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Emagic Notator Logic

for the ST

Another sequencer for the ST? Where's the logic in that?

A new version of Notator already? Get ready for the Atari screen-age riot - Ian Waugh reports.

Many of Notator Logic's scorewriting facilities have been improved and it can now produce very good scores.

Things happen quickly in the software business. No sooner do we review Notator Logic version 1.1 for the Mac (see our April '93 issue) than version 1.2 appears, and then version 1.5 pops up ready and raring to go on the ST and Falcon with many new features. So let's see what we got...

In the Arrange window there are Real-time Groove Design and Time Stretch features. Groove Design is a sort of customised quantisation and will be familiar to Notator users, while Time Stretch lets you alter the length of a sequence and changes the durations of the notes to fit. Interesting.

The Transform window lets you do many unspeakably mathematical things to innocent MIDI data.

The Transport window has also been altered to display a giant SMPTE box - which is useful if you work at the other end of your studio to the computer - and there are several other interesting new functions such as Flip, Reverse, Scale, Range and Exponential. There are also a number of preset transform functions such as double- and half-speed, humanise (although you could make your own humanise function in previous versions of Notator), reverse position, reverse pitch, transpose and exponential velocity. Also included is a new tool in Hyperedit which can be used to draw in linear changes such as fades.

The Environment window has many new features. Every instrument can be directed to a certain MIDI output without the use of cables. There's a new object called Multi Instrument which represents a complete sound module. You can now use the Real-time Transform Object as a Filter, and Mapped Instruments are now able to have volume and pan settings like normal instruments. There have been several new additions to the Key Commands set, too, such as Save Zoom, Go To Position and Copy Events, and you can now hear a click through the monitor (hooray!).

A SMPTE display for the short-sighted.

But of all the windows, the Score window has probably been updated the most. It now has three different types of subwindow.

The Instrument Set window lets you create an unlimited number of instrument groups to be displayed in the score. For example, you could create an Instrument Set just containing piano if you only wanted to see the piano part of a score. Likewise you could create a set for the strings or brass section.

The new Multi Instrument object can hold details of a complete sound module - although you have to name the sounds yourself.

The Text Style window works in a similar way and lets you create text styles such as font, size, attributes and so on. In the Score window, there's now an Option menu with Diatonic Insert (which only inserts notes from the current scale) and Hide/Show Parameters. Using the Lyrics function you can tie text to certain notes.

They still haven't included the ability to enter notes in step time from a MIDI keyboard - c'mon guys! - but otherwise the updates are very useful and very welcome. Incidentally, the features in version 1.5 will be the next update for the Mac.

You can create Instrument Sets which restrict your view of the score to certain groups of instruments.

Further to our review in the April '93 issue, I am now happy to report that many of my niggles have been addressed, particularly on the scorewriting side (although there is still work to be done here). Indeed, having used Logic since then I can honestly say that it's the most powerful sequencer I have yet seen, full of many impressive features. Now it's just got even better! -


Ease of use Worth getting to know
Originality Innovative!
Value for money You want the best...
Star Quality Top of the bill
Price Notator Logic £499 inc. VAT
More from Sound Technology plc, (Contact Details)

Protection rackets

The ST/Falcon version of Logic is protected by a dongle which plugs into the computer's cartridge port. It's actually rather more than a dongle - it's called the LOG 3 and it has three extra MIDI Outs, giving you access to 64 separate MIDI channels. It also has a Thru socket so you can plug in another cartridge, and it's compatible with Unitor 2 which is a SMPTE synchroniser and MIDI expander with two extra MIDI Outs and two more Ins.

LOG 3 will also function as a dongle for Notator SL version 3.2 so existing Notator owners wishing to upgrade to Logic can run the two programs from the one dongle during file transfer operations. Notator won't run on the Falcon, so if you want to upgrade to a Falcon you'll have to upgrade to Logic, too. Interestingly, there is an upgrade path from Notator on the ST to Notator Logic on the Mac...

Also featuring gear in this article

Previous Article in this issue

Microdeal Video Master

Next article in this issue

Citronic SM650

Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Music Technology - Aug 1993

Quality Control

Review by Ian Waugh

Previous article in this issue:

> Microdeal Video Master

Next article in this issue:

> Citronic SM650

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