Music Creator
This page was last modified 13:26, 21 October 2019 by Mars2000you.
Music Creator - Main menu

Contents

Description

This software was provided with the Philips NMS 1160 music keyboard and expanded on the idea of the Music-BOX firmware included in the Philips NMS 1205 Music Module cartridge.

It needs to be used this cartridge in a slot and you must press the ESC key while booting the computer (except if you have a modified Music Module). Another OPL1 cartridge can also be used, but some features will not be available.

It allows users to play the device as a regular music keyboard, the MSX providing the background instruments and rhythm, and the user playing along with the right hand while changing the chords using the left hand.

This follow-up software has support for keyboard, mouse in port 1 and joystick in port 2 and is likely also the first software that used the MSX-AUDIO Sample RAM for drums (DRUMKIT.SAM and DEFAULT.SEQ files). The main menu gives you the choice between two options: the Sound Creator and the Composer.

Sound Creator

Music Creator - Sound Creator menu

The four green icons give access to

  • the Voice Perfector
  • the Sound Sampling
  • the MIDI menu: you can here decide to play FM music or a sample and select the MIDI channel (between 1 and 16 - default value:1)
  • the Disk functions: you can load, save or delete three different kinds of files: FM voices (.VOC files), Sequences (.SEQ files) and Samples (.SAM files)

You can also choose to run the Composer.

Note: To go back to this screen when you are in the Voice Perfector or the Sound Sampling, you need to click in the highest part of the screen.

Voice Perfector

Music Creator - Voice List
Music Creator - Voice Perfector

The Voice Perfector is a tool that allows to improve the default sounds or voices (see the Voice Data Table below): you can change the sustain, the brightness, the sound color (with 2 parameters) and the volume.

The left green icon gives access to a screen where you can select the voice you want to improve (RECALL) or save a modified voice under a new name (STORE) in the computer RAM.

The right green icon gives access to the disk functions. You can save your new library of voices in a .VOC file.

Sound Sampling

Music Creator - Sound Sampling
Music Creator - Sample Setup
Music Creator - Looping
Music Creator - Sample Sequencer

The Sound Sampling utility is composed of 5 screens.

The main screen allows to

  • select a part of a sample file (.SAM file)
  • choose an action (RECORD or AUDITION)
  • choose the TRIGGER MODE for recording (AUTO or MANUAL)
  • to set the TRIGGER LEVEL used in AUTO mode (only sound above the choosen level, indicated by a T, will activate the recording)
  • access the 4 other screens

The Sample Setup screen allows to

  • divide a sample file into 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 parts or slots
  • change the sampling frequency

The Looping screen allows to visualise the sample and to define which part needs to be repeated when pressing a key on the music keyboard.

The Sample Sequencer screen allows to divide a complete drumkit for a song (.SEQ file) into smaller sequences, to visualise, play and change these sequences. The length and the tempo of the sequences can also be modified.

You can save your samples or sequences in the DIsk Functions screen as .SAM files or .SEQ files.

Composer

Music Creator - Composer menu
Music Creator - Keyboard Split Point
Music Creator - Disk functions

The 10 icons allow to

  • set the music keyboard split point
  • set the transpose parameter (value between -5 and +6 - default value: 0)
  • access the play options menu
  • access the real time mode
  • quit the Composer and run the Sound Creator
  • access the MIDI menu: you can here activate/de-activate MIDI and choose the MIDI channel (between 1 and 16 - default value:1)
  • activate or de-activate the rhythms
  • access the input options menu: you can here choose between external keyboard and MIDI keyboard
  • access the step time mode
  • access the disk functions: you can load, save or delete five different kinds of files: Step Time songs (.SPT files), Real Time songs (.RLT files), Accompaniment (.ACC files), FM voices (.VOC files) and Percussion (.SAM files)

Most of the actions can be made even while listening to your song. However, some actions will stop the playback mode.

Play Options

Music Creator - Play Options

This menu includes three options allowing to change

  • the volume of each sound (or voice) used in your song, with exception for the drums
  • the sounds (or voices) used for the 2 melody channels, the 6 accompaniment channels and the bass channel - see the Voice Data Table below
  • in 'Ensemble' submenu, the transpose parameter (between -1 and +1) for each sound (or voice) corresponding to these channels

All these changes can be made even while listening to your song.

