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Tune-o-tron Upgraded


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#1 Paul Schwartz

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 04:29 PM

Yes, I finally got around to taking Jon Freeman's advice and I swapped the ABC converting engine behind the ABC converter from abc2ps to the most recent version (5.4.2 specifically) of abcm2ps. Everything still seems to work okay, but it did take some tweaking, so let me know if anything is now broken, and also do let me know if it works better now and solves any conversion problems you were having before (it's MUCH more recent, so hopefully the output will indeed now be improved and more functional).

Next on deck is an upgrade of the midi conversion engine, as suggested by Colin Hume. I'm working on it...

Thanks,

Paul

#2 Paul Schwartz

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 08:10 AM

The Midi conversion engine has also now been updated to the latest version. It should be more consistent and full-featured now.

Paul

#3 Nicholas

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 11:15 AM

Where do I access these tools? Can I download them on my PC for future use?

#4 Pete Dunk

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 12:23 PM

The Tune-O-Tron is here and the Convert-A-Matic is here. You use them online, no need to download anything. :)

#5 Jon Freeman

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 04:21 PM

The Tune-O-Tron is here and the Convert-A-Matic is here. You use them online, no need to download anything. :)

There is also a sort of yes answer to the downloading. It depends what you want to do and perhaps your computer experience. If you are doing a lot and want to use abcm2ps to the full (something I don't do) it might be worthwhile.

The programs that do the work are abcm2ps and abc2midi from the abcmidi. Depending on your system (32 bit Win is OK), you may find binaries on the abc plus pages. The abcplus guide would also be a handy download.

On top of this you may need something to display and/or print postscript. Ghostscript is a popular choice for that.

The abc programs are command line programs - something you may or may not be familiar with using - and can work with a text file made with any suitable editor like Notepad. I believe some text editors that can create macors to automate some tasks and that there are some more "special purpose" editors around for handling abc.

An alternative form of "automation" is the type of conversion utility provided here. You need to install a web server, some scripting language (eg. Appache and php) and have a suitable script(s) for that. Apache/php is easy enough on something like my (Suse) Linux box which has the web programs in the distribution but I can't imagine anyone wanting to do it just to convert abc.

#6 Nicholas

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 07:06 AM

I'm sorry; I didn't make my question clear. What I meant was, where on this web site can I easily access these tools, so that I don't have to look for the specific post where folks have been kind enough to add the link? The download question was really so that I could have an icon on my desktop, if possible, for easy access.

#7 Pete Dunk

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 07:18 AM

Just follow the two links I posted and then bookmark or add them to your favourites depending on your browser. You can also go to the http://www.concertina.net home page and click on the Tune-O-Tron link in the menu at the top of the page. I'm not sure that creating a desktop shortcut icon to a web page is even possible but if it is I don't know how you would do it.

#8 Jon Freeman

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:25 AM

I'm not sure that creating a desktop shortcut icon to a web page is even possible but if it is I don't know how you would do it.


Yes it's possible but methods would vary from system to system.

If you want to get the URL from a link, a right click will probably give an option like Firefox's "Copy Link Location". This may save some typing and or copy errors when you need to supply it for the shortcut as you can paste it.

The 2 systems I've running at the moment are:

Windows Vista.
Right click on a blank area of the desktop.
Goto: New->Shortcut.
Supply the URL when prompted for the location of the item
Click Next
Supply a name
Click Finish

KDE on Linux
Right click on a blank area of the desktop
Goto: Create New->Link To Location(URL)
Supply a name for the shortcut where it asks for filename and supply the URL in the other box.
Click OK

Others are probably very similar.

#9 David Barnert

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 05:07 PM

I've hit a snag.

I've been using the tune-convert page successfully for years but now when I hit the midi link, I get the QuickTime blue Q for a moment and then it disappears to be replaced by this (as the window appears on my macintosh):

midi.jpg

If I then choose "save as" from the file menu, I can save the midi file and play it in QuickTime, but for some reason, AOL no longer plays it automatically. I haven't changed any helper app preferences.

Here's another suggestion: Instead of sounding like a piano, why not make the midi files sound like a concertina? There's a nice concertina sound font here (2/3 the way down the page).

#10 bellowbelle

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 11:15 PM

I've hit a snag..................................................


I've noticed that several of my own tune entries won't appear on the page anymore, unless I change a few things. There are a few where I had non-numerical stuff for X. For istance, I'd had something like:
X: v1 (highlighted here)
T: title of songs
C: composer is me
M:
Q:
K:
etc............

Once I changed my v1 to 111 or whatever, then hit Update Record, things were fine, except for....

one other detail....

I noticed that most of the songs I'd given a Q: value to -- like, Q: 140 or something -- had all changed tempo and were twice as fast. The numbers were changed, even -- one of the 140s was changed to 240. I know I didn't have that there, before. So, I'll gradually fix those.

I realize that you're referring to the Converter, Dave, and not to a tune previously submitted to the Tune-O-Tron, but I'm wondering if some small change in your use of code would help? Though, probably you've tried that!

#11 Jon Freeman

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 05:27 AM

Re the X:

In the 1.6 standard and the 1.76 draft, it is referred to just as a reference number which I suppose is a little open to interpretations.

In the 2.0 draft (there have only been drafts after 1.6), it is stated that the reference number should be a positive integer.

-----
I can offer a view on the MIDI sound suggestion:

It is possible to change the instrument in abc (at least some programs including abc2midi supports it) using %%MIDI program channel patch, eg.

%%MIDI program 1 21
should make a single voice abc play using an accordion.

