Quasar Software have been busy again and have dished up another program for the omnipresent Yamaha DX7. It takes the hassle out of programming a digital synthesizer from the front panel and a 17 character LCD. It follows along the design of their DX21/27/100 Voice Editor which was delivered to the motel for Issue 53. Quasar's software currently only runs on the Music Machine but there are plans to release it for other interfaces soon.
The main screen display shows the six operators and the shape of the envelope for each one. SPACE bar jumps the editing marker around the screen. Once In the main editing area the left and right cursors take over to define the peripheral you're working on. Maybe it would have been nice to have a display of exactly which peripheral of the envelope you are working on, as quite often you want to copy voices in from printed out 'patches' (as the sound charts are called by the cognoscenti). The graphic display reacts quickly to any changes and the definition of the small graphs is good. Bar graphs are used to show the output of each operator as well as the low frequency oscillator, keyboard scaling facilities and velocity sensitivity (that's the bit for the touch sensitivity). A display of the algorithm shape and transposition is also on the one screen and you can compare any alterations with the original.
Other functions of the program are what is termed as library management. This is the creation of banks of voices to load into your DX7 so that you can assemble suitable sounds for different uses and change voices from bank to bank. The program comes with 120 or so voices, all Japanese I'm assured. If you load up the whole lot in one greedy go you can reorder any of the banks and send or recall any bank (or individual voice) to the library or the synth. Pretty smart stuff - just like the real thing, ha-ha. In fact only a couple of features separate the Quasar voice program from more expensive ones (like £150 ones!) for other micros. Only a few niggling omissions - like that lack of voice list printer dump - prevent this from being a very competitive package. But at only £9.99 it should prove a worthy purchase.
Oh dear.. I think the water level in the swamp at the back of the cabins is going down and Mr Arboghasts car roof is very nearly visible. Mother will be angry if she can see the car from her window.