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  1. #1

    Default LBP2 Tutorial:Music Transposing to music sequencer


    Note: I didnt create this tutorial, is was created by troll_s, here is the article in LBL.

    This is just a quick guide to some techniques for getting to make the songs you like into LBP 2. It is aimed at those who are not pitch perfect and know almost nothing about music.The music sequencer in LBP 2 is effectively an instrument by instrument midi file maker with a piano roll only view. Wikipedia can help you about understanding what midi is if you don't already know what they are or how they work. The midi file of the examples used in this first part of the tutorial is here: scale.mid (suggest right click and "save link as" or similar option depending on your browser)

    Ways of seeing music

    There are various ways of looking at sound, but for the purposes of this tutorial I will stick with the 3 most useful for transcribing songs to LBP2 Sheet music.

    Sheet music relies on you knowing how to read it, which for the basics is not hard.
    Simply put, each dot represents a note. It's placement in the staff (horizontal lines) says which key on the piano you should hit. As shown in image below:


    But there is more to music than just what notes, its what notes when and for how long, and if they should be played differently i.e. sharp or flat. A good starts outline of that can be found here.

    Tablature
    Guitar/Bass tabs like sheet music tell you what fret on what string to hold, when you pluck that string or strum. For single strings you can get out single notes. The tuning of the string is shown at the right - which is what note the string will make if you just pluck it without holding on any frets - this is shown in tabs with a 0.

    The same notes from the above scale on a tab:


    Piano Roll
    Piano roll view of music is very easy for the non musical to read, each row represents a key on a piano, the position of the bars shows what note to play and how long the bar is shows how long the note should be played for.

    The same notes from above examples on a roll:


    Seeing music in LBP
    As mentioned earlier LBP music sequencer is a view like a piano roll, well it is once you get into it further than the first view.

    First view after placing a single piano instrument segment ( you can resize the length of a single set of notes by moving the right stick up and down)

    If you hit square you get to the composing piano roll view, below is the set of notes from the examples above;

    So it is very easy to see the similarity to the other piano roll view.

    Transposing (copying) into LBP
    All very well you might say, for seeing how music looks, but how do you turn all those songs you like into the lbp music sequencer?

    Firstly this is not a place for the discussions on ethics or acceptable use of copyrighted works, you should see what use is acceptable, it is being shared publicly but it's not being sold directly, you should at least credit the original artist somewhere, and by artist I mean the person who wrote it not some random band you like that covered the song.

    Your new best friend
    Anvil Studio is a free program that lets you see music in sheet, tab and roll and it loads the details from midi files.

    From sheet music
    Two main options on how to do this, learn how to read enough sheet music and then enter the notes into lbp, or get sheet music copy note by note into the sheet music view of anvil, then change to the roll view and copy to lbp.

    From tabs
    When you have a guitar tab, or found one on the myriad of sites out there use this free tool to change it to piano.
    http://www.8notes.com/tab/
    you can then save the midi file produced and open it in anvil - and change to roll view and start copying notes into lbp.

    From midi files - the best and easiest way
    Find yourself a midi file you like, there are thousands out there, and googling for the song title and midi will usually take you right to what you are after. Save the midi to your computer (right click save as or save link as, especially if you have a something like quicktime that takes over playing the link and think you need to pay to save the file)

    Next open the midi in Anvil Studio, now most midi file contain lots of different channels of instruments, which is good, because you will need a row in lbp for each of them.

    The different channels will show up the top and you can select the one by one and use the drop down box at the left of the view to choose, staff (sheet music), tab and our favourite piano roll.

    You want the piano roll view to a near as match lbp view as possible to make it simpler to copy.

    The easiest settings for piano roll view;

    Time: 4/4
    Grid:1/32
    Note: single
    The rest on that row of drop down boxes is for adding, nice if composing but we aren't doing that.

    Now what we have is a view similar to LittleBigPlanet.

    Where, the single instrument square that is the default size is 1 bar. Which in 4/4 time is 4 whole notes - why this is is not important just that it matches.

