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NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

A Forum to Discuss NOTION

NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby Surfwhammy » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:47 pm

NOTION is the foundation for my digital music production system on the 2.8-GHz 8-core Mac Pro here in the sound isolation studio, and (a) everything is working very nicely with NOTION 3, (b) I can do everything that I need to do, but (c) doing some things requires a bit of additional work that can and should be easier to do, so the purpose of this topic is explore the vision for NOTION 4 with the specific goal of providing some practical insights, where "practical" is a key focus, in the sense that there are lots of things that NOTION 4 might do, but the reality is that doing things requires software designing, engineering, and testing on two platforms, which no matter how it is done is not a trivial endeavor, and this strongly suggests to me that it makes a bit of sense to identify the important things . . .

(1) Full 64-bit Version: From my perspective, this is the most important thing for NOTION 4, and it solves a lot of problems caused by the current limitations of the 32-bit application workspace . . .

(2) 64-bit ReWire: This is part of (1), but it warrants being listed specifically . . .

(3) Local SQL Database and Artificial Intelligence Music Composition System: Both operating system platforms (Mac, Windows) have local SQL database engines, and using them productively does not require advanced rocket science. On the Mac, the local SQL database engine is SQLite, and the easiest way to work with it is directly using "old school" C/C++ API and standard SQL, since CoreData is so patently abstruse and goofy that it is beyond mind-boggling that anyone would waste time trying to use it. Windows has a similar SQL database engine, which is nice, but there is a Windows version SQLite, which is intriguing, since there is merit to being able to do essentially the same activities on both platforms . . .

The primary purpose of providing a local SQL database to solve the problem of having somewhere to store data, and the advantage is that it avoids having to mess with flat files and other types of data storage and retrieval systems that are highly platform specific or proprietary to the point of being very difficult to use . . .

Explained another way, if you are going to be a gourmet chef, then you need a pantry, and a local SQL database is an excellent pantry, and when it is used correctly, it is easy to use, for sure . . .

For sure!

In some respects, "Artificial Intelligence Music Composition System" might appear to be a bit complex, but the concept is easy to understand, and it makes sense . . .

Currently, as best as I can determine, there are three ways to input the notes for an instrument, where (a) one way is to use the mouse to input notes one at a time, (b) another way is to use a MIDI keyboard or MIDI guitar to input notes, and (c) the third way is to open another NOTION 3 score that already has notes and then to copy those notes to the clipboard, followed by pasting the notes into an instrument in the other NOTION 3 score . . .

Doing it one note at a time with the mouse is slow, but it works, and doing it with a MIDI device tends to require one to be able to play the notes correctly, since otherwise you are back at the one-note-at-a-time mouse strategy, and copying existing musical phrases from one NOTION 3 score to another NOTION 3 score either (a) requires both scores to be open or (b) requires opening and closing the scores multiple times when only one can be open at any given time, which is not very practical . . .

Another aspect of inputting notes and musical phrases is the fact that there are standard types of musical phrases, where for example there are different types of scales, which can be ascending or descending, and there are standard types of arpeggios, drumkit rhythm patterns, chord patterns, and so forth and so on . . .

My thinking on this is that it tends to be easier and faster (a) to be able to input a two octave ascending harmonic minor scale in a small series of user interface actions and then to modify a few of the notes individually than (b) to do everything one note at a time with the mouse or to do it with a MIDI device, since with a MIDI device you need to switch focus from the computer to the MIDI device, and you have to have the MIDI device nearby . . .

And this is where the "Artificial Intelligence Music Composition System" comes into play, because it makes it possible to select either (a) a standard musical phrase or (b) a user-created custom musical phrase and then to have the selected musical phrase inserted into the instrument staff at the current location . . .

This might appear to be vastly complex, but in terms of software designing and engineering it is not a complex activity once the local SQL database infrastructure exists and the user-interface stuff exists, and the reason it is not a complex activity is that when it works for two musical phrases, it works for hundreds of thousands of musical phrases . . .

