Author Topic: opcode vision 2.5 for windows compatible with windows 3.11 + win95 (5/20/1996)  (Read 6059 times)

Offline chrisNova777

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Windows 3.1/95
    486/66MHz or faster
    12MB RAM (16MB recommended)
    8MB hard disk space
    Windows compatible MIDI interface and/or sound card (May 20, 1996)

Opcode's Vision for Windows
Professional Sequencing Software for Windows
Vision for Windows is a complete, professional system for recording, editing, and playing music with your PC. Vision provides extensive editing with notation, graphic and list windows. Included is the Open Music System (OMS) for seamless interfacing to PC sound cards, MIDI hardware and multitrack recorders.
Key Features

    Familiar tape transport control bar
    Punch-in/Punch-out points
    Track Overview for easy arrangement editing
    Print music from the notation window
    Edit controller data easily from the Strip chart
    Mixing consoles
    OMS compatible
    List window for for precise numeric editing
    Graphic editing window allows editing of controller data without hiding MIDI tracks

Opcode's Vision offers a professional, yet easy to use environment for musicians, song writers, and composers. This integrated system includes the industry standard OMS (Open Music System), which facilitates effortless interfacing to sound cards, MIDI hardware, and multitrack recorders.

Vision gives you the flexibility to work the way you want. Choose between pattern or linear based sequencing-or a combination of both. Record your tracks in real time, step-enter them one note at a time, or even use drum machine-style loop recording.

    Track Overview, Graphic, Notation, Strip Chart (controller view), Event List and Mixing windows
    Groove Quantize to adjust rhythms with MPC-60, LINN-9000 and DNA grooves support
    Automatically builds a set of instruments based on your OMS Studio Setup
    Loop any region for drum machine-style recording
    Record from multiple channels using the Input Map
    Sequences and subsequences can be used to easily organize and trigger complex sequence playback
    Generated Sequences for creating arpeggio-like patterns, adjusting pitches to generate new melodies and more
    MIDI Machine Control support compatible with most MMC decks including ADAT, ADATxt, DA-88, and RD-8

update from 2.5 to 2.5.1 ->


• IBM (or compatible) PC,486/66Mhz or faster.
Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.
• 12Mb RAM (16Mb recommended).
• 8Mb free hard disk space.
• Windows-compatible MIDI interface.

One of the Mac world's sequencing front-runners, Vision has been ported to the PC, where it faces some stiff competition from the established packages. PAUL NAGLE goes all visionary...


The world of MIDI has perhaps been slow to realise it, but there's an awful lot of PCs out there (there's a lot of awful PCs too, but that's another story entirely!). Enter Apple Mac dudes Opcode, sensing the flow of serious money, and following in the wake of Cakewalk, Steinberg, Emagic, and MOTU. Have they allowed the competition to get too far ahead? Does Vision have anything fresh to offer when compared to products such as Cubase and Logic, which are now well bedded in? At first glance, the answer to the latter question seems to be 'no'. Vision isn't Windows 95 native, it doesn't have any audio capabilities or flashy MIDI delay lines/arpeggiators, and its management of patches will probably necessitate quite a bit of typing. But don't write it off yet -- Vision has quite a few appealing aspects, not least its simplicity and understandability, plus one or two tricks up its sleeve.

Vision is supplied on just two 3.5-inch, 1.4Mb disks, and its installation routine provides you with both the Vision sequencer and OMS -- more about the latter in a moment. Thankfully, the program is not protected, so there are no dongles or cranky software keys to worry about. Neither are there any flashy demo or tutorial songs -- instead, you're invited to follow the 'Getting Started' manual and actually record something yourself. Before doing that, though, you need to set up OMS -- see 'OMS & the PC' box for more details on this MIDI studio configuration system. Once you've mapped out and tested your studio connections, and selected icons for each item in your studio setup, you're ready to run Vision for the first time.

The highest working level within Vision is a sequence, which may contain either MIDI tracks, other sequences, or a mixture of the two. The sequences window lists each sequence by name, and selecting each one activates its own track view. This, in keeping with current fashion, is a Cubase-style arrange window with track details on the left, and musical parts represented as discrete chunks of coloured data (the colours being propagated from the instrument definitions). A number of view options are available, ranging from discrete musical patterns, to regular blocks or entire tracks with miniature representations of the MIDI data. In block view, I found busy screen redraws a little slow, and more zoom options wouldn't have gone amiss, as the track names weren't always clear to my ageing eyes.

