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Post new topic Entering the melody question
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Author Topic:  Entering the melody question
Tamara James


Post Posted 16 Sep 2009 9:09 am     Reply with quote

I looked everywhere I could think of for the answer to this one. Might be in 'pref', I'm not sure. I want to enter some melody lines to start with. Then I will enter the cords next. The problem is that the notes jump all over the place, the program adds stuff I don't want and it just takes forever. I am guessing I am doing something wrong. It ties notes when I don't want it too and I can't figure out how to tie notes when I want to. The grids on the edit view are confusing. Exactly where to click to get the kind of note I want is fustrating. Any suggestions?

thanks in advance.

Tj
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David Collins


From:
Madison, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 16 Sep 2009 9:31 am     Reply with quote

Hi Tamara,

Wow, it can take a while to enter melodies until you get the feel for it. Based solely on my experience, here's how it works.

Enter a note on the first verticle hash of the first beat of a measure. It will default to a whole not, or maybe even a tied note. Don't panic. (yet)

Enter a note on the third hash of the same beat. It will default to a longer note also, but the first one that you entered will suddenly become an eighth note. Aha! The same thing works for rests.

Keep going till you reach the end of the song, then on the last note in the song, mouse over it, right click and you'll get a drop down menu. Select "edit note". From there you can select the duration of the note in beats and tics. There are 120 tics in a beat. Therefore, in 4/4 time, an eighth note is 60 tics. I usually actually use 48 tics for an eighth to give a little seperation between notes, or somewhat of a stacatto sound.

Start with a song that you can play around with. Don't be afraid to experiment a little.

As to entering a tie, BIAB calls it a slur, and you enter it from the "notation symbals" of the dropdown menu. You will definately have to play with this one a little. When you enter one incorrectly (and you will, trust me) you have to repeat the exact process, time value and all, to eliminate it and enter a correct one.

Hope that this is helpful to you.

I sent you some song files a little while back. Rename one and do a "save as". This will not alter the original, and you can play with the melody all you want to. You'll still have the original if you screw it up.

Good Luck
David

PS. NOW YOU CAN PANIC!
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 16 Sep 2009 9:38 am     Reply with quote

Every left click of the mouse will add a note, so don't left click until you have the arrow exactly over the line or space where you want to enter a note. As you move the arrow over the lines and spaces, the name of the note will be displayed in a little box on the brown toolbar.

To get rid of ties, check the "Rest" box, and then click on the beat where you want to get rid of the tie (click on any line or space).

You can drag notes up or down the staff with the mouse (Left click and drag). For example, you enter a G note, but you want G#... click and drag the note up to G#. You will hear the audio for that as you change the note. You can also right click on a note to edit it.
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Gary Baker


From:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Post Posted 16 Sep 2009 3:22 pm     Reply with quote

While BIAB is one of the greatest "music" software programs out - it's one of the the most convoluted IMHO for doing "step editing". i.e. using a mouse to enter notes.

If you have any type of MIDI controler such as a key board or MIDI guitar it is much easier to enter it directly by playing the notes into either the Solo or Thru channel on record. THEN - use the staff editor to correct any little boo-boos.

You can get a good MIDI keyboard controller for around $200 and if you do much of this it is money well spent.

Just a thought. Bo
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Tamara James


Post Posted 16 Sep 2009 4:13 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks, Much appreciated! I will have to check and see if my keyboard will hook up to it. It's an older keyboard, so I don't know if it has the right hookups. That sure would be easier. I'll try to see if the manual shows me how to do that. I'll try the pg website too. I guess that is why there are so few MSU files around. I'll work with the value of the beats too. I was missing that piece of the puzzle. I know one thing, I sure do like working with tracks. I'm getting much more relaxed with my playing by using them. My timing is getting better too!

thanks again. Ya'll been a big help.

Tammy J.
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Gary Baker


From:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Post Posted 17 Sep 2009 6:28 am     Re: Entering the melody question Reply with quote

Tamara James wrote:
I looked everywhere I could think of for the answer to this one. Might be in 'pref', I'm not sure. I want to enter some melody lines to start with. Then I will enter the cords next. The problem is that the notes jump all over the place, the program adds stuff I don't want and it just takes forever. I am guessing I am doing something wrong. It ties notes when I don't want it too and I can't figure out how to tie notes when I want to. The grids on the edit view are confusing. Exactly where to click to get the kind of note I want is fustrating. Any suggestions?

thanks in advance.

