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Voyetra Sequencer Plus Switches - Advanced

Voyetra Sequencer Plus Switches:
What is a "switch"?

    Besides the light switch at our homes, in the world of computers it is:
* A bit or byte used to keep track of some function. It sometimes refers to a branch in a program.
* A code that modifies a command. Switches use a forward slash (not a backslash) followed by some letter, digit, or code. For example:
In a general DOS situation the /w changes the DIR command to list "WIDE" across the screen instead of in a column:

                DIR /W

You can customize  Sp Gold's operation by inserting special codes (switches) on the DOS command line when you run the program. These switches are added to either the SPG.EXE, SEQ.BAT, DRIVER.BAT or VAPI/SAPI filenames.

How to use switches:

Generally, command line options (switches) are inserted after the filename, separated by a space and a forward slash (/). For example:

    SEQ /nh     : Run Sp Gold without Basic Help.

Some of the switches require a value. You can assign the desired value by adding a number next to the specific command. The number must always be separated from the command by a colon (:). For example:

    SEQ /tk:64     : Run Sp Gold with 64 working tracks.

You can "chain together" multiple commands on the same line as long as each one is separated with a space and a forward slash (/). The only exception to this rule is the Filename command line option, which does not require a forward slash. For example:

    SPG /ega /tk:64 /nh my_song 

This switch says: run the program (Spg) in EGA mode (ega), with 64 working tracks (tk:64), no help (nh), and automatically load the song file called my_song (my_song).
You notice there is no forward slash (/) after the "nh" switch, since the following switch is a filename: "my_song".
Note:    Switches can be invoked from within batch files and can be either upper or lower case letters.

    Sp gold Command Line Options (Switches)

This section will describe the various switches that can instruct Sequencer Plus Gold to load a certain way depending on the type of switches selected. These switches can be used in conjunction with either the SPG or  SEQ filenames.

A later section will describe switches for the VAPI and SAPI drivers.

                Trackscan Options:

With Sp Gold's Trackscan switch options you can instruct Sp Gold to reserve memory for up to 500 tracks. Sp Gold's default setting of 64 tracks (for both recording and playback) is adequate for most situations. If later on you need extra track capacity, you may save the song with the lower number of tracks and you may restart the program with a Trackscan switch option to increase the number of tracks. When you reload the song, it will contain the additional tracks along with the original recorded tracks.
Note:  There must always be enough tracks allocated to extend to the highest numbered track, regardless of the total number of tracks used.

For example, if you save a song with 73 recorded tracks, but the highest numbered track is 89, Sp Gold has to reserve at least 89 tracks when it starts again in order to be able to reload the song.
Note:  You can transfer song files between SpJr, Sp Classic and Sp Gold, however tracks numbered higher than 64 will be lost if loaded into SpJr.
Sp Gold sees two different types of tracks:

Working Tracks : These are tracks that can be accessed with all of the screen functions.      
Playable Tracks : These are tracks that can be played back.

Playable tracks require more memory than working tracks because they demand Sp Gold to process data relevant to the playback process. In most situations there are fewer "playable" than "working" tracks. You can use Trackscan to modify the number of playable and working tracks and set them separately.

Listing, Description, Explanation of Switches:

/tk:xx  Set the number of working tracks (where xx is the desired value).

* Default = 64

    Example:    SPG /tk:32
This switch will tell SPG to set the number of working tracks to 32 tracks.
Note: You should always try and set the playable tracks number smaller   than the working tracks number. This way you can experiment without taking up the additional memory required by working tracks.

/pl:xx    Set the number of playable tracks (where xx is the desired value).

* Default = 64

Example:      SPG /pl:100

This switch will tell SPG to set the number of playable tracks to 100.

Although the maximum number of playable tracks ultimately depends on how much RAM is available, a realistic maximum is a  "few hundred".

You can combine switches to change two options at a time as in the following example:

Example:    SPG /tk:256 /pl:100

This "double switch" sets the number of working tracks to 256 and the number of playable tracks to 100.

Note: The maximum number of playable tracks is determined in large part     by the /tk setting. As the number of working tracks increases, the maximum number of playable tracks decreases.

