View Full Version : Classical MIDI


wheatgrinder
01-14-2011, 04:58 PM
Hi all,
I used to be heavily into MIDI (then I got all analog and stuff) well now with this film thing and always needing some legal music I thought Id dig out a sound module and hook it up and tweak some MIDI files. I can edit and rearrange classical MIDI files that I find, for example from pages like this..

http://www.piano-midi.de/

How much attribution to the original MIDI encoder, if any, do you think is appropriate?

Thanks

Dreadylocks
01-14-2011, 04:59 PM
At the very least a producer credit, I'd say.

Cracker Funk
01-14-2011, 11:47 PM
Yeah, I've done the MIDI with public domain thing before, and it can work really well. My opinion -- best to stick with piano (or similar). Unless you have expensive software, and really know what you're doing, every other instrument is going to sound like it's coming from a synthesizer.

Anyway, to answer your question, I think you need to ask the performer's permission and give them credit as "sequenced by". And then you take credit as "sequence edited by" and "recorded by".

Cracker Funk
01-14-2011, 11:49 PM
By the way, before you spend any money, make sure you stop by your local music store, as well as talking to somebody at musician's friend, and do a little legwork. You probably don't want or need a module. You're probably better off going softsynth. Do you know what sequencing software you'll be using?

Alcove Audio
01-15-2011, 01:02 AM
I was a big time MIDIot before I got into audio post. I have dozens of classical MIDI files and hundreds of "pop" songs.

Unless you have expensive software, and really know what you're doing, every other instrument is going to sound like it's coming from a synthesizer

But sometimes that can be exactly what you want. It all depends upon what kind of sound you're looking for.

There are lots of very cool - and very expensive - orchestral sequencers/libraries out there like Miroslav, East/West, Vienna Symphonic, Garritan and Arturia.

For me there's just something special about "real" modules. Of course, I'm really old school from way before there was such a thing as MIDI and digital audio. There was a time when my keyboard set-up was a Hammond organ w/Leslie, Rhodes piano, Elka string ensemble and a Moog and we recorded to 2" analog tape. I like using softsynths, but, amazingly enough, it's not unusual for me to route it back into an amp, and then mic the amp - I just love the real air.

CamVader
01-15-2011, 01:32 AM
Do you guys have any thoughts on ACID/WAV created music? I've been thinking about dabbling in that for royalty free backgrounds.

Cracker Funk
01-15-2011, 02:12 AM
Do you guys have any thoughts on ACID/WAV created music? I've been thinking about dabbling in that for royalty free backgrounds.

I can't say I'm familiar with "ACID/WAV". Sony Acid is a beast. Very popular recording/sequencing software. Though, to ask what I think of Acid created music would be like asking what I think of music. You gotta record it (and possibly sequence it) on something.

Back when I did this actively, I used Sonar. But that's because before I recorded actual audio, I only sequenced. And back in the day, the unanimous sequencing software of choice was Cakewalk. So, for me it was a natural transition to Sonar. I don't keep up on this, but to the best of my knowledge (which is limited), Pro Tools is still the best bet.

Here's my real answer to your question. You want to dabble in this? And you want to use your dabbling in music in your filmmaking projects? I'm sorry, but I think that's a bad idea.

MIDI sequencing is an art just like any other. You can't just read a manual and instantly be good at it. It takes practice -- a lot of it. You're a very capable person. I've seen your graphic art, and I've seen your first short film, and I've been equally impressed by both. But I'd be surprised if you can just jump right in to sequencing and just rock my world.

There is a TON of music out there, and a lot of really quality work that won't cost you much of anything to use. Filmmaking is collaborative, and I think music is one such place where it's really important to let someone else do the work.

CamVader
01-15-2011, 03:02 AM
Thanks, CF. I wouldn't use it to score a short, but more for intro/outro purposes. I was a (cough) musician in my younger years and probably remember enough theory for passable results in a pinch.

I hear what you are saying, though.

Alcove Audio
01-15-2011, 03:24 AM
You use the tools you are most comfortable with. I started with MOTU Performer (when there was no such thing as digital audio) on a Mac Quadra 605. Before that I used hardware sequencers. For MIDI I still prefer Digital Performer and then transfer the completed MIDI files to Pro Tools for audio recording, manipulation and mixing.

The key (pardon the pun) to making MIDI convincing is not just the sound palette but understanding how the individual instruments behave and interact with each other as sections, and interact with different instruments/sections. For example, some B-flat brass instruments, like the trumpet, have slightly sharp "B"s and "E"s. String sections tend to get sharper as long pieces of music progress; the string players are "deafened" by the brass section behind them and play sharper in order to hear themselves better. Brass sections go slightly flat as their instruments expand (one or two cents). Groups of musicians speed up going into and slow down coming out of a chorus. Real players do not play perfectly in time. There are dozens more details which contribute to making sequenced material sound "real".

Recreating believable "human" performances is very challenging and a great deal of fun.

Murdock
01-15-2011, 05:21 AM
I love a MIDI bass line....Thunder Cats Hooooooooooooooohhhh!!!!

Cracker Funk
01-15-2011, 07:54 AM
Thanks, CF. I wouldn't use it to score a short, but more for intro/outro purposes. I was a (cough) musician in my younger years and probably remember enough theory for passable results in a pinch.

