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Some basic questions about LPX regarding editing MIDI (piano only)


Saberlarry
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Hello everyone, I use LPX as my DAW to tweak my MIDI files after straight recording my piano performance via the built-in record of my digital piano (Roland FP-90). As I'm not familiar with audio terms and only editing files for personal liking, I've been manually doing things step by step without utilising the already-available functions that LPX offers. For instance:

- For some reason (probably due to my poor technique as a non-serious self-taught player), my sustain pedal lines are really inconsistent - they may sound just fine through speakers, but once I use LPX with a VST, the flaws are now exposed (mostly missed pedalling). All this time, I've been deleting the WHOLE Sustain lines and manually re-draw them, so, the question is: is there a shortcut to quickly set all the inconsistent lines to a specified value (like 0 to 128) and just re-drag them where you need them to be (in case of missed pedalling)?

- I've been editing notes (dynamics mostly) in the Piano Roll, I wonder if there's a Music sheet-like area where you can apply musical notation for quick edit and LPX will automatically realise it? For example, if I want a section to be played decrescendo, as of this moment, I have to manually edit notes-by-notes with gradually decreasing in volume.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Re: Sustain: you can just create an automation point (Command-click) and drag it toward the right, it will erase any point in its passage.

 

There is, the Score Editor, however for decrescendo the best is to actually change the velocities of your notes. In the Piano Roll in the automation area at the bottom, you can choose Velocity and draw a line to make your note velocities crescendo or decrescendo.

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Hello everyone, I use LPX as my DAW to tweak my MIDI files after straight recording my piano performance via the built-in record of my digital piano (Roland FP-90). As I'm not familiar with audio terms and only editing files for personal liking, I've been manually doing things step by step without utilising the already-available functions that LPX offers. For instance:

- For some reason (probably due to my poor technique as a non-serious self-taught player), my sustain pedal lines are really inconsistent - they may sound just fine through speakers, but once I use LPX with a VST, the flaws are now exposed (mostly missed pedalling). All this time, I've been deleting the WHOLE Sustain lines and manually re-draw them, so, the question is: is there a shortcut to quickly set all the inconsistent lines to a specified value (like 0 to 128) and just re-drag them where you need them to be (in case of missed pedalling)?

The sustain pedal is a MIDI CC event #64. Normally, for every sustain on (pedal down = CC #64 value127) is paired with a sustain off (pedal released = MIDI event #64 value0).

Inconsistent sustain off events recording are occurring in various situations; the most common occurring when stopping the recording before releasing the pedal, or an hardware problem/inconsistency related to the pedal itself or the cable connecting same.

Personally, I prefer working within the Event list editor to edit the missing ones or tweaking those with surgical precision. To create, move or edit such (MIDI) events (i.e. sustain), is really straight forward as explained here. To edit an existing event position, simply scroll or type-in to the desired position. To create an event, position the playhead first and then add the event. To convert a sustain On to Off (or vice-versa) simply select the event and change its value accordingly (via scrolling up/down) or type in the desired value.

 

 

- I've been editing notes (dynamics mostly) in the Piano Roll, I wonder if there's a Music sheet-like area where you can apply musical notation for quick edit and LPX will automatically realise it?
Yes that is called the Score editor, as mentioned by David.

 

For example, if I want a section to be played decrescendo, as of this moment, I have to manually edit notes-by-notes with gradually decreasing in volume...
For a natural decrescendo piano performance, David's suggestion is the preferred one. Otherwise (additionally), decreasing the volume could also be achieved in various ways. The most obvious one being volume automation.

Or another approach could be using Expression (MIDI CC#11), providing that the instrument (software instrument or external hardware instrument) is able and programmed to respond to such type of MIDI events (CC#11).

Getting acquainted with the Transform function could help dealing with editing same ( and other type of MIDI events).

