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Using Quicktime with FTS

Special note for QuickTime users

See also the next section Updating your QT installation for use with FTS

If you have Quicktime installed as many do, it will pass these tests - if it plays the clips at all. However, some find that nothing happens when you click on the clip. Instead you see a film strip icon with the lower right corner torn off. If this happens you need to update quicktime - visit the Quicktime Installation Check page to see if it needs to be updated and to update it..

You can use Quicktime to play midi clips in web pages. It's fine for that. However there is another way of using it where it may not work quite so well - you can also use it to play music in Fractal Tune Smithy in real time, by selecting it from the Out menu in Fractal Tune Smithy.

You may find that though you have QuickTime installed, you can't find it in the Out Menu in FTS or the small test program here. If so then you are probably missing some components that are needed to use QT in this way. See Updating your QT installation for use with FTS.

When you use Quicktime in real time like this, then there are some limitations. It works reasonably well when played using the PC or music keyboard.

However, the timings of the fractal tunes in QT are a little erratic when played in real time rather than from a midi clip. It seems to work better for some tunes than others. Even when it is erratic the effect is sometimes quite nice with some of the tunes. Worth a try.

Quicktime has some limitations in the way the pitch bends get applied. It seems that the new pitches need to be applied at least a quarter of a second before the note gets played. If you set FTS up to work like this then it causes occasional quarter second pauses in some of the fractal tunes with more complex tunings - usually ones in which the tuning changes as it progressses, fibonacci tonescapes, non octave scales, ...With many of the tunes however, the pitch bends all get set at the start of the tune and never need to be changed so this may not be such a great limitation as you would think.

The best thing may be to just use Quicktime in FTS for previewing your tunes. FTS has an option to save your current tune as a midi clip, make a web page on your hard disk with the tune embedded in it, and then show it like that - that is all done in one go with a click on the button. If you do that, it will give crisp timings in QT and also overcome its pitch limitations when played from FTS in real time. So if you use Quicktime to play the fractal tunes, one approach is to use FTS to audition them when editing it, bearing in mind the real time limitations of QT, and then use this save and play as web page option to hear the final result when it is ready.

You can find this option in FTS from Bs | Record to file options | (Play by file association...) As Html... You would record the midi clip first, or save it in FTS using File | Save As | Files of type Midi clip - then use this button to preview it in a web page format.


Updating your QT installation for use with FTS

This may be necessary if you want to have a go at playing Quicktime directly from within FTS. This has some limitations and isn't so satisfactory as a sound card synth or even the Roland or Yamaha soft synths - see previous section Special note for QuickTime users - but if you have nothing else, it is useful for hearing chords and previewing fractal tunes.

Try the test program in Test my Sound card / synth and look in its out menu - or if you have FTS installed already then look in its out Menu.

If you don't see Quicktime there, the missing component is a dll called QTJavaNative.dll and you also need the Roland instruments. You need to install Java 1.2 as well. There's no need to uninstall your existing version of QT.

Go to the Quicktime Download page . You may find it is easiest to use the stand alone installer (then it is easy to try it again if it doesn't work first time).

Install Quicktime. Be sure to choose Custom Install .

Be sure to also answer No if it asks if you want it to handle all the Windows or Internet file associations it can handle such as gifs, bitmaps, etc etc (unless you want it to of course) - generally most windows users have already got other programs set up to handle these things.

Choose to install Quicktime Music , and Quicktime for Java . as well as Quicktime Essentials (you should have that last one already have if you have QT installed). The dll FTS particularly needs to have installed is one called QTJavaNative.dll.

If at this point you find you can't install Quicktime for Java, then it probably means you don't yet have the Java 2 runtime Environment installed

You can get it from and you want the Java Standard edition for Windows. Install it and try again.

There's a possibility that Apple might drop support for this option to let other programs call it in real time - because of a change in Java which makes it more difficult to do. However they seem to have kept it so far :-).



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