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Dr.T's Software Page

Another useful 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.

READ.ME FILES



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.

PHANTOM SMPTE SYNCHRONISER



No, the Phantom is not a weird creature which roams around backstage at the Albert Hall. In fact, it's a brand new MPE (Multi Program Environment) module and associated hardware which enables you to directly lock the KCS or Level II to standard SMPTE timecode and also generate SMPTE as well. It functions with all the usual frame formats. This allows you to get a piece of tape which is striped with timecode and 'lock' KCS (Keyboard Controlled Sequencer) to it, and then add new parts with your MIDI gear. Phantom has been tested with SSL, SBX80, Adams Smith, and many other time-code generating and reading devices. It also gives you an additional MIDI Out and lets you assign the 16 MIDI channels to either the internal MIDI connector or the Phantom output. Tempo maps are automatically generated from the KCS internal data so you never have to type, download, or tap another tempo map again. It makes using SMPTE virtually transparent to normal humans!

KCS HINTS



• Save a file called EMPTY.ALL on your data disk, containing no sequences, tracks, or songs. Then if you need to clear out the contents of the KCS to start afresh, just load this file. Don't forget that this also loads the associated Set Options information!

• If you were recording a piece in a lower clock setting (eg. 24ppq) and later need to change it to a higher clock, just go to the SET OPTIONS page, change just the Steps per Beat, and answer 'Y' to the next two questions. The first one will change all of your sequences into the higher resolution, and the second one will adjust all related parameters to the proper values.

• A very convenient way of working in KCS is to start out in Track mode and write the different sections of your piece, and then send the completed section over to Open mode by pressing 1. This lets you send your tracks to Open mode without leaving the Play page. By writing several different tracks and muting and unmuting them, you can quickly come up with a lot of music based around your rhythm parts (just like all of that funky dance music you hear making a lot of money on the radio). Once you have enough sections in Open mode, then go to Song mode to chain them together. You may now send this completed song back to Track mode, and have it play in its entirety while you lay down a solo, live drums, or whatever. Then when you are happy with it, send it back to an Open mode sequence as a completed 'song'. You can always pull it apart by MIDI channels when you send it to Track mode, and if you have Level II KCS, you could create a preset that would even separate your drum/percussion parts to different tracks by individual notes within a single MIDI channel!

• Here is a PVG preset that will take a sequence/track and optimise the durations in relation to the next start time. In PVG, go to Global 1, and click on 'Staccato/Legato'. Now go to Global 2 and enter 31 for DURATION, 1 for WEIGHT, and 0 for CHANGES. Click on 'Edit Mode' and then select 'OK'. The sequence you were just on will now have all the durations optimised according to the next start time following it. If you have chords or double hits, you will notice that only one is given the proper duration, while the others are given durations of zero. To fix these, go to the Master Editor, and then go to the Chords page. Now select 'Maximum Durations' and they will be corrected.

• If you own KCS Version 1.6 and not Level II, and need to split off MIDI controllers from a track/sequence, click on 'Split' on the Edit page and enter a value of 0. All of the controller information on the track will be automatically split off to the next available track.

CAGED ARTIST TIPS



• One of the neatest features about the MPE is the ability to control the KCS from the other programs. In the Caged Artist editors you can play the current cue, track, sequence, or any note, with the right-hand mouse button. You can set these options from the System page in your editor, but it is even easier to do than that! Simply press N to play a Note, C to play a Cue, T to play a Track, or S to play a Sequence from any page of the editor other than the System page. This makes it very easy to edit the patch and play a note to check your edits from within the editor, and then press C to hear the edited patch 'in context'.

• Don't forget about the Patch Injector included on all Caged Artist editor disks. For those of you wanting to shoot a patch over to your D110, or whatever, while in the middle of your spreadsheet, letter to your mum, or while working in another company's GEM-based sequencer, this program is the easiest possible solution. Just install the unprotected accessory on your boot disk, access it in the standard manner and follow the prompts. Patch Injector works with all Caged Artist Atari editor files and will be updated as more editors are created. Contact MCMXCIX for information on updates.

• For Caged Artist editors supporting multitimbral instruments like the Roland D110, MT32, Kawai K1, K5, Yamaha FB01 or TX81Z, try creating some MONSTER SOUNDS! You can do this by setting several instruments to the same MIDI channel. Pick the sounds you want to combine (they may need some editing so that modulation and pitch bend are in sync), and store everything you have thus edited back to a bank with an appropriate name like 'Dracula 4'. Don't forget to save it to disk, especially if you have one of those naughty MT32's which so easily lose their minds.

NEW RELEASES



Level II for the Apple Macintosh, MT32 editor for the Macintosh, D110 editor for the Macintosh and the Atari ST, Phantom, Keys! and Tunesmith for the Atari.

HINTS & TIPS



• 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 a .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.

GETTING HELP



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.



Previous Article in this issue

The User Interface

Next article in this issue

Steinberg Software Page


Sound On Sound - Copyright: SOS Publications Ltd.
The contents of this magazine are re-published here with the kind permission of SOS Publications Ltd.

 

Sound On Sound - Aug 1988

Topic:

Computing


Feature

Previous article in this issue:

> The User Interface

Next article in this issue:

> Steinberg Software Page


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