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APPLE II MUSIC & SOUND FORUM CONFERENCE LOG


January 15, 1992 10 PM ET
Topic: SoundSmith 1.0!
Forum Leader: Joyce Madden (AFL JoyceM),
Forum Assistant: Gene Koh (AFA Gene)
Forum Consultants: Greg Dib (ELECTMUSIC), Ed Rosenblatt
(AFC Eddie), Lindsay Hough (LindsayGS)
Copyright (c) 1992 America Online
All Rights Reserved
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AFL JoyceM We will be talking about SoundSmith soon. Waiting for our guest
:)

Dr Teeth Hey, Parik. Do you still have any notes on the SoundSmith
format? File format, that is.

AFA Parik Nothing besides memories, teeth. :) There is a technote in ADV.


There is also full source for playing SS songs (both .wav and asif
insts) inadv.

Dr Teeth Really? Okay, I'll check it out.

AFA Parik basically everything you need to play, edit, etc, etc both ss and
synthlab songs are in the ADV libs.

Dr Teeth Question---> What is the best file you've come across in your
listening years?

AFA Parik one of the mods, teeth.

AFL JoyceM For what program, Teeth?

AFA Parik I love row-row-row your boat, Popcorn. Also HouseBeat (500k!)

Dr Teeth (giving Parik a Shoved-Init)

AFC Brite the Hallelujah Chorus

Dr Teeth Hmm. SynthLab, right? I never really check those out....

AFC Brite oops, wrong program !

AFC Eddie Why, Brite, how nice of you to say that! Thanks!

Dr Teeth And I did mean SS, Joyce

AFC Brite when I get my new hard drive, I'll have more room to play with SS
files

AFL JoyceM Jim, He (Dave) told me he would try very hard to make this event.
If he can't, I have the necessary information.

Dr Teeth I'm still here, really! It is kind of disconcerting when the Forum
leader leaves.....

Atomic D Wasn't sound smith done by Hubiert Aalberts?


Dr Teeth That's him!

Atomic D Does he have a publisher?

AFL JoyceM Well, I can see that SevenHills is late....so...let me see if I


can fill in for them.

Dr Teeth Yes Atomic. Seven hills is publishing SS 1.0.

AFL JoyceM Okay, as most of you all know, SevenHills will be releasing
SoundSmith in the next couple of months. It is still being beta
tested. Also, it will have (and does have) MIDI input
capabilities.

Anyone have a questions, that hopefully I can answer :)

AFA Parik i'm told SS's midi input is, to put it nicely, awful. You need
to have a prerecorded song already playing or somesuch nonesense.
True?

Dr Teeth Does SoundSmith add any more and/or better editing tools in 1.0?

AFC Eddie True, but there's a way around that, Parik.

AFL Marty I don't know that I'd call it awful.

AFL JoyceM Parik, the inputting with MIDI right now is very awkward.
(difficult in my opinion), but with the beta version I have, that
'feature' will be changing.

AFL Marty Awkward is a good word.

AFL JoyceM I thought so too, Marty :) We are hoping that editing tools and
other utilites will be featured with SS (how do you like that
non-disclosure comment - I feel like Apple ) :)

AFA Parik it sounds like the only thing changed in ss 1.0 is awkard MIDI
input. and the owner.

Dr Teeth Well, I just wonder if there will be anything like Track volume,
etc.

AFL JoyceM Parik, I feel positive that the final release of SS will be a 100%
improvement over what we now have available. The Window menu is
really quite nice, and with input from the beta testers, I am
sure SevenHills will do the best they can to bring us a super,
easy to use, edit, program.

AFL Marty But MIDI input for SS is a big deal. It's such a drudge to input
tunes via that spreadsheet thing.

AFL JoyceM Agree, Marty. and designing MIDI input into a program that didn't
have it is difficult.

Dr Teeth SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, MARTY (from someone who canna play a note)

ELECTMUSIC Joyce, any idea on cost of the program?


AFA Parik is Huibert still programming Soundsmith v1.0? Or has 7hills taken
over?

AFL Marty I was speaking for myself.

AFC Eddie MIDI capability for SS will mean conversion capability to and from
other formats.

