MakeMusic
SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Get tips and ideas on how to get the most out of Garritan libraries

Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby HeathH » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:11 am

How do I control the Aria Player with MIDI? It seems that there are crumbs of information in various places on the net, but I can't seem to find anything definitive. I have a little understanding of much, and can't seem to get any traction.

In particular, will the Aria Player respond to MIDI:
1) to change the ensemble setting?
2) to change the parameters of a particular slot (the instrument, channel, pan, volume, etc)?
3) to allow an instrument change on a particular MIDI channel?
4) and alternately (perhaps whimsically) provide someway to query these settings?

BTW, I do understand the Aria Player responds to the MIDI CC codes that are documented in the Aria Player's user interface.

Finale 14's ability to identify and set the instrument by name makes me wonder how this happens and whether some degree of the capability can be extended to Logic pro x.

Thanks!
  • 0

HeathH
 
Posts: 5
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 0

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby rbowser » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:11 pm

Hello, Heath -

Your subject line misled me, because it made me assume you were a complete newbie who didn't understand that ARIA is a MIDI software sample/SFZ player. But Then things were more clear by the end of your post:

HeathH wrote:...BTW, I do understand the Aria Player responds to the MIDI CC codes that are documented in the Aria Player's user interface....


The answer to all your questions is "No"--And it's because you're apparently thinking more of the way a traditional non-sample based synth works, instead of how a sample player works:

HeathH wrote:...
In particular, will the Aria Player respond to MIDI:
1) to change the ensemble setting?
2) to change the parameters of a particular slot (the instrument, channel, pan, volume, etc)?
3) to allow an instrument change on a particular MIDI channel?
4) and alternately (perhaps whimsically) provide someway to query these settings?


Changing patches on a General MIDI synth is straightforward. All such synths have teeny tiny files, because it's just programming. There's a list of pre-set instruments that all GM have in common. One piece of info that can be sent out in a MIDI track is a program change, and the synth instantly switches to that next pre-set. But that's impossible to do with any sample player, because the loading of samples is necessary. You can't suddenly switch from one beat to the next to a new instrument that way, because your computer would need to pause, load the samples, and then proceed.

None of what you're asking about works in ARIA (or any sample player I'm aware of)--and none of those capabilities are really needed. I've recorded a lot of music using Garritan instruments, and I've never needed to switch an entire ensemble mid-stream of a piece. If I want different instrumentation, the arrangement simply continues on different MIDI tracks or staves. You load as many instances of ARIA you need, each can hold 16 instruments - If you have one line that you want to have switch to a different instrument, you simply cut and paste that data or those notes to a new track or stave so a different instrument plays them.

Actually, your item #2 I can give some Yeses to - While you can't change instrument, and have no need to, and you can't change channel, and have no need for that either - You CAN change pan volume "etc" - because those are all basic MIDI settings which MIDI controller data changes - CC10 for pan, CC7 for slot volume, to use your two examples.

I feel there's just some rearrangement of your thinking that needs to happen, and things will most likely become more clear after you've worked with ARIA a bit longer.

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby HeathH » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:11 am

Randy,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am seeking a better understanding of how all these pieces work together so I can better solve my particular challenges. Your response is very helpful.

Just to be clear: Aria Player slots do not respond to MIDI CC requests, rather CC requests are directed to MIDI channels. So all slots configured to a particular channel would respond to the request. If you agree, then apparently there is no known solution for "slot" manipulation via MIDI.

So here is pause for thought. How does Finale 14 communicate with the Aria Player? I am pleased and amazed that I can use the Score Manager to configure instruments, and those settings get passed to the Aria Player. I was hoping the communication was with MIDI (sys ex perhaps), but maybe Finale is talking to Aria with some other layer of communication.