Another thing the "Artificial Intelligence Music Composition System" can do is multivoice harmony, where based on one of several different styles and types of harmony, the various harmony lines can be generated by computer algorithms and then added to the notes of a selected melody or whatever, and this also can be done for one note, which effectively makes it an easy way to assign a chord based on a note, where for example if the note is "Middle C", then one can make it a C Major Chord with a click or two by selecting the chord rather than inputting E and G (for a simple triad) . . .

There is a lot of stuff like this that is easy to do on a piano or electric guitar, and it should be just as easy (if not easier) to do on a computer, since the computer software can provide clues and assistance, which is something that a piano or electric guitar cannot do . . .

Doing it on a piano or electric guitar requires (a) that you know how to play the chord and (b) that the chord can be played, which is not always the case with electric guitar, since playing some types of chords requires two electric guitarists, which also can be the case with piano chords but usually only when there are more than 10 notes . . .

At the more advanced level, it should be possible to generate a musical phrase via a mathematical formula or some type of visual geometric pattern, which might a feature reserved for a later version, although it could be something that can be provided by third-party add-on tools . . .

For DISCO, Pop, Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Heavy Metal, and so forth, the reality is that there are a lot of standard musical phrases, and this includes user-defined custom musical phrases, which although not "standard" for everyone else nevertheless are standard for an album concept or whatever . . .

As an example, so far I have done three songs using essentially the same basic set of notes, but varying things in one way or another, which currently I do by cloning the first song and then modifying it to create a new song, and while this works, it is easier to do it via selecting and retrieving musical phrases from a local SQL database . . .

"I'm Going Goo-Goo Over Ga-Ga" (The Surf Whammys) -- MP3

"Put It O' Me" (The Surf Whammys) -- MP3

"Feel Me" (The Surf Whammys) -- MP3

I have a well-defined system for doing songs this way, but I should be able to do 5 or 10 of them a day, which with a bit of advanced software designing and engineering should not be a difficult thing to do, which is where having a local SQL database and an "Artificial Intelligence Music Composition System" becomes vastly productive . . .

(4) SDK/API for Third Party Developers: This is an excellent opportunity to create and define a standard for digital music composition using music notation and virtual instruments, and the important thing is to make it possible for third party developers to use the internal structures of a NOTION 4 score in ways that make sense, which includes having the ability to create add-on products, utilities, widgets, and so forth and so on, where the general idea is that it works nicely for iTunes, VST plug-ins, and VSTi virtual instruments, and it makes a lot of very useful and fascinating stuff both practical and possible, where for example some folks might want to create database libraries of musical phrases for electric bass, electric guitar, drumkits, and so forth, and other folks might want to focus on advanced systems for generating musical phrases based on mathematics and geometry, and my thinking is that Apple has established the legal foundation for being a sole distribution channel, which is an excellent way to ensure consistent quality, standards, and so forth, as well as to create a fair and reasonable revenue stream that makes it easier for individuals to create and market useful products without needing to mess with creating and managing corporations, doing a bunch of accounting stuff, and providing a downloading and retail web server, since the store infrastructure is handled by Apple. And since NOTION 3 has digital licensing protection, this same technology can be used for third-party products sold at the Notion Music Store, which provides yet another valuable service for third-party developers, and there probably is a practical way to do this, which might be as simple as Notion Music doing a simple digital licensing "helper" application that does a bit of verifying at start-up time, which I think makes more sense than doing it the way VST plug-ins and VSTi virtual instruments handle activation, licensing verification, and so forth . . .

(5) MIDI and Rules Editor: At present, I do not know a lot about this, but there are plenty of ongoing discussions, so it is important, and there should be a way to make it easier to work with MIDI and rules. The information is known, and from the perspective of software engineering it should not be difficult to provide a simple visual editor that makes is easy to examine and to modify these things, where for example NOTION 3 does MIDI export, but I have not been able to determine how to read the MIDI data in an exported MIDI file. Rules are not so difficult to read, since they are in text-based files, but the discussions regarding rules all have warnings about bad stuff happening if a change is made incorrectly, so I think there should be a way to make this easier and safer, as well as being something that can be done within the NOTION application user interface, as contrasted to needing to switch to a text editor or whatever and running it outside of NOTION, which probably requires stopping and restarting NOTION, or at least reloading the applicable score, and it is useful to observe that this could be something that a third-party developer might want to do if there is a NOTION SDK/API for Third Party Developers . . .

