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Using the Cakewalk Sonar Interpolate MIDI Editing Feature
Written by Scott R. Garrigus - 2005, Cengage Learning. Reprinted with Permission.
This article is an excerpt from the Cakewalk Sonar Power! Books Series.

Throughout the text of this book, I've mentioned the name SONAR quite a few times. What if I want to change all those instances of the phrase to Cakewalk Sonar instead? Luckily, I'm using a word processing program on my computer, so all I would have to do is use the search and replace feature to have the program automatically make the changes for me. I mention this point because the Interpolate feature is similar to the search and replace feature you find in most word processing programs. The difference is that the Interpolate feature works with event properties, and in addition to simply searching and replacing, it can scale entire ranges of event properties from one set of values to another. This means that you can easily transpose notes, change key signatures, convert one type of MIDI controller message into another, and so on. It works like this:

1. Select the data you want to change.
2. Choose Process > Interpolate to open the Event Filter - Search dialog box. You learned about this dialog box and its parameters in Chapter 5.
3. Set all the available parameters so that SONAR can select the exact events you want to process.
4. Click OK to open the Event Filter - Replace dialog box. This dialog box is almost the same as the Event Filter - Search dialog box. It has most of the same settings, except some of the settings are not available because here you need to enter only the values to which you want to change the original selected data. So enter the replacement values in the appropriate parameters.
5. Click OK.

SONAR will select all the events in your initial selection, according to the parameters you set in the Event Filter - Search dialog box. Then it will change the values of those events, according to the parameters you set in the Event Filter - Replace dialog box.

Interpolation Applications
You didn't think I was going to leave you high and dry, trying to figure out such a complicated feature, did you? Actually, when you get the hang of it, using the Interpolate feature isn't too difficult, especially if you're just trying to make straight replacements of data. Anyway, the following sections describe some of the changes you can accomplish with this feature.

Straight Replacement
If all you want to do is replace one value with another, setting up the parameters in both dialog boxes is fairly easy. Suppose that you want to change all the notes with a pitch of C#2 to notes with a pitch of D#7. To do so, set up the Event Filter - Search dialog box so that only the Note option is activated in the Include section. Then type C#2 for both the Key Min and Key Max parameters and click OK. In the Event Filter - Replace dialog box, type D#7 for the Key Min and Key Max parameters and click OK. All the C#2 notes will be changed to D#7 notes. Pretty easy, no? And you can use this approach with any of the data. Earlier, I mentioned changing one type of MIDI controller message to another. Just use the Control option along with the Number Min and Number Max parameters, as you did with the Note option and the Key Min and Key Max parameters.

TIP: Using Wildcards
You can also use wildcards when you're designating an octave number for the pitch of a note. With regard to the preceding example, suppose that you want to change all of the C# notes to D notes, not just the ones in octave 2 to octave 7. Instead of using C#2, you can use C#?, and instead of using D#7, you can use D#?. The ? is the wildcard, which stands for any octave.

Scaling Values
When you're working with ranges of values, you can use the Interpolate feature to scale them from one range to another. This capability is useful for limiting certain values to keep them within a set of boundaries. For example, some of the note velocities in one of your MIDI tracks might be a bit high, and you might want to quiet them down a bit. Usually, quieting them would mean having to use the Piano Roll view to change them all one by one. Using the Interpolate feature, you can compress their range down in a couple of easy steps. To do so, set up the Event Filter - Search dialog box so that only the Note option is activated in the Include section. Then type 0 for Velocity Min and 127 for Velocity Max and click OK. In the Event Filter - Replace dialog box, type 0 for Velocity Min and 100 for Velocity Max and click OK. All the note velocities will be scaled down from a range of 0 to 127 to a range of 0 to 100. See how it works? You can use this approach with any of the other value ranges, too.

Inverting Values
You also can invert any of the value ranges by reversing the Min and Max parameters. For example, what if you want to make all the loud volume controller messages soft and the soft volume controller messages loud? To do so, set up the Event Filter - Search dialog box so that only the Control option is activated in the Include section. Then type 7 (the number for volume controller messages) for both the Number Min and Number Max parameters. Also, type 0 for Value Min and 127 for Value Max and click OK. In the Event Filter - Replace dialog box, type 7 for both the Number Min and Number Max parameters. Also, type 127 for Value Min and 0 for Value Max and click OK. All the loud sections of your selected data will become soft and vice versa. Again, you can use this technique for any of the other value ranges.

As a matter of fact, you can change a whole bunch of different parameters at once by activating the appropriate parameters in the Event Filter - Search dialog box. (You can even mix straight replacement, scaling, and inverting.) For instance, you could easily set up all three of the preceding examples so that you would have to use the Interpolate feature only one time to process the same data. This feature is very powerful. You should experiment with it as much as possible, because it can save you a lot of editing time in the long run.

For more information: The Cakewalk Sonar Power! Book Series


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