Real Time Composer

Music Creator - Real Time Composer

The Real Time Composer mode corresponds to the GLING input mode of the Music-BOX firmware, but with a big difference: you need absolutely to use the music keyboard to play live the song that you want to create.

The maximum time is 8 minutes and you can check the memory status on the screen. When this status is completely red, it means that you have entered the maximum number of notes and that the computer RAM is full.

The 7 icons allow to

  • clear the computer RAM (recommended before playing live a new song)
  • change the tempo (value between 62 and 200)
  • change the music keyboard mode: split mode (default mode) or 9 channels mode
  • make a live recording (in the computer RAM)
  • get a playback (of your own song or a loaded song)
  • test your song with the drums
  • go back to the Composer menu where you will find the Disk functions: the songs created in Real Time can be saved as .RLT files

Note: 4 .RLT files are included on the disk (see the Songs List below).

Step Time Composer

Music Creator - Step Time Composer

It's a more complete version of the Step Time input mode available on the Music-BOX firmware: you select first a note or a silence, then you position the pointer between the two markers above and below the music stave before playing the tone on the music keyboard.

Each time you add a note, it will move to the left, allowing you to input the next note. You can scroll through the music with the little arrows above the music stave and replace a note by another one. The DEL button can be used to remove a previously inserted note or silence.

The 8 icons allow to

  • change the tempo (value between 62 and 200)
  • get a playback (of your own song or a loaded song) with visualisation of the notes on the music stave
  • access more musical settings such as triplets
  • go back to the Composer menu where you will find the Disk functions: the songs created in Step Time can be saved as .SPT files
  • change the time and key signatures
  • clear the computer RAM (recommended before creating a new song)
  • access more music notations such as D.C., D.S., FINE, CODA, etc...
  • print the music score

Note: 22 .SPT files are included on the disk (see the Songs List below).

Songs List

Here below you can find the list of all the songs available on the Music Creator disk. Some titles are probably wrong, by lack of accurate infos.

Note: The songs are actually not numbered.

Song No. File Title Song No. File Title
RLT FILES
01 STEELBND.RLT Steel Bound 03 WHITESHR.RLT A Whiter Shade Of Pale
02 SAILING.RLT Sailing 04 MY WAY.RLT My Way
SPT FILES
01 DONT-YOU.SPT Don't You (Forget About Me) 12 MIAMI.SPT Miami Vice Theme
02 1NOTESAM.SPT One Note Samba 13 MADONNA.SPT Into The Groove
03 MOZART40.SPT Mozart Symphony 40 14 LUCILLE.SPT Lucille
04 LADIESNT.SPT Ladies Night 15 NEVERDNE.SPT Never Done
05 SUN ONTV.SPT The Sun Always Shines On TV 16 TOCCATA.SPT Toccata And Fugue
06 WEDDEN.SPT Wedding Song 17 RISINSUN.SPT House Of The Rising Sun
07 PACHELB.SPT Pachelbel's Canon 18 BALLROOM.SPT Ballroom Dance
08 APRIL.SPT Little April Shower 19 EDGEDARK.SPT Edge Of The Dark
09 EAST END.SPT East Enders Theme 20 LITEFIRE.SPT Light My Fire
10 ALLGIRLS.SPT To All The Girls I've Loved Before 21 MEXICO.SPT Mexico
11 ONLY YOU.SPT Only You 22 MEXICO2.SPT Mexico


Accompaniment Data Table

This utility includes 19 pre-programmed musical accompaniment arrangements in different styles (*.ACC files on the disk). They can be used as starting point to create a song.

The below table includes the default values for the tempo and the different sounds (or voices), except the drums - Tp = Tempo, Mel. = Melody, Acc. = Accompaniment

Note: The files are actually not numbered.

