Questions & Answers

Beginner question about how MIDI device works with Notion 6

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asked Jan 17, 2019 in Notion by tedhorsch (220 points)

What I want to do seems simple on the surface:  Play an instrument live in realtime and have the performance scored as I play.  That is, have it scored with pitch values and with time duration values.  If I play a melody measure on the physical instrument that has three sixteenth notes followed by an eighth note triplet followed by a dotted quarter note and a sixteenth note rest followed by a quarter note triplet, that's exactly what Notion 6 scores. And at the same time it's capturing the melody pitches for each note.

I thought I could do that with my acoustic guitar (via Focusrite 212 interface) and a software product called MIDI Guitar 2 and, with help from folks here at the forum, I learned that this can't be done. At best I can capture something that vaguely resembles what I play, but most of the time it captures and scores just noise.  

So now I'm thinking about buying a simple MIDI controller/keyboard (Amazon sells dozens of them) and hooking it up to Notion 6 and playing my melodies on the keyboard.  I sort of understand that this approach will work far better than the software approach described above, but would appreciate some insight into what I can reasonably expect from Notion 6 before I shell out the cash and spend several hours trying to make it work.

Important point:  I'm pretty sure I can use the MIDI device to capture note pitches while manually selecting the note durations within Notion 6 using Step Time.  This is nice, but it's only half of what I'm looking for.  I need the note durations as well as the pitches.

So. Can I hook up a consumer-type MIDI controller/keyboard product to my computer and use it to score a melody accurately (as described above) in Notion 6 using Realtime MIDI Record (or other Notion 6 feature)? Or has the state of the art for consumer digital scoring not yet evolved to that point?

1 Answer

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answered Jan 18, 2019 by ChrisS23 (13,670 points)
The short answer is yes, notating in realtime to click via an external MIDI instrument is absolutely possible in Notion.

And you can use a MIDI keyboard or MIDI guitar - you can choose presets in Notion depending on what type of instrument you have connected. Though we have not tried MIDI Guitar 2 as a software solution, we are familiar with hardware converters such as Fishman's Tripleplay, or audio to MIDI converters by Sonuus and they both work really well.

One thing to note - for best results, you need to play to the metronome click and keep remembering that you are notating, rather than performing per se.