How do I use NOTATE.EXE to make BAM music?
Notate can be most closely compared to writing sheet music. In fact, most of the BAM files that come prepackaged in CUSTOM.ZIP were made by transcribing sheet music directly into notate. The best way to learn notate is to get some sheet music, and transcibe it into notate yourself. That will give you practice using the program, and make it easier to compose things from scratch. If you dont have any sheet music to practice with, I suggest going to your local church and ask to borrow a hymn book.
The following are the controls for NOTATE.EXE (mostly taken from NOTATE.TXT)
- Arrow keys move the cursor. PgUp and PgDn move the cursor rapidly to the left or right. When you get to the edge of the screen, the music will scroll
- SPACE places a note
- ENTER plays all the music currently on the screen
- , and . change the length of a note. They range from 1/32 note to a quadriple note.
- Holding CTRL makes any note you place 1.5 times longer. This is the equivalent of that little black dot that follows notes in some sheet music
- Holding ALT makes any note you place Sharp. Sharp notes appear slightly darker than normal notes. For those of you unfamiliar with sheet music, a sharp note is half-a-note higher than a normal note in the same position
- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 set which of the nine voices you are using. Each voice uses a different color
- + and - change the instrument that is assigned to the current voice. There are 128 instruments to choose from
- TAB changes between 3/4 timing and 4/4 timing. This does not affect the sound of the music, only the display of staves on the screen.
- \ arbitraraly sets the end of the song. The end of the song is displayed as a big vertical line
- DEL clears any note directly under the cursor
- F2 saves your song as a .NOT file
- F3 loads a song from a .NOT file
- F4 exports your song as a .BAM file which can be used in our games, and can be played with PLAYBAM.EXE
- CTRL X Clears the song to let you start anew.
- T places a numbered tag. At runtime, a tag cannot be referenced until _after_ the music has played past it. This is used for repeats, choruses, and loops
- C prompts you to delete a tag
- L Brings up a menu that lets you place infinite loops, numbered loops, gosub(chorus) jumps, and returns. Loops and gosubs require a tag number. More than one loop may not reference the same tag, and gosubs cannot be recursive. Dont worry too much about using tags and jumps. There is nothing you can do with them that can crash your music.
If you are using Windows, you should right-click on NOTATE.EXE, choose "properties" and go to the "Misc" tab, there you can disable the "ALT SPACE" windows hotkey. Notate uses ALT SPACE for placing sharp notes