Unlike most of its contemporaries, Vision works equally well with pattern-based or the more conventional linear method of arrangement. Individual sequences can be created and edited, then assembled later into a new composite sequence. Since sequences can be triggered from the keyboard, you can play them manually, even down to recording the results into a new sequence when you're happy. This brought back fond memories of Dr T's KCS program on the Atari ST and, for me, is still the fastest and easiest way to work, although I'd like to be able to drag-copy parts between different sequences. And the fun's not over yet, because you can generate new sequences based on material you've already recorded. Vision takes elements of note timing, duration, order, and so on, and creates new tracks based on a series of dialogues. The final results vary with the source material, but I found this to be surprisingly useful for shifting the perspective of a riff or bassline, whilst maintaining elements of the performance. Tracks can be looped individually, regardless of length, and entire sequences can also be looped -- if triggered from the keyboard, they can even run at their own tempo -- something to make smaller PCs sweat with the effort, I'm sure.

Vision has extensive online help, consisting of a series of black and white boxes of small text, which look decidedly un-Windows-like. If you didn't know this program was ported from the Mac, these panels and most of the dialogue boxes should give you the hint (quite a broad hint in the case of help for the MIDI Keys function, as it states that you can "generate any Macintosh keystroke..."). Context-sensitive help is available with the messy key combination control-alt-shift-mouse click for input fields, and control-alt-shift-choose for menu items, as opposed to the more normal F1. (That said, the help is invaluable and means you're not constantly leafing through the manual.) The Windows menu isn't exactly as you might expect, either, having no tile or cascade options; instead there is a list of all the main windows which you can open. You can set default locations for many of these, which is handy, because you can very easily fill your screen with the little blighters.

Vision's large control bar is the central point for most routine operations:

• The Record Mode box lets you set whether you wish to overdub or replace existing data, in either real or step time. Being able to step-time record directly from a track window is a neat way of creating backing patterns and rhythms without having to enter an editor.

• The Current Sequence box displays or selects a sequence for recording. Pick one from the pop-up menu and its corresponding track view becomes active.

• The Current Track pop-up shows the record track within the sequence. I did find it strange at first that selecting a track didn't automatically make it the record track, but I soon got used to it. Only one track can be selected for recording at once, but as a track can handle multiple MIDI channels, this doesn't present any real problems.

• The Thru Instrument box shows the instrument currently assigned to the record track, and features an additional set of trigger and transpose modes, which define the way that sequences can be triggered from keystrokes.

• The Current Patch box completes the track/sequence controls and is a handy shortcut to the patch list for the instrument you're working with.

Next are the familiar transport controls, with two play buttons (one to play from the start, the other to play from the current position), record, pause, stop, and so on. Nipping smartly around your blossoming composition is facilitated by eight counter locations, or by the Previous and Next marker controls, which advance through the markers set in the Markers pop-up. Finally, the shuttle bar moves the counter at variable speeds according to mouse position, either when stopped or during playback, functioning as an effective forward/backward audio scrub.

"I found Vision to be one of the easiest programs of its kind to use, yet with enough power to accomplish any task with the minimum of fuss."


A quick short-cut to the Sync menu reveals all the expected controls, including internal, external, SMPTE, MMC (MIDI Machine Control -- for which there is a separate transport window) and Remote (where Vision waits for another OMS-compatible application to tell it to start). Recording can be set after a count-in, or with the 'wait for note' option favoured by those of us who resent a machine telling us when to start playing. Incidentally, there are extensive options provided for re-clocking performances made independently of the metronome, and with a combination of re-clocking and 'scale time' facilities, you can align rubato performances with Vision's bar divisions, for score printing or quantising. Tempo is normally set in a dedicated tempo track, but can be overriden on the control bar, and timing resolution is a healthy 480ppqn (pulses per quarter note). Punch in and out settings work as you'd expect, and these are used in loop mode to select the area which will cycle, either in record or playback; you can loop record in replace or overdub modes. Hitting 'Enter' as you record confirms that you wish to keep everything recorded up to that point, and 'Delete' erases all the notes that have been recorded either from the start or the previous Enter. Although you can use Control-up/down arrow to move to the next track, there is no auto track increment facility to allow you to keep many individual takes of, for example, a solo part.

