Create Song Styles

MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2

Discussion started on Tips and Tricks on creating Song Styles

chellinoolmo

MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2
Here I have converted Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol from the midifile as DaveH posted earlier.
I chose this song because several members have tried to convert this before. I, too, but this version, I've created a little differently.

Unfortunately I have had to use Style Works; although the idea was to use midi2style.
My primary reason for choosing Style Works, is that this program has graphical viewing of the midi file and the event processes.

This makes it easy (for me) to see what actually happens, where it is natural to place the sequences.
The two images here are screenshots of Style Works, and the first show how the program has performed an automatic conversion.
I'll explain image contents step by step.

Screenshot of automatic conversion by Style Works


A: Intro1 have Start at 3 bars, and Lenght with 11 bars
    Intro2 have Start at 3 bars, and Lenght with 11 bars
    Intro3 have Start at 3 bars, and Lenght with 11 bars

There is broad consensus that all Intros shall be equal for Song Styles. This should only be waived in special cases.
Only songs that are improvisational in nature, should be permitted variations for Intros.
Jazz is an example; "Evergreens" or "Standards" will typical be performed and interpreted in countless ways.
I always try to keep this rule, but since I'm a jazz musician, I like to have the opportunity for improvisation; and sins sometimes. I hereby apologize for it. :D :D :D

If you look closely at Intro1, 2 and 3, these have Start at 3 bars, and Lenght with 11 bars. A total of 14 bars.
I have changed this Lenght to 18 bars, because this is wrong, since the bass starts playing at 21 bars, which is the sum of my Start and Lenght.
(Please disregard my corrections for Intro2 and 3, which has 3-11 bars. These should also have 3-18 bars)
Note that there sometimes must be some empty space before the first tone, otherwise it will be cut slightly off.
Maximum capacity for Intro is 32 bars.

B: Variation1 have Start at 14 bars, and Lenght with 2 bars
    Variation2 have Start at 22 bars, and Lenght with 2 bars
    Variation3 have Start at 32 bars, and Lenght with 2 bars
    Variation4 have Start at 48 bars, and Lenght with 2 bars

Note that Style Works selects 14 bars for Start to Variation1; this had been right if Intro had the correct values.
My values 3-18 bars provides 21 bars as Start for Variation1. 14 bars provide no bass, while 21 does.

Regarding Lenght, the program has selected 2 bars, and that is correct. With 1 bar will the beat be too short, while with 3 or more, it will be too long.
NOTE: If Variation1 starts at 14 bars, it will also start "out of step". Therefore is the right choice 21 bars, where Variation1 starts properly.
An interesting thing is that all the other Variations will start at odd numbers; wherever you place the starting point. (If the first Variation has odd number, the following also have this).
Only in very few cases with music that contains many syncopations, will pair numbers could be correct.
Notice also that I mostly puts Start for all Variations in the beginning of the sequences.
Maximum capacity for Variation is 32 bars.

C: Fill1 have Start at 27 bars, and Lenght with 2 bars
    Fill2 have Start at 51 bars, and Lenght with 4 bars
    Fill3 have Start at 67 bars, and Lenght with 3 bars
    Fill4 have Start at 21 bars, and Lenght with 1 bar

Ideally, the Fills give one expressive supplement to Variations. For example, Fill1 provide a supplement to Variation1, etc.
This means that the Start of Fill1 should be between 14 bars and 18 bars. Why 18 bars? Because the maximum value should be maximum 50% of Start for Variation2, which is 22 bars.
If the Start is selected with for example 20 bars, will Fill1 reflect Variation2, which is incorrect.

This rule is in no way absolute; I do often exceptions - but it is a good starting point.
It is also possible to increase the number of bars from 2 to 16, but it is important to be aware of the following:
Fills with more than 2 bars must be able to act as loops, otherwise the result will sound bad. Almost always it will work with 4, 8, 12 or 16 bars;
but with 16 bars being the loop so long, that it often comes out of step - and this should be avoided.
If the song is composed of many syncopations, it happens that 5 or 10 bars may be selected. In rare cases; other odd numbers.
As you can see, I have changed the values for Fill1 so that it stands in relation to Variation1.
Maximum capacity for Fill are 16 bars.

D: Break have Start at 25 bars, and Lenght with 3 bars

Break should ideally lie between selected sequences. Style Works automatic conversion has selected Start at 25 bars, and Lenght with 3 bars.
This option is whatever completely wrong, because it is immersed in a sequence, while Lenght has 3 bars, making sure that it can not function as a loop. A Break should certainly act as a loop.
I have chosen Start at 75 bars, and Lenght with 2 bars. This point lies exactly between two sequences, and is more suitable.
It can be very difficult to find an area suitable for Break; it's not all songs that have such sequences - but ideally this is a drum solo, or a riff from one or more instruments.
Maximum capacity for Break are 16 bars.

