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What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

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What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby wizstudios » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:12 am

Hey folks, I have downloaded Elerouxx's rules for Miro, but do not know how to use them, starting with what folder to put them in (new iMac) and ending in how to trigger them. I know very little about notation software and these mysterious 'rules'. If you can shed some step by step light for me, I would be grateful. Thanks.
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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby wcreed51 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:32 am

There are some tutorials in the support section of the Notion website. That's a good place to start.
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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby wizstudios » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:58 pm

Thanks, yes I missed those vids my first time through. But they are of little help right now because I have no idea how to navigate to the folders where the rules live. I've check Library>app support>Notion and a couple of other places but nothing that even looks like a PLK folder or a Rules folder or a Templates folder. I remain at the starting gate. I'd dearly love to get Emilio's Miro rules rolling.
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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby Surfwhammy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:09 am

wizstudios wrote:I have downloaded Elerouxx's rules for Miro, but do not know how to use them . . .


The first thing to understand is that elerouxx is doing digital music production on a Windows machine, but you are doing digital music production on a Mac, and there are important differences in the way the various NOTION 4 files, data, and so forth are organized and stored on the Mac as contrasted to Windows . . . :)

The "mysterious" aspect to which you referred in a previous post primarily is a matter of the way certain types of data and files are organized and stored on the Mac, and while you looked in some of the correct places, there is one place where you did not look, which is understandable because even I with all my vast knowledge did not know about this place until someone from Notion Music mentioned it in a post a few years ago . . .

Specifically, on the Mac an application and some of its data and supporting files are assembled or bundled into something called a "package", and it is in this package where one finds a lot of vastly useful stuff pertaining to an application on the Mac, which I should have known since I am a registered Mac OS X and iOS developer and have Xcode and all the various application development tools, but so what . . .

(1) How do I examine the NOTION 4 application "package" on the Mac?

Great question!

(1.1) Navigate to the "Applications" folder on your Mac and find the application, which in this instance will be "Notion.app" . . .

(1.2) Using the mouse or whatever pointing device you prefer, right-click on "Notion.app", which will cause a context menu to appear, and on this context menu you will find a menu item named "Show Package Contents", as shown in the following screen capture, and you want to click on the "Show Package Contents" menu item . . .

Image

(1.3) When you click on the "Show Package Contents" menu item in the context menu for "Notion.app", this will cause Finder to open a window where there will be single folder named "Contents", which if you expand it by double-clicking on "Contents" will look like the following screen capture, where in particular I expanded the "PluginData" folder and its "PLK" subfolder . . .

Image

(1.4) This is where the "PLK" subfolder and its various files are located on the Mac for "Notion.app" . . .

(2) So, what do I do next?

Great question!

(2.1) Considering that you want to do this non-destructively, the prudent strategy is first to make a copy of the existing files in the "PLK" subfolder, and you can copy the existing or original files to a new folder that you create on your Mac. You want to do this in case you decide to revert to the existing or original files sometime in the future . . .

(2.2) Now that you have made a backup copy of the existing or original files in the "PLK" subfolder, you can copy the replacement files that elerouxx provided in the compresses RAR file, where at present you only are copying the "*.notion" files to the "PLK" subfolder . . .

[NOTE: Examine the folder and files that elerouxx provided, and you will observe that there is a subfolder named "Rules". The "Rules" subfolder has two files, where one is for the Mac and the other is for Windows. You will use the file for the Mac, but it is copied to a different location, so do not copy the "Rules" folder or its files into the "PLK" subfolder. Only copy the "*.notion" files into the "PLK" folder in the "Notion.app" package . . . ]

(2.3) When you finish this step, the "*.notion" files that elerouxx provided will be in the "PLK" subfolder of the "Notion.app" package, which is the expected result . . .

(3) Now what do I do?

Great question!

(3.1) This is a good time to close the "Notion.app" package, which you will do by closing the Finder window, and then you want to ensure that you are running NOTION 4 in 32-bit mode, since Miroslav Philharmonik only runs in 32-bit mode at present, and the way to do this is to right-click on "Notion.app" in the "Applications" folder, where you will see a context menu item named "Get Info", which you will click . . .

