close this bookVolume 4: No. 46
View the documentFunding news
View the documentAI news
View the documentBusiness news
View the documentElectronic commerce
View the documentE-publishing and retrieval
View the documentJob opportunities
View the documentJournals and e-journals
View the documentPentium bug update
View the documentArt and music
View the documentCommercial-holiday news

The Sandell Harmonic Archive (SHARC) Timbre Database offers analyses of 1300 notes in complete chromatic runs from all non- percussive instruments of the modern orchestra, taken from the McGill University Master Samples (MUMS) Compact Discs. Fourier harmonics from 0-10,000Hz are given for the sustain portion of each note. The free archive takes about 4.5MB. [Gregory J. Sandell (,, 11/21/94.]

Symbolic Composer Professional offers 300 tools for melodies, chords, rhythms, durations, velocities, channel & program changes, tempos, MIDI controllers, and whole compositional structures, including fractal and chaotic functions. New functions can be programmed in Common Lisp. Inheritance trees and special grammars give exceptional flexibility, sufficient to represent all Western music. Instrument classes include symbol, length, tonality, zone, velocity, channel, program, controller, tempo, duration, tempo-zones, and groove. Composing and composition modeling are style-independent. A composer can create a style by defining the grammars, filling in the class slots, and extending the processors and generators. Lisp extensions are often shared by composers, as with Nigel Morgan's NM PowerPack. SCP works with Finale, Performer, Mosaic, Vision, Encore, Cubase, Notator Logic, Mastertracks Pro, Metro, and with the QuickTime 2.0 Music Instruments. $595 list from Tonality Systems, but academic discounts are available. [Peter Stone (,, 11/18/94. Chuck Morefield.]

Artists seem to prefer the Wacom data tablet -- esp. the 6x8 ArtZ -- over Kurta or Calcomp because of its light, battery-less stylus and easy-to-use software. 12x12 tablets permit strokes similar to those for paper, but are harder to fit near a computer. Kurta has 256 pressure levels vs. 120 for Wacom, but 20-30 levels are probably sufficient. Kurta's stylus is more like a marker than a pen. All brands are useable, and better than mice. [Crosby (,, 11/21/94.]

CMU's User Interface Software Group is working on software support for 3D, gestures, speech, multiple simultaneous users, WWW access, multimedia, end-user customization, and new interactive tools. Most of these will appear in Amulet rather than their Garnet environment, but support for Garnet will continue. (Garnet 3.0 will be released in 12/94; an initial version of Amulet for X/11 and Windows early in 1995.) Garnet is Lisp-based, Amulet will use C++. [Brad A. Myers (, comp.window.garnet, 11/28/94.]