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Hints, Tips & News From The World of Music Software

More hints and tips from the software publishers themselves. This month: C-Lab; Opcode; Coda; Dr. T's.



Some users have experienced problems importing .IMG files from Notator into Timeworks Publisher. Timeworks will either import a black box or nothing at all, although importing notation into Calamus, First Word Plus etc. presents no problems at all. While there is no immediate solution to this gremlin (it would appear that Timeworks takes offence to something inside the data), there is a public domain program called GEMview that allows you to load and resave various picture file formats, including Notator's .IMG files, on the Atari. This removes the data that Timeworks does not like, and allows the files to be imported correctly. As a rider to this, Publisher 2 has just come out; this may cure the problem.


Graphics programs open up many possibilities for DTP users. The drawing application called Touch Up is one of those worth looking at, but please note that not many programs that import .IMG files can cope with the size of file that Notator can produce. These graphics programs allow general tidying up, creation of symbols, zooming into details, and other editing.


We have mentioned the subject of fonts in previous issues: you soon realise that there are hundreds — nay, thousands — of fonts, or typefaces, on the market. Fontkit is an inexpensive program, marketed by the ST Club ((Contact Details)), that allows you to do all sorts of unmentionable things to fonts, and even allows the creation of new fonts from scratch — if you have the patience.

GEM fonts can be bought from many sources, many of them public domain, and are immediately compatible with Notator. This is very convenient if you want a quick yet professional-looking output from Notator, without all the bells and whistles that a full DTP program offers. Fontkit naturally allows the creation of all kinds of tailor-made specialist symbols, which can then be loaded into Notator as .FNT files. Don't forget that you will need two versions for each font if your printer is a 24-pin dot matrix or has a laser-quality output: one for the screen at 72 DPI, and one to match the printer's resolution. Fontkit explains all of this in detail.


Notator does not directly support Postscript output, but instead produces a bit-mapped output which is created by the program during the printing process. Postscript is a 'page description language' used in the printing and publishing industries. For those of you who require this compatibility and quality, there is a solution, in the form of Calamus SL ((Contact Details)). The program allows you to import .IMG files as before, but thanks to its modular design you can save the notation with text as a Postscript file. Pagestream 2 is another DTP program that is Postscript-compatible. More on this next month.



The following versions of Opcode software are fully System 7 compatible: the Opcode MIDI System and OMS Setup Application; Galaxy Plus Editors version 1.1.1 and later; The Book of MIDI (HyperCard 2.1 must be used for full compatibility); Vision 1.3.

The following programs are fully compatible under System 7.0 with virtual memory turned off: all librarians and editor librarians versions 4.03 and later; Galaxy 1.0.2; MIDIplay 1.1; Max 2.0 and later; Cue 3.0.1; Track Chart 1.0; Studio Vision 1.3.

EZ Vision 1.0 and Vision 1.2 are compatible with System 7.0, but Virtual Memory and 32-bit addressing should be turned off, and the keyboard equivalents for menu commands that use the Option key don't work, (you can still choose the menu commands using the mouse).

Studio Vision 1.2.2 is compatible with System 7.0 with Virtual Memory and 32-bit addressing turned off. The Option menu commands work fine. The UpYourFCBs INIT is not needed and, should not be used with System 7. Virtual Memory and 32-bit addressing can be disabled in the Memory Control Panel under System 7.


Items to be placed in the Extensions Folder include: Opcode MIDI System; MIDI Manager. Items to be placed in the Apple Menu Items include: Studio 3 DA; Timecode Machine DA. Items to be placed in the top level of the System Folder include: OMS Folder; Opcode MIDI INIT; Studio 3 INIT; OMS MIDI Manager; Opcode XCMD Connections (MIDIplay).


When you launch the Studio 3 DA, you are often asked "is the Studio 3 using the printer port for MIDI?". When running System 7.0 the answer to this question is not always intuitive; this has to do with the way that System 7.0 handles desk accessories. If you bring up the Studio 3 DA with no other application running, the answer to this question should be "no". If you bring up the Studio 3 DA while a MIDI application is currently running, the answer is "yes". The only exception is if the currently running application is an OMS-compatible application using 'Allow non-OMS Applications' mode, in which case the answer is "no". Answering incorrectly can result in crashes and hangs.

