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#1607349 - 01/28/11 10:10 AM Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
For those of you who don't know, Home Concert Xtreme is a great software for practising your sight reading with a midi keyboard. It will scroll music in front of you according to a metronome and will pause if you ever play the wrong note. The main problem I've found is that when you import a midi file (the only type of file it accepts unfortunately), it will often show the music score on just one staff. Ideally, it should split it into two staves (or import xml files), but I don't think it can. I tried and tried but I don't think it is programmed to.

Here's a way I've found to get it split it into two staves. Fortunately I have Notation Composer already (if someone knows of another way that does not require using another paid software, please let me know). This is what I did:
-Open Notation Composer.
-Open up the Fidi file that needs to be split into two staves.
-Notation Composer will offer to make that split. Click OK.
If it doesn't offer to do this, then you can make it happen by going to the Staff menu and then click on Split Hands.
-Now save it by going to File, Export, As Midi File. Save over the old midi file to
get rid of the old one.
Important: Make sure to check off "Quantize notes and durations as notated",
otherwise you may get notes of short durations tied with notes in Home Concert Xtreme.
-Now Home Concert Xtreme will read this midi file with two staves.



I'm trying to figure out how to do with this Finale PrintMusic. But even though Finale will make the split, it just does not show in Home Concert. It would be nice because Finale will convert PDF sheet music to midi file.


Edited by MathTeacher (01/28/11 03:03 PM)

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#1607365 - 01/28/11 10:28 AM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
Rimmer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/15/10
Posts: 483
Loc: United Kingdom
Have you tried emailing the company themselves? Most of those cottage industry type companies are pretty good at responding to questions about their software, in my experience. They may even implement changes based on inquiries and requests.


Regards. Rimmer

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#1607510 - 01/28/11 01:42 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Look at the MIDI file that "works" and has notes split between staffs. I'll bet the bass and treble notes are placed into different MIDI channels.

If youe MIDI editor does not allow yuo to directly edit the MIDI event data try selecting an asigniong all the bass notes and asign then to an instrument the normally plays bass cleff



As we all know MIDI does not have any way to store graphical representation. I wonder how they even get key and time signature right?

Music XML would be better as that format contains typographic details.

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#1607511 - 01/28/11 01:42 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
pianoxcape Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/08
Posts: 72
Loc: Cape Cod
Check this out:

http://www.musiconsole.com/demo/hcx/hcx_splitMIDI.php

This is a freebie utility right from the company that should help you...

- Gary


Edited by pianoxcape (01/28/11 01:45 PM)
_________________________
- Gary Girouard
Consultant for Viscount ("Physis" Physical-model piano; http://www.physispiano.com)
Pianist/Composer of "The Naked Piano" series (Free Music Samples http://www.garygirouardmusic.com)
Teacher, Entrepreneur...Parent

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#1607550 - 01/28/11 02:21 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: ChrisA]
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
As we all know MIDI does not have any way to store graphical representation. I wonder how they even get key and time signature right?


.mid files do store time signature and key signature events.
A particular midi editor may not support them, but it should.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1607583 - 01/28/11 03:01 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: pianoxcape]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: pianoxcape
Check this out:

http://www.musiconsole.com/demo/hcx/hcx_splitMIDI.php

This is a freebie utility right from the company that should help you...

- Gary


Thanks. This free utility should suffice for many songs, and I would have been delighted with it yesterday.

But by being forced to try a solutioin with my other music software, I actually find my Notation Composer to do the job even better. KeyboardSplit uses a specified note to split the music score into two staves, but that won't suffice whenever both hands go above or below that note. Music Composer splits the score nicely even when this happens. So I guess I will continue using it.



Edited by MathTeacher (01/28/11 03:02 PM)

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#1608112 - 01/29/11 12:41 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
susanmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 117
Math Teacher,

First, good work on solving that display problem!

You didn't say anything about your playing level. If you are an advanced player, the following will not be of much interest to you. But it may apply to someone else.

There is a lot of educational piano music published with accompanying midi files (SMF). These include piano RH and piano LH on separate tracks/channels, Other tracks/channels are used for "orchestrated accompaniment." Nowadays the midi files are often included on enhanced CD's. All the major educational publishers have midi files available for their method books and supplemental materials.

There's a convention that the piano RH is alway midi channel/track 4 and the LH is midi channel/track 3. With a lot of notation programs that creates a problem if you read from the score. The piano RH will be displayed below the LH on a full score.

Home Concert Xtreme, which only displays two tracks, will usually default to track 4 (piano RH) above track 3 (piano LH). BTW, Home Concert Xtreme will release an iPad app soon.

When Notation Composer opens one of these educational piano SMF's, it should "see" that piano RH and LH are reversed and offer to switch. (You have the developer and me to thank for this feature. As Rimmer notes, cottage industry developers are often very responsive to customer requests.)

Of course, many people using SMF's will still prefer to read from the sheet music while the computer/harware midi device plays the accompaniment. The midi files as displayed on software sequencers or notation programs do not include fingerings or dynamic markings. But, as you have pointed out, they are great for sight-reading practice.



Susan
_________________________
Teacher. 1926 Steinway M. Kawai CE200. Casio PX3. Yamaha P-60. Yamaha NP-30. Roland C-30 Digital Harpsichord. Roland Integra 7.

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#1608732 - 01/30/11 10:27 AM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Ok, I've figured how to make the split with Finale as well:

-Open up the Fidi file that needs to be split into two staves.
-Go to the Window Menu and then Instrument List.
-Change the channel of the first staff (right hand) to channel 4.
-Change the channel of the second staff (left hand) to channel 3.
-Save the file as a midi file.
-Now Home Concert Xtreme will read this midi file with two staves, and exactly as notated in Finale as well!

Thanks to Susan for the info about the specific channel assignments. Since my Notation Composer and Finale PrintMusic were just trial versions, and Finale also can convert PDF sheet music to midi file (giving me even greater choices of midi files to use), I'm going to get Finale PrintMusic.


Edited by MathTeacher (01/30/11 10:28 AM)

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#1608812 - 01/30/11 12:49 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
SPOFF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Derry NH
It's also possible with Home Concert Xtreme to specify which channels you want to display. I usually place the RH piano on Channel 1, LH on Channel 2. Once you specify this and exit Home Concert Xtreme your choice is saved in the MIDI file the way practice loops, and special setting like hold and wait are kept as well.

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#1610762 - 02/01/11 10:44 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
MathTeacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/11
Posts: 256
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Ok, here is my latest verdict on what program is best for splitting into two staves. Although Notation Composer is cheaper than Finale PrintMusic, it is much better for doing the job.

Using Notation Composer (my preferred way):
-Open up the Fidi file that needs to be split into two staves.
-Notation Composer will offer to make that split. Click OK.
If it doesn't offer to do this, then you can make it happen by going to the
Staff menu and then click on Split Hands.
-Now for the channel assignments for the two staves. They must be different else
Home Concert Xtreme will still show one staff. Go to the Staff menu and then Setup.
Change the channel of the first staff (right hand) to channel 4, and choose the
instrument acoustic grand piano.
-Change the channel of the second staff (left hand) to channel 3, and choose the
instrument acoustic grand piano.
[Note: channels 1 and 2, respectively, for the two staves seem ok as well. But what
is not ok is to make the two staves of different instruments, as bugs have been found
when they have different instruments, e.g. with simulatenous triplets, and triplets
against 16th and 32 notes]
-Now save it by going to File, Export, As Midi File. Save over the old midi file to
get rid of the old one.
Important: Make sure to check off "Quantize notes and durations as notated",
otherwise you may get notes of short durations tied with notes in Home Concert Xtreme
because the midi file may play it that way.
-Now Home Concert Xtreme will read this midi file with two staves with little or no
superfluous super-short notes tied with other notes.


