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MMD > Archives > December 2005 > 2005.12.12 > 03Prev  Next

"Noteur", A New Music Book & Roll Editing Program
By Piet Paardekam

-- non-subscriber, please reply to sender and MMD --

Dear readers of MMD,  on my web site I recently published a new
program, called Noteur, that is mainly intended for people who make
and arrange rolls and carton books for mechanical musical instruments.

Like the program Midiboek that I wrote several years ago, Noteur will
be another free program for the barrel organ community and other
craftsmen in that area, either professionals or amateurs.  The program
is a replacement for the good old Cakewalk.  However, Noteur does not
have the functions to manipulate sound effects and so on because this
is of no importance for arranging carton books and rolls.

The big advantage of Noteur is that it uses a tracker bar description
(the well known gamma of Midiboek).  So it is able to support you with
knowledge of the target instrument during the process of editing the
MIDI file.  What you see is the place of the notes in the tracker, the
(organ) names of the drums and the names of the registers.  Notes of
different categories (melody, countermelody, etc) have different
colors, and notes that are not present in the tracker will display as
gray notes and can be muted during playback.  And so on.

All notes of all tracks and channels can be made visible on one screen
at a time.  When the tempo changes, the visible measure and note lengths
change accordingly.  Dimensions are in milliseconds or millimeters so
the length of notes and any other distances will be the same as in the
resulting carton book or paper roll.

Special functions are added that meet the requirements of the arranger,
such as to give notes a standard length and to align notes against a
helper line, without unnecessary clicks.  Specific actions, such as
selecting the melody notes in a file or executing an MPL-procedure (see
later) can be programmed in one of ten buttons that enable the user to
execute these functions with one press on this button.

The user can give the buttons a clear label and can save button-sets
for later use.  For special jobs, like making sliders or drum patterns,
a ruler is available.  On the ruler you can set a desired division on
which you can snap during inserting of notes.  And more...

Noteur is mainly designed for working in general MIDI format and not
in a specific trackerbar layout, so you do not have to use MIDI mapper
schemas or IDF edit-tables for playback.  Drums are 'in time' and
registers are present in the file as markers, however registers can
be edited like notes on the screen.  This way of working is completely
compatible with Midiboek: the midi files are general purpose and can
be used for all types of tracker, assuming of course that all necessary
notes are present in the tracker.

By using the same general purpose file with different gammas, you can
see at a glance if the file is usable for that gamma and make
corrections when necessary.  However -- of course you can use Noteur
for working in 'trackerbar mode', but many of the advantages of Noteur
are not available then.

Where Cakewalk has CAL for automating procedures, Noteur has MPL.
MPL is designed for the work of the audience of Noteur.  In the aspect
of arranging for mechanical instruments it is more powerful and yet
(very) much easier to write the programs for.  In stead of a confusing
parentheses-oriented syntax, a clear If-Else-Endif and Do-loop structure
is used without any parentheses.  The beginning programmer is supported
with very clear error messages and debug facilities that will help him
out of his initial problems.

With MPL you get full control over all events in a MIDI file.  Besides
that you can easily generate reports and write output files.  MPL is
the way to translate the general purpose files into the format for
a specific MIDI driven instrument or punching machine, for instance
shift the drum notes before writing the file for the punching machine
in the same way as most arrangers that use Cakewalk etc.  Another thing
that is easily possible with MPL is to translate MIDI files that are in
a specific format for a tracker, to a different tracker format or the
general purpose GM format.

The program is in English and contains documentation of Noteur in
English and Dutch, documentation of MPL in English only, and a series
of samples of MIDI files and MPL's.  If you want to explore the
possibilities of Noteur I strongly recommend that you read the complete
documentation of Noteur first, just to have an overview of the program
(it is only 20 pages).

As you will see, some things, like the mouse handling during editing
and the selection process, work quite differently from Cakewalk.  It
is the result of decisions I made after I used Cakewalk for over ten
years.  I made the editing process in a way that best suits the purpose
Noteur is written for, from my point of view, of course.

On my web site I invite you to report errors and send me requests for
changes.  After a few months I will promote the beta version to the
final version 1.0, including as much as possible of your requests.
I have already designed and planned a series of extensions in following
releases.  You will find these announcements on my web site as soon as
version 1.0 is released.

On my web site Noteur is present in the download page.  My site has the
following URL: (no www and mind the
capital P), or just use Google to find piet paardekam.

Please, use _only_ use the mail address <> for your
comments and requests for changes and additions.  I will see what
I can do.  All comments and remarks, even that you did never see a
worse program before, are welcome.  Do not forget to criticise the
layout and the documentation as well.

Best regards,
Piet Paardekam, the Netherlands [delete ".geentroep" to reply]

 [ See also Piet's library of crank-organ scales,
 [ including the 36er model "Johan de Vries", at
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Mon 12 Dec 2005, 09:39:50 GMT, from time zone GMT+0100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Book, Editing, Music, New, Noteur, Program, Roll

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