You did describe your use of Garritan libraries in a recording environment. I'm trying to use them in a performance environment. I'm trying to emulate an organ. I would like to turn stops on and off on the fly. Sure I'd love to flip on a mixture during a set, but I could live with stop changes between sets. Originally I thought of multiple channel strips each pointing to distinct incarnations of Aria Player -- but it seems like it would be an incredible load on the PC. So now I'm approaching it with scripting in MainStage 3. The script takes events on MIDI channel 1 and mimics it to other selected MIDI channels. A single instance of Aria Player is configured separately with different organ stops assigned to distinct channels. But alas, even this approach is too resource heavy for an older Mac Pro (2.53 GHz, 4GB) with note freezes and stutters. In a day I'll get around to trying it out on something beefier. And if that works I'll probably start whining about having only 16 slots :)

Thanks!
  • 0

HeathH
 
Posts: 5
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 0

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby rbowser » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:24 am

HeathH wrote:...Aria Player slots do not respond to MIDI CC requests, rather CC requests are directed to MIDI channels. So all slots configured to a particular channel would respond to the request. If you agree, then apparently there is no known solution for "slot" manipulation via MIDI.


Hello again, Heath - Thanks for the reply. What you say in that quote above is correct. The slots in ARIA are just initially empty containers that you fill up with instruments, and once you've tuned in each instrument to its unique MIDI channel, then that slot is set up for the duration of a project.

Side note--Using the phrase "tuned in" reminded me of the most often used analogy for MIDI Channels. They are much like the channels for radio stations. A MIDI instrument will tune in to one of the 16 available channels, and only respond to that specific channel, just like a radio station has to be tuned to a precise, specific number on the radio's dial.

To be clear, it's important to understand that each instance of ARIA will have its own discrete set of 16 MIDI Channels. Once you've added another ARIA to a project, the channel numbering starts all over again, and that second ARIA's channels won't be confused with the same numbered channels in the first instance.

HeathH wrote:So here is pause for thought. How does Finale 14 communicate with the Aria Player? I am pleased and amazed that I can use the Score Manager to configure instruments, and those settings get passed to the Aria Player. I was hoping the communication was with MIDI (sys ex perhaps), but maybe Finale is talking to Aria with some other layer of communication.

No, MIDI is the only kind of data that ARIA or any "soft synth" can respond to. But notation programs like Finale use very sophisticated routines to work with a score, doing some feats of magic that can be mind boggling to comprehend really. We can just be happy that no matter what we set up in a score, Finale will do all the work for us of getting the correct instruments, and assigning them to instances of ARIA, filling up the slots - doing work that would take a chunk of time to do on our own. I say just be happy the program does all that.

But there is a "MIDI Tool" in Finale where the user can work with the MIDI data in a project. Here's the MM page which explains:

Finale MIDI Tool

HeathH wrote:...I'm trying to use them in a performance environment. I'm trying to emulate an organ. I would like to turn stops on and off on the fly. Sure I'd love to flip on a mixture during a set, but I could live with stop changes between sets. Originally I thought of multiple channel strips each pointing to distinct incarnations of Aria Player -- but it seems like it would be an incredible load on the PC. So now I'm approaching it with scripting in MainStage 3. The script takes events on MIDI channel 1 and mimics it to other selected MIDI channels.

A single instance of Aria Player is configured separately with different organ stops assigned to distinct channels. But alas, even this approach is too resource heavy for an older Mac Pro (2.53 GHz, 4GB) with note freezes and stutters. In a day I'll get around to trying it out on something beefier. And if that works I'll probably start whining about having only 16 slots...

Ah - The continuing issue of using Garritan Classic Pipe Organs in a live performance. Before this, I thought you were only talking about working in Finale.

Early on with that Library when I was helping to Beta test it, I tried several experiments, attempting to find the best way of changing stops over the course of a piece. The work-arounds I used were all for DAW software sequencing, impossible to do when playing live.

Soon after Organs was released, one of the developers came up with a "custom console" which loaded up to 12 stops in one slot of ARIA. Through MIDI CCs that could be transmitted live from an equiped MIDI keyboard, the user could switch stops on and off. -- I've asked several times since that modification was developed why it was never released, but I've never gotten a reply. I'm having to suppose that there was some problem with the programming that I wasn't aware of it. All I know is that it was put together a full year and a half ago, I tested it and thought it would become part of the Organs Library.

