Problems moving Midi files from Studio One (V5) to BB Manager

First, a big thank you to all the users (you know who you are) who graciously share your content, especially if you share multiple versions with/without some of the additional instruments. For those of us who don’t have familiarity with creating Midi content it is a blessing.

I perform with another acoustic guitarist as a duo in moderately quiet environments and I find the bass and other instrument accompaniments a bit loud for us. I have been trying, without success, to modify these tracks using the DAW I use to mix our audio tracks for video, Studio One by Presonus. I can open the .mid track that the developer has created in Studio One and it plays just fine. I know how to adjust velocities to get the volume I’m looking for, but when I try to export the tracks back into a .mid file and then into a new song on the BB Manager it just doesn’t work. I’ve tried merging the tracks in Studio One prior to exporting, and a number of other things but I just can’t get the midi back out of the DAW in the same form as it went in to play in the BBM.

Grove Monkey recommends Studio One as a Midi editor: Editing MIDI for Beat Buddy in Studio One – Groove Monkee

I’ve even tried a free copy of REAPER to see if I could make that work but when I opened the .mid file in REAPER there was no sound and I really don’t want to learn another DAW if I don’t have to.

I’m reaching out to see if anyone can tell me what I’m doing wrong.

Thanks as always.

Dr. G-string

Shared my thoughts via PM.

Can you share more about what specifically does not work? I’ve used Studio One to create midi tracks for BB drums or drums and bass for scores of songs.

4wheel, thanks for offering to help.

I’m kind of MIDI illiterate but it appears that after modifying the file, the the midi map seems to change so that the commands don’t trigger the same response. For instance the base notes became drum beats.

The original file I was using is: GET TOGETHER (OPBk) 1.1 - THE YOUNGBLOODS from Phil.

The author of the files, Phil, was kind enough to include a couple of .mid files in addition to the .sng file. When I pulled the Midi file into Studio One the DAW found appropriate instruments and played the file fairly accurately. After I modified some velocities or removed a couple of the instruments and then put the file back into Midi format, the part played by the base now seemed to be played by the drums. I even put Phil’s .mid file into the BBM and it played just like his .sng file so there was no corruption there.

Here’s a link to a google drive file with the altered midi file: [ ] if you want to look at what happened.

Persist had a look at the file and thought I needed to lower the notes in the base track by 2-3 octaves to make them work but he doesn’t use Studio One and I’m hoping for a simpler way to work on the .mid files to either remove instruments I don’t want in the final file or alter velocities (usually lower) for use with my duo.

Thanks again for any help you can send my way.

Handoc -

The original file you got from Phil (GET TOGETHER (OPBk) 1.1 - THE YOUNGBLOODS) has 4 instrument tracks. From what I can tell, the tracks are:

  • Drum (OPBkCH10)
  • Bass (OPBkCH1)
  • Piano (or other instrument)(OPBkCH3)
  • Piano (or other instrument)(OPBkCH4)

The notes in the drum track range from C1 to F#2. The notes in the bass track range from F-2 to D0.

In the altered midi file you shared, it looks like everything was consolidated into a single instrument track with notes from C1 up to about C4. So, it looks like you may somehow have transposed all of the bass notes up several octaves.

Although it depends on the mapping in the specific BB drumset you are using, it is generally the case (in my experience) that the midi note that triggers a particular bass note does not correspond to the actual note played. So, for example, a particular drumset might use midi note E-2 (midi value 4) to play bass note E1, and midi note G0 (midi value 31) to play bass note G3.