I hear what you are saying, though.

Cool. Well then, yeah, Acid is terrific.

Xeper Aum
01-15-2011, 08:33 AM
I use a lot of MOTU software and their Symphonic Instrument package is excellent as is their other softwares. There are easy to manipulate loops and phrases, melodies that can be built up, as well as good sounding instruments.
Forget about Musicians Friend go to American Musical Supply, they have the best prices and deals.

Cracker Funk
01-15-2011, 08:37 AM
Just for shits and giggles (hope you don't mind the off-topic post, wheat):

On this song, the rythm and lead guitar are obviously live. Everything else is MIDI, sequenced by yours truly. Actually, the rythm guitar is doubled -- one live, and one sequenced with Virtual Guitarist.

fxWthvZXgNM

And no, that language is not Na'vi.

FantasySciFi
02-03-2011, 04:01 PM
Hi all,
I used to be heavily into MIDI (then I got all analog and stuff) well now with this film thing and always needing some legal music I thought Id dig out a sound module and hook it up and tweak some MIDI files. I can edit and rearrange classical MIDI files that I find, for example from pages like this..

http://www.piano-midi.de/

How much attribution to the original MIDI encoder, if any, do you think is appropriate?

Thanks

This comes back a question posted on another thread about copyright. Back in the 1990's there were tons of MIDIs. Then the Harry Fox Agency started chasing after MIDI producers since they didn't pay for the right to perform the music and violated copyright. Music, like writing, is transcribed. MIDI is a computer transcription. Lots of MIDIs sites were shut down.

So again, there is the musical copyright triad--lyrics, music, and performance. If you are going to include the MIDI as part of your movie, I would check to get performance rights from the original producer even though it's a MIDI. I would further get permission and give credit to the original musician with adaptation acknowledgement to the MIDI creator.

Again, if it was just for your own personal use, this would likely not be an issue. Once you charge money or put it in a public view (performance), you step outside of fair use. And possibly into the court room. If this is a classical MIDI, you would be best to get written permission from the MIDI creator. You likely won't need to pay anything. If it is contemporary (within the last 75 years), you will likely need to get permission from the original artist and/or recording label. Probably you will pay performance fees, even for the MIDI.

Remember, on the screen what they are hearing is the musical performance. It doesn't matter what medium was used to create it.

Cracker Funk
02-04-2011, 12:47 AM
This comes back a question posted on another thread about copyright. Back in the 1990's there were tons of MIDIs. Then the Harry Fox Agency started chasing after MIDI producers since they didn't pay for the right to perform the music and violated copyright. Music, like writing, is transcribed. MIDI is a computer transcription. Lots of MIDIs sites were shut down.

So again, there is the musical copyright triad--lyrics, music, and performance. If you are going to include the MIDI as part of your movie, I would check to get performance rights from the original producer even though it's a MIDI. I would further get permission and give credit to the original musician with adaptation acknowledgement to the MIDI creator.

Again, if it was just for your own personal use, this would likely not be an issue. Once you charge money or put it in a public view (performance), you step outside of fair use. And possibly into the court room. If this is a classical MIDI, you would be best to get written permission from the MIDI creator. You likely won't need to pay anything. If it is contemporary (within the last 75 years), you will likely need to get permission from the original artist and/or recording label. Probably you will pay performance fees, even for the MIDI.

Remember, on the screen what they are hearing is the musical performance. It doesn't matter what medium was used to create it.

That's all good advice. However, I kinda got the impression that we were talking about classical works that are in public domain. So, get permission from the performer, and give them credit as "sequenced by", then give yourself credit as "sequencing edited by".

If we're talking about music that's not in the public domain, well shit, why are you even using shitty-ass MIDI in the first place?

FantasySciFi
02-04-2011, 03:13 PM
That's all good advice. However, I kinda got the impression that we were talking about classical works that are in public domain. So, get permission from the performer, and give them credit as "sequenced by", then give yourself credit as "sequencing edited by".

If we're talking about music that's not in the public domain, well shit, why are you even using shitty-ass MIDI in the first place?

There are also shitty-ass classical MIDIs. :P And you are right, 98% of all classical MIDIs are public domain. There are a few that fall through the cracks.

Not all music which we think of as 'classical' is out of copyright. Musicians like Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Bernstein, and others died after 1940, so their works are technically still protected. With Disney's effort to protect Mickey, there was an extension of copyright; even works by Padrewski, Elgar and others who died after 1915 may be protected.

And for Fantasia, Disney hired Stokowski to revise classical pieces. His revisions are owned by Disney and are copyrighted. Technically, any MIDI which uses the Fantasia renditions could potential have Disney's lawyers pursuing them. Will they? Probably not. Since many classical MIDIs are sequenced from a score, there is always some possible complications--that small 2%. HOWEVER, Mozart, Beethoven and any composer who died before 1900 is a very safe bet.

TotalComposure
04-04-2011, 11:53 AM
There are two kinds of copyright, composition and performance. Mozart is long dead, his compositions are in the public domain. London philharmonic recorded a Mozart composition, that recording is copyrighted for the next 70 years - Same deal with MIDI, if you transcribe a public domain composition into a format such as MIDI then that MIDI file is copyrighted.