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Tips & News From The World Of Music Software

More hints and tips from the world of music software.



The graphic score symbols in the Notator score editor can be freely positioned within the score area. This freedom of choice carries with it certain responsibilities — you must ensure that symbols are positioned so that they will be fully printed when the time comes. Note the following rules:

1) The upper limit of the overall printing of every page is defined by the border line between the score editor and the event list.

2) If the Header space is being used, this border line now represents the upper print limit of page 1 only, and the small bracket just above the lefthand end of the stave defines the upper print limit of pages 2 onwards: it also defines the lower border of the Header.

3) The small bracket just below the left hand end of the stave defines the lower print limit of every page.

You must check that your score symbols are positioned within the print area, as defined by the small brackets, or they will not be printed. You should take special care that symbols, notes and text that belong to pages 2 onwards are not positioned above the upper bracket (ie in the Header space). Also check through your score to make sure that the lower bracket is positioned so that the lowest notes are printed. Basically, this lower bracket should be positioned just below the lowest note. In addition, you should ensure that the lefthand ends of text, symbols etc. are, ideally, placed within the bar for which they are intended. If the term, say, 'simile' is positioned over a bar line, and that bar line represents the end of one printed line and the beginning of the next, then only half the word will be printed. Better to move the text so that it is wholly within the bar. The same applies to the dynamic symbols ('ff' etc.).


Whenever you enter lyrics under the score, always ensure that you are in 'Snap' mode (while dragging in the Lyric icon, see if the Control Line is saying 'Snap' — if not, give the other mouse button a click before releasing the first one). This makes it much easier to add more lyrics to the end of a new lyric line, or to add more lines below an existing one. The reason is that the lyric cursor will 'snap' to one of the pre-determined snaplines that run (invisibly) down the screen.


If you have to generate SMPTE/EBU timecode onto your tape, it is actually quite irrelevant which SMPTE time you choose to start generating at. Most people choose a generating start time of 'zero' (00:00:00:00), which is perhaps the most logical start time to use. You would then set the SMPTE Offset in the Sync Reference (the SMPTE time at which the sequencer starts) to, say, 20 seconds later (00:00:20:00) which allows 20 seconds of tape as 'leader'. You would give the next song a SMPTE Offset time of some 20 seconds after the end of the first one, and so on (these are only suggestions). The danger area in SMPTE timecode is around the midnight mark (24:00:00:00), which should be avoided at all costs by not generating a timecode that starts anywhere near there.


The Do Quantise switch on the main page or in the Quantise menu is used for two purposes:

1) It applies, to the current track, the last used Quantise value selected in any track. This allows the quick application of a quantisation value without having to scroll through the intermediate values. The Quantise Mode used is the one ticked in the Quantise menu (which defaults to Musical Quantise II).

2) It is used to apply a new Quantise Mode to an existing track: if you record a track and use the Quantise value 16 with the Musical Quantise II Mode on it, but then wish to hear the effect of the same value with, say, Note On & Off Quantise Mode, you should click on the appropriate Mode in the Quantise menu then click on Do Quantise. This will convert the existing track to the new Mode. Be aware that the new default mode is now no longer Musical Quantise II, so be sure to change back to it after experimenting.



We have had one or two queries about odd-looking windows on Cubase. The common complaint is that some files have gone out to users in which the Arrange window is only half the height of the screen. If you have only ever swapped pages on Cubase by selecting the menu options you will have missed the fact that any window (but not dialogue boxes) can be re-sized — this sizing operation is carried out with the window device at the bottom right of each window.

If you open an editor window, then reduce its size, you will see the Arrange window behind it. You can change the size and position of the windows, and place them anywhere on the screen. Each window is made 'active' by touching it with the mouse.

The only thing you will not be able to do in the Arrange window is actually edit (Move/Copy etc) a Part that is already opened in an edit window; you can open another edit window, however. Even this operation won't close the current window if you hold down the [Alternate] key while opening a second or even a third edit window, as long as you don't have more than seven open at the same time.

We do provide some [controls] to quickly change the position of windows. The Full box at the top-right corner will snap any window to the maximum size allowed by your monitor — the feature takes into account what type of monitor you are using, so there are no problems with big screens. A second click on the Full box will return the window to its previous non-full size. You can therefore place all the windows where you want them on the screen, click on the Full box for one that you want to work on, then click on it again when you have finished. The Tile Windows or Tile Editors functions will automatically carry out a best-fit operation on the currently open windows. To complete the story (lest it be said that we err by omission) you can still move the whole window by grabbing its Title Bar at a point where there are no buttons, and drag it around the screen.

