Steinberg Software Page
The second of an ‘experimental’ column devoted entirely to Steinberg software. Written and compiled exclusively for SOS by Steinberg's experts, it contains hot news of current and forthcoming software revisions plus ‘in-house’ tips and tricks on its use. Read on and respond!
Welcome to a new experiment: the Steinberg Software Page. Each month in Sound On Sound we will bring you the latest news of current and forthcoming versions of your software, some 'in-house' tips and tricks on its use, and will discuss computer-based MIDI sequencing systems in general. It is our hope that everyone using a computer to assist them with their musical productions will find our subjects of interest, whatever software they use. Read on and respond!
If you are the proud owner of one of the newer Atari ST computers with the Version 2 operating system (the one with the green LEDs) READ THIS!
A very strange bug has turned up in the new Ataris, which under certain circumstances can lead to disaster. It has to do with the way in which the ST handles the Disk Directory, and it is related to the state of the 'Memory Protect Tab' on your 3.5" disk. The Disk Controller does not appear to read the directory of a non-protected disk twice. This can lead to a variety of subsequent problems.
You can overcome the bug entirely by protecting your disk before inserting it into the disk drive (push the 'tab' so that the hole is OPEN). The ST will then read the directory in the normal way and will display the contents of the disk accordingly. The pain is that you will then have to unprotect the disk before you can save anything onto it.
There is a variation on the basic problem which occurs if you boot your computer with an unprotected disk, whereby a 'ghost' directory is created when you load your software. If you try 'Load Song' you won't be able to load any of the garbage shown in the listing (hieroglyphics), but you can save into this 'ghost' directory. Any files you save will be visible from within the software, but invisible from the GEM Desktop. You can recover this information: phone the Steinberg Helpline for details.
1. ALWAYS boot the software/computer with a WRITE-PROTECTED disk.
2. If you ever see hieroglyphs in your directories, take the disk out, switch the write-protect tab ON, re-insert the disk, and 'look' at the disk again (click on the 'diamond' in the upper left of the Listing).
THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM ON THE OLDER 'RED LED' ATARI ST COMPUTERS.
Evenlode Soundworks operate a telephone hotline for users in 'MIDIstress'. It is currently operating between about 1pm and 4:30pm every weekday. The guy on the end of the line works very hard to meet the needs of all callers, but things can get hectic. Please be patient if the phone is busy. Perhaps you could take another look through the program's manual while you're waiting? Or write down exactly what you think your problem is.
Pro-24 Version 3.0 is available to any existing Pro-24 user. Evenlode Soundworks will update your software for the nominal fee of £10, as a 'one-off upgrade service. Or you could choose to become an 'update service subscriber' for £23 - you will then receive major software updates and their manual addendums automatically, as they are released.
Note that you only pay for updates if you are a Pro-24 user, because of the sheer numbers. If you own any other Steinberg software program, make sure you register yourself as a user with Evenlode, then you will be sent the latest version of your software automatically as it is released. There are new versions of virtually every current package on the way.
Here are a few tricks to get you up and running fast with the new Drum Editor available in Pro-24 Version 3.0.
You can fill a pattern with something simple very quickly by writing a 2-bar phrase in a Loop, then selecting 'Repeat All' from the Loop minimenu, extending the loop points, and then repeating your 'Repeat All' selection. This will create an 8-bar drum phrase extremely rapidly, into which you can add your fills etc. Each drum can be quantized independently, and you can switch between 'Iterative Quantize' and 'Straight Quantize' quite freely.
Try writing a straight 8 snare, and then using Iterative Quantize (IQ) to quarter-note triplets. You can take this further by then using IQ back to 16th notes, etc. Note that these options can be invoked separately for the Bar, Loop, or Pattern.
For those of you with modems, Steinberg have established an electronic mail system in Germany which will operate as a forum for users of all sorts of MIDI and computer equipment. It will also function as a software updating service for existing Steinberg users and will allow you to download the very latest version of your Steinberg software via the telephone line. Contact Evenlode Soundworks for full details.
Here's another example of how Pro-24's Logical Edit may be used: Write a 'straightish' drum groove in the Drum Editor, and then make your way into one of the Edit screens. Highlight a snare hit, and then select 'Logical Edit' from the options menu. Now select 'Inside' and 'Equal' as Position and Note Value conditions, and set the numerical operators of Position to 'Minus' 3 clocks. Finally, move the mouse down the screen to the area which shows the Bar Position and drag the mouse over a part of the bar-range which you know contains a snare hit.
Click on 'Transform' and you will hear all the snare hits which fall on that point pushed ahead by 3 clocks. You can make the push harder by simply clicking again on 'Transform' (though make sure your bar-range still covers the pushed hits!). You can slide it all back again by switching the numerical operator to 'Add' and retracing your steps. (You can also abandon the whole thing by exiting and then selecting 'Cancel' or 'Restore'.) Try pushing the snares while laying back some kick beats, and the reverse! Don't forget those Timbales, Bongos, and Cowbells!
You can also use the 'Delete' option to good effect. Try writing a very active drum pulse and then delete all the notes which occur precisely square on the beat; you'll get a pulse of silence. You may have to delete or delay some of the notes on your other instruments.
Finally, a quick recap on last month's suggestion for compressing and expanding your MIDI note velocities using Logical Edit. You can simply amplify or attenuate your velocities by changing the 'mathematical operator' to 'Minus' or 'Add'. This means that you could firstly expand the range of attained velocities, and then lower their values as a whole to bring the highest back to their earlier peaks. This is a particularly good strategem with DX bass sounds, where a pop' in its proper place can add a lot of poke to the pulse.
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