Metronome Options
Note:  Metronome command line options perform the same function as the metronome window, [Shift] [F2]

/mdn:xxxx      Metronome Downbeat Pitch (where xxxx is the desired value).

* Default = 1569 Hz, or G note. Range: 100 Hz - 5KHz

This switch changes the pitch of the metronome's downbeat "beep" on the PC speaker. The setting for xx changes the pitch in increments.

Example:    SPG /mdn:340.

The metronome's downbeat pitch will change to 340 Hz.

/mup:xxxx    Metronome Upbeat Pitch (where xxxx is the desired value).

* Default = 523 Hz, or Middle C note. Range: 100Hz - 5KHz

This switch changes the pitch of the metronome's upbeat "beep" on the PC speaker.

Example:    SPG /mup:543.

The pitch of the metronome's upbeat "beep" on the PC speaker, will change to 543 HZ.

/mdur:xxx      Metronome Duration (where xxx is the desired value).

* Default = 50ms. Range: 10ms - 200ms

This switch sets the duration of the metronome's "beep" on the PC speaker. The setting for xxx sets the duration in 1 millisecond (ms) increments.

Example:    SPG /mdur:10

The duration will change to 10ms, which is an unpitched  "click" sound.

Mouse Options:

/nm             "No-Mouse" option

Normally, when Sp Gold boots, it automatically senses whether or not a mouse is installed. However, in rare cases, Sp Gold may be fooled into thinking that a mouse is installed when in fact it is not. In these cases, errors may occur. To avoid this, the  /nm option may be used.

Example: SPG /nm

This switch loads SPG without the mouse.

/sb        Swap the function of the Left/Right mouse buttons.

/hs:xxx         Set mouse horizontal sensitivity (where xxx is the desired value).

* Range:  3 - 200   Default: 20
This switch sets the horizontal sensitivity  of the mouse movement to control its relationship to the horizontal screen cursor movement. If you set it to a lower value, the cursor will move faster for small mouse movements.

/vs:xxx          Set mouse sensitivity (where xxx is the desired value).

 * Range: 2 - 100   Default: 30

This switch has the same function as the: /hs:xxx except this affects vertical cursor movements.

/hm:xxx        Set horizontal multiplier (where xxx is the desired value).

 * Range:  1 - 100   Default: 6

In some screens (i.e. View), the cursor moves in small increments, while in other screens (i.e. Main), the cursor moves in large increments. The horizontal multiplier is used to adjust the mouse movement sensitivity so approximately the same amount of motion is required to move the cursor from one side of the screen to the other in these screens.

Since the vertical movement in every screen is always one line at a time, there is no need for a vertical multiplier setting.

For example, using the default settings, the View screen will have a horizontal sensitivity of 20, while the Main screen horizontal sensitivity will be 20 x 6 = 120. Thus, the cursor will move 120/20 = 6 times as many cursor positions in the View screen as it does in the Main screen for the same mouse distance.

Song File Options

/f       Fix Damaged Song Files

SP Gold will usually not be able to load a damaged song file that contains illegal MIDI data. Playing a damaged song file can even cause SP Gold to lock up. If a song file on disk has been damaged in some way, it may be possible to salvage it by starting SP Gold with the "song fixer" option. When SP Gold is run with this option, it will attempt to "filter out" illegal MIDI data from song files as it loads them.

If SP Gold is unable to load a song file that you suspect is damaged, exit SP Gold and run it again with the /f option as follows:

    SPG /f

When SP Gold is operating in this mode, any song loaded from disk is checked for errors, and the damaged sections are deleted. After a song file has been fixed in this manner, it should be saved (on another disk) and SP Gold may then be restarted in the normal manner.
Note1:  This option should only be used if a song file is known to be  damaged.