(6) Video Editing Support: This also is something about which I do not know a lot, but it also appears to be something that is important, and I have an interest in it, since I am planning to do more music videos. From a practical perspective, this has the potential to be a vastly complex activity, but the reality is that there are Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) application that support this stuff, and Final Cut (Apple) works with most of them, so rather than wander into duplicating the stuff that DAW and video-editing application already do, I think the practical solution is to provide sufficient support for the things that DAW and video-editing applications need to be able to work with a NOTION score productively, which can be things like timestamps, markers, and so forth, and a few folks should know which things are needed . . .

(7) Surround Sound (Multichannel): I am not doing anything with surround sound or multichannel sound, but it certainly is on the horizon, and it is important for certain types of video-editing support, although this might be better as a later enhancement. The primary consideration from a practical perspective is that doing surround sound and multichannel sound requires extensive modifications to the NOTION Mixer, which is not a trivial endeavor, and yet another reality is that it makes no sense to support it if you cannot hear it in NOTION, which tends to suggest that this might be handled better via 64-bit ReWIre, especially if there is a way to split a NOTION stereo track into a pair of separate monaural tracks, each with its on individual ReWire channel. In other words, I prefer to have all the other stuff than not to have it at the expense of the NOTION Mixer duplicating what I already can do with Digital Performer or Logic Studio, even though at present I do not have Logic Studio. I see no added value in wandering NOTION into the DAW universe, and in fact consider it to be a vast waste of valuable resources, because the reality is that the DAW application market is mature . . .

NOTION needs to have a Mixer, but it does not need do all the things that an advanced DAW application does, which from my perspective defines two practical purposes for the NOTION Mixer, one of which is to be able to get a sense of how instruments sound when played together all within the NOTION user interface environment and the other of which is to do the things that are necessary to make it possible for NOTION to interact with an advanced DAW application in terms of sending it generated audio and so forth, which is where 64-bit ReWire comes into play, as does MIDI . . .

(8) Increase Retail and Developer Pricing: Based on the premise that the most important items (see above) are provided in NOTION 4, then I think that the retail price should be $499.95 for new customers and the upgrade price should be $249.95 for existing customers. This is consistent with the retail pricing for Digital Performer (MOTU) and Logic Studio (Apple), and while NOTION does something different, it nevertheless is a key component of the complete system for doing digital music production, and in great contrast to Digital Performer and Logic Studio, there are no alternatives . . .

And I think it is fair and reasonable to charge $249.95 per year for a NOTION 4 Developer Subscription, which is approximately the amount that Apple charges me per year for being a Mac and IOS Developer, and it would not be entirely off-the-wall to have a separate NOTION 4 Developer Subscription for each platform (Mac, Windows), since some folks will want to focus exclusively on just one platform, at least initially . . .

The reality here in the sound isolation studio is that NOTION is the foundation of my digital music production system, and I much prefer (a) to pay more to ensure that it continues to be enhanced and upgraded than (b) to pay less but have nothing new . . .

If only the first item in my list is done (full 64-bit version), this alone is worth $249.95 to me, and I like the idea of having a NOTION 4 Developer Subscription, since it maps to being able to create a new product for doing something vastly useful, even if I only use it here in the sound isolation studio . . .