Finally, five icons allow quick access to the Sequence, Tracks, List Edit, Graphic Edit or Notation Edit windows. A comprehensive set of keyboard equivalents exist for most functions, and you can define practically any MIDI event or combination of events to trigger Vision keyboard commands, or even sequence playback. A small black dot, which flashes during recording, is the only visual indication that MIDI is being received. I'd like to see this improved, as a decent MIDI In/Out indicator is invaluable when you're scratching your head and wondering where the sound went.

Now, this is cool. By setting up an input map to respond to different incoming channels, it is possible to route the outputs of two or more keyboards to different modules, complete with keyboard splits, if required. The serious stuff starts when you trigger sequences from incoming events, resulting in instant Wavestation-type patterns. Since you aren't constrained by the type of data in a sequence, you can trigger not only notes, but MIDI controllers too. The number of applications for this feature are legion -- it could perhaps be utilised to recreate vector synthesis by producing volume fades to blend a number of instruments at each keystroke, or to trigger special phrases, or even synth patch edits. Different triggering options allow you to re-start the sequence each time a note is played or wait until it finishes before starting again. In gated mode, the sequence plays only while a note is held down. Simultaneously-played notes start and transpose separate copies of the sequence, and since you can record the results into a track, you can create a layered cacophony of looping mayhem, recalling the power (if not the bulk) of sync'ed-up analogue sequencers.

Custom layered instruments, featuring favourite combinations and/or transpositions, can be created. In overflow mode, a number of synths can be used together, by specifying the number of voices each can produce -- you can create complex multi-instrument chords or reduce a polyphonic synth to a single note in this way. Patch details are retrieved from OMS, but can be edited using the Name editor. While this is pretty good, it's no substitute for an integrated process that discovers your patch names and stores them along with the SysEx data needed to recreate them -- as does Steinberg's Cubase Studio Module.

Quantise is well implemented, with strength, sensitivity, smear, shift, and swing settings mapped against either a grid or groove. Notes can also be quantised on input or on playback.

Faders (vertical sliders) and Consoles (horizontal sliders) are graphical mixer representations which can be configured to send out MIDI controllers to the instrument(s) of your choice. A great Vision feature allows you to automatically build a Console from currently-selected tracks. With up to 32 Faders, and four Consoles of up to 24 channels each, basic mixing applications are unlikely to pose a problem, but I felt restricted by not being allowed to perform simple tasks such as label sliders, create a custom layout, or send SysEx strings to tweak my synths. Maybe this could be added in a future release? Each slider can be remotely controlled, and with tempo as an option, recording accelerandos and ritardandos with, say, a mod wheel, becomes far easier than dragging a mouse or using the keyboard.

Notes may be edited in the usual ways: there's the List editor, which shows individual events in text format; a Graphic piano-roll editor, which you use to move notes around, paint in new notes, and so on; and a Notation editor, which does its job well enough without threatening the dedicated scoring packages. For most uses, this editor functions very well, and I found its printed output more than adequate for my own needs.

Multiple instruments can be edited at once, and a handy selection box allows you to decide which ones to work on at any time. The Notation and Graphic editors have a strip controller window at the bottom, where you can draw or edit a wide variety of MIDI data, including note duration and velocity, tempo, and data generated by the Faders and Console windows. This is superb for graphically tweaking a mix without having to go back to the sliders and re-record it. The only omission is a drum grid editor, although the piano roll will handle this job at a pinch.

Individual notes may be selected using sophisticated filters; duplicates or near duplicates can be found and removed, and events may be processed according to their position within the bar or relative to other events. In most cases, you can enter note values directly by clicking on a field and hitting a note on your MIDI keyboard. Controller data can be reduced by a user-defined percentage, or increased (to smooth out a stepped curve, for example). In Exact mode, all changes performed graphically bring up a dialogue box, so you can fine-tune your edits using numbers. Transpose is a very musical affair, as it includes modal (major, minor, melodic minor, harmonic minor, Dorian, Lydian) operations, as well as the more familiar semitone shifts. Transpose Maps allow any MIDI note to be translated to any other -- and as with many Vision options (faders, input maps, MIDI keys, sequences, and so on), these can be saved and loaded separately.

