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Exporting files on Notion 3

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Exporting files on Notion 3

Postby Proteus » Fri May 27, 2011 3:06 pm

I have Notion 3 on on a PC using Windows 7, also on an Imac too. I have tried on both computers to export files in Audio, Midi and Xml forms but when saved to disc I cannot get then to play.

I have Itunes and Realplayer on my Macintosh computer and Windows Media Player on my PC.

I feel I have followed the instructions from the Notion Manual to the letter so where am I going wrong?
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Re: Exporting files on Notion 3

Postby Surfwhammy » Fri May 27, 2011 5:06 pm

Proteus wrote:I have Notion 3 on on a PC using Windows 7, also on an Imac too. I have tried on both computers to export files in Audio, Midi and Xml forms but when saved to disc I cannot get then to play.

I have Itunes and Realplayer on my Macintosh computer and Windows Media Player on my PC.

I feel I have followed the instructions from the Notion Manual to the letter so where am I going wrong?


On the Mac, the exported Notion 3 audio will be a WAVE file (.WAV), and it will play in iTunes when you double-click on the .WAV file . . .

Once the .WAV file starts playing in iTunes, you can find it in the "Music" folder and then right-click on the file name where there will be an option to create an MP3 file, which takes just a few seconds . . .

You can change the quality of the MP3 file by setting it to a custom quality, which is the way I have iTunes set for creating MP3 files . . .

If this is not working on your Mac, then there are several possibilities, all of which involve various system configuration settings and preferences . . .

Because you have RealPlayer on the Mac, it probably changed the defaults for playing audio files so that instead of iTunes being the default audio player, RealPlayer is the default audio player, so if this is what happened it is possible that RealPlayer cannot handle .WAV files, although perhaps not . . .

Another possibility is that you have the Mac audio output set to headphones but there are no headphones connected to your Mac . . .

QUESTION: When you play a song directly in Notion 3, do you hear the audio?

These are the key bits of information for configuring your Mac:

(1) In Notion 3, when you click on "NOTION" at the top left of the screen just to the right of the tiny Apple icon, there will be a "Preferences" menu item, which you will click. The "Audio" tab panel should look like this:

Image

(2) When you have a song open in Notion 3 with no subset of measures specifically selected (very important), when you click on "Export Audio", the dialog box should look like this:

Image

[NOTE: Observe that the "Bit-depth" is set to "16-bit", since this is very important. The reason is that everything is 16-bits, so if you set the "Bit-depth" to a higher setting, what happens is that instead of the sound quality increasing, it actually decreases, because converting 16-bit audio to a higher resolution (for example, 24-bit audio) requires some combination of dithering, expanding, and whatever, all of which basically adds noise and hiss and reduces the quality of the audio. This is not the most scientific explanation, but the concept is correct. I tend to forget all the details, but I discovered this a few years ago when I was reading the user manual for Digital Performer (MOTU), and I think that I summarized the information sufficiently well. The audio generated by Notion 3 is standard CD quality, which maps to 44.1-Hz at 16-bits, and this is the correct setting for exporting audio from Notion 3. It is somewhat intuitive to think that increasing the resolution to 24-bits or higher will make the audio sound better, but in this instance intuition is wrong, because it makes it sound worse or perhaps inaudible. I use IK Multimedia virtual instruments, and all the IK Multimedia virtual instruments are standard CD quality (44.1-Hz at 16-bits), so trying to force it to a higher resolution not only makes no sense but simply does not work. And while a lot of folks think that 64-bit operating systems and higher resolution audio are spanky, the reality is that virtually everything at best is standard CD quality. There is nothing wrong with standard CD quality audio, and most popular music is heard either on radio, YouTube, or iTunes (iPad, iPod, iPhone), and it is MP3 quality or whatever. "Bad Romance" (Lady Gaga) has approximately 383 million plays on YouTube in the US, and this is a big clue from my perspective. Of course, if your interest is in doing something other than creating hit songs, then there might be other considerations, but so what . . . ]

(3) If you open "System Preferences" on your Mac and select "Sound", which is found in the second row "Hardware" at the far right, the dialog box will look like this when you have headphones connected to your Mac:

Image

(4) Start iTunes on the Mac, and then click on "iTunes" just to the right of the Apple icon at the top-left of the display, where there will be a "Preferences" menu item, which you will click . . .

