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Trackerbar Terms
By Craig Brougher

Robbie was asking about terminology on a trackerbar for the benefit of the readers. Here is how I would explain them:

1. tracker holes: all the holes in the tracker bar

Tracker holes are the tracking holes in each end of the bar. A tracker is a device which keeps the paper rolls aligned with the note holes.

2. playing note holes: operate the note pneumatics

I call these just note holes. "Playing note holes" is redundant -- besides, sometimes they don't play, and yet they are still note holes.

3. control holes: anything except the playing note holes

Control holes, function holes, all refer to functions other than expression or notes. Usually the control holes or function holes refer to functions like reroll, forward to play, lock and cancels, coin trip, etc.

4. pedal holes: Loud (sustaining) and Soft Pedal pneumatics

I'll buy that, too. Pedal hole, Sustain hole, soft pedal hole, etc. Pedal holes are also "Expression" holes in the basic sense. That is, they control the dynamics of the piano to a degree.

5. transport control holes: rewind, shut-off, replay, nickel trip, etc.

You don't often hear them called "Transport control" holes, but it's a perfectly good term. Simply "Control" holes is just as good.

6. intensity and expression holes: dependent on the expression system

That's what I call them, interchangeably. And sometimes I will also lump in the pedal holes with the expression holes, depending on how I am speaking of the system-- generally or otherwise.


There are, in some instruments, multiplexing holes as well. These are holes which, when operated either in a specific code or pattern, or when combined with another hole, switch primary instruments to secondary instruments, or do whatever the designer intended to multiplex. We could call them control or function holes sometimes and expression holes sometimes, but multiplex holes all the time. I prefer to make a difference between multiplexing holes and control holes, particularly when the same holes, when used singly, might be control or expression holes by themselves.

Craig Brougher

[ I still don't feel comfortable with #1. Doesn't the name "tracker bar"
[ come from "tracker organ"? Why this name for an organ? -- Robbie


(Message sent Thu 16 Jan 1997, 16:19:51 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Terms, Trackerbar

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