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New member introduction #6668
Actually, pre-knowledge of the next chord is exactly how Band In A Box manages to pull off better voice leading (on styles written for it) but it's a complicated system, and would probably add too much complexity to style creation to be cost effective for arranger manufacturers. Remember, the guy who writes the style has to also write all those extra lines leading from one chord to a whole bunch of other ones..!

The one feature I always wanted for the Chord Sequencer was a simple 'input quantize' setting where the input would get auto quantized to the nearest quarter or eighth note (user selectable) so when played back it was bang on the tick and glitches would be gone. It's a pretty common feature in sequencers, not hard to add. Alternatively, have the CSQ file be editable in the 16 track sequencer so you can edit and quantize it there after the fact. But realtime quantize would be more practical for live use.

I rather doubt I would find queuing chords to be a very practical idea... there's a lot of potential minefields waiting in that idea. Consider what happens if you accidentally play the cue pedal early, or late! At least playing them live you can correct a mistake quickly, but a queue would be impossible to correct unless you had two pedals for advance and retard the queue... starting to get a bit too complicated, IMHO!

For me, the perfect solution was simply to play as slowly as you could guarantee that your input was correct. Needs no further 'features'...

As to choice of DAW, currently I'm using Reaper but not that happy with its MIDI implementation. I used Cubase for decades (since the Atari!) but got priced out of it eventually. I am trying Apple's free 90 day tryout of Logic ProX at the moment, and it shows promise. But basically, complexity is the tradeoff you get for capability. There are 'beginner' versions of Cubase, Logic, Live, most of the main DAW's which might be worth trying, but I often find them missing some of my most cherished esoteric editing tools and you need the full Pro version to get those. For instance...

One of my favorite editing tricks is positional editing within the bar. Let's say you have a drum track, and want to raise the velocity of JUST the backbeats on the snare but leave the rest of the track alone. Most pro DAW's allow you to do this. Or let's say you wanted to get rid of all the tiny one or two tick 'glitch' notes from an entire song... simply select all notes LESS THAN three or four ticks and delete. Voilà! There are all sorts of time saving tricks like this lurking in the more complex DAW's. But there's no reason why you can't start out with a simpler version and step up as and when needed.

But whatever you get, be prepared to roll your sleeves up and do some work! A DAW is just like a musical instrument. Approach learning it like you would an instrument, start slowly and simply, don't try to compose a symphony out of the gate, learn your scales first! Do little editing exercises before you tackle whole pieces. Get comfortable with transferring SMF's between the DAW and the arranger. Organize your data on your computer, make it easy to find songs you are working on, etc..

As long as you ignore all the audio stuff and VSTi stuff and all the other tempting goodies in the DAW, you should be focussed enough to gain a working knowledge of the MIDI editing tools. But start messing with the shiny toys and you may never get out of the rabbit hole! There's time for that later. Most pro DAW's include some VSTi's that put our arrangers' sounds to shame, and can add a very 'pro' sheen to your tracks, but you will need to have the basic editing chops down first. Walk, don't run!

If you are using Windows, I'm afraid I can't give personal experience, but possibly a starter version of Cubase might be the way to go. If on a Mac, Logic Express, Cubase LE, maybe even Garage Band might work for you. And if you want to dive in the deep end on Windows, Cakewalk Sonor (their TOTL DAW) is completely free. Plus there are many free 90 day tryouts of top DAW's because of COVID-19 so now's a great time to see what they can do...

Welcome to the rabbit hole..! :evil:
3 months 2 weeks ago Last edit: 3 months 2 weeks ago by Diki.
BK-9 BK-7m G70. Kurzweil K2500S, Korg Triton. Samick upright piano. iMac 27", HR824 monitors.
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