Without that utility, what you're encountering now is The #1 request from owners of the Library - the ability to switch stops in a live situation, so that it's like playing a real organ.

Maybe you can get this scripting in MainStage to do the trick. But "...multiple channel strips each pointing to distinct incarnations of Aria..." wouldn't be the way to go. That would be the same thing as having the stops loaded in just one instance of ARIA, but each on different MIDI Channels. See? If you're aiming to have multiple channel strips - that's what you would get with just one instance of ARIA.

"...The script takes events on MIDI Channel 1 and mimics it to other selected MIDI channels..." I don't understand that. That would make all instruments respond simultaneously even though they're on different Channels - Maybe I'm not understanding. But if a CC7 event of "0" is sent on MIDI Channel 1, for instance - that would turn the sound off on that channel - if that event is also sent to the other MIDI Channels - then all the instruments would be muted together. That would be the same as if you had them all on a single MIDI channel in the first place. -- ? I'm probably misunderstanding how that script works.

More critical is the problem of "note freezes and stutters." When that happens, it's always a matter of having buffer and latency settings too small for a computer to handle. So your machine is a bit old, as you said, with just 4 G RAM, but you can still get a better performance from it. Crackling/stuttering playback is one of the omnipresent problems of working with software instruments, but usually settings can be found that fix the problem.

Hopefully you're using an actual sound interface. I think it's pretty much mandatory. They use ASIO drivers which were designed for the demanding task of playing software instruments either live or in a recording program. They all have settings to adjust the latency - You can push that to a larger size, until there's too much delay between playing a note and it sounding off - when you've reached that, obviously the latency is too high. But if the latency is too low, your computer just won't be able to keep up.

If you're using your computer's motherboard sound card - that can be a problem. They just aren't built to handle good playback of software instruments.

There's a setting in ARIA which you can also adjust when there's a stuttering problem. On the Settings tab, click "Inst. Disk Pre-Caching." The default setting is 32 Kb - click that, and try the next setting, 64 Kb. Notice also that in ARIA, each instrument slot has a polyphony setting which defaults to 32. You can try the next setting which is 64.

Experiment with these different buffer and latency settings - You could very well find new settings that will prevent the choppy playback you're getting.

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby HeathH » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:05 am

Randy,

I saw the reference to this thread in the Troubleshooting thread: Mixing stops with Garritan Classic Organs. I tried that path, but couldn't figure out how to direct the multi-output of Aria through Logic X, and haven't found the magic spot in the Logic manuals to help. It'd be interesting to learn that technique.

The script technique does work with Garageband (on a beefier machine). When the stops are separated by channels, the script decides which channels get the MIDI events. The MainStage layout feature lets you tie an onscreen buttons to script parameters that determine which channels are active. If interested I can post a copy of the script.

But the MainStage 3 approach is now moot. MainStage eats up 40% of the processor (MacPro 2.5Ghz 4GB) -- even when idle. Even loading (then playing) a single instrument in this environment causes the CPU to spike at 100%, nasty sound effects, and requires reboot to completely overcome. Using Aria Player standalone with the Mod 2 Organ ensemble, it starts to degrade with 7 note chords played in rapid staccato. (this doesn't worry me :lol: )

BTW you mention sound cards. This happens with system audio card and Apogee Duet interface.

So this is my current setup:

Aria Player in stand alone mode.
Load Ensemble, modified so each slot/sound is assigned a different channel.

Alesis QS 8 keyboard set in MIX mode to send note events on all channels.
Keyboard connects via MIDI to iPad 1.
iPad runs MIDIBridge application to intercept MIDI signals, route to another app called MIDI Designer, then out via WiFi to laptop running Aria.

The MIDI Designer app lets me configure touch surface buttons that can send CC#7 signals to turn the volume up/down on each channel. It'd be better to have mute function, though, maybe with just a few more hours….