So, back to the original point: why was the Arrange window the wrong shape? Answer: because that was how it was saved. A Setup file will save many parameters, including the position and size of all the windows. This could be a DEF.SET file loaded by default, or any user named file loaded manually. One stage up the hierarchy of files in Cubase is the Save Song (All), because this naturally contains the Setup within it — that is why Charlie Steinberg's unusual choice of window proportion arrived safely in your home all the way from Hamburg on the FOSTEX.ALL file.


If you put a Steinberg Key into the C-Lab Combiner (the equivalent of our Key Expander), guess what happens? It works! Put it in back to front and you will melt a hole straight through the Key. Strangely enough, the Keys do not take well to this kind of user modification. I must say at this point that absolutely no blame is being levelled at C-Lab's door. I wouldn't be surprised for a moment if our Key Expander wreaked the same havoc with their Keys, but I don't fancy testing the theory.

It's surprising that at the design stage of the Atari ST itself the idea of an index slot was missed. The rule is that if you put any Key into a Steinberg product (ie. Key Expander/MIDEX/MIDEX+), the face of the Key that was uppermost when the Key was used alone faces away from you. You will see that we put a 'This Side Up' message on the Key Expander/MIDEX to help. If you put any of our Keys into Combiner the 'This Side Up' message and the Steinberg logo should be facing you. We also recommend that Keys are only inserted or removed while the power is off. Please remember that this also is important when fitting or removing the Key Expander/MIDEX/MIDEX+.


When you are editing any of the 16 Groove maps, pressing play will cause the Groove Editor to play the current Groove. It uses the first drum sound on the Drum Editor (the topmost one) to sound the steps within the Groove Editor. If you have no drum sound selected for this position in the Drum Editor, you will be editing the Groove in silence, and will only hear your results when you use the Groove. This dictates that Sound 1 in your Drum Editor must be suitable for producing a click. The Double Defined Note error detector will prevent you having the your Rimshot sound in two places on the Drum Editor, unless you use the Drum Map feature. While the rules about Double Defined I-Notes are much the same as non-drum mapped parts, the O-Notes can be set totally freely, so there is no longer a problem with any Sound in the Drum Editor having the the same MIDI transmit channel and note value as any other.


A number of people have had problems with the Remix function of Cubase; they claim that sometimes it doggedly refuses to separate the MIDI channels from within a Part. What is actually happening is simple, and you have to understand what Cubase was trying to do to perform a Remix. (Have you ever considered how inappropriate the word Remix is for this function). Mixdown is easy: all the un-muted Parts between the Left and Right Locators are combined into a new Part on the Record Track, obviously again between the Left and Right Locators. When it comes to Remix, what some users were doing was selecting the Part they wished to Remix and using the Menu option Remix. But nothing happens — why? Have a look at which section of the menu the Remix function is in. Ah, the Track functions! What Cubase does is Remix any Part(s) that lie on the current Record Track between the Left and Right Locators on to new Tracks, not the currently selected Part(s) between the Left and Right Locators.

Finally those Cubase owners whose Tempo seems to always change to 120bpm after doing a Global Cut/Insert should have a look at the setting of the Tempo that would be current at that time according to the Mastertrack. Set the Mastertrack Tempo at 1.1.0 to 158.500 and clear any other tempo change messages. Now try and doing a Global Cut; the Tempo has just changed to the Tempo that should be current at the current Song Position, taking the Cut/Insert in account.



The current version of the Sequencer Plus Instrument List is 3.06. For MkI owners, the Instrument Page in the program will download files to instruments. For MkII and MkIII owners, both upload and download is possible. The latest Instrument File contains support for 118 different instruments, each with their own help screen to ease problems of communication. New instruments in the list include: Emu Proteus; Eventide H3000; Kawai K1, K4, K5; Korg A3, M1, M3R; Lexicon LXP1; Roland GP16, D10, D5, R8, U110, U20, U220; Yamaha RX7, RX8, V50, Rev 5.

Owners wishing to obtain the new Instrument File can download it from the following bulletin boards: CIX (conference route66); The Music Network. Alternatively, the file is provided free of charge to all Sequencer Plus owners who send a formatted blank disk and return carriage to Computer Music Systems. Note that the file is only for use with Sequencer Plus Version 3.


Customers with PCs with the new Micro Channel bus can still use Sequencer Plus with the Roland MPU401 interface. Note that some MCA machines experience problems accessing the hard disk on exit from Sequencer Plus if it is run using the standard Interrupt 2 (IRQ2) setting. The fix is to boot Sequencer Plus using the alternative IRQ command line option, and to change the IRQ setting on the MCA board. (Roland have details on this procedure.) Other MCA PC owners may find no problems with the IRQ setting.

More from these topics

Previous Article in this issue

MOTU MIDI Time Piece

Next article in this issue

Sounding Off

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 - Sep 1990

Donated by: Bert Jansch / Adam Jansch


Previous article in this issue:

> MOTU MIDI Time Piece

Next article in this issue:

> Sounding Off

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