More hints, tips and update news from the world of music software.
In Notator's music notation page, try experimenting with the four levels of automatic display interpretation, which are available on a per-track basis, to see which one best suits the display of a certain track. The quick way to see results is to use the [R] and [I] keys in the notation page. These levels give you various display versions of your music:
(1) Rest correction Off + Interpretation mode Off
(2) Rest correction On + Interpretation mode Off
(3) Rest correction Off + Interpretation mode On
(4) Both On
Notator defaults to level (2). The purpose of levels (2), (3) and (4) is to optimise the readability of your score, and they affect the display (not MIDI data!) of short rests and note lengths. If entering notes via the mouse, use level (1); level (3) is a good alternative to (2).
It is vital to ensure that your dongle/key is well and truly inserted every time you go to switch on the Atari. Creator and Notator refer to the key from the time you switch on to the time you switch off, and if it is not fully inserted into the Atari's ROM port you may get weird messages and other strange things happening. The dongle is there to protect the 'intellectual property' of the authors of the programs, and as a result, also protects you by ensuring C-Lab are around far into the future to carry on their research, development and customer sevice.
Registered owners should all by now have received Version 2 of Creator or Notator This tip relates to one of the new features.
Pressing the Atari's spacebar allows you to (non-destructively) drop in and out of Record mode at will, without losing any music that already exists in the current track; it does not issue a Start or Stop command so can be used on-the-fly. The clever bit comes when you use Dub Drop during Cycle Record, ie. when you are shuttling around, say, the first four bars of a track.
Go into Record as usual and record your first passes. At any time, you can hit the spacebar, which drops you out of Record mode without stopping the music. This allows you to continue monitoring what you have played while you try out different notes, or whatever. You can even change tracks and MIDI channels, etc, before using the spacebar to drop back into the new track and continue adding layers to your Cycle Recording without interrupting the musical flow. Each pass will, as before, be assigned a new internal MIDI channel, which allows another new feature to take place: namely, the selective deleting of passes while still in Record mode by clicking (right mouse button) the track number that relates to the pass you wish to delete. In this situation, the track number serves only as a means of deleting a pass: it has nothing to do with a track.
The various aspects of the Arrange mode are a recurring theme in user queries. This month, we start a basic tuition course on the concept of this vital piece of software engineering. It is the most high profile example of all of Creator's (real-time) Play parameters, as it allows you to quickly shift whole sections of your music around. You can change the arrangement at any time - you are never stuck with any choice you make, since operations are all reversible. You know what is going on at all times because: (a) it is shown on the main screen where all your other music writing functions are; (b) it scrolls through the arrangement while the music plays, and interacts with the Pattern window to display exactly what tracks are playing at any one time, including track names, parameters, etc; (c) you can name each pattern entry in the arrangement.
The Arrange mode's job (when ARRANGE:ON is displayed) is to play patterns (containing tracks) in the order in which they are entered in the Arrange window, and to subject these patterns to the range of functions (transpose, mute, etc) which are available on a per-pattern basis in the Arrange mode. The arrangement can consist of a succession of patterns moving down one of the four chains (A, B, C, D), where perhaps each section of your song (verse, chorus, etc) is recorded into a separate pattern, or can be arranged so that you have maybe one pattern in each chain, each containing a number of very long tracks like a tape recorder. Or a combination of both - it is entirely up to you how you arrange your music.
The four chains. A, B, C, D (do not confuse these letters with the MIDI port labels, A-F, in the Track Parameter window: they are totally unrelated!), can be thought of as four synchronised 16-track tape recorders, allowing you to run up to four lots of patterns simultaneously.
One of the basic things to grasp about the Arrange mode is that each pattern entry in the arrangement is allocated a separate line, to enable you to name it. This means that patterns in different chains which start at the same time will be on consecutive lines - the 'Start Bar' value in the lefthand column indicates what pattern is starting when, in terms of bars.
The Offset facility is now available in Sequencer Plus MkII as well as MkIII. It allows tracks to be displaced in time against each other. Displacement can be as little as a few milliseconds, or as much as a few bars. Offset can be used to cure 'slow response' MIDI keyboards, to achieve double tracking effects and echo, to 'push' parts of a song ahead of the beat, or to change a rhythm by displacing beats. Offset is available both as a Global command and as a Transform.
With more and more IBM PC clones appearing in the market place, and all claiming to be 'compatible' with IBM machines, there nevertheless appear to be degrees of compatibility! Check with Computer Music Systems to be sure.
The Musicpak, which offers Sequencer Plus MkI with a V4001 MIDI interface, does qualify for the standard Voyetra Upgrade Policy. The MkII or MkIII programs are available for the price difference between them (within a six month period).
The PC version of Intelligent Music's M, the "interactive composing and performing system", will be available in the early part of this year for PCs.
Sequencer Plus MkIII is now available for the Yamaha C1 computer. (The C1 is already on sale in the USA, and is due to be released over here in February.) The program differs from the usual version by making use of the extra MIDI ports available on the C1.
There are two ways of getting Pro24 onto a singled-sided disk. Both methods require two formatted single-sided disks and two disk drives (one of which may be a RAM disk).
1. Copy the file TWENTY_4.PRG from your master disk onto each of the two formatted single-sided disks. Then copy the file CTAPE.RSC onto one disk (this will become the Colour version of the program), and copy the file TAPE.RSC onto the second disk (this is the Mono version).
You may like to copy the Module files onto a third disk, which will then become your synth library.
2. Alternatively, copy the file TWENTY_4.PRG from your master disk onto one disk, and copy all other files onto the second disk. Now try loading the TWENTY_4.PRG file - you should get a TOS Error 35 displayed on-screen. Do not worry. Simply remove the first disk and insert the second disk, then click on 'OK'. The comm puter will then find the files it needs to finish loading the program.
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