Algorhythmic Composing

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Algorhythmic Composing

Post by Minimalist » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:08 pm

Would it be possible if Cubase could compose some things such as drums and/or bass for me? I'm not a percussion person and those things get tedious.

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by marQs » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:17 pm

Lots of grooves in Groove Agent SE, loops in Media Bay etc. Combine it with the chord track and you should get back a lot of 'out of the box' music without any relevant skills :lol:

Ok, you should at least have a talent to know what you like and what you don't :mrgreen:
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by Minimalist » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:49 am

The problem is, a loop played over and over is really boring. You want consecutive loops to be similar but not the same, with subtle variations. The loops are not complete because no one loop has enough variations for an entire song. That is bad.

Also I am making a feature request. Your comment isn't helpful to me nor does it contribute to my request, on the contrary, you are trying to knock it down. That is not the purpose of this forum section. The purpose is to submit feature requests which I did. Your solution is not good enough. That should be obvious to you.

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by raino » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:15 am

Minimalist wrote:The problem is, a loop played over and over is really boring. You want consecutive loops to be similar but not the same, with subtle variations. The loops are not complete because no one loop has enough variations for an entire song. That is bad.

Also I am making a feature request. Your comment isn't helpful to me nor does it contribute to my request, on the contrary, you are trying to knock it down. That is not the purpose of this forum section. The purpose is to submit feature requests which I did. Your solution is not good enough. That should be obvious to you.
That's a bit unfair to MarQs who is generally a helpful person. Even if your suggestion gets adopted, best case is you won't see it for several years. The feature set for 9 must have been determined long ago. So it's 10 or later if at all (and realistically the ratio of requested to implemented features on this forum is pretty low).

Meanwhile you're still stuck doing something you find tedious while you wait (and most likely wait, and wait, and wait). Offering suggestions for what you can do now to avoid those tedious tasks isn't dissing your suggestion, it's an attempt to offer a helpful workaround.

I'm no fan or proponent of loops and hardly ever use them. But there are ways you can create lots of variations from loops. You could chop 'em up and rearrange sections - even between multiple loops. Or use the Sample Editor to convert a loop to midi where you can create endless variations. There are also folks out there selling midi pattern libraries at reasonable cost which you could also tweak to make more variations.

I used to really hate trying to build drum parts - and the marginal results only reinforced that view. But then I took Eli Krantzberg's Programming Drums class at Groove 3 and it totally turned me around so that I really enjoy it now.

Lastly I'll give your request a +1. Seems like I could get some fun weird stuff from it that I wouldn't naturally think of. But in the meantime I'll use the tools I have right now.
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by Minimalist » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:32 am

I was just looking at Cognitone Synfire. They are doing some interesting work in this area and I have algorhythmic software called Noatokl by intermorphic. I like that one, it's powerful but always bombs Cubase within 10 minutes so I no longer use it.

I have been hoping for years there would be some algorithmic software introduced into Cubase but no.

MIDI is more powerful than audio loops.

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by marQs » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:05 am

@ Minimalist: really didn't mean to affront you or knock down anything.

Took a short look at Synfire and Noatokl (never ever heard of those before), that gave me an idea of where you're heading to, nothing like this in Cubase. As Raino remarked it might not be the best idea to wait until a future Cubase version might or might not incorporate such functionality. And if it would it would probably stay on a rudimentary level in opposite to i.e. Synfire which is a complete different approach to music creation. It supports rewire and drag-and-drop of midi, so why not trying that way?
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by Minimalist » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:26 am

marQs wrote: It supports rewire and drag-and-drop of midi, so why not trying that way?

Because Synfire is expensive and with all these other upgrades I plan this year, I can't afford it. You say it's too different for them to incorporate it yet the Arranger Track was totally a different way to sequence and an obvious response to Ableton Live so your argument that being different makes it wrong for Cubase does not hold water, with all due respect.

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by marQs » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:24 am

Cubase is a glorified tape machine. The arranger track as a possible answer to Ableton still doesn't make it Live and won't make a hardcore Live user feel home instantly. It's just another useful function, perhaps inspired by other DAWs. Wouldn't hold my breath for algorithmic composing in Cubase anytime soon...
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by mroekalea » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:18 pm

BIB? (Band in a Box) ?
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by raino » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:23 pm

Minimalist wrote:I was just looking at Cognitone Synfire. They are doing some interesting work in this area and I have algorhythmic software called Noatokl by intermorphic. I like that one, it's powerful but always bombs Cubase within 10 minutes so I no longer use it.

I have been hoping for years there would be some algorithmic software introduced into Cubase but no.

MIDI is more powerful than audio loops.
I hadn't heard of either of those either. After a quick look they seem interesting. Will have to take a deeper look.

I assume using Noatokl as a VST is what causes problems. What are the symptoms? I couldn't see on their website if it ran 64-bit. You might try running it in standalone mode and using a virtual midi cable like LoopBe to route the midi into Cubase.
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by -steve- » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:42 pm

Personally, I think this should be outside the scope of Cubase.

