Real time?

• Aug 29, 2011 - 21:27

No doubt this has been asked for in the past, but is there any chance that real time input from a MIDI keyboard is likely in the future?


A search in the the phrase "real time midi" turns up lots of hits on this site. It's a commonn request. But much easier said than done! Plus even the program that offer something like this, it rarely turns out to be any faster than step time input, because a ton of cleanup is usually required.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

For real time input in those programs that will allow it, you do need to be extremely well up on the piece you are playing, and very sure about your timing.
However I have seen it done, but the guy who did it was a very experienced musician and writer, one of the lucky ones who could write it in his head and play it near straight off, rehearse it a few times, then commit it to score via real time input.
Otherwise I will agree that for the rest of us mere mortals, a complete mess requiring hours of editing can be the result.

I only asked as being fairly new to this software I was wondering about what thoughts were on the subject, rather than wanting it myself of course.

In reply to by Cornet Nev.

Timing is only part of the problem, and accuracy is only part of the timing problem (there is aslo the question of whether a short note is an eighth note followed by an eighth rest or a staccato quarter not, etc). But beyond timing, there is also enharmonic spelling (is that an F# or a Gb), questions about which notes go to which staves (should that middle C go to the RH or LH?), issues of managing multiple voices for pieces in which all notes do note always sound or release together, plus issues of time signature changes, and quite a lot more. It's because of these other issue that no good I am am at playing a piece, I've always found the real time transcription feature in Finale to be useless except for the very simplest of pieces played at slow tempos. And those are the pieces I can enter one note a time about as fast as I can play them in real time (in step time entry, I don't have to wait four beats before continuing after playing a whole note, etc), not even counting clean up time.

I have seen many programs that attempt to capture real-time MIDi and to turn it into "a musical score," and in my humble, none of their results are "worth a tinker's dam." I frankly think that it is entirely a Faustian quest that is not worth pursuing. There is a very great deal of contextual information required, that a computer simply does not have that context when it's processing an incoming MIDI stream, even when it has a "beat" to go by. A human player can interpret a written score and from it develop a performance. A human player can also listen to a piece of music and, armed both with that stream of notes and the surrounding context (which he alone knows, but a computer would not), create a usable score for a future human player based on what he has heard and upon what he understands the technical requirements of future players to be. Computer software is perfectly awful at doing that. IMHO, MuseScore's designers are prudent never to attempt it.

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