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Weather weirdness

It's the latter half of November. I didn't expect it to be a shade under 15°C, and to have the windows open.

But, here we are...

Windows open in November!
Windows open in November!

 

SimpleSeq v0.17

Exactly a month since the previous release, I have updated SimpleSeq primarily to get rid of the complication where you set the stereo position here, the volume there, and the instrument somewhere else.

Now the ^M / F7 "Instrument setup" has been changed to a "MIDI channel setup" to group all of this stuff together on a per-channel basis, namely this window:

Setting up a channel
Setting up a channel.

The file information (F2) now has a subdialogue that will give an overview of the settings of all of the channels (the '·' means the channel is in use):

Channel overview
Channel overview.

I also included the file icon, which should have been done in v0.16 but I forgot to copy across the updated sprite file. 🤦

There's some other stuff included as well, but it's aimed at nerds so I'll skip describing it here.

 

Download simpleseq_017.zip (134.06K)
For RISC OS 5 machines with MIDI

There's an updated user guide.

 

 

Your comments:

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jgh, 19th November 2023, 23:48
Enjoy the weather. Here I squidged across the lawn to the bins and it felt like I was about to sink into moorland peat bog. I'm halfway up a hill and still the ground hasn't dried out.
Anon, 21st November 2023, 20:35
Rick - the question has to be asked, did you write SimpleSeq as a programming exercise? If so then fair enough. If not... have you seen the likes of Cubase (PC or Mac) or Logic (Mac) recently? The phrase "holy crap" doesn't even begin to approach what these programs can do nowadays. 
 
Way back in the mists of time (well, actually it was in the early 1990s) I did an apprenticeship at a commercial recording studio. We had an analogue multitrack tape machine, although we did mix down to digital (originally the Sony PCM-F1 system, then later DAT). I recall the day when we purchased a Tascam digital multitrack recorder so all stages were digital. 
 
However, back in those days, all the effects (eg compression, gating, reverb, EQ, etc etc) were done in hardware, with a separate rackmount unit for each. What would now be referred to as "outboard gear". It took up masses of space and cost tens of thousands. 
 
Nowadays? Logic or Cubase have all the effects plug-ins that you'd ever need for tracking (multitrack recording), and other software like Audition has even more powerful plug-ins for mixdowns and mastering. All done in software, or "in the box" as modern producers would say. 
 
Even as a hardcore nerd^H^H^H^H techie, it still astounds me what is now possible in software. Equally I still find it incredible that I can fit my entire music collection (33,000+ songs) onto a tiny slab of plastic (256GB MicroSD card) at audiophile-quality MP3 *with room to spare*. (Although the aforementioned 256GB card only has about 12GB spare now, looks like I may have to invest in a 512GB one.)
Rick, 22nd November 2023, 18:38
"Rick - the question has to be asked, did you write SimpleSeq as a programming exercise?
 
No, I wrote it as a simple way to create music on my computer, since I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere using notation. Both Rhapsody4 (RISC OS) and MuseScore (XP) had various annoying quirks ... which, to be fair, was probably my inexperience with the software, but there's always "the rule of least user surprise" - software shouldn't really do something to which the response is "WTF just happened?", or worse, "how TF do I fix this now?". 
 
"If so then fair enough. If not... have you seen the likes of Cubase (PC or Mac) or Logic (Mac) recently?
 
No, anything that is either "commerical" (by varying definitions) or requires new hardware is pretty much an instant no. 
I mean, we're lining up notes to make music which will be spat out of a MIDI connection. I shouldn't really need a modern Mac to do what a mid-80s Atari could do. ;) 
 
"The phrase "holy crap" doesn't even begin to approach what these programs can do nowadays.
 
I'm quite sure. I found GTA3 on my PS2 to be kind of mind blowing, given that I grew up with Chuckie Egg and Manic Miner and Repton. I've seen some demos of games on a... what is it now, the PS5? Bloody hell, I've seen less realistic movies featuring actual real people. 
 
"Logic or Cubase have all the effects plug-ins that you'd ever need for tracking (multitrack recording)" 
 
That's the problem. I just want to arrange notes to make music with a simple linear "frequency this way, time that way". I don't want a billion special effects or endless complications, and my software will not, not ever, be doing anything like reverb or gating. It's a MIDI sequencer, end of. It's the synth that does that (and I'm not sure mine can). 
 
"it still astounds me what is now possible in software.
 
Well, apparently an AI helped to isolate John Lennon's vocals on a crappy old tape, extract just them, and between the AI and some well paid sound engineers, that recording was fixed up into something that doesn't sound at all out of place in what may be The Beatles' final song. So, yeah, the right software used in the right way can do some incredible things. 
I suspect part of this is because we both grew up in the earlier days when you'd look at something like that and start wondering about clock speeds, latency, and how many processor cycles would be required and if one would..... you get the idea. 
 
Meanwhile, if you've been following Gerph on the ROOL forum, he's written "an Acorn computer" in Python. Frigging PYTHON! There's so much processor power these days that it's possible to do that. 
Likewise, with Logic/Cubase, there's enough memory and processor power to run a full emulation of what would happen to audio samples going through analogue filtering. Remember the famous Moog synthesisers? Well, there's now an official Minimoog Model D APP, and that's taken to the next level with a Model 15 APP
What used to be loads of components and complex circuitry... is now a program. 
Rick, 22nd November 2023, 18:41
"Equally I still find it incredible that I can fit my entire music collection (33,000+ songs) onto a tiny slab of plastic (256GB MicroSD card).
 
Take a photo of that sitting on top of an 8K EPROM. Kids these days, don't know they're born, etc etc etc. ☺ 
Anon, 22nd November 2023, 22:58
I did have a copy of Serenade back in the days when I used RISC OS. It was... kind of ok. 
 
What I love about modern DAWs (and the point I was getting at)... everything (and I mean everything) can be done 'in the box'. 
 
When I worked at the studio, we used one track of the analogue multitrack machine to record MIDI timecode (sounded a bit like a Spectrum loading!). On playback, this would then create a MIDI clock signal that was piped into a Simmons SDX (originally an electronic drum set, but running a custom OS to allow it to work as a 16-channel MIDI sequencer). Any 'real' instruments had to go onto tracks 1-4 and 7 on the 8-track recorder, then finally all the MIDI stuff got bounced down onto tracks 5 and 6. 
 
Nowadays? A virtual 'track' in Cubase or Logic can be MIDI or audio. Which means I can sequence the song framework and any MIDI instruments, then add 'real' instruments (eg guitars etc), and finally add the vocal on top. 
 
Stuff I basically dreamed about as a kid. 
 
As for the 8K EPROM, I vividly remember a dream I had when I was about 16 years old, where I could plug an EPROM into a BBC Micro, type one command, and view a feature-length movie at broadcast quality. 
 
Took a few years, but I'm currently watching Star Wars (the 1977 version with Han shooting first) from an MKV file stored on an 8TB hard drive attached to the media server, streaming over the network (gigabit wired, not wireless!) to the Blu-Ray player attached to the telly in the bedroom. Whilst simultaniously using the wi-fi for the laptop, phone etc. 
 
Modern technology is wonderful. (When it works.)

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