AFL JoyceM No, Greg....not yet. I am sure the closer they get to a final,
releasable version, prices will be discussed.

I am under the understanding that SevenHills has taken it over,


but I could be wrong.

AFA Parik i dunno, my feeling is that if NoiseTracker gets MIDI and editing
capabilities, or if SynthLAB get editing, it would kick.

ELECTMUSIC I am assuming Joyce, that the Midi Implimentation is the Standard


Midi File Format?

AFL Marty That is correct, Joyce. Dave Hecker posted something to that
effect in the Seven Hills area.

AFL JoyceM We are hoping so, Greg

AFC Eddie I doubt if SLab will ever get editing or NT will ever get MIDI.

Dr Teeth What Seven Hills Area?

Dr Teeth Or heck, if NT ever gets editing (useful that is)

AFL Marty Go to APR or AGR and select Direct Connect...

AFL Marty Seven Hills area is listed there.

AFA Parik you could, I guess, use SoundSmith to create your songs and
NoiseTracker to set the instruments.

KimBrennan NT has problems with standard SS files.

AFC Eddie I doubt if SS will save or load in MIDI file format, Greg.

Dr Teeth NT doesn't support any commands other than volume and tempo.

ELECTMUSIC Well, how is the Midi Input working at this point?

Nuzz If someone would write a good MidiSynth editor, I'd gladly


publish it!

AFC Eddie It's done in real time recording, Greg.

Dr Teeth Midi is for performers....

AFL JoyceM Greg, it is very awkward/difficult at this point.

AFC Eddie Nuzz, we wish!

ELECTMUSIC How accurate is it?


AFL JoyceM We need Parik to write that MS editor!!! :)

AFL JoyceM Greg, I can't answer that....I don't know. I can't get the MIDI
thingie to work well enought.

AFA Parik i'll pass that duty along to dyajim :)

Nuzz Yes Parik" If you write it, they will come"

AFA Andy Yeah, Go for it Parik.

AFC Eddie Do it together, Parik and Jim!

AFA Andy That would even be better, Eddie.

KimBrennan OK. Under 5.04 I found that SS had to have the MIDI device ON and
connected. Otherwise it wouldn't work at all.

AFL JoyceM Interesting, Kim....you can leave me E-mail if you would -


thanks.

KimBrennan It works under 6.0...IMHO better than under 5.04

AFL JoyceM I did....that wasn't the problem, hmmmm, how do I say this, the
awkwardness of imputting with MIDI was beyond my
comprehension/ability.

KimBrennan Ok, Joyce, noted. I'll e-mail you

Dr Teeth I would think that you would have to have a very fast playing song
to get any kind of an accurate input.

AFL JoyceM I use Floyd's FileTools, and have to disable it before I can run
SS - otherwise I get dumped.

KimBrennan Hmmm. I don't use FileTools (though I keep meaning to put it in my


DA folder.

AFL JoyceM I figure one needs to take about 4 hours to do it justice. I


really think that once they get some of the awkwardness out of
the program as we know it today (beta version), it will really be
a great one.

AFC Eddie Yes, Filetools will not work with any program in MIDI input.

Dr Teeth SS .95 takes a LOT of room, I don't see that 1.0 will take any
less.

AFL JoyceM I know, Eddie...but I can't even run SS with FileTools active.
For some reason, those two are not compatible.

AFC Eddie One thing to note: SS MIDI will never allow changes in note
duration.

Dr Teeth The main EXE file is an image of some 700K or so (but only about
60-70k on the disk.
KimBrennan I noted some menu changes from .95 to 1.0b5

AFL JoyceM Yes, I did too. I really think that SevenHills is trying.

Dr Teeth Eddie-You can shorten a note by using STP or fading it to a level


of 0 and for longer notes you need to use a long sample or a
looped instrument.

AFL JoyceM I am positive with their abilities.

AFC Eddie Yes, Teeth, but you can't do quarter notes, half notes, whole
notes, etc. within a track.

AFL JoyceM Eddie, why is that?

Dr Teeth However it is possible to play a sampled instrument with a sustain


loop inside of the sample, so that there is an Attack, a sustain
and a release just like a model sound wave.

