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MarkP

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Everything posted by MarkP

  1. Thanks for this. I watched it last night (Sydney time); it must have been only minutes after you posted it.
  2. Similar problem here; specialist left-handed luthier way too close: https://www.gaskellguitars.com.au/
  3. That's the best guitar strumming I've ever heard. If only it came with an Auto Fretter too.
  4. I am pleased that you've got a workaround. I suspect that you're still getting errors when dumping from Cakewalk, though. Working with sysex dumps over the last few days I've noticed that Cakewalk dumps a great deal faster than the default settings of SendSX, so your original suspicion that Cakewalk is too fast for your X3 could well be right. I don't have anything to offer on slowing down Cakewalk as I've not found it necessary, but if you figure it out I'd like to know.
  5. Does MIDI OX allow you to slow down transmission? That's the first thing to try, since it can be done without getting into sysex files themselves. And if a slower transmission speed works then the files must be good. I agree that if the problem applies to all your banks it is not likely to be due to data corruption. If you do want to see inside and edit sysex files, SendSX lets you do it, but you need to know what you are looking for, as the content is displayed like this: F0 0F 02 00 02 0D 04 01 04 0D 04 01 04 00 02 00 02 02 03 00 01 08 02 0E 00 02 03 0F 03 06 01 00... F7
  6. Another possible cause for this behaviour is corrupt data. To test for this you could try sending the same file from a third-party MIDI utility that allows you to adjust transmission speed, such as SendSX, to see whether the problem remains. I've found that some banks have the NULL character where a SPC should have been (00 00 instead of 00 02) and that with my gear this causes exactly the problem you describe.
  7. I too struggled for a spell when I first looked at CbB. I think the main reason was that I had preconceptions of how things ought to work, and consequently CbB didn't seem intuitive. Preconceptions and intuitions are the Kane and Abel of UI design, of course. The acid test is whether now, after a few months of use, I have a list of things I would like to see changed (I normally do compile such lists). The telling fact is that I don't, and this is chiefly because I am still finding good reasons for things being the way they are. If there is a piece of software that has a great multitude of complex functions and at the same time presents a welcoming intuitive face to the new user without hiding most of those functions, I am yet to see it.
  8. I can't resist adding to this year-old thread... In 1982 my last band split up and I couldn't face trying to build yet another one. I emigrated from the UK to Australia and started a hassle-free, music-free life, despite some gentle pushing from people to start a new band. So the advent of MIDI in 1983 passed me by. In 1987 I was living in the UK again and had heard of MIDI by this time. 'A good idea,' I thought. I saw that this could make me independent of other musicians, so I went shopping for a synth in Rose-Morris on Denmark Street in London. The salesman was keen on selling me an Elka (it could have been an EK44, I cannot really remember), and I was close to buying when I asked him about another synth on show nearby. It was the ESQ-1, and when he mentioned the built-in sequencer, that was the one for me. I had a flight case made for it at Rod Argent's shop just across the street. My first MIDI experiments consisted of just hooking up my synth to friends' synths and amazing ourselves that we could control one from another. Nothing ever came of these random MIDI activities but the fun was immense. All my recording was audio. It was only in 1999, back in Australia again, when I decided to go digital and re-recorded all my synth material using a Sound Blaster card and PC with Cakewalk. The software could capture the MIDI output from the synth, then play the MIDI back to the synth one track at a time, while recording the resultant audio. This way I was able to retain full 8-note polyphony on each track. Still, when I listen to that material now I am not that happy with it. Apart from the songs themselves, I never used EQ, filters, compression or any effects, not even reverb. I am tempted to redo everything, but I'm resisting. I may just do one or two tracks to demonstrate to myself the difference. As others have said, it is a real endorsement of the original MIDI specification that it remains useful nearly 40 years on when so many other standards have ended up being obstacles to progress.
  9. I decided to use your ESQ-1 icon. Thanks.
  10. I had a Fostex X15 too. That, my ESQ-1, and a couple of cables were all I ever used in the 80s. I still have my handwritten notes for how I laid down a click track on the Fostex and then bounced recordings around so that I ended up with 16-polyphony stereo. I had to record the right stereo of all tracks first and then go back and record all the left stereo. Sadly the Fostex disappeared during one of my numerous house moves and the loss wasn't noticed for years.
  11. I count myself as a 22-year Cakewalk user now, even though there was a 20-year gap in the middle of that period. Years ago Chip Grayson of Micrografx gave me a copy of Designer, which eventually became part of the Corel portfolio, so I ended up using CorelDraw for years too. I also had a ZX81 with a Memotech RAM extension. Did you really have 16Mb? I think my Memotech pack was 64 Kb.
  12. I've had another, possibly related, problem with the BBCSO interface (I am using the Discovery version): on occasion the plugin window opens with a black background, elements of the interface are missing or appear different, and none of them work. Closing and opening the plugin doesn't improve matters, but exiting and restarting Cakewalk fixes it.
