Dr.T's Software Page
In response to reader demand, this month we introduce a regular page of hints and tips for Dr.T's music programs, written and compiled exclusively for SOS by Dr.T themselves.
This is a new experiment in communication... a direct link, via Sound On Sound, between Dr.T's Music Software Inc. on the left side of the big pond, and all of you computer musicians on the right. On a regular basis we will be sending over a page of hints, tips, and brouhaha to those of you in the mother country. So listen up, here is the latest news.
All updates and revisions to Dr.T's products are handled through our distributor in the UK, MCMXCIX Distribution. Be sure that you send in your warranty registration card immediately after you purchase your program or you may not be eligible for updates. We must have your card on file to be able to give you technical support or update service. If you purchase a product which does not have a warranty card, contact MCM immediately. There are updates to almost all of the Dr.T's products.
• All of the Caged Artist editors except for the Korg DP2000/3000 and Kawai K3 programs are now available in MPE formats. CZ Patch is not available in MPE format, but the Caged Artist is working on a new CZ editor called CZ-Rider ST which will be fully MPE compatible and support the entire CZ series. The D110 and K1 editors are MPE compatible and contain a new set of 'mouse play' features. You can now set up the mouse to play different scales instead of just the chromatic one. Since you can change these 'on the fly', this can be a great improvising tool.
• By popular request we have made the Copyist Levels I, II, and III also MPE compatible. These require a Mega 2 computer to function as MPE modules in any capacity other than simply transcribing the current tracks in the KCS sequencer. You will have to re-boot without the MPE, just loading the Copyist, to be able to print or do significant cutting or pasting. It also requires a version of the KCS or Level II that has a version date of May 26 or later. You are, of course, able to play the KCS tracks, sequences, or current cues from within the Copyist screens when in MPE. The new MPE version of the Copyist requires you to make an adjustment to the KCS.INF file on the KCS or Level II program disks. Read the KCS and Copyist READ.ME files on the program disks for exact details.
• We have added a version date on the KCS boot-up screen. Now you can tell what version you have as the program boots. This is important because some MPE features are only available to the latest KCS revisions.
• The latest versions of KCS and Level II fix a few minor bugs in the cueing system when using very high resolution, and in Level II the garbage in the In-Between dialogue box has been eliminated. Also, we remedied a problem with the programs crashing when MIDI input is coming into the computer while the program is booting. This can especially be a problem when using a master keyboard such as the Yamaha KX88, which sends out MIDI active sensing data all of the time. You can get around this in older versions by disconnecting or turning off the keyboard while the program boots.
• New KCS and Level II features include: when clicking on Delete or Erase in edit, the program does not ask if you want to do this - it just happens. You can use Undo to get the original back if this is not what you wanted to do. In Transpose/Auto Correct, whatever option you have highlighted stays lit when you come back to it later. Also, we removed the Alternate key assignment display from the KCS and Level II Track Mode Play/Record screens. The keys still work, of course. We think that this 'cleans up' the screen and removes some possible confusion as to what the heck 'N1' means.
• An MPE-KCS update allows you to quickly go between the first two MPE modules. Hold down the Alternate key while clicking on the 'To KCS' option in the editor. If you are in the first MPE program it takes you to the second. If you are in the second MPE program you go back to the first.
• The Commodore Amiga versions of KCS have been updated to support the internal samples of the Amiga. These must be in the standard IFF format. You may load up to 16 samples into the KCS and the configuration may be saved so that you can automatically load the entire set of samples and their configuration in one step.
Be sure to check on any updated program disks to see if there are any READ.ME files. These files generally contain information on the programs which did not quite make it into the manual or even the addendums which came with the programs. It is the last-minute info on the programs. You can print this out or display it by simply clicking on the File icon and choosing the Print or Display option from the dialogue box. You could also load the file into your word processor as an unformatted ASCII text file and print that way.
• In the IBM version of the MT32 editor, you can save the configuration of your current 'desktop'. When you quit the editor choose the Quit and Save option. This saves the position of all of the windows on the 'desktop'. It makes going back to work with the same configuration automatic.
• The Macintosh version of Level II saves files slightly differently from the ST and Amiga versions. If you choose the 'Save' or 'Save As...' option from the File menu, you automatically save an .ALL file. To save a Track, Sequence, Song or MIDI file, you must select this option from the File or Options menu separately.
• Many people are finding lots of uses for the Pitch Map feature of Level II. The most popular use seems to be converting pitches of drums on one drum machine to those of another.
For instance, if you have a Roland TR707 at home that you are working with and you go into a studio that has an Emu SP1200, changing drum pitch mapping on the SP1200 can be a real dog job, especially in a hurry-up studio situation. But if you get the SP1200 key assignments beforehand, you can easily create a pitch map to reassign all of the TR707 drum keys to the SP1200. The job takes 1/10th second to process and you can easily reassign any particular drum to any other on the spot. Several studios in New York are using this feature of Level II to perform this function on files transferred from those 'other sequencers' via MIDI files.
• It is super easy to split apart merged tracks in the KCS or Level II. Let's say that you want to play some music from your hardware sequencer into KCS and then split it apart by MIDI channel. Hook up the MIDI cables between the two devices. Now make sure that the hardware sequencer is in a mode that sends MIDI Clock.
Go to the Open Mode edit screen and click on 'Set Options'. Select 'MIDI Clock' from the Timing options. Now click 'OK' to return to the edit screen. Select the Record option and select Real-Time. If you have MIDI controllers in the track that you are playing over, be sure to select the Aftertouch and Controllers options, otherwise they will not be recorded in KCS. Click 'OK' to go to Open Mode Record/Play and start the hardware sequencer.
When it has finished playing, the KCS will stop if the hardware box stops sending clocks, otherwise simply press the right mouse button. You will return to the edit screen. Note which sequence you recorded in and now go to Track Mode edit. Select the 'Copy Sequence To All Tracks' option and type the appropriate sequence number in the dialogue box. Click 'OK' and the job is done. If you go to Track Play/Record you will see all of your parts nicely split by MIDI channel on separate tracks. Piece of cake, huh?
We feel that the MIDI file standard is the greatest invention since mashed potatoes or chilled beer. There, now we've said it. Any sequencer that doesn't support standard MIDI files is doomed to a slow death over a toasty 'brazier'. MIDI files affords you the ability to send files between any 68000 or 8088 based computer to any other.
MIDI files come in three flavours: 0, 1 and 2. Zero is a format for a single sequence with the data all merged together, 1 is a track-based format keeping all of the tracks separated, and 2 is a song format. KCS currently supports only format 0. This is a separate utility program which is on the main disk on the KCS 1.6 in the 'MIDI' folder, and on the Level II auxiliary programs disk. It is built into the Mac Level II program and is in the Options menu in Open Mode. For more detailed information, contact Opcode or look on the download database on the PAN network.
You don't have to make a 'very' long distance phone call to get help with Dr.T's products. MCMXCIX has a staff of three techno-MIDIs on call from 1-5pm Monday through Friday to answer your questions. Be nice to these boys please. If the phone is busy, remember that they are working very hard to take care of the entire UK. Be sure that you have the following things to hand when you call: your program's serial number, your manual.
This page has been written and compiled for SOS by Dr.T's Music Software Inc.