The "General" panel will look like this:

Image

This is where you set the quality of MP3 files that you create, and in one of the most mind-bogglingly confusing bits of user-interface design in the known universe, the way you specify MP3 quality is to click on the "Import Settings" button, which is to the right of the "When you insert a CD:" line. This displays the following dialog box, which will look similar to this, but it might have different settings:

Image

(4.1) You want the "Import Using" item to be set as shown in the screen capture ("MP3 Encoder) . . .

(4.2) You want the "Setting" item to be set as shown, so you will need to scroll through the list and click on "Custom . . . ", which will cause a pop-up panel to be displayed, and it will look like this when properly set:

[NOTE: This is the way I have iTunes configured on my 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro, and it works nicely. The actual stereo bit rate often is higher when you create an MP3 in iTunes, so the "256 kbps" value is fine. If you set it to the highest possible value "320 kbps", then the MP3 files are larger but there is no vast increase in quality, so my perspective is that "256 kbps" is fine, and it is what I use . . . ]

Image

(5) While still in the iTunes "Preferences" dialog, when you click on the "Playback" tab, it will display a panel that looks like this:

Image

It is very important to uncheck the "Crossfade Songs", "Sound Enhancer", and "Sound Check" options (as shown in the screen capture), since these alter the way songs sound, and you want to hear your songs as they actually are rather than with enhanced sound and other stuff added or done by iTunes . . .

(6) In iTunes, it also is important to avoid using Equalizer settings, since the Equalizer will change the way your songs sound if you are using it, and again you want to hear your songs as they are recorded rather than as enhanced or altered by the iTunes Equalizer . . .

(7) In the event that RealPlayer has changed your Mac audio settings, there is a simple way to get the audio settings for WAVE (.WAV) and MP3 files set to iTunes . . .

(7.1) Locate an MP3 (.mp3) file in Finder and right-click on the file name, followed by selecting the "Get Info" menu item . . .

This will display the "Get Info" information for the file, and somewhere in the middle there will be a section that looks similar to this:

Image

(7.1) If the item selected in "Open with" is set to RealPlayer, then you want to change it to "ITunes.app" or "iTunes", depending on whether your Mac is set to show file extensions . . .

(7.2) Once you have the "Open with" item set to "iTunes.app" or "iTunes", you will click on the "Change All . . . " button, which makes iTunes the default application for playing MP3 files . . .

There are other ways to do it, but this is the easiest way . . .

You also will want to do this for WAVE (.wav) files, so repeat steps (7.1) and (7.2) but do it for a WAVE (.wav) file rather than for an MP3 (.mp3) file . . .

SUMMARY

Once you do all that stuff, then you should start hearing the Notion 3 exported WAVE (.wav) files, and you will be able to use iTunes to create MP3 versions of your Notion 3 exported WAVE (.wav) files . . .

For example, this is the MP3 file for "(Baby You Were) Only Dreaming" (The Surf Whammys), which is the current song I am doing in Notion 3 and Digital Performer 7 (MOTU), where The Surf Whammys are my pretend Rock and Roll band, although at present The Surf Whammys are focused on DISCO and Pop songs about ladies underpants, since while I really like Lady Gaga's hit song "Bad Romance" it really annoys me that there is no lead guitar solo, so I decided to spank all the DISCO and Pop ladies (Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears) metaphorically by doing an album of silly songs about ladies underpants, which I already had started doing after being a tiny bit annoyed by Angela Gossow (lead singer for Arch Enemy) singing a song that included the lyrical phrase "carnivorous Jesus", really . . .

"(I Want) Angela Gossow's Underpants (Ya-Ya-Ya)" (The Surf Whammys) -- YouTube music video

"(Baby You Were) Only Dreaming" (The Surf Whammys) -- Basic Rhythm Section (May 25, 2011) -- MP3 (9.4MB, 280-kbps [VBR], approximately 4 minutes and 35 seconds)

"I'm Going Goo-Goo Over Ga-Ga" (The Surf Whammys) -- MP3 (9.6MB, 290-kbps [VBR], approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds)

Really!

