« Last post by chrisNova777 on March 23, 2017, 01:01:40 AM »
Im on the look for opcode studio vision cd installer's - any version prior to 4.0! (i already have a copy of 4.0) if anyone has 3.5 or 2.08 and feels like uploading a copy to share with me, please send PM! thanks
March: Apple FORTRAN is introduced. It becomes a catalyst for high-level technical and educational applications.
May At the National Computer Conference, Apple announces the Apple III, which features a new operating system, a built-in disk controller, and four peripheral slots. Rushed production and poor direction from Steve Jobs lead to missed ship dates, performance problems, and disappointing sales (price: $4,300-$7,800).
December: Apple goes public. Morgan Stanley and Hambrecht & Quist underwrite an IPO of 4.6 million shares of Apple common stock priced at $22 per share. It’s the largest initial public offering since Ford’s, in 1956.
In Other News: Ronald Reagan is elected president; Ted Turner launches CNN; the United States defeats the Soviet Union in the “Miracle on Ice” game at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
January: Steve Jobs joins Raskin’s Macintosh project.
February: Chiat/Day gets Apple’s advertising account after it buys Regis McKenna’s ad operations.
March: Mike Markkula replaces Mike Scott as president; Jobs succeeds Markkula as chairman. Scott becomes vice chairman.
July: Apple launches a TV ad campaign with talk-show host Dick Cavett as its spokesman.
September: Apple’s first mass storage system, the 5MB ProFile hard disk, is introduced (price: $3,499).
In Other News: U.S. hostages are freed from Iran; Walter Cronkite signs off as CBS Evening News anchor; MTV debuts.
July: Apple rolls out the Apple Dot Matrix printer (price: $2,195).
September: Steve Wozniak sponsors a weekend-long outdoor rock concert—the US Festival—near San Bernardino, California.
December: Apple becomes the first PC maker to reach $1 billion in annual sales.
In Other News: An artificial heart is transplanted into a human for the first time; the space shuttle Columbia completes its first mission; Joe Montana leads the San Francisco 49ers to their first Super Bowl title.
January: Apple introduces the Lisa (price: $9,995).
April: Apple hires John Sculley, former president of Pepsi-Cola, as its new president and CEO.
May: Apple joins the Fortune 500.
November: AppleWorks, an integrated package containing word processing, spreadsheet, and database applications, hits the market.
December: Apple releases the ImageWriter printer (price: $675).
In Other News: Sally Ride becomes the first U.S. woman astronaut in space; the compact disc is introduced; Tokyo Disneyland, the first Disney theme park outside the U.S., opens.
January: The landmark “1984” commercial introduces the Macintosh during Super Bowl XVIII (won by the Los Angeles Raiders).
January: The Mac makes its debut at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting (price: $2,495).
January: The first issue of Macworld, featuring Steve Jobs on the cover, hits newsstands (price: $4).
January: Microsoft releases Word 1.0 for Mac.
September: Apple ships the Macintosh 512K (price: $3,195).
In Other News: Federal regulators break up Bell System; President Reagan is re-elected, defeating Walter Mondale; the Supreme Court rules that taping TV shows on VCRs is not a violation of copyright law.
January: The first Macworld Expo is held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.
January: Following the previous year’s Super Bowl success, Apple-embossed seat cushions cover Stanford Stadium, site of Super Bowl XIX. The game features a commercial titled “Lemmings”—which bombs.
January: Apple releases the Apple LaserWriter (price: $7,000).
April: Apple introduces the ImageWriter II, the HD-20 hard disk, and the Apple Personal Modem.
April: FileMaker 1.0, developed by Nashoba Systems and published by Forethought, makes its Mac debut.
April: Apple releases System 2.0.
April: Apple officially discontinues the Lisa, now named the Macintosh XL.
July: Aldus releases PageMaker, a page-layout application that ushers in the desktop-publishing era.
September: Following clashes with John Sculley, Steve Jobs resigns from Apple. He forms a new computer company, Next.
September: Microsoft introduces Excel for Mac.
In Other News: Microsoft ships Windows 1.0; Coca-Cola changes the formula of its soft drink, releasing “New Coke”; the price of a first-class postage stamp rise 2 cents to 22 cents.
January: Apple releases System 3.0.
January: Apple releases the Macintosh Plus. The first Mac to include a SCSI port, it was aimed at answering complaints that the original Mac wasn’t expandable (price: $2,600).
In Other News: Steve Jobs invests $10 million in a Lucasfilm division named Pixar; a Mac Plus makes a memorable cameo in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ; the first Nintendo video games arrive in the U.S.
January: New desktop communications products include the AppleShare file-server application (price: $799) and the AppleTalk PC Card (price: $399).
March: The Macintosh II—which is both the first color Mac and the first NuBus Mac—debuts (price: $3,989-$5,498).
March: Apple releases System 4.0.
April: QuarkXPress debuts.
July Microsoft releases PowerPoint 1.0. The Mac version of the presentation software appears some three years before its Windows counterpart.
October: Apple releases System 4.2 and Finder 6.0, combining both in System 5.0.
In Other News: The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets nearly 23 percent in a single day on Black Monday; 93,173 people attend WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome, the largest indoor gathering in U.S. history; the world population tops 5 billion.