(3.2) Clicking on the "Get Info" context menu item causes a window to appear, and in the top quarter of the window, there is an option named "Open in 32-bit mode", which you need to check, which puts an "x" in the option box. Then you will close the "Get Info" window, and the next time you start NOTION 4, it will run in 32-bit mode, which you probably already did, but it does no harm to verify that it is checked with an "x" . . .

Image
NOTION 4 ~ Configured to run in 32-bit mode

[NOTE: If sometime in the future you want to run NOTION 4 in 64-bit mode, then ensure that NOTION 4 is not running, and do the "Get Info" step but uncheck the "Open in 32-bit mode" option. Then the next time you run NOTION 4, it will run in 64-bit mode. It is very important to remember that if you are doing ReWire 2, then when you switch modes for NOTION 4, you need to toggle the "Enable ReWire" option in NOTION 4 Preferences and to close and then restart NOTION 4, since this causes NOTION 4 to load the correct version of ReWire 2, which is important, because ReWire 2 runs in 32-bit and 64-bit modes but only one at a time, and you need to ensure that you have the correct version and files for ReWire 2 loaded and so forth, which you will do by toggling the "Enable ReWire" option when you switch modes (32-bit or 64-bit) for NOTION 4 . . . ]

(4) What about the "Miroslav_Philharmonik_Mac.prules" file that elerouxx provided?

Great question!

(4.1) Observing that I know nearly nothing about custom rules other than being able to read XML, this is what the Notion Music folks wrote in the "NOTION 3 Playback Rules Customization Reference", which I presume will apply correctly to NOTION 4 . . .

The prules file you create needs to be located in a folder called Rules which is placed in the same directory that your score is.


(4.2) Hence, based on this bit of information, I think that you want to copy the "Miroslav_Philharmonik_Mac.prules" file that elerouxx provided into the folder where your NOTION 4 score is located for the composition in which you want to use Miroslav Philharmonik, and the way to do this is first to create the high-level folder, which for reference is where you will save your NOTION 4 score, later. Then inside this high-level folder, you want to create a subfolder named "Rules", and it is in this "Rules" subfolder that you will copy the "Miroslav_Philharmonik_Mac.prules" file that elerouxx provided . . .

(4.3) Once you have created the high-level folder for your upcoming NOTION 4 composition and have created a subfolder named "Rules" to which you copied the "Miroslav_Philharmonik_Mac.prules" file that elerouxx provided, you are ready to open NOTION 4 in 32-bit mode and to create a new score, which you will save in the high-level folder, where initially the following screen capture shows how the high-level folder should look before you create the new score and save it . . .

Image
"My New Score" Folder ~ BEFORE

When you have created your new score and saved it to the high-level folder, this is how the folder and contents will look, where in this example the new score is called "Symphony in D#.notion" . . .

Image
"My New Score" Folder ~ AFTER

And as best as I can determine at present, this is what you need to do to get the files and so forth in the correct locations . . .

THOUGHTS

Regarding how to use the custom rules that elerouxx created, I refer you to elerouxx and the other folks who understand and use custom rules, since at present this is not one of my specialties . . .

I can provide help on where files and other stuff are located, as well as help for ReWire 2 on the Mac and a few other fascinating activities involving NOTION 4 and digital music production, but for custom rules there are other FORUM members who are experts, and they will be able to provide a bit of help, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :D

P. S. You can create your own custom templates and save them in the "Templates" subfolder of the "Notion.app" package, where the key is to follow the numbering pattern for the template files, which has an integer at the start of the template file name (for example, "18 Symphony in D#.notion"), and this integer tells NOTION 4 where you want the template to appear in the menu, noting that you need to be careful with the numbers, which need to be sequential with no duplicates. I think that you can change the sort order, but be careful. Being prudent, I just add it at the end of the list and use the next available integer, really . . .

Image

Really! :ugeek:
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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby Admin » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:16 pm

You can download the Custom Rules documentation from the "Other" tab at this link:

http://notionmusic.com/support/downloads.html

Once you download the files, create a folder called "Rules" in your Scores folder and place your Custom Rules documents inside of that folder. Notion looks at these rules if you save scores into the same folder as the Rules folder that you have just created. Your file system hierarchy has to look like this:

Rule Work File Path.png
Rule Work File Path.png (112.73 KiB) Viewed 5006 times


In the picture, I have a folder that contains scores. In the score folder, there is a Rules folder. The Rules folder contains my Custom Rules documents. Every score that is in this score folder will reference every custom rule document that is in the Rules folder.

