"Simplify Durations" - of notes, not just rests. Also: badly-split staffs.

• Sep 5, 2017 - 16:41

Problem #1:
The Midi Import Panel gives an option to "Simplify Durations", but it only applies to rests.
With 144 bars, many of which have around a dozen extensions of the same note(s) (within the same bar), I can't manually simplify these durations. How can I do it ?

Problem #2:
The notes are on the split staff in awkwardly, with notes that should be in the lower staff appearing in the upper staff, and vice versa -- the left hand's staff will have notes that are higher pitches than some of the notes in the right hand's staff, and vice versa (and not for any logical/physical reason). If there's an ideal solution for this, please let me know. Otherwise, I'm hoping the following is possible: Although there could sometimes be some value in placing certain below-middle-C notes in the upper staff, is there a way to just automatically put everything below middle C in the lower staff, and everything above middle C in the upper staff? If some individual notes were better placed in the opposite staff, I could then move those several notes manually, instead of my current need to move perhaps a thousand notes.



In order to understand what is going on, it would be useful to see the actual MIDI file you are importing. Simplify durations should have an effect on notes as well, but it's possible other settings you have are conflicting with this (eg, shortest duration).

As for the split, the intent is to try to make things physically playable, but it's not an exact science. if your MIDI file doesn't already have things split into separate tracks, then any algorithm that attempts to guess how to split things is going to be wrong a lot. the existing algorithm should be a lot better than just picking an arbitrary split point, but if you want to see if your score is an exception, try importing to just a single staff, then doing the split after the fact using the right click menu, which does use a fixed split point.

You ask for an ideal solution, and here it is: don't use MIDI for notation :-). It was never intended to convey notation information. If this was a score created in another notation program, use MusicXML instead. If it was created in a sequencer and MIDi is all you have, then at least use the facilities of the sequencer to split things up into tracks and to quanitze everything as best as you can before attempting to import.

Thanks for the tip about splitting the staff after the import. That solves problem #2.

For Problem #1 - a desperate need to simplify durations, here's the midi file. supertram_skool.mid
Here's an image of what the musescore file looks like after importing only the piano, set to only one voice, with no staff split until after the import: supertram_skool.png
Here's the musescore file itself, after importing as above: supertramp - school - j - piano - don't split until after import.mscz

Thanks Marc and/or others!

In reply to by jonathon.neville

The problem here isn't the durations, it's the start points for the notes, which are all over the place. If the start point is somewhere other than a clear beat point, and then there are multiple notes that all need to happen before the next clear beat point, there's nothing to simplify. As I said, it's better to quantize first before importing.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Okay, thanks. I used MidiEditor (from sourceforge) and quantized everything - to a 16th note grid.
After importing, the music sounds quantized, but still the durations are not simplified. Bar 54 in the upper staff could be a whole rest but is instead a series of rests of varying lengths, corresponding to the note lengths in the lower staff.

Bars 71-73 are now free of 32nd and 64th notes, but it's not much easier to read than before - there are still many ties when durations should have been simplified:

Quantized MIDI and new Musescore file also attached.

Do you know if there is any other software that does a better job at simplifying durations?

Could the problem be due to multiple voices in the piano channel? The music is easier to read when I set the Max Voices to 2 instead of 4, and easier still if I set it to 1 (as I have done in everything I have posted here).


In reply to by jonathon.neville

If you look carefully, you'll see the problem is, as I said, the note starts, not the lengths. For example, in measure 71, it looks like you hit "most" of a chord on beat 1, but added a D half a beat later. Hence the tie on the sustained notes (either that or multiple voices, but you've disabled that). You then repeated the D another half a beat later, requiring another tie for the sustained notes. The next tie is musically correct - this chord straddles the mid-point of the measure and thus requires a tie according to standard rules of notation. Then half a beat later the E & G repeat, requiring yet another tie. And so on. If you wanted that to be a single whole note, you would have need to not repeat notes within the chord. So there is quite still cleanup to do before readable notation can be created here.

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