A Music Director's Epic Tale: Les Miserables

Chapter 4 : Musical Gear

4.2 - Real-Time Control Of Tracks

Controlling the tracks in real time was accomplished using a rather remarkable sequencing program called MIDI Maestro (version 4). This program, available for Windows (but not Mac or Linux) and costing only $99.95 for the full version license, gives the operator all the control a musical director needs for a live musical production. Cues such as vamps and cuts can be easily added, and control over these elements can be done via computer keyboard or MIDI controller. Each song was loaded into MIDI Maestro in MIDI format and the entire show was sequenced. Another great feature of MIDI Maestro is the ability to vary tempo in real time. This is accomplished with the pitch bender wheel on the MIDI controller. When the singers use their artistic freedom to vary their tempo (or when the ensemble suddenly decides to speed up a little bit!) the tracks can be brought right back in sync with them.

MM4 Screenshot

Screenshot of MIDI Maestro showing all songs divided into two acts on the left, with the song "A Heart Full Of Love" loaded ready to play. The individual instrument tracks, as well as other MIDI tracks for various MIDI control purposes, are seen as rows and the measures are the columns. The box with the large number shows the current measure number, along with the current tempo. The tempo map can be seen to the right of the measure number box, under the tracks. Click on image to enlarge.