MIDI Tool Box
This month is
a special treat for those with disk drive only
systems. Actually, many Atari musicians prefer
having a system with no hard drive as it is
very quiet and without the whirring humming
sound of a hard drive. Also, many Atari musicians
have more than one computer, running tools
on one and a sequencer on the other. I do this
myself, setting up my 1040STE with disk drive
only operation, while my Falcon and TT030 cover
sequencing and SysEx.
Below in the
file section you will find a special compilation
of Atari MIDI tools covering SysEx, groove machines,
alternate mouse controllers and MIDI monitors.
These are what I call "tools", while
the sequencer of choice is the bread and butter
of the system. The file is meant to fit on a
single 720 KB disk. So you might call it the
"cover disk" for this month!
On this disk
you will find no less than 11 programs offering
many tools for today's Atari musician. Some
of the archives were condensed with only the
files needed to run the programs (a few had
demo files, although some are included). This
was done to preserve space. The full programs
can be found on Tim's Atari MIDI World (see
link section). Unzip without a main folder directly
to a 720 KB DOS-formatted disk. There is some
documentation with the actual programs, so please
read through those. When using the programs
and you want to save files created with the
programs, use a separate disk. Of course, all
these programs work on the Falcon and 030 machines.
Dump It by
A universal SysEx dumper: loads
and saves in standard SysEx format. With all
the free patches on the internet, this is an
invaluable tool. Simply load and send.
This is the "original"
Grid Sequencer. A refined version was created
and is now called ISEQ (see http://tamw.atari-users.net/grid.htm).
This version however is smaller in size and
still very workable. Based on a dream.
by Shawn Hargreaves
This is a text-based
application with remarkable results. Simply
hit your sustain pedal on your keyboard controller,
which starts MIDI Processor in record mode.
Hit a few notes and it takes off, adding and
manipulating your original phrase. You can also
change the parameters that create the changes.
A wonderful program! Try it with percussion
by David Snow
This is an alternate mouse
controller. Simply move the mouse around the
grid and play music. You can change the way
it harmonizes as well as tempo and phrasing.
You can also record your actions and save it
as a MIDI file to import into your favorite
MIDI View by
A MIDI tool box would not
be complete without a MIDI monitor. Simply run
the program and see what is happening in your
MIDI system. To pause hit [Alternate], and to
quite hit [Control]. It's that easy.
Music by Gareth Jones
mouse controller with a twist. Within this small
program are no less then four different screens
or modes to move the mouse around: a grid mode,
a guitar strum mode, a stave mode and a joystick
mode for controlling continuous controllers
(panning, volume...). A lot packed into this
small application. Full details on the Megastar
Synthesizer Collective page at TAMW (http://tamw.atari-users.net/msc.htm).
2.0 by Neil Wakeling
Here is Pulsar,
the analog sequencer emulator. 3 rows of 16
notes. Lots of beats can be created on this
one. Out-does most of the analog sequencers
found on modern instruments these days. Full
instructions and tutorials on the Pulsar page
at TAMW (http://tamw.atari-users.net/pulsar.htm).
Example file includes "On the run",
the sequence used by Pink Floyd on "Dark
Side of the Moon".
Sequencer: Pattern based MIDI sequencer by Gaston Klares
sequencer emulator, however quite different
to Pulsar. It is keyboard-driven (no mouse
actions). By pressing [Help], all the commands
are tabulated. An excellent addition to the
tool box! Example file includes "On the
run", the sequence used by Pink Floyd on
"Dark Side of the Moon".
by Jim Johnson
This is the largest
of the programs, but I have decided to include
it for the tool box. Tunesmith is an algorithmic
phrase generator. Complete details and tutorials
can be found on the Tunesmith page at TAMW
Basically it produces a theme which can be driven
with accompaniment of six tracks. You can also
produce percussion tracks as well. One of the
best of the algo-comp applications.
A simple program
that when run allows the MIDI Out port of the
ST to become a MIDI Thru. Quite useful at times.
by Martin Milner
This is many
applications at once: versatile delay calculation,
approximate frequencies covered by various instruments.
A typical example of instrument panning in a
stereo mix. A summary of General MIDI sound
set groupings. (very useful!). A practical display
of sound pressure levels measured in decibels
related to everyday situations. Some useful
facts and figures. This is a desk accessory
and boots up when the disk is in the disk drive.
is an AUTO folder with some fun utilities.
Changes the cursor into a swinging metronome.
- FUIJDESK.PRG: Displays a rotating Fuji in a corner of the
- SILKMOUS.PRG: A mouse accelerator.
- SEBRA.PRG: For
those with color monitors, it allows emulation
of ST high resolution (monochrome). While not the clearest,
it works. Most of the programs on this disk require
ST high resolutoin to work (while some do not, such as Tunesmith,
MIDI Processor, MIDI View and MIDI Calc).
mono (ST high resolution) mode:
- MIDI Square
- Grid Sequencer
- MIDI Mouse Music
To disable any
of these AUTO folder programs, simply change the extension
from .PRG to .PRX using the Show info command on the Atari
Finally I have
included CONTROL.ACC which allows you to adjust
colors on a color monitor as well as reverse
the video when using monochrome. This boots
up at start-up as a desk accessory.
Have fun with
these programs. My aim in creating this tool
is to promote the use of these "left hand"
applications in which the Atari platform is rich in.
There were several other programs I wish I could have
added, such as Dr Ambient's AEX, but disk space
would not allow it.
I would also
encourage creating your own tool box of programs
you mostly use for your own applications. It's amazing how many programs you can fit on
a single 720 KB disk!
Atari MIDI Tool