Lots of FUN! :)
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby sepheritoh » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:15 pm

1. Agreed. 64-bit is essental.
2. Rewire is licenced by a different company (Propellerhead I think) and Notion can not develop it in 64-bit without their consent. Many other software companies are also asking for this, but it seems like rewired is dying a slow death.
3. I am no programmer and give no damn about the technical gory details. Just as long as it does what I want.
4. As above. I do not think Notion should ever go "open source", but maybe there is some merit.
5. Rules editor, Yes, but Midi editor?
6. Yes, yes? Not editing support as this is not the job of Notion, but full video sync support like any other DAW / notation / scoring system. Almost as important as #1.
7. Surround it the job of sound editors, not composers. Other than for home videos, composers rarely have to work in surround. Exporting stems in a one-go would be great.
8. Asking for price increase? NO, NO. Upgrade for my DAW cost $99 each time. Yes, new user might be more expensive, but if I pay $249 for an upgrade I would not bother.

And I'd add:

9. Mobile support (ipad). Notion has been battling with this long enough now, but we have not seen the benefits yet.
10. Fix the drum maps to standard Midi.
11. For audio files, please allow propper start & pause anywhere in an audio file. Currently you have to start from before the audio file start to have it play.
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Re: NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby Surfwhammy » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:55 pm

I think that the ability to hear imported audio without needing to rewind completely probably travels with the 64-bit upgrade, since it basically is a matter of processing the imported audio in such a way that it is sliced or whatever one decides to call it, which should not be a difficult thing to do, hence my best guess is that it is not done to minimize the impact on the limited amount of memory available in the 32-bit application workspace . . .

Moving to 64-bits makes a lot of stuff practical, for sure . . .

For sure!

sepheritoh wrote:2. Rewire is licenced by a different company (Propellerhead I think) and Notion can not develop it in 64-bit without their consent. Many other software companies are also asking for this, but it seems like rewired is dying a slow death.


Propellerhead Software added 64-bit ReWire support for Reason 6 (the new version), so 64-bit ReWire exists . . .

NOTION 3 already supports 32-bit ReWire, so Notion Music is licensed to use ReWire, although switching to supporting 64-bit ReWire might require an update on their developer license . . .

[NOTE: The new version of ReWIre also provides 32-bit support, so it is 64-bit when everything else is 64-bit, but otherwise is 32-bit when everything is 32-bit . . . ]

ReWire is the key technology for working interactively with several multimedia production applications simultaneously, and Propellerhead Software releasing 64-bit ReWire basically is a strong signal to the industry that the days of 32-bit applications are numbered . . .

For those folks who use NOTION by itself as a standalone application, ReWire is irrelevant, but when you decide to do the full range of digital music and multimedia production, which includes doing music videos, then ReWire is essential . . .

sepheritoh wrote:3. I am no programmer and give no damn about the technical gory details. Just as long as it does what I want.
4. As above. I do not think Notion should ever go "open source", but maybe there is some merit.


I am not suggesting that NOTION 4 switch to an "open source" model, but instead I am suggesting that some of the inner workings of NOTION 4 be made available to third-party developers via a Software Development Kit (SDK) and an Application Programming Interface (API) for purposes of creating add-on products and so forth, which is entirely different from "open source" . . .

I am a registered Mac OS X application and iOS app developer, and this gives me access to the various development tools required to design and program Mac OS X applications and iOS apps, which is spanky, and it costs $99 per year for each platform plus sales tax, and for the most part this maps to getting Xcode and previews of new versions of Mac OS X and iOS, along with plenty of documentation and other software development resources . . .

For reference, when running on an Apple computer NOTION is a Mac OS X application, which maps to Notion Music also being registered Mac OS X developers, which is the case with the iPad apps that Notion Music does, except that for the iPad apps the platform is iOS rather than Mac OS X . . .

As an example of what one might do if there is a NOTION 4 Developer Program, it is a fact that you can select a set of notes in NOTION and copy the notes, which then makes it possible to paste the set of notes somewhere else in a NOTION score, but this is done in a proprietary way, which maps to only Notion Music knowing the format of the data and how to use it . . .