    The columns of alternating colour on the instruments view in lbp are each 2 bars wide. So they fit 2 squares - but you can resize the instrument block to be up to 4 bars, if you have a longer set of notes then you have to add an additional block next to it.

    When you open a single bar block - you get the view for the notes. Each column in this view is a whole note, but there are 8 little dots in each, so you can have down to 1/8th notes.

    If you compare this to the anvil view; the bold lines in anvil represent the edges of 1 bar, inside that the thinner lines show the edges of whole notes, and the grid with dotted lines breaks each note into 8 blocks, for our purposes one block equals one dot in lbp.

    This is clearly shown in image below;

    So from here the process is a simple matter of plugging in notes in lbp to match the view you have in anvil.

    For each little block you make in sequencer view, you can use L3 to copy and paste it further down the sequencer for when you have sections that are the same as others, to save time re-entering the same sets more than once. Have a look at the song you are wanting to copy for the parts that are the same and use some nounce when making your block sizes to make this copy and pasting easier.

    Instruments
    You probably will want to make each instrument in your track on lbp similar to that in the midi you are working from, and this can be a little bit tricky.

    In the sequencer view its easiest to keep one instrument per row the snap to line up so that is easy enough. One row to match for each of the instrument in your midi file.

    The names of the instruments in your midi file should give you some reasonable clues as to what to pick from the sequencer instruments, but this is going to take some fiddling and trial and error. It is best to sort out what instruments, and note settings you will use before you start as you cant just cut and paste one set of notes to another instrument.

    Things to experiment with;
    for non-tuned instruments (like drums that don't have distinct notes) hit square in the note view and go through the "musical key" options with some sample notes placed and see how that changes the sound.
    • change the timbre by clicking on the individual notes and using the right stick, the colour of the bar will get lighter as you go further to the right, place down a few on the same row with different timbres and listen to how it changes the sound for each of the instruments.
    • if you get desperate go a bit old school - and pull out some sound objects and bung them on your sequencer - you'll have to pitch shift in their settings and paste note by note - for tuned instrument sounds each click left or right on the d-pad when pitch shifting is one line on the lbp piano roll view - it starts at C and clicks do go to the sharps (black piano key) before the next note (white piano key) if there is a piano key for in between (there is no e sharp or b sharp)
    • Need a good brass band - well unless they release a music pack you are plum out of luck - try some of the wave shape sequencer instruments and play about to see if you can get something that will work ok.
    • Change octaves of notes - if it is a tuned instrument the it is best to move a whole octave so it doesn't sound weird. An octave put simply is the set of notes abcdefg - you'll see how the pattern of piano key repeats and there is the little dotted lines to show each C. Hold X and drag a bot around notes to select as you would objects and then just drag them up or down the roll, remember what note in the pattern you started from and match that position when you move it up or down. i.e. if your pattern started with a c note(dotted line), make sure it is still on a c note when you move it.


    Mixing it up
    Once you have all your notes done in each of the instruments, you can fiddle with mix, or how loud the different instruments are relative to each other.

    Few options here, i'll go from smaller unit effects to larger;

    You can change it per note, use the right stick when you have selected a note, and make it louder or quieter by pushing up or down, this is represented by the dot size. You can also select the end dot of a note and adjust it separately making a note get louder or quieter as is played. You can use the start and end volumes to make notes fade in or fade out as they are played - this can help to match some types of instrument sounds or make nifty effects.

    You can change it per block so that some blocks are quieter than others - they default to 100% - you find that in the menu by hitting square when on the roll view for that block. This setting effects all notes in a block so notes already with lower volume will be further scaled down by using this setting.

    You can change it per row or groups of rows. hit square on the actual music sequencer object - that little purple box. In the volume section yo will see and option for number of sliders. It starts at 1 - so the volume change effect will be over all the instruments, increasing the number makes more sliders appear, but it also puts a line on the sequencer. Each section of the sequencer is then volume controlled by the corresponding slider.

