Is it just me, or are you guys also learning to read piano roll midi better than staff or tab? I like how you can back out, viewing the whole song, and easily be able to distinguish the verse/chorus/bridge/solo, etc.
Piano Roll Midi has been around for a long time. I got into it about 10 or 12 years ago with “Step Writing” in an old program called Voyetra from Turtle Beach and also in Cakewalk & Sonar. I think the latter two are still around. Back then you could actually pull up the different sound tables that you could choose from like GM and others. I wish I had the means to get back into it again. It was a lot of fun and was less technical than it is today. I still have some of the tracks I am using today in my song files with a looper. The programs allowed you to change the note length on the fly and accuracy was absolute. You could quantize or humanize on the fly. They even had all the sound effects to go with them. It was not a problem to add a bass, or piano, or any other instrument if you wanted to. Compression and sound effects were there too. I made up a CD way back then with about 100 songs on it and none of the instruments were real. All of them came from a sound card. I still have my “Ensonic Elite” sound card to this day but it will only work in an older computer with like Windows 98. Ancient, but good. It’s not as though we’re trying to learn it. We already know it. It’s just trying to adapt to what is now. Just thought you’d like to know that.
Back in the “day” i started with a yamaha mt100 4 track using standard cassette tape, and moved up to a MT4X. I became an ace at recording a full 4 piece band with that format. (The final secret was the superiority of Denon HD7 and HD8 tape which would take amazing amounts of signal without clipping out.) (ah, i lament how forgiving the non-digital realm was!)
I investigated but skipped the DAW route in the 90’s (mainly because i was anti-windows) and went with the Roland hardware solution: first a VS880, then the awesome VS2000cd (which i still use). Even today i record into the vs2000cd, and export the tracks and master them in GarageBand, but as garageband has faded into uselessness, I’ll probably use Reaper. Full circle now. I can record 10 tracks at once with my roland, but my usb recording options only allow me 4 at most.
However, many of those old songs that i recorded with various drum machines, or ME playing drums, I’m going to try to get good drum sounds with the beat buddy. Either by midi, or by live playing the beatbuddy via my SPD-30.