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Recording MIDI events

Record new MIDI data

Select the track which is going to receive the recording and bring the Transport Panel to the forefront. If you are going to record your first track, you might like to hear a metronome click while you are recording, so choose the Click option in the Transport Panel. Place the play position cursor to where you would like to start the recording, then first click on Rec and then on Cont. Play on your external keyboard (or the virtual keyboard on the Piano Window). When you are finished, click on Stop.

Step-record MIDI data

Proceed as with a normal recording, exept that you do not start the sequencer with Continue. Play the first note/chord on your keyboard, then set the play position to where the next note/chord is going to begin. Play that second note/chord also and so on. When you are finished, disable Rec by pressing it once more. All notes you have played will now become visible on the Arrange Window. Note that note lengths are calculated after each recording in such a way that all notes will be legato (one note tied to the other). Controllers / Program Change events etc can also be recorded this way, but with the difference, that only the last received event for one step is actually recorded.

Record Tempo Information

Tempo information is only considered by the sequencer, when it resides on the first track (the so-called Master Track). Therefore select this track first. Then locate the Master option on the Transport Panel and turn it off (as long as Master is active, the playback tempo is determined exclusively by the tempo events located in the master track and the tempo display cannot be manipulated). Start the recording and change the tempo by clicking and dragging the value of the tempo display on the Transport Panel. This also works with the step-record technique for sudden tempo changes. When you are finished, turn Master on again.

Recording without a metronome

Following a metronome click while recording is fine for simple melodies from pop music, but when it comes to real-time recording of classical or jazz music having to follow a metronome click is no option for a player who does not want to ruin his style completely. Therefore many keyboard players tend to leave the metronome turned off all together and record "free-run", accepting that MIDI data and the sequencer's meter structure will not coincide in the final recording. This is not a problem for playback (the physical time position of recorded MIDI events stays the same, whether their bar positions are "correct" in a musician's sense or not), but it makes all sequencer functions unusable that depend on the program's "knowledge" about the time structure that underlies the data - first of all score display, but also quantization etc. Therefore correcting the time structure after one such "free-run" recording has been made is often worthwhile.

For correcting the time basis without touching the physical time position of events, the Space Toad has got two Time-Stretch functions, that are accessible via the time bar context menu of the Piano Window (right-click).

Let's have a look at Jeannie Jones' MIDI file "Albert the Lion", a slow blues, which is such a "free-run" recording:

As one can see, the meter structure is all wrong. The first bar should begin with the lower C in the left hand (the first of a series of "walking-bass" notes on C). Moreover the 3rd note should fall on the last up-beat, which it currently doesn't do at all. As one might have expected the score display is consequently a complete mess:

So for getting the first bar including up-beat correctly notated, time-stretching has to be applied at three points. But first we temporarily reduce the meter from 4/4 to 1/4 by inserting an appropriate event at the beginning (see "Editing Time Signature Events"). This makes things a lot easier since the up-beat phrase is much too short to fit into a whole 4/4 meter. Later we will make 2/4 out of it instead. As a next step the cursor is placed at the beginning of the first E note and "Time Stretch Next Bar" is called. After this operation the first bar line has moved. Now it coincides with the note at whose beginning we had placed the cursor (and when you look at the List Window you will notice that two new tempo events have been inserted that compensate the time loss / gain of the two affected bars, so everything will play back as before). In the same way we align the remaining notes at the following bar lines. Finally we assign a 2/4 meter to the upbeat and a 4/4 meter to the rest. This makes the score display already look much nicer and after a few manual staff corrections it presents a fairly accurate notation of what is played:

The other function "Time Stretch Previous Bar" works alike, only in the other direction: The previous bar is prolonged in such a way, that it will end at the cursor's position.

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