Replace Mac Launchpad

LaunchPad on the Mac is an attempt to replicate the main screen in Windows — an area filled with icons to launch installed programs (shortcuts in Windows parlance). There is one big difference. In Windows, users can add or remove shortcuts. In macOS, the process is performed automatically — users are prevented from making any […]

Building a style library

Styles are MIDI loops included on digital keyboards from Yamaha and other manufacturers from which you can build automatic accompaniments. The feature, which makes a good approximation to a backup band, can turn a simple tune into an interesting performance piece. Yamaha-format styles form the core of our program, the Accompaniment Machine. A typical keyboard […]

PureStyle file format reference

Styles are the versatile automatic accompaniments found on digital keyboards from Yamaha and other manufacturers. There are thousands of Yamaha-format style files available for purchase or download on the Internet. Styles are employed to create custom accompaniments — a virtual backup band for performances. Styles may be installed on keyboards or used in computer programs […]

Finding MIDI files

We working on the instruction manual for Pancho, our new program for quickly generating accompaniments and solo scores from MIDI files. Chapter 2 starts with advice on where to find MIDI files. We realize that there are a lot of pages on the Internet that tell you where to look, but another one can’t hurt. […]

Creating AMac sequences with the ConText text editor

A text editor is the one of the quickest ways to create sequences for the Accompaniment Machine. A good editor can make many of your computer tasks easier. If you are using a primitive utility like NotePad, you owe it to yourself to move up. The good news is that you can get a […]

It sounds funny

Suppose you have grown tired of the 150 styles that came with your keyboard. You want to expand your options to the 10,000+ styles available on the Internet by using the Accompaniment Machine. You download and try out styles and find that some are strange and that the sound of others is not as good […]

Video format converters

We’ve started a project to create instructional videos for AMac (the Accompaniment Machine) and SVO (Style Voice Optimizer). In preparation, I updated my copy of Camtasia to the latest version (8.4). I use the program to capture events on the computer screen and for general video editing. There were many improvements since I purchased Version […]

Creative MIDI: MIDI markup language

In the previous article, I discussed aspects of the current binary MIDI file format that are confusing and inflexible, particularly for applications intended to supplement or to edit the musical data. The one virtue of the format is that the information is highly compressed. This was an advantage in the 1980s when the format was […]

Creative MIDI: flaws of the MIDI file format

This article is the fourth in a series outlining new MIDI data structures that enable creative digital music applications (e.g., composing, editing,…). This article discusses problems with the current MIDI file format. The following article outlines new standards based on the XML (extended markup language) concept.

To consider changes to MIDI, it is important to […]

Creative MIDI: current MIDI file format

This article is the third in a series proposing new MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) data structures and file formats to address creative digital music applications (e.g., composing, arranging, editing,…). Previous articles discussed problems of current MIDI editors and reviewed the basics of MIDI messages. This article completes the review material with a discussion of […]