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#992844 - 12/16/08 12:16 AM Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
I think there are a few other computer programmers on here.

I just had one of those OH MY LORD IN HEAVEN IT'S WORKIN !! moments

As many of you know about and are perhaps annoyed with, I'm working on writing "my own" sequencer.

And the latest bit of code is to help me with my piano practice.

I'm not a big fan of sheet music (sorry!).
See what you can make of this:
(First turn DOWN your speakers!!)

http://shazware.com/ditty/hmm.html

It's a video (of rather lame quality) of
my "help me with my piano practice" mode.

It shows the notes in piano roll format.
(white keys and black - lighter ones are Cs, lightest is middle C)
The green line is NOW.

That little yellow bar that flashes up sometimes tells you the keys AREN'T RIGHT and shows you which notes you have down and colors em green if they should be down and red if they shouldn't be.
(This way, I don't need to look at my hands and it helps me "feel around down there" better)

I showed this contraption to my piano teacher.

She was pretty impressed.
AND called it cheating !!

So I think I'm on to something... \:D

I don't think it's cheating.
And I think it WILL help me get rhythms and notes "just right".

In addition to this "wait for me" mode, there's a play it through mode that just shows you the "where you messed up your note start/end times" pink trails. You can slow the tempo down to whatever works for ya, etc.


Anyways, just wanna yell out

"IT WORKS !!!"


And, well, time for piano practice...
(Paul Simon's "The Sound of Silence")

It's surprisingly easy to play!
Just using straight sheet music for it.

(So I'm NOT cheatin' per my piano teacher)
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#992845 - 12/16/08 12:15 PM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Ok, let me back up a bit.

This thing takes a midi file and displays it in piano roll notation and WAITS for you to play the notes.

It'll pause time until you get the notes right.
And during those pauses a little yellow bar flashes up to tell you HEY YOU'RE MISSING NOTES!
In it, it shows which notes you have held down and colors em red if they're not supposed to be down and green if they are.

So you recognize the white/black vertical stripes from your piano, right? C notes are a little brighter and middle C is brightest.

Time runs VERTICALLY here, and the green line is NOW, above it is the past, below it is the future.
(Opposite guitar hero's way)

The pink trails in the past show what you played.
Fingering numbers are displayed just above the vertical "note bars".

Left hand notes to play are in one color, right hand another.

Makin' sense?


I know it's confusing compared to classical notation, but it could really help a beginner.


AND it could really help an advanced Jazz player with "showing his friend how to play HIS tune".

I read here of many advanced players complaining about how difficult it is to notate their songs.

Stuffing everything into 16th and 32nd notes would be brutal for me if =i= had to do it.

With this thing, you hit record, record a regular old midi file with or without a metronome.

Then give your friend this program and your midi file.
It'll spoon feed your friend the notes.

(Waiting for each noteset to be hit and pausing until he gets em)
Then getting the rhythms right.
(Are the pink trails matching what YOU played?)


Am I way off base here?
I think I'm on to somethin' pretty cool...
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#992846 - 12/16/08 01:32 PM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
RobM Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 112
Loc: Plymouth, Devon, UK
I have to say I'm genuinely impressed with how this is turning out. I'm also a programmer (well....a Web Developer for the time being) and so I can imagine how tricky this must have been to get working!

I see there are numbers 1-5 above each of the note 'trails', which I presume is an indication of the correct fingering, but how is this information stored? Say somebody records their own midi file and put it into this software, I'd assume that they would have to manually input this fingering notation, correct? If you've managed to somehow calculate the recommended fingering then I'd be very impressed.....although at the same time I'd probably question how accurate it would be.

Great job though! I don't see it as a means of replacing traditional sheet music, and I don't think this is what you intended either, but I definitely think that this could be a useful tool to use in addition to traditional sheet music - especially for sharing tunes with friends, as you mentioned. Let me know if you're in need of a beta tester! ;\)
_________________________
"All my life I've had one dream: to achieve my many goals." - Homer Simpson

My Videos: http://www.youtube.com/MastahUK

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#992847 - 12/17/08 01:36 AM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Hi Rob.

