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Article from Sound On Sound, October 1992

This month, helpful hints for users of Steinberg and Dr. T's software.



When using the quantize function, you are not limited to the options available in the pop-up menu (Off, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64). For instance, if we want to quantize to a value of 24 (ie. to the closest 24th note), and since this option is not available in the pop-up menu, we will have to construct a special quantize map to represent the unique value. Before we proceed any further an essential point to consider is the playback resolution. This plays a key role in calculating the interval at which the 'dots' are placed in the map. When using Cubase 2.0 we would have to insert the dots 32 ticks apart, in order to represent the quantize value of 24, but to achieve the same result in Cubase 3.0 the dots are placed at an interval of 64 ticks apart. The reason for this is simple: Cubase 2.0 has a playback resolution of 192ppqn (pulses per quarter note) while Cubase 3.0 is running at 384ppqn. To create or edit a quantize map we use the Edit Quantize option from the Functions menu. Once the map has been created it can be saved and recalled for future use. It is possible to have up to 16 maps in memory and they can be accessed using the Groove Quantize option from the Functions menu.


There is a lot more to multi-tasking than meets the eye, although most people are content with just being able to save their arrangement while playing it back in real time. Well, if you think performing simple functions on parts such as copying, cutting, pasting, etc. during playback is useful, then here are some interesting tips for copyists. Open the Key, Score and List windows simultaneously — you can do this by holding down the [Alternate] button while selecting each editor. (I would recommend you also hide Transport and Title Editors to improve the display.) It is at this point, with three editor windows open, that multi-tasking comes in handy, because any editing done in the current editor will immediately be reflected in the other editors. To illustrate the point, try changing the length of a note in the Key Editor using the Pencil tool — the result will instantly be displayed in the Score Editor.



There is a certain amount of confusion about KCS's ability to record SysEx data. Although the manual states that only dumps of about 5k can be recorded, in fact you can probably handle larger dumps. The success or otherwise of this venture depends on whether the instrument introduces so-called 'wait-states' in between each logical data block (many instruments divide dumps into blocks such as voice bank, rhythm setup, multi-timbral setup and the like), and also whether it transmits the data at the full baud rate. If you are unsure, it's always worth trying. A good approach to take would be to try and record the dump several times, checking that the same number of events is transmitted (this is a reasonably good guide to how well it's performed, and that the last few events are exactly the same — examine roughly the last 50 events and see if the numbers are the same. If they are, then this is an even better indication as to the accuracy of the dump because there is a greater chance of the later bytes in the dump being corrupted due to buffer overflow.

Note for ST users: make sure you remove any Desk Accessories which inhibit CPU performance. In particular, programs like Harlekin will appreciably slow down the system, so much so that timing errors and data corruption can even occur when recording MIDI data and, especially, SysEx. You should also avoid leaving a DA's window active when switching MPE modules — if you've been using Harlekin, close all its windows down before you call an MPE program. If you don't, the chances are that the computer will crash or otherwise misbehave. This will almost certainly happen if the DA in question requests more than the 32k limit that is theoretically imposed on DA memory allocation, as Harlekin does.

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Publisher: Sound On Sound - SOS Publications Ltd.
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Sound On Sound - Oct 1992


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