You do not need to go searching for the built-in rules in the Contents packages of the Notion Application, unless you want to create a strange new path to use the same rules that are already being used by Notion. You need to set up the above file path and Notion scores will access your rules, provided you follow the directions for plugin-id's in the XML documents and use the proper code and syntax for your XML.

Watch the videos. Read the documentation.

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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby Surfwhammy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:55 pm

Admin wrote:You do not need to go searching for the built-in rules in the Contents packages of the Notion Application, unless you want to create a strange new path to use the same rules that are already being used by Notion. You need to set up the above file path and Notion scores will access your rules, provided you follow the directions for plugin-id's in the XML documents and use the proper code and syntax for your XML.


A bit of clarification will be helpful . . . :)

The custom rules information that elerouxx provided has a "PLK" directory with the same number and names of "*.notion" files that are in the "PLK" folder in the Mac OS X application package for "Notion.app", but (a) some of the file sizes in the files elerouxx provided are different and (b) the content is different, where the Notion Music provided files in the "PLK" folder of the Mac OS X application package for "Notion.app" have distinctly different content at the top of the files, while the files elerouxx provided essentially are empty . . .

In my post, I showed how to copy the "PLK" files that elerouxx provided, because they were provided, and if this is incorrect, which appears to be the case, then they should not be copied, which is fine with me . . .

Regarding the "*.prules" file, my suggestion is that same as yours, which is to put it in a subfolder named "Rules" in the folder where one saves NOTION 4 scores that need to use the specific user-defined custom rules . . .

So, the information we provided is the same for the location of the "Miroslav_Philharmonik_Mac.prules" file, but it is different regarding what to do with the "*.notion" files that elerouxx provided in his "PLK" folder . . .

QUESTION: Is there a reason for having a different set of "*.notion" files in a custom "PLK" folder such that they need to replace the "*.notion" files in the "PLK" folder of the Mac OS X application package for "Notion.app"?

QUESTION: Is there a reason to use the "*.notion" files that elerouxx provided in his "PLK" folder for the custom rules for Miroslav Philharmonik?

THOUGHTS

As noted, I basically have no idea how this works since I do not use custom rules, although conceptually I understand some of the logic and can read the XML, so what I was doing was explaining how to copy the files that elerouxx provided to the the correct locations on the Mac . . .

These screen captures show what UltraCompare (IDM Computer Solutions, Inc.) reports as being the contents of the "60_Miro_Trombones.notion" files (elerouxx version and original NOTION 4 version, respectively) . . .

[NOTE: UltraEdit has an option to color-code XML, which is handy and makes it easier to read and to ensure that the patterns are correct, and there is a discount bundle that combines UltraEdit and UltraCompare . . . ]

Image
UltraEdit ~ Example of color-coded XML for a "*.prules" file

UltraEdit (IDM Computer Solutions, Inc.)

UltraCompare (IDM Computer Solutions, Inc.)

Image
elerouxx version of "60_Miro_Trombones.notion"

Image
NOTION 4 version of "60_Miro_Trombones.notion"

QUESTION: Are the "*.notion" files that elerouxx provided incorrect or is there a reason for providing and using them?

Lots of FUN! :)
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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby Admin » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:07 pm

I am intentionally steering you away from using the Contents files because I don't want users to start meddling in these folder and deleting necessary files for preset uses.

The PLK ".notion" files are just the files that manage the Notion built-in settings for individual instrument presets for the Miroslav Philharmonik VSTi. They have nothing to do with "Custom" rules. They are our presets. You can edit them if you like, but there may be faulty consequences for doing so if you ever use the presets, for 2 reasons.

1. You could cause the loaded preset on the VST side to not function properly. The preset .notion file loads the instrument that is associated with it from the Score Setup window. The VSTi is loaded with patches that correspond to the Notion articulations and techniques as defined by us. This is all done internally and cannot be re-defined by the user. This is NOT a custom rule set up.