Note2:  Damaged files may sometimes cause an "MSC2" message to be
             displayed on the Main screen.
(FILENAME)     Automatically Loads A Song
    This is the only switch that does not require a forward slash before the filename. To load a specific song file when booting SP Gold, add the song's file name without a slash and after any other options. For example, to run SP Gold in EGA mode and have it automatically load a song called MY_SONG, type:

Note1:  The filename extension is not necessary. SP Gold will search for the file in the default .SNG path as specified in the CONFIG file.
Note2:  This option will only load .SNG files.
/mf    Prevents text in the General Text area of a Standard MIDI file from being inserted as track names.
Standard MIDI files are supposed to contain their track names in the area reserved for track names. However, some software (and some MIDI file vendors) insert the track names in the area reserved for general text. Normally, if SP detects nothing in the track names area when loading a MIDI file, it will insert any text in the general text area as the track names. This can be overridden with the /mf option.

Video Display Options

/slow        Slow CGA mode
    Allows slow screen drawing on CGA-type displays to prevent snow.

/ega        Displays normal text mode on VGA and EGA displays.

Used to force high resolution displays to function in normal 25 line text mode. Without this option SP Gold will boot in high-res mode with a VGA or EGA display. This would allow larger text characters on a VGA screen  (16 tracks vs. 41 tracks)

/csr        EGA Clone Cursor Mode

Used with incompatible EGA cards that lose the cursor in the edit screens.
Note:  This option should NOT be used if the problem does not occur, since it may cause compatible cards to malfunction.

/rows:xx    Set Number of EGA/VGA Screen Rows (where xx is the desired value).

* Default = EGA: 43 lines, VGA: 50 Lines

This command is used with EGA or VGA cards that have an incompatible BIOS.

When used with an EGA or VGA monitor, SP Gold normally draws 43 lines for EGA and 50 lines for VGA. With an incompatible BIOS, the card may not tell SP Gold the correct number of rows to use. Thus, the /rows:xx option is used to override the abnormal default settings.

For example, if SP Gold is used with a VGA card that only displays 43 rows, it may be set to 50 rows as follows.

    SPG /rows:50


Note:  If this option is set for more rows than the video card supports, the menu area will be pushed off the screen.

/v7:xx        Video 7 BIOS compatibility option (where xx is Video 7 mode).

This option can only be used with video cards that have a BIOS compatible with Video Seven VGA Boards (eg. Fastwrite VGA and VRAM VGA). These cards support text modes that have more resolution than the standard 50 lines.


Note:  This command should only be used with a muti-sync monitor.
          It alters the vertical scan rate to a non-standard speed, which may damage some fixed frequency monitors (like EGA and VGA).
To use this command, type /v7:xx, where xx is the decimal number of the video mode you want to use. For instance,

    SPG /v7:67

will set the screen to 80 columns by 60 lines mode. (For decimal numbers of various video modes, and to find the one you'll want to use, consult the V7 manual.)

/multi        Block V7 Multi Message

This option is only used in conjunction with the /v7: command to suppress the /v7 message that warns about the consequences of not using a variable frequency monitor.

Misc. Options 

/dr:xxx    Specifying the Directory Size (where xxx is the desired value).
* Default = 125

The number "xxx" reserves only enough memory to display the specified number of filenames. The default setting uses the least amount of memory.

The /dr command line option is useful in two particular cases:

* It reserves memory space for a larger number of filenames in the Files screen, which normally shows up to 125 lines. For instance, if a particular directory has 193 files, the /dr:193 option must be used to list see them all.

* It allows songs to be played from the Files screen, either singly or with the Jukebox command.

    For example, to set the directory size to 43 files, use:

        SPG /dr:43

/res:xx    Set internal clock resolution (where xx is the desired value).

    (xx = clock resolution in milliseconds, 1 through 10)
 * Defaults for 8088 = 6, for 80286. 386 or 486 = 1

For turbo 8088 PC's, use a lower resolution number than the default. For slow 80286 PC's use a higher resolution than the default. A setting that is too low for the PC may lock up the program by demanding too much timing resolution from the system timer.
Note:  Since VAPI automatically sets the /RES option whenever SP Gold  is run, the /RES option is used only to override the automatic setting.
/r    Disable use of running status on MIDI outputs.
        (for devices with incorrect MIDI implementations)
When using equipment that has an incorrect MIDI implementation, this option is used to correct potential problems. For instance, some early MIDI devices do not reliably change programs when this option is not set.