Using Finale PrintMusic (not my preferred way):
-Open up the Fidi file that needs to be split into two staves.
-Go to the Window Menu and then Instrument List.
-Change the channel of the first staff (right hand) to channel 4.
-Change the channel of the second staff (left hand) to channel 3.
-You should make both instruments to acoustic grand piano, but Finale then tends to
revert the two staves back to the same channel (here's the first problem with Finale).
-Save the file as a midi file.
-Now Home Concert Xtreme will read this midi file with two staves. However,
the notes are NOT quantized as with Notation Composer. Hence it will be common to see
notes of short durations tied with notes in Home Concert Xtreme because the midi file
may play it that way (even if you use the Quantization settins in the Midi menu,
because that quantization applies to the score and not to the midi file itself).
Note: Another problem with Finale is that Home Concert Xtreme sometimes crashes
when you open the newly prepared midi file. This does not happen with Notation Composer.


Edited by MathTeacher (02/01/11 10:45 PM)

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#1738645 - 08/22/11 10:11 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Does any of this work on the iPad?

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#1738739 - 08/23/11 12:37 AM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
MadForBrad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/11
Posts: 202
Loc: LA / Montreal
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
For those of you who don't know, Home Concert Xtreme is a great software for practising your sight reading with a midi keyboard. It will scroll music in front of you according to a metronome and will pause if you ever play the wrong note.


for that reason alone, it makes it a pretty bad tool. That defeats the purpose of learning to sight read. The point is to not stop no matter what. You keep going.

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#1738930 - 08/23/11 09:57 AM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MadForBrad]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4354
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: MadForBrad
for that reason alone, it makes it a pretty bad tool. That defeats the purpose of learning to sight read. The point is to not stop no matter what. You keep going.

I agree. It seems that for most students, timing needs more work than pitch.
_________________________
The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#1738942 - 08/23/11 10:19 AM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MadForBrad]
Nikalette Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/08
Posts: 1081
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: MadForBrad
Originally Posted By: MathTeacher
For those of you who don't know, Home Concert Xtreme is a great software for practising your sight reading with a midi keyboard. It will scroll music in front of you according to a metronome and will pause if you ever play the wrong note.


for that reason alone, it makes it a pretty bad tool. That defeats the purpose of learning to sight read. The point is to not stop no matter what. You keep going.



There are three modes of playing, PJL, perform , jam and learn. They are all different.

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#1739098 - 08/23/11 03:09 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MadForBrad]
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: MadForBrad
for that reason alone, it makes it a pretty bad tool. That defeats the purpose of learning to sight read. The point is to not stop no matter what. You keep going.



You know you're getting somewhere not when you have everyone's support, but when you have people take their time to criticise you. smile
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1739115 - 08/23/11 03:42 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: Nikalette]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Nikalette
Does any of this work on the iPad?


Yes. I think iPads are quickly replacing notebook computers for many tasks related to music and recording. Apple sells a cpy of GarageBand for the iPad for $4.99

There are others too. Notice on the list in the link below Apple's GB is just one of 50. Many of these also run on the iPod Touch, but the controls would e tiny.
http://www.ikmultimedia.com/irigmidi/moreinfo/compatibleapps.php

"Sample Tank" is now offered as a free app. This got my interest and I started looking around. This will run accompaniment loops and will do up to four "layers" of instruments and runs on a phone. That little phone has a dual core 32-bit CPU inside and gigabytes and memory.
http://www.ikmultimedia.com/irigmidi/moreinfo/usage.php


You can also used the iPad/iPhone as a MIDI controller to control apps that run on a computer (or another iPad)

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/midi-touch/id398930935?mt=8

http://theappwhisperer.com/2011/02/05/top-10-midi-controller-apps-for-ipad/



http://www.ikmultimedia.com/irigmidi/moreinfo/sampletank.php

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#1739238 - 08/23/11 07:21 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1213
Loc: Skåne, Sweden
I'm surprised that such an expensive application as Home Concert Xtreme (HCX) doesn't split hands, but I assume it shows MIDI files that are made as two tracks (right and left hand staves) correctly.

