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Window 169

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C Sound Instruments for Parts

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C Sound Instruments for Parts

C Sound Instruments for Parts

Set the instruments to use for CSound save and play in CSound AV...

These instruments are used for CSound only. For normal playback the instruments in Parts (Ctrl + 9) are used.

How to get here

Ctrl + 169 or Ctrl + CSound

How to use this window

Highlight the parts you want to change. Then set the volume or octave shift or instrument names using the fields below. You can also use Instruments (Ctrl + 8), Non Melodic Percussion (Ctrl + 21) or Wave Shape Player Instruments (Ctrl + 196) together with this window - when you select an instrument from the menus, the instrument in the highlighted part here will change.


Select the part you want to highlight

The part number can be used in many places in Tune Smithy, and is the equivalent of a Midi Out channel in FTS. You can't use Midi channels directly as the notes for a single part often have to be relayed to many different channels for retuning purposes.

To make sure that FTS does the channel mapping optimally for your current out device(s), run the Out Devices Capabilities Wizard in the Out menu. If you want to customise which channels are used in detail, use Midi Output Channels for Parts and Polyphony (Ctrl + 60)

What is a part

In a program without instant pitch bend retuning, this window would just show the midi out channels. However when you use pitch bends to change the tuning of the scale, it is the software that deals with the midi out channels rather than the user. The user doesn't work at that level at all (normally). So we need another way of working with instruments, volumes etc, so we need the Parts to take the place of channels.

Why are parts needed

This is why: To play a chord, say the just intonation major chord 1/1 5/4 3/2, using midi pitch bends, you have to play the notes on different output channels - for instance the 1/1 may be played on channel 1, the 5/4 on channel 2 and the 3/2 on channel 3. That's because the pitch bend is set for a channel as a whole in MIDI (normally anyway). This happens automatically in FTS, notes change channel frequently to let them be retuned correctly and smoothly. So notes of a single chord or melodic phrase will often be spread out over several midi channels. This sort of thing is something software can be programmed to keep track of in a routine (though complicated) fashion, but is mind boggling for a user of the software.

So as a user of the software, you need something else to work with rather than Midi out channels, and that's where the Parts come in. You just set up a part much as you would do for a channel in twelve equal type Midi work. You set it up with a midi instrument, controllers, pan position etc. You don't need to worry about the techy details of which midi out channels to send all the pitch bends and other messages to. FTS keeps track of all those details for you. The software will send the notes on whatever channel is appropriate, depending on its records of which notes have been sent on them previously - and it will also set the pitch bends accordingly for each channel, and also send any controllers and other messages to the correct channels as well.

What if I want to see which midi channels are used by the parts

However, if you are interested to see where the notes did get relayed to, just show the Out | Notes in Play - Midi Out (Ctrl + 47) window. In the More version of that window, you will see the notes currently in play for the part listed by output channel, with the pitch bends in cents for each channel.

You will find that notes that need the same pitch bend often share channels, for instance all the 5/4s may play on one channel, or notes a quarter tone sharp or flat or whatever may all get played on the same channel - as long as they have the same requirements in terms of other controllers such as pan position etc.

So for instance, notes in twenty four equal (quarter tone) only need two channels, one for the "standard" 12-et notes and one for all the notes a quarter tone sharp (or flat). Notes in any pentatonic scale only need five channels at most for the pitch bends, a seven note scale only needs seven channels at most, and a twelve note octave repeating scale needs only twelve channels to play all the notes (if the controllers and pan positions are the same) - less if there are any 12-et intervals in the scale.

C-Sound Instrument - for rendering or CSAV

CSound instruments to play for the parts...

These are the instruments that will be used for the CSound rendering. You can also hear them played directly in CSoundAV if you relay it to CSound via e.g.Midi YokeNT - see the C-SoundAV window for more.

C-Sound Instrument - for rendering or CSAV

Choose from drop list of CSound instruments or enter new name...

The instrument gets selected into the highlighted part(s)

If you enter a new name here then press the Edit button you

get a template for making a new instrument with instructions

explaining each of the new sections in the CSD file

used in the automated orchestra building.