/nh    No-Help Option
SP Gold displays command specific help messages in the menu area when the ? key is pressed. In earlier versions the help messages were built into the program. In version 4, these messages are loaded into memory from a separate disk file called BASHELP.SPO. When SP Gold starts, the help messages automatically load into memory.
Note:  If help messages are not needed, this option can be used to gain extra song memory.

/k    Modifying the Key Buffer

DOS provides a key buffer that stores keystrokes until they can be processed. Normally, SP Gold takes control of the key buffer and discards duplicate Del keystrokes to prevent the song from being destroyed when the Del key is held down.
Note:  Since most macro programs need to use a key buffer, starting SP  Gold with the /k switch retains the key buffer.

/keep         Ignore Main screen options while deleting

* Default = Main screen options deleted

Normally, when a track is deleted, the Main screen options are also cleared. The /KEEP option retains the Main screen option settings while the rest of the data is deleted.
Note:  The Delete All Tracks command will clear Main screen option   settings, even if this switch is used.

/casio          Casio Mode

Adjusts the way Casio instruments handle the MIDI running status protocol. You may have trouble recording into SP Gold with certain Casios if this is not set.
Note:  Since VAPI automatically asks if you want the /casio option, the   /casio switch is used only to override the automatic setting.

/h /? /help      Listing of all the Command Line Options   

    To see a list of all the command line options, use either of these switches when booting SP Gold.

    4 = /mt:xxxx

    MIDI Data Analyzer History Buffer Size

* Default = 10,000 bytes

Specifies the size of the MIDI Data Analyzer's History Buffer, up to a maximum of 32,000 bytes. For instance, to set the buffer to 20,000 bytes, type:

    SPG /mt:20000

/rbuf:xxxx    Override Librarian Options Buffer Setting (where xxxx is number of K byte).

Normally, the Librarian Options Window determines the size of the History Buffer. Using the /rbuf switch, this setting may me overridden.

* Default = 10,000 bytes

Specifies the size of the MIDI Terminal History Buffer, up to a maximum of 64,000 bytes. For instance, to set the buffer to 20,000 bytes, type:

    SPG /rbuf:20000

/alt    Modifies the use of [Shift]-[# key] for use with European computer keyboards.

SP Gold uses "shifted" number keys for Markers and the MIDI Data Analyzer's MIDI Byte Strings. This may not function correctly on some European keyboards. The /alt command line option enables the use of [Alt]-[# key] instead of [Shift]-[# key].

/ito    Allows Tape Offset of 00:00:00:00:00 when syncing to SMPTE.

Normally, SP Gold will not allow a Tape Offset of 00:00:00:00:00 when syncing to SMPTE. This is because trying to start the sequencer at 00:00:00:00:00 usually won't work reliably if the SMPTE stripe itself starts at 00:00:00:00:00. The /ito option will override this and allows a 00:00:00:00:00 Tape Offset.
Note:  Many of our bundled sound card Seq+ Junior programs did not   have a listing of command line options, such as Seq+ Pro (for Sound Blasters).

VAPI/SAPI Command Line Options

Voyetra developed their DOS driver system named VAPI (Voyetra applications Program Interface) on Yamaha's C1 Music Computer CAPI protocol. Voyetra has expanded upon but remains compatible with CAPI.

Voyetra's DOS drivers are (RAM) Memory Resident programs, and may be loaded into upper memory with expanded memory managers, like DOS 5 & 6 HIMEM.SYS.

    There are different divisions of "VAPI" drivers:
VAPI "¦VAPI sets up Voyetra's system, and controls MIDI & SMPTE.
SAPI "¦SAPI is for "Sound" "¦particularly in Sound Cards (but!"¦)
AAPI "¦AAPI is for "(Digital) Audio Appl.""¦(oh sure, it should be DAPI-(but DAPI
              was originally our "Demo" drivers, since discontinued)
TAPI "¦is when you combine VAPI and the optional SAPI & AAPI

    SAPI notes:

SAPI (Sound Application Program Interface) is an extension to VAPI that creates a "pseudo-MIDI"  instrument. They have been historically F.M. sound cards (based on Yamaha's chipset), but there are new twists to SAPI. SAPI can also access (and sometimes load) wave-table synthesis on certain sound cards, and also be a second MIDI interface (as of Seq.Plus version 4.11 which allows you to install 2 different interfaces).