January: Microsoft launches Windows 2.03, featuring Mac-like icons and overlapping windows.
March: Apple files a federal lawsuit against Microsoft claiming copyright infringement.
June: Apple releases System 6.0.
In Other News: George Bush defeats Michael Dukakis in the U.S. presidential election; Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is stripped of his 100-meter-dash gold medal after testing positive for steroids; U2 wins an Album of the Year Grammy for “The Joshua Tree.”
February: The Beatles’ Apple Corps recording company sues Apple Computer for marketing products with music-synthesizing capabilities, claiming a violation of a 1981 trademark-coexistence pact. It won’t be the last legal dispute between the two Apples.
June: Microsoft releases Office 1.0.
September: Apple releases the Macintosh Portable (price: $6,500).
In Other News: The Berlin Wall falls; Seinfeld debuts, as does The Simpsons ; “Dilbert” begins appearing in syndication.
Are you building an editing system around Apple's Final Cut Pro? Check out Matrox's RTMac, a $999 PCI expansion card that kills three video-editing birds with one stone:
1) it allows real-time display of many common transitions and effects,
2) digitizes analog video and audio,
3) and lets you connect a second monitor to your Mac.
The RTMac card boasts two connectors. The first one accommodates a standard VGA monitor, for extending your desktop, and the second one attaches to a breakout box that provides inputs and outputs for S-Video, composite video, and analog audio. If you like, you can connect the video output to a TV monitor to preview your projects. You can also capture analog video and audio using the analog inputs.
The RTMac doesn't accelerate every Final Cut Pro transition, but it will handle cross dissolves, wipes, and slides, among others. The card also accelerates motion and distortion effects, as well as Final Cut Pro's text generators.
The card delivers immediate gratification when you need it most: during the editing and polishing phases. But when it's time to output a final project to a DV device, you must render all effects. (Alternatively, you can connect your deck to the breakout box and record from its analog outputs; however, this can compromise the video quality.)
And there are other limitations: Complex composites require rendering; the RTMac can't handle more than two video tracks and one title--or two titles and one video track--in real time. Clips with motion blur applied must also be rendered. And for now, the RTMac works only with Final Cut Pro; a software update that enables the card to work with Adobe Premiere should be available by the time you read this.
In addition, the RTMac card causes Mac OS X to be unstable and crash--this is a serious problem if you switch between OS 9 and OS X. As we went to press, Matrox was putting the final touches on a free software update designed to address the problem.
Macworld's Buying Advice
Although Matrox's RTMac won't turn your G4 machine into a real-time compositing powerhouse, it is a huge productivity booster. And its analog-capture features and ability to drive a second monitor are icing on the cake. Despite some flaws, the RTMac packs a lot of value for its price.
The Atari ST computer definitely seems to have arrived. Programs, books and magazines seem to pop up everywhere these days. It looks as if the MIDI capability of the ST may well prove to be one of its major assets - many companies are devoting a great deal of time and effort to exploiting the possibilities of MIDI using the ST. At a more personal level, there has been a rather slower arrival of books dealing with the programming aspects of using the Atari's MIDI port. No - amend that slow arrival. I hadn't found any - until now!
IN AT THE DEEP END
Despite the vast number of sequencer packages available for it, there is more to the ST than just running other people's software. You can write your own! And what better to show you the way than a book? Enter Abacus with Introduction to MIDI Programming.
This is an unusual book. Imagine a paperback with 256 pages, of which about 200 are just listings of C programs. Don't stop concentrating, because this is that book! After a brief overview of the possibilities of MIDI and the ST, the authors - Len Dorfman and Dennis Young - then get down to the specifics: running through what MIDI is, via the Atari's hardware implementation and a guide to buying a MIDI synthesizer, and finishing with a MIDI software buyer's guide - all in about 20 pages and written in a slightly breathless, chatty American style.
Pausing for breath, and a blank page, they move into a 20-page description of the MIDI 1.0 Specification. Len and Dennis seem to know both their programming and their music - several of their programs are sold by Xlent Software, and Len apparently plays jazz guitar! This about completes the general introduction part of the book - we now proceed to the nitty-gritty.
Here we are at page 57 and the book suddenly changes from a routine description of MIDI into something completely different. Listed here are two brief programs written in the currently fashionable computer programming language called 'C', which show you how to send and receive bytes from the Atari ST's MIDI ports. This is a very pertinent hint of what is to follow - next up is a six-page program which plays a four octave chromatic scale on the 16 preset sounds in a Casio CZ-101 synth.
As to the rest of the book, there are 200-odd pages of program listings! Not space filling, but a very useful library of working, debugged routines to carry out most of the things you would want to do when using MIDI. The program segments themselves are actually extracted from a listing of the ST Music Box Auto-Player program from Xlent Software, with some additional routines from the same company's ST Music Box program. Unlike many computer programming books, which use examples that are either pointless or not re-usable, this one abounds with useful routines, such as: writing a two-digit byte to the screen; converting hex numbers to displayable ASCII; a practical grounding on sprite-like graphics or an internal sound chip driver.
Available as an optional extra with the book is a 3.5" disk which contains the source code for all the programs listed in the book, as well as a few music files for the Auto-Player program to play. The source code represents about 6,000 lines of program, so it could save you rather a lot of typing effort to buy the disk!
WHAT IT ISN'T
This book is not an introduction to C for musicians, rather it assumes the role of an introduction to MIDI for the C programmer, giving some idea of the complexity of the task involved in writing MIDI software. The book's title is slightly misleading, since it gives the impression of this being an 'introduction' rather than a fascinating glimpse into the mind of two freelance programmers - which is what it really is. Still, it is not often that a software company decides to expose the inner workings of a commercial piece of software to the harsh, steely gaze of the public in this fashion, and Abacus and the authors are to be congratulated on their bravery and determination.
So, very much a book that ignores conventions - very few publishers would have the nerve to print 4/5ths of a book as just program listings. Computer books in general tend to be a very mixed bunch - you often have to sort through many pages of dross for the odd few gems! This book succeeds only at the level of a library of routines, not as an introduction to MIDI programming. Would I buy it? Well, I must confess that it is on order (complete with the disk) and I intend to use it to try and push me deeper into C.
I will probably also enjoy hacking about with the Auto-Play program. File under: 'a definite maybe'!
'Atari ST: Introduction to MIDI Programming' by Dorfman & Young is published by Abacus Software. Price: £14.95. The optional disk is an additional £9.95 (both prices include VAT).
Abacus also publish a wide range of books specific to the Atari ST, several of which are indispensable to the ST programmer. Available from: Silica Shop, (Contact Details).
IT WOULD BE fair to say that Roland's D10/20/110 family of synths are difficult to program from their front panels. Multi-function buttons and the ability to see little on their own LCDs make a visual editor very much a necessity, and the number of these available for the Atari ST is growing by the month.
Soundbits, based in Birmingham, have become known in the past for their synth editors and have now branched out into the sequencer market, distributing Studio 24, Track 24 and Big Band for the French company Digigram, as well as continuing in their former traditions with a new editor, the Roland 3D.
IN CERTAIN RESPECTS, the D10, D20 and D110 are identical. Each has two banks of 64 preset Tones (a, b) and a bank each of 64 User and 63 Rhythm Tones (i, r) along with two banks of 64 Timbres which are Tones with performance information (A, B). The D110 has 64 Patches, each holding eight Timbres, a Rhythm Part, reverb settings and a name, while the D10 and D20 have two banks of 64 performance patches including the above and keyboard modes (split, layered and so on) but cannot be named. The other major difference is that the D110 has eight outputs (L, R, 1-6) and can have each Part assigned independently.
The 3D Editor
AFTER LOADING UP the program (which is key disk copy protected, allowing back-up from a copy), the front page appears, which is divided into three sections; Edit Select, Data Transfer and Options. Trying to go to any of the edit pages results in a message telling you that, as yet, nothing is onboard and that it needs to be obtained either from disk or the synth. I prefer this to the method used on some editors where default data is loaded in at the beginning and can lead to errors because the information on screen differs from that in the synth.
Edit Select will turn to one of the four edit pages - Tone, Config1 (for the Timbres/Patches on the D110, but only Timbres on the other two), Config2 (for the performance patches of the D10/20), and Rhythm. Hence only three of the four edit pages apply to the D110. Options selects which type of synth, MIDI channel setting for Part 1 which is being edited, MIDI Thru on/off and choice of Multitimbral or Performance mode for the D10/20, while Data Transfer allows a Setup to be loaded or saved from/to disk, and fetched from or dumped to the synth. A thoughtful touch is the underlining of the synth type being edited underneath the title.
In fact, the idea of load, save, fetch and dump recur throughout the editor, positioned at the top of the screen as part of the menu bar, and take on slightly different meanings dependent on where they occur. For instance, on the Tone Edit page they handle either a single Tone or the complete User bank while on the Config pages any of Config, Patches or Timbres may be dealt with.
Apart from the banks that exist internally in the synths, the editor has three of its own; m for 64 Tones, M1 for 64 Timbres and M2 for 64 Patches (although M1 and M2 are both referred to as M), allowing custom banks to be built up on disk.
Another feature that appears on all of the edit pages is that of the invisible keyboard, playable via the right-hand mouse button as long as MIDI Thru (under Options) is disabled. Volume is controlled by vertical height, with the top of the screen representing maximum velocity, and note value by horizontal movement - not original, but probably the best method as the screen doesn't get cluttered up with a keyboard.
There are three methods of changing parameters; numbers are changed by clicking on them with the left mouse button at which point the cursor changes to a hand which can be moved up and down, altering the parameter value. Names are entered from the Atari keyboard and tabulated items, such as samples, are selected from the table that appears when the word is clicked on. The graphs are altered by clicking on the small boxes, the cursor changes to a "+" and movement of the mouse results in similar movement of the box.
Editing a Tone
BEFORE ANY EDITING can be done, the internal banks for the synth have to be loaded. This is carried out by the Fetch Setup command and requires two MIDI cables to be used in handshaking mode. A dialogue box appears which shows precisely what data is being transferred; the operation takes about 40 seconds to complete, at the end of which the legend "(c) 1988 Gajits VoiceMaster ST' appears in the window of the synth.
The Tone Edit page has multiple windows showing the various parameter values. Any changes can be heard immediately by either playing the synth or mother keyboard, if MIDI Thru has been selected, or the mouse if it has not, as all edits are sent to the synth real-time. This is why you need to set the MIDI channel under Options. My only gripe is that the partial mutes are at the bottom of the page and to hear precisely what result an edit has had, it is usually necessary to mute the other three partials. If the right hand mouse button is being "played", this will result in a lot of movement up and down the page as the velocity is at a minimum at the foot of the screen.
The Memory function on the menu bar allows a Tone to be read from any of the banks and written to a location in either the User or editor bank (m). This also gives access to the store - the 128 User and editor Tones are shown and may be selected from.
Undo is not quite the usual "replace buffer" command. Whenever an edit is made, the original data is placed into a buffer and held until the next edit, at which time it is deleted and replaced with the latest original. Selecting Undo will recall the parameters before the latest edit, but will also place the edited data into the buffer, so permitting a further change of mind. Consequently, Undo behaves like a toggle.
Randomise also has an interesting twist. Usually certain parameters are selected for randomisation (the "mask"), along with a percentage by which those parameters will be allowed to change. In this case, clicking on any parameter will allow you to select a number, 1-100, showing the percentage randomisation for that particular parameter. This permits a very complex mask to be set up easily and saved to disk for use at a later date.
Finally, Copy stores the parameters from one Partial which can then be used to replace those of another without having to enter the values one at a time.
Editing Patches and Timbres
THE MULTITIMBRAL PAGE allows you to set up a Patch. Config1 allows Tones to be selected from any of the five banks (a, b, i, r, m) and set up in terms of fine tuning, bend range and other performance characteristics, as well as overall reverb and Rhythm levels. Extra data, such as output assign and patch name, is available for the D110. The large window on the right-hand side acts as a monitor and shows the relevant details for each Part, which can be chosen via the Part Select box at the bottom of the page. Config2 sets up the lower and upper Timbres with balance and volume details, reverb settings and keyboard mode, the splitpoint is set by clicking on a note on the keyboard in the centre of the page. Playing via the mouse changes between the two Timbres on a split keyboard at the relevant point. Whichever Config page is used, they share the common property of allowing access to the store of editor banks of Timbres and Patches, so permitting custom creations.
Should the type of synth be changed from D110 to D10/20 or vice versa during the course of editing, certain data will have to be re-loaded, namely Patches data. Trying to edit a Config in this situation will bring up a prompt reminding you that no Config is present and it must be transferred from the synth or disk.
AS A CHOICE of 63 Rhythm Tones are available on a separate MIDI channel, a separate page is provided for them. This allows a Rhythm or User Tone to be assigned to each key of the keyboard, with individual volume levels and panning. The D110 page has an output assign function, while the D10/20 equivalent has a reverb on/off switch. Once set up - a process which can take a considerable time if care is taken - it can be saved to disk or dumped to the synth.
The mouse play is invaluable here whether the synth is a D110 or not, because playing the software keyboard is a lot easier than the real one.
STRAIGHTFORWARD SYNTH EDITORS seem to be at a premium these days, with the various software companies vying for the limited market they feed. It's all very well writing comprehensive software, but if all that's wanted is a basic editor... Well, the market will inevitably judge for itself.
The Soundbits 3D editor bears more than a passing similarity to the Dr Ts range, but has the advantage of being even easier to use - which is the main reason I like it. During the course of the review I only had to look at the manual once. The software does everything that is required of it and at £75 it deserves to sell well.
The only problem is that it will only work on the latest versions of the synths due to ROM changes in the machines - which is certainly no fault of Soundbits. Roland are prepared to update earlier ROM versions, for a nominal fee, if they cause problems with visual editors.
Thanks to Music Village, High Barnet, for access to Roland D10, D20 and D110
Price £75 including VAT
MIDIMouse Sonicflight D50/550 Capture!
Software for the Atari ST
by Gordon Reid
If you're drowning in ROMs and RAMs full of D50 patches but still can't lay your hands on the sound you need, an editor/librarian program like Capture! could be the answer to your prayer. Gordon Reid is captivated.
If editing and shuffling patches around in your D50 or D550 is stifling your music, Sonicflight's Capture! could be your salvation.
Tone Edit page
THE SCENE: THE track has just started coming together. Inspiration has been fired and the band are buzzing. But as the clock passes midnight, the guitarist can't come to terms with any of the sounds the keyboard player is giving him from his D50. He goes through scores of patches but the guitarist doesn't like any of them. The moment is lost.
As the band break down their equipment a lone figure works on another song in another studio with another D50. Again the sounds he seeks elude him. He sighs and looks at his watch; it tells him it's 2.15am and that the moment is lost once again.
What is actually needed is a system for loading up whole banks of sounds in seconds which at the same time makes it possible to edit patches quickly and easily. In addition, it should offer almost unlimited storage capacity for the D50's Tones, reverb settings and Patches in order to keep all sonic experiments for future reference (and probable disposal). In fact, what's needed is a MIDI controlled Editor/Librarian - and as far as MIDImouse Music are concerned, their SonicFlight D50/550 Capture! for the Atari ST is perfect.
For almost two years now the Roland D50 has remained one of the most sought-after professional synthesisers on the market. The reason for this lies in the quality and range of voices available from the instrument. The patch structure of the synth combines a limited number of PCM samples with four powerful analogue polysynths and enables the creation of complex sounds. The price to be paid for this flexibility is, however, ease of programming. In essence the D50 is quite straightforward, but the sheer number of parameters have confused many potential programmers. Any editor worth the name has to simplify the programming process as well as providing additional facilities and storage. Which neatly brings us to Capture!.
THE SOFTWARE IS supplied in the standard plastic box with cut-outs for a single 3.5 disk and manual. At 15 pages the manual is very compact but to its credit all the information is clearly printed and well laid out. Following more than a month's usage I could find no omissions or errors of any consequence. The software is "key-disk" protected and cannot be copied by normal backup procedures. To obtain a backup you will have to send away for a company-produced copy. Software protection is a sensitive issue, but you really should be entitled to a reserve copy of software for which you've laid out good money. To use Capture! (which works equally for the D550) you require an Atari ST520 (or better) and the synth coupled together in "hand-shake" mode - with the MIDI Out of the Atari connected to the MIDI In of the synth as well as vice-versa. This allows all editing and librarian functions to be carried out in real time. It also facilitates a Listen Mode whereby all modifications to a patch can be previewed in real time. A useful feature is Soft MIDI Thru which enables the Atari to transmit not only program-generated data out of the Atari MIDI Out port, but also any data coming from the D50 (effectively merging the two data streams). This is referred to as Merge Mode and can be switched on and off at the main menu bar. Also provided is a Send All Notes Off option to silence any of those annoying hanging notes that sometimes creep in.
TO LOAD CAPTURE! simply insert the disk, reset (or switch on) the Atari, and click on the "D50.PRG" icon. You will quickly be presented with the Control Window, and the ubiquitous menu bar. The program runs on mono and colour monitors without any fuss, and fully utilises the GEM interface - so seasoned Atari (and Macintosh) users will have no difficulty finding their way around all aspects of Capture!. In addition, many of the menu bar commands can be duplicated on the keyboard using the "Control" key, so all preferences are satisfied. The program loads fully into RAM so there is no need for the master disk to be inserted while running - a real plus point for users with only one disk drive.
The Control Window is neatly laid out and only takes up about 20% of the Atari screen - yet in many ways this is the heart of the program. There are eight icons in the Control screen. These represent: disk storage, an Edit Buffer, the D50 itself, a printer, and two banks each of Patches and Tones. If you click the mouse over any control icon the pointer changes to a "document" icon which can then be dragged to any other control icon. If the defined operation is valid the operation will be carried out - with appropriate prompts if necessary. If the requested operation is invalid nothing will happen. No crashes occur - in fact, no wobblies at all. All Patch and Tone banks are empty when the program is booted so you can start building sounds from scratch, or you can load patch banks from disk or the synthesiser if you wish.
To start editing you drag a Patch to the Edit icon, and you can then access any part of it from the Edit menu. There are three levels of edit screen available which parallel the internal operating system of the D50. These are: the Patch Factor screen, two Common screens (one for each of upper and lower Tones) and one screen for each of the four Partials. Each Partial can be thought of as a single oscillator eight-voice synthesiser. These can be combined into two dual-oscillator synths via the Common screens, and finally into one four-oscillator synth (which is what the D50 is) on the Patch Factor screen. In all the edit pages, parameters can be modified by clicking on the value to be changed and using the mouse buttons - left to increment and right to decrement. Alternatively, the old value can be deleted and a new value typed in, or finally, the "+" and "-" keys on the numeric keypad can be used to increment and decrement the values by various amounts. All tastes are catered for. A few D50 parameters are toggles, and clicking on the parameter name will switch these from one state to the other.
Graph Edit page
THE HIGHEST LEVEL of editing is the Patch window which contains the parameters that act on the whole of the Patch (obvious eh?). These include Reverb settings, Chase, Controller Allocations, Play Mode, Patch Tuning, and the Patch Name. Immediately below the patch window (in structural terms) are the two Common windows. These introduce graphics and, alongside numerical parameters such as LFO settings, Chorus, and EQ, the pitch envelope is shown graphically as well as numerically. If you wish to stay on the Common screen you can adjust the Pitch Envelope numerically using the values below the graph. However, if you click on the graph itself you are taken to the Graph Edit screen. This blows up the graph shown in the Common page to full size and you can then drag the cusps of the graph around on-screen using the mouse. For all you ADSR afficionados this is a far more satisfactory way of doing things (yes - it's a pitch envelope not a VCA, but the principle holds) and the Graph Edit screen is quick, simple, and intuitive to use. If you want to play with the numbers you can still do so because they're duplicated at the bottom of the Graph Edit screen. The lowest building block of editing is the Partial Edit screen which is where the real meat of programming the D50 takes place. If a PCM sample is selected parameters that are not relevant are "greyed out" - that is, the TVF and wave areas are deselected for you - which greatly simplifies programming. There are two graphics windows available from each Partial Edit page - TYF envelope and TVA envelope. These are accessed and used in exactly the same way as the Pitch Envelope page providing consistency throughout the program.
Editing is quick and easy, and a number of shortcuts have been provided to enable you to get results as quickly as possible. All edit pages are available through the Edit menu which is always present at the top of the screen and this avoids you having to step up and down through the structure of the D50. In addition, parameter changes can be speeded up by use of the Shift and Alt keys which change stepping "in ones" to stepping "in fives" (Shift/Click) and selecting the maximum or minimum value possible for the chosen parameter (Alt/Click). Another useful feature is the inclusion of a Copy menu which allows you to duplicate and swap around Tones, Partials, or even parts of Tones and Partials. This greatly speeds up the editing process when new sounds are closely related to existing ones, and also introduces some novel experimental possibilities. On the down side there is one seriously annoying flaw in the editor. Because Partials can only be muted or un-muted from the appropriate Common page - not even from the appropriate Partial Edit page - a sequence of commands can be necessary to switch Partials on or off whilst editing. Strangely, many other editors suffer from this flaw, although it could be easily solved by having the partial mute "buttons" on the menu bar and therefore permanently available.
RANDOMISING PATCHES IS a novel way of creating new sounds and the optimistic among you may hope to stumble across an earth shattering new Patch by accident. I suppose that if you try randomising enough times you must eventually come up with something worth using. Perhaps. In truth, there are (literally) infinitely more unpleasant noises than there are aesthetically pleasing ones, so complete randomising is a waste of time. To make the process more meaningful, Capture! has a randomising Mask which acts like a template on top of the Patch. Tone, and Partial parameters. The mask enables you to switch on - or off - the randomising of any given group of parameters (such as TVA or TVF) but unfortunately there is no facility to mask individual parameters. The effectiveness of the randomising algorithm can be varied on a scale of 0 to 100 where zero has the least effect and 100 has the most. This scale acts uniformly on the whole mask and therefore only provides crude control over the randomiser. It would be nice to see each parameter group split further into individual parameters, each provided with its own randomising factor. Nevertheless, through frequent playing with the randomiser you can build an interesting experimental library and, who knows, some of your patches may eventually find their way on to vinyl.
Patch Edit page
WITH RAM AND ROM cartridges costing anything up to £100, Capture! justifies its purchase with its librarian functions alone. It will save complete banks of sound on to disk, and load and dump them to the D50 in about 20 seconds. During this review 14 banks of Patches were created. These used up 376kBytes on one 3.5" disk. At 27K per bank I reckon that you'll get 30 banks on one disk (costing £3.50) - or, to put it another way, 12p per bank of 64 patches.
D50 Capture! comes with two complete banks of Patches. The factory presets are on the program disk and therefore free up the backup RAM cartridge supplied with the synth. This alone is worth £55 and gives you the option of loading up the cartridge with your own sounds and using it live - giving 128 patches immediately available onstage. A bank of additional Patches is also supplied. I wouldn't rush out to buy these but there are some usable sounds provided, and a few that responded very well to a little tweaking. You could write off another £10 or £20 of the price of Capture! against these.
The program not only holds Patch banks but also Tonebanks - vital if you want to experiment with combinations of Tones into Patches. Two complete banks of Patches can be loaded simultaneously alongside two complete Tone banks - five windows in all. This facility is invaluable when building libraries from diverse sources and enormously simplifies the process of configuring Patch banks. Because of the real-time Listen mode new Patches can be auditioned instantly on the synth. Neat.
MIDIMOUSE HAVE INCLUDED a comprehensive set of printing capabilities within Capture!. By dragging Patch, Tone, or Edit icons to the Printer icon you can print any sec of parameters making up an individual Patch or Tone. In addition, a listing of all Patch and Tone names held within a bank can be printed. Most exceptionally of all, Capture! allows you to print all the parameters of all the Patches in a Patch bank - each Patch is split into 1 Common page, 2 Tones and 4 Partials. This takes a little over three pages of A4 per Patch, but 200 pages will accomodate every parameter in every one of your Patches. In addition, you can of course screen dump any of the edit windows and screens. Unfortunately, the TOS control panel is not included on the MIDImouse disk so, if you want to perform a screen dump on an 80 column printer you'll need to copy the control panel or boot from another disk. Otherwise, Capture! defaults to 1280 pixels per line and the screen will not fit onto a page.
TW0 DESK ACCESSORIES are supplied with the program. Keyit! brings up a picture of a one-and-a-half octave keyboard onscreen. This can be transposed up and down by 52 semitones (four octaves) as well as by an additional octave - giving an 11 1/2 octave range. Since velocity can be adjusted between 0-128 the whole MIDI note and velocity spectrum is available and a Patch can be tested to its extremes quickly and easily. Keyit! enables you to play the synth from the bottom two rows of the Atari keyboard or by using the mouse - just point at the appropriate note and click.
D50 Sender is every bit as useful as Keyit! and has been provided to allow you to load Patch banks from disk and dump them to the synth even while in another program. But be warned - it's a large program in its own right and will not run alongside many sequencers and cannot run in conjunction with Capture! on a 520ST. Sender can hold three Patch banks simultaneously as well as reverb data, making it ideal for use within professional sequencing applications.
DESPITE ONE OR two shortcomings Capture! is an endearing program. Time and again I found myself playing with the package rather than studying it. The temptation to experiment is enormous, and the ease of doing so makes it almost inevitable. The librarian functions and the desk accessories are first rate and overall D50 Capture! is as good as any other editor/librarian at the price.
Not only will Explorer 32 edit sounds on Roland's MT32, MT100, E10, E20, D5, D10, D20, D110, D50 and D550, it will also store edits in C-Lab's Creator and Notator sequencers. Ian Waugh is Our Man in LA.
If you've spent any time using Roland's now extensive range of LA synths, you'll have found them subtly different as well as laborious to operate. Explorer 32 sets out to solve all your LA problems.
C-LAB'S EXPLORER 32 (review v2.00) is a Sound Manager and Editor for Roland's LA synthesisers. It has recently been updated to support the *following synths: MT32, MT100, E1O, E20, D5, D10, D20, D110, D50 and D550. I'd call that pretty comprehensive.
If you've struggled to understand the meaning of and difference between LA terms such as Tone, Timbre, Partial and Patch, don't worry - you're not alone. Even Roland don't appear to know what their right hand's doing all the time as different LA synths use different terms to describe the same thing and vice versa. Confused? You will be. The Explorer manual, however, helpfully lists the differences and similarities.
AS THE MOST complex voice arrangement is used by the D5/10/20/110 range, Explorer uses their terms. So that other LA synth owners aren't completely in the dark, could MT32/100/E10/20 owners mentally note that a Tone is equivalent to one of their Timbres and a Timbre is equivalent to one of their Patches? D50/550 owners will know a Tone better as a Patch, a Part as a (current) Patch and they'll be pleased to note that their very own Tone has no equivalent in other models and hence is not used by Explorer. Still with me? Good.
But just as a rose is a rose by whatever name, so the internal architecture of the synths is sufficiently similar to allow Explorer to handle them all from the one program. Assuming that we all know what we're talking about (I'll take two out of three), let's see what Explorer has to offer.
First of all, it will now run on a colour monitor, which will be good news for many ST owners. It will also work with 512K (a single-sided disk is available on request) although in this case the Tone Editor cannot be accessed.
A certain amount of file renaming may be necessary before you get started, so be sure to read the manual and the eight-page read-me file on disk. The disk is copy-protected and the manual suggests you make a backup copy by normal means (using the Master disk to boot the program) but you can't. Still, you can copy the files you need to alter.
SUM OF THE PARTS
AFTER PLUGGING IN and booting up, you'll realise that Explorer's library is organised differently to those in other editors - the sounds are arranged in a chain. This can be as long as you like, memory permitting (around 1130 sounds on a 1040), enabling you to store and manipulate many banks (Tones?) at once.
The library is listed in two columns on the right of the screen. A smaller window centre left, the Parts window, but called the Tone Temp Area, shows the Tones making up a Part. The contents of the centre of the screen varies according to the current mode. In Tone Mode it shows the synth's 64 internal sounds. In Timbre Mode (not applicable to the D50/550) it shows the Timbres (in two sets of 64) which will normally be accessed by program change instructions.
In Patch Mode (not MT32/100/E10/20/D50/550) the Parts window just shows the current Part, while the central window shows the Patches in two sets of 64 (if you have a D10/20).
There's no doubt that sorting out which name/parameter does what and to which synth will stimulate your grey matter, but once you've got it sussed copying, inserting and moving sounds between the windows is a doddle. You simply click and drag and you can define blocks of sounds for bulk movement.
With Autoplay in operation, a short tune will play when you select a new sound. This is programmable and savable and compatible with Creator/Notator files. You can also play the ST's keyboard.
A NEAT FEATURE is the Find facility which will find similar or exact occurrences of a sound's name. For example, "gitar" will not only find names which include 'Guitar' but also 'Sitar' and 'Digital'. Another option will find Same Structures, Same Partial Mutes and Same Structs/Mutes while yet another routine will find sounds with similar parameter values.
There's one more Find feature and that's TCS Tonal Characteristic Search - which reports various tonal characteristics of selected sounds. These can include the Partials, filter, envelope, reverb and chorus settings. You can select a range of characteristics and the program will show which sounds contain the ones selected, only the ones selected, or none of those selected.
The program can sort the Library names alphabetically and it can report sounds with similar characteristics and those with identical names and prompt for deletion. A sort by tonal characteristics would be useful, but then perhaps I'm being greedy.
YOU CAN SAVE a complete Library or just a range of selected sounds. Libraries can be merged. You can also save complete setups (which includes all Tone, Timbre, Part and Rhythm data) which can be loaded into Creator or Notator as a track. As you can place a track wherever you like, this allows you to change voice, reverb settings and so on at any position within a piece of music. MT32 owners will probably benefit from this the most as the MT32 has no internal RAM for voice storage but D10/20/110 users could find it useful, too.
A separate program on the disk called LA-LOAD will transmit complete setups to up to 16 LA synths. You can copy this to your sequencer's boot disk and run it from an Auto folder so the setups are sent automatically upon booting. It can also be configured as a desk accessory. Handy.
PERHAPS AT THIS stage you're wondering how Explorer handles sounds for the different types of synth. Well, sound data is stored in the format for the synth from which it originated, but - and it's a big but - Explorer's Device Converter can convert it to any of the other synths' formats, although it cant, obviously, compensate one hundred percent for internal differences.
The conversion process is automatic. The current synth can be changed from the Settings menu and when it is, the internal data is changed, too - totally painless.
This is one of Explorer's best features, allowing any LA synth owner to access the wide range of D50 sounds, for example, and I'm sure it will be welcomed by everyone with more than one type of LA synth.
