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Rewire issues with Notion

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Re: Rewire issues with Notion

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:27 pm

As part of the ongoing MachFive 3 (MOTU) testing that I am doing for another topic, I discovered something very useful, which is that so long as I limit the number of VSTI staves to 11 in a NOTION 3 score, I can run Digital Performer 7.24 (MOTU) as the ReWire host controller with NOTION 3 as the ReWire slave and do the full range of editing in NOTION 3, which includes copying, pasting, and then modifying long phrases, as well as cloning NOTION 3 scores, and so forth and so on, which makes it considerably easier to add more instrument parts by cloning and modifying, which for example is the way that I added a clean tremolo Telecaster from Xpansion Tank 2 Electric Guitars 2 to duplicate the phrases played by the strings and vibrato flutes for "I Want To Dance With You" (The Surf Whammys), which already were recorded as soundbites in Digital Performer 7.24 . . .

Specifically, I have a naming convention for NOTION 3 scores, where for example the cloned NOTION 3 score with the strings has the suffix "PT 3-1", so to add vibrato flutes I open the "PT-3-1" NOTION 3 score and do a "Save As", where I change the suffix to "PT-3-2" and then click on the name of the each of the three relative tracks (one at a time) in the NOTION 3 Mixer, which launches SampleTank 2.5 XL where I change the instrument from strings to vibrato flute for each of the three tracks . . .

The tracks on which I am working are set in NOTION 3 to output to ReWire channels, so I hear those NOTION 3 tracks via Digital Performer 7.24 but otherwise only hear the already recorded soundbites, which makes it easier to make adjustments to notes in the NOTION 3 score . . .

[NOTE: This is a headphone mix done specifically to make it easier to hear the strings, vibrato flues, and clean tremolo Telecaster, since there are lot of notes and it takes me a while to determine how everything needs to sound, which in turn requires listening to it over and over, which is the "play by ear" strategy, and at present there are 23 tracks of soundbites recorded from NOTION 3 generated audio via five (5) NOTION 3 scores, done one synchronized and cloned NOTION 3 score at a time (PT-1, PT-2, PT-3-1, PT-3-2, PT-3-3), which is easy to do and most importantly works wonderfully . . . ]

"I Want To Dance With You" (The Surf Whammys) -- Basic Rhythm Section (June 5, 2012) -- MP3 (9.8MB, 284-kbps [VBR], approximately 4 minutes and 34 seconds)

And I also was able to have two NOTION 3 scores open simultaneously, each with 10 VSTi virtual instrument staves and one staff for the NOTION 3 tabbed guitar, although I did not do the obvious experiment, which is to see what happens when two NOTION 3 scores are open and both of them have ReWire channels, which I am guessing probably will not work, although I suppose that it might . . .

[NOTE: I did the experiment, and what happens is that the NOTION 3 score which currently has focus when the Digital Performer 7.24 transport is used for "Play" or "Record" is the NOTION 3 score that does ReWire. The other NOTION 3 score does not do anything relative to ReWire during this time, although the levels in its NOTION 3 Mixer show activity. Hence, it behaves reasonably and does not cause any problems with ReWire, which is excellent, since sometimes it is useful to have two NOTION 3 scores open for purposes of copying notes and phrases from the staff of one NOTION 3 score to a corresponding staff of the other NOTION 3 score, which is one of the ways I "reuse" notes and phrases that I already composed for drumkit parts and so forth, which is faster than inputting standard types of drumkit parts note by note, although in a future version of NOTION I prefer to be able to do this via standard user-defined phrases . . . ]

Lots of FUN! :ugeek:

P. S. I like the clean tremolo Telecaster, but I am not so happy with the strings and vibrato flute, so I probably will switch the strings and vibrato flutes to synthesizers. The phrases are nice, but the TONE is not what it needs to be, since at present the strings and vibrato flutes sound more like a 1960s Farfisa Combo Organ, which is annoying . . .
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Re: Rewire issues with Notion

Postby zincplug » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:35 pm

I am also having problems with rewire,although notion was advertised as working seamlessly with my D.A.W ,Sonar X1 producer thats why I invested in the product.OK there may be ways to get around these problems but the whole idea here is to create music not start halfway through a score or turn this off or that .Using notion has been educational to me but at the present time I have given up trying to rewire the program and hope that the problems eventually get sorted..
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Re: Rewire issues with Notion

Postby Surfwhammy » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:55 pm

zincplug wrote:I am also having problems with rewire,although notion was advertised as working seamlessly with my D.A.W ,Sonar X1 producer thats why I invested in the product.OK there may be ways to get around these problems but the whole idea here is to create music not start halfway through a score or turn this off or that .Using notion has been educational to me but at the present time I have given up trying to rewire the program and hope that the problems eventually get sorted..


