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WHERE THE H#!! is the Key Signature?

George Lea

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I've used DAW's for 25 yrs, and I've NEVER seen ONE that wouldn't let you establish a key signature. So, for a DAW that considers itself "world-class", yet has NOWHERE to establish a key signature, just like you establish a time signature, or tempo (You DO KNOW that a key signature is as basic component to a composition as either of the other 2 components. And HEY, I'm a freakin' drummer, and I know that!!!). Not to mention, there are key signature CHANGES, just like time signature, and tempo changes! BUT NOOO!!! NOWHERE in your whole freakin' program, manual, ANYWHERE do you allow a user to change this ultra critical factor.

Furthermore, I've posted numerous posts on this forum, and have yet to have gotten ANY replies. THE ONLY HELP I've gotten for this stinking software has been from the retailer/distributor.


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First of all, you're on the newcomer forum. You should post on the main forum where there are a LOT more users that can help.

Secondly Samplitude does have key sigs. If you right-click on the staff in the MIDI editor/score window you can build in key and time sig there.

Samplitude also has XML interfacing to other programs such as Sibelius.

Sure there are other dedicated programs with more advance Scoring, but Samplitude DOES at least have the basics covered.


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My apologies for the improper posting location. However, I AM a newcomer, and I simply thought that there would be more Sam Pro support personnel monitoring this forum; hence my placement. I will place it in the other forum now.

As for the issue at hand, does that right-click manifests itself in MIDI only? Meaning, if I import an external wav file into a project, and happen to know the key signature, and insert it where you suggested will Sam Pro apply that knowledge to the wav file so I can change the key signature in the file to another key...LIKE SONAR DOES VERY WELL!

Here's the basic issue of my frustration. The Sam Pro developers should not only understand that inserting/changing a Key Signature is not just a VERY, VERY basic feature, but even more fundamental, there are THREE...3 BASIC components of EVERY PIECE of music ever written...A Key Signature(s), Time Signature(s), and Tempo. Why on earth would ANY DAW designer...world class even...dream of leaving ANY ONE of those critical elements out...ESPECIALLY when they include the other TWO? Even further, I see such unnecessary other "features" that aren't really necessary, and certainly do not fill such a critical necessity as this does.

Please understand, my ire, and anger isn't aimed at you, but where else am I going to vent? Yes, I have written support directly, but have yet to have gotten an answer.

P.S. I noticed that even though I checked the "Follow this topic" box, I didn't get any notification. I just happened to come back and check it.

Thanks for your reply, though.

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Is this complaint for real? I'm pretty sure Samplitude is professional recording software, or I've been mistaken for the past 18 years. Although a key signature is a basic component of music analysis it is not a required knowledge for capturing music, mixing tracks, and mastering CD's in a production studio. Recording software programs don't really need MIDI support or Notation or other compositional features to be really great, pro recording platforms. The software doesn't actually need to know tempo, time signature or key signature to record audio. These elements are used for editing in a non-linear digital audio environment. The key signature is really only relevant in composition or communication, and although Samplitude is growing with compositional tools and notation features, it is primarily a Digital Audio Workstation (like a tape recorder).

These forum posts voicing frustration over why Samplitude is not LIKE SONAR, NOT LIKE PRO TOOLS, or NOT ABLE TO RECORD IN ALL CAPS are so asinine. I don't understand why someone will not test a program for 30 days to see if they like it, and if not move on. I don't see why someone would complain to Samplitude developers that that the program is not Sonar, when they could just use Sonar? It doesn't make much sense...really, who is forcing thesde people to buy a program and sending them to the forum to complain about feature requests to make the program work just like they personally want it to do? Is it just forum trolling? It's so old.

I also can't imagine a "Pro" user talking or thinking like this, so I can only say that Samplitude is not catering to your needs. You would be best trying out Fruity Loops or Sonar.

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  • 4 years later...

It's 2017 I really apologize for bumping this topic. Mods, please move it to a more recent place if needed.

I've been using DAW for at least 20 years. I've been using Sonar, Cubase, Protools + Sibelius, even DP (which I abandoned because I didnt want to develop glaucoma ;-)

Recently, tired of the persistent ugliness of Sonar interface and its instability, and the complete negligent posture from Cakewalk in improving it's score editor, I decided to give it a try to Samplitude. I had a good reason : I am a Vegas lover. I think that Vegas has the most accurate and efficient interface for audio editing ever (yes, I never saw Vegas as a video editor). Magix bought Vegas, so I thought, there is another good reason to move to Samplitude !

