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General Category => Applications => Topic started by: fgbrain on 23:58, 15 March 12

Title: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: fgbrain on 23:58, 15 March 12
I'm searching for this program! Judging by the ads it sounds nice.
 Anyone knows if this app exists? It seems to have been released alright..

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Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: arnoldemu on 21:38, 12 August 18
I'm searching for this program! Judging by the ads it sounds nice.
 Anyone knows if this app exists? It seems to have been released alright..


Thankyou to @ComSoft6128 (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=2226)
Transferred with Arkos tools.
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 22:41, 12 August 18
Hi All,

I really would recommend listening to this program using an Amp and speakers. The 6128 speaker doesn't do the music or stereo effects justice.
Also, even though it was written in 87 it is Plus compatible.

Cheers,

Peter
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: Targhan on 10:41, 13 August 18
Hey, that's a very interesting software! Quite impressive for 87.
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 10:46, 13 August 18
That's what I thought to. The programmer, Dr Brian James, also wrote the Landscape Utility but unfortunately I can't find out much more about him or his work:

https://cpcrulez.fr/applications_graphic-the_landscape_utility_AA.htm (https://cpcrulez.fr/applications_graphic-the_landscape_utility_AA.htm)


Cheers,

Peter

Edit:

The October 85 (issue 11) of Amstrad Computer User has an interesting article by Brian James on the creation of the Landscape Utility.
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: Targhan on 13:08, 13 August 18
Ah yes, I know about this one. It's pure genius.
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 13:36, 13 August 18
Hi Targhan,

Can you tell me (and everyone else) what you're thoughts are on MasterComposer. I am neither a musician or a programmer and would appreciate your professional opinion.

Cheers,

Peter
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: Targhan on 14:26, 13 August 18
Well, I don't have any "professional" opinion, and I've only launched the software once :) .


My guess is that each style available is linked to a possible suite of chords, possibly with variations (some chords are more likely to be followed by specific others). Then, "all" the software has to do is build a melody on top of each chord. For each chord, only about 7-8 (graceful) notes per octave are possible (I guess). Building the melody is I believe the most difficult part. Making something that sounds right is easy. But having something interesting is not! And the melodies are quite rich. So it is really well done.
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 14:37, 13 August 18
Thank you for your non "professional" opinion :D

It is interesting to get the thoughts of someone with experience in this area.

Cheers,

Peter

Edit:
Anyone unable to transfer this program from the PC world to the CPC world (like myself) and would like to try it please send a SAE + disc to me and I will copy it for you.
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: GeoffB17 on 02:18, 14 August 18
Hm, yes, sounds very interesting, BUT, I've not got any sort of CPC so I assume it would be no use to me.

I play around with quite a bit of midi stuff, PC based.   Various pieces of software, incl some I've written myself, to play and manipulate midi files/music.   Various devices attached to one of my old PCs, connected via a Roland LAPC-I card.   Recently finally got around to trying a bit of 'virtual synth' stuff, using soundfonts, which bypasses the sound modules I've got.   Interesting, but I'm feeling the older stuff sounds more natural.

I've got an old PC (DOS) version of 'Band-in-a-Box' which is getting into the same sort of field as the system referred to here, although BiaB does not 'compose' any melody, just the backing stuff based on a melody, or chords for the melody, that is entered.   Again, the actual sounds are generated via midi, and would be dependant on external units.   Or the Roland card mentioned (which is in effect a MT-32 box on a card, with MPU interface added).   Got a Yamaha MU90r and a Korg NS5R connected up here.

Do keep thinking about trying to get a midi interface built for my PCW?   Got a possible circuit diagram.   But, the old PC does quite OK, and the Roland card will never work with the PCW, so prob no point?

Geoff
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: GeoffB17 on 02:56, 14 August 18
Well, out of academic interest....

I've downloaded the .zip, unzipped it, and found a .DSK file.

I've looked inside this, and I note there are two relatively small .BAS files (which seem to be 'encoded' BASIC, the only readable bits seem to be messages to anyone who might be trying to 'hack' the software.


