Easel Junior Sound Canvas Editor Accessory for Atari ST
Easel Junior is a desktop accessory version of Easel, an editing package for the Roland SC55/155 Sound Canvas range. The Junior version doesn't permit any saving or loading of edit parameters but provides a virtual front panel, enabling you to change patches and edit the vital parameters of the patches selected. When I first saw Easel Junior, I'd just bought a Roland CM300 (a Sound Canvas without a control panel) and Easel Junior seemed the ideal way to control it. I can confirm that the program is compatible with the CM300, and a little judicious editing can produce surprisingly sophisticated variations on the preset sounds. All you have to do is to copy Easel Junior onto your startup disk and you're off.
There are one or two rather 'clunky' aspects of the program, but nothing that can't be forgiven when its extremely low cost is taken into consideration. There is only one page to the program and this is set up in the form of a grid displaying all 16 parts and the available parameters for those parts. Above the main grid are boxes controlling global functions such as chorus or reverb, and to the right is a further box which allows the patch names in each part to be viewed. Changing a parameter is simply a matter of selecting it and incrementing or decrementing the value, but here the clunkiness starts because rather than use the two mouse buttons as value up and down buttons, you have to use either the left mouse button or the left mouse button plus the 'Alternate' key, depending on which direction you want to go. It also takes around a second before the parameter values start to change once the button is pressed.
In all other respects, this program functions admirably; you can change attack and release, filter cutoff and resonance, partial reserve, and pan, level and effects level for each part, all in real time. The package is very simple to use and though it doesn't offer quite the features of its full-blown cousin Easel, it has the advantage of being a desk accessory and not taking up much memory. The bottom line is that if you're an SC55/155 user, Easel Junior is incredibly useful, but if you're a CM300 or CM500 user, it's indispensable.
Easel Junior £13.95; Easel, (full editor for Sound Canvas) £24.95; Soundscope (editor for Boss DS330 Dr Synth), £24.95.
Heavenly Music MIDI Software, (Contact Details).
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