Friday, March 30, 2018

French Translation

Christian, one of our French speaking users, has been busy the last while translating the MMA manual to his native language. And, in true open source style, is sharing his work with all of us. 

It is free to download from his archive at: 

Christian is asking for you help. If you can do some proof reading it would be a great help. Please contact him directly via:

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

MMA is over 15 years old

I was just looking at some files and noticed that the first beta release of MMA was posted in February 2003. That means that we missed celebrating the birthday of our adolescent program.  But, considering that this is the first day or spring, please raise a glass of your favorite fruit wine to our friend.

Friday, March 9, 2018

New developer version 16.06.b available

Harmonies are done! And a new developer version is now available. Get it at:

The biggest change is the addition of interval harmonies. These can be quite useful, but be careful ... they can be quite ugly as well.

I've changed the syntax a bit from the discussions here by forcing all interval harmonies to include a single ":" in their name. See the fine documentation for details.

In addition, there are a number of bug fixes (as always) and a number of documentation improvements.

Have fun. And don't forget to let me know if any of this is useful, your suggestions for improvement, neat grooves you have written, and any bugs you might find.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Harmony, revisited

One of these days I will learn to leave things alone :) But what would the fun in that be?

I have dumped the Perfect4 harmony out.

And replaced it with a comprehensive set of interval harmonies. So, now, in addition to the OpenAbove, etc. chord based harmonies that have been in MMA just about forever, we now have an interval notation:


The octave modifier can be any value between -4 and 4.

The interval can be any of Unison, MinorSecond ... PerfectFourth ... etc. And, of course, these can be shorten to Min2 ... Per4, etc.

The leading S is supposed to signify that this is an interval, not chord based. I'm not sure I like S, but using an I is just ugly and confusing with the digit 1. So, I'm suggesting S for "scalar".

I think I might also include a "C" option: just indicate the exact number of half steps to use. Again, I'm not sure about "C" since someone might think that it means "chord". Hmmm, maybe "H" for halfsteps?

I've run a few tests and the harmonies generated this way really don't sound as bad as I thought they would ... some, of course, are awful. But, some are quite pleasing.

A beta release is coming soon. Promise :)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

CopyTo is gone ...

Got COPYTO all working and even wrote up some docs.

But, then I decided that we really didn't need yet-another-command! So, it's gone.

But, don't despair. The functionality is still there. Instead of a new command COPY has been enhanced with a TO keyword. And, to keep things consistent, a redundant FROM keyword as well. So, now we have:

    Track Copy Other-track   ... copies Other-track over Track
    Track Copy From Other-track ... same
    Track Copy To Other-track   ... copies Track over Other-track

And, my tests here in Western Canada (where the snow just never seems to end) indicate that it all works.

Back to the documentation cellar when the whips and chains await. Standby for the announcement of a new beta!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Harmony works ... and a new command

I've done a bit of testing with the perfect-4 harmonies. Delightful!

And, today, I added a COPYTO command. This is the reverse of COPY and will be quite useful, especially in Begin/End blocks.So, now when creating a track, you can duplicate it at ease. For example:

   Begin Chord
      Octave 5
      Articulate 80
      .... lots more stuff
      Copyto Chord-Quiet

And, alas, Chord and Chord-Quiet will be identical. Now, make some mods to Chord-Quiet and we're off to the races. And, yes, in case you are reading along with the manual in hand, you could have done the same previously by doing:

    Chord-Quiet Copy Chord

But, that is outside of the begin/end block and just looks awkward.

I'll be putting up a beta copy (16.6.b) on the website later this week. Just gotta find some time to finish the docs ... I'm really too damned busy for an old retired fellow these days. Between a few music students, my sax/piano/voice duet, a sax trio, community band, and pit orchestra for a amateur musical ... well, you get the idea. Life is grand!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Perfect fourths, part 2

I've been doing a bit more study and it's finally gelled in my little mind: There is a difference between a fourth and a perfect fourth! And for harmony we really need to look at PERFECT FOURTHs ... and these are easy. Just a matter of adding 5 semitones. This achieves a very "modern" feel and (for a computer program like MMA) is very easy to figure out.

So, over the next few days I'll add this as a additional harmony option.

French Translation

Christian, one of our French speaking users, has been busy the last while translating the MMA manual to his native language. And, in true op...