This should help:

"The Complete Guide to Using ReWire" by Craig Anderton with Jesse Jost (Cakewalk Support Knowledge Base)

And these topics provide a few more clues:

Ben's Adventures with NOTION 3 (Cakewalk FORUM)

Notion and ReWire Problem (Notion Music FORUM)

The rules for ReWire are defined by Propellerhead Software, and applications like Sonar X1 (Cakewalk) and NOTION 3 (Notion Music) must follow the rules . . .

Some of the rules might be annoyingly frustrating conceptually, but it is not the fault of Cakewalk or Notion Music . . .

I use ReWire a lot, and the perspective here in the sound isolation studio is that I am happy to be able to do the things that ReWire makes possible, and the stuff which might initially be a bit annoying actually is logical once you understand how ReWire works and what it is doing in the background, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

P. S. I do everything on the Mac, and doing ReWIre with Digital Performer 7.24 (MOTU), NOTION 3, and Reason 5 (Propellerhead Software) is stellar in every respect!

When you are using VSTI virtual instruments in NOTION 3, there is a continuous dialogue between the various VSTi virtual instruments and NOTION 3, and it must occur in real-time. This alone involves a lot of very intensive computing, and it is not a trivial activity . . .

When a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application is doing playback or recording, it is doing a lot of very intensive computing, which is increased when you are using VST effects plug-ins on most of the tracks, and these are not trivial activities . . .

Doing ReWire increases the complexity and intensity of the computing, because in addition to what the DAW application is doing and what NOTION 3 is doing, there is an ongoing real-time dialogue focused on synchronizing activities between the DAW application (ReWire host controller) and NOTION 3 (ReWIre slave), but there also are additional activities, since NOTION 3 needs to send its generated audio to the ReWire host controller, and the ReWire host controller needs to receive the NOTION 3 generated audio accurately in real-time, since in the DAW application the tracks which are sourced by ReWire channels need to function differently from the way they function when they are playing soundbites, monitoring microphone and instrument channels, and so forth and so on, all of which is a virtual festival of highly intensive computing that must occur essentially in real-time with minimal latency . . .

This is an high-level diagram that shows the various activities in a ReWire session, and it provides a clue to all the stuff that is happening behind the scenes, and for reference the only simple activities are the DAW application playing soundbites and monitoring microphone and real instrument input channels, where the microphone and real instrument channels are shown as "Mics" in diagram . . .

Image

It is considerably more complex, where for example when Digital Performer 7.24 is the DAW application, it can send the NOTION 3 generated audio that it receives on a ReWire channel to a series of VST effect plug-ins, which in turn do elaborate signal processing and then send the processed stereo signal back to Digital Performer 7.24, with all this happening in real-time, which effectively makes each of the smaller blocks in the diagram a high-level overview of yet another vastly complex bunch of activities, which in toto is a bit mind-boggling, but it works, which makes it amazing . . .

And in the grand scheme of everything, if making sense of ReWire and understanding how to use it initially is a bit frustrating, then I think this is more a matter of (a) being frustrated by having to learn a lot of new stuff than (b) being frustrated by anything specific to the various technologies and applications . . .

Explained another way, learning how to fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner probably is a bit frustrating, because there are a lot of controls and stuff that you need to master, but the frustration is not the fault of the airplane or the way cockpit instruments are designed and built, hence if you want to be the pilot, then you deal with learning all the stuff required to operate the airplane safely . . .

Image
Boeing 787 Dreamliner Cockpit

For reference, the perspective here in the sound isolation studio is that doing digital music production when one does all the work (arranging, composing music and lyrics, producing, playing a few real instruments, singing, audio engineering, mixing, and mastering) is considerably more complex than flying a commercial airplane, since most reasonably intelligent people can learn how to fly a commercial airplane but most reasonably intelligent people cannot do everything involved in digital music production, really . . .

"Drive You Faster" (John Sculley) -- YouTube music video

Really! :ugeek:
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Re: Rewire issues with Notion

Postby Surfwhammy » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:27 am

[IMPORTANT: This information is primarily for the benefit of the NOTION product managers and software engineers . . . ]

After doing the aforementioned experiment (see my previous post, above), I was wondering what being able to have two NOTION 3 scores open simultaneously during a ReWire session has to do with anything other than being a curiously surreal experiment . . .