Cheers!
  • 0

HeathH
 
Posts: 5
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 0

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby rbowser » Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:53 am

Hello again, "HeathH" - Good to hear from you again.

Interesting new post - This configuration you've described, with the iPad, Apogee, MIDIBridge, MIDI Designer, going through WiFi - it's all new territory for me, with a more complicated signal flow than I've ever dealt with. I just have my keyboard plugged into my Windows computer, and my Alesis interface deals with the audio. Just that with music software, Sonar and Sibelius. I don't think I can offer you ideas or solutions, since I'm unfamiliar with the convoluted set up you're using.

But, I'll insert a few replies, in case they're at all helpful:

HeathH wrote:...I saw the reference to this thread in the Troubleshooting thread: Mixing stops with Garritan Classic Organs. I tried that path, but couldn't figure out how to direct the multi-output of Aria through Logic X, and haven't found the magic spot in the Logic manuals to help. It'd be interesting to learn that technique.


If you're referring to having multiple audio outputs (as opposed to MIDI Channels) from ARIA, here's a screenshot that points them out. This is of the previous ARIA - The current ARIA has one more item between "def" and "1/2." The "32" seen in that spot in the current ARIA refers to polyphony, and can be increased if needed.

Image

As indicated in the picture, "1/2" is the default audio out. That refers to the two sides of a stereo channel, L and R, labeled 1 and 2. When you click that, you have the rest of the outs available, "3/4" through "31/32." That's 16 stereo audio channels in all, potentially a different one for each ARIA slot.

When you're in stand alone mode, only 1/2 is available - the one stereo channel your computer has. But when you're in a program like Garageband you use, that program is the host and will provide all these additional stereo outs.

You also mention Logic X - so you're using two different DAW programs - In either one, you would need 16 audio channels set up which have their routing set up so they're receiving the signal from those 16 ARIA audio channel.

At the end of your post you say that what you're trying to do is have everything work the way you want just in stand alone mode - That is limited, as indicated above - only one audio channel is available.

If you were recording in one of your DAW programs, you would be able to use automated Mutes on those separate audio channels.

But you're needing to play live, and even though you could play the organs live through one of your DAW programs - I'm not sure it would be advantageous for you.

HeathH wrote:...This (overloading) happens with system audio card and Apogee Duet interface.


That's a very snazzy interface you have! I see it doesn't have traditional inputs in its surface for XLR mikes, TRS cables, instruments, phantom power etc - there are break-out cables for that. Looks great, as per info I just looked at. But you mention also using your computer's audio card - Interfaces replace the need to use your built in card. Maybe you meant that since you were having problems, you tested to see if these overload problems would have if you bypassed Apogee, but they were still there.

HeathH wrote:...The MIDI Designer app lets me configure touch surface buttons that can send CC#7 signals to turn the volume up/down on each channel. It'd be better to have mute function...


Right - so the main reason for all these extra things between your keyboard and computer is so you can use the touch screen? Maybe there's a touch screen available to control one of your DAW programs, because Mute buttons are available there, as mentioned above -

Hmmm. I've probably only wrapped my head 1/2 way around or less to get this set up you have. - But, well, there's my reply for now, meandering and very possibly non-applicable!

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby HeathH » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:39 am

Randy,

That's it! The Audio Outs selector option was the missing link for diverting the audio flow of a slot to a distinct aux track in MainStage/Logic X. Cool.

While not feasible with my hardware configuration during a live setting, it may be useful for studying the various sounds and their combinations in preparation for performance.

Heath
  • 0

HeathH
 
Posts: 5
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 0

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby rbowser » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:09 am

HeathH wrote:Randy,

That's it! The Audio Outs selector option was the missing link for diverting the audio flow of a slot to a distinct aux track in MainStage/Logic X. Cool.

While not feasible with my hardware configuration during a live setting, it may be useful for studying the various sounds and their combinations in preparation for performance.

Heath

Great, Heath - Thanks for letting me know that worked. I thought you might have been hung up on that particular issue, but wasn't absolutely positive. - It's a very common thing, for DAW software users to not realize that they have so much control available, once they hook up the 16 audio channels from ARIA to 16 audio tracks in their software. It works the same in all "sequencers,' not just Logic.

