Harmony Assistant

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hudsonm4000
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Harmony Assistant

Postby hudsonm4000 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:11 am

I couldn't find a reference to this anywhere on the forum, so it may be news..?

Harmony Assistant - a score editor that I have been using on PC/Mac for many years now has very recently been ported to linux. It was initially for Ubuntu, so may not work (yet) on other distros.

www.myriad-online.com

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varpa
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby varpa » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:38 am

Out of curiosity, I tried Harmony Assistant on AVLinux (debian-based). The program runs, but sadly Harmony Assistant is written to use PulseAudio so it won't work since AVLinux does not have PulseAudio (GuitarPro makes the same mistake).

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby GraysonPeddie » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:35 am

Harmony Assistant would probably gain more acceptance if it's audio server-agnostic and supports JACK and/or ALSA. It's not a good idea to only make use of PulseAudio, as it's important that many musicians would not go with PulseAudio for music creation. Of course, Ubuntu is a very popular distro, but without a bridge, PulseAudio may not play nice with JACK.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

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nathan
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby nathan » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:14 pm

How does this compare to, say, MuseScore?

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby wolftune » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:07 am

Hi,

I own and use H.A. on my Mac. I'm looking forward to getting it working on GNU/Linux.

How it compares to Musescore? It is fair to say it is much more mature but also dated. H.A. in full includes tons of options, very easy access to MIDI details of the notes, every darn thing is editable. It also has a really remarkable "virtual singer" add-on. It also integrates audio recording, but minimally. H.A. has a very high quality plugin framework too. H.A. even does tab and imports GP files so it competes with Tux Guitar on that. Overall, it is a superb program that offers a lot over the current Musescore.

H.A. is not FLOSS, but they are exceptionally responsive to users, including an active forum and a whole procedure for involving users in development decisions. And they have a one-time-forever payment for the license.

Downside to H.A. is (1) it is non-standard and not open, so you can't as easily collaborate with anyone like you could with Musescore (though they do have a web-browser plugin and a shareware Melody Assistant program that can open full H.A. files, plus it does have lots of cross-platform export/import options). Downside (2) is that the interface is a bit clunky with lots of buttons and weirdness, feels very dated.

My feeling: Musescore, if it matures to where H.A. is now, will be far better because Musescore's style and manner of working is superior. But for now, H.A. offers a lot that Musescore is still just aiming for. I'd generally invest in using Musescore because it is FLOSS (but that's partly because I'm a music teacher and FLOSS makes things easiest for my students). H.A. is absolutely worth a try, and some features, like the virtual singer, may never exist in any other package...

Cheers,
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

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nathan
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby nathan » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:58 am

Sounds interesting. What is this "virtual singer" plugin? How is the MIDI realization? Does it use soundfonts? I'm not opposed to dropping the cash on a commercial app for Linux if it can do what I want :)

Almost all of my notation needs are met with MuseScore, but I'd like to be able to create some better MIDI realizations of my scores. Would HA help for this?

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby wolftune » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:50 pm

Virtual singer is a plugin that is included in the program and can be run as a demo but costs $25 extra to license. It is extremely flexible, including editing of precise phonemes and a huge number of parameters and even record your own voice to make your own model. I find virtual singer really amazing and fun.

H.A. works basically with MIDI, I believe, so it is more MIDI-oriented even than MuseScore, but at least comparable.

I don't think H.A. uses soundfonts, not sure though. It uses its own format, I think, but you can import your own sounds, and there's a database available of extra user-generated sounds and more.

My biggest concern is that I'm not sure the Linux implementation is done as well as should be, might not be on par with Mac/Win versions. I'm trying the demo and it seems a little touchy and glitchy... haven't put in much time. I'm disappointed that my Mac license doesn't transfer (though I'm glad that if I buy the Linux license, at least that will be a ONE-TIME price).
Aaron Wolf
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby GraysonPeddie » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:24 pm

As an off-topic note, SoundFont is like a collection of samples, whether it be musical instruments, drum kits, sound effects, or anything you can think of. Examples of instruments in soundfont is classic analog synthesized sounds, vintage electric guitar/piano, or anything you can think of.

If you have QSynth installed, you can search the Internet for soundfonts. Have a look:
http://www.digitalsoundfactory.com/free ... cts_id/206
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby nathan » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:19 pm

Soundfonts are great, but for ultimate flexibility you have use something like VST instruments. Unfortunately support for these on Linux has to be done through wine, so many glitchy at best. And a full orchestral suite of VST instruments is expensive! Right now it's tough to make realistic-sounding orchestral music on Linux.

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby wolftune » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:24 pm

Harmony Assistant can use soundfonts, but the main sounds of the program are in its own unique format.

http://www.myriad-online.com/en/sharedx ... nindex.htm

Overall, the way Harmony Assistant's sounds work, they are similar to soundfonts and are thus not the flexibility of VSTi. For anything that sounds like soundfonts though, H.A.'s sounds are quite good.

I would suggest trying the H.A. demo. I would like to hear about your experience. I'm more experienced with H.A. but not on Linux, and I don't know if there are issues with the Linux version, nor if issues I might find are set-up things that I could fix in Linux or are fundamental to the program. So I'd like to see what your experience with the demo is like...
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby GraysonPeddie » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:09 pm

I'd rather work with piano roll (Rosegarden, QTractor, OpenOctave MIDI) and I have no need of notation.

Plus, I don't want to have to deal with getting Windows and VSTi programs to work in Linu.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby wolftune » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:36 pm

Harmony Assistant is not just a Windows thing, they released it for Linux. But how good the implementation is, I'm not sure. It seemed buggy and slow to me trying the demo... I heard somewhere that it is a Pulse Audio implementation and that they basically ported the Windows version and didn't do the Linux version as smoothly as they ought to... but I'd really like to hear about others' experience with the Linux version demo.

At its heart a notation program, so, yeah, you wouldn't really want to bother with it if you aren't doing notation. Well, unless you want to try Virtual Singer, which I don't think there is any other way to achieve anything similar aside from using it in Harmony Assistant.
Aaron Wolf
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby varpa » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:17 pm

Another notation program option is Impro-Visor (which can also automatically generate improvised solos). To use Impro-Visor with a midi keyboard you have to create a virtual midi device by doing "sudo modprobe snd-virmidi".
Last edited by varpa on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby wolftune » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:28 pm

I've been meaning to try Impro-Visor sometime. What is this about virtual midi? You mean that Impro-Visor doesn't support MIDI in and out through JACK?
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Re: Harmony Assistant

Postby varpa » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:26 pm

Impro-visor is a Java program and is not Jack-aware. I think by default it will play back to alsa using its own soundfonts (though at the minute this is not working for me - haven't used it in a while so perhaps I forgot). Another way to play from Impro-visor is via a virmidi device which you can then route to some program (Pianoteq, linuxsampler, etc) to make sounds. This can be done using Jack or not, since virmidi is an Alsa device (which will show up in the Alsa tab of QJackCtl), which is independent of Jack. Note correction to create virmidi devices: "sudo moprobe snd-virmidi"


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