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Midi Draw

The Program that Performs your Pictures

Midi Draw screen
MidiDraw Version 1.00
By Frank Balde 1988 Intelligent Music
The program that performs your pictures.

During the time that Intellegent Music released "M" and other algorithmic applications came out (late 1980's)such as Tunesmith,Music Mouse,and Fingers, Frank Balde released "Midi Draw".This was a "drawing program" that actually played midi events.You can have several parameters that you specify such as tonality,program change, durations, velocities, tempo, ect in which the drawing that you create "plays" those specifies parameters. The results can be quite facinating.A Midi Graphical Drawing program.


Frank Balde has given permission for the release of Midi Draw.Thank you Frank! See below for the download as well a link to what Frank is doing now at STEIM. Thanks also go to Jos Vlietstra for providing a downloadable copy.Jos is part of the Atari-Midi mailing List

The Manual is Now available. Thanks go to several people. First to Joel Chadabe of EMF , former president of Intelligent Music for providing the Initial Documents. Also to Trond Einar Garmo for translating the initial document to MS Word format, and finally to Peter Ullrich for conversion to PDF format to be used with Acrobat 4.0. Both of these indeviduals are part of the Atari-Midi mailing List.I have also included a TEXT format within the ZIP itself. However, if you want the graphics as well as the formatting, please download one of these two versions.see below for that download link.


Midi Draw works on all ST's.However it does NOT work on Ste's! Trond Eimar Garmo (of the Atari-Midi list) found a fix for this however. Here is his post from the Atari-Midi mailing List:

The reason why MidiDraw crashes was obvious when
I got it up and running: it is version 1.0, written in 1988. That
was before STe's was out. So the solution is to get an older Tos in
your system. I did that with a program called Seltos, which can be
found on this site:
Tos rom-images can be found on this site:
I downloaded both Tos 1.4 and 1.0, but only Tos 1.0 would work with
MidiDraw on my system.

MidiDraw seems to be a nice little mouse-play program, so it is worth

Trond Einar Garmo

It works on a TT030, but may crash now and then. It might be the same for a Falcon. The above fix might work on these systems, but I have not tried it.However it is most stable on a regular ST. Even a 520St will work! You might need to turn off all blitters and caches. Resolutions: St Medium and St High.

Biography of Frank Balde

Frank Balde was born in Delft, the Netherlands in 1956 and lives in a little village near Amsterdam. He has been making music since he was 7 years old. After his technical studies and playing in numerous pop groups he joined Steim Foundation in Amsterdam in 1985 and started his work as software designer. A big influence was and still is the close collaboration he has with Michel Waisvisz, the artistic director of Steim which resulted in a number of music programs for live performance.
In 1988 one of his music programs, MidiDraw was published by the American software company Intelligent Music.
At Steim he created amongst others 'Deviator', a midi processing program for the Atari ST, together with Michel Waisvisz a program called 'The Lick Machine', realtime midi manipulation software for the Atari ST and the Apple Machintosh, and recently the enclosed software 'LiSa' for the Apple PowerMac. With this program the computer becomes a powerful 'sampler' with a lot of real-time manipulation possibilities. Michel Waisvisz and Frank Balde have been using this software live on stage for 2 years now in Michel Waisvisz's pieces 'Operation LiSa' and 'The spirit of the digital Djembé'. Frank Balde is the research coordinator and one of the software designers at Steim. He also teaches at the Sonology department of the Royal Conservatory in the Hague.

MidiDraw Tutorial

I did not have a manual when composing this tutorial, so I can only report what I have learned on my own from using the program.

When you first run the program,You are presented with the the main "drawing" screen and 4 screens surrounding it representing what would be in a "normal" sequencer as "Tracks".Each "Track" contains parameters for changing Midi Channel,program change and volume along with sliders for duration and velocity. Under these parameters there appears to be more "global" change settings that include a "transport bar"(record, play, stop) along with Tempo, midi sync,transposing and other "cryptic symbols " in which experimetation and consultation with the manual will reveal itself as to their uses!

Lets start a piece using Midi Draw!
1. Select your midi channels, patch changes,volume levels,durations and velocity levels for each "Track"
2.Choose your TEMPO. Default is 120.
3.Choose your TONALITY. There are 9 tonalities or scales to choose from. To edit them, select EDIT on the menu bar, and you have a choice which tonalities you want to edit. Selecting Tonalities 1-6 (for example)will bring you to a dialog showing the Notes that are selected with a choice of Tonality "presets" to choose from.If you decide to edit it, after you are completed, select OK. For sake of example, say you have selected tonality No 1.
4.From here, click on the "Eye" icon at the bottom of the screen (under UNTITLED.MSP to the bottom left)so the icon is highlighted.Then click on "A" in the BAR it is part of.What you have done is SAVED your settings you have just created as a Preset.This is the same concept as "M" in creating "presets" for later performance of the "drawing".
5.Go to FILE on the menu. You will now notice SAVE SETUP is activated.Selecting it provides the standard file selector asking for a file name. Enter a file name for the piece.Select OK.You will see the name appear where it said UNTITLED.MSP before.
6. Now you are ready to start "Drawing"! Make sure the PENCIL icon is highlighted in the far left corner. Try "drawing"by clicking into the drawing feild.You will notice there are two Axis's. Going from Left to right are PITCHES. Going from top to Bottom are VELOCITIES.Try Drawing some abstract shapes.You will hear the actual pitches and velocity values as you draw.
7. To PLAY the drawing, select the Middle Icon between the Right 2 "tracks" The Icon looks like something depicting DRAWING to NOTES(shows a staff with notes on it)Your Piece now is playing.To Stop it, click on the Icon again so it is unhighlighted.
8. To RECORD the Drawing piece as a midi file, select the MOVIE FILM icon on the bottom left corner of the screen.It also has a dialog that indictates "Bytes Unused".PLAY your piece again by selecting the DRAWING to NOTES icon.From here, click on any of the Icons on the various screens to see what happens. This is the "interactive" part of the application where it will record whatever changes you do in "real-time". This is also an "M" like function.When you are done, deselect BOTH icons.
9. To save your "performance" go to FILE and SAVE MOVIE FILE should be activated. Select it. The Item selector appears where you can put in a title for the piece.The piece is now saved as a standard Midi File! From here you can export it to any sequencer application for insertion into a larger peice.

There is obviously more to this program, but this will get you started in creating some interesting peices .Check the manual for more details.