Update 1.5 Summary
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Bass Line
Update 1.5 Summary
New features (version 1.5)
Improved oscillator emulation
Additional foldback distortion unit
Skin interface (two included skins)
Midi output (unsupported feature as this is very host dependant).
Knobs send MidiCC which enables ABL to be used as a virtual Midi controller
General model improvements
~70 included example patterns (Thanks Rob)
Improved registration process with cross platform license keys
Copy/Paste pattern can now be done between instances
Additional 303 type programming mode
Available for PC: VST and Mac OS X: VST and AU
Confirmed hosts (Mac OS X)
• Logic Audio 6.3.3
• Ableton Live 4
• GarageBand
• Rax (Granted Software)
Skin interface
The appearance of ABL 1.5 can be altered by the user using the skin interface. Two
example skins are included (the standard BeautifulScreen/Yellow and a less resource
intense CarbonSmall one). Please note that these skins are copyrighted to
AudioRealism/BeautifulScreen and can therefore not be used outside the ABL context.
See the appendix for a description of the skin interface format.
Improved oscillator emulation
The oscillator of ABL 1.5 has been improved using a bistable algorithm which emulates
the nature of analog oscillators. The effect is that the oscillator will contain more energy
and additional drive to the filter (typically characterized as the ‘ripping’ sound).
Oscillator can be switched back to the ABL 1.0/1.1 via the Options menu if so desired.
Differences between AU and VST versions
The following functions are currently not available in the AU version:
• Keyboard shortcut programming (i.e. using the computer keyboard assigned to
buttons on ABL’s interface)
• Knob mode is fixed to linear
The OS X VST version is designed to work with FXpansion VST->AU wrapper, in
which case the above functions above are up to the host to support. The Gui settings are
stored in AuGui.ini for AU version. This allows VST and AU to have different settings.
General model improvements
In addition to the improvements to the oscillator there have been some minor updates to
the engine. It it is possible to set the engine back to an earlier version using the
EmulationMode tag in the Config.ini file. This is not recommended however, as testing
was only aimed for the 1.5 version, and therefor this must be considered an unsupported
Additional Foldback Distortion unit
ABL 1.5 has an additional foldback distortion which can be selected via the Options
menu. There is also a possibility to add a Gui-switch for selecting distortion (see
Appendix: Skin interface format). This new control is an additional parameter which can
be automated by the host and/or assigned to a Midi controller.
Midi Output
ABL’s sequencer can now send Midi to the host. The knobs of ABL will also transmit
CC messages. This means ABL can be used as a virtual Midi controller. Using Midi Out
requires a host that can receive Midi events, for example Cubase SX2 or Rax by Granted
Software which has a good implementation with Midi input filtering, meaning ABL can
drive a whole rack of different synths.
Due to the nature of the sequencer only note on/off and pitch messages are sent. There is
no way for to send slides or accents from the internal sequencer.
In the VST version the host needs to be able to listen and route Midi events. ABL
will be published as an additional Midi source.
In the AU version ABL creates an additional Midi port which the host can listen
to. The creation of the Midi Out port can be prevented by setting the
MidiOutputDisabled = 1 tag in Config.ini (see Appendix: New Config.ini and
Gui.ini tags).
Since this behavior of plug-ins sending Midi is rather new, we consider this an
unsupported feature, meaning the function there but not guaranteed to work.
Additional 303 type programming mode
ABL 1.5 supports an alternative programming mode, which can be accessed with the
Option->Switch Programming Mode menu entry. This programming mode is more like
the original 303 in the sense that there are now two modes for entering sequences:
1. Time mode (also used as the Note on/off button in standard programming mode)
2. Pitch mode (also used as the Auto Advance button in the standard programming
Example: CarbonSmall skin
Using Pitch mode (P) the notes with effects can be entered in as in the standard way. In
Time mode(T) the Down( ), Up( ), and Accent(-) buttons double as 16 th, tie and rest
respectively. Once one of these buttons have been pressed ABL will automatically go to
the next step. It will stop on the last step, to avoid overwriting the first steps of the same
pattern. Double clicking P or T will return ABL to the first step of the pattern.
In the original 303 the pitch notes are picked chronologically (that is, every 16 th note
picks the next note in the sequence). In ABL the note picked is on the corresponding step
in Pitch mode. Example: Enter Pitch Mode: C,D,E,F,A,G and Time Mode: , , , , , The 303 would play this back as long C and a long D. ABL will play this back as a long
C and a long F.
Improved registration process
The new registration process allows the user to enter the registration information
him/herself. When the registration info has been completed it will not be asked for again.
Appendix: New Config.ini, Gui.ini and MidiCC.ini tags
Config.ini Tags
Gui.ini Tags
Valid range/values
0 – ABL 1.0
1 – Freebee
2 – ABL 1.1
3 – ABL 1.5 (latest)
0 – off
1 – on
-1 – ALL, 1-16
0 – not disabled
1 – disabled
0 – Standard
1 – Quirky (ABL 1.5)
Default emulation mode is latest
Valid range/values
0 – off
1 – on
Show skin switching dialog
(default on)
Midi output is off by default
Default Midi output channel is 1
(AU only) Default is ALL
(AU only) Midi Output port can
be disabled
Default: Standard
0 – off
1 – on
Clear pattern button can be
protected by a dialog (default off)
MidiCC.ini Tags
Valid range/values
-1 off, 0-127
Default CC is 80
Note: On changing any of these parameters, make sure to use Option->Reload
Configuration, otherwise any changes made might be lost when closing ABL.
Appendix: Skin interface format
A skin is a set of bitmaps and a text file describing the locations and size of the bitmaps.
Each control or button of ABL’s interface can be a unique bitmap. Animation frames are
stacked vertically in the bitmaps. Two types of buttons are available, the standard
button/diod configuration, or the new self illuminated 4 state buttons which were
introduced in ABL 1.1. The skin interface supports transparency masking by allocating
one color to be the transparent color.
The Skin interface format is made up of lines in text format:
Tag “filename”, X,Y,Width,Height
Tag is the identifier for the control or property.
Filename must be enclosed in quotation marks (“). Filenames are always relative
to the directory in which the plug-in resides. Only Windows .bmp bitmaps are
X,Y is the offset into the plug-in window where the control should be drawn (for
BACKGROUND this must be 0,0)
Width, Height is the displayed region in the window (ie NOT the actual size of
the bitmap, as the number of images of the bitmap is calculated by taking bitmap
size and dividing by Height)
128, 143, 18,18
Note: There should be no comma (,) between the Tag and Filename!
Name of the skin displayed in the Option
TRANSPARENTCOLOR R,G,B color that specifies the color to be
Background image
Self illuminating buttons for pitch
Pitchmode/Auto advance
Time mode or Gate on/Gate off
Down octave
Up octave
Increase number of steps
Decrease number of steps
Function button 1
Function button 2
VST Plug-In Technology by Steinberg
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