Create Song Styles

MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 3 UPDATED 23.04.

Discussion started on Tips and Tricks on creating Song Styles

chellinoolmo

MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 3 UPDATED 23.04.
Please note that I here use my Korg PA3x plus the software EMC Style Works XT for Korg.
Notice also that the number of possible bars for the different sequences will vary, and the number of Variations, Intros, Fills and Endings will vary -
depending on what keyboard you use. These can also be called with other denominations.


(See Pic 5)
Once you have opened Song to Style Converter, open this window itself.
The next you do is to press at the floppy image GM Song, and Load GM Song (your midi).

Then do everything described below from 1a.

When all the editing of the program is finished, save your work as Save Song to Style Project, by pressing the right floppy image Project.
Then you can later open and edit more, if desired, by pressing the left disk image Project.
Finally save finished edited conversion, by pressing the disk image on the far right; Style.

After this, open the "finished" style on your keyboard, and make necessary changes and adjustments. The procedure for this I will describe last in the article.


1a. For at all to get started, it is necessary to ensure that all sequences have the same key; this must you listen forward to.

Here I use the following tricks:
Note the key for such Variation1, then press Intro1 and compare.
And here is a tip to make it easier to determine whether selected Variation have the correct key as the song goes in minor:
If you switch from Neutral to Playback will harmonies become apparent, and sounds as they will on the keyboard.
NOTE: Do not forget to put back to Neutral, when you are sure that the correct key is selected!

As a rule, Intros, Fills, Break and Endings have a wrong key, and you have to open Details for Intro1 and watching Part parameters, (press 0 left for Gen. Part Transpose and you will see the options -6 to +6) and try different alternatives to both have the same key.
This can be very difficult, but Intro1 will often begin with the wrong tone in the bass when the sequence has the wrong key. When the key however is correct, the bass first note also very often will be correct.
This process have to be repeated for the rest of Intros, Fills, Break and Endings.

1b. In some cases, the problem with the bass that begins with the wrong tone can be fixed by opening Details for Intros and watching Track parameters Source.
You can change the 2-BASS Acoustic to for example 9-MEL-Nylon str. It is important to listen through to the best result.
It is also important to note that the bass position on the keyboard thus will be moved to this guitar's place, and takes over the guitar role.
This is an emergency, because the whole song can be changed dramatically; but sometimes it works well.


When all Intros, Fills, Break and Endings have the same key, begin the real work of finding sequences for these.

Probably it`s here most users "hit the wall".
How should this be done?

I have prepared my regular procedures, and these are as follows:

A: All sequences must have the same key.
B: Finding sequence for Intro.
C: Finding sequence for Ending.
D: Finding sequences for Variations.
E: Finding sequenses for Fills.
F: Finding sequence for Break.

A: I have already explained this.
B: The beginning is simple; Set the starting point slightly before the first note. The endpoint may typically be where drums or bass starts.
C: Beginning must be placed somewhere there is a break between the sequences, and ending point slightly after the last tone.
E: This is some of the hardest; but I have found a special way to do this, which makes it much easier. I find Fills before Variations,
because these sequences indicates where Variations ideally should be placed. This is a fine starting point; but no absolute rule for location of Variations.

If you study the graphic window in Style Works, you will see that this consists of a number sequences - there is a break or change between each sequence.
Each sequence typically consists of 4, 8, 12 or 16 bars (commonly called measurments). If your Intro has a Start at 2 bars and Lenght with 5 bars, will the natural starting point for Fill1 be the sum of these - 7 bars.
If you then enter 7 as Start and 8 as Lenght, this will then form the basis for Fill2, which typically gets Start at 15 and Lenght with 8, which becomes 23 bars as Start for Fill3.
8 bars are the most common, but if there are 12 bars, follow you the same principle.

If the sequence is correct, it will act as a loop - it repeats itself, and everything sounds right. If one or more instruments make sounds that do not fit,
this can often be fixed by opening Details Part parameters (see Pic 3), and change from Melody + Pad + Chord to Chord + Pad or only Pad or Chord.
It is particularly important that a Fill behaves as a loop; otherwise it will sound strange, and often create problems with the pace.

When this works like a loop, you have the option to shorten down Fills, so they become more like internal styles on the keyboard. More professional, surely some assert.
How this can be done, is as follows:
(See Pic 4) If you press the Playback for Fills, it comes up an option - Neutral. Choose Neutral for all Fills. If your Variations have 1 bar gives you Fills equivalent.
Then open the Part parameters (see Pic 3), and change to only Chord. Listen through the sequence and position the starting point where the bass beats correct.
Then can Fills be used as an alternative for Variations, and you can change keys as you want.
On PA3x you have the additional ability to press 2 times on Fills, so this is played as a loop; precise as Variations.