However, with a NOTION 4 Developer Program and SDK/API that provides a way for developers to work with the various data structures and functions of NOTION 4, the format of the data can be made available to third-party developers, and as an example this makes it possible for me to be able to design and program a Mac OS X application that can work with NOTION 4 notes and musical phrases, which in turn makes it possible for me (a) to be able to use my expertise in relational database design, vastly abstracted metadata, and SQLite to create a SQLite database for use in storing, retrieving, and modifying musical phrases, (b) to design and program a Mac OS X "helper" application that in some logical way maps to being able to select a musical phrase from a database and then to causing the selected musical phrase to be inserted or pasted into an instrument staff in NOTION 4, where ideally I would be able to add the "helper" application to one of the NOTION 4 menus, which in terms of an English language description for using the "helper" application might be a bit like the following blurb:

After installing and activating "Surfwhammy's Spanky DISCO Musical Phrase Generator for NOTION 4", the next time you start NOTION 4 there will be a new entry in the NOTION 4 "Tools" menu named "Spank Me, Surfwhammy!", and when you need a pulsating DISCO rhythm or perhaps some annoying DISCO synthesizer sparkles, all you need to do is to click on the "Spank Me, Surfwhammy!" menu item, and then a list of exciting DISCO musical phrases appears in a popup window, where you can select one and then click on the "Spank Me, Surfwhammy!" button, which causes the exciting DISCO musical phrase you selected to be inserted into the instrument staff in your NOTION 4 score at the current location of the NOTION 4 cursor, and then there you are. And if you have Surfwhammy's Spanky Heavy Metal Drumkit Phrase Library, then you also can add various types of rapid Heavy Metal double-kick drum phrases, and so forth and so on, which is fabulous . .
.

Another example might be an Advanced Rules Editor, where someone who is expert in working with rules might decide to develop a "helper" application that makes it easy to work with rules in NOTION 4 . . .

Similarly, perhaps someone who is expert in formatting music notation might decide to do a "helper" application for doing advanced sheet music formatting and printing . . .

From a high level perspective, I think it makes excellent sense for Notion Music to focus on the NOTION engine and user interface rather than to wander into providing bells and whistles that require significant software development and machine resources, and I suggest this because there is a lot of stuff involved in the NOTION engine and user interface . . .

Using another example, Notion Music certainly has the expertise required to develop an excellent VST plug-in for doing echo, but what is the added value in the grand scheme of everything when FabFilter Software Instruments has the Timeless 2 VST plug-in that does so much advanced echo that I am not convinced anyone on this planet has the cognitive ability to comprehend everything Timeless 2 is able to do?

Timeless 2 (FabFilter Software Instruments)

And the same thing applies to doing a reverberation VST plug-in, which certainly is possible, but I have the IK Multimedia Classik Studio Reverb (CSR) VST plug-in, and when it is combined with Timeless 2 VST plug-in, I can go to town on reverberation and echo, so why do I need Notion Music to waste its valuable time and resources doing something that already is perfected and readily available from third-party companies?

Classik Studio Reverb (IK Multimedia)

Explained another way, there are some things that only Notion Music can do, but there are other things that can be done by third-party developers, and I think it makes the best sense over the long run for Notion Music to focus on the things that only it can and should do, which is where having a NOTION 4 Developer Program makes sense . . .

As another more elaborate and detailed example, every once in a while I explain a few things about Joseph Schillinger's System of Musical Composition (SoMC), but it is so abstruse and esoteric in some respects that few people have any interest in it, even though it works and is simply amazing if you take the time to learn a few of the basic techniques . . .

And it might be the case that all this stuff only makes sense to me and a few other folks who play electric bass and electric guitar primarily "by ear", which maps to working with patterns in a completely different way from the way formally trained composers work with patterns . . .

As an example, formally trained composers learn about the musical phrase {C, E, G, E, C} as a simple arpeggio of the notes of a C Major triad, which is great, but "play by ear" electric bass or electric guitar players might learn about it as a variation of the basic patterns for "Ob La Di, Ob La Da" (Beatles) or "In the Mood" (Glenn Miller) . . .

