Kandinski Music Painter
How much fun can you have for £2.80? If the answer's printable, write to the Ed; if it's not, write to me. And in any event write out a cheque for said amount and get hold of a copy of the Kandinsky Music Painter. What is it? It's a music drawing program for the ST; you draw shapes onto the screen (mono only) which it turns into music and plays over MIDI. Neat.
The program is written in German but there is an English translation on the disk in not one, but three, different formats - Ascii, Protext and Timeworks. There are two screens - Play and Draw - the top half of the Draw screen determining the note pitches and the bottom half the velocities. Parameters such as MIDI channel (it only uses one) and program change number are also set here and you can select various drawing tools including points, lines, a spray can, boxes, curves and ellipses.
As you move the mouse, one box shows the current note pitch and another shows the horizontal position of the cursor. And so you draw your musical masterpiece on the canvas of the world - well, onto your ST's monitor. Entering velocity values is carried out by clicking in the velocity area of the screen. This puts small squares into the display which the program thoughtfully joins up so that you can produce gradual velocity changes as well as jumps.
The drawings tend to look like avant garde music notation - and sound like it, too - although you can produce quite 'harmonic' results, verging on the melodic. When you go to the Play screen, the program replots your drawing from left to right, playing the music as it goes. You can alter the articulation here, too.
There are eight demo files altogether; the 'Ohms' ones tend to look the best but are not necessarily the best sounding. Some of the other files are much more melodic. The program's biggest drawback is that you can't save the result as a MIDI file - but what do you want for nowt?
Actually, you can save the results by using another program called MIDI Magnet (I found this on Goodman's disk GD915). This runs as a desk accessory and saves the MIDI output of a program as a MIDI file in format 0 or 1. The disk only contains a demo version of the program, however, and restricts the files to 8K in size. Still, that's not bad for a few bob.
Kandinsky itself is great fun and well worth exploring on a rainy day. So that's this weekend taken care of.
Price : Kandinsky Music Painter on ST Club disk MID 50 £2.80
More from : ST Club, (Contact Details).
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Review by Ian Waugh
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