Contents of the VMUSIC.DOC file
VMUSIC -- User's Guide
VMUSIC is a program designed to do what other music programs
can't do: play actual 3-part music on any PC. As you know, the
IBM PC was designed to handle only one tone at a time. VMUSIC
breaks that barrier.
Install VMUSIC by copying all of the files included with the
program on a floppy disk or into a directory on your hard disk.
If you're using a floppy disk system, you may want to make your
VMUSIC disk into a self-booting disk. To do this, format a
blank disk with the /S switch. Once this is done, copy the
VMUSIC files onto the new disk.
Start VMUSIC with the command: VMUSIC filename. Several sample
song files are included. To play the song "Greensleeves," for
example, give the command this way:
Next, you'll be prompted for two numbers. The first controls the
speed at which the song is played. The second controls the
overall pitch of the notes played by VMUSIC. You'll see
suggestions for numbers for PCs with various clock speeds. You'll
have to experiment to find the ideal values for your own PC.
Once you determine those values, they should apply to all the
songs you want to play.
VMUSIC can also be started with three command-line arguments:
1. Song file name
2. Tempo value
3. Value to set relative pitch
A typical command line for a 12 MHZ AT might be:
VMUSIC GREEN -8 6
Negative numbers may be used for tempo on really fast ATs or 386
VMUSIC was first written for PCs and the first ATs (6 MHZ), but
the world has since moved to 10-12 MHZ ATs and is moving to
386 machines. This version will sound right on all of them.
Here are some values for tempo and pitch parameters to try with
PC TYPE Tempo Pitch
4.77 MHZ PC 10 1
8 MHZ XT 0 2
6 MHZ AT -2 3
12 MHZ AT -8 6
VMUSIC should be able to play music for about 25 continuous
minutes, ample for most purposes. It will output a total count
of notes to the screen for a given song and this count may go as
high as 30,000. For reference, BABYLON has about 400 notes.
CUSTOM BATCH FILES:
Once you determine the best numbers for VMUSIC tempo and pitch
parameters, you can automate the process with a simple batch file.
Use a text editor like SLED to create the batch file. You can
also use your word processor, but save the file as a pure ASCII
file. Consult your word processor's manual for instructions.
For example, using the sample command for an 8 MHZ XT, as shown
above, here is a batch file, called VM.BAT.
ECHO OFF REM Turns off command display on screen.
CLS REM Clears the screen.
VMUSIC %1 0 2 REM Starts VMUSIC with the song named as %1.
Now, to start VMUSIC, just give the command VM, followed by the
name of the song file. The command might look like this:
The batch file supplies the necessary speed and pitch parameters.
Naturally, you'll replace the values shown in the sample file with
the ones that work best on your own PC.
WRITING YOUR OWN SONG FILES:
You can create your own song files for VMUSIC, using a text
editor, like SLED, or any other editor that can save files as
pure ASCII files. Enter the music by typing in the commands, as
described below. VMUSIC ignores carriage returns, so you can
format the file any way you like.
Each voice is a separate part of the file. Write one complete set
of instructions for each voice, then add the next voice.
VMUSIC uses the same syntax as BASICA/GWBASIC's PLAY statement for
its song files. In addition, you add another command to tell
VMUSIC which voice each line represents. All characters entered
can be either upper or lower case.
Here are the commands used in VMUSIC song files, presented in the
order you are most likely to use. Note: Do not include the
parentheses () when typing commands.
This command tells VMUSIC which voice each line represents.
Replace (n) with a number from 1 to 3. Voice 1 is usually the top
line in sheet music, although you can use any order you wish.
This command sets the tempo for your tune. Use a
number from 32-255 for (n). The tempo you select will remain in
effect until it is changed.
The "O" command sets the octave. Choose a value from
0-6 for (n). As with the "T" command, the octave setting remains in
effect until changed. Middle C is in octave 3.
The "M" command changes the way each note is played. An
"ML" command plays each note full length. To play each note for 7/8
of its value, use the command "MN." For staccato notes, each played
for 3/4 of its value, the command is "MS." These commands remain in
effect until changed.
These are the actual notes used in "Vmusic" tune
strings. They represent the normal notes of the scale. Specify the
length for each note with a value for (n) between 1 and 64. Each
number represents a type of note. For example, 1 represents a whole
note, 4 is a quarter note, which gets one beat, and so on. Triplet
figures are formed with note lengths that are multiples of 3.