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Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Discuss and share submissions to the Contrebombarde website.

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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby OrganoPleno » Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:34 pm

jkinkennon wrote:The purpose on Contrebombarde has always been to distinguish recordings of actual performances from recordings which are manufactured by building a MIDI file, conceivably with more voices than any real player could manage.


So what's wrong with having more voices?

I think the distinction on ContreBombarde is intended to distinguish between performances that are "musically valid" (called "live") and those which play back an automatically-scanned MIDI file, or perhaps a MIDI file found "somewhere", origins unknown (called "MIDI").

I also think that a hand-crafted MIDI file can be "musically valid", just as much as a live performance, even though produced through "alternate means". After all, for ANY Hauptwerk performance, the sounds of the Pipe Organ are being produced through "alternate means".
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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby jkinkennon » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:36 pm

OrganoPleno wrote:So what's wrong with having more voices?


I don't think I wrote anything that indicated that a MIDI file created manually was in any way inferior to the live recording. They are just different.

There may be some confusion about MIDI files. If the MIDI file is recorded from a live performance then it is possible to exactly recreate the original keystrokes with precise timing and articulation. This MIDI file can produce a carbon copy of the original performance so long as it is played on the same equipment in the same room. Provided the original sample set is used a nearly identical copy of the original performance can be produced at a different location. No need to split hairs, but for me this remains a "live recording".

If the same music is entered into a MIDI editing program the precise timing along with the human variations will be lost of course. The result will be the right collection of notes at approximately the same time. The resulting file can be "humanized" with some editors so that the timing of events mimics human imperfections, but the result is still a mechanical thing that may differ a great deal from the live performance of a human organ player. This would clearly NOT be a live recording.

For audio recordings the same basic ideas apply. It's either a live recording (same as captured live) or it's the product of a MIDI file which was not a live recording to begin with.

Note that playing back a HW recording generally sounds the same whether you play back the audio or the MIDI file. The exception might be the MIDI file which sounds better in a multichannel set-up if compared to a HW mixed down audio track.
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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby csw900 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:13 am

If it has been recorded then it is NOT live.

It may be a recording of a live performance but this does not make it live.

Somebody needs to think about this properly and alter the recording categories on
contrebombarde to more accurate and meaningful descriptions of the many ways
which an organ recording can be made.

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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby telemanr » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:22 am

Does anyone really think that a recording on the site marked "live" Is confusing? Does anyone think it means the site is like a radio station broadcasting a live performance. Perhaps we have to say "recorded during a live performance." Or perhaps we don't.
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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby TheOrganDoc » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:31 pm

The Live vs MIDI designation, was placed in CB,
due to a few Poster's uploading "Many Midi Files",
that were copied from, Band Organ Paper Music Rolls ,
which are quite obvious,
or to some of us "Very Obnoxious" ! :oops:

I have recently, listened to many Coin Operated Band Organs, at a Museum,
on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California,
and enjoyed putting in Quarters, to hear them play "Live" from their Paper Music Rolls ! :lol:

There is no comparison between that sort of music,
and Live Classical or Theater Organ Performances Via Midi ! :roll:

The Band Organ Player rolls were mostly perforated by experts directly from the sheet music,
"in perfect meter" to the master paper Roll, as were "Many Piano Rolls" cut the same way,
THESE WERE NOT "LIVE COPY'S" of "LIVE PERFORMANCES" !

When listening to CB, Most of us do not expect to hear "Mechanical Band Organ Style Music" !

The designation "Live vs Midi",
should be changed to "Mechanical, vs Musician Performed" or some Synonym !
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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby jkinkennon » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:35 pm

I agree that "live" vs "MIDI" is a poor choice though I think we all know what is meant. Since a live MIDI file is subject to being played back through different sample sets I suspect that it's useful to use the existing designations. I'm sure a proficient organist would object to his work being butchered by a poor registration and would resist sharing the MIDI file for that reason alone. Other organists may have difficulty with the fact that a MIDI file can capture and reproduce their performance.

As to shared MIDI files that some don't find worthy of being stored on the server I tend to agree, but that's a slippery slope except that contributions should be limited to pipe organ files.

In any case I'm guilty of beating this dead horse by now. When we intend to understand one another's meaning then I think language is not the barrier we make it out to be.
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Re: Performance Type: Live' vs 'MIDI'

Postby jcfelice88keys » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:25 pm

Hello All,

Let me preface this response by stating: "I did not maliciously set out to expose someone in a lie" in the presentation of a so-called "live" musical performance in the CBCH website.

On Saturday, November 11th, 2017, I listened to an utterly note-perfect CBCH performance of Bach's great G minor Fugue (from BWV 542) as performed on a well-known sample library of the famous Arp Schnitger organ at St. Michael church in Zwolle, Holland. The software provider is not under question in this matter; in fact, the organ had a marvelous, full-bodied, reverberant sound, and the performer's registration (all played on a single manual and pedal with no stop changes -- but perfect for the Zwolle organ) was beyond reproach. The performance had garnered several very positive compliments on the playing, with one other person who commented that he felt the piece may have been played a little too fast for his taste.

In the postscript to my own comment stated in CBCH, I was suspicious that the so-called "live" performance was really a "doctored" midi performance, because the singular tempo (not plural tempi) could be described as almost robotically unwavering through the various cadences within the fugue (except for a very noticeable slowing down in the very final few measures), and that some impossibly legato pedaling- and fingering jumps had occurred in the body of the fugue, as though the piece was rendered from a standard midi file whose notes were step-entered some time in the past. The "doctoring" occurred, I believe, when the performer had edited some of the non-repeated midi notes to sound detached in the main exposition of the Fugue -- to appear (or deceive, perhaps???) as being played live -- but he had neglected to edit/adjust/shorten notes' duration in the very same phrasing within the body of the work, when the contrapuntal lines had become more entangled.

Then, as now, I clearly stated that I would apologize profusely if I happened to be wrong in my assertion.
EDIT #1: (Actually, I "hoped" I was wrong in my assertion this was a doctored midi file.) End Edit #1

As a result, there was no explanation of circumstances, and there was no rebuttal on the part of the performer. However, both performances of this person's work have been unceremoniously removed from the CBCH browsing tabs, presumably by the original performer. It was as though they were never there in the first place.

Again, I did not wish to offend anyone, especially to the point of making them leave the CBCH. I do think it would have been more appropriate for the performer to send me a private message or email (either explaining/justifying his case, or telling me I was crazy and to mind my own business, etc); but, the rather secretive and/or sneaky removal of his only two submittals to date (two large-scale, difficult-to-play Bach organ fugues in consecutive catalog listing -- BWV 542 and 543) by a heretofore unknown performer -- with no fanfare or rebuttal -- leads me to believe I was correct in my assertion that this was a "doctored" midi rendering under the guise of its being performed live.

There is nothing wrong with truth in advertising -- if it's a midi file or a midi-enhanced file, then so be it. People will understand, and will respect you for your honesty. I also believe there is a lot to be wrong with a clearly doctored midi performance that is purported to be played live.

Your thoughts, please .....

Respectfully,

Joe

EDIT #2:
P.S. Out of respect for the performer, I am withholding the identity of his screen name. End Edit #2

EDIT #3: Some four days later, there has been zero response from the performer, either confirming or denying that the performance was actually played live in real time. I shall not beat this "dead horse" matter any further. JF
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