New features in StyleMaster

We improved the organization of controls and added new features in the latest version of StyleMaster. Figure 1 shows the current interface. As in all our programs, it is uncluttered and organized for quick reference. The controls of Group A are used to load and save individual style files with specified modifications. The controls of Group B are for bulk modification of all style files in a folder. The Group C controls are used to export styles in a conventional MIDI format and to assemble MIDI file sets into a formatted style. The playback controls of Group D are used to preview styles. Finally, Group E controls are for modifying channel voices (instrumentation). We eliminated the redundant Play/Pause buttons. Now, left-clicking on a section button (e.g. Main A) plays the section and displays the number of measures. Left-click again to stop the section before it reaches the end.


Improved StyleMaster interface

Figure 1. Improved StyleMaster interface.

The Global settings button represents a new feature. In response, the program shows the dialog of Fig. 2. The function is to equalize the voice and/or volume settings over all channels. One application is the conversion of a style with multiple instruments to a single instrument version (for example, to create a pure piano accompaniment). The other application is to help you adapt a style for your keyboard. There are 10’s of thousands of styles available on the Internet, each with a specific definition of MIDI voices at different volume levels that probably made a good sound on the original instrument. Many times you might get lucky, but often the style in its original form is poorly matched to your keyboard. In principle, you could correct each voice independently using the commands of Group E on the main screen. In practice, this can be time-consuming and frustrating because of the interactions of sound and volume levels. It can be more effective to start from a simple base and build up.

Global settings dialog

Figure 2. The new Global settings dialog.

The commands of the Voice equalization group perform the following functions if the Voice equalization box is checked:

  1. Set all melody channels to General MIDI with the same GM number. The four top choices often lead to a good stand-alone sound. Alternatively, you can pick a specific GM instrument (Other).
  2. Set Channel 09h (and Channel 08h, if it is used for percussion) to the standard MIDI drum set.
  3. Remove advanced settings like reverb and timbre.

If the Volume equalization box is checked, the volume levels of all channels are set to the specified value. Click the OK button apply the changes and exit the dialog. Figure 3 shows a resulting state of the voice list box after such an operation. StyleMaster also changes the state of the current MIDI device so you can preview the sound and monitor the result of further changes. A subsequent Save style operation records the new voice settings.

Globally modified voices

Figure 3. Globally modified voices.


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