I have a very good reason for doing this:
Most keyboards on the market have limitations on the number of bars (measurments) for Fills - many can only use 1 bar.
If your style should be able to work with good results in other keyboards, should Fills contain only 1 bar.
For example, all Tyros models only have 1 bar possibility - PA3x have 16 bars possibility. :D

Another reason is that a style with only 1 bar for Fills, being less in KB size.
When this size is too large, will a keyboard often be able to play it; but when, for example, you pressing Ending stops all functions working - the keyboard "freezing", and must be restarted ...
This is because all keyboards have an upper KB limit for styles.

NB: Fill1 I use most often to reproduce the melody; typically the beginning after Intro.
Before you try this: Check the maximum measurements for your keyboard!
The choice of the melody line for Fill1 is of course a matter of taste.
Number of bars will typically be 8, and it must be played as Playback; not Neutral.
Moreover makes no changes in Preference for Fill1 in this case.


D: The starting point for Variations will now appear as a result of Fills - you only need to move the point with a few bars back or forward in relation to the selected values for Fills.
The bass must be correct, and try to find the starting point that gives most variations. Variation2 should be more rhythmic than Variation1 - Variation3 even more and Variation4 most.
At the same time they should give a realistic picture of the sequences they represent. Usually it is not necessary to make changes in Preferences Part parameters.

F: The procedure for finding a suitable sequence for Break is the same as for Fills - except that this ideally should render a special expression in the song.
If there is a drum solo, bass solo or a particular riff from an instrument, this is best suited.
Break can often be played as Playback; but be aware of the possibility to change to Neutral. If you select Neutral, it can also be used more flexibly; just like Fills,
and you can change keys as you want - it acts precise as Fills.


SOON: I will soon comment Pic 5, which will explain the use of the function > Edit Song. With this feature, you can move markers, merge, delete and duplicate tracks.


Finally:
It is wise to start with a song that has simple harmonies. You need a midi file of good quality, which will typically have a size of 30 to 50 KB.
It should also have the format GM or GM2 for Korg users; otherwise you will get big problems finding substitutes for the instruments used when you installing the "finished" style on the keyboard.

It is also a good idea to write down the numbers for different sequences, if there is a complex midi file you're doing. Usually is a song composed of 4-6 sequences in addition to the intro and ending,
but complex songs can have many more. Then you have to select those sequences that are best suited, and a notepad will quickly becomes absolutely necessary.


And - this can not be said clearly enough - one style that is converted from MIDI must never be posted in a forum before it is adapted and edited on your keyboard!

This last process can be particularly challenging; it happens quite often that it is impossible to find instruments that fit - with the result that there is intolerable distortion whatever instrument you try -
and in the worst case it will occur clear harmonic errors. You must therefore find appropriate instruments (listen to the original song), and almost always adjust the volume individually.

This can be said to be the "dark side" of this hobby. Then you've spent 30 minutes ore more of your time in vain ...

But personally, I think that such experiences are to live with; because the pleasure of having managed to create a good style from midi give my music new life,
and are able to offset many such negative experiences.






Pic 1: This window pops up when you press Intro 1/ > Details


 





Pic 2: This window pops up when you press Intro 1/ > Details/ Track parameters/ Source/ Accordion Fr








Pic 3: This window pops up when you press Intro 1/ > Details/ Part parameters/ Preference








Pic 4: This window is marked with 2 choices when you press Fill 1/ Playback









Pic 5: This is a part of the main window. Notice <Edit Song, where you have the opportunity to move markers (shift), merge, delete and duplicate tracks.

#1 - April 03, 2015, 01:21:01 PM
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 12:37:45 PM by chellinoolmo »
 

chellinoolmo

Re: SOON: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 3
Hi Chello,

Which program do the screen shots come from?

Dave :smiley-music022:


EMC Style Works XT for Korg 8)
#2 - April 04, 2015, 10:39:39 AM
 

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Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 3 UPDATED 23.04.
Hi Chello. Very good Tutorial for EMC Styleworks. I myself used EMC and created a basics Tutorial. This being posted on Tyrosmania and Youtube... HERE.
Although not as comprehensive as your Tutorial it may still be useful to MEMBERS as another educational resource in the use of EMC...

VIDEO:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/WOpeR9GYlb0
#3 - August 05, 2015, 05:01:21 PM
 
Best wishes, Keith..Mr Nice'n Easy

Yamaha Keyboard Kapers   TyrosMania     Korgpahelper MySite

chellinoolmo

Re: MIDI to Styles - How you can create a style from MIDI Part 3 UPDATED 23.04.
Hi Chello. Very good Tutorial for EMC Styleworks. I myself used EMC and created a basics Tutorial. This being posted on Tyrosmania and Youtube... HERE.
Although not as comprehensive as your Tutorial it may still be useful to MEMBERS as another educational resource in the use of EMC...

VIDEO:
https://www.youtube.com/embed/WOpeR9GYlb0


Many thanks that you find my article useful! 8)
And thanks for your version - film illustrates very well what is happening, and this is a good supplement to my article.
 :smiley-happy110: :smiley-happy110: :smiley-happy110:
#4 - August 05, 2015, 06:20:03 PM
 

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