Lynx Grid Programmer
A rhythmic program
Chris Everard presents the first step towards making your Lynx a musical Mastermind
This is just the first part of the software we've designed that enables you to use your Lynx computer to send out series of variable trigger pulses using a grid system. The method used is similar to the programming system found on quite a few commercially available drum computers, such as the TR606 from Roland.
When you run the program, a grid will be drawn which will consist of a large box and a smaller one beneath. The largest will contain the Entering grid which is made up of small squares assembled in rows. Each row is made up of 16 squares in four groups of four. The small box beneath the grid box contains the commands for the entering system.
The aim is to make this program as variable as possible and so new software is constantly being developed. The way you WRITE trig pulses into the memory is via a moving, controllable dot which moves from square to square. When you wish to enter, a pulse, or beat, into the memory, the square concerned gets shaded in and this gives you an immediate visual display of the information stored. Some of the other functions we've already worked out will enable the user to START/STOP (obvious), JUMP the control dot left and right by one group, EDIT trigger sequences, STEP backwards and forwards by one beat, SEQUENCE STEP and play and also to call up selected segments and play them in chains. Another time-saving function is the ability to move vertically over the grid, utilising the up and down keys. This means that if you're on the last square of the second group and there are no other pulses to be entered before that same position on the line below, you can just hop down using the down key and carry on programming.
If you should accidentally depress a wrong key while the program is running a phrase will appear on screen which says — "NO SUCH FUNCTION, PLEASE RETRY". A "?" will appear if you try to enter a trig pulse between any of the boxes.
This is only the first part of the software which is really just the grid itself and some of the essential, basic commands. Because this is only the first part, some of the lines may look a bit out of place and you may think that some of it isn't logical; as the next parts are published things should become clearer.
On lines 330, 1110 and 1160, do not enter the words between the speech marks. These are commands used to just blank out previous on-screen information. Only enter the spaces indicated between the speech marks using the space bar.
The aim is to make this as flexible as possible, so you may find that in future issues amendments to previous parts of software published may be made to update the system and/or to make it faster etc.
There's no reason why extras can't be added to this program to give it the capability of controlling more than one or two things at a time. In fact — like all computer programs — the world is your oyster (until the memory runs out), and eventually this software could be adapted to turn your Lynx into the 'brain' of your instrument setup. Pulses could be used to control drum machines' Start/Stop functions and the same could be applied to sequencers not receiving direct clocking from the Lynx. Using a computer as a central control unit for even just one piece of equipment makes things a lot easier on stage and also in the studio.
Feature by Chris Everard
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