"Ob La Di, Ob La Da" (Beatles) -- YouTube music video

"In the Mood" (Glenn Miller) -- YouTube music video

[NOTE: This is an interesting variation of the same pattern . . . ]

"Big Beaver" (Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys) -- YouTube music video

And once you learn the various patterns of approximately 100 carefully selected songs this way, you know enough patterns to do just about anything, all without having any immediately conscious idea about the music theory or anything else, because (a) you hear it in your mind and (b) you have discovered how patterns work, where the key to the the "play by ear" strategy is that it is the best and perhaps the only way to refine and enhance the ability to hear music in your mind, really . . .

Really!

Sometime later--or perhaps at the same time--if you have an intuitive sense for mathematics and geometry, then you also realize that patterns are highly mathematical and geometrical, and sooner or later when you listen to a new song, you find yourself observing that the supposedly "new" song actually is just a variation of an older song but with a different rhythm pattern or some type of variation, as well as being augmented and enhanced with patterns from other songs and perhaps a bit of truly new stuff, which nearly always is the case, even when it takes decades to recognize the "older song" . . .

For example, listen to the start of the first two songs, which is something I realized while having a bit of FUN on New Year's Day 2010 with "(I Want) Angela Gossow's Underpants (Ya-Ya-Ya)" (The Surf Whammys), which is simply mind-boggling . . .

[NOTE: I only noticed this last year, and it is a stellar musical pun, as well as being a total hoot . . . ]

"In The Hall Of The Mountain King" (Edvard Grieg) -- Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, Directed by Scott Lawton -- YouTube music video

"Purple Haze" (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) -- YouTube music video

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

Mind-boggling! :D

sepheritoh wrote:5. Rules editor, Yes, but Midi editor?


"MIDI Editor" might not be the correct name, but it was the name that appeared when I was pondering the idea, and (a) there are MIDI instructions, (b) I would like to be able to see them, and (c) it might make sense to be able to modify them, at least on a note by note basis . . .

My thinking on this is that NOTION 3 can export the MIDI instructions for a instrument, so all the information is readily available, and I think it can be helpful to be able to see it some type of text-based format . . .

Technically, NOTION Is a MIDI editor, but the MIDI information is presented visually as music notation, which is fine, but I would like to see the MIDI instructions, parameters, commands, and so forth in text format . . .

I do not envision this as being a vastly elaborate feature but instead view it as being a simple thing that might be limited to one note at a time . . .

sepheritoh wrote:8. Asking for price increase? NO, NO. Upgrade for my DAW cost $99 each time. Yes, new user might be more expensive, but if I pay $249 for an upgrade I would not bother.


I fully understand the perspective that maps to getting everything at the lowest possible price, but the realities are (a) that developing, maintaining, supporting, and enhancing advanced digital music production software is expensive and (b) that the best way to ensure this happens is to provide a sufficient revenue streams to make it possible for the companies to do the work . . .

As noted, I used two of the top of the line DAW applications as a basis for my suggestion for the retail pricing for NOTION 4, and I think these are fair and reasonable prices . . .

Setting the retail pricing for NOTION 4 and the NOTION 4 Developer Program to current market valuations is an excellent idea, and for reference it does not preclude having special offers and discounts every once in a while, which is something that IK Multimedia does, often in nearly absurdly surreal ways, which as best as I can determine maps to the times when they need an immediate revenue increase to pay salaries or to embark on a new product line . . .

I suppose that there might be some platform specific software developers at Notion Music, where they only work on the Windows version or only work on the Mac version of NOTION, but there probably is overlap, which from the perspective of Computer Science maps to highly specialized skills that are not so easy to find . . .

Being reasonably proficient in Windows application development is not such an easy thing, as is the case with being reasonably proficient in Mac OS X application development, but being reasonably proficient in both moves everything into the mind-boggling arena, although focusing primarily on low-level C/C++ makes it a bit easier . . .

But there is more to it than just knowing how to do Windows and Mac OS X application development, because it also requires understanding audio and music theory, as well as music notation, VST and VSTi interfacing, ReWire, MIDI, and a lot of other stuff, although it is not so unusual for computer programmers to be proficient in music at some level, where one of the rules in software engineering is that musicians tend to be excellent software engineers, because doing music maps (a) to being able to manage a lot of activities simultaneously and (b) to recognizing patterns easily, which in some instances maps to a software engineer being able to design and program algorithms for something without actually knowing a lot about it, provided there is ready access to a subject expert who can provide specific information on ranges, boundaries, limits, special cases, equations, formulas, and so forth . . .

