Not the silliest piece of MIDI software in the world but...
Not all MIDI programs need to be taken seriously as Ian Waugh discovered when he went to see the Doctor
Dr. Tiricc (an anagram of 'critic'), says the blurb, will impart his wisdom on you, do impressions, recitals, tell you his life story and generate lyrics, music and drum patterns. And he talks. All this for £12.95? It's not true, is it?
Well yes, it is. But don't take it too seriously.
Dr. Tiricc runs in hi or medium res and it uses a speech program to produce the talky bits.
Under the Opinion menu Dr. Tiricc will criticise your work - or anything else. He mouths off comments such as: "I've heard worse - I just can't remember when".
Some of the Recitals and Impersonations are hilarious - ever heard a robotic Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson? No? You don't want to!
Executive Toy contains some classic office sayings such as: "I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure" and "He's so useless he should be promoted". (If you know who Dr. Tiricc is talking about, please send your answer in a plain brown paper envelope to the editorial address.) The sayings are produced randomly and it will be a while before you're sure you've head them all but I reckon there can't be more than a dozen or so.
Tiricc's life story is boring in the extreme although it may appeal to underdeveloped pre-pubescents. It is told by his brother, Eso (Eso Tiricc, geddit?).
Lyrics is a random verse generation routine. You enter words or phrases and the program shuffles them and spews them back in random order. It can store up to 500 phrases of up to 250 characters.
The program can perform a similar feat with music. First you select a scale (there's a choice of six including major, minor and oriental) then the program creates a 16-bar monophonic line which can be shown on screen as a list of notes or as a score which bears a loose similarity to music notation. It can play back via MIDI or through the ST's sound chip although to do this you must load the file from a separate program - rather a nuisance. The songs aren't MIDI file compatible.
Drum patterns containing up to four drum sounds can be created in a similar way. You can alter the MIDI note numbers of the drums to suit your equipment and you can set the MIDI channels the drum and song patterns transmit on. You can combine rhythm lines of your own with those of Dr. Tiricc and they will play back, after a fashion, through the ST's sound chip.
What does Dr. Tiricc music sound like? Well, 'interesting' perhaps sums it up rather tidily but then like any composition program it's up to you to pick out the useful bits.
The music and lyric files can be saved and loaded but you must remember to add the correct file extension. The program did crash a couple of times, as well.
Dr. Tiricc is the musical equivalent of an arcade game. You may play with it for a day or two then put it in your disk box, retrieving it occasionally when boredom strikes or to show a friend. It contains lots of little routines and a lot of whimsey and the whole thing has been created with tongue firmly in cheek.
The distributors ask for comments on, suggestions for and contributions to Dr. Tiricc 2. Now there's an invitation that's hard to resist... Meanwhile, if you're of a corybantic disposition with thirteen quid burning a hole in your pocket, you now know another way to get your jollies.
Product: Dr. Tiricc
Format: Atari 520ST
Supplier: ADO Distribution, (Contact Details)
Review by Ian Waugh