My BBC Master - - - getting Beeped-off.

Richmond Mathewson geradamas at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 11 05:47:11 EDT 2009


In view of what this thread has brought to light I would like to
point out that there seems to be some confusion between:

1. Playing Music in the way that Hypercard did:

http://www.cs.sfu.ca/CC/SW/HyperCard/TeachHC/hcsound/hcmusic.html

2. Playing Music by manipulating sound files imported into
   Runtime Revolution via 
                          play audioClip

and

3. Playing Music by reading Midi files.

My initial interest was in type 1; and remains so, as I feel it
is the way that allows the most control via coding over PITCH,
LOUDNESS and DURATION. The fact that Runtime Revolution appears
to contain these capabilities seems to contradict the claim that
Scott Rainey did not make proviso for this possibility.

To reiterate, a quick 'poke' in the RR Documentation reveals this:

beepDuration

beepLoudness

beepPitch

which were introduced in version 1.0. However, these terms seem to
be 'quiescent' insofar as they are ineffective under something like
99% of the operating systems used by RR Developers.

Indeed, if I type 'beep' into my Message Box and press Enter, nothing
happens!

Now, I may be a bit naive, BUT my BBC Master is some 20 years old,
and has 96 Kb RAM: in other words, it is positively Neolithic (well,
that is a bit metaphorical as it is made from Plastic and Metal, and
not Stone). However, it possesses 4 sound channels; all part of the
physical capabilities of the hardware.

In our "modern" age (one of the words I dislike most is 'modern') we have
computers that are vastly more powerful and capable than my 'toy'
computer. Surely, even if "modern" computers don't have hard-wired
sound channels, they can be manipulated via software to produce the
same effect???????????

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It is, frankly, an easy, albeit tedious, piece of work to churn out
individual sound files from some program that produces notes (c.f.
Sibelius) for each semitone on the musical scale; and then import
them into a stack, and then code to play audioClips. The end result
would be a clunky great bit of software using extremely inelegant
and clumsy code that would produce something quite different from
what Hypercard can do.

This is not leveraging some inbuilt capability of Runtime Revolution,
but an unsatisfactory fudge.

The same could be said about add-ons or plug-ins.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Being a bit b*tchy, I see that Runtime Revolution is making a "big thing"
about improved graphic capabilities in version 3.0:

http://www.runrev.com/whats-new/graphics-enhancements/

which is jolly nice; although, I, for one, am convinced anyone who
really wants some halfway decent graphics is going to do that work
outwith Runtime Revolution.

It would seem that digital note production is quite a bit more
'primitive' than 'jolly graphics'; and, as such (as well as
Runtime Revolution's claim to be able to cope with HC stacks),
should be a given.

----------------------------------

sincerely, Richmond Mathewson.
____________________________________________________________

A Thorn in the flesh is better than a failed Systems Development Life Cycle.
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