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questions before buying

A Forum to Discuss NOTION

questions before buying

Postby tusitala » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:25 pm

hi, i just started evaluating notion...i really like it but for now and a couple of things are still unlcear to me and i consider them important:

- can i edit/customize my shortcuts?

- can i change the way chord symbols are written? i know i can choose between "default" "minimal" and "symbols" but most of them are completely "wrong" or at least written in a way i never found in any charts i ever read in my musical experience...

coming from sibelius i'm used to such flexibility so i wanted to ask...

many thanks in advance and hope you can help me have a clearer view of how the program works

all the best!
-michele
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Re: questions before buying

Postby Surfwhammy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:08 am

tusitala wrote:- can i change the way chord symbols are written? i know i can choose between "default" "minimal" and "symbols" but most of them are completely "wrong" or at least written in a way i never found in any charts i ever read in my musical experience...


All my experience is with Notion 3, and it does whatever I need to do, one way or another, which is what is important to me, and it is very easy to use on the Mac, which is what I use here in the sound isolation studio (2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro) . . .

I mostly am a mouser, so the only shortcuts and hot keys I use are for cut, copy, paste, and select all. Otherwise, I do everything with the mouse, since it is faster for me to do it this way. It also avoids having to learn a lot of stuff, which is always an important aspect of usability for me, since I am a bit lazy in that respect . . .

Regarding the way Notion 3 does chord diagrams, I have been playing electric guitar for decades, and I took a quick look at the way Notion 3 does chord symbols, where the strings, notes, and relative fret (for Barre chords) are shown in a tiny box, and this is one of the ways that I am accustomed to seeing guitar chord diagrams . . .

When I am explaining a chord pattern in more detail, typically in a post to the GuitarZone.com FORUM, I do a custom drawing in Fireworks (Mac) like this, where each chord in the pattern is represented by a different color of dots, but this is not very practical for use in Notion 3, and I think the way that Notion 3 does the chord diagrams is quite sufficient . . .

Image
Chord Pattern in the Key of A

In some respects, I might prefer to have the relative fret number for Barre chords on the right-side of the square rather than on the left-side, but this is not a big deal, and having it on the left-side makes a bit of sense, because I use the low-pitch "E" string frets as the reference, even though when doing a chord pattern horizontally I like to put the relative fret numbers at the top, which is more for readability, since I use the bottom for horizontal lines that indicate phrases (verse, chorus, bridge, or whatever) . . .

Some folks prefer what typically are called "tabs", where instead of using dots, the custom is to use "x" to represent a note, but long before there were such things as personal computers and "tabs", I used note cards and numbers for lead guitar solos, since at the time I was focused more on the specific finger patterns when I was teaching myself how to play lead guitar, which for reference was in the 1970s, for sure . . .

Image
Lead Guitar excerpt from "Let The Good Times Roll" (Jimi Hendrix) -- Surfwhammy Lead Guitar Notation

For sure!

And this system worked pretty good, since after a while I discovered how to play lead guitar, which is fabulous . . .

[NOTE: These are all real instruments, and I typically do each thing just once, composing and playing it in real-time on the fly, with the exception of the rhythm guitar chords, which I compose over time, since from my perspective rhythm guitar chords essentially define everything. Also, this was when I was doing headphone mixes, so it probably does not sound good when you listen with loudspeakers, but so what. And while it might appear that there are several lead guitars, it is all done with one lead guitar, which is the result of doing a quite complex bit of custom modding of a Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, so that it has two separate and independent output channels, which I then run through two separate sets of stereo effects pedals with lots of cascaded echo units to create what I call the "Wall of Guitars™", with the result that there is one rhythm guitar and one lead guitar part (total) but it sounds like a bunch of guitars, since there actually are eight tracks of guitars and each track has a different TONE and echo footprint, as well as additional stuff like DigiTech Whammy pedals for octave jumps and harmonics, Dunlop CryBaby wah-wah pedals for textures and sparkles, and so forth and so on . . . ]

http://www.surfwhammys.com/music/10_Starlight_1.0.mp3

Fabulous!