So here am I bumping this thread. When I was about to consider Samplitude my new favorite DAW, I tried it's "score editor". Before saying what I think about it, let me state something. Music is the professional field of musicians (musicians as in "people who studied music and can read it"). I agree that people with no knowledge in music theory can create very good compositions, just by recording and performing "live" in a DAW. No problem with that, but saying that a DAW doesn't require a music theory foundation on its engines is, to me, the same as saying that a person with no grammar skills can write good poetry, therefore, a word processor doesn't need a spell checker.

The current scenario for DAW IMO is that the companies writing DAWs simply NEGLECTS an entire population of musician that does what have been doing for more than 500 years : using music writing as a primary method of composition.  We, I believe, like to first think music THEN record "stuff" on top of it. So, yes, we need a "recording software" that allows us to write music *first* and eventually cicle back to the score to modify the composition. A dual system with two tools, one for notation, other for recording, is simply non-ideal. Also, these companies don't understand that a score editor is one thing, and showing MIDI date as a score is a completely different one. Presonus for instance, claims they have integration with Notion. A complete lie. It can outputs data to Notion, but if you edit on that side, nothing happens on StudioOne side. This is not integration.

With all that been said, and I apologize for the extended prep, I gotta say that what Magix did in Samplitude in terms of score editor is close to ridiculous. First, right clicking in the score does nothing (as of 2017), actually deletes whatever you have under the mouse. Also, yes, you can set up a signature... in the track settings!!! Just as if the entire music has one single key !! People could say that "more than one key signature is a thing for Debussy lovers", I would reply that almost every American pop song has a one semitone up key change, generally close to the end. It's a VERY BASIC principle in music, and, as our friend on the original post said, almost unbelievable that has been completely overlooked by Samplitude developers.

The only thing that can explain such an aberration , IMO, is that, more and more, these tools are developed for the masses. Democratization of technologies is always a good thing, but it has a price. Companies will invest money on what is "more cool". More instruments, better loops, in other words, stuff that sells the product to the masses. We, musicians, need to rely on mixing different tools , hoping that we can create a smooth workflow where we can compose and perform decently.

Again, sorry for the long post, (my first here). I did it because Samplitude is amazing, and I believe Magix is wasting a immense opportunity to have the perfect product.






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Hi Jordan and welcome,

The score editor in Samplitude was introduced several years ago and to be honest little if anything in terms of development of the score features have been developed since then. I don't think it was ever intended to replace Sibelius or other dedicated score packages. Although it would be good if they developed the score editor more in the future.

With regard to right clicking to delete that something which also happens in the piano roll and drum editor and is something I like.  But yes maybe people expect a context menu when you right click on a note. But I like the method of shift/left clicking to enter a note and right clicking to delete it's very quick. With regard to key signatures I will be honest and say I hardly ever use the score editor but the limitation of one key signature as you mentioned seems not ideal to say the least.

Regards, Kraznet


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  • 1 month later...

hi jordan, 

when i understand you correctly, then what you are dreaming of is a notation-software like Dorico (Steinberg) with an added option to record audiotracks into the arrangement. they already have the foundation to possibly integrate recorded audio into the notation-workflow, with their builtin sequencer. as far as i can tell, they did not implement that feature as of yet, but it seems they are open to discussion. maybe they are hearing your call? 

i guess samplitude will never fulfill your needs for a mature notation-feature, integrated into the recording application. samplitude comes from recording audio and has its heritage and strongness in that field. midi came later and is quite good, but i doubt there will be a solid notation like you are expecting (one that "thinks" from music-theory), ever. 

your explanations lead me to think about a notation-software based on musictheory, that has a tool to integrate recorded audio into the compostion. for this, the notation needs to be transferred into a sequencer-context, to combine it with audiotracks, like described with dorico above. 

just my thoughts, i hope you'll find what you are searching for! 

and by the way, samplitude is an excellent audio-recording-mixing-mastering-software ;)

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  • 4 weeks later...


Check out Overture. In it's current 5.5 rendition, it is aimed at being a hybrid solution (scoring first, recording second). 

OR Studio One with Notion. 

For Audio Recording, Editing, Mixing, Mastering: Samplitude!

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