The reality at the dawn of the early-21st century is that when a lady singer annoys me by not having a lead guitar solo or by singing something that makes no sense, I compose and record a silly DISCO or Pop song about her underpants . . .

Explained another way, Andy Warhol did Campbell Soup Cans, but I do ladies underpants songs, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :D
The Surf Whammys

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Re: Exporting files on Notion 3

Postby Proteus » Sun May 29, 2011 3:13 pm

Thankyou for the comprehensive guide for exporting Notion 3 files. I followed you instructions carefully and found most were already set on my Imac. I tried again to export a file and found when trying to play it only one instrument sounded. I did finally note that the one instrument that played was set to output in the Notion mixer. I set up a new file and copied the said file into it and exported it and all instruments played.
I am not a computer expert so it is good that people on the Forum are willing to help with any problems.
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Re: Exporting files on Notion 3

Postby Surfwhammy » Mon May 30, 2011 10:00 am

Great!

Notion 3 works very nicely on the Mac, which is the platform I use . . .

Regarding setting the outputs in the Notion 3 Mixer, there are three ways to do it:

(1) The track outputs to the Master track ("Master") . . .

(2) The track does not output but instead is sent to one of the busses ('Send Only")

(3) The track outputs to a channel pair (Channels 1-2, Channels 3-4, . . . Channels 63-64)

When the output for a track is set to "Send Only" or to one of the channel pairs, the track is not heard in normal playback, but for "Send Only" is the bus track where it is sent has its output set to "Master", then you will hear the bus track, which plays the various tracks you sent to it . . .

There might be other uses for channels, but I use them for doing ReWire with Digital Performer 7, where Digital Performer 7 is the ReWire host controller and Notion 3 is a ReWire slave . . .

Another reason for occasionally not hearing a track is that you might have set the track to "Mute" or have set a "Solo" button somewhere . . .

The various rules make sense after a while, and there is logic to it . . .

Notion 3 does a lot of work and a lot of complex computing, and over the long run it makes sense to learn as much as possible about the user-interface and the way everything work . . .

It took me a few months to become reasonably comfortable with everything, but a good bit of the time was focused on recalling the way music notation works . . .

Notion 3 is very powerful, and there is a lot work that you can do with it, for sure . . .

For sure! :)
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Re: Exporting files on Notion 3

Postby Proteus » Mon May 30, 2011 3:00 pm

Thankyou for the suggestions about the Notion 3 mixer. Again very useful information which I shall work on. Notion is reasonably new to me as I have worked for many years on another Notation programme so i will look closely at all aspects of the programme to get more familiar with it so I can harness more of the power Notion 3 obviously has.

I did listen to your pieces on Youtube and enjoyed them very much finding some humour in them too. I didn't leave any comments as I am not signed up to the networking site but first class. It's surprising what you can do with women's underwear. (reference to one of the songs).
Proteus
 
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Re: Exporting files on Notion 3

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue May 31, 2011 9:38 am

Proteus wrote:Thankyou for the suggestions about the Notion 3 mixer. Again very useful information which I shall work on. Notion is reasonably new to me as I have worked for many years on another Notation programme so i will look closely at all aspects of the programme to get more familiar with it so I can harness more of the power Notion 3 obviously has.

I did listen to your pieces on Youtube and enjoyed them very much finding some humour in them too. I didn't leave any comments as I am not signed up to the networking site but first class. It's surprising what you can do with women's underwear. (reference to one of the songs).


Glad you enjoyed the songs! :)

The YouTube songs were done when I was using real instruments, all of which I played myself, and the Christmas song was done a few months before the Angela Gossow's underpants song . . .

I have no problems playing drums, electric bass, electric guitar, and a bit of keyboards, but doing the producing, recording, mixing, and mastering work in the digital universe is a lot more complex than I initially imagined, so I have been devoting great attention to making sense of the producing side (which includes recording, mixing, and mastering the way I define "producing") . . .

Part of the problem with the recording aspect was that I had been running microphones through two sets of external mixers before getting the audio into the MOTU 828mkII to digitize it, but after some consultations with the MOTU folks, I switched to running a smaller set of microphones directly into the MOTU 828mkII, which gets the recording levels the way they need to be . . .