Here’s my general workflow in Studio One for creating drum and bass midi files for BB:

  • Prepare drum track using the actual/standard midi note values (typically around C1 (36) to B2 (59))
  • Prepare bass track using actual note values (i.e., E1 to around D4) so it sounds right while I’m working on it
  • Make a duplicate of my drum track, which I label “Combined”
  • Duplicate my bass track, and transpose all of the notes in that duplicate track up 2 octaves (because my drumset has the bass notes mapped from around A3 (69) to G5 (91))
  • Copy the duplicate/transposed bass track onto the Combined (i.e., duplicate drum) track
  • Hit Ctrl-Shift-A to select all of the events on the Combined track and export that selection to a midi file to pull into BB

It’s a bit of a pain, but I’m not aware of any other way to get multiple instrument tracks from Studio One into a single midi file for BB.

Hope this helps. Happy to try to help further if needed.

Most of my drum kits come with a midi map. You can refer to this map when trying to convert an existing multi-part midi file to a BB capable midi file. If there is no map with a kit, load the kit into BB manager (File>Import>Drumset), and then click the check box in front of the kit’s name in the BB Manager drum kit’s list. After that, double click on the kit’s name, and this will open the drum set maker/editor window.

From this window, you can scroll through the kit to see where notes are laid out, relative to their midi value, from 0 to 127. In a typical kit of mine, the bass is set at 0 through 31. Drum kit pieces are at 32, 33, 34, or 35 through 59, 71, or in some extreme cases 83. If there is a keyboard, it will generally be mapped starting at 60 or 72. A fourth instrument, when included, will generally be in the range of 96 to 127. These are not absolutes, but they are good starting points, and it points ou the need to refer to the kit map or the actual kit itself.

When converting a midi file to the BB, it is imperative to consider the range of the part in the midi file. I have used 0 through 31, as this translates to range covering a dropped C tuning, up through the 12th fret on the G string. If the bass part is written to go being the 12th fret G, you need to first lower by one octave any notes that would be beyond the 12th fret G. Bass is rarely a problem, but this issue is definitely a problem with keys and other instruments.

In my largest keyboard kits, the keys range from 60 through 127. That is 68 notes. A full size piano has 88 notes. So, you can see some compromises have to be made in arranging. First, very low notes can be deleted, as this may be double the bass. Where this is a keyboard with no bass accompaniment in the original midi, you can move the bass part of the keyboard to the bass guitar. But, it has to be in the 60 to end of keyboard range. Otherwise, your keyboard part will trigger drum kit pieces.

When I make arrangements on the BB for 4 instruments, I am constantly editing and deleting parts to get everything to fit into the 128 notes available on the BB. It is an extreme exercise in working with a limited palette of sounds, and it is not something that can be reduce to a set of universal guidelines.

I learned the process by looking at “with bass” arrangements and seeing how they were made. But, I already knew something about midi as it related to part creation.

If you think this is difficult, or too much work, it’s probably best to make requests for the files you want done, as this portion of the process is probably the simplest part of creating an OPB or OPBK arrangement for the BB. I don’t mean to discourage you, but I do want you expectations to be realistic. It takes time to make these arrangements. When I have a great midi file to work with, I am really happy when I get a song done in less than an hour. And we haven’t even addressed setting levels by adjusting velocities, which frequently takes even more time. There’s an art to it, and there’s craft involved. You’ll need to know how to use your tools (Studio One), to make it work.

Thanks to all the folks (Persist, 4wheeljive and Phil_Flood) trying to help. I really do appreciate the effort and time.

You guys have done such a great job of creating content that for me (and probably a lot of folks out there) we don’t need to learn the details of midi to have access to very sophisticated songs with multiple parts. Unfortunately, what should be a simple conversion: open up one .mid file with a program that accurately maps the data, make some changes and then have that same program accurately save the .mid with the changes, is a tour de force of midi mastery. As I work with another guitarist in an acoustic duo at fairly moderate volumes, I just want to lower the velocities of some of the other instruments and if I change key, either alter it’s pitch or, more simply remove those notes from the file.

At this point, as a someone once told me, “The juice just ain’t worth the squeeze”. I don’t give up but I need to stick with just drum files for now.

Please keep sharing great content with the rest of us nubes!

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