SP: Details 5 & Availability


FIGURE 12:  Volume Scan with BASICS controls

While scrolling to the left of the main CONTROLS screen as above, just below the Pulsed program change panel is the Volume scan.  When activated on the main CONTROLS screen in the BASICS panel, this provides individual scans of volume increments.  The speed of the scan, direction, and MIDI volume range are set up ahead of time and stored as part of a BASICS preset.  Musically, this allows automatic fading in and out of any combination of tracks during performance, while allowing for independence of ranges, speed and direction.  When turning the scan on, the volume values (which are sent to your synthesizer’s controller #7) automatically begin where the volume is at, not from 0 or from the last time it was activated, allowing for a very smooth effect. 


Basic operation of controls:  The Sequencer Playpen is controlled by one MIDI keyboard, a continuous controller using controls 1-8, and a computer with MAX/MSP 5 on a Mac with System 10.5 or 6. These all control a synthesizer (s) with up to 16 channels of MIDI in multimode.

The method of control is listed below each category, as in the mouse for MIDI and program, 1-0 for the numbers 1 through 0 (which is ten) on the computer keyboard, r for record, p for play, cont # 7 for continuous controller 7, etc. 

Enabling computer controls: Those controls in yellow (MIDI, Program, THRU, etc.) are independent; mouse controlled, and directly control the individual tracks A, B, and C.  The controls in orange (Alt alternate) and ON/INC, record/play, THRU, SOLO, etc.) are dependent on you enabling the Track open for edit toggle at the middle left.  All tracks so enabled will be affected by whatever controls are CHANGED during the activation. You can enable one, two, or all three tracks at once and perform any combination of edits colored orange or blue.  Unless the program specifically specifies control by mouse, all the other toggles, number boxes, etc. MUST be controlled by the designated computer key or MIDI keyboard key.  If you try to use the mouse in these instances, it will move the number box or toggle but generally nothing else will happen.

Enabling continuous controller controls: Controls in blue are the MIDI continuous controllers. They are also all dependent on first enabling the Track open for edit as above with the orange ones. 

Control color key:  Refer to this gray box at the lower right of the main control window.  Note that numbers in green boxes are INFORMATIONAL ONLY and do not respond to mouse (the mouse can move them, but this does not translate into anything happening).

MIDI keyboard:  In white letters on red background.  Used only to stop/start tracks (C1, C#1, D1).  The start/stop controls operate independently of anything else.  In other words, no matter what is happening in the rest of the program, you can always start or stop a track with these MIDI keys (provided you have a sequence already recorded). A separate feature not present in the controls window is the D#1 MIDI note, which, when properly activated via the Track open for edit toggle under the Reset Pattern w Velocity heading, will restart the track using velocity to determine the beginning note of the track. All other notes (E1 and above) are used to either record or play.  Below E1 you cannot record or play.

As mentioned above, do not directly use the mouse for any orange control boxes, or areas with orange boxes giving guidance.  Instead, adhere to the guidance provided at the site of the control.  For example, in the Track open for edit area, do not directly toggle with the mouse (nothing will happen).  Instead, press d, f, or g on the Mac keyboard to toggle in and out, as directed by the orange box above the toggles. 

The blue boxes will accommodate a mouse control, but you will find that using the MIDI controllers instead (as directed by the instructions in blue boxes) is much more efficient.  But if you do not have a MIDI continuous controller handy, the mouse will substitute in all cases. 

ALL NOTES OFF:  At the bottom right of the CONTROLS page, find this feature, which, when the red button is clicked on, will turn stuck notes (and all other notes as well) off.

My goal is to make the Playpen available free to university teachers and any others  who may want to use it in their classes.  For those interested, contact me at the email address below, stating where you might be using it.  The procedure is for me to send it to the user as an email attachment. 


Next Page: CONTROLS Page Graphic

Email the McLean Mix (or Barton or Priscilla McLean) at:

mclmix at fairpoint.net