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Thanks David and atlas for taking a look at my question. Regarding the sustain, I've included an example as an attachment. This was played by my classically-trained conservatoire friend, so I trust him to be competent, at least definitely miles better than me. Still, the problem with inconsistent lines exists... ;) I'll see what I can do with those suggestions you gave me, atlas.

2059451516_Screenshot2020-09-08at09_13_25.thumb.png.0434fe5187e9d28e9ae4e759fe5b3442.png

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I think one issue you're reporting is that you like what you hear as you play from the FP90's speakers, but you're disappointed when you play that recorded performance using VSTs.

This can occur because different instruments respond differently to notes and velocity, and to pedal work. The VSTs are responding differently than your FP90's built-in generator. So you can fix this a couple ways.

One way to do it is to use your FP90 always. That is, you can play the FP-90 and listen to its output as you record just as you do today, and record its MIDI just as you do today. But you can make a small change that lets you ignore VSTs entirely: change the track type to External Instrument, and record the MIDI, but also bring the sound in from the FP-90 via an audio interface. That way, you get the same sound from the FP90 that you do when it's not even hooked to your computer. Because you've captured the MIDI, you can do things like play with the dynamics; you can then bounce the track in place and record the FP90 playing the updated MIDI by sending the track to the FP-90's MIDI In. It should render just like it did when you played it live, but now with your corrections in place.

The alternative, if you WANT to use VST piano sounds, is to stop listening to the FP90 as you perform but listen to the VSTs live. This is for the same reason guitarists listen to their effected signals, not the raw signal coming from their guitars -- you "play the effects." So if your pedal affects a VST differently than it does the FP-90 tone generator, you can adjust your playing, just like you alter your touch for different pianos.

I'm glad you got great advice on the editing above, and I hope this also helps save you some time and grief.

Edited by John_D
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From your picture, I can see that the FP-90 is featuring progressive sustain pedaling, which isn't (t least by default) supported by many VST (software instrument). Consequently altering even further the resulting playback from the original performance. John_D's point and advice are also important.
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Thanks for your elaboration, John. I guess I'll try the latter, since I don't have a separate audio interface.

By the way, I'm using the same VST and exact settings of this guy

, yet I can't achieve clear, bright sound as his (mine, in my opinion, is dull, somewhat dark and veiled - not sure if they are the correct terms, pardon my English). For example, this
is my record. I asked the uploader and all he said was to amplify the volume (the stock volume is super low) after recording. Anyone knows if recording through a separate device might be the main factor of the sound difference? Because I record through the internal storage of my Roland FP-90 and then transfer the MIDI file to my Mac for edit via an USB.
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Thanks for your elaboration, John. I guess I'll try the latter, since I don't have a separate audio interface.

By the way, I'm using the same VST and exact settings of this guy (

), yet I can't achieve clear, bright sound as his (mine, in my opinion, is dull, somewhat dark and veiled - not sure if they are the correct terms, pardon my English). For example, this (
) is my record. I asked the uploader and all he said was to amplify the volume (the stock volume is super low) after recording. Anyone knows if recording through a separate device might be the main factor of the sound difference? Because I record through the internal storage of my Roland FP-90 and then transfer the MIDI file to my Mac for edit via an USB.

There's nothing magical about the MIDI having been captured on your FP-90 (great piano, I have one too :) ).

From looking at the video, my first guess is that he is hitting his keys harder in the louder sections than you tend to hit yours. I think he has a different pedaling style as well. You can also play with EQ, or mastering.

If the uploader is really friendly, maybe he will send you a project file (it could be just a few measures) and you could play it to see what results you get. If HIS project sounds good and yours doesn't, you can go through every setting and bit of MIDI data and figure out what's going on.

Thanks for sharing the link. I was thinking you were running into real issues, like underwater sound. Sounds good!

One tiny suggestion for your wish list. There are inexpensive bluetooth devices that will change the page of your score for you, like my old PageFlip Firefly. ;)

Keep making music!

