Bars and Pipes

Lyle Hazelwood

Software type: 


Bars n Pipes is a MIDI sequencer with some very creative abilities. By dropping tools on to Pipelines, it is easy to experiment without making permanent changes to the recorded song.

MIDI is an acronym for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface", and it allows remote control of synthesizers, audio mixers, and a variety of other production equipment. "sequencer" is simply a device or program that allows recording, playback, and editing of MIDI events.

Bars n Pipes lets you record, edit, and play back musical performances. This is NOT the same as audio recording. In a sequencer, we can make changes to the volume, tempo, and even the instrument being played, even AFTER the recording has been made. This offers a level of flexibility that audio recording does not have.

As an editor, Bars n Pipes lets you view the recorded performance as a list of events, or as "Bars" on a staff, with the length of each bar showing the note duration. You can simply drag notes around to change time, pitch or length, within user selectable boundaries.

The output of each track is represented by a Pipe, carrying the performance to an output. Bars n Pipes will let you drop any variety of tools on to the track to change the output, it does this without making any changes to the actual recording. So you can add an "echo" tool, even while the song is playing, and suddenly you'll hear notes on that track begin to echo. If you click on the tool you just dropped, you'll get a window that lets you control the parameters of the echo effect. Bars and Pipes gives you the tools to duplicate a track, or split high/low from any setpoint, quantize the notes to "tighten up" the timing, or unquantize tools to make the drummer sound a bit drunk. Create inversions, or chords, modify volume, velocity, or any other parameter you can name from a selection of over 80 tools. You can combine tools into patterns of your own design, and create "Macro-Tools" that you can add to your toolbox. If you decide that you want to make permanent changes, you can "toolize" a selected region, track, group, or the entire song. This flexible use of tools allows you to experiment without any fear of making a wrong move. It really frees you up to enjoy the experience.

More to come:

  • Re-design of the User interface
  • A new app called 'SoftSyn' providing the ability to create a synth completely in software with support for industry-standard 'SoundFont' files.

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