lose more than a few minutes of work in OpenMPT in its default configuration. If you are extra paranoid, you can increase the autosave interval to every 1-2 minutes and increase the history size to 10 files or so.

Quote*I wish ompt would - when the sustain pedal is being held down, try its best with the room it has been given, to give each note one channel no matter how closely together they are input - but that is something I will need to talk about on the issue tracker.
OpenMPT already supports sustain pedal MIDI messages. Are you saying that they are not working at all for you?
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.


Oh yes i switch it off because it saves too many... but yeah maybe i should have it on and see if there is settings. Lets just say, if that setting is something you switch off... then save when you can. I wasnt complaining. Losing work is a part of life... and no i dont know why the pedal wasnt doing its job... the pedal was working fine on the keyboard, suspending the sounds great. I had modplug barely audible in the background so idk why ompt was literally making columns of notes instead of applying logical code for the suspend, but that was just the reality of it.
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These are lessons i am learning about using midi devices in ompt. Even though the pedal was on on my keyboard practically the whole time it made columns of notes.... something i might talk about on the issue tracker. The saving was down to my dumb ass... and i fully accept that.
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