Introduction to Bars&Pipes (B&P)


This document gives an introduction to the MIDI-sequencing program Bars&Pipes. Bars&Pipes is the best sequencing program to Amiga and some features are also a lot better than sequencing packages on other platforms.

However, it is not easy to get into Bars&Pipes the first time. When you know the technique it is not hard at all, but you have to understand some basic concepts before you are able to use it.

Unfortunately, the company that developed Bars&Pipes, The Blue Ribbon SoundWorks, Ltd., went bankrupt a time a go and the company was bought by Microsoft. A good thing about this, is that Bars&Pipes are availeble free for the Amiga users (don't ask me where to get it though). Few of the people that have Bars&Pipes, have the user guide and thus can not use the program. I want to give new Bars&Pipes users a push to explore the program and to create wonderful music using the Amiga.

I bought Bars&Pipes in 1992 and have used it a lot since then. Bars&Pipes is not good at everything, but most things when it comes to producing MIDI-music. Good luck with using Bars&Pipes

How to start ?

I will not describe how to install the program on floppy or harddisk in this document, and I will not describe how to hook up you MIDI device (if you don't know how to do this, you should read some more about how to use MIDI).
  1. Double-click on B&P's icon. B&P will then open with an empty Song. You can also double-click on a song icon to open a song in B&P.
  2. Choose a track. The B&P screen will contain a track window with a number of tracks shown as pipelines (track1, track2, etc...). To choose a track, simply click on the arrow-icon to high-light it. This icon show whether a track is choosen or not.To the right of the arrow-icon, you can see the icon for the midi-input. If you double-click on this icon you can change the MIDI-in setup.
  3. Choose Record for the track. To the right of the MIDI-input icon you can ses a bar. The bar lead to another icon with that shows either P, R or M. This stands for Play, Record or Merge. To change the icon, simply click on it. If you choose P, this track can only play the track (you can't record anything). If you choose R, you can record what you play and it overwrites old stuff in the track. If you choose M, you merge new records with old stuff in the track. Choose R now to be able to make a record.
  4. Chose MIDI-channel. On the most right part of the track you can see an icon with a number in it. This is the MIDI-channel selector. Here you must choose a MIDI-channel that is availeble on your synthesizer/keyboard. If you choose MIDI-channel 10, most synthesizer will play drumsounds. To the left of this icon is the MIDI-output icon. Double-click on this icon to change the MIDI-output configuration.
  5. Start recording. The next step is to start recording. You must then find the control buttons (they look like buttons on a CD-player). To be able to make a record. you must click on the R icon. You can simply now press the play button (after you have pressed the R button) and play something on you keyboard. To playback your composition, press the Play button on the control panel.
  6. Edit track. To edit a track, you simply double click in the middle part of a track. You will then get a new window containing the track, where you can change what you have recorded using tools provided. Take also a look in the drop-down menus for more features.
For a more detailed description take a look here.