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Explodey

Music construction set

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Hi, is anyone here familiar with the software Music construction set? I have some .atr disk images filled with music I wrote when I was a kid using MCS, and I’m trying to listen to it with my Atari800 emulator, but for some reason I can’t open the files. When I try, MCS just goes “beep” and there’s just an empty staff. 

 

Normally, I’d just assume that unopenable files means that I have a corrupted disk image, but in this case I happen to know that’s not the case. I’ve actually already opened all these MCS docs before, from the same disk image files, with no problem. That was a few years ago, and since then I’ve migrated to a new Mac. I assume that a new computer  wouldn’t be the problem, but the only other differences are that I’m using a newer version of Atari800MacX, and I’m using a different disk image for the MCS software. I never imaged my MCS software disk, and I don’t even know where it is anymore, so I found a disk image online. So all I can think is that maybe I have the wrong version of MCS or something. Any ideas? Thanks!

Edited by Explodey
Just wanted to clarify that I’m using an emulator

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Never mind, I can't help after all, I missed something in your post, so I erased this post and edited it with this sentence.

Edited by Gunstar

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How does MCS store the music files? Does it use a standard Atari DOS 2.0 format? If you post the ATRs maybe we can try them with other emulators. Atari800MacX can sometimes have problems with certain disk formats. If you have access to a PC you can try opening with with the Windows Altirra emulator which is a better emulator.

 

Allan

 

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Thanks for your replies.  Attached is an atr image of one of my MCS save disks.  I'll be very interested to see of anyone has any more luck with it than I did.

 

One more thing I forgot to mention is that back on my old system when I was able to open my MCS files, I'm pretty sure I was running the MCS program from an executable or a cart image or something -- not from a floppy disk image like I am now.  I was thinking that might have something to do with it, but I've searched and searched and I can only find atr disk images of MCS.  Probably doesn't help that I don't really know where to look.  Perhaps someone can suggest a good online archive.

MCSA.ATR

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I didn't have any problem loading the files on the disk.  I just followed these steps:

  1. Started the disk version of MCS in Altirra using an 800/48K setup
  2. Swapped your disk for the MCS disk after MCS was loaded
  3. Hit the floppy icon in MCS
  4. Typed 'CATALOG' to get a list of files on your disk
  5. Typed 'LOAD LEO' to load one of the files on your disk
  6. Hit ENTER to get back to the MCS main interface
  7. Hit the piano/play icon to play the music

Nice stuff!

 

Oh, I should add that I didn't have a version of MCS that would work on Atari800MacX.  I had to run it in Altirra, but I imagine there's a version out there that doesn't make Atari800MacX crash.

 

Update: I was able to get MCS to load on Atari800MacX by setting it to XL (instead of 800) emulation and disabling the SIO patch.  It worked the same as above and loaded the music fine.

 

Edited by jamm

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20 hours ago, jamm said:

I didn't have any problem loading the files on the disk.  I just followed these steps:

 

 

Thank you so much for your help!  It turns out I was just overcomplicating things.  The problem was just that I wasn't entering the right commands into the file prompt.  I've been spoiled by too many years of graphic user interfaces!  Once I followed your instructions, everything worked fine.

 

This disk contains the very first compositions I ever wrote, many years before I went to music school to study theory, so they have a lot of sentimental value to me.  So great to hear them again.

 

I know this is a long shot, but I don't suppose there's any way to convert these files to midi?  Well anyway, thanks again for your help!

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You know, I became curious if it was possible to load the files into either the Apple IIgs version of MCS or the Mac/Amiga versions of Deluxe Music Construction Set, but I had problems getting the files from the ATR disk over to either of those emulators.  Getting them from the ATR disk onto a PC/Mac is no problem, but then getting them from there into a IIgs/Mac/Amiga emulator image is surprisingly convoluted.  It made me realize how spoiled we are with really excellent Atari8 emulators!

 

Anyway, I ran out of time to work on it, but there's a (slight) chance that one of those can load the files and then from there you could either export them into a more modern format or maybe use a MIDI interface to get the data out.

 

If nothing else, Atari800MacX supports a virtualized printer, so you could print the scores!

 

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25 minutes ago, jamm said:

If nothing else, Atari800MacX supports a virtualized printer, so you could print the scores!

 

Yep, that was going to be my next question -- printing.  I just tried printing one of my scