Entering Pitch or Frequency (or Timing) Data
from a MIDI keyboard.
Trevor Wishart (July 2007)
Sound Loom version 10 allows you to enter MIDI data directly from a MIDI keyboard
If this is the case, on launching the Sound Loom, it will interrogate your system to discover what MIDI
input devices are available. It will then ask you for information.
- You have a MIDI device connected to the input of your computer.
- You have Richard Orton's Tabula Vigilans program in your _cdprograms directory.
This information will then be used to set up the MIDI entry link, and you will not be interrogated again.
- If you have more than one MIDI input device connected, which MIDI device you wish to use for input to the Sound Loom ?
- What is the maximum number of MIDI events you want to enter on any one transmission ?.
- Which MIDI note will you use to signal the end of your MIDI transmission ?.
You can change this information at any time from the System State menu (Midi Input Device: Set or Change) on the Workspace.
Where would it be useful to enter MIDI data from a MIDI keyboard ?
- For Pitch or Frequency parameters, as single values, or timed breakpoint files.
- For Sequencers, as lists of pitches, times, levels (and durations).
- For Harmonic Fields, as lists of pitches.
- For Special Data Formats requiring pitch or frequency information (varibank filters, texture programs, etc).
How do I enter MIDI data from a MIDI keyboard ?
MIDI data entry is accessed from the black and white Piano-style Buttons displayed at appropriate places
in the Sound Loom.
NB: If you do NOT have Tabula Vigilans in the _cdprogs directory, these buttons will NOT appear.
MIDI data is entered by
The entered MIDI data will then appear as text in whatever context is has been asked for.
- Pressing the piano-style button.
- Playing the required notes on the MIDI keyboard.
- Hitting a specific key (which you have designated, see above) to signal the end of the data.
NB: Once you have hit the piano-style key, the Sound Loom waits until you press the designated MIDI keyboard key
to signal the end of your MIDI data transmission.
If you do not press this key, the Sound Loom will remain locked.
Where will I find the MIDI data entry keys ?
Black and white Piano-style buttons for MIDI data entry can be found
MIDI data keys are also associated with the Text Creation Window for Special Data formats (see below)
- On the Calculator
for entering MIDI pitch values, for value conversions.
- On the Table Editor
where data entered from a MIDI keyboard can be used to extract
- Pitches or Frequencies
- Note Onset Times
- Amplitudes (as dB or gain)
or any combination of these, to create a table.
- On the Parameters Page for frequency or pitch parameters (or mS Delay) on the far right of the parameter bars
to enter single MIDI or frequency (or associated mS Delay) values to the associated parameter value box.
- On the Parameters Page for frequency or pitch parameters, by pressing the Make File button you will go to the
Text Creation Window where you will find the Piano-style button at the top.
Pressing this button allows MIDI data to be entered to create
- timed pitch (or frequency) breakpoint data (the usual case)
- a list of MIDI frq values (e.g. for spectral tuning)
How do I enter MIDI data for special data format files ?
On the Parameters Page, find the parameter bar associated with the special data file (always the top one)
and press the Make File button.
This will take you to the Text Creation Window where you will find the
Piano-style button at the top.
In these cases, the MIDI data you enter is extracted and converted automatically to the correct text format.
The main processes involved are
- Texture processes
The various types of texture process require a special data file containing (at least) a list of the (putative) MIDI pitches of the source sounds
plus, possibly, (depending on the type of texture called),
In this case, pressing the piano-type button calls up a window which asks you for the necessary MIDI sets in turn
and writes them, in the correct format, to the required textfile.
- MIDI pitches to specify harmonic field(s) or set(s)
- MIDI pitches to specify a pre-ordained melodic line.
- sets of MIDI pitches to specify Ornaments or Motifs.
- Sequencer processes
In this case, pressing the piano-type button calls up a window which first asks for the (putative) MIDI pitch(es) of the source(s) (which it will use to calculate the required transpositions form the MIDI notes you next enter).
- a list of time - transposition - loudness triples
- (for the multisound sequencer) a list of time - transposition - loudness - duration quadruples.
In the case of the multisound sequencer, you will asked if you wish to enter the data for each source in turn.
The appropriate data is extracted from your MIDI input and written directly to a textfile in the correct format.
- The Varibank filters
Here the input MIDI data is converted to a list of MIDI (or frq) values, each followed by an amplitude value of 1
This data is then written at the position of the cursor in the text-creation window.
You can therefore
- Create a list of filter data times, using the Sound View graphic entry window.
- Position the cursor after the time (on each line in turn) and
- Enter the required MIDI pitches from the MIDI keyboard.