Chiptune Example Project for Ableton Live and Max for Live

Something I cooked up for my Level 2 class today. Tutorial may or may not follow soon, but here’s the low down:

Software/Plugins:

Max4Live:

Protip: The redux plugin is (somewhat) set to the specifications of a Nintendo Game Boy to emulate the drum sounds correctly.

Noteflight Responds

Joe Berkovitz of Noteflight responds (his comment is attached to the previous post.)

Oh dear, the misunderstandings abound! I am in love with audio, electronic music and MIDI (and I agreed with many posters on the Synthtopia thread). I’m only making the case for a balanced diet in our musical culture, not trying to reject anything.

By the way, we are currently beta testing MIDI support on Noteflight and expect to release it shortly, towards further perpetuation of an antiquated trade — the trade in MIDI-enabled instruments, that is. OSC over Bluetooth, please!

I think the whole thing could probably be cleared up in a “part two”. It seems that most people who read the original post felt it was an expression of traditional notation’s superiority to recorded audio. At the same time, the original post seemed to ignore MIDI (or an equivalent technology like OSC) altogether, which is really the key to opening up music composition to the masses. Allowing someone to write without having to read perfectly is an extremely vital tool in my line of work for teaching the non-traditional music student.

But the new info that Noteflight is working on…let’s call it “keyboard controller support” – now that is truly interesting.

So Noteflight stirred up the mob, and at the moment we were lighting our torches they hint at a great new feature that will make their product extremely threatening to the “big two” competitors in traditional notation software. Well played, Noteflight. Well played.

Filed away for future snark

Noteflight’s luddite manifesto, in which they creatively forget about MIDI composition.

By comparison, audio is a frozen, static record of something that was played once. You can remix it, resample it and apply effects to it, but its musical DNA is a done deal. An audio recording contains the same ideas that could be written down in notation, but the recording is already telling you, “this is how it sounds.” In contrast, a score asks a question: “how could this sound?”

Synthopia has a nice rebuttal.

Also of note, from the Noteflight FAQ:

Can I enter music into Noteflight using a MIDI keyboard, or play Noteflight scores back using my own MIDI instruments?

The Adobe Flash Player Plugin, which is used to run Noteflight’s Score Editor, does not have access to your system’s MIDI devices. We are working on various technical approaches that would allow MIDI devices to be used with Noteflight.

Instead of writing manifesto’s defending an antiquated trade, maybe they should be looking a little more seriously into MIDI keyboard support.