Cubase VST had the Phrase Synthesizer- and these days there is the full version of Groove Agent- but those aren't really algo composing tools. That said, the devs seem to dig stuff like that, but maybe marketing dictates steer that effort toward making various kinds of pop music, rather than a tool that facilitates all universes of styles.

But I see Band in a Box mentioned by menoj, and it has a function wherein you can create phrases, and then set criteria for when, and how likely they are to playback, based on chord, tempo, bar range. It is very cool.

Band in a Box is definitely the ugliest Windows 95ish program available today, ;) and it seems to have gathered the worst of every genre of UI design, in order to sum them into a confusing tangle of buttons and mislabeled fields. But it is a very functional and amazing program. I used to use it a lot for practicing tunes and progressions etc.

Sorry Minimalist, this part of the forum is defined by the posts here, and in my view as along as we are talking feature requests it's on topic.
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by raino » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:06 am

Steve's post got me thinking about my first GUI based sequencer (yes I'm ancient enough that my first couple of computer sequencers were text based). It was called Bars & Pipes and ran on an Amiga computer. It had a whole different design concept than what we see today. While it could record midi notes on a track like we're used to, it used a plumbing metaphor to process midi data - both incoming and outgoing. Pipes could split & combine data and connect up to a variety of tools. These could do things like take an incoming note and output a triad with that note as the root (key/scale is specified), generate delays or echos, force out of scale notes to the scale, fit the incoming note stream to a specific rhythm pattern, etc. (lots of etc. really). But things got really interesting with the routing tools. These could do stuff like send every other note to a different pipe for further processing, or the highest note of a chord goes to a different pipe than the rest, or feed outputs to inputs elsewhere.

Ultimately you could build these Rube Goldberg Machines that would output midi totally transformed from what went in. I especially enjoyed taking the output of a drum machine and generating cool musical grooves from it.
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by -steve- » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:09 am

Sounds totally wack and fun. I spent hours with the Phrase Synth back in the day. That was capable of infinite permutations. I think it was written by the dev who maintains the Logical Editors.
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by Minimalist » Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:54 am

SteveInChicago wrote:Sounds totally wack and fun. I spent hours with the Phrase Synth back in the day. That was capable of infinite permutations. I think it was written by the dev who maintains the Logical Editors.
I too remember using the Phrase Synthesizer. I feel midi needs more attention. I like chord pads. The arpeggiators have not been updated in years though. I like the drag and drop part but then it puts all the notes at the same velocity which can take a lot of life out of it.

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by InLightTone » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:46 am

I've always wished for something like Symbolic Composer or Opusmodus as a VST plugin or better yet native inside Cubase, so you could generate/script material, compute the midi and and then drag onto tracks for further manipulation.

I've used Symbolic Composer outside of Cubase but using the two together is a nightmare.

I even started to learn C++ to build my own version of that, but realized there wasn't enough lifetime to get it done, perhaps someone younger :cry:

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by Minimalist » Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:04 am

raino wrote:
I assume using Noatokl as a VST is what causes problems. What are the symptoms? I couldn't see on their website if it ran 64-bit. You might try running it in standalone mode and using a virtual midi cable like LoopBe to route the midi into Cubase.
The symptoms are Cubase just bombs totally. I don't own the stand-alone. They give you one or the other (when I bought it). It bombs because the VST version is poorly designed. He pays someone else to make that. He says it works in Reaper. Bleh. Anyway he's really only interested iPhone customers now which is a shame.

I can see why some people think this is out of the realm of Cubase. Many folks don't have any imagination or desire for innovation from Steinberg because many people just like to do what they do and not learn new things. That is exactly the attitude that Steinberg should avoid like the plague. Sometimes you don't know what's good until you actually use it.

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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by MrSoundman » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:52 am

I remember some time ago we discussed a possible return of the Interactive Phrase Synthesizer (IPS) from the Atari days and it was suggested by the developer of IPS, Werner Kracht that a lot can be achieved using the extended Arpache SX.

I think algorithmic composition is a niche that is not well covered by current software, certainly not when compared to the days of 8- and 16-bit home computers such as the Atari ST, Amiga and early Macs. It is still possible to run emulations of these early computers and it's fascinating to play around with all the freeware (then known as PD, or "public domain" software) that can still be found, piping the MIDI output to Cubase for further manipulation, but it would be interesting to see a dedicated Cubase "MIDI modifier" for true algorithmic composition.

On a side note, something like this would work better developed (like Arpache SX) for the VST Module Architecture (a.k.a. "MIDI plugins"), but that would limit the market for any commercial development, as I'm not aware of any non-Steinberg VST-MA hosts.
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Re: Algorhythmic Composing

Post by marQs » Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:58 pm

Minimalist wrote:...Sometimes you don't know what's good until you actually use it.
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