Hints, Tips & News From The World of Music Software
This month, helpful hints for users of Steinberg, Opcode, and Dr. T music software.
The only drawback to Extract in Logical Edit is its limited access from the Arrange window. However, you can overcome this by selecting Logical Edit from the Arrange window and activating Extract from the Filter Functions, then closing the window and entering any of the other four editors. This procedure will preserve the setting of the Logical Edit, and you are able to perform the Extract operation from any of the editors. This is particularly useful if you want to graphically highlight a group of notes before going into Logical Edit to extract them, and can save you the trouble of entering the corresponding MIDI number in the Value column each time.
The most immediate way to increase your screen area is to use the Hide/Show Transport menu, but for those who are serious about DSP (Desktop Score Publishing) a large screen is the ticket. The Eizo FlexScan 6500 (System Solution (Contact Details)) is such a monitor, which can display two full A4 pages — very handy when using more than one editor simultaneously. If you require faster screen output, NVDI (System Solution) is a program which fully replaces the Atari VDI routines, improving their performance by a factor of 10. NVDI is also compatible with all other screen resolutions other than the standard 640 x 400.
Harman Audio, Steinberg's new UK distributors, offer a help line service ((Contact Details)) which is free at present. The help line is restricted to technical enquiries, and should not be treated as a tutorial backup (hint: try reading the manual...). Note that the service is for authorised users of Steinberg products only, so don't waste your time calling in if you own an unauthorised copy of Cubase. The help line will be open between 2-5pm from Monday to Friday, and faxes can be received on the same line outside these hours. There's also an Update/News line ((Contact Details)) which will provide information about the latest program versions and future product developments.
If you use the Program setting (the little trumpet under the Thru Instrument setting) to generate program changes, here is a helpful tip. So Vision can remember the programs that you used in your sequence, record them into a track of that sequence. The quickest way to do this is as follows:
1. Choose an empty track in your sequence.
2. Record enable the track in Replace, Wait for Note mode.
3. Press the tab key or click on record.
4. Go to the Thru Instrument setting and set it to the first instrument.
5. Select the program name or number by opening the program change window. A list of program names/numbers will appear with your mouse cursor on the current program. Hold the mouse button down until all of the programs are displayed, then release it (this sends the program change).
6. Repeat this operation for each instrument that you used in your sequence.
7. Press the return key or click on stop.
8. The track will be named '(untitled)' and will contain all of your program changes. If you open the list window for the track, you will see them listed.
When the track is played back, your MIDI instruments will change to the correct programs. Note that the speed with which different instruments change patches will vary, and it may be a good idea to insert some time between sending a program change to an instrument and sending it the first notes of a sequence.
One of the editing functions which occasionally seems to confuse people is the Linear Set/Scale function, which is part of the Velocity, Duration, Controllers and Pitch Bend edit items found in the main Transform menu. This area of the dialogue consists of four parameters: a pair of values ranging from 1 to 127 (unless pitch bend is being addressed, when the values range from -64 to 63) and a pair of percentage fields which can be thought of as the 'strength' of the related value, ie. the figure immediately above. To try and make things clear, let's consider an example or two.
Take two bars-worth of 16th-note hi-hats with all their velocities set at 64. Select all the events (but not the final DE event) by highlighting them in the edit list with the mouse. Select the Velocity edit function (under Transform), click on Linear Set/Scale, and set the pair of scale values to 1 and 127 and both the percentage fields to 100%. Applying this will cause the velocities of the target pattern to be scaled from 1 to 127, ie. the first note will have its velocity set at 1, the last set to 127 and the notes in between set appropriately. Looking at this curve in Tiger (select the track and call up the track's velocity window by clicking on 'VE' just above the track's main display), you'll see that the velocities form a nice, neat linear ramp. Undo this, and now alter the left-hand percentage field to 50% and apply it. Now the velocity curve will ramp gently from about 32 to 64 over the first bar and then climb as before from 64 to 127 for the second bar.
What is effectively happening is that the two 'Set' values provide a range limit over which the change will take place; the percentage fields govern the intensity, if you like, of the change itself. In our first example, the range runs from 1 to 127 and the percentage fields allow this full range to be applied, but in the second example, the left-hand velocity value is only allowed to go within 50% of that value, so the numbers start from midway between the original velocity and that set in the dialogue. Similarly, if we'd altered the right-hand percentage field to 50% instead, then we'd find the curve ramping from 1 to 64 for the first bar and then rising from 64 to about 96 for the second.
There is one very important point to bear in mind when using this feature — a small example will help to clarify this. If our two-bar hi-hat pattern is part of a longer track or sequence, say of eight bars duration — eg. the pattern forms the first two bars with the final DE event at 9-1-1, and you use Linear Set/Scale across the whole track — the program will consider that you wish the scaling to apply to the entire eight bars. Therefore, while the first note of the pattern will be set to 1, the last note will only be up at around 30 — although there are no notes in the latter part of the track, the program will nevertheless scale what it can, accounting for the overall time of the selected events. It is therefore probably better to highlight only the events you are specifically interested in, although there's nothing to prevent you working any other way if it provides the required effect.
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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