E: Ending1 have Start at 108 bars, and Lenght with 9 bars
    Ending2 have Start at 108 bars, and Lenght with 9 bars
    Ending3 have Start at 108 bars, and Lenght with 9 bars

Ending should be able to give a coherent ending to the song; often with a reflection of the melody line, or syncopes or riffs.
There is broad consensus that all Endings shall be equal for Song Styles. This should only be waived in special cases.
Only songs that are improvisational in nature, should be permitted variations for Endings. Jazz is an example -  "Evergreens" or "Standards" will typical be performed and interpreted in countless ways.
I always try to keep this rule, but since I'm a jazz musician, I like to have the opportunity for improvisation; and sins sometimes. I hereby apologize for it. :D :D :D

Here have Style Works almost done the job well enough; but "nearly" is a disaster in this case. This case clearly shows how much influence one single bar can have.
Especially because the Ending is so short, this becomes very apparent. I have changed the values from 108-9 to 109-9, which is fair enough.
But - if possible - and it is in this case - should the melody line be reproduced clearly. This I have done, by making a Ending1 with Start at 93 bars, and Lenght with 25 bars.
Notice that the values for Ending; 109-9 together become 118, which is stated as the last bar.
(The song has a total of 118 bars).
There must sometimes be some empty space after the last tone, otherwise it will be cut slightly off.
Maximum capacity for Ending are 32 bars.



Screenshot of manual conversion by Chello


I advise you to compare the two pictures carefully; because these screenshots give a very good understanding of how Style Works makes the job of the conversion.

At the same time they provide a similar good picture of my modifications.

And - this can not be said clearly enough - Style Works makes NEVER this job satisfactorily. But the program is a bit like Korg PA3x; once you learn how it works, it is very easy to use.

I do not know how Style Works is compared to midi2style; but I hope that users of midi2style also will benefit from this article, since this is basic theory / practice.

The program has clearly its limitations, since the markers can not be moved; but I do not know of an alternative program, which has the ingenious solution with graphical display of the events.
And if you have Style Works, you really have several programs in one - cheap!



Afterwords:
Perhaps many people believe that there is an definitive answer on how you can create styles from MIDI; or that there is a program that can do this automatically without serious errors or omissions.
My experience is that such a program does not exist - manual changes are absolutely necessary.

I've heard through very many "serious" conversions, and all too many of these should never have been released.
Most of these are probably made by the application Band-in-a-Box, which is known as the best program from the beginning.
But this program also requires constant checks between the program and the keyboard - the result is never to trust 100% until you have tested it on the keyboard.

Therefore, I believe that the biggest challenge in mastering to create styles from MIDI, lies with the person himself.
It takes a good portion musicality to work on this; and it does not help if you have high education in music - notes will not help you much here - you are totally dependent on your innate musicality.



I have attached the MIDI file, plus my Project file from Style Works.
#1 - March 29, 2015, 01:33:37 PM
Attachments:
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:55:52 PM by chellinoolmo »
 
The following users thanked this post: pianobar

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Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2
nice job Chello !!!!!!   5 Star article....
#2 - March 29, 2015, 04:25:28 PM
 
Wishing you the best day ever followed always by better tomorrows !!

chellinoolmo

Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2
nice job Chello !!!!!!   5 Star article....


Thanks! 8)
This is just the beginning, and the point is that the content is understandable for as many as possible.
5 stars from you is a good start :D :D :D :D :D
#3 - March 29, 2015, 05:20:06 PM
 

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Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2
Hi Chello. I would also give you 5* for this article. Very detailed and so Thank you. :smiley-happy110:
#4 - September 16, 2015, 07:49:54 AM
 
Best wishes, Keith..Mr Nice'n Easy

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chellinoolmo

Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2
Hi Chello. I would also give you 5* for this article. Very detailed and so Thank you. :smiley-happy110:


Thank you :musik01: - it was very difficult to write this, while preserving an overview.
It's possible that I'm going to write small "how to" do different things, so it becomes easier for the reader to find the answer to a precise question.

I also found out many things in the recent past, which is difficult to explain; but I'm going to make an effort when I get a bright moment. :D
#5 - September 16, 2015, 07:59:30 AM
 

aprilla

Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2
UhOh ... I never saw this til just now. I may have to quit my job
I very much look forward to reading/trying this 'Series' as soon as I get a chance, thanks :)

#6 - September 16, 2015, 09:49:55 AM
 

aprilla

Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2

Therefore, I believe that the biggest challenge in mastering to create styles from MIDI, lies with the person himself.
It takes a good portion musicality to work on this; and it does not help if you have high education in music - notes will not help you much here - you are totally dependent on your innate musicality.



Yes. That is a conclusion I came to also. It doesn't stop me but I do realise I don't have that 'magic' within
#7 - September 16, 2015, 09:55:35 AM
 

chellinoolmo

Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 2

Therefore, I believe that the biggest challenge in mastering to create styles from MIDI, lies with the person himself.
It takes a good portion musicality to work on this; and it does not help if you have high education in music - notes will not help you much here - you are totally dependent on your innate musicality.



Yes. That is a conclusion I came to also. It doesn't stop me but I do realise I don't have that 'magic' within


Thank you, that you found the content interesting. 8)

But even if you think you do not have that "magic within", you can still manage to create superb styles - if the used midi file is of very good quality,
you have luck and do everything right - and that everything is still correct when you test result on the keyboard.

And - something as simple as individual transposition of several parts - which is always necessary - can be incredibly difficult and require repeated listening tests before everything is correct.
#8 - September 16, 2015, 11:08:58 AM
 

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