AFC Eddie Because the basic note length is determined by the instrument
sample.

Agreed, Teeth, but that's not precise enough for real


musicianship.

Whereas with full MIDI implementation, as in SLab or DTune, you do


get that.

Dr Teeth MOD files use them all the time, and


noise tracker can play them (only in mods though).And I am enough
of a musician (trombone, baritone, tuba, and a
smattering of guitar) to know that all music can be represented
by numbers.

AFC Eddie Yes, but SS doesn't allow certain numbers!

KimBrennan No sweat, Joyce. Beta testers should communicate between each


other.

AFL JoyceM Agree :)

Dr Teeth All 'true musicianship' is is how less lazy you are to get the
accidentals perfect. What numbers?

AFC Eddie You can't say, for instance, that one note of a certain inst. will
be precisely twice as long as the last.

Dr Teeth Er, I don't understand what you mean, Eddie.

AFC Eddie Let's say you had a string instrument in Soundsmith and wanted to
do a one track tune (boring, I know, but just for argument sake).
And you wanted to play a melody which had some notes longer than
others. How do you do it in SS?

Dr Teeth Am I dealing with a looped instrument or not?

AFC Eddie Either way.


Dr Teeth Okay. If it were a slow song, in say largo or so, I would use a
looped instrument and use STP for rests. If each note followed
the next, there is a natural attack bewteen each note to
diferenciate between the two, so that all the notes do not run
into each other. On a faster song with not really long notes
(like a dotted whole note), an unsustained instrument works fine,
and again, when silence is needed, you shove in a STP command
or turn the volume off at the appropriate time.

AFC Eddie But what if you wanted one note to be two or three beats longer
than the last?

AFL JoyceM Our guest has arrived :)

Dr Teeth Er, what do you mean "longer than the last". In soundsmith, you
can set out how many spaces to a beat (versus beats to a
measure). To extend the length of the note you just put the Stp
or next note that much further down the line. Or are you talking
about having the decay of one note extend further than the
duration of the one following it?

SevenHills Hi! Gee, I didn't know you were billing me as an actual guest! I
woulda quit early to be here on time!

AFL JoyceM No problem, Dave - we are just glad you could make it. Dave, do
you want to tell us a little about SoundSmith....I am sure I left
out some important items.

AFC Eddie Sorry, Teeth, we should allow our guest to go now... I'd like to
continue this with you later, tho!

SevenHills You probably covered the "biggie"...MIDI support.

Dr Teeth Okay, No problem

Dr Teeth Er, I think that you were beat up on MIDI

AFL JoyceM We did, and I know that some people had some questions that I
couldn't answer.

SevenHills I'll have to read the transcript when it's posted. Keep in mind
that this discussion is about a program that is NOT released, so
things are still changing. Specifically, MIDI support (being new)
isn't yet as advanced as we want it.

DanW190 Is SS v1.0 finished or can we still submit suggestions for helpful


editor commands?

SevenHills You can suggest features for SoundSmith; v1.0 is NOT done (it only
recently entered beta testing). I obviously can't make any
guarantees about _when_ a particular suggestion would be
implemented, but if you've got any, please send them via email to
"SevenHills" (if we get your suggestions there's a chance for
inclusion; if we don't get them then there's no way
we can include them).

Dr Teeth Is there any plans for Global Track volume (where, if wanted you
could automatically assign track volumes that would let you
change volume during a song without having to do each note by
hand?

DanW190 Great, thanks! Do you mean via track or via selection box?

Dr Teeth Er, via Track I think.

SevenHills Hmmm...Please forgive my ignorance on what the shareware version


of SoundSmith had...I've been only dealing with the new
SoundSmith so I might be telling you about something you already
know, but..

Dr Teeth It's mostly so you can follow accidentals in music that goes from
all soft to all loud. Which is almost impossible with SS .95

SevenHills There is a way to highlight a range of notes (or "cells" in the


spreadsheet) and either (a) apply a certain volume to those
notes, or (b) Fade in the volume or (c) Fade out the volume.
So you don't have to change the volume of each note individually.
Is that what you're after?

Dr Teeth That's IT!