The Studio 3 INIT needs to be stored in the System folder under System 7.0, as opposed to the Extensions folder. If the Studio 3 INIT is in the Extensions folder the Studio 3 DA will not be able to find and update it with your current settings.



Finale is compatible with System 7.0, but note the following:

1. Finale doesn't support 'hooks' such as Publish and Subscribe, or Balloon Help, nor does it have versions of fonts in TrueType format (they are under development). Users with printers such as the LaserWriter LS or the StyleWriter will want to use Adobe Type Manager for the time being.

2. Since System 7.0 does not include a Font/DA Mover (version 4.1 is available from Apple dealers) users will have to start up from a System 6.x disk in order to run Font/DA Mover V3.8. This would only be necessary if they are installing the music fonts into the System file, and therefore need to remove the font from the application itself.

3. When compiling a PostScript Listing under System 7 and including the font in the listing, you need to have a copy of the Petru and/or Sevil PostScript printer font file in both the system folder and the Extensions folder.


Finale is not compatible with OMS. If you are using OMS and wish to use Finale you will have to remove MIDI Manager from the system folder or Extensions folder and reboot. Coda are working on a fix.


If you constantly get the message "Cannot find MIDIDRVR.DLL" and "Error loading MIDI Driver MIDIDRVR.EXE, File not Found", or "Error loading MPUDRVR.EXE", there are two things to check:

1. Check that Finale.EXE is included in your Path statement (in your Autoexec.Bat File); add it if necessary.

2. Move all the *.DLL files from the Finale directory, or wherever they are now, to the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory. (Delete any old *DRVR.EXE files).

3. Re-boot your computer, after altering your Autoexec.Bat file and/or moving the *.DLL files. (Moving these files will delete them from the source directory and copy them to the target directory in one move; see your Windows 3.0 manual for details of the Move command.)



The PVG, which is a sub-section of the Level II version of KCS, represents a unique environment for the composer, the like of which is not to be found on other systems. The first-time user is usually daunted by the apparent and, indeed, intense visual complexity of this sub-program; with over 500 data fields and over 110 toggles across 10 pages, virtually all of which remain active from screen to screen, newcomers can be left with a profound sense of bewilderment.

However, compared to other programs which offer aleatoric or stochastic editing/composition, PVG can be quite accessible with the application of a little thought.

The most important thing to remember when using PVG is that you do not need to be a programmer, hold a degree in music, or consume handfuls of aspirin in order to make PVG do what you want. Many quite complex editing or random music generation operations are very easy to achieve. The trick with PVG is to use those abilities that you already use in your own compositions: in other words, plain old common sense.

Many people have difficulty in understanding what it is that PVG does or how it can be applied to their own music. Putting it simply, PVG is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades — you can emulate most of the editing functions that appear in the main section of the program. One advantage of this approach is that several functions can be applied to a track in a single pass and, more importantly, these can be made to work only if certain musical conditions are met. You can use it to create music from scratch according to your own criteria (PVG is particularly well suited to counterpoint). You can even use it to modify the tuning temperament of any synth.

While these techniques may not interest you specifically, remember that PVG can be made to do almost anything your imagination desires; all it takes is a little thought, patience and experimentation. In some ways it's probably easier to find out what you need to do rather than try and learn every aspect of the program — the possibilities for manipulating information are virtually endless.

Next month we'll look at a simple example of how to use PVG, that involves editing existing data rather than creating new material. Stay tuned.

PLEASE NOTE: Product information contained within these pages is supplied directly by the software manufacturers, or their UK distributors or agents. The intention is to provide a 'bulletin board' service for SOS readers who own or use software for any type of computer. Although we may occasionally publish new product information, the idea is to publicise update/upgrade news, bug fixes, and hints and tips about software and computer peripherals. It is therefore up to all software companies to keep us posted.

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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 - May 1992


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