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Cakewalk by Bandlab: MG2, I need an editable MIDI track

Hey Folks, well after years of playing around with the MG demos, I finally bought a license back in September of last year. But I’m just now finally getting around to using MG2 in my DAW of choice, which happens to be Cakewalk. I’ve been a CW user since the Pro Audio 9 days – way back when Win98 was the latest OS – and I’ve always stuck with it because it does what I need.

About 20 years ago, I bought a Roland GR-33 guitar synth, and had a lot of fun with it, but I’ve retired it in favor of MG2 because MG2, as software, actually tracks way better than the Roland hardware does.

But here’s the big difference that I’m finding myself stuck with at the moment. With the Roland, I can lay down a for-real MIDI track. With MG2, I have to lay a track down in an audio channel. So I’ve recorded MIDI as audio – well, sort of. I can go back in that track where I’ve laid down a track with MG2 and, using MG2, I can change the instruments around to other MG2 instruments while the track is playing. Now, if this were a for-real audio track, I wouldn’t be able to do that. So MG2 is laying down something in between a MIDI track and an audio track. But I just want to get to the MIDI file so I can edit it.

I tried setting up a track with Cakewalk’s TTS-1 multitimbral synth and then assigned a MIDI track to it. TTS-1 will generate an audio track with instrument sounds based on the settings used in the MIDI track. Well, what I did was just set the MIDI track to the same channel that MG2 defaults to (ch 4) and left everything else alone, since I wanted MG2 and not the MIDI track, really. Then I set the Cakewalk TTS-1 track up the way I always do, calling MG2 up as an effect, rather than an instrument (big problem, in my opinion – MG2 is an instrument and not an effect!). Then, with the Input Echo set to On and the track primed to Record, I hit record. And it lays down an MG2 track, but it’s audio, not MIDI.

How do I get MG2 to record in MIDI? So that I wind up with a file that I can edit and play back the corrected version, etc, maybe even being able to assign different voices than what MG2 has available?

I’m feeling a bit exasperated. I bought MG2 because I wanted to convert audio to MIDI, not the other way around.

Not sure if this helps in your case,

  1. Record your audio
  2. drag the Audio clip to a MIDI Track
  3. Melodyne will convert Audio to MIDI

MIDI OUT from the stand alone version of MG2, not the plugin

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Thanks, I’ll give this a try. I’ve only doinked around with MG2 stand alone, never tried playing it alongside anything else. I’m assuming this is possible? For instance, I load a song file into Cakewalk, then boot the song and then play along with it, but in MG2 stand alone, right?

Hey, I’m a total noob at this, so sorry if I’m like restating the blatantly obvious. I’m curious, though, why stand-alone and not the plug-in. Seems sort of obvious to me that you’d want the plug-in to have this sort of functionality.

Another question, if I have to use the stand-alone version, will it work as a rewire device inside the DAW?

Note the Melodyne demo program included with Cakewalk by Bandlab differs from the demo available direct from the developer’s, Celemony, website.

The Cakewalk demo program will continue to convert a monophonic audio file to MIDI after the trial expires. A trial Celemony program will not convert audio to MIDI once the trial is offer.

I’ve achieved different results. I’ve never used the Melodyne or Celemony products until this time.

First, I dragged a solo I played, using MG2, onto a MIDI track and it was converted – as a monophonic file, but then it was a solo that I played using MG2, so that sort of limited what I could do. The conversion was adequate and allowed me to use any instrument I have at my disposal.

But I wondered if I were restricted to monophonic MIDI files, so I took the audio from the original backing track – which was a full band, including horns, and I dragged it onto a MIDI track. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I wound up with a polyphonic MIDI file. It wasn’t a terribly good conversion, but at least it was polyphonic.

I also found that I did not have to use MG2 in stand-alone mode. The plug-in works just fine for this. But what I also found was I was able to convert a previous audio track I’d laid down with just my guitar. Dragged it over to a MIDI track, and Melodyne converted it just fine. Which now has me wondering, what do I need MG2 for?

