Module Input Connections

Just as hardware analog sequencers have two types of signals - control voltages and on/off gates - BankStep also has the digital equivalent: Values for control voltages, and Logicals for on/off gates.

Blue button is Value input, Red button is Logical input.

Value and Logical connections are distinguished by different color buttons. While you are free to specify your own color scheme, in the example images Value inputs are blue and Logical inputs are red. When you click on a button you will see different pop up menus for each of the two input types, and the list of possible connections will be different.

Value Connections

Value connections may be numbers or outputs from other modules or system values. Numbers may range from -9999 to 9999, but as MIDI is limited to 0-127, this is the Value range you will use most of the time. Numbers are listed in the left panel of the Value input pop up. Just click on a number and it will become the input to the module, and appear as its label. For numbers not listed, you can type it in the text box in the upper left of the pop up. You can use the inc/dec arrows to adjust the number in small steps. To connect the number to the input, click on the OK button.

For convenience, two drop down lists of values are available - note values in ticks for connecting to clock and other tick duration inputs, and General MIDI Program Change values, for connecting to the Prog input in the MIDI module. There is nothing special about these values, they are just numbers and will show up as numbers in the button labels.

Module outputs and system values are shown on the right panel. Click on an input and it becomes the connection, with the button labeled with the input name. This list of module outputs will change according to the modules that are in the layout. Logical outputs from modules are not listed, so modules that have only logical outputs will not show up in this list. To close the pop up without making a connection or changing the existing connection, click on either the Cancel button or the upper right "X" close icon.

Logical Connections

Logical connections have two states only, On or True, and Off or False. They may be either Gates or Triggers. Gates are On for the duration, triggers are On for only one tick (a "tick" is one calculation cycle defined by MIDI as of 1/24th of a quarter note). Triggers and Gates that are On for some number of ticks then go Off, are collectively referred to as "pulses." For example the output of a Clock module, which is a gate that cycles between some number of ticks On then some number of ticks Off, is called a clock pulse.

As there are no numeric values, the Logical pop up has only one panel, which has the logical system flags and the list module logical outputs. Click on an input and it becomes the connection, with the button labeled with the input name. This list of module outputs will change according to the modules that are in the layout. Value outputs from modules are not listed, so modules that have only Value outputs will not show up in this list. To close the pop up without making a connection or changing the existing connection, click on the upper right "X" close icon.

System Values and Flags

System Values and Flags give access to some of BankStep's internal events. The most basic use is to connect Hold inputs to Banks and Clocks to the Stop flag so the modules will be in hold (or reset, if reset input is used) until the Play button is clicked. In this way, you can set modules to start at in an exact, known state when you start them or record them to MIDI. System Values/Flags are at the beginning of the module input connection lists.

Logical System Flags

Off - a constant that is always logical False or Off.

On - a constant that is always logical True or On

Run is True when the Play button is pressed, otherwise it is False. Some modules are internally connected to the Run Flag. These are the modules that always would want to be reset at the start of a composition, such as the MIDI modules which send out their initial control settings.

Stop is True when the Play button is not pressed - when Stop or Pause in the Composer is pressed - otherwise it is False. The Gates Module is internally connected to the Stop flag, and the module goes into Hold when during Stop (then Reset and when Run is clicked).

TStart is a Trigger flag that goes to True for one cycle on startup, file load, or when Run button is pressed, then returns to False.

System Values

Off (0) - this is a constant that always returns the value 0, but it is also used by several modules (Banks, Gates, Row) as an Off or disconnect value.

WNotes gives the number of whole notes since the internal clocks are reset (as when Run/Stop is clicked). This is useful for timing events in a composition such as volume changes, etc. You can delay the onset of the whole note count by setting the Options window WN Delay value.

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