2. More importantly, every time you update the Notion 4 program, these are going to get over-written again, thus causing any presets that you have re-written in this location to be over-written and any composition you have created using your "customized" preset to be re-configured.

That being said...

The manner for file management of your own Custom Rules is as I have described in the earlier post, and in the Custom Rules documentation. There are two ways to load a VSTi in Notion. You can load one of our presets, which will load out of the contents folder that you are looking into currently; or you can load a Custom VST which is loaded via the VST menu in score setup.

Preset VST Menus are VST's that a user owns that Notion has built Preset Rules for. The menu looks like this and depends on whether the VST is installed. If you are using Miroslav Philharmonik, the menu will say Miroslav Philharmonik. In the figure below, I am using VSL Special Edition to illustrate my point.

Preset VST Menu.png
Preset VST Menu.png (29.13 KiB) Viewed 4975 times


To load a Custom VST into your score, you will use this menu tab:

Custom VST Menu.png
Custom VST Menu.png (27.82 KiB) Viewed 4975 times


When you click this tab, you will get a list above diplaying all available Custom VST's that are installed and activated for use in Notion. These VST's will look for the Rules folder and .prules files that are stored in the same location as the score or scores that you are trying to load.

Now...

I have not researched elerouxx's Custom Rules or presets because there is really no way for me to support that. Currently, the Custom Rules are the Wild West. Everyone gets to do what they want to do with them which is both the beauty and the difficulty of having them in existence. In other words, if they work for elerouxx, then he can use them and he can support them if he wants to.

The beauty of this is, that it is fully customizeable to achieve some truly desired results for natural and realistic playback. There is no better way to discover how they work than to just try it out and reverse enginneer it for yourself.

As far as the files being the same, I am guessing that what elerouxx has done, is to grab the Rules documents out of the contents package of the Notion application and copied it to another location, thus preserving the header and footer in the document, which contains the Plugin ID for Miroslav (PLK), the Dynamic Map, the Hairpin Map, and the start and end tags for the file, so as to not destroy the syntax. BUT, everything that is a rule related to Techniques, Articulations, Conditions and flags, otherwise known as The Body of his rules, have been manipulated to support his own custom Philharmonik presets on a per score basis.

Hope this helps,

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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby Surfwhammy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:35 pm

Admin wrote:Hope this helps . . .


Yes! :)

It was not immediately obvious to me what the "*.notion" files in the "PLK" subfolder did and having the same file extension as a NOTION 4 score was a bit confusing, but after reading your explanation I did a quick test and realized what was happening . . .

I copied the "03_Miro_Oboe.notion" file to the Mac OS X desktop and then opened it in the 32-bit version of NOTION 4, with the result that a score with one instrument named "Philharmonik" was created. Then I switched to the NOTION 4 Mixer and clicked on the label "Philharmonik" at the top of the respective channel strip, which as expected launched and displayed the standalone Miroslav Philharmonik user interface, which was loaded with an Oboe preset, where some of the 16 available slots were defined but the others were blank . . .

[NOTE: For reference, IK Multimedia calls this a "COMBI", since it is a combination of up to 16 individual "presets", where in this terminology a "preset" is a specific articulation, dynamic, or whatever based on a sampled sound and perhaps additionally enhanced or modified by some of the various effects provided with the SampleTank engine, which is the engine used for Miroslav Philharmonik and all the other IK Multimedia virtual instruments. And as shown in the following screen captures, (a) there are quite a few parameters that can be set and (b) NOTION 4 remembers them when they are altered or modified, hence there is a bit of work happening behind the scenes . . . ]

Image
NOTION 4 Miroslav Philharmonik Oboe Preset ~ Parts or Slots 1 - 8

Image
Surfwhammy Miroslav Philharmonik Oboe Preset ~ Parts or Slots 1 - 8

Comparing the two, it is easy to see that I changed the polyphony, panning, volume, and stereo output channel pairs for some of the individual articulations, as well as added new articulations for parts 4 and 5, which in the original NOTION 4 preset for the "COMBI" were blank . . .