Are you sure you can't use some of the controls on your Alesis QS 8 keyboard to turn organ stops on and off in a live situation - if you were playing ARIA through Logic?

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby HeathH » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:56 pm

Randy,

Logic sits at about 10% cpu and bumps up to 30% cpu when playing the MOD2 organ ensembles using a single instance of Aria plugin with 16 stereo outs. This is on a 2.3 Ghz quad/16GB mac mini. TouchOSC on an old iPad allows remote control of Logic to adjust, mute or solo the aux strips assigned to the individual sound patches. Works wonderfully. (Just wish it would work as well with the laptop, it's easier to lug around.)

Have to laugh about the Alesis QS8. The keyboard connected directly to the laptop running a standalone Aria Player will work. The stock Garritan ensemble needs tweaking so that each sound has its own track. The QS8 can be configured to send note on/off on multiple channels, and it can map/split sections of the keyboard to distinct channels. I'm amazed at the capabilities of this "antique", but the menu system to accomplish this…well let's just say I'm a little balder because of it. (BTW this will be leading into a question I'd like to post in a couple of days, as a new thread regarding recommendations for "tuning" a setup.)

Happy New Year!
Heath
  • 0

HeathH
 
Posts: 5
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 0

Re: Controlling Aria Player with MIDI?

Postby rbowser » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:28 pm

OK, so it does sound like you can probably work out a method for playing live with equipment you have, and that's cool, Heath:

HeathH wrote:...Logic sits at about 10% cpu and bumps up to 30% cpu when playing the MOD2 organ ensembles using a single instance of Aria plugin with 16 stereo outs...


That's pretty acceptable I think? I have a Sonar project open right now - at idle, CPU is wavering between 2 and 7% When I hit play, it wavers between 13 and 25. This is something with six various soft synths in it, one ARIA with only 4 instruments loaded. On a more typical project where I used more Garritan instruments and ARIA instances, I'll go to maybe 50%.

HeathH wrote:...The keyboard connected directly to the laptop running a standalone Aria Player will work. The stock Garritan ensemble needs tweaking so that each sound has its own track. The QS8 can be configured to send note on/off on multiple channels, and it can map/split sections of the keyboard to distinct channels...but the menu system to accomplish this…well let's just say I'm a little balder because of it. (BTW this will be leading into a question I'd like to post in a couple of days, as a new thread regarding recommendations for "tuning" a setup.)

Happy New Year!
Heath


Portable - this sounds promising. When you say the ensemble needs to be set so each stop has its own track - you're referring to separate audio outs, so you can mute/un-mute, but all of the stops are still on the same MIDI channel, as you've been doing--Pretty sure that's what you mean. That's what I was picturing earlier. - Programming keyboards - even newer ones can still be a ***. Worth it though for you to get this the way you want.

Tuning--hmm- in quotes, so you probably mean tweaking software and a computer for best performance - Always a murky business. We'll see what you come up with in your question.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Randy
  • 0

Garritan Organs demos of all 75 stops

"Dorian Gray"

Hardware:

Roland A-800 MIDI keyboard controller
Alesis i|O2 interface
Gigabyte Technology-AMD Phenom II @ 3 GHz
8 Gb RAM 6 Core Windows 7 Home Premium x64
with dual monitors
User avatar
rbowser
 
Posts: 494
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 50
Software Owned:
ARIA Player v1.626
ARIA Engine 1.665
GPO4
JABB 3
COMB 2
Instant Orchestra
Garritan World
Garritan Classic Pipe Organs
Garritan Harps
Garritan Authorized Steinway
Garritan Stradivari solo violin
Garritan Gofriller solo cello

Sundry soft synths:
Dimension Pro, EZDrummer, over 50 others

Sonar 8.5 (have but don't use Sonar X1)
Sony Sound Forge 10
Sibelius 7

Video editing: Cyberlink Power Director 11

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron