MIDI => MIDI Articles (PC / MAC / ATARI) => Topic started by: chrisNova777 on August 06, 2017, 04:54:11 PM

Title: Soft Options (Nov 1992, article)
Post by: chrisNova777 on August 06, 2017, 04:54:11 PM

Soft Options
Steinberg Cubase Lite and C-Lab Notator Alpha Sequencers

by Stephanie Sobey-Jones, Mike Simmons

Cubase Light and Notator Alpha are both streamlined versions of their more costly counterparts, designed to make MIDI sequencing on the Atari ST more approachable.

Two streamlined MIDI sequencing packages for the Atari ST are put through their paces by our education specialists, Stephanie Sobey-Jones and Mike Simmons.

There is a distinct difference between a sequencer package for general music use and one designed for use in education. The problem is that many music educationalists are still less than comfortable when faced with anything that depends on a computer for its success, so for a system to appeal to them, it has to be logical, straightforward and approachable. This aim is at odds with many state-of-the-art sequencer software packages, which seem to breed new features with every software revision.

Ideally, all the essential features required for sequencer recording should be provided, with as few confusing additions as possible. In addition, the ability to work with conventional musical notation, and to be able to print it out afterwards is also of prime importance.

One of the 'joys' of being an educational music technology consultant is that you frequently get asked to recommend the definitive classroom sequencing package which — in addition to being relatively childproof — will have the following ideal features:

- It will be instinctive to use and can be mastered by an overworked teacher in a weekend, via an easy-to-read manual.

- It will allow easy input and editing of musical ideas, showing the on-screen result in standard musical notation.

- It can produce printed evidence of Year 7's first efforts, ready for Open Day.

- It is cheap, which in school budget terms usually means under £100!

Until now this has been something of a challenge, for the choice is not extensive. It seems to me that (in some cases), user-friendliness costs money, and the more you pay, the more intuitive the package becomes. You have more facilities at your disposal, of course, but in the average classroom situation, many of these may never see the light of day.

Very few teachers are going to be able to find enough time to work their way through the kind of manuals that accompany most heavyweight sequencers. Nor should they need to. Most top-flight programs are packed with all manner of bells and whistles which, though of great value to the dedicated techno-freak, have no place whatsoever in the classroom.


Title: Re: Soft Options (Nov 1992, article)
Post by: chrisNova777 on August 06, 2017, 04:55:26 PM
notator alpha 1.1 can be downloaded here (for ATARI ST)