Text-based midi --> DAW?


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Hi! I'm looking for a smooth way to compose tunes in text-based form and then import them to a DAW such as Logic. Obviously the text files need conversion to MIDI before importing the MIDI files into the DAW, I suppose. Any hints on which text-based language I need to consider?

I've tried MML for chiptunes but found its layout too awkward. I'd like an option where I'm not tied to the DAW all the time when composing.
 

happyrat1

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If you could lay your hands on an early copy of Cakewalk 1.0 for DOS you could seamlessly import those files into the current Cakewalk By Bandlab. You'd only need to run them under a DOS window or DOS emulator like WINE or DRDOS to compose and Cakewalk by Bandlab has been tremendous at maintaining backward compatibility with earlier products.

Gary ;)
 
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SeaGtGruff

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I've tried MML for chiptunes but found its layout too awkward. I'd like an option where I'm not tied to the DAW all the time when composing.
What do you mean by “tied to the DAW all the time”?

Or rather, what procedures were you wanting to use for composing?

To me, typing out a musical composition as a text file seems like it would be cumbersome. Have you considered using notation software instead?

Every notation program I’m aware of has an option to export your composition as a MIDI file, which could then be imported into your favorite DAW.

Many DAWs have some sort of option for viewing and modifying MIDI tracks in notation form, although an actual notation program will usually have more sophisticated options.

Notation programs can be expensive— akin to buying an expensive DAW— but there are also some inexpensive or free notation programs with fewer options, and one of them might be sufficient for your needs.
 
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What do you mean by “tied to the DAW all the time”?

Or rather, what procedures were you wanting to use for composing?

To me, typing out a musical composition as a text file seems like it would be cumbersome. Have you considered using notation software instead?

Every notation program I’m aware of has an option to export your composition as a MIDI file, which could then be imported into your favorite DAW.

Many DAWs have some sort of option for viewing and modifying MIDI tracks in notation form, although an actual notation program will usually have more sophisticated options.

Notation programs can be expensive— akin to buying an expensive DAW— but there are also some inexpensive or free notation programs with fewer options, and one of them might be sufficient for your needs.

Actually, I'm mostly looking to transcribe sheet music, and I think I'd prefer typing the note names to mouse-clicking on some notation software. I'd enjoy the option to be able to transcribe small bits and pieces while on the go, and later, when I get home, import them into the DAW.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
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Ah, I see!

I had searched for "musical scripting languages" earlier, but couldn't find anything. I'm not even sure what the best search terms to use might be.
 

tjw

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Wow....MML..... that's a blast from the past (I think you mean like the old Microsoft BASIC)..... that seems quite tedious and unintuitive.... if this is what you mean, it was programmed around an old sound chip which had its own brand of entry parameters.....

Sorry that I can't come up with anything better than what's already suggested. Cakewalk used to allow keyboard entry of notes and timing, but it is very tedious and "tied to the DAW".

I'm going to play with Finale later when I get some spare cycles. I think there is a keyboard entry system that I've never used.
 
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The most popular one seems to be the Abcnotation syntax. It seems quite capable. I'm also going to explore one called Takt. (I found these with the searchword "text-based MIDI"). Text-based notation may require patience, but it might offer a more liberating workflow than relying on notation software.
 

happyrat1

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Actually if all you are doing is transcribing sheet, it's time to look at some OCR for sheet music. They don't export directly as MIDI but can be converted from MusicXML to MIDI with a scoring program like Sibelius.





Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

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That’s a good point, Gary! One of the notation programs that I have— Forte Notation— has a companion iPad app for scanning in sheet music by taking a photo of it. And the free MuseScore notation program is said to have a function for scanning in a PDF image of sheet music. I think the result can be a bit imperfect, as is true of OCR programs that convert images to text, so you’ll need to check it and correct any errors— but it’s a starting point!
 
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Actually if all you are doing is transcribing sheet, it's time to look at some OCR for sheet music. They don't export directly as MIDI but can be converted from MusicXML to MIDI with a scoring program like Sibelius.
What are you talking about? Several of them export directly to MIDI or xml, so you don't need a scoring program to get them into a DAW such as Logic.
 

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