Complete newbie. Very basic questions, please help.

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Postby dnaygs » 10-01-15 5:57 pm

Hi, I'm thinking of getting synthesia.

Do all the songs have sheet music?

If I download a midi file, how do I get the sheet music to show up in synthesia?

Do midi files have that information automatically? Do I need to download the sheet music separately?

Also I have a yamaha p-120 which I assume should work fine with a midi to usb cable right?

I am a complete novice at everything related here, please keep that in mind, and thanks in advance for any help. Also, please refer me to any relevant posts as I'm sure these topics have been discussed but I could not find what I was looking for.
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Postby monkel » 10-03-15 1:34 am

> Do all the songs have sheet music?

Synthesia is able to display a recreated note sheet for every midi file. But as the midi format is not note based but event based (tone on, tone off, volume, ...) it may not look exactly like the sheet music it was made from. Especially with midis recorded from manual play there will be a few surprise staccato and dotted notes there. Also the display still has a few bug being ironed out for the next version (e. g. stem direction incorrect above c4 and no finger hints).

> If I download a midi file, how do I get the sheet music to show up in synthesia?

Press the note symbol in the top bar.

> Do midi files have that information automatically? Do I need to download the sheet music separately?

See above.

> Also I have a yamaha p-120 which I assume should work fine with a midi to usb cable right?

Yes, any midi keyboard is supported. Just make sure not to get the cheapest midi usb cable, some have been known to cause lots of problems:
http://www.synthesiagame.com/keyboards/ ... sktop/midi
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Postby ExiledEtude » 10-03-15 7:16 pm

I have a Yamaha P-35 and it works fine with Roland's UM-ONE http://www.roland.com/products/um-one/
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Postby dnaygs » 10-04-15 2:52 pm

Great, thanks so much for the help
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Postby fkuebler » 10-10-16 2:55 pm

I'm a newbie as well, for both the piano and Synthesia. I haven't quite understood the previous posts, so I beg pardon for asking my own questions here:

a) I'm using the iPad version of Synthesia. Can I import midi files into this as well? If yes, then I guess it's simply done via iTunes. Correct?

b) Are there midi files, which are compatible to Synthesia in the sense, that when imported into Synthesia they do display the musical notes (sorry, I'm German, is this meant by the term "sheet music"?) and do wait in progress until I have played the note on the attached midi keyboard? I hope I have expressed myself in an understandable way...

c) If there are such midi files, from where can I find them, specifically easy stuff for learning purposes, just as an addition to the app. 100 songs already included in Synthesia?

Thanks very much for your understanding patience with a bloody newbie, and for every help granted.
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Postby monkel » 10-10-16 3:11 pm

Answering in German to make it easier.

a) I'm using the iPad version of Synthesia. Can I import midi files into this as well? If yes, then I guess it's simply done via iTunes. Correct?

Einfach in Safari auf einen Link zu einer Midi Datei klicken und bei installiertem Synthesia wird dieses angeboten, um damit die Datei zu öffnen.
Zum Beispiel hier rechts auf Download und dann midi klicken:
https://musescore.com/user/8115456/scores/2744151

b) Are there midi files, which are compatible to Synthesia in the sense, that when imported into Synthesia they do display the musical notes (sorry, I'm German, is this meant by the term "sheet music"?) and do wait in progress until I have played the note on the attached midi keyboard? I hope I have expressed myself in an understandable way...

Alle Midi Dateien sind im Prinzip kompatibel. Allerdings können sie zu viele Spuren haben, für das Klavier wird im Prinzip nur linke und rechte Hand separat benötigt. Auf Musescore einfach nach Piano filtern oder auf Google nach Piano midi suchen und man wird fündig, es kann aber dauern und die Qualität ist sehr unterschiedlich.

Einfacher im Synthesia Store: https://www.synthesiagame.com/store
Dort gekaufte Songs kommen mit Finger-Tipps und sind auf Synthesia optimiert.

Noten kann man in Synthesia immer einblenden (Notensymbol oben rechts), sie werden aber in der aktuellen Fassung nicht gut dargestellt.

c) If there are such midi files, from where can I find them, specifically easy stuff for learning purposes, just as an addition to the app. 100 songs already included in Synthesia?

siehe oben
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Postby fkuebler » 10-10-16 3:44 pm

monkel wrote:Answering in German to make it easier.

Meinen allerbesten Dank.

Einfach in Safari ... Zum Beispiel hier rechts auf Download und dann midi klicken:
https://musescore.com/user/8115456/scores/2744151

Ich bekomme beim Anklicken im iPad-Safari leider nur die Noten gezeigt und "Play on MuseScore iOS" zum Klicken angeboten. Aber wenn ich den Midi-File auf meinem Mac downloade und über iTunes als Synthesia-Dokument auf den iPad uploade, dann kann ich ihn anschliessend mit Synthesia spielen.