Vision appears to have no frivolous or superfluous features; no dark corners for you to explore on a rainy day. I felt the Faders and Consoles were a little basic, and I missed an automatic way to grab patch names, although when OMS becomes widely established this should be less of an irritation. If you like to assemble music in small snapshots, or to experiment with looping patterns of unequal lengths, Vision looks very attractive. With audio being included in most other Windows sequencers, perhaps a lower price would have reflected this omission, but nevertheless, I found Vision to be one of the easiest programs of its kind to use, yet with enough power to accomplish any task with the minimum of fuss. In fact, by concentrating on only the most important facilities, you can better see the wood for the trees, and the extra frills that are provided are well chosen. Naturally, I managed to crash it hideously several times (saying a not very fond farewell to Windows 95 in the process), but setting this and the ugly dialogue boxes aside, Vision is a very creditable first attempt at a Windows program. If you haven't decided on what's best for you, and don't need the audio facilities offered by the competitors, take a long hard look at Vision.

Opcode's Open MIDI System was devised on the Mac as a central point for all MIDI-related interface and device information, and now Opcode have made a deal with Microsoft to incorporate OMS into a future release of Windows 9x. Certainly, this should be an improvement on Windows 95's half-baked way of handling audio and MIDI, though such facilities will only be really beneficial if everyone joins in. OMS 2.0, as supplied with the PC version of Vision, is a basic affair; it sniffs out all installed MIDI interfaces and represents them graphically. From its main screen, you define which synths, controllers, drum machines, and so on, are connected to each port, specifying their channels and transmit/receive requirements. A warning message tells you if you add instruments whose channels overlap. Opcode provide a (far from exhaustive) list of instruments, but thankfully there is provision for adding unknowns. Those that are known are supplied with an initial bank of factory patch names, which can be edited if required. This is an area which has great potential, since any OMS-aware application will have common access to the studio file, so that patch-bank updates made in editors and librarians will be reflected in the current studio settings which, in turn, will be known throughout the system. I wouldn't like to speculate on how long this may take to become established, though, as there is currently no release information for a Windows version of Galaxy (Opcode's own universal librarian). With Microsoft's backing, things look hopeful. Eventually.

• IBM (or compatible) PC,486/66Mhz or faster.
• Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.
• 12Mb RAM (16Mb recommended).
• 8Mb free hard disk space.
• Windows-compatible MIDI interface.

The Mac version of Vision has been reviewed several times in SOS:
• Vision (original version): October 1989.
• Studio Vision: February 1991.
• Vision 1.4: January 1993.
• Studio Vision Pro 3.0: part of four audio sequencers overview, December 1995; full review in March 1996.
pros & cons

• A program with no wasted features.
• Option of working in a pattern-based way is a welcome change.
• Powerful input mapper.

• A little expensive for what's on offer.
• No audio facility.
• No drum grid editor.
• On-screen sliders inflexible.

A sequencer that's a delight to work with. Unlike its competitors, you'll probably use all Vision's features at some time, and it has several unique aspects that are truly inspiring. The inclusion of the Open MIDI System predicts happier days for Windows users, although we're not there yet.

Vision Demo 2.5 for Windows

This file documents the following topics:

   1. System Requirements
   2. Install and Uninstall
   3. Configure OMS
   4. Testing MIDI
   5. Vision Basics
   6. Recording Tracks
   7. Chaining Together Sequences

To use Vision 2.5 for Windows, you need:

- IBM PC 486/66MHz or faster
- Windows 3.1 or Windows 95
- 12 MB RAM (16 MB recommended)
- 8 MB free hard disk space
- Windows compatible MIDI Interface or Sound Card

The Vision Demo installer will install all necessary files for both OMS and Vision. The OMS Setup and Vision applications are installed into a directory on your hard disk called "VisDemo."

