Appendix

Users' Forum

The best way to get support for BankStep is to visit the Users' Forum:

http://algoart.com/forum

Not only are many questions already asked and answered, but there are additional tutorials and a growing library of user contributed patches. An additional reason to visit the forum is this is where we will make available "in-between" version updates that are not announced anywhere else. These will be listed in the forum, along with quick download patches if available.

Technical Support

Technical support is available by email to: support@algoart.com. We try to answer all support questions promptly - usually within hours - but please help us help you by first reading the online manual. The Main Menu, Toolbar, and Options sections are especially helpful for trouble shooting. If you do email, please include the following information:

  1. Are you a registered BankStep user? Email technical support for the unregistered free trail is limited to installation issues only.
  2. Describe the computer you are using, including operating system, amount of memory, CPU speed, graphics settings?
  3. What other audio and MIDI software is installed in your computer?
  4. As much information as possible relating to your question(s). The more information you provide the faster we can help you. Feel free to attach illustrative .bsp files if you think that will help.

Please note that while we try to answer all tech support questions as quickly as possible, those that are already covered in the online manual do not receive the same high priority, and often will be answered simply by a manual reference.

Update Notification

While we do not send out unsolicited email (spam), we do have a mailing list you may easily subscribe and unsubscribe to. Even then, we only send out email when we have something new to pass on to you, such as notice of a new version. To subscribe or unsubscribe to our mailing lists, visit the Algorithmic Arts Support Page.

BankStep File Compatibility

BankStep 2.x files are downward compatible with earlier 2.x versions, but not upward compatible. This means you can load a BankStep file created with an earlier version, but the earlier version can not load files created with a later version. BankStep 2.x can not read BankStep 1.0 files, nor can BankStep 1.0 read files created with BankStep 2.x.

Name Stamping Your Compositions

All compositions created by registered BankStep users will have their name stamped into the .bsp file, which is displayed on the BankStep title bar when the .bsp file is loaded. Files created by one registered user but modified by another will have both names listed, with the original creator listed first.

Maximum Number of Modules

It is unlikely you will run out of modules when creating your layouts. The maximum number of any one kind of module you can create is 99. Modules are named with the module names plus a letter (A, B, C, etc.) to identify the specific module. If you create more than 26 of a particular module (unlikely, but allowed), letter designations are taken from the ASCII character set.

CPU Loading Issues

There are two related but separate MIDI timing issues in BankStep you may run in to. One is the CPU load, and the other is MIDI latency, discussed below.

For the most part, processing MIDI is far less CPU intensive than processing audio streams. And typical BankStep setups can coexist very well with software synthesizers and samplers on the same computer, running at the same time. A typical BankStep patch will run at under 10% of CPU load, often under 1%. However very large layouts running on very slow computers can create a CPU load high enough to cause problems with co resident soft synths. If your CPU speed is 500 MHz or better, this is unlikely to be a problem even with the largest of BankStep layouts.

MIDI Latency in BankStep

BankStep uses zero latency, which means that when a note is created it is instantly sent out to MIDI with no timing lag (latency) other than the overhead of the MIDI driver itself. This may cause timing problems for some users so BankStep also has a Latency setting that allows you to adjust Latency for more stable buffered timing. Zero latency is the default, and this setting is recommended for computers faster than about 450 MHz. See the Options page for details.

Known Bugs

None known at this time. But we want to know if you run into one (see below).

We want your feedback

Customer feedback - whether favorable, unfavorable, or just suggestions and wish list items - is essential to the process of making software that works well. We really do want to hear from you. Please email your comments, suggestions, and any other wish list items to: support@algoart.com.

BankStep is Copyright © 2001-2004 by John Dunn and Algorithmic Arts. All Rights Reserved.