Danke!

Einfacher im Synthesia Store: https://www.synthesiagame.com/store
Dort gekaufte Songs kommen mit Finger-Tipps und sind auf Synthesia optimiert.

Aber ich finde da - auf den ersten Blick - nichts aus der Piano-Anfänger-Schule, sondern eher nur "modische" Musik, so wie aus Charts etc., und vielleicht deshalb sind die ja auch relativ teuer, zumindest für jemanden wie mich, der einfach nur ein bisschen üben möchte.

Gibt es vielleicht sonstwo noch einen Fundus für jemanden mit meinen Interessen? Ist MuseScore diesbezüglich besser?
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Postby jimhenry » 10-10-16 3:48 pm

fkuebler wrote:c) If there are such midi files, from where can I find them, specifically easy stuff for learning purposes, just as an addition to the app. 100 songs already included in Synthesia?

Sorry I have to answer in English. My German in much worse than your English. :oops:

It is pretty easy to create MIDI files, especially easy stuff for learning purposes. You can use the free MuseScore program to create MIDI files. The MIDI files you create will be able to use all the features of Synthesia. If you take the time to learn to create MIDI files, Synthesia becomes an even more powerful learning tool because you can use Synthesia to help you on any learning path you choose to follow.

When Synthesia 11 is released, it will also have the ability to use MusicXML files, which will provide the best sheet music display. MusicXML files are not as widely available as MIDI files. If you make your own files with MuseScore, then you can produce MusicXML files as easily as MIDI files.
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Postby fkuebler » 10-10-16 4:02 pm

jimhenry wrote:It is pretty easy to create MIDI files, especially easy stuff for learning purposes. You can use the free MuseScore program to create MIDI files.
...

Thank you so much for caring. But I have to say that at present I need all of my motivational energy for doing exercises on the piano, and I must not have excuses for playing instead around with gadgets... :)

So maybe you can point me to where I can find Synthesia compatible midi files from a pool of "classical" piano beginners exercises?
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Postby monkel » 10-10-16 5:31 pm

Are you looking for "finger practice" or classical pieces like "für elise"?

If you know pieces you'd like to play look around here: http://hub.computersninternet.org/hub/midi

Finger practice: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1794&hilit=hanon
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Postby jimhenry » 10-10-16 5:55 pm

Trying to teach yourself to play piano is not easy. A teacher is a much better way to start. But if you must teach yourself, you should at least find a good teaching method book, video, or whatever that you can stick to for at least six months. At the beginning your goal is to develop good habits for how you play a piano. It is not just a matter of learning to read music and pressing the right keys at the right time. If you learn from a book that is designed for self-teaching, you will read a lot about playing technique and there will only be a little music at the start. The likelihood that whatever music you initially encounter will be available as a MIDI file is slim.

It probably won't take more than a day to learn to make a MIDI file for a simple piece of music. Once you know how to do it, you'll probably be able to make a MIDI file for a simple exercise in less than 15 minutes. And you WILL be advancing your musical education as you enter music into the computer because you'll be learning about musical notation and you'll be studying the music you are about to play.

As an example,here is an online beginner's piano course (not necessarily one I would recommend): http://www.piano-play-it.com/piano-technique.html I think the first real exercise comes at Lesson 7:
Piano-Play-It_Lesson_7_Exercise.png
Piano-Play-It_Lesson_7_Exercise.png (29.12 KiB) Viewed 9824 times

And here are the MIDI file and the MusicXML file which took me 10 minutes to create.
Attachments
Piano-Play-It.com_Lesson_7_Exercise.xml
MusicXML
(56.59 KiB) Downloaded 239 times
Piano-Play-It.com_Lesson_7_Exercise.mid
MIDI
(2.31 KiB) Downloaded 190 times
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Postby fkuebler » 10-10-16 6:27 pm

monkel wrote:Are you looking for "finger practice" or classical pieces like "für elise"?

Unfortunately I'm still in such a newbie stage, that I should first work hard with the "finger practice" type of stuff, before heaving earned the right (and the capabilities) for playing the "for elise" type of stuff...

Thank you for having provided access to both...
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Postby fkuebler » 10-10-16 6:34 pm

jimhenry wrote:Trying to teach yourself to play piano is not easy. A teacher is a much better way to start.

Even as a newbie I can confirm this: I'm taking lessons from a professional teacher since a couple of months, one hour per week. My problem is that I nearly don't do exercises at home, because my very low level of playing doesn't motivate me. Which of course keeps my progress very limited... A vicious circle...