I would guess that the software isn't big enough to do too much?

Which suggests that the system is driven, not be the programme, but by the data.   So almost all of the cleverness comes from the data, so the key to understanding how the system works will be in understanding the data

Interesting to investigate.

Geoff
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 07:26, 14 August 18
Hi GeoffB17,

Possibly you could try running it using WinApe or one of the other CPC emulators on your PC?

Also I think that the basic file may just be the loader for the 29K binary file but I'm not 100% on that.

Cheers,

Peter
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: GeoffB17 on 17:43, 14 August 18
Yes, your suggestion is probably better.

I've looked again at the disk data, and you can get the file sizes from the directory area.   The main prog - MCOMP.BAS - is 1k only, which is surely not enough to do anything useful, although it WOULD be OK for a loader, i.e. to load MUSCODE.BIN (29k) into memory.

Some of the data in the BIN file looks like it could be machine code, other code looks more likely to be graphics data.

The separate program COMPODEMO (and it's DEMCODE.BIN data)  seems to have even more graphics stuff in, which sounds reasonable for a demo.

No hints as to how the actual sounds are produced.   I assume using the usual CPC sound facilities?

I don't think it would be useful to try playing with any of the emulators, as I have ZERO understanding of any CPC machines and would prob be quite lost with understanding an emulator.   When I'm using the Joyce system for the PCW, it's a big help to be pretty familiar with the real PCW, as I always know what the emulator is SUPPOSED to be doing.

Geoff
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 12:06, 15 August 18
Hi Geoff,

I occasionally use WinApe on a Windows 8 laptop and find it easy to use. It has many sophisticated functions but I don't need them as I only require it to Run various programs.

All that you need to do is:

1. Download WinApe from here:
    http://www.winape.net/downloads.jsp (http://www.winape.net/downloads.jsp)

2. Launch WinApe. The standard CPC screen will be displayed on your monitor.
3. Load DSK file using the usual Windows file menu (select Drive A).
4. If necessary CATalogue the DSK to see what loaders there are.
5. RUN the appropriate loader - IE type Run"Compodem, hit the Enter key and take it from  there.

Cheers,

Peter
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: GeoffB17 on 21:17, 16 August 18
Thanks for the info.   I'll keep that in mind should I ever need a new project!

For what it's worth, I have at least extracted the files from the .DSK image, using Joyce and some other utilities of John Elliott's.   The image was of the 'Extended' type even though I'm not sure that 'Extended was necessary.   Anyway, I can look into the files more easily now.

The FIRST file on the disk, called -.BIN, was in fact 'hidden' by dint of being set as user 15, while the other files were the default user 0.   Does the CPC OS (as opposed to CP/M)  support the User Areas?   Part of the author's copy protection scheme?

Geoff
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 21:44, 16 August 18
Hi Geoff,

I had to use Xexor, which copies almost any CPC disc, to copy the disc I have here.
Yes, I think that you are correct in your conjecture that the inclusion of the file in user area 15 was some kind of early copy protection.
User areas 1 - 15 were supported by Amsdos but were really only useful on the large format 3.5" B drives sold by 3rd party companies back in the nineties.

Cheers,

Peter
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: TomEtJerry on 22:29, 16 August 18
Hi,

This is a nice piece of code ! It's remind a program done by Sid Meier, https://www.giantbomb.com/cpu-bach/3030-36822/.

Fortunately for Soundtrakker/Starkos/Arkos tracker users, music can't be exported to binary files and used in other programs  :D .
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: GeoffB17 on 23:15, 16 August 18
Hmm, I looked at the link about the Sid Meier program.

I liked the reference to 'the famous composer Johann Sebastien Bach'   Gosh, was there another Johann Sebastien Bach??

Geoff
Title: Re: MasterComposer by Westhill Music
Post by: ComSoft6128 on 21:31, 17 August 18
And thanks to fgbrain for the original post looking for this program.
Without it, Mastercomposer would still be stored in a box with many
other discs, perhaps to be found months or even years from now.

And thanks as well to arnoldemu for transferring it to a format for download.

Cheers,

Peter