If later you would like to remove Vision and OMS, simply run the uninstall program located in your VisDemo folder.

Unistall under Windows 95
1. Click the Start button and choose Settings/Control Panels.
2. In Control Panels, double click on Add/Remove Programs.
3. In the list of programs to Unistall, select Vision 2.5 Demo.
4. The Unwise program will give you options to deinstall, click "Custom".
5. In each of the screens click on "Select All" and "Continue".
6. Do this for each screen that is presented to you and all Vision demo files
will be deleted.

Uninstall under Windows 3.x
Double click on the shortcut created in the VisDemo Program manager group.
When you get to the Unwise program screen asking you to select a deinstall method,
follow from steps 4 to 6 from Win95 instructions.

[NOTE:  It's important to make sure your hardware is correctly configured before attempting to use OMS or Vision. This means that your hardware's Windows drivers must be installed. If necessary consult your hardware's documentation or contact the manufacturer.]

Before you can use Vision you must first create an OMS Studio Setup. This setup document provides a detailed description of the sound cards, MIDI interfaces and MIDI devices connected to your computer. Once OMS is configured Vision will know how to interface to your MIDI studio.

To configure OMS, open the OMS Setup application. When first launching OMS you will be prompted with the "Create A New Studio Setup" dialog. Click "Okay" and OMS will build a Studio Setup based on your installed Windows drivers.

If you would like OMS to search for devices connected to your MIDI interface, make sure to check the "Auto-Detect MIDI Devices" option. For a device to be detected it must be turned on and both of its MIDI ports must be connected to  your MIDI interface (OUT to IN, and IN to OUT).

If for some reason your MIDI devices were not detected (as is the case was many older instruments), you can add devices manually be choosing "New Device" from the Studio menu in OMS Setup.

Consult the Help menu in OMS Setup for further assistance.

The OMS Setup application provides an easy way to test MIDI input and output with "Test Studio." To enable Test Studio, choose this item from the Studio Menu (make sure it's checked).

-- Testing MIDI Input
Once Test Studio is enabled, clicking on a device icon in your studio setup will send some MIDI notes to that instrument (notice your cursor turns into an eighth-note when placed over a device). Clicking on a device should result in a cacophony of random notes being heard from that instrument.

-- Testing MIDI Input
Once Test Studio is enabled, play some notes on your controller keyboard (this device's MIDI OUT jack must be connected to the IN of your MIDI interface. When OMS detects the output of your MIDI instrument, the arrow representing that MIDI cable in your Studio Setup document should flash.

Below is an explanation of some basic Vision topics. The most important thing you should read though is how to get help on the various Vision topics.

-- Online Help
Vision offer a very intuitive method of point-and-click Help. To get help on any of Vision's features, hold down shift-alt-control and click on any button, field, and pop-up, or select any menu item. You will then get a pop-up window containing information on that corresponding topic.

-- Control Bar
The Control Bar (located by default at top of screen) offers controls for record, play, stop, pause, fast-forward and rewind. On the left side of the control bar you can set the record mode, open a sequence, record-enable a track, select the current thru instrument (instrument and channel heard when playing your controller) and it's current patch. The Control Bar also displays the current sequence location in SMPTE format or bar-beat-tick. Additionally, there are buttons for opening any of Vision's main windows, and for setting punch in/out points, loop mode, and auto-locate points.

-- Sequences Window
The Sequences window (usually residing just behind the Tracks window) displays the sequences contained within a Vision file. A new file will default to containing a single sequence titled "Sequence A." Any number of sequences can be added to an existing file; to do this choose "New Sequence" from the menu in the Sequences window.

Sequences can be triggered (auditioned) on the fly by typing their corresponding key-commands from the PC keyboard. Sequences can be thought of as either individual songs or song sections. To find out about setting up song structures with sequences see "Chaining Together Sequences" at the end of this document.

-- Tracks Window
The Tracks window (main window seen when opening the program) displays a list of tracks for the current sequence. In addition to individual track settings there are settings for the sequence's tempo, meter, length, and loop mode. The other main section of the Tracks window is the Track Overview, which provides a graphic representation of the MIDI data contained in each track.

