BBC Music Processor (Quicksilva) Review | Big K - Everygamegoing

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BBC Music Processor
By Quicksilva
BBC Model A & B

Published in Big K #3

BBC Music Processor

A program designed to make the computer operate as synthesiser, four-track recorder and editing desk. It boasts thirty functions that work directly from the keyboard: 10 pre-defined piptch and amplitude envelopes offer a possible range of 100,000 envelopes, and four-channel recording can be simulated to enshrine tunes of up to 1,950 notes - more if the 'long-play' compressor facility is used. There's also a range of sound effects, a metronome facility and three ready-made files (Bach, Sousa and Xmas Carols). The basic graphic display is akin to a studio mixing desk layout.

The preset tunes just show off some flash envelopes. It never actually *shows* you what's playing. It sounds passable - as the kind of thing Walter Carlos would have dreamed of twenty years ago - but a lot of the effects sound like artificial warbles and tweets. For anyone who wanted to use the program as a tool for making music it's good in a sort of roundabout way without showing or telling you much about what you're doing. There's a heavy onus on the user.

Not very useful for the professional musician, and for someone who wants to learn about making music it's not too clear - you don't see any dots or scales anywhere. It seems like there's a lot there, and it claims to produce complex music quickly and easily - but that can't be done with a keyboard operating in real time - and that seems to be all you *can* do with it. There's no visual record of the notes you've played.

A good bit of programming but I think you have to be able to play to make it work for you. It's harder than a piano keyboard.