But after pondering this for a while, I realized that it makes a lot more sense than perhaps most of the people on this planet might imagine, with the exception of a few of what one might call "ancient GUI software developers", which makes it very relevant to doing ReWire . . .

If you rollback the clock 25 or so years, the facts of the matter were (a) that everything was 16-bits, (b) that computers were very slow, (c) that there was no multiple document interface in Windows, and (d) that programming was done in low-level C and the primitive Windows API, with the exception of one line of assembly code, which metaphysically created the portal through which one jumped into Wonderland and had a bit of FUN via the Burgermaster, which was the Humpty Dumpty and Wizard of Oz in the Windows universe . . .

The biggest problem in those days was devising ways to do everything within the vast constraints of a 16-bit operating system, and one of the strategies involved running multiple instances of what today has been replaced by a single application with a multiple document interface, which is the way NOTION 3 currently runs on the Mac, where depending on the complexity of the NOTION 3 scores, you can have at least two NOTION 3 scores open, with the key limitation in this respect being the 32-bit application workspace constraints . . .

The "multiple instances" aspect mapped to being able to run many copies of what really was one application, except that each copy was uniquely identified in a way that kept the multiple instances separate and independent in every respect, at least when doing so was convenient for one reason or another . . .

[NOTE: Some types of corporate computing are done as transactions, and the general idea at the time was to create tiny Windows applications that worked like transactions, where the basic rule is that a "transaction" does three things very efficiently: (1) starts, (2) does a complete unit of work, and (3) ends. Hence, instead of creating a single huge Windows application, the strategy was to create a virtual festival of tiny Windows applications which for the most part were identical with respect to (1) and (3) but differed by (2), except that there were techniques for making (2) generic in such a way that (2) could be made specific at runtime . . . ]

Connecting a few dots and using the "Divide and Conquer" rule (a personal favorite), it is useful to know that NOTION 3 can act as a ReWire host controller, which is a key bit of information . . .

Currently on the Mac, it is not possible to run multiple separate instances of NOTION 3, but this is more of a matter of packaging and perhaps doing a bit of additional software engineering to ensure that the various exposed defining identifiers are unique . . .

In other words, if NOTION 3 can be either (a) a ReWire host controller or (b) a ReWIre slave, then I think that one instance of NOTION 3 should be able to function as a ReWire host controller with another instance of NOTION 3 functioning as a ReWire slave, thereby effectively mapping to two (2) 32-bit application workspaces rather than only one (1) 32-bit application workspace, and from the perspective of software engineering I do not think this is a difficult thing to do . . .

Without examining the code for NOTION 3, it is not so easy to guess how much work this might require, but with a good text editor and specific knowledge of the code, it generally is not difficult for example to change "NOTION3" to "3NOITON", there by creating two applications, although there is a smarter way to do it that allows one to create multiple instances on the fly in real-time, where each instance is launched as a separate uniquely identified application, which then makes it possible (a) to have a NOTION 3 ReWire host controller and a handful of NOTION 3 ReWire slaves or (b) to have the option to start NOTION 3 specifically as an uniquely identified ReWire slave, which then maps to being able to have a virtual festival of "heavy" VSTi virtual instruments, because instead of there being just one 32-bit application workspace, there are several 32-bit application workspaces . . .

And this also can be done when a DAW application is acting as the ReWire host controller, which probably is the smarter way to do it, since it avoids needing to expand the NOTION 3 Mixer to have double or triple the tracks or whatever, in which case the first time NOTION 3 is started, it dynamically creates itself as an uniquely identified ReWire slave with its own separate 32-bit application workspace, and then each additional time NOTION 3 is started, NOTION 3 creates itself as yet another uniquely identified ReWire slave with its own separate 32-bit application workspace . . .

The following diagram shows a DAW application acting as the ReWire host controller of two (2) uniquely identified NOTION 3 ReWire slaves, each of which has its own separate 32-bit application workspace:

Image

NOTION 3 running in a single 32-bit application workspace uses approximately two (2) cores of the 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro here in the sound isolation studio when 25 VSTi virtual instruments are loaded, which tends to suggest that running two or perhaps three such separate and independent instances is possible, since two (2) cores need to be reserved for use by the DAW application which is the ReWire host controller application, and the operating system needs some resources, as well . . .