Another thing I did after doing the Christmas song was to switch to doing loudspeaker mixing for the final versions, which is one of the reasons that the Angela Gossow's underpants song sounds better . . .

However, there is more to it, and one of the realities is that the quality of studio microphones is a lot more important than I had imagined, which is more the case for drums than everything else . . .

So, in a curious sequence of events, I discovered Notion 3 around this time last year, and one of the first things I noticed is that the audio generated by Notion 3 is excellent, and the Notion 3 Mixer has an unique sound that I really like, as is the case with the Notion 3 Reverb, which is stellar (very melodic and smooth) . . .

It took me a while to make sense of music notation for drums and percussion, since I never learned how to do music notation for percussion instruments, but after working on it for a month or so I discovered a system that works nicely, and the results sound a lot better than the way real drums sound when I play and record them here in the sound isolation studio . . .

My primary instruments are electric bass and electric guitar, so while I like to play drums the reason for playing drums was to be able to record all the instruments for my pretend musical group, The Surf Whammys, as was the case with keyboards, which also are a secondary instrument for me . . .

Once I got up to speed on music notation, virtual instruments, and so forth, I realized that the Notion 3 generated audio was vastly superior to what I had been doing with real instruments, with the exception of lead guitar solos, which I do on a highly modified Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster, so I switched my strategy to starting a song with what I call a "basic rhythm section" that is done in Notion 3 with music notation and IK Multimedia virtual instruments and then is recorded in Digital Performer 7 via ReWire as soundbites . . .

I also use a few of the Notion 3 bundled virtual instruments, where for example the Notion 3 bundled Electric Guitar is a personal favorite, since it has very nice guitar-tab articulations . . .

The overall sound of the Angela Gossow's underpants song on YouTube is pretty good, but if I did most of the instruments with music notation and IK Multimedia virtual instruments in Notion 3, it would be considerably better, which is great . . .

And so far, all the Notion 3 "basic rhythm section" MP3 files have been mixed with headphones, so once I switch to loudspeaker mixing, they will sound even better . . .

Basically, the fact of the matter is that Notion 3 has moved everything here in the sound isolation studio to a higher level of quality, for sure . . .

For sure!

So, at present I am continuing to define a "system" or "formula" for doing songs, and I am making excellent progress, where recently I discovered a way to do what I call "sparkling" very quickly . . .

Specifically, I discovered that I can "clone" a Notion 3 score and then reuse the already defined 8 clefs of a "sparkle" without needing to do a lot of reconfiguration . . .

(1) The first time I "sparkle" an instrument, I create 8 identical virtual instruments and name them something like {L.1 Sparkle, L.2 Sparkle, L.3 Sparkle, L.4 Sparkle, R.4 Sparkle, R.3 Sparkle, R.2 Sparkle, R.1 Sparkle}, and each one is set to a different panning location from far-left (L.1) to far-right (R.1), where the panning locations describe a "rainbow" arc, where top-center maps to (L.4, R.4), so depending on which of the 8 clefs I place a note, it appears in a specific panning location on the "rainbow" arc . . .

(2) I use Sample Tank 2.5 XL (IK Multimedia) for the virtual instruments of "sparkles", which makes it easy to change the specific virtual instrument of a sparkle, since I have all the IK Multimedia virtual instruments loaded into Sample Tank 2.5 XL . . .

(3) When I create a new "clone" of the Notion 3 score, everything is there, so all I need to do is to switch to the Notion 3 Mixer where I click on each "sparkle" track and set its virtual instrument using the Sample Tank 2.5 XL standalone user-interface . . .

This is much faster and easier than the way I was doing it previously, and t works very nicely . . .

It will be nice if there is an easy way to clear a clef or staff of all notes with a simple command in a future version of NOTION, but at present I select the first measure and then move the horizontal scroll bar to the far right and do a SHIFT+click, which does not take so long, and with another SHIFT+click I can select all 8 clefs, which makes it easy and quick . . .

The important thing is that the songs sound a lot better when I do the "basic rhythm section" in Notion 3, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)
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