P. S. I discovered Notion 3 several months ago, and I use it for what I call the "basic rhythm section", which replaces what I was using for a "click" track and a set of reference tones for tuning, which then makes it very easy to switch back and forth from music composition with Notion 3 and recording real instruments and singing in Digital Performer, where at present I have gone DISCO crazy and am having a bit of FUN with a parody of "Bad Romance" (Lady Gaga), since she did not have any electric guitars on her song, and metaphorically she needs to be spanked, for sure . . .

[NOTE: All the instruments are done with Notion 3, so the only real thing at present is the singing, but I will add real electric guitars later after I finish doing all the sparkles, where "sparkles" are the apparently random bursts of notes and Latin percussion stuff that appear in various locations within what I call the "Spherical Sonic Landscape™", one vector plane of which is my avatar, noting in particular that I discovered a very easy way using Notion 3 to make sparkles move all over the place, which you can hear if you listen with studio-quality headphones like the SONY MDR-7506 (a personal favorite) . . . ]

http://www.surfwhammys.com/Im-Going-Goo-Goo-Over-Ga-Ga-10-25-2010-MP.mp3

For sure!

Even more surprisingly for me, apparently I have known enough about music theory and so forth for over half a century to the extent that it took me about an hour with Notion 3 to be able to do pretty much anything I want to do, which is a bit mind-boggling, really . . .

[NOTE: This is the early version of the "basic rhythm section" for the DISCO and Heavy Metal song I am doing to spank Miley Cyrus for the lyric "Is it love, or is it art?" that she sang in the European Single for "Who Owns My Heart", as well as for "borrowing" my idea for the Venetian mask. There are not a lot of sparkles yet, but I will add them in a while, since at present I am fine-tuning the lyrics and working with a graphic artist on the artwork . . . ]

http://www.surfwhammys.com/FeelingYouFeelingMe-BasicRhythmSection-Notion3-10-2010.wmv

Really! :)
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: questions before buying

Postby Admin » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:11 pm

Sorry no custom shortcuts....

are you referring to the tab chords or the chord symbols?
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Re: questions before buying

Postby tusitala » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:06 pm

hello and thanks for your reply...i was referring to CHORD SYMBOLS, i don't even care about tabs, so i don't really understand the above answer from Surfwhammy...

thanks
-michele
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Re: questions before buying

Postby Admin » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:00 pm

tusitala wrote:hello and thanks for your reply...i was referring to CHORD SYMBOLS, i don't even care about tabs, so i don't really understand the above answer from Surfwhammy...

thanks
-michele


What is "wrong" about the existing chord symbols? Sorry...just trying to understand....
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Re: questions before buying

Postby tusitala » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:23 pm

for example i never ever wrote or found myself reading a chart with chords symbols like this:

delta.tiff
delta.tiff (2.85 KiB) Viewed 5493 times


or like this:

minoredelta.tiff
minoredelta.tiff (3.16 KiB) Viewed 5479 times



and i'm simply used to the fact that i should be able to choose which way i want to write my chord symbols...


i also found strange the way all alterations (like b9 #11 etc) are placed in the same row after the chord
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Re: questions before buying

Postby Surfwhammy » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:12 pm

tusitala wrote:for example i never ever wrote or found myself reading a chart with chords symbols like this:

delta.tiff


or like this:

minoredelta.tiff


and i'm simply used to the fact that i should be able to choose which way i want to write my chord symbols...

i also found strange the way all alterations (like b9 #11 etc) are placed in the same row after the chord


Once I realized that you were not referring to guitar chord diagrams, I did a bit of checking, and I think we are on the same page, literally and perhaps metaphorically . . .

I had noticed a tiny bit of strangeness in the nomenclature for the names of chords, but more as the consequence of selecting the "play by ear" option with respect to electric guitar approximately half a century ago, which makes pretty much anything beyond "C minor", "Cmin", or "Cm" with perhaps one of the happier numbers {6, 7, 9} nonsensical from my perspective no matter how it is written, so I never use it or look at it, although unbeknown to me until several months ago I understand all of it intimately from the perspective of music theory and so forth and so on, but primarily with notes on the treble clef rather than with dots on the fretboard of an electric guitar . . .