In situations that there is separate MIDI interfacing and internal sound via SAPI, then VAPI/SAPI differentiates the MIDI routing by assigning different "MIDI" ports to each one. You can have multiple SAPI's, and it would be necessary to address the "MIDI ports" for each- usually the first available ones after the MIDI interface, if any. For example, you have a dual-port MIDI interface as ports 1 & 2, one sound card as port 3, and another sound card as port 4.

Example of a V-24s, V-22, and a SB16 with MIDI & sapi for FM synthesis:

VAPI24s /addr:330            V-24s w/2 MIDI IN, 4 MIDI OUT, & SMPTE
SAPI22 /addr:230            V-22 for MIDI OUT ports 5 & 6
SAPIMPU /addr:300        SB-16 "MPU" MIDI port as port 7
SAPI!SB3 /addr:220 /port:8    SB-16 internal FM "Super SAPI " as port 8

"Real" sound SAPI's need a /port:x statement. "MIDI" pseudo SAPI's will automatically take the next available port. In this example, the V-22 and the "MPU-UART" port on the SB-16 had their default I/O addresses changed.
            VAPI HIERARCHY:

You can have only one VAPI or TAPI loaded at one time *and* it needs to be the driver that's loaded first. You can have multiple SAPI & AAPI drivers afterwards.

By default, these *.COM (Command driven drivers) will assume the normal I/O address for their respective devices, as well as DMA channel (when applicable for digital audio -i.e. AAPI).

Interrupt should (generally) be found automatically, with the occasional exception of DX computers (i.e. 486-33 MHZ or faster).

Examples of VAPI/SAPI Switches :  

The following command line options can be used to change the functions of the VAPI and SAPI device drivers. These options can be used with either the VAPI/SAPI  filename or DRIVER.BAT.

/irq:x        Manually selects the IRQ used by VAPI (where x is IRQ #).

VAPI automatically searches for the MIDI interface hardware and sets itself to the proper IRQ. The /irq: command line option is used only in the event you need to override the automatic setting. For example, in rare instances, certain quirks in your system may cause VAPI to select the wrong IRQ.

/port:x    Manually selects the virtual output port that SP Gold will use to address a sound card's FM synth (where x is port #).

Normally, SP Gold defines the first available output port not used by the MIDI interface as the virtual FM port. The /port: command line option is used only in the event you need to override the automatic setting.

Example: /port:2  .... "port" setting for separating the sound sources from the MIDI port
Note: Manual assignment of ports is necessary if you are using multiple sound cards.

/addr:xxx    Sets the I/O address for MIDI interface or FM synth  (where xxx is hex address).

This switch tells VAPI or SAPI the  I/O address of the MIDI interface or FM synth. The /addr: switch is normally added to the DRIVER.BAT file during installation, but this can be overridden by typing the VAPI or SAPI filename with the /addr: option (instead of using SEQ or DRIVER.BAT).


/addr:330  ... normal default setting for the MIDI port on the VAPISB16 driver
/addr:220  ... normal default setting for the Sound Synthesizer drivers

Note:  Defining each FM synth's address with /addr: is necessary if you are using multiple sound cards.

/rem    Removes SAPI or VAPI drivers from memory.

This switch is used to remove the VAPI and SAPI drivers from memory. The SAPI driver must be removed before VAPI. For example, if VAPISB and SAPIFM1 were both loaded, they must be removed in the following  manner:
    SAPIFM1 /rem /PORT:x

(x = port number; if the port was specified when SAPI was loaded, it must also be specified during removal).

After removing SAPIFM1 type the following to remove VAPISB:

Note:  The SEQ.BAT file automatically removes the drivers from memory when you quit SP Gold. The /rem option allows you to remove them manually, if necessary.

/bend:xx    Sets SAPI's pitch bend range (where xx is the desired bend value).

