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Old 05-03-2002, 03:46 AM
Steve K
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Default My discovery of MidiNotate is

My discovery of MidiNotate is part of my ongoing rediscovery of the instrument that has been the musical love of my life -- the bassoon. In my high school and college years, I played all the time -- this orchestra, that opera, the other chamber music. But many other interests and responsibilities and distractions intervened. For fifteen years I didn't play at all. A few months ago I was inspired to begin again, and what a rediscovery it has been.

Playing alone is not as much fun as playing with others. But we all lead such complex, separate lives -- getting together for music is not so easy. One of the first things I did was to invest in Music Minus One recordings, and I've enjoyed them tremendously. I also got into multi-track recording, playing duets and quartets with myself. Cool, but sometimes you spend more time messing around with the technology than making music.

Lately I've discovered the vast collections of classical music midi renderings on the Internet, and I soon figured out that with the right tool I could make my own Music Minus One out of midi files. After poking around with 3 or 4 programs, I was amazed at how quickly and easily MidiNotate did exactly what I needed -- produce an easy to read, accurate transcription of the musical notation that allowed me to play along.

What a world has opened up through this vehicle! Not only orchestral and chamber music written for the bassoon, but other music, music I've always wanted to play like Rudolfo in the first act of La Boheme. I've been having a marvelous time with this software, and it's just beginning.

It's wonderful playing along on screen. I unselect the part I'm going to play, and I can play along and watch the score. Before MidiNotate I was using a program where the music scrolled horizontally across the screen, making it extremely difficult to read. MidiNotate handles it just right -- it's made to be followed and played.

I've even made recordings with midi. I have n-Track studio, which is supposed to allow mixing midi tracks and wave tracks, but it doesn't seem to read midi right. However, I got midi2wav recorder from RINASoft -- also a good quality and inexpensive product -- so I can make the Music Minus One recording with Midi2Wav and then record my part using the MidiNotate printout, and then use n-Track Studio to mix them into a complete product.

I'm quite amazed at the quality of the midi sound I'm getting -- it's not exactly human, but it's remarkably good, and can be very satisfying to play along with. You should hear my recording of the slow movement of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, where I play the wonderful bassoon part along with the midified woodwinds. It's really great.

Thanks, Mark, for the help you're giving me in rediscovering something so dear and important to me as participating in music.
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