Then next part of the experiment was to save the modified NOTION 4 preset for the "COMBI", which worked nicely, and when I reopened the score the modifications I made were recalled correctly . . .

THOUGHTS

I did not test the modified Miroslav Philharmonik Oboe preset, and I did not create a custom rule, so I have no idea whether this works or causes problems, but in terms a programming pattern, it makes sense, and if it works when done correctly, it has the potential to be useful, since as noted (see above), there are a lot of parameters that can be used to control the way Miroslav Philharmonik processes the various sampled sounds to generate the audio for the instruments . . .

Where this fits into the grand scheme of everything is another matter, but I suppose it is like creating your own stuff, which for example one needs to do when using MachFive 3 (MOTU), noting that MachFive 3 also can have a set of individual "Parts", which in the MOTU terminology is calls "Multi", which then leads one to what might be called the "Big Question", since for example in MachFive 3 I can create an user-defined "Multi" using the standalone version of MachFive 3 and then when I add an instance of MachFIve 3 via the "VST" technique in NOTION 4, I can load my user-defined "Multi", where the only difference is that with a NOTION 4 defined "preset" it happens automatically but with the "VST" technique I have to load my user-defined "Multi" manually, which is not difficult to do and does not take a lot of work . . .

THE BIG QUESTION: Can I write custom rules that will work with my user-defined MachFive 3 "Multi" or with any other third-party VSTi virtual instrument that does not have an original NOTION 4 predefined set of presets ("*.notion" files) and rules?

If I can, then I think this makes it unnecessary to modify the original NOTION 4 presets ("*.notion" files) in the Mac OS X application package, in part because (a) there are none for MachFive 3 and some of the other third-party VSTi virtual instruments and (b) even if there were some for MachFive 3 et al., I can do what such a set of presets does by doing it manually directly from the NOTION 4 user interface via Score Setup using the "VST" technique, since for example selecting MachFive 3 via the "VST" technique launches the MachFive 3 standalone user interface, at which time I can select and load my user-defined "Multi", and so forth and so on . . .

The key aspect is whether doing it this way maps to being able to use custom rules, and if it is possible to use custom rules in this scenario, then I think the correct way to make the process a bit faster and more efficient is to create a custom template, where the custom template either (a) can be added to the Mac OS X application package as I explained in my previous post or (b) can be saved in a folder and then used to create a new NOTION 4 score via cloning, where in this method one opens the NOTION 4 score to be cloned and then does a "Save As . . . " to clone it . . .

If this works, it has the advantage of not messing with any of the predefined factory NOTION 4 stuff, other than perhaps to add an user-defined template to the existing set of original NOTION 4 defined templates in the Mac OS X application package . . .

If my understanding of the way it works is correct, then let me know, which is fabulous . . .

Fabulous! :)

P. S. Kontakt 5 (Native Instruments) is very similar to MachFive 3 in its ability to handle user-defined "Multi" sets of "Parts", although the terminology might be a bit different, and this is important because I use several specialty instruments that have their own sampled sound libraries and custom implementations for Kontakt 4, where the Bolder Sounds "Celtic Pipes", "Crystal Glasses", "Bavarian Zither", and "Handbells" are examples, as are some of the specialty virtual instruments from Big Fish Audio, several of which are vastly intriguing, since among other things they have a set of sampled brass, including saxophones and so forth, which are brass but have reeds, so might be woodwinds for all I know, and the horn sections are accurate for the way a horn section plays in a Rhythm and Blues or Latin musical group, which is completely different from the way these instruments are played in an orchestral or symphonic setting, and they also have Mariachi style horns and a nice collection of Celtic instruments, where the only drawback is that the horn sections are $500 (US), but they sound really good . . .
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Re: What are 'rules' and how do you use them?

Postby wizstudios » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:25 am

Thanks everyone. I have a start on this issue and I'm happy to report that Emilio's rules, ensconced in my MiroScores folder, make my Miro scores much more sensitive to articulation and dynamic, which at the moment is all I am looking for. I haven't done extensive testing with the difficult glissandos etc but sooner or later I will. I don't want to write my own rules at this point, happy to let others with the interest and time do that work while I compose, but thanks to all for making it easier. Next stop, making EWQLSO gold load in Notion. Still working on that....
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