Refresh drop list

Refresh the drop list - if you add new instruments yourself this is useful


Edit the selected instrument in the drop list of CSound instruments...

To start a new instrument, enter a new name in the drop list selection

field then press this button.

You will then get a template for making a new instrument with instructions

explaining each of the new sections in the CSD file

used in the automated orchestra building.

Uses the association with .csd files. If there is no association then it

opens it in your text editor, e.g. notepad. If you want to open it in the text

editor anyway then use Alt + Click. (Or Caps lock held down + click).

To see the CSound score and orchestra used for the instrument preview

play button in the CSound Instruments window last time it was played, 

use Shift + click on this button.

Params p4, p5, ...

The parameters for the highlighted instrument...

Usually with comments to explain how to use them.

Any changes here won't affect the saved instrument in any way so feel free to experiment as you like. If it doesn't work out, usually you get no sound, or maybe an error message - if so, just reselect the instrument from the drop list to get back to the preset values of the parameters.

The PCH MIDI CPS are various ways of setting the pitch - different instruments expect the pitch to be given in differen formats, and this lets FTS know which type it expects so that it can be passed appropriate numbers to achieve the desired pitches. You can normally just leave those as they are.

Similarly, DB, AMP and VEL are all ways of setting the volume (amp, velocity). Again you can just leave those normally

Any F parameters here are tables - you can try other numbers but only if there are tables of that type available in the score header section for the instrument. If a bit CSound techy you can easily edit the instrument to add more tables to its header. Keep the F so if it is say F31 and you want table 30, change that to F20 - without any spaces there.

You can use formulae, except with PCH. So for instance CPS/2 to transpose down by an octave. Similarlhy VEL*10 to boost the volume, and so on. Currently PCH can't be used in formulae. Do any formulae without spaces.

The most usual cause of no sound or error messages is to have too few or too many parameters. Make sure you add no extra spaces in the formulae, and that you keep the same number of numbers. With tables, make sure you keep the F in place and with no space immediately after it, and it will only work if you select numbers for tables included in the instrument.

If it doesn't work out just reselect from the drop list and start again, and begin with a simple change. E.g. just change one of the numbers a bit and see what happens, e.g. the attack or decay if the instrument has those parameters, or whatever the instructions suggest you try changing.

Techy details for the curious:

DB is decibels, AMP is raw amplitude, VEL is midi velocity, PCH is a special format - the number before the decimal point is the octave and the first two places of number after is the number of equal tempered semitones. You can continue with more places for fractional semitone. So . 6.0386 is 386 cents above the C of the 6th octave. But FTS will do all that automatically - you only need to know if you are curious - if so then you may want to look at the score and compare with the parameters here to understand how it works.

In the score, a typical format is:

i100.3 0.4 2.2 7.04604 64

the i starts the instruction. The 100 is the instrument number - FTS renumbers the instruments so instrument 1 becomes instrument 100 after the automated building, and instrument 2 becomes 200 and so on - to give plenty of numbers to use for any subsidiary instruments that may be needed for each one.

The .3 is an optional carry instruction - it says that this is the third note in the current chord for this instrument. You need this whenever you make chords of notes played simultaneously with the same instrument number. So the first note in a chord for instrument 100 is done as a note for instrument 100.1, the second is for 100.2 and so on, all essentially the same insturment.

the 0.4 is the time the note starts (measured from the start of the score).

The 2.2 is how long to play the note for.

Then after those three typical parameters you get the extra parameters that can vary and be anything in any order. Often however, a pitch comes next, then a volume. The 7.04604 is a pitch parameter in the PCH format - then a volume follows, here it is a midi velocity. Then follow various other parameters as needed - attack, release, tables, all sorts of possibilities and no particular standard order after that.

C-Sound Opts...

Includes CSound volume, reverb, audio format, etc. and save for fractal tune or metronome...

Play Highilght in C-Sound AV

Play the highlighted instrument in real time using CSound AV...

This will start up CSound AV set to play the highlighted instrument. You need to route the notes to CSoundAV via e.g. Midi Yoke NT or any similar software that you can use to route midi events from one program to another. The program also needs to be installed. When you press this button you will get instructions about how to get it if it isn't installed and what to do to set which device it should use to receive the midi events, and which audio device it should use to play the sounds.