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Thanks for your elaboration, John. I guess I'll try the latter, since I don't have a separate audio interface.

By the way, I'm using the same VST and exact settings of this guy (

), yet I can't achieve clear, bright sound as his (mine, in my opinion, is dull, somewhat dark and veiled - not sure if they are the correct terms, pardon my English). For example, this (
) is my record. I asked the uploader and all he said was to amplify the volume (the stock volume is super low) after recording. Anyone knows if recording through a separate device might be the main factor of the sound difference? Because I record through the internal storage of my Roland FP-90 and then transfer the MIDI file to my Mac for edit via an USB.

There's nothing magical about the MIDI having been captured on your FP-90 (great piano, I have one too :) ).

From looking at the video, my first guess is that he is hitting his keys harder in the louder sections than you tend to hit yours. I think he has a different pedaling style as well. You can also play with EQ, or mastering.

If the uploader is really friendly, maybe he will send you a project file (it could be just a few measures) and you could play it to see what results you get. If HIS project sounds good and yours doesn't, you can go through every setting and bit of MIDI data and figure out what's going on.

Thanks for sharing the link. I was thinking you were running into real issues, like underwater sound. Sounds good!

One tiny suggestion for your wish list. There are inexpensive bluetooth devices that will change the page of your score for you, like my old PageFlip Firefly. ;)

Keep making music!

 

Thanks again John, great to know that you are an owner of the FP-90 as well. One silly question though, is there a way to connect the FP-90 directly to my Mac and hear the sound of the VST (in this case, the CFX Garritan) through the FP-90 speakers while recording? I can only think of plugging my headphones to the Mac, thus not utilising the robust speakers of the FP-90. Thanks a lot.

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Is there a way to connect the FP-90 directly to my Mac and hear the sound of the VST (in this case, the CFX Garritan) through the FP-90 speakers while recording? I can only think of plugging my headphones to the Mac, thus not utilising the robust speakers of the FP-90. Thanks a lot.

The USB Computer Port is for MIDI only, not audio. But you can do it a sneaky way, assuming your computer has a headphone jack. While you're playing the VST via the FP-90, plug headphones into your computer and listen. Do you hear the VST? Great! Plug a stereo patch cable from that jack to the Input Stereo Jack on the back of the FP-90. You'll hear the VST via the FP-90's speakers. Control the volume using a combination of the PC's volume, and the "Input/Bluetooth Vol." in the settings accessible via the Function mode on the FP-90.

EDIT: I mentioned earlier you could use a piece of hardware to do page flips on your phone. I forgot the FP-90 has that ability using its own pedals. Check out "Using the Pedal to Turn Pages on a Music Score App" on p. 22 of the FP-90 manual.

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The USB Computer Port is for MIDI only, not audio. But you can do it a sneaky way, assuming your computer has a headphone jack. While you're playing the VST via the FP-90, plug headphones into your computer and listen. Do you hear the VST? Great! Plug a stereo patch cable from that jack to the Input Stereo Jack on the back of the FP-90. You'll hear the VST via the FP-90's speakers. Control the volume using a combination of the PC's volume, and the "Input/Bluetooth Vol." in the settings accessible via the Function mode on the FP-90.

EDIT: I mentioned earlier you could use a piece of hardware to do page flips on your phone. I forgot the FP-90 has that ability using its own pedals. Check out "Using the Pedal to Turn Pages on a Music Score App" on p. 22 of the FP-90 manual.

 

Once again, I greatly appreciate your wholehearted answer. Regarding flipping pages, I'm aware of that function, but I only have a single pedal ;) And "looking" at sheet is more of a way to steady my nerves than actually "reading" it (with nearly zero music theory knowledge and poor practice routines, my mind isn't capable of processing that fast). Most of the time, I am extremely nervous when I'm on the camera and can easily screw up easy parts that I'd never ever struggle off-camera.

 

Have a good day, John. I'm glad I found answers on this forum thanks to people like you.

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