Appendix

Email support

Technical support is available to registered users by email to: support@algoart.com. We try to answer all support questions promptly - usually within hours - but please help us help you by including the following information:

  1. Most problems can be solved simply by forcing an initializion to default values. Reboot the computer then go to Start Menu/Programs/MusicWonk4, and run Reset MusicWonk Defaults. USB versions, which do not have Start menu shortcuts, can run with "-dbg" in the command line. Pay close attention to the pop up message that tells you the folder where you will finde the debug file it creates, "Debug.txt."
  2. If this does not do the job email Debug.txt to us with your support request.
  3. Describe the problem in as much detail as possible, including error messages, whether the issue seems related to installation, startup, loading a file, etc. Screen captures of error messages are particularly helpful.
  4. Include as much additional information as possible. The more information you provide the faster we can help you. Feel free to attach illustrative patch files or screen capture image files if you think that will help, in addition to the Debug.txt file.
  5. Describe the computer you are using, including operating system, amount of memory, CPU speed, graphics settings.
  6. What other audio and MIDI software is installed in your computer? What other software is running?

Update Notification

While we do not send out unsolicited email (spam), we do have mailing lists 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 new versions. And of course we never disclose our list to third parties. To subscribe or unsubscribe to our mailing lists, visit the Algorithmic Arts Support Page.

MusicWonk File Compatibility

MusicWonk files are downward compatible to the previous version, but not upward compatible. This means you can load a MusicWonk patch, macro, or function file created with the previous version of MusicWonk, but the previous version of MusicWonk can not load files created with a later version. This is mostly because later versions have additional modules.

Additionally, patches made with MusicWonk versions other than the previous one may not load unless you save them with a compatible version. When loading MusicWonk files made with earlier versions, you may get a message that says "Translated from..." instead of the normal, "Loaded from...." When you see that message, you only need to save the file and the translation becomes permanent.

Difference between ArtWonk and MusicWonk.

ArtWonk and MusicWonk are very similar, but ArtWonk is more extensive. ArtWonk has 362 different modules, MusicWonk, 270. ArtWonk's additional 92 modules are mostly for its extensive algorithmic graphics drawing and image processing functions. The MIDI and general algorithmic functionality of both programs are nearly identical. File formats are compatible between the two programs. ArtWonk can read any file made with MusicWonk. MusicWonk can read files made with ArtWonk, unless the files contain graphics modules.

Name Stamping Your Compositions

All compositions created by registered MusicWonk users will have their name stamped into the files, which is displayed on the status bar when the file is loaded. Files created by one registered user but modified by another will have both names listed.

Maximum Number of Modules

There is no maximum number of modules you can make with MusicWonk, other than what is imposed by the memory limitations of your computer. Patches have been created with thousands of modules. It is best to avoid having a large number of modules at any one macro level because only modules on the currently displayed page (macro level) receive graphics processing, and it is the graphics processing, such as updating the module output readouts, that take most of the CPU overhead.

Macro Nesting Depth

Macro nesting depth is virtually unlimited. Also, the overhead for macro processing is negligible. So it is much better to have a great many macros than just a few pages with a large number of modules per page. By breaking your patch into macros, it will be easier to understand when you come back to it later, and the patch will run smoother because there will be fewer modules at any one time that require display processing.

CPU Loading Issues

For the most part, processing MIDI is far less CPU intensive than processing graphics or audio. So if you are using MusicWonk to generate MIDI, even very large and complex patches can coexist very well with software synthesizers and samplers on the same computer, running at the same time. A typical MusicWonk MIDI patch will run at under 10% of CPU load, often under 2%. However it is possible to load up on graphics intense components and run the CPU load right up to 100%. Almost always, a little judicious planning will prevent CPU overloads.

MIDI Latency

MusicWonk 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. When MusicWonk is sending MIDI there is no detectable lag. However you will perceive lage when receiving MIDI, as from your keyboard. Not because there is noticable lag receiving the MIDI data, but because MusicWonk modules are normally processed in descrete time quanta, the Loop intervals.

There is a cure for this, which is to use MIDI macros for input that needs to be processed and sent back out without lag. These modules are triggered by the MIDI input itself, not by the normal loop interval ticker, so processing from input to output is in microseconds, not milliseconds, and there will be virtually no perceptible lag no matter how complex your input processing.

Running Multiple Instances of MusicWonk

You can run any number of simultaneous instances of MusicWonk, computer memory and processing power permitting. The only issue you need to keep track of is how the .ini file is treated, so you don't loose options like MIDI Port settings. MusicWonk will use a 2nd .ini file for all instances other than the first one loaded, so if you use MusicWonk in a multiple instance configuration, you should run the "keeper" main instance always first, and it will preserve its settings in the regular .ini file. After that you can load other instances, which will always use the 2nd .ini file.

What's in a Name?

The "wonk" in MusicWonk is "know" backwards, which has been taken to mean knowledge-intensive. As you explore MusicWonk, you will come to realize it is not just a program for making music, it is also a deep pool of knowledge about algorithmic music process that you interact with and learn from as you create your own vision. Creativity comes only from within yourself, but MusicWonk can be a lamp that lights the way. With MusicWonk you are unlikely to produce what you expected, and practically guaranteed not to produce what everyone else expected.

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 support@algoart.com with your bug reports or suggestions.

MusicWonk is Copyright © 2003-2010 by John Dunn and Algorithmic Arts. All Rights Reserved.