Another way to do it is to have an instance of NOTION running as a "conductor" or master instance that controls some number of "instrument section" NOTION slave instances, which is a logical way to separate a full symphonic orchestra score into sections, where each section has its own sub score, and there probably is a way to do this where the "conductor" master instance does all the visual work, so that it appears to be just one instance of NOTION, but behind the scenes there actually are several instances of NOTION running in the background to provide the generated audio and visual stuff for each of the instrument sections or sub scores . . .

On the Mac, I know that VST effects plug-ins and VSTi virtual instruments are programmed to be unique, since for example, I can have multiple instances of the T-RackS 3.5 Opto-Compressor running in NOTION 3 and in Digital Performer 7.24 during a ReWire session, and I also know that two ReWire slave applications can run simultaneously, since I record NOTION 3 generated audio as soundbites in Digital Performer 7.24 via ReWire and have done this when Reason 5 (Propellerhead Software) was running as a ReWire slave, where the ReWire host controller (Digital Performer 7.24) was controlling both NOTION 3 and Reason 5 . . .

I continue to know more about Windows internals than Mac OS X internals, but there should be a way to do it, and logic tends to suggest that since the Apache web server, PHP, Perl, and MySQL run in the background as services in Mac OS X Server, this strongly suggests that there is a way to do it on the Mac, as well as in Windows, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :ugeek:

P. S. One way to monetize this is to sell "unique instance" licenses, where for example when a customer has purchased two "unique instance" licenses, the customer then can run two uniquely identified instances of NOTION 3, each of which has its own separate 32-bit application workspace . . .

Depending on the number of cores, memory, bus bandwidths, and so forth, it might be possible to run more than two uniquely identified instances of NOTION 3, but if it only is possible to run two uniquely identified instances of NOTION 3, then this (a) doubles everything and (b) makes it possible to do some very useful things via copying and pasting from one NOTION 3 score to another NOTION 3 score without needing to open and close each score between the copy and the paste steps, which is what one currently must do when the two NOTION 3 scores are at or near the maximum for fitting into a single 32-bit application workspace . . .

I know that there is a way to this on the Mac, because I can run 50 instances of the T-RackS 3.5 Deluxe (IK Multimedia) Opto-Compressor, and each one remembers its specific settings and operates only on its assigned stereo track. Whether this is done via GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers) or something else is another matter, but so what . . .

So what!

When the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) appeared in the 1990s, nearly everyone went bonkers and switched to the Multiple Document Interface style of GUI programming, which was spanky, but there are times when rolling back the clock makes a bit of sense, and I think this strategy has potential for filling a gap while the more complex goal of doing a 64-bit version of NOTION progresses, because being able to run two uniquely identified instances of NOTION 3--hence having two (2) separate and independent 32-bit application workspaces--would be a lot of FUN here in the sound isolation studio, really . . .

Really! :ugeek:
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Re: Rewire issues with Notion

Postby Surfwhammy » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:31 am

It took nearly 18 months, but I received emails this week from the fine folks at Propellerhead Software informing me that my company here in the sound isolation studio has been approved for third-party ReWire and Rack Extensions product development . . .

[NOTE: Rack Extensions are what one might call the Reason analogs of Steinberg's VSTi virtual instruments and VST effects plug-ins, where the history on this is a bit surreal, because at one time Propellerhead Software and Steinberg were working on developing a single universal technology but parted ways, as best as I have been able to determine not so amicably, where Propellerhead Software decided to focus on Reason, ReWire, and Rack Extensions, while Steinberg decided to focus on VSTi virtual instruments and VST effects plug-ins, which is fine with me, since there is a way to use both of these excellent technologies with NOTION 3 . . . ]

I already am an officially approved iOS and Mac OS X (Apple), Real Studio (Real Software), and VST and VSTi (Steinberg) developer, so adding ReWire and Rack Extensions (Propellerhead Software) provides detailed access to everything in terms of Software Development Kits, SQLite, and so forth and so on . . .

What I really want to happen is for Notion Music to create a third-party development platform, Software Development Kit, and corresponding NOTION Store for developers and composers who have useful ideas for add-on products and so forth, where my particular interest at present is in being able (a) to select musical phrases from a SQLite database and (b) to generate musical phrases using advanced music theory, mathematics, and geometry, which then can be stored and retrieved using a SQLite database, because the fact of the matter is that especially for DISCO and Pop songs, pretty much everything that can be composed already has been composed or defined in one way or another, hence once you understand and have a vast catalog of what one might call "standard musical phrases", doing new flavors of DISCO and Pop songs should considerably easier and faster than inputting notes one at a time or using a MIDI keyboard to input sets of notes . . .