* Default = 2. Range = 1 - 12

This switch tells SAPI how to scale the pitch bends embedded in the song. For example, to set a Sound Blaster's FM pitch bend range to +/-12 semitones (one octave), load the SAPI driver by typing:

    SAPIFM1 /BEND:12

/xt    Notifies VAPI that machine is an XT type.

Normally, VAPI can determine whether the host computer is an XT or AT type and set itself accordingly. This option tells VAPI that the host computer is an XT type. It is usually only necessary on Tandy  1000 series computers, where loading VAPI can result in an "Invalid COMMAND.COM" error message or other problems.

Other command line options can be listed at a DOS prompt, by asking the
driver what's available with " /?"

for example:     VAPISB16 /?          


VMP Configuration Options:
        (V.M.P. = Voyetra Multimedia Player).

/amem:xx    Allocate memory for digital audio buffers
        Default is based on the card used.
        Range = 4 to 60  (32K for TAPIMV, for example.)

/clp        Request VMP to allocate a 64K buffer for playing MIDI files.

/clp:xx    Request VMP to allocate "xx"K of memory buffer.
Ordinarily the user's application will allocate its own buffer, but this is a very simple way to play relatively short files. This option is used with the Voyetra command line player PLAY.EXE.

/mport    Instruct VMP to use the MIDI output port specified in the MIDI file  when playing.

/rem    Remove the VMP driver from memory.


Voyetra DOS drivers for Creative's "AWE-32" Sound Blaster:
Included in this ZIP/EXE  file are:

VAPISB16.COM  .... the MIDI driver for the AWE-32
SAPIAWE.COM ... the sound driver for the wavetable synthesis on the AWE-32 SAPI!SB3.COM ... the "SuperSAPI" sound driver for the FM synthesis                                                                               on the AWE-32

DRIVER.BAT ... the drivers for the card, in proper loading order;
SPP.BAT  .... replacement file for SP.BAT for Sequencer Plus Pro owners  CALL.COM  ... a "calling" command file that we're using in the BATch files;

This instruction set and files will allow you to use the AWE-32 with Sequencer Plus:

/port:1  is MIDI IN & MIDI OUT
/port:2  is the Emu-8000 Wavetable Synthesizer
/port:3  is the Yamaha OPL-3 FM synthesizer (Voyetra's SuperSapi! DOS driver)

* for users of "Sequencer Plus Pro"...

users have a SP.BAT file, which loads the drivers and then the program "SPPPRO.EXE"  however, since this bundled file is a combination file we have to change the name.

SPP  ... SPP.BAT is the new file that will launch the drivers and sequencer for      you.

* for users of "Sequencer Plus Gold", "Sequencer Plus Classic", and "Sequencer Plus Junior" ...

users have a SEQ.BAT file, which loads the DRIVER.BAT drivers file and
then the proper program executable:  SPG.EXE, SP.EXE, or SPJR.EXE

Included here is a DRIVER.BAT exclusively for the AWE-32, so if you have another MIDI interface that you wish to use as your primary interface, you need to manually edit your current  DRIVER.BAT and NOT copy this one into the directory.

* If you already have a different primary MIDI interface, use DOS's  "EDIT" program.
Mimick the VAPIxxx line, so that you would be loading SAPIAWE /port:x  after it, with the next available port setting;   Also, the drivers would be removed in reverse order, so you should also have the SAPI line precede the /removal of the VAPIxxx /rem line.

Windows Notes:
These Sequencer Plus programs are designed for DOS, not Windows. Voyetra does have Windows Sequencer programs for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, and these can be purchased for a nominal fee.

These programs are named:
MIDI Orchestrator Plus  &  Digital Orchestrator Plus

If you insist on running this out of a Windows shell, the DRIVERS *MUST* be loaded before entering Windows.  The drivers would have to be loaded into the AUTOEXEC.BAT file (with each driver file using the " /ENH" command line option) before Windows gets accessed. Afterwards, ONLY the Sequencer Plus program executable would be called in Windows.  Of course, it would be the exclusive program and nothing else in Windows could be used at that time.

All files and documentation are offered on an *AS IS* basis and you assume full responsibility for using them.

Go to Downloads to get Drivers, Patches, Utilities and Documentation for this product.

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