DanW190 Option A is what I was talking about, that's great! :)

Dr Teeth How about Fade (From volume) (To volume) Instead of Fade
completely in or Fade comepletly out?

SevenHills Good suggestion; we'll consider it!

Dr Teeth I've got millions of em, having to punch in all those 'cells' by
hand and then doing the post producion on it

ELECTMUSIC Would suggestion be better left in your forum or in AMS?

SevenHills It would be best to email suggestions directly to our SevenHills


address.

Dr Teeth How about a 'Cut instrument from track' option. For use with Ian
Schmidts Modifier (converts Amegia Mod files), so you could
expand from the MOD's four tracks to the full 15

DanW190 How about a checkbox in the "Fade" dialog that would only place
the "3xx" volume change command in note boxes that have an
instrument defined (to eliminate the funny "choppy" sound you get
when sometimes fading large selections of unsustaining
instruments?) (or maybe I should just e-mail this stuff?) :)

Dr Teeth (I didn't know that was what was causing the funny choppy sound,
hmmmm)

SevenHills Dan, that might be possible, but don't know how it would sound
(since fading is normally a consistent drop/increase in volume
over a set amount of time).

DanW190 All I can say is that some selections sound better when you remove
the 3xx commands from sections that don't have notes playing..
This happened when fading an entire block, or other size ranges.
I'll e-mail you the full info.

Dr Teeth I think that the 'choppy sound is caused by fading a too small
area.

SevenHills Email would be best because it'll _definitely_ get saved in our
SoundSmith folder so our SS project manager can deal with it.

I can imagine a choppy sound could occur fading over too small an
area, or fading a large area where you've got a few notes here
and there (because there would be a steady fade during silence,
then a sudden drop/increase when the next batch of notes was hit.

Dr Teeth BTW, I'm curious. How much of the program is still Huibert's
programming?

SevenHills Huibert is still doing 100% of the coding. He's mainly interested
in getting MIDI done and releasing version 1.0 ASAP. We'd like
to incorporate more feature changes.

DanW190 How about adding resource support for the menus and windows? :)

SevenHills We're trying to find a happy medium that'll satisfy us both.

AFC Eddie Dave, I'll send you a copy of the transcript of this chat in its
entirety so you can see all the suggestions.

SevenHills Thanks, Eddie! I appreciate it!

AFL JoyceM I know it is getting late back east...do we have any more
questions for Seven Hills?

Dr Teeth Hmm. Well I know that I could make myself a real nuisance for
making suggestions. But I'll do them in E mail...

I do have one more question though

AFL JoyceM Dave, can you stick around a little longer?

SevenHills Sure

Dr Teeth Huibert sent me a copy of SS1.0 Alpha, and all it does is bomb
out. Am i mistaken that he changed the format of
SoundSmith.Config file and that he neglected to send me one?
(I reason this because I erased my config file from .95 and it
bombed out at the same place and time) And the config file from
.95 wont work.

SevenHills I'm checking...

Dr Teeth Okay..I'm waiting...

SevenHills I don't think so...I don't believe there is a "config" file with
SoundSmith 1.0b1.

Dr Teeth Hmmm, weird.

SevenHills There's SndSmith.Sys16, Intro.Music, SndSmith.Screen, DOC.Data,


Main, and Title.Screen But no "config"...

Dr Teeth Well all he sent was the "Main" along with the fill .95, so maybe
therein lies the rub....

SevenHills Remember, it _was_ alpha. "Main" is where all the changes are
taking place.

Dr Teeth True. Or maybe it was damaged in transit, and just 'happens' to


bomb out at the same place.

AFL JoyceM Dave (SevenHills), I really appreciate you coming by this evening.
I have to leave early, but both AFA Gene and AFC Eddie will be
able to help you and the rest of our guests. Again, thanks.

SevenHills Thanks, Joyce! Sorry I couldn't make it sooner!

AFL JoyceM Thanks all...and nite

Dr Teeth Any proposed release date, or are you also playing Apple Computer
on us :)

SevenHills I'd like to go, too...unless there are any other questions?
Release date: "When it's done!" ;)

We'll be watching for all your suggestions!