It also depends on your goals, where the goal here in the sound isolation studio is to be able to do songs that sound as good as current hit songs, which no matter how you do it maps to needing a lot of stuff, including a high-end computer, advanced software, and at least a few professional quality instruments, and so forth, but even with all that stuff there are no guarantees that a song will be popular to the extent of making money, but so what . . .

So what!

Consider electric guitars for a moment . . .

Fender makes some low-end electric guitars that do not cost very much, and they might be fine for someone who is learning how to play electric guitar, but once you know how to play lead guitar and do a lot of string bending and whammying, what you discover is that low-end electric guitars will not hold a tune for long enough to play one song, if they even are able to be tuned, which is not always the case, especially when there is a whammy system . . .

And the same thing happens with digital music production systems, where if your interest is being able to have a bit of FUN as an occasional hobby, then perhaps it makes no sense to spend a lot of money on the computer and software, but if you want to be able to create a song that sounds as good as a current state-of-the-art hit song, then you need good hardware and software, and while there are no guarantees that you can do this in a home studio, I continue to think that it is possible, and I am making progress on the goal of discovering how to do it, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous!

Regarding MIDI, I think it makes excellent sense to use generally accepted industry standards for stuff, including drumkits, for sure . . .

General MIDI Level 1 Sound Set (MIDI Manufacturers Association)

For sure! :ugeek:
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Re: NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby Surfwhammy » Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:18 am

As a bit of clarification on my use of the term "engine", for NOTION it is a combination of (a) the framework that manages and generates audio and (b) the user interface, so it might be more correct to use "engine" for (a) but to use "user interface" or "GUI" for (b) . . .

I also make the distinction between (a) the things that are done when working on a song in terms of inputting notes, making adjustments, and so forth and (b) the things that are done when playing and exporting a song, which includes doing ReWire to a DAW, where I suppose that (a) might be called "composing" and that (b) might be called "playing", "performing", "generating", or "rendering" . . .

From this perspective, NOTION 3 essentially is perfect for a 32-bit application, and the key to NOTION 4 is to enhance and extend everything in logical and practical ways without making a lot of changes in the "look and feel" . . .

Everything needs to be 64-bits, of course, but I think that it makes sense for the user interface to keep its "look and feel", although with enhancements to make the composing work more efficient and advanced for those folks who need increased efficiency and advanced composing abilities, which is where the concept of using a local SQL database and some type of artificial intelligence to make it possible to create, select, and modify musical phrase patterns comes into play . . .

When everything is 64-bits, I suppose that it should be possible to have at least two reasonably complex scores open at the same time, which then makes it practical to save musical phrases in one of the scores, but at some point when there are hundreds of musical phrases, navigating to them is a bit awkward . . .

In contrast, being able to create, select, and modify musical phrases stored in a SQL database or repository makes it easier to find specific musical phrases and then to cause them to be inserted, copied, or pasted into the song you are composing . . .

For example, being able to select a one-measure Heavy Metal kick drum phrase and then to have it inserted into the kick drum staff at the current location of the cursor saves a lot of time, which makes doing standard types of musical phrases in songs easier and faster as contrasted to entering the notes one-at-a-time or trying to do it with a MIDI keyboard and then doing whatever is involved in reviewing and correcting MIDI keyboard input . . .

Image
Syncopated Kick Drum Phrase or Pattern ~ One Measure

In other words, I want to be able to select the one measure syncopated kick drum pattern (see above); to add it to a SQL database as a musical phrase; and then to be able to select the musical phrase at some later time to insert, copy, or paste into another part of the same song or a different song, and while it might be a kick drum pattern, it can be flexible in the sense of being able to use it for a different instrument, which among things maps to storing the musical phrase based on absolute register or pitch value but adjusting the notes when the particular instrument staff is mapped in a relative way, which is the way I do all the staves, since I do everything on what appears to be a soprano treble clef, where for example I set the soprano treble clef to play notes two octaves lower when it represents an electric bass guitar, and I do this because soprano treble clef is very intuitive for me, as contrasted to all the other clefs, which make absolutely no intuitive sense at all . . .