Tj



Hi Tamara , I hope this will make your day!

A little used/little known feature of BIAB for entering a melody line takes all of about 3 minutes once you learn how. . . . . Here goes . . . .

There are 1,000s if not 10,000s of 1,000s of MIDI files that are free on the internet. You CAN buy them but many are free and for the melody line most are good.

You can download these files and save them in one of your directories. I'd make a special dir. for just such downloads.

It helps now if you have a program that can open up this new MIDI file into "Tracks" so you can see what is in each tracks. Again many are free or buy the one BIAB offers.

Side note: There are two types of MIDI files. One type has all the instruments on one track (type 01)and the other separates each instrument on several tracks (type 0-better). In either case each instrument is assigned its own "channel" (1 through 16). You will need to figure out which channel(s) have the melody in them. Better MIDI files separate the piano right/left hand into two channels but not always. So you may have the melody on one or more channels.

Once you know which channels contain the "melody", let us say that is channel 2 and 3, you close this file out and start up BIAB.

Start a new BIAB file and name it. Go to the SOLOIST Menu at the top and click one time.

This opens up a menu list and at the bottom you will see the sub menu option EDIT SOLO TRACK. (This seems a bit convoluted as one would not think that they had a SOLO track at this time!).

The next sub menu will offer IMPORT SOLOIST PART FROM MIDI FILE. Bingo!

Search for your new downloaded file (You do remember where you put it?)

This menu will have a listing at the top that asks which channels of this file you want in import. So we choose 2 and 3 as outlined above.

Note that you have several options as to how much of the channel(s) data you want to import. Just take it all until you learn what these options do.

So now you have a melody line in a new BIAB file. You can then build the chord structures as you would any BIAB file or do other imports (perhaps from the same downloaded file to discover the chords to go along with your new melody.

Note that it is almost always better to start with the melody and then build around it.

Have fun - you are now a "power user"! Rolling Eyes

Bo


Last edited by Gary Baker on 17 Sep 2009 7:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Gary Baker


From:
Charlotte, North Carolina
Post Posted 17 Sep 2009 6:43 am     Reply with quote

Tamara, one thing I failed to mention is that more advanced MIDI files may split the melody into two or more instruments. Think of a piano and guitar trading off - then maybe a fiddle.

This is where the options below the IMPORT WHICH CHANNELS section can come into play.

Also, if you are writing your own songs it is still much easier to input the melody line into a MIDI Software "Recorder" - and then do the import as above. 20 times faster than step editing in BIAB.

bo
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George Wixon


From:
Waterbury, CT USA
Post Posted 18 Sep 2009 5:07 am     Reply with quote

Hi Tamara,
This link may help you out for entering in melodys by hand. http://www.gwixon.com/melody.html
I'm with Gary 100% on bringing in the melody via a midi file. I'm lazy as can be and if the melody has already been written out, why bother creating more work by writtng it again,,,,,,lol.
I also have a help file on my site for bringing in the melody from midi files as well.
George
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Tamara James


Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 12:23 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks, George.

The screens where to set things will be most helpful. I had no clued what to do with those screens. I like to enter the melody by hand because it helps me learn the intervals involved. I see the repeated phrases better too. As I enter the melody I am already thinking about the harmony note and what cord will go with it.

thanks again.

tammy j.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 22 Sep 2009 8:21 pm     Reply with quote

I too prefer to enter the melody manually so I can get it just the way I want it. The work goes pretty fast once you get used to it. And you can easily copy sections of the melody to other parts of the song.
I've imported MIDI files a few times, and it ends up being more work than it's worth IMHO. The rests, the note durations, etc. are never the way I want them to be, and I have to spend a lot of time deleting, re-entering, moving notes, etc. It's easier and faster to start from scratch, in my opinion.
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25 Songs C6 Lap Steel / 25 MORE Songs C6 Lap Steel / 16 Songs, C6, A6, B11 / 60 Popular Melodies E9 Pedal Steel
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David Collins


From:
Madison, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 23 Sep 2009 3:29 am     Reply with quote

I'm with Doug on this one. I usually just end up doing it myself rather than depending on MIDI.

Explore all options, use what works for you Smile
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David Collins
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