With the Synthesia type of stuff my motivation is a bit higher, at least at the moment, so I will combine both approaches in the future, with the Synthesia work hopefully improving my technical capabilities, such that the teacher con focus on improving my musical capabilities.
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Postby jimhenry » 10-10-16 8:35 pm

fkuebler wrote:I'm taking lessons from a professional teacher since a couple of months, one hour per week. My problem is that I nearly don't do exercises at home, because my very low level of playing doesn't motivate me. Which of course keeps my progress very limited... A vicious circle...

It is excellent that you are able to take lessons from a teacher. The lack of desire to play beginning exercises has been the curse of beginning music students for as long as there have been beginning music students.

The bad news is that it is going to be some time until you can play interesting music. A clever teacher will figure out ways to make the exercises more interesting for the beginner. It doesn't seem like your teacher is doing that. If the relationship permits, you might want to push your teacher to give you more interesting things to increase your motivation.

What kind of music do you want to play? We might be able to give you ideas for things to supplement your lessons that are a bit more interesting to play. If you are interested in popular music, some of it isn't too hard to play, at least in simpler arrangements. Playing along with other parts can make things more interesting too. This post viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5104&p=28837 has "A Tisket, A Tasket" with an accompaniment added. Does that make things more interesting for you?
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Postby monkel » 10-11-16 4:06 am

I'm also taking professional lessons and my approach is to use the personal attention and time I pay for to work on things that I'm no good at teaching myself:

* posture
* good fingering
* solving difficult passages
* get suggestions for music that I could play and like and possibly get help to simplify sheet music to learn it step by step. Some music that I like is incredibly hard to play well (e. g. Beatles) while I ignore others that would be enjoyable because I don't know about them (classical pieces, current pop pieces)

I use Synthesia to

* practice hands separately, so that I still get to enjoy the complete piece acoutically (left + right)
* practice loops for difficult sections
* jump to certain sections with bookmarks
* practice timing and rythm - I prefer it much over the classic metronome

Also my teacher knows about Synthesia (though he does not use or advertise it himself) and he records midi files for me where I only have sheet music so that I can listen to his performance at home when practicing. This is very usefull to me.
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Postby jimhenry » 10-11-16 10:22 am

Excellent suggestions on making good use of a teacher.
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Postby fkuebler » 10-11-16 12:10 pm

jimhenry wrote:A clever teacher will figure out ways to make the exercises more interesting for the beginner. It doesn't seem like your teacher is doing that.

I don't want to blame her, and possibly I'm just a somewhat too big challenge for her, because of my heavily (nearly asperger autistic) cognitive nature, my lack of musical talent (completely different to my wife), and my lack of discipline. Some months after I had started 10 months ago, my 9-year-old daughter started as well with lessons. She exercises very little (like me), but because she inherited her mothers talent, she is already way beyond myself. I watch that with both paternal pride and envy...

With my background, why at all do I want to learn playing piano? Some gut feeling still keeps me interested, and this sure isn't any desire to play christmas songs at a party (what a thought!). I very much like the emotional resonances, which I can feel from well composed cords and from harmonies. And for experimenting with this (by myself and for myself) I want to get the minimum technical level needed.

What kind of music do you want to play?

That's not so easy to say, because of the gap between my desire and my capability. What I like, that is electronics music on synthesizers, progressive rock like the one from Klaus Schulze (the German word is Klangteppich, "sound carpet" sure isn't a good translation). Will I ever be able to play something like this? Most probably not, but the imagination still keeps me continuing the process.

This post viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5104&p=28837 has "A Tisket, A Tasket" with an accompaniment added. Does that make things more interesting for you?

Those harmonies added to an otherwise completely uninteresting song come quite close to what I tried to describe above.

But regardless from how I look at things: in all cases, before even the faintest dreams can come closer, I will need some minimal technical safety. Just reading and playing notes, with two hands and two different clefs. What a challenge this is right now... :roll:

But Synthesia appears to help.
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Postby fkuebler » 10-11-16 12:10 pm

jimhenry wrote:Excellent suggestions on making good use of a teacher.

I cannot agree more!
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Postby jimhenry » 10-11-16 12:32 pm

Playing electronics music on synthesizers is not quite the same as a playing a piano. It is closer to playing an organ. There is a lot in common of course. But there are important differences too. The biggest is that a piano touch is not used on an organ and is used differently on some synthesizers. Does your teacher have any experience with organ or synthesizer? If not, I would find someone who does before too long. You may be spending time, or at least avoiding spending time, learning things that are not efficiently advancing you toward your goal.
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Postby jimhenry » 10-11-16 12:57 pm

There are some MIDI files that are labeled as being Klaus Schulze music: http://www.midi-karaoke.info/210e72b9.html

I downloaded "Pearly Dew Drops (XG).mid" and just watched it in a MIDI file player. I think the piano tracks might be within your abilities. Some of the others might be too but I don't think they'd be much fun to play.
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