Part of the reason my music has been on hold over the past few years is that MIDI sequencing is a tedious effort and is time-consuming. It takes a bit of time to get the whole song in when you’re doing it one note at a time! Lately whenever I think of what’s involved in getting one of my compositions sequenced, I feel weary (from all my past experience) without even having started!
I use a program called Noteworthy Composer, and it’s relatively basic compared to some of the stuff available out there, but it’s done the job for me so far. You basically create a musical score, and if you’re like me and you don’t have a MIDI keyboard, you’ll have to put in each individual note manually.
Because I work a full-time “day” job, I really haven’t had the time to complete any additional music of late, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have ideas… when an idea comes, it’s usually when I’m tinkering on my piano, so I do make sure to record the idea as a wave file (.wav) so that in the future I can come back to it and try to get it sequenced and sounding as “real” as possible. I work with soundfonts, and am always on the hunt for realistic sounding instruments.
Something I’ve started researching recently is Cubase (Steinberg) and Sonar (Cakewalk). I think I want to be able to take things to the next level as one of the things that frustrates me is my inability to get a drum track down. I hear drum loops in some of my recent musical “ideas”, but I’m not a drummer, and laying down a drum track manually with Noteworthy just doesn’t work that well. If you have an opinion, by all means leave a comment! I’m going to be searching YouTube videos that talk about Sonar and Cubase and see if that helps me make my “final” decision, and at the moment I think I’m leaning towards Sonar, but the problem is I would like whatever I choose to have the same scoring ability that Noteworthy provides, and so far I haven’t been able to discover whether they do or not… although I suppose it may not be that big a deal, since Noteworthy exports to the MIDI format (.mid), and I believe you can import .mid files into both Cubase and Sonar…
When I do finally decide on one and get it, I’m hoping the learning curve won’t be very long, and I’m also hoping the software itself and what it offers will inspire me to take the time and get down some tracks so I can post some newer compositions. We’ll see how that goes!