    Looking at the instruments in anvil you will see a volume slider next to each, use these as a guide. Also next to each instrument you see a slider for.

    Panning
    The pan is how much of the sound is from your left and right speakers, you control it per block. The default is centre - equally out both sides - you can create an effect of moving by having each successive block change sides, either entirely or block by block have them drift one side to the other.

    Echo and reverb
    The echo adjust and reverb for each block is how much you would like that block to take on the overall echo and reverb settings set on the whole sequencer.

    Echo on the sequencer settings is adjusted in a few ways;
    • Time is how long before the sounds start echoing
    • Feedback is how much the echo echos
    • mix is how loud the echo is compared to the original sound

    You can get a very simple set of notes to sound very complex if you mess about with the echo time and the other 2 settings at 100% if your instruments echo adjust is also at 100%

    Reverb is sort of simlar to echo in a way but it is the immediate echo of how things sound in different places, a piano in the room of your house does not sound the same as the piano played in centre stage of a large hall if you are standing in the corner. By adjusting the reverb per block and instrument yo can have it sound like you suddenly moved your piano from in a small room into a cathedral for a few bars and brought it back.Play around and see what suits your song.

    Tempo and swing
    The tempo is how fast your song will play and the swing is how consistent that will be. The swing doesn't change it a whole lot, just so that it is at times slightly faster and others slightly slower but not so much that you cannot count a consistent beat.

    That should be enough info to get you on your way - any questions post them here, or say if there is some gap in my explanation. Do note I am a non-musical person myself so I may not be able to explain things about musical theory very well. As for scales setting I'm still figuring that out - but in terms of transposing your midi view is chromatic so leave it alone.
    Last edited by Arnald23; 02-17-2011 at 12:12 PM.


  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnald23 View Post
    Note: I didnt create this tutorial, is was created by troll_s, here is the article in LBL.
    As it's such an extensive work, I hope you asked for permission before copying this (and if not, you probably should), particularly as the author is a member of this website and chose not to post it here.

    Plus I'm fairly certain the correct term is "transcribing" not "transposing".


  3. #3

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    Thanks, much as I love music, it's just not something I've very good at. So any help I can get on the subject is much appreciated.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aya042 View Post
    As it's such an extensive work, I hope you asked for permission before copying this (and if not, you probably should), particularly as the author is a member of this website and chose not to post it here.

    Plus I'm fairly certain the correct term is "transcribing" not "transposing".
    Oh man I forgot to ask her no wounder I forgot something today! sorry about that.

  5. #5

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    Another important accuracy is the stripes aren't actually beats. Or at least, they aren't regards the tempo as the tempo isn't accurate!

    60 beats per minute should get through 60 stripes a minute, one a second, but at 60 BPM in the settings, it takes 14 seconds to play through 8 stripes in the sequencer meaning the actual BPM is far lower than the value selected in the sequencer settings, almost half. At 240 BPM, 16 stripes takes 8 seconds as it should.

    The swing in LBP2 also has much more impact between adjacent nodes. If you use a low tempo and treat each node as crotchet beat, swing can shift it to triple time. That is, ta, ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta, instead of the plain, vanilla ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta. (At least it was that way in the Beta. I haven't done much music in LBP2 proper yet!)

  6. #6
    Troll_sb
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aya042 View Post
    As it's such an extensive work, I hope you asked for permission before copying this (and if not, you probably should), particularly as the author is a member of this website and chose not to post it here.

    Plus I'm fairly certain the correct term is "transcribing" not "transposing".
    Wasn't asked before or after. I do not post here much as I have found the community over at Little Big Land to be more friendly and welcoming to newer people and far more positive overall. I am also not a fan of cross posting my own work to every other site that is similar - if others do I am mostly ok with it - better if they spell my name right when crediting.

    The term probably is wrong I am of the non-musical variety myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty Geezer View Post
    Another important accuracy is the stripes aren't actually beats. Or at least, they aren't regards the tempo as the tempo isn't accurate!

