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Bars & Pipes Professional: The Transport Controls

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The Transport Controls govern the Sequencer's recording, playback, and Song positioning functions. These functions are accessible from the Transport Controls window, the Mini-Transport, and the Tracks window. They are also accessible from hot keys on the Amiga keyboard and, if defined, as MIDI remote controls. The Transport Controls contain familiar tape deck commands, such as Play, Record, Rewind, and Stop, to control recording and playback.

You can reposition the Transport Controls window or shrink it down to an icon. If you close the Transport Controls window, you can reopen it by double-clicking on the icon or by selecting Transport Controls from the Windows menu.

You can bring up the Mini-Transport by choosing its menu option in the Windows menu, or by typing the letter M on the Amiga's keyboard.

The Transport Controls Window

The Transport Controls window contains all of the Transport Controls. The Transport Controls in the Mini Transport and the Tracks window are subsets of the Transport Controls window.

The Transport Controls window contains four groups of controls: the Transport buttons, the Tempo controls, the Song Position controls, and the Flag controls.

Transport Controls

Across the top of the Transport Controls window are nine buttons, which control recording and playback. They are similar in function to the controls on a tape recorder.

Briefly, the Transport buttons are:

Stop (Enter Key on numeric keypad)
The Stop button halts recording and playback. It also sets the Position Marker to the current Stop time so the next Play command will pick up at the same point. Click to activate the Stop button.
Start (Insert Key)
The Start button begins recording and playback from the beginning of the Song.
Play (Enter Key on numeric keypad)
The Play button begins recording and playback from the Position Marker. Use this control when you want to start from a specific point in the Song. Pressing the Play button a second time stops the performance.
Rewind quickly shuttles the Song backward to access a specific point in the Song. If the Song is playing when you press the Rewind button, it stops, then resumes when you lift up on the new location.
Fast Forward
Fast Forward shuttles the Song forward in time. If the Song is playing when you press the Fast Forward button, it stops, then resumes when you lift up on the new location.
Record ("R" Key)
The Record button enables Sequencer recording. To activate, click on it. Doing so activates recording only in Tracks placed in Record mode. All others continue to play back.
The Loop button activates the Loop Mode recording function. With Loop mode, you can record one section of your Track over and over. For more information on Loop Mode recording, please see the Loop Recording Mode section in Recording.
Punch In/Out ("P" key)
Punch In/Out automatically switches the Sequencer in and out of Sequencer Record mode at preset locations. Although you can manually activate and deactivate the Record button while your Song plays, if you're also playing an instrument, you'll need a third hand, which the Punch In and Out Flags provide.
Use the Set button in conjunction with the Flag buttons, described below, to set Flag positions.

Tempo Controls

The Tempo Controls are on the left side of the Transport Controls window, beneath the Stop button. Use these to set the initial tempo.

If you'd like to work with a Tempo Map and place tempo changes at specific times in your composition, you must enter them in the Tempo Map window.
The Tempo button shows the tempo of the Song in beats per minute. Set the tempo, or speed, by clicking on the numbers and, while holding down the mouse button, dragging the mouse up to increase and down to decrease. You can change the tempo in single increments by single-clicking in the top or bottom half of the numbers.
1/2 and 3/4
If, temporarily, you need to slow down the Song (for example, when recording a difficult passage), click on the 1/2 or 3/4 buttons to slow the tempo to one-half or three-quarters of the original speed. Clicking on the same button a second time restores the tempo to its original speed.
These functions do not work in conjunction with a Tempo Map, except at the beginning of your Song, before there are any tempo changes in the Tempo Map. Disable the Synchronize to Tempo Map option in the Timing window to disable the Tempo Map. Enable this option to reinstate the Tempo Map.

Song Position Display

Just as a tape deck marks time with a counter that measures the tape's length, Bars&Pipes Professional keeps Track with the Song Position Display.

The top number in the Song Position Display keeps Track of the Song time in Measures, Beats, and Clocks. The bottom display shows Song time in the SMPTE format of Hours, Minutes, Seconds, and Frames.

To reposition your Song to an exact time, click on the top or bottom half of the numbers in the desired display to increase or decrease their values. Note that the second display adjusts itself to the new position as well.

The Position Marker Flag

Bars&Pipes Professional also provides the Position Marker Flag, a red triangle with a blue border, which shows the location of the Song Position in the Sequencer. When you click the numbers in the Song Position Display as described above, the Position Marker moves to the new position as well. You can also adjust the Song position by using the mouse to drag this Flag to a new location.

Flag Position Controls

Use the Flag Position Control buttons to set and use the positions of each of the twelve Flags Bars&Pipes Professional supports.

To set a Flag to a particular point in your music, use the Set button directly above the Flag Position Controls. First, click on the Set button. With the Set button highlighted, adjust the Song Position Display by clicking on the Rewind or Fast Forward buttons or by clicking directly on the Song Position Display as described above. Then, click on the button corresponding to the Flag you want to move. This installs the Song Position into the Flag and disables the Set button.

You can also set Flags numerically in the Set Flags window.

To instantly jump to a Flag position, click on the Flag's button without first selecting the Set button. This automatically sets the Song Position to the value in the Flag.

Pressing the 1, 2, 3, and 4 keys on the numeric keypad also jumps to the four Auto-Locate Flags.

To instantly jump to a Flag position and start playing immediately, double-click on a Flag.

The Mini-Transport Window

The Mini-Transport window provides the most important Transport Controls in a small convenient window. Access it by choosing the Mini-Transport menu option in the Windows menu, or by typing the letter "M" on the Amiga keyboard.

Most of the buttons are the same as in the Transport Controls window, with a few exceptions:

You cannot change the Song Position by clicking on the Song Position display. There is an additional button, the SMPTE/Music Time button, that controls whether the Song Position display shows the current Song Position in measure time or SMPTE time. Click on this button to toggle between the two modes. Remote Control

With the Remote Control option, you can use your MIDI keyboard to control the Sequencer. Remote controls let you Start, Stop, Record, Play, Punch In, Punch Out, and move to the Auto-Locate Flags (Ml through M4) in your composition.

To set up the Remote Controls, select Remote Control from the Preferences menu. In response, Bars&Pipes Professional opens the Remote Control requester.

Click on the Control you want to set up, then press the desired key on your MIDI keyboard. Use the keys located at the very top or bottom of your MIDI keyboard to prevent pressing one accidentally while recording.

Clicking on each control in the requester toggles it on and off. Only the highlighted controls are active. Each active control behaves identically to the button it represents in the Transport Control window. When you're done, close the requester.