No. Name Tp Mel. 1 Mel. 2 Acc. 1 Acc. 2 Acc. 3 Acc. 4 Acc. 5 Acc. 6 Bass
01 Ballad 90 Flute Spanish
Guitar
Strings Strings Vibraphone Vibraphone Strings Strings Electric
Bass
02 68ballad 130 Trumpet Electric
Organ 1
Brass Spanish
Guitar
Synth 1 Synth 1 Synth 1 Trumpet Electric
Bass
03 Country 130 Banjo Mouth
Harp
Banjo Banjo Strings Spanish
Guitar
Harmonica Marimba Electric
Bass
04 Disco 120 Meaty Job Toy Piano Brass Brass Brass Brass Marimba Electric
Bass
Electric
Bass
05 Disco 120 Meaty Job Toy Piano Brass Brass Brass Brass Marimba Electric
Bass
Electric
Bass
06 Funk 94 Synth 1 Brass Electric
Organ 1
Brass Brass Brass Brass Plucked
Strings
Electric
Bass
07 Funk2 94 Synth 1 Brass Electric
Organ 1
Brass Brass Brass Brass Plucked
Strings
Electric
Bass
08 Latin 120 Steel Drum Marimba Marimba Clarinet Clarinet Horn Horn Plucked
Strings
Electric
Bass
09 March 110 Brass Trombone Brass Brass Brass Clarinet Horn Brass Electric
Bass
10 Pop 120 Glockenspiel Glockenspiel Strings Strings Strings Strings Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Electric
Bass
11 Pop2 150 Hand Bell Nice Sound Synth 1 Synth 1 Synth 1 Synth 1 Marimba Marimba Electric
Bass
12 Pop2b 150 Hand Bell Nice Sound Synth 1 Synth 1 Synth 1 Synth 1 Marimba Marimba Electric
Bass
13 Reggae 110 Synth Lead Synth Lead Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Electric
Organ 1
Marimba Electric
Bass
14 Reggae2 110 Synth Lead Synth Lead Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Plucked
Strings
Electric
Organ 1
Marimba Electric
Bass
15 Rocknrol 120 Electric
Organ 1
Blues
Guitar
Spanish
Guitar
Spanish
Guitar
Spanish
Guitar
Electric
Organ 1
Blues
Guitar
Electric
Bass
Electric
Bass
16 Rock2 130 Electric
Organ 1
Blues
Guitar
Spanish
Guitar
Spanish
Guitar
Spanish
Guitar
Electric
Organ 1
Blues
Guitar
Electric
Bass
Electric
Bass
17 Swing 150 Brass Trombone Brass Brass Brass Brass Clarinet Electric
Bass
Electric
Bass
18 Swing2 150 Brass Trombone Brass Brass Brass Brass Clarinet Electric
Bass
Electric
Bass
19 Waltz 150 Glockenspiel Flute Strings Strings Strings Strings Clarinet Horn Electric
Bass


Voice Data Table

This utility has its own default system of voices (or sounds), regrouped by instrument type and using abbreviations. It's the same voice system as for the Music-BOX firmware. The list is included in the DEFAULT.VOC file.

There are obviously user voices, but accurate infos are missing to compare with default MSX-AUDIO voices (see CALL VOICE). The below table tries to make this comparison, but it includes probably many errors and inacurracies.

Note: The sounds are actually not numbered, and the 5 last positions are reserved for 4 shorts samples (1.15 seconds) and 1 long sample (4.6 seconds).

Voice No. Name _VOICE No. Voice No. Name _VOICE No.
01 Synth 1 24 34 Trombone
02 Synth 2 35 Horn 48
03 Synth Lead 36 Tuba
04 Synth Sweep 37 Wah Brass
05 Synth Bass 23 38 Bell Brass
06 Meaty Job 39 Strings
07 Wayout 40 Plucked Strings
08 Nice Sound 41 Violin 2
09 Alien 42 Saxophone
10 Bell 21 43 Clarinet 4
11 Handbell 28 44 Flute 3 or 36
12 Noizy 45 Piccolo
13 Spacebell 46 Blockflute
14 Plinkstring 47 Oboe 5
15 Sitar 48 Bassoon
16 Blues Guitar 49 Harmonica
17 Spanish Guitar 50 Bagpipes
18 Fuzz Guitar 51 Piano 0
19 Banjo 52 Electric Piano 1 1
20 Harp 53 Electric Piano 2 32
21 Mouth-Harp 54 Toy Piano
22 Bass 33 55 Harpsichord 14 or 15
23 Slap Bass 56 Celesta
24 Electric Bass 12 57 Accordion
25 Rasp Bass 58 Pipe Organ 7 or 40
26 Glocklenspiel 59 Electric Organ 1 9
27 Koto 17 or 39 60 Electric Organ 2 46
28 Marimba 61 Short Sample 1
29 Xylophone 8 62 Short Sample 2
30 Vibraphone 16 63 Short SAmple 3
31 Steel Drum 64 Short Sample 4
32 Brass 35 65 Long Sample
33 Trumpet 6