I also have Notation Composer and I think it's a great note/MIDI editor/maker/player. When I make MIDIs in it, I always have hands split, that is treble and bass clefs.

Synthesia does what HCX does, stops when you play the wrong note, but the sheet music display of the former is probably not as good as of the latter, but Synthesia comes at only one fourth of the price of what HCX costs. Future upgrades are free for the former, so when the sheet music display is improved, one can download the new version for free.

Using software of this kind, is probably not as good as learning from note papers, with the metronome on, but still it's helpful. When you see on a screen that you've played a note at a certain position on the sheet (you can also see if you've hit a note above or below it), it must sink into your visual memory eventually.

Besides, it should help you play longer parts, and make fewer the number of times you're tempted to look at the keyboard. Because you always know, by looking at the computer screen, which note you hit.


Edited by Pianotehead (08/23/11 07:23 PM)
_________________________
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http://www.youtube.com/user/thenorbass1

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#1739264 - 08/23/11 07:57 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Synthesia doesn't do HCX's "performance mode", though.
Where it syncs the correct sheet music spot to where YOU are
playing regardless if you're playing to tempo or not.
(Live humans play with rubato)
And regardless of your messups (I assume - I've not actually
tried HCX, only read about it.)

I'm working feverishly to get PianoCheater to do that laugh
Let me tell ya - it's WORTH $100 laugh

Also on a "judgement mode" where it makes a note of all
times you mess up and automatically makes looping points around em.
Also spiffing my synth to take a straight set of WAV files
and not use the code I've adapted from FluidSynth - I'm
doing a complete rewrite of the synth.
Then sheet music gets spiffed. A -lot-.
My goal is to overtake HCX. It'll take me a couple years.
But sooooome day, it might happen.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#1739305 - 08/23/11 09:00 PM Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
TheodorN Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/16/10
Posts: 1213
Loc: Skåne, Sweden
Right Steve, Home Concert Xtreme is much more versatile, I was not saying the sheet music display was the only difference between the programs.

Synthesia has a lot of possibillities though. For example just few minutes ago I was practising Ave Maria with it. This version has a lot of arpeggios of some common chords in the left hand. It switches between the chords while the right hand is busy playing the melody.

Makes the switch a little harder. I know that the chords of G-major and E-minor have intervals of a third between the notes, but the second inversions of G-major and A-minor have a third between the first and second notes, and a fourth between the last two. So even if I don't learn sight reading, I learn how different intervals feel under my hands.

I've not tried your program, but I'm sure one day I will. It's worth mentioning that Steve's application is free.
_________________________
My YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/thenorbass1

Casio PX-5S

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#2355922 - 7 seconds ago Re: Circumventing the Home Concert Xtreme "single staff" problem [Re: MathTeacher]
shananagan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/28/14
Posts: 4
Hi Everyone

I only just joined this forum and am happy to see all the nice comments about Home Concert Xtreme! I have worked in a contract / support role for this product for many years. TimeWarp Technologies, Inc., recently re-acquired the software (after a 2+ year hiatus with another company). We hope to have a lot of improvements ready soon!

Meanwhile, rebranded and refreshed versions are available at www.timewarptech.com. All existing user accounts are migrated and all previously purchased software is available for download using any credentials you may have established with a previous owner.

We do actually have a keyboard split utility that is currently not available on the website, but free for the asking--it will set an arbitrary split point to make a single-channel MIDI file work better in HCX. It's not a perfect solution, but it's what we have at the moment! Just send a message to support@timewarptech.com and let us know which platform you need (Mac or PC)

We'd love to hear your thoughts as we work on improvements!

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