MG2 for real-time fun with sounds. I Mostly use Roland GI-20 because it has the ability of a per string mute. Depending on what’s being played. If it’s a guitar with just a hint of orchestral for ambient One example Setup like this:
e = MUTE (only guitar string rings out)
B = Flute
G = MUTE (only guitar string rings out)
D = Violin
A = MUTE (only guitar string rings out)
E = Bass
MG2 = PLug and Play! rough out ideas, etc.

As you have, I followed Cakewalk from the early days of NO Analog at all and just midi.
It went well until Sonat Producer.
Then they just made a big mess.
There are too many conflicting dll’s ect. in their own software.
For instance the TTS-1 became a mess and they (Cakewalk) said “Don’t use that we don’t support it anymore”.
I still do but I have to boot cakewalk three times before it works.
WHAT A MESS they made.
I paid for EVERY version and gave up.
They don’t care anymore.
It has become a horrid DAW becuse of their lack of support for previous products after they did not have anyone around anymore to support them.

I still use it in my studio with all the other things CW is not compatible with just for my drum kit(s) and pads which works very well.

I paid for EVERY version and gave up when they went to the NEW PAY FOR XPRODUCER.
No wonder they called it X-Producer!!

I forgot to mention that Sonar 8.5 Producer works well in Win XP with various midi controllers as I have with the Alesis and Roland for drum pads including variable hi-hats as well as using the TTS-1 for some other percussion pads.
So the Synth rack works very well if you want to boot Sonar Producer 3 times.Like I said. What a mess.
I would suggest getting a more timely and supported DAW.
I installed Studio One from Presonus on my “live laptop” for free with my newer Presonus Studio 24C interface that is EXTREMELY easy to use compared to Sonar-Cakewalk.

The only problem could be your OS.
So I would suggest finding out how to export your cakewalk files first.
You may be able to export them in single or bundled analog tracks so you can load them into another more supported DAW.

I can’t agree at all with your take on Cakewalk. I used Pro Audio 8 and 9 extensively, running Win 98. XP broke it, though, and out of protest I didn’t upgrade to Sonar until years later, although I didn’t use it much. It wasn’t until Sonar Platinum came along when I finally got back into using it a lot. And then CW shut its doors, and it became an orphan until Bandlab picked it up. I think I was like a lot of CW users, sort of deciding I’d just bide my time and wait, see what Bandlab ended up doing with CW. I d/l’d one of the first versions they offered and became cautiously optimistic. They had actually fixed a bunch of bugs and even added a few features. Then came the next release and then the next, each time fixing more bugs and adding new features. The result is a very stable and very powerful platform that is available for the unbelievable price of free! I dunno how Bandlab can afford it, but I’m glad they can.

I think if you were to visit the CW forums and post a poll, asking what people thought of CWbBL, you’d find a vast number of members are in support of the way Bandlab has been improving CW.

I use it almost every day and it is rare when I run into an issue – and usually all it takes is a visit to the CW forums where I’ll ask the forumind for a solution, which, so far, has always been there.

I liked SPlat (Sonar Platinum) a lot. I also liked the user forum a lot. I still log into that forum every day. My biggest issue with SPlat was using external control surfaces. Does CbB (Cakewalk by Bandlab) still require the use of AZSlow by Alexey Zhelezov to do what SPlat’s (and presumably CbB’s) control script language can’t?

I had a license for Studio One Pro v2 when I found Sonar. I went back to Studio One when SPlat went toes-up, and never installed CbB when Bandlab took it over. I am happy to hear your report of positive results from that relationship. I signed up for SPlat’s $100 lifetime license deal, which I felt at the time to be unsupportable. I was sad, but not surprised when Cakewalk folded.

I don’t use any control surfaces with CWbBL. I have a Korg Control 49, but I’ve never used it with CW. I pretty much just use a mouse and keyboard (the computer kind). I don’t play keys much – I’m a guitarist – and I compose the old-fashioned way. I call up the Staff View and use my mouse to generate musical scores. I have a few MIDI synths and I will occasionally doink away on them to get some ideas down, but that’s about the extent of it. And, of course, I’ve been wanting to use MG2 for the same reason – to record my guitar so I can edit the tracks later. I’ve been thinking about adding a drum machine, or maybe drum software, to at least improve my percussion skills somewhat.

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