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The Caged Artist Series

By Bob Melvin

Caged Artist Intro
Caged Artist Series
By Bob Melvin

The Caged Artist Series of Synthisizer System Exclusive (or Patch) Editors/librarians were created by Bob Melvin and distibuted by DR T Software in the late 1980's.

The first program in the series was "DX Heaven" which was for the first generation Yamaha DX7 /TX7 Synthesizers.It was as the title states for DX7 programming.It was originally written in the mid 80's for the Apple II computer but was ported over to the ST with many additions.More Synthesizer editors followed, all following the same format.Toward the end of distibution, copy protection was removed. They could also be used as MPE modules in Dr T's Omega II KCS.

Today, Bob Melvin has given permission for Free trading of these excellent editors. Thankyou Bob! Download them Below.Thanks also go to members of the Atari-Midi Mailing list for providing downloadable copies of the programs.

Bob also created XOR for Atari which is now Mark Of The Unicorns'UNISYN for the Mac and PC platforms. (see link below for MOTU). Files that were created on Caged Artist products were interchangable with the Atari version of XOR, so "upgrading" to XOR was not a "painful process.What this means for the Atari Musician today is that you can still create custom sounds using Caged Artists, and use the banks in XOR. XOR has it's own editing style, while Caged Artists have a "different" style, much like the difference between two Sequencers such as Cubase or KCS.Both can be used effectivly.


At the beginning of Bob's Caged Artist's rather "amusing" and very "entertaining" manuals are these words:

"Welcome and thanks for buying Dr T./ Caged Artist software. My goal in creating this series of software products was to make the program intuitive enough such that the manual is barely necessary, without the usual trappings of user-friendliness (Are YOU sure?). To me this is important since my Muse gets P.O 'd and deserts me whenever I have to open a manual or think too strenously about the software. I hope you find this type of software as I do in the process of creating music. If you like it, there's plenty more ware (s.i.c.) this came from."

-Bob Melvin
a.k.a. Caged Artist

Another example of Entertainment from the manual:

"Importment notice #2. If you turn the ST's power OFF, leave it off for 10 seconds. Give it's memory banks a full lobotomy. Otherwise , bizare anti-social behavior may ensue."


He is right in that the programs are very intuitive and you may not need any type of instruction at all to use the program. However, here are a few things to get you started which apply to all the Caged Artist Series:

First of all you want to make sure you have the MIDI OUT of the Atari to the MIDI
IN of your synth. Also the MIDI OUT of the synth to the MIDI IN of the Atari.

Caged Artist 1

After loading the program you are presented with the bank/librarian Screen. Along the side are commands to access the rest of the screens (or modes)You can use the Mouse to select them by simply clicking on the names, or using the appropriate Function keys(F1 to F15). Depending on which synth editor you are using the Function keys might change. However they are always listed.To load a bank, simply select LOAD FILE from the menu.You can load several banks at once. To Save it is of course SAVE FILE.
To save your sounds FROM the synth itself, select GET ALL, and the sounds will magically appear in the bank. You may want to do this initually with your synth so your sounds are "backed up".To send a bank select SEND ALL.You can also Print the bank list by selecting PRINT.That is if you have a printer hooked up! You can also format a disc from within the program by selecting FORMAT. Very handy if you ran out of space on a disc and need to format a new disc to save your precious creation!


Caged Artist 2

VC Edit : takes you to the voice editing screen.Here is the main mode for editing patches showing most parameters on the screen at once which is the strength of these editors.Parameters may be changed by simply clicking on them so they are highlighted, then using the Plus (+) or Minus(-)keys on the Ten key pad, or Left clicking and dragging the mouse up and down, or using the side "slider" to change the parameters.Also direct entry using the Ten key or QWERT numbers on the ST keybrd is sopported.Renaming a patch is as easy as clicking on the patch name, and simply typing in the new name.Once a patch is edited, it can be saved by selecting STORE VC, which when you do, returns you to the Bank Screen and asks you to store the patch in a location. Click in a location, it stores the patch and you are brought back to the Editing screen.Other Options on the menu in the Editing screen are RANDOMIZE, which allows automatic Patch creation. You can set "masks" for this on the RAND MASK option.This is a very cool feature of these editors and very usable sounds may be generated in this way.Sounds may be auditioned by Right Clicking in the screen. Left clicking at the same time will produce Modulation (vibrato).You can also use your midi keyboard for auditioning if you have Midi Merge set to ON in the systems screen (see

Envelopes: In some editors it is a seperate screen. In others it is part of Voice Editing Page.Here you have graphic
editing of envelopes simply by using the mouse to "drag and pull"the parameters while viewing the numerical numbers change. Very intuitive in creating Sounds and seeing the Envelopes displayed on the screen as you change them.You also have options to Copy Envelopes by simply selecting the COPY function.

Caged Artist 3

System: takes you to a screen where you can set options : [System Exclusive Channel] Make sure this is set to the recieving channel of your synth.[Merge] (or midi thru) You will need this ON if you want to play your midi keyboard to audition the sounds.[Storage Drive] lets you select a default drive to store your sounds. Handy on a Hard drive system.[Mouse Glissando]Set this to ON if you want to use the mouse to audition sounds (by right clicking in the screen)[Randomization amount] lets you set a percentage for the Random Patch creation feature.[Colors] lets you set custom colors for the program: a very cool feature in my eyes. ( I love configuring colors!) While most Atari Musicians use ST Hi Res for most programs, these programs look very good in Medium Res once you configure the colors to your satisfaction.

Comment from the manual:(Entertainment time)"You are free to customize the program to your whim, whether it be day-glo, earth tones, Miami Vice pastels or whatever! I find a background of "223" grey easier on my eyes sometimes, and a nice alternative for highlights is a hot "725" pink or "760" yellow."

To save your settings simply select SAVE SYS.This screen also has System editing for the particular synth the editor represents.

Caged Artist K5 Editor


I use these editors in conjuction with XOR as they both share the same bank formats. I really like the simplicity and ease on which you can create sounds. Most parameters are shown on one screen which makes it easy to deal with at first glance. Graphic editing of the envelopes is also intuitive, while the Randomization feature makes it easy to create intresting sounds without too much effort. Also these editors can be loaded from within Dr T's KCS sequencer package. Each program has an INF file which is the key to loading it into KCS from the MPE menu. This is what makes these programs work on a TT030 or Falcon if they do not run from within thier own directories.A must for every Atari Musician.

Caged Artist K5 Editor

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