    60 beats per minute should get through 60 stripes a minute, one a second, but at 60 BPM in the settings, it takes 14 seconds to play through 8 stripes in the sequencer meaning the actual BPM is far lower than the value selected in the sequencer settings, almost half. At 240 BPM, 16 stripes takes 8 seconds as it should.

    The swing in LBP2 also has much more impact between adjacent nodes. If you use a low tempo and treat each node as crotchet beat, swing can shift it to triple time. That is, ta, ta-ta, ta-ta, ta-ta, instead of the plain, vanilla ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta. (At least it was that way in the Beta. I haven't done much music in LBP2 proper yet!)
    I had noticed it seemed to play waaay slower than it should, but wasn't sure if that was just me.

    As for swing I wanted to keep the explanation as simple as possible and let people play with it as is is a guide aimed at people who know nothing about music.


  7. #7
    Wischmop
    Guest

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    Hey there!
    I'm trying to transcribe some RPG music to my LBP-Level.
    I'm using Anvil Studio (I already had AS for general Midi editing)
    But The Piano roll-View is a bit buggy.
    I'm always confused when scrolling to the left or to the right.
    So: Is ther another alternative?

  8. #8
    Troll_sb
    Guest

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    I tend to keep track of the time at the top to make sure I am looking at the same bit. You can zoo out more to keep track and just think about it to keep your note lengths in order, There are loads of midi piano roll viewing programs, not all free ware and they may have a view you prefer. Or if you get used to seeing the sheet music view you might find that easier to work from.

  9. #9

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    If I only listened and took a life of music....
    My first level released: http://lbp.me/v/xspmgn Bouncejump Factory

    My second level: http://lbp.me/v/x4mj2d Colours in Concealment

  10. #10

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    I can't get 8notes to create a MIDI file. I tried to upload the tabs from a document text and copied from the internet, nothing works

  11. #11

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    Great guide! Really helpful to make my own music!
    My LittleBigPlanet 2 Level(s):

  12. #12

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    Very helpful to the non-musician I'm sure, well done and accurate as far as I can tell...oh, and it would be transcribing, as transposing would be changing the key of a particular piece
    Sackbotwins-Upcoming LBP2 level! (name undecided ;p)
    "I've gone to find myself...if I arrive before I return, tell me to wait?"

  13. #13

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    Awesome Guide, i thought i never be able to figure out how to use the music synthesizer, even if i only wanna rebuild an existing song, cause i cant read music notes at all... but with this Tutorial and Anvil Studio, i actually rebuild a song and it even sounds like it. Haha.

    Thanks alot, troll_s for making this incredible Guide. And thanks Arnald23 just for posting it here lol.


    Collected Gems of LBPV:
    Gems 1 Gems 2 Gems 3 Gems 4

  14. #14

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    Very helpful guide, I was wondering if there is any chance that there might be a new or updated tutorial or one that better explains how to transcribe sheet music onto the LBP piano roll setting. Thanks.

  15. Thanks!


  16. #15
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    Hi Agentsackboy007,

    I've also seen this tutorial for the first time and its pretty good! Since the musicsequencers of lbp2 and lbp3 are identical, the info given in it is still current. Even Anvil Studio is still the program that lots of people use to transcribe midi files to piano roll or sheet sight! If you have the piano roll view of a song f.e. via Anvil Studio then you can give in the notes that you see step by step into the musicsequencer. For this you don't need to have any knowledge of notes and note length etc.
    I prefer to give in notes from sheets directly and manually! For this you need to know the basics of notes and note legth, but if you're familiar with those musical basics, then giving in the notes into the musicsequencer is also rather simple!
    Since I'm currently describing how I'm composing songs in my blog, I'll probably do a little video, how I give in the notes of my musical ideas into the musicsequencer! But not yet in the next video, cause first I describe how I write the musical ideas on music sheet paper. But after this, I will show, how to give in those notes into the musicsequencer!

    Many greetings, Jürgen^^

  17. Thanks!


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