-- Edit Windows
MIDI data can be edited in any of four windows:  Track Overview, Graphic, Notation, and List. These windows can be opened from the Windows menu or by clicking the appropriate button in the Control Bar. Data can be cut, copied and pasted within any of these windows.

In addition to altering note length, pitch, and location within the Graphic, Notation and List Windows, you can highlight a range of notes and perform other operations from the Do menu (such as transpose, quantize, modify notes, reverse and scale time, etc.).

There is also a Strip Chart attached to both the Notation and Graphic Windows. The Strip Chart is used for editing and drawing controller values, key velocities, patch changes, aftertouch, tempo events, and much more.

If OMS is configured correctly you are ready to use Vision. Open Vision and make sure the following items are correctly set:

- Turn on "Keyboard Thru" in the Setups menu (it should be checked).
- In the Options menu, set "Receive Sync Mode" to Internal.
- Also in the Options menu, go the "Metronome" item and choose Metronome Sound. In this dialog you can set the click sound to the desired instrument channel (channel 10 for most) and note number.
- Make sure "Input Map Enabled" is NOT checked in the Setups menu.
- Choose "Enable Input Devices" in the Setups menu and verify your controller keyboard is checked (enabled). This tells Vision to listen to that device when recording.

To record a track . . .

[a] Set the record mode to "replace." The record mode pop-up is located in the upper-left corner of the Control Bar.

Record-enable a track by either choosing "New Track" in the left part of the Control Bar (where it says Trk), or by clicking in the record column of the Tracks window. When a track is record-enabled you should see a red "R" in the Tracks window.

[c] Choose the desired instrument channel (small keyboard icon) and its patch (trumpet icon) in the left part of the Control Bar.

[d] To start recording, click the "record" button in the Control Bar (button with red circle) or type the TAB key on your keyboard.

[NOTE: If you are set to "Wait Note," Vision will begin recording as soon as you play some notes. If you are set to "Countoff," Vision will count down the specified number of measures before entering record mode. The Begin Record Toggle is set in the Control Bar.]

[e] Play some notes on your controller keyboard.

[f] To stop recording, click the "stop" button in the Control Bar (button with blue square) or type the Enter key on your keyboard.

To play back the track, click the "play from start" button in the Control Bar (button with green line and triangle) or hit the Spacebar on your keyboard. If the track has been successfully recorded you should hear some notes, you should also see data appear to the right in the Track Overview display.

If you are unsuccessful in recording make sure you correctly configured the items mentioned at the beginning of this section. To test MIDI input and output, go back to the OMS Setup program and use "Test Studio" (explained earlier in this document).

You can easily chain together different sequences by step recording them into a new sequence. Sequences played from another sequence are called "subsequences."

To step-enter sequences into a new sequence . . .

[a] Create a new sequence.

Change the record mode to Step Replace (located in the Control Bar).

[c] Click the record button (or type the TAB key).

[d] Type the letter of each sequence, in the desired order, until each of the song sections has been entered. You should see Vision's counter advance each time you type a sequence letter.

[e] Click the stop button (or type the Return key). The new recorded track should contain subsequences and will play them back in the order in which they were entered.

After recording your subsequences you can record additional tracks in that same sequence.
demo download:
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 06:35:17 AM by chrisNova777 »

Offline chrisNova777

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  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 8615
  • "Vintage MIDI Sequencing + Audio Production"
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Re: opcode vision 2.5 for windows compatible with windows 3.11
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2014, 11:25:31 PM »
I have confirmed this to be working on windows 3.11   8) 8) 8)
after many errors + problems trying to install.. windows 3.11 is a particularly picky os about drivers + ram
and there are many complications that can arise.. but if you have a fresh windows install
and all your irq's + base addresses are configured properly this should install + work great.
i think my original problem was due to filesystem errors regarding filenames
or some sort of corruption caused by using a harddrive with a 40 pin cable in a UDMA66 port (udma66 requires 80 pin IDE cable)
and possibly also caused by experimenting with "32-bit file access" 

after reformatting + installing on a purely 16bit windows 3.1 system works..
make sure to run oms setup first and successfully test your midi ins + outs
using 'test setup' option in oms setup.

more to come, including proper windows 3.11 screenshots

the correct serial is:
sepearated by '.' not by '-'