[NOTE: Another equally happy option is for Notion Music to do all this stuff, since in the grand scheme of everything I am more interested in using it than designing and developing it, really . . . ]

I already devised a "roundabout" way of doing this, but it is cumbersome, and for example having nothing more than programmatic access to the Clipboard and a few simple user-interface functions for adding a few items to menus and to enable "jumping" into and returning from a "helper applet" or what in the Windows universe is called a "Dynamic Link Library (DLL)" is all I need to have a bit of productive FUN with advanced musical phrase generating algorithms and a SQLite database . . .

I am not suggesting that doing this is particularly easy from a software designing and engineering perspective, but there are no mysteries with respect to everything being completely and fully defined in existing music theory, where the example I like to use the TC-Helicon VoiceWorks vocal processor, which among other things is used to generate elaborate multipart harmonies in a virtual festival of modes, scales, and styles in real-time on the fly, once you set the various parameters . . .

As another example, I should be able to select "Hungarian Minor Scale" and then generate a bunch of stuff (chords, arpeggios, and so forth) that uses the notes in the Hungarian Minor Scale for a specified root note like C (a personal favorite), where in particular after doing a lot of research on the standard seven modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phyrgian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian) I realized two things, specifically (a) that they basically define scales and (b) that there are considerably more scales than modes, hence messing with modes is illogical at best, hence the focus on scales rather than modes . . .

And while it is entirely possible that none of what I am explaining makes any sense to the more formally trained music theory folks, it makes a lot of sense to at least some of the "play by ear" folks, because "play by ear" folks tend to develop a deep and rich repertoire of what I call "standard musical phrases" that they learn note-by-note by studying songs, which is how the "play by ear" folks discover how to play popular songs when they first form garage bands, but after a while they discover that by doing a few variations, they can play just about anything, which includes composing original songs, and the key bit of information is that there are not so many of these "standard musical phrases" in popular music in an absolute sense based on the perspective of mathematical, geometrical, and psychoacoustical algorithms, where one of the best examples is "Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson), "Like A Virgin" (Madonna), and "The Pusher" (Steppenwolf), all of which basically are variations of the same song, hence if I want to compose yet another version, then why do I have to input the framework notes one at a time when it can be done via an intelligent computer algorithm in a way similar in some respects to the way Fontographer is used by typographers to create new typeface families and fonts . . .

"Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson) -- YouTube music video

"Like A Virgin" (Madonna) -- YouTube music video

[NOTE: Hoyt Axton wrote "The Pusher", but as best as I can determine Mars Bonfire composed the unique electric guitar chord phrases, which also appear in "Born To Be Wild" (Stepenwolf) at a faster tempo . . . ]

"The Pusher" (Steppenwolf) -- YouTube music video

Image
Fontographer 5.1 (FontLab)

And a variation of this strategy can be used productively for any genre, where disturbing as it might be the perspective here in the sound isolation studio is that nobody has composed a truly original song since sometime in the late-18th century, and when one additionally considers everything from the mathematical, geometrical, and psychoacoustical perspective of Joseph Schillinger's System of Musical Composition (SoMC), I am not so certain that setting the late-18th century as what one might call "The Official End of Musical Originality" makes a lot of sense, because for equal temperament or whatever one maps to "western music" all you need are three integers selected from the set {1, 2, 3, . . . , 11, 12} to generate every possible song once you understand the rules, and best wishes on understanding all the rules, but so what . . .

[NOTE: The truly amazing aspect of the SoMC is that you do not need to understand all the rules to be productive, which is excellent, because for all practical purposes I have been stuck halfway through the first chapter for three decades . . . :P ]

Joseph Schillinger's System of Musical Composition (wikipedia)

So what!

And for the more Baroque and Classical folks, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart provided the necessary clue in the late-18th century by demonstrating 12 different ways to do flavors of the same song, "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", (a personal favorite), where for reference in the 20th century the most notable flavors were "When You Wish Upon A Star" (Leigh Harline and Ned Washington), "This Boy" (John Lennon and Paul McCartney), and "Surfer Girl" (Brian Wilson), and in the early-21st century the newest flavor is the stellar parody "Slipper Girl" (The Surf Whammys), which is fabulous . . .

"Twelve Variations on 'Ah vous dirai-je, Maman'" (Mozart) -- MIDI

Image

"Slipper Girl" (The Surf Whammys) -- August 2009 -- MP3

Fabulous! :D
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