In my universe, with the exceptions of string bends, whammying, vibrato, glissandi, and other textures, there are 12 notes and 8 octaves, which makes everything as mathematically simple and elegant as possible, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :ugeek:
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Re: NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby ZipXap » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:34 pm

I'm considering buying Notion 3 (or 4 if it’s out when I decide to make my purchase within the next month or so). Raising the price beyond $199 is a very dumb idea. Here is why: There are probably 10,000 amateur musicians that want to get into making music for every professional that is willing to pay $500+$$$$ for all the extras. As an amateur I can tell you that I am intimidated by limited functionality in products I don’t yet understand. Notion is one of the few applications in this price range that appears to have most of the features I would want and doesn’t look/sound like a toy. The instant Notion raises their price, millions of amateurs dismiss the product as too expensive (myself included), and then Notion is stuck competing with Sibelius and Finale for the remaining 1% of professionals that can justify the $$$$. Who is going to win, the new guy (Notion) or the established players (Sibelius and Finale)? Hopefully Notion can see through the fallacy that a higher price means higher revenues. If they are confused, I will be happy to tell them the tale of a company (Borland) that decided to raise the price of their development tools to match the price of products from established players.

If Notion wants to find other revenue streams, then some options to consider are: (1) offer compatible products to be plugged into Notion (while being careful not to artificially limit their base offering), (2) build an ecosystem with third-party vendors, and (3) offer collaborative and (web 2.0) marketing tools for artists for a monthly fee. Users could collaborate to develop their ideas, with functionality built into the product. In addition, users would vote each other’s songs up, and the best songs would receive marketing prominence and Notion could even work with an independent label to choose X number per year to have professional contracts.

Don’t raise the price. Find more creative ways to make money, please.
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Re: NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby Admin » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:26 am

ZipXap wrote:I'm considering buying Notion 3 (or 4 if it’s out when I decide to make my purchase within the next month or so). Raising the price beyond $199 is a very dumb idea. Here is why: There are probably 10,000 amateur musicians that want to get into making music for every professional that is willing to pay $500+$$$$ for all the extras. As an amateur I can tell you that I am intimidated by limited functionality in products I don’t yet understand. Notion is one of the few applications in this price range that appears to have most of the features I would want and doesn’t look/sound like a toy. The instant Notion raises their price, millions of amateurs dismiss the product as too expensive (myself included), and then Notion is stuck competing with Sibelius and Finale for the remaining 1% of professionals that can justify the $$$$. Who is going to win, the new guy (Notion) or the established players (Sibelius and Finale)? Hopefully Notion can see through the fallacy that a higher price means higher revenues. If they are confused, I will be happy to tell them the tale of a company (Borland) that decided to raise the price of their development tools to match the price of products from established players.

If Notion wants to find other revenue streams, then some options to consider are: (1) offer compatible products to be plugged into Notion (while being careful not to artificially limit their base offering), (2) build an ecosystem with third-party vendors, and (3) offer collaborative and (web 2.0) marketing tools for artists for a monthly fee. Users could collaborate to develop their ideas, with functionality built into the product. In addition, users would vote each other’s songs up, and the best songs would receive marketing prominence and Notion could even work with an independent label to choose X number per year to have professional contracts.

Don’t raise the price. Find more creative ways to make money, please.


I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but we in no way have indicated that we will be changing the price on NOTION.
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Re: NOTION 4: Vision for the Future

Postby ZipXap » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:33 pm

Sorry for the confusion. It was a user suggestion:

Surfwhammy wrote:(8) Increase Retail and Developer Pricing: ...


I just wanted to provide a counter argument.
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