Display Menu

Modules in the display menu do not produce output, they only display information.

Info Box

The Info Box module is a text box that you can use however you like. Change to any size by dragging on the edges. Standard right-click copy, paste, etc. operations are available. To change text color, click on the little button in the upper left corner. Move the box around on the screen by putting the mouse pointer on the narrow gray strip just under the button. Delete the text box by holding Shift and clicking on the button.

You can dynamically input and change text under program control with the InfoBox, GetInfoBox, and TxtInfoBox functions in the UF Programmer.

Info Button

This button pops up a text box that is essentially the NotePad editor without a menu (but it does have the right-click copy, paste, etc. menu). Use the Info Button to include extended text descriptions of your patches.

Picture Button Info Picture

Pic Button is like InfoButton, but pops up an image instead of a text box. Click on the button to display the image; ctrl-click to load a new image.

InfoPicture is like InfoBox, but displays an image instead of text. Load a new image by clicking on the little gray button in the upper left corner, delete the module by shift-clicking on the button. Hold the mouse cursor over the button to get a tool tip reminder of this.

Both modules may have images of any size. Pixels in InfoPicture can be read by the InfoPix() UF Function. The images file names are stored in SoftStep, not the image data itself. This saves disk space and keeps SoftStep files from bloating with picture data, but unless the file is located in the same directory as the .ssp patch file, if you move the file you will have to reload the module so it will know where to find the file. File formats recognized include bitmap (.bmp) files, icon (.ico) files, cursor (.cur) files, run-length encoded (.rle) files, metafile (.wmf) files, enhanced metafiles (.emf), GIF (.gif) files, and JPEG (.jpg) files.


Sometimes it is handy to know the binary representation of a number. That is what the Bits module does.


Pitch displays the C-Major scale value of the input, and the 0-based octave. In the example, 60, which is the MIDI value for Middle-C, displays as C-natural : Octave 5.

Table Names

TNames (Table Names) gives readout of up to 128 label names. It uses the same Page Table Editor as the Page modules, Table modules, etc., but it only uses the text label part, and ignores the page data.

The input value selects which of the 0-127 labels to display, the button to the right of the input shows the input value selected; clicking on it pops up the table editor.

This module is handy for displaying the instrument names that correspond to program change values. To load a list of names, pop up the table editor, select the Load button, and select file of type ".txt" - this will load up to 128 lines of a plain text file into the label slots. Two such files are provided in the examples directory: GMInstNames.txt which is the list of General MIDI pitched instrument names, and GMPercNames.txt which is the list of percussion instrument names that follow note numbers on MIDI channel 10.


Meter displays up to 4 inputs as a horizontal bar meter.


Link gives fast and accurate linkage to other SoftStep programs running on the same computer. This module works similarly to a MIDI Control module, except it does not use MIDI, it uses an interprocess communication module running in memory.

Send is the value to send to the selected Link Channel. Values are sent automatically whenever they are changed, so a changing value can be used as the value itself and it can also be used to accurately synchronize other instances of SoftStep.

Chan selects the Link Channel, 0-127, which determines which of the 128 available channels the link value will be sent to, or received from.

The output of the Link module, as seen in the blue output box, shows any values that have been sent to the selected Link Channel by Link modules in other instances of SoftStep.


Tempo gives the ability to change system tempo from within a SoftStep patch. The top input is the Tempo value to be set. The actual 0-127 value input is doubled to make a tempo range of 20 - 240, with the tempo value showing in the readout box to the right of the Tempo input. The strobe (clock) input just below, labeled "Tempo" actually sets the tempo on a 0-nz transition. The bottom strobe input, labeled "Reset" triggers a system reset, which causes all modules that are sensitive to it such as MIDI Voice, etc. to reset.

Tone Table

The Tone Table module displays the labels from the currently active tuning table.This is a read-only table that is loaded whenever SoftStep loads a tuning table. While this module is highly recommended to use in conjunction with the Tone module, remember the Tone Table module only displays the table names it does not select the table to use. That is done only through the Tone module.

The output of the Tone Table is the highest (0 based) scale step for the selected tuning table. Click on the blue N-1/Num button to switch between the actual number of scale steps (Num) and the 0-based highest scale step (n-1).

SoftStep is Copyright © 1999-2004 by John Dunn and Algorithmic Arts. All Rights Reserved.