Configure Play in C-S AV...

Configure how the instrument gets played in CSound AV

Stereo Pan..

Set stereo pan positions for each part for a more immersive experience...

You can use this to place individual instruments in different locations to get a more immersive experience. For instance in a string quartet, the violin is to left, then second violin, then viola then cello in that order.

See also #Standard orchestral layout below.


Configures the preview play button so that it plays directly to audio


Configures the preview play button so that it renders to a file then plays

; (semicolon) Play Seed

Preview highlighted CSound instrument. Plays at most 3 secs for file option...

If you have it set to play to audio then there is no limit. But if you have it set to render to a file first, then it plays at most 3 seconds. That's to prevent making a long recording that may take a while to render.

Hold down Ctrl while you press the button to increase the time limit to 30 seconds.

All the csound notes get saved first - then the entire recording gets rendered then played.

If you stop it before the notes are completely rendered then the recording will be incomplete and won't be a valid WAV file, so won't be played.

This only applies to sequences or the notes that start a broken chord. If you set a long sustain for the chord or broken chord this button will sustain the chord for as long as you set it to play. The number of notes in the arpeggiated part of the broken chord will be limited to 3 seconds (or 30 seconds) again, but it can sustain as long as you like at the end.

This button is just meant as a way to preview the instrument to get a first idea of what it will sound like.

Other options:

Hold down Shift when you press the button to show the renderer - normally it gets hidden with this button - while it is normally shown with the button to render a file and you use Shift to hide it in that case.

Wait for it to show up before you release the shift key - if you press and release quickly then possibly it may not yet have started at that point.

This next option is useful if you are using Winsound as the renderer (rather than consound or csound) :

Hold down Alt to skip the option to automatically click OK to Winsound when it is finished rendering - this is useful if you want to take a look at what it has done before it closes

To see the actual CSound score and orchestra used to play the notes, use Shift + click the Edit button (which normally edits the instrument, but Shift + click will edit the most recent score and orchestra used for this play preview). This can be useful for debugging new instruments particularly, as you can then compile it and find out where the error is right away.

\ (back slash) Options for play scale / arpeggio / seed

Arpeggio and scale playback options - ascending, descending, both and more

Less <<

Shows this window with either less space, less options, or alternative layout

Help = F1

Click for help for this window. Or F1. Other opts: Shift , Alt, Ctrl + click...

F1 or click shows the help for the current window in your web browser.

Some windows may have no help yet in which case the help icon is shown crossed out with a red line.

Shift + F1 or Shift + Click brings up the tool tips extra help window (this window) to show any extra help for a tool tip.

You can tell if a tool tip has extra help if it ends ... like this one.

Ctrl + F1 or Ctrl + click takes you to the list of keyboard shortcuts for Tune Smithy.

Alt + F1 or Alt + click (alternatively Caps lock physically held down + F1 or Click) takes you to the on-line page at the web site about the current main window task - which gives a short introduction to it for newbies to the program. If there is no on-line page specific to a task, takes you to the main tune smithy page on the web site.

Since the help for Tune Smithy is currently a bit out of date and needs to be redone completely for the new 3.0 release, then you may find the on-line page for some of the newer tasks particularly useful.

Organise Windows = F2

Reset, or Save settings for this window. RIGHT CLICK for all windows menu...

Shows the Organise windows window - which you can use to reset all the parameters for the current window.

You can also use it to save the settings for just this window, or open previously saved parameters for just this window.

Also has a drop list of all the windows and their shortcuts, and related options - some to do with the menu listing, and some to do with window resizing and minimising.

Other Dialog Star

Tip of the day - For All category - right click for neighbouring windows...

Left click for a tip of the day in this category.

Right click to see a menu of neighbouring windows.

The neighbours are the ones you most often move to after this one or within a minute of this one, arranged by popularity.

So as you continue to use FTS, it will learn your habits, and the neighbouring windows listed here, should be the ones you most often visit after this one.

Neighbours, and Previous - Up - Next

Parts (Ctrl + 9)

N.B. This list of neighbours may change when these pages are updated.

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