  13. That makes sense. I can see this job ballooning before my eyes; I am glad there are only two parts for the 32 violins! I think I will literally play this by ear - see how simpler setups sound before making things more complicated. In the mean time I'll investigate the detuning and chorusing options you suggest. I suspected I would have to anyway.
  14. Thanks to both of you for responding. It looks like I have 10-15 new parts to create now. Oh well, so be it. BTW John, I started working through your tutorials yesterday. Thanks for doing them. Cakewalk does not behave quite as I had assumed. I am sure I will be replacing TTS-1 sounds with others, once I've settled on which set to get.
  15. I've created MIDI parts for a brass section in which trombones play in harmony most of the time. This is conveniently done in CbB by putting the parts together in a single clip. A problem arises however when the parts are in unison. At such points I entered just the one note but, because two voices are replaced by one, the power of the overall sound falls noticeably, just when it should focus. I have found that I can double the sound, by entering a second note a semitone sharp and dragging it down on top of the first in the piano roll. Tests with TTS-1 and my ESQ-1 show that this works, even when the two notes differ in duration. There are clearly two voices and staggered note-off events seem to apply intelligently to single voices rather than to both. That's encouraging, but the editing remains messy. To make editing clearer I suppose I could separate parts on to different clips, lanes or even tracks, maybe just at the points where unison is called for, but before I go through all the parts and do this I wondered if there is a better way - is there a recognised 'best' way to handle unison? I am concerned that later, as I try out different virtual instruments, I might run into unexpected effects and have to re-edit; I am not confident note-on and note-off events would work the same way with all plugins.
  16. This is true. I was still somewhat surprised to see all my old program names there on the tracks, and even my original notes preserved in the Notes tab of CbB. There is a template I used when creating new songs that is still usable with CbB today. I had completely forgotten all this stuff but Cakewalk hadn't. You're right about keeping media up to date. I've moved my old files a few times over the years, generally as I've upgraded computers, and after the experiences of the last week I've also resorted to the low-tech solution of keeping programs in a big .ods spreadsheet with a sheet of notes about sysex headers and footers. As long as bytes exist, I should be all right.
  17. I was only a nipper when I got those headphones!
  18. Thanks! Yes, reading up on it, it seems that the battery must be long dead. As soon as I can find someone competent I will get it replaced. I know it requires soldering and I don't trust myself to do that. Good to know your old stuff is still alive and kicking too.
  19. Absolutely! I had zero expectations about backwards compatibility.
  20. I downloaded Cakewalk by BandLab a couple of weeks ago and I am astonished at what it can do. Granted, it's been about 20 years since I last did any digital music recording (using Cakewalk Home Studio, as it happens). The advances between then and now are about as amazing as they had been between then and the 1980s, when I did a bit of work in recording studios with 2-inch tape machines. The whole world of VST effects and instruments alone has changed everything. Anyway, I managed to get my 1987 Ensoniq ESQ-1 working with CbB, even to the point of opening twenty-year-old .wrk files in CbB and finding them already set up to play the ESQ-1 again, after I'd loaded its instrument definition, which I don't think I had to change at all. I also found a pair of AKG headphones I bought in 1974 that still work too. I have to say that the videos by Mike at Creative Sauce were crucial to how quickly I got to understand CbB. The only tricky part of getting everything back the way I left it at the turn of the century was reloading stored ESQ-1 programs. I originally stored them on audio cassettes, later transferred to .mdx files about 1999. None of my old MIDI software now runs on 64-bit Windows 10, so I had to search around for something that would at least let me try sending stuff to the synth. I settled on Bome Software's SendSX in the end. It is clear and straightforward to use. The mysterious .mdx file format, once I could inspect the contents in SendSX, turned out to be standard MIDI codes, but the sysex headers and footers were oddly messed up for some reason. With a bit of assembly-style code-breaking, and reference to the appendices of the ESQ-1 manual, I figured out where the program data began and ended, and simply appended the sysex headers and footers that should have been there. Instant success! The ESQ-1 thought for a moment about what it was receiving and then lit up with all my old voices. So not only was I able to get old songs into CbB, I was also able to get them to sound right on the ESQ-1. There is a problem in the ESQ-1 that is causing it to lose internal program and sequence data every time it is switched off. This I can live with, as the programs can be safely stored in the 80-voice EEPROM cartridge, and the sequences are better off in CbB anyway. I suspect the problem is more than a flat battery, as I am not getting a battery warning at start-up. Unfortunately the engineer who last worked on the synth (Phase Engineering, in Sydney) appears to have retired to the mountains.
  21. I had the same problem, and reports of runtime error 217 at 0051CF9. I found that the inability to hear other sounds was due to selecting WASAPI Exclusive in Preferences>Audio>Playback and Recording. Selecting WASAPI Shared solved that problem, but I still get the runtime error on exiting Cakewalk. PS: It seems the two problems were unrelated. I believe the runtime error was caused by the old SQ8L plugin. Removing it from the Synth Rack stopped the error.
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