I don't know how one would set it to use an instrument not in the General MIDI set (and concertina isn't) though.

I think there is another problem with the suggestion. That is MIDI's only contain the instructions for a synth (often a sound card) to "perform" the misic and the MIDI can have no control over whether a particular sound font or instrument outside GM is on a particular user's machine.

Also, in my experience, sound cards vary tremendously in quality and IMO the most reliable "sound passable on anything" sound is the default, ie. grand piano.

#12 David Barnert

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 04:26 PM

There is nonconformity among abc software packages on exactly how the Q: line is interpreted. The abc 1.6 standard (as noted above, the last official standard) says:

Q - tempo; can be used to specify the notes per minute, e.g. if the default note length is an eighth note then Q:120 or Q:C=120 is 120 eighth notes per minute. Similarly Q:C3=40 would be 40 dotted quarter notes per minute. An absolute tempo may also be set, e.g. Q:1/8=120 is also 120 eighth notes per minute, irrespective of the default note length.

But many people (including some software designers) either intentionally or mistakenly assume that the Q: number means "beats per minute," with "beats" defined as the lower note in the time signature (ie, usually quarter notes), rather than the default (or L:) note length (ie, usually eighth notes) as is made clear in the standard.

I don't know the ins and outs of which software package has it right and which has it wrong, but I suspect that is the explanation for at least part of Wendy's trouble.

Now let me think through the math (I really should have done this before I started typing!)...

Wendy says the tunes are playing twice the intended speed, so quarter notes (crochets) are going by at the speed of eighth notes (quavers). So if she wrote Q:100 (or whatever) and the old software was interpreting this as eighth notes (correct, according to the standard) and the new software is counting quarters instead, then the tune would indeed play too fast.

I am surprised by this result (I thought the old software would turn out wrong). abc2ps was written very early in the development of abc (mid 90s) and abcm2ps came several years later, after everybody understood the trickiness of the Q: definition in abc 1.6. I haven't had a good look at Wendy's abc code, so I don't know whether to conclude that in fact abcm2ps (the new software) has it wrong or if something in the way she's stating her Q: lines is confusing the software (as her X: lines are).

#13 Jon Freeman

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 06:33 PM

I think it unlikely abcmp2s has it wrong. Have we got an example (I'm not following your reference)?

Possibly it is an issue with M: ??

From the 2.0 draft:

3.1.7. L: - unit note length

Specifies the unit note length, i.e. L:1/4 - quarter note, L:1/8 - eighth note, L:1/16 - sixteenth, L:1/32 - thirty-second.

If there is no L: field defined, a unit note length is set by default, based on the meter field M:. This default is calculated by computing the meter as a decimal: if it is less than 0.75 the default unit note length is a sixteenth note; if it is 0.75 or greater, it is an eighth note. For example, 2/4 = 0.5, so, the default unit note length is a sixteenth note, while for 4/4 = 1.0, or 6/8 = 0.75, or 3/4= 0.75, it is an eighth note. For M:C (4/4), M:C| (2/2) and M:none (free meter), the default unit note length is 1/8.

#14 Jon Freeman

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 06:40 PM

hmm - brains not really in gear here... sorry. To many tunes in a session tonight will be my excuse :-)

Playing speed (as in listening to it) is not an abcm2ps issue - tha'ts abc2midi. The most abcm2ps might do is print a symbol indicating the tempo.

#15 Jon Freeman

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 08:28 AM

Have just had a look at the Londonderry Hornpipe (must learn parts 4-6 btw - have 1-2 under another name) which starts:

X: 1
T: Londonderry Hornpipe, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q: 300

By my thinking, abcm2ps should be showing 1/8 note=300 (or I suppose 1/4=150) but it shows 1/4 note=300. As far as I can make out abc2midi (or at least later versions) seems to have the same interpretation as abcm2ps.

Perhaps one for the abcusers list?? I'd ask there but I've had so much trouble with yahoo groups not accepting mail from me, I've given up trying to use it. The only comment I've found trying to search archives is that some programs may have stopped supporting the Q: 300 format (apparently it is deprecated in 2.0 but not removed).

#16 chris

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 10:26 AM

And there I was thinking that this forum was in english :blink: :blink:
chris

#17 Pete Dunk

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 05:04 PM

Have just had a look at the Londonderry Hornpipe (must learn parts 4-6 btw - have 1-2 under another name) which starts:

X: 1
T: Londonderry Hornpipe, The
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q: 300

By my thinking, abcm2ps should be showing 1/8 note=300 (or I suppose 1/4=150) but it shows 1/4 note=300. As far as I can make out abc2midi (or at least later versions) seems to have the same interpretation as abcm2ps.


I posted this version of the Londonderry Hornpipe on the Tune-O-Tron and set the Q value, I also rewrote the abc file in the correct notation for a hornpipe so that the midi file played pretty much as it should sound. I too was surprised that it shows a quaver as 300 in the published notation when the default note length is a semiquaver.

To be fair I think the whole idea of abc and the associated tools is to give a good representation of the tune in question which players can pick up and run with rather than a slavishly accurate manuscript for accomplished sight readers.

I'm pleased you now have a full version of the tune but what have you got against the third part? <_< :D :P

#18 Jon Freeman

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 06:36 PM

To be fair I think the whole idea of abc and the associated tools is to give a good representation of the tune in question which players can pick up and run with rather than a slavishly accurate manuscript for accomplished sight readers.


I do like software to work as documented but I'm pretty much with you there.

I'm pleased you now have a full version of the tune but what have you got against the third part? <_< :D :P



Opps - LOL.




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