Glad ya like it.

You can download it for free at my website.
Some day I may charge for it, but it'll be free till it gets QUITE a bit more robust.

And I could DEFINITELY use any beta test help, etc.
Download the thing and PLEASE give it a spin \:\)

The fingering has to be entered manually.
Either in my wierd "text sheet music notation" or using Tinker (my GUI note editor).
It's stored in the midi file, BUT I've found no standard for storing fingering info, so only my sequencer can read it back out of the midi file.

And yes, it's a 2nd route to sheet music.
Helpful if you have no sheet music to start with.

Originally, I really hated sheet music and typed it all into a text file to display in this format.

Now I'm better (much) at reading sheet music format and often don't need to - just use the sheet music straight.

But when I come across TRICKY songs that are way above my level or that I -already- have a midi file for, this thing really helps me out \:\)

Many riff files already come in midi format.
And I can definitely read this piano roll type
notation WAY faster than sheet music.
Although I -am- getting better at the standard notation as I say.

The benefit of a midi file ALSO is relearning an old tune I've forgot.
This format is sort of "better describing" than paper. And is easily stored on disk.

Anyways. Please do try the thing out.
I could really use feedback.
And I promise I'll take any ideas into account.
I gotta stick with the ideas that'll give the
most bang for the buck, but I have a big ole "to do" list that ANY and ALL ideas will go into.

Thanks,
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#992848 - 12/17/08 09:12 AM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Steve,

That’s pretty cool!

You little ditti has come a long way!!

I am a has-been-wanna-be programmer. I was fairly proficient with BASIC in the 80’s, but fell WAY out of the loop.
Now I will get the itch to start self teaching again, approximately every other year or so, but it usually goes away in a 3 to 5 weeks.

I will give it another try during Christmas vacation (I tried an earlier version, but have reimaged my pc since then).

One thought that occurs to me, how difficult would it be for you to code an additional output for graphics in the traditional sheet music format, thus giving the user the option to toggle between the 2?

btw, what are you compiling with?

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#992849 - 12/17/08 11:39 AM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
> but it usually goes away in a 3 to 5 weeks.

Heheh. Well, my only advice is start small - decide whether you like c++/c#/java best, find a VERY simple app that doesn't do much (draws a circle where you click the mouse) and drink a lot of caffeine in silence \:D
MS visual c++/c# express edition is free now. Same with java.


> I will give it another try during Christmas vacation

Great! What I'm lookin for is what OTHER people think of this thing. Too hard to use? Nothin there that other apps don't already do way better? Needs to be able to do X...
Stuff like that.


> how difficult would it be for you to code an additional output for graphics in the traditional sheet music format

Quite difficult \:\(
Especially showing progress.
One of the beauties of piano roll format is that it's dead simple to code.
And it maps to a performance EXACTLY whereas with standard sheet music, you HAVE to quantize and change the performance to cajole it back into those exact 16th note triplets, etc.
I may do that down the road, but not yet... \:\(


> btw, what are you compiling with?

Visual Studio 2002 was the last version I bought.
I'd bought VC5, then my boss bought me a personal copy of VC6 for christmas (best boss EVER!).
But the latest visual studio expresses don't have a resource editor for doing c++ win32 dialog editing etc.

My code is c++ with my own classes on top of the straight Win32 API to replace MFC.
Much leaner code that way.

Please do try out ditty (grovel grovel)
I could really use some feedback.
Even and especially negative (although hopefully expressed "nicely")
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#992850 - 12/17/08 04:20 PM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1451
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen Hazel:
My code is c++ with my own classes on top of the straight Win32 API to replace MFC.
Much leaner code that way.
[/b]
Yeah, that's beyond me!!
Not to derail the thread, but replacing the MFC with your own sounds pretty involved.

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#992851 - 12/17/08 11:23 PM Re: Woo hoooo!! Making some progress on my lil sequencer
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
> replacing the MFC with your own sounds pretty involved

It's actually less involved than USING mfc, if'n ya ask me \:\)

I started with the code at http://relisoft.com
That's a good site, too.
It's where i cut my teeth on Win95 \:\)

...Steve
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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