Is it possible to midi record on top of the notation while keeping the notation unchanged?

Hey everyone,

I’m currently doing most of the writing with Noteperformer, just to keep things focused on the writing. But when I get to the mock-up side of things and load my playback template consisting of sample libraries I find myself wanting to play some stuff manually on top of the notation.

Basically, I don’t want the notation to change, I just want to record the midi performance, with all the CCs, etc, etc.

Right now every time I try to record midi on an already notated part, the notation gets replaced and I get to deal with quantization in order to have proper notation, which is a pain because it’s not what I want to change.

Is there any feature that helps with this?

That’s what you do in the DAW.

Yes, that’s what I currently do for the most part, but I’m trying to do as much of the mock-up work in Dorico as possible.

Yes, you can record various MIDI CC, pitch bend etc. on top. You can also see/edit what you played in the CC lanes in the Play Tab. It shouldn’t affect the notation unless you are also playing notes / key switches.

I have a few with key switches where I prefer playing them manually - sometimes with patches like “passionately” where I just like to vary the performance some yet it’s not really a playing technique (as far as I know). If I do that, I add a separate staff so there isn’t any effect on the part’s notation, and I can keep staffs with the switches from being visible in most layouts.

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I knew about the midi CC, which I currently do but the bit about recording it and then hiding the staff (leaving the proper notation in sight) is a very smart one. I’ll do that, thanks a lot @gdball.

I still feel like a midi recording that only affects the midi part and not the notation would be awesome. There’s already a separation between both accessible from the key editor so maybe it’s not much of a stretch to implement something like this.

That would also allow for a live recording of key switches and that sort of thing (just by telling Dorico the current recording is only to affect midi, no notation.)

How do you ‘play in’ CC data? Are you twiddling knobs in real time?

Depending on what you need, you can also in the Play tab’s piano roll edit the “played or heard” position/duration of a note separately from the notation, and there are some humanize options available.

Yes sir, I twiddle. :slight_smile:

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Depending on the library, for some libraries like Samplemodeling Strings of the Infinite Series I use a leap motion controller for inputting several CCs at the same time. For other I use faders or the mod wheel.

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Yes, it’s because of that feature that I wondered if one could record those “heard” notes without them affecting the notation. I use it all the time, but sometimes it’s just quicker to play in some of the libraries I own.

Sorta like “Keep MIDI Velocity” - you want to quantize the notation but keep the original as played?

Not really, by the time I need a proper performance for a mock-up I already have the part written, so the notation is already there.

It’d be more like, keeping the notation that’s already there, but making a pass of midi recording which only alters the “hear tab” notes, so that would change velocity, cc, note duration, and position while maintaining the notation that is already there.

This is mostly because quantization after midi recording, for me adds several extra steps in order to get back to the intended notation.

But in the end, your idea of keeping notation in a separate staff will do the work. It’s a just bit less convenient.

It’s kind of a combination of „lock duration“, „lock pitch“ and real-time recording. Only 2 of these features exist in Dorico at the moment and I imagine it can be quite hard to implement. What if you play a totally wrong pitch? Or add in notes? What if you miss notes? How much timing tolerance is there in if you have repeated notes, especially when it’s fast?

Yes, it’d be a mix of those two, but mostly of bypassing notation and recording directly to the “hear notes” tab. I don’t have a clue about how hard to implement it would be, but I think most of the features are already there.

If you miss notes the notation would stay unchanged and you make another pass. I think right now Dorico’s key editor is ideal for those who like editing notes and CC lanes with a mouse, but if you like playing some stuff in, it’s very common to make several performances in a DAW, on top of your already existing composition in order to select the one you like the most.

Currently, if you do that you have to fix the notation again unless you do what @gdball mentioned, which I think is a decent compromise and the one I’ll be using from now on.

I think the hard part is to match the re-recorded performance with the existing notation. Because obviously, after you played in your performance you would like it to be attached to the notated music, in a way that if you want to change the timing of only one particular note in one particular instrument you would click on that note, go to the key editor, see the timing that you played in in your re-record and change it (or the velocity, or what not…)

Or at least I don’t think the Dorico team would be satisfied with a less comfortable solution requiring multiple (hidden?) tracks.

Oh, I see what you’re saying now, didn’t think of that part. If you, later on, want to make any changes to the written music Dorico might not have a clear way to synchronize the two and you end up with problems.

Yes, in the end, you probably have to quantize one way or another for both aspects to be synchronized.

Well, I think gdball solution might be the best one we can think of for now then.

Am I correct that (at this time) one cannot play through a part to add dynamics or other CC information via a mod wheel on one’s MIDI keyboard? IIRC this can be done on Cubase but has not yet been implemented on Dorico.

You can do that actually, it’s the inputting of notes performance that is tricky since it overrides the current notation.

But since Dorico’s team allowed for the real-time midi recording and overriding of CC lanes I think they already encountered the issue @klafkid just mentioned when it came to notes.