So, I did a quick experiment and selected two chords that certainly appear to me to have been devised by the aliens from outer space, since I have no immediately conscious idea what they might be, as is shown in the following screen capture, where there are two chords, with each chord showing the default, minimal, and symbolic flavor of the chord's abbreviation, short name, or whatever these things are called, really . . .

Image

Really!

If I take a bit of time, I can make sense of the first chord, which after looking at it for a while is what I would describe as a "C minor with an added major seventh", which I understand but never would play, because it makes no sense to me, and I am not entirely certain off the top of my head what a "major seventh" actually is, although I can go to town on "Cm" and "Cm7", since these are used in a lot of Beatles songs, mostly as Barre chords, and I think that "C minor with an added major seventh" is an entirely different chord, for sure . . .

For sure!

And the dash and little triangle flavor is completely and totally strange, although I might have seen it somewhere and then worked diligently to forget it ever since, because I have enough difficulty with "major seventh" without replacing it with hieroglyphs . . .

The second chord is even stranger, since without doing a bit of Googling and finding some information in wikipedia, I have no idea what the tiny circle thingy represents, other than "7 degrees Celsius", which not being European makes my best guess somewhere along the lines of it being a cool or perhaps warm but not overly hot chord, which basically makes it a Jazz chord and something one might hear in a Kenny G song, hence should be avoided diligently . . .

SUMMARIZING:

(1) Your observations are correct . . .

(2) This is a pretty strange way to name guitar chords, but with the caveat that it is pretty strange to me, because I play by ear and use a system where I name chords after the first song I heard that features a specific chord in a prominent way, where for example this is the dot diagram for what I call the "Tighten Up" chord, because I first heard it in the hit song "Tighten Up" (Archie Bell & The Drells) . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIdug40ZM-M

Image
"Tighten Up" Chord

(3) The "default" and "minimal" flavors are not entirely strange, but the "symbols" flavor is a new one for me, which makes it interesting in a curious way . . .

(4) Nevertheless, when one does a bit of Googling and visits wikipedia, it appears that all the hieroglyphs are a generally recognized set of symbols in the Jazz and Pop communities, which probably one of the reasons that I typically avoid listening to Jazz and Pop music . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chord_names_and_symbols_%28jazz_and_pop_music%29

(5) Apparently, the tiny circle thingy represents "diminished", and I like diminished chords for those times when I am in a Jazz mood or simply want to play a strange chord . . .

(6) Ultimately, I think the practical utility is strongly dependent upon one's perspective, and from my perspective I am concerned primarily that there is some way to do what I want to do, which with Notion 3 continues to be the case, since while the chord names do not make a lot of sense to me in any immediately conscious way no matter how they are written, the chord diagrams are sufficient with the names for identifying purposes, and I suppose that I can learn the various names and symbols if the need arises . . .

And while I generally have no idea about the elaborate names, I probably play all the chords at one time or another but based on the way they sound rather than their names, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)
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Re: questions before buying

Postby kelldammit » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:49 pm

tusitala wrote:for example i never ever wrote or found myself reading a chart with chords symbols like this:

delta.tiff


or like this:

minoredelta.tiff



and i'm simply used to the fact that i should be able to choose which way i want to write my chord symbols...


i also found strange the way all alterations (like b9 #11 etc) are placed in the same row after the chord


perhaps examples of the sorts of symbols you're looking for would help give everyone a better idea insofar as specifics of what you're asking for :)
insofar as chord names, i'm pretty sure i've only seen the alterations on the same line as the chord...such as Gmaj7#9,11b13/D. i don't think i've ever seen the delta symbols used anywhere, but really, most of the notation i've seen is pretty tame...pretty much "mouth-breather" level stuff. :D again, more information on how you'd like to see stuff would be appreciated!

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