LIKE THE LIBRARY, Explorer's Tone Editor is rather different to what you might expect, too.
One of the advantages of computer-based graphic editing is the ability to show lots of parameters on screen at once and to display envelopes in graph form. But graphic displays take up VDU space and it's very difficult to squeeze everything onto one screen.
"You can load setups into Creator or Notator as a track allowing you to change voice and reverb settings within a piece of music."
Explorer's approach is to use a window larger than the VDU which scrolls as you move the mouse through it. It's reminiscent of horizontal scrolling arcade games but it works fine. Neat. You simply slide along the screen to the parameters you want to edit.
The Edit screen can flip between eight Tones although as you move from screen to screen the program takes a few seconds to 'generates each new one. This is, apparently necessary because of memory limitations although generation still occurs on a 1040. However, if you work with just one Tone, once generated, you can flip from the Edit screen to the main screen instantly. A Blitter chip will speed up screen scrolling and drawing.
Editing uses faders, sliders, steppers and graphic displays. Just about every parameter can be adjusted with the mouse (although Explorer has keyboard equivalents for just about everything, too). Nodes on the envelope graphs can be grabbed and dragged, waveforms and samples can be stepped through and values can be adjusted by clicking on and moving sliders.
Faders can be adjusted Relative to the position of the mouse (the value doesn't change until you move the mouse) or Absolutely, that is values move immediately to the mouse position. Link Mode allows you to edit the Partials collectively, again using Relative, Absolute and Proportional adjustments.
There are comprehensive copy facilities - most are simply click-and-drag - and should you get into an indeterminate mess Undo will undo the last change or else take you back to the original Tone settings. This can be used as a Compare function although it involves more screen generation.
There are, of course, several randomise functions without which no voice editor is complete. Randomisation can be limited to a given percentage or it can be a blend of parameters which lie between neighbouring parts.
EDITORS AND MANUAL
THE FIVE EDITORS are basically one-window affairs and allow quick editing of their parameters.
The Rhythm Editor lets you set up sounds, volumes, pan settings and output assignments for the synths' internal rhythm section. The System Area Editor controls Partial Reserve, MIDI channel allocation, output level and reverb settings. The Timbre Editor lets you assign those little things which make a Tone what it is such as key shift, fine tune, pitchbend range, Partial assignment and so on.
MT32 owners don't have to worry about Patches, but for those of you who do the Patch Editor is the place to be. The structure of a D110 Patch is quite different to that of a D10/20 Patch (which, in turn, is similar to a D50 Patch) and different Editor windows are used for each.
Finally, the Level and Pan (or Panorama to give it its full title) Editor lets you quickly assign volumes and pan settings to the Parts (assuming your synth has Parts).
The manual is written in a fairly straightforward, if rather matter-of-fact way, but it plies you with instructions for all the synth types together. The program has separate screens for each synth, why not have separate chapters in the manual? It would be much less confusing. Some sort of tutorial would be helpful, too. It has an informative contents page but am I alone in wanting an index?
Other program functions include the ability to print out the Library (got plenty of paper?), the Rhythm Setup and Selected Tones, Timbres and Patches. The Library listing is particularly useful and includes the Partial types, Structures and the synth the sound came from.
Due to the vagaries of some LA synths, certain models may not work as you would like. Explorer takes into account the slight differences in the mid1988 D10s and D20s but it is less helpful regarding some other problems. For example, although it says some D110s won't transmit SysEx if the Control Channel is set to "off", it also says software versions older than v1.06 can be to blame. Well the D110 I used (software version v1.07) wouldn't divulge its Tone info (but it sent levels and pan settings and so on) to Explorer, but it works fine with Dr.T's D110 Editor. Hmmm.
ASSUMING EXPLORER WILL work with the software version of your equipment (and it's wise to check), how does it perform?
Well, I like the way the Library handles a whole lot of sounds. Coupled with easy copying and editing facilities it makes multitimbral setups a breeze to construct, and you can probably access all your sounds in a single library - or maybe two. Absolutely marvellous.
The Device Converter is a whizz - an essential requisite for anyone with more than one kind of LA synth and very handy, too, just in case you pick up some sounds not directly compatible with your instrument.
Even if you're not interested in programming your own sounds, Explorer is worth looking at for these facilities alone. If you are a programmer then I think you'll like the edit screens, too.
However, at times, it is Explorer's very versatility and near-simultaneous coverage of all those different types of LA synth which can cause some head-scratching. Having said that, I reckon it's better to be able to edit all the synths from one program than to have to resort to several programs in order to get the job done.
Patience with the manual and the program will reap its own reward.
Simple To Use!
The UM-1SX is the replacement for the UM-1S. It improves upon the original design in two specific ways. The UM-1SX includes MIDI signal indicators to easily tell when MIDI information is coming in & going out of the computer. The UM-1SX has a selection switch to choose between Standard OS drivers & Edirol's Advanced driver. (Mac OS X only.) In addition to the functional benefits added to the UM-1SX, it has also been redesigned with a new look making it the highest value 1x1 USB MIDI interface available. Features:
1 MIDI IN/1 MIDI OUT
MIDI in/out Signal indicators
USB Bus powered
Supports both advanced and OS-standard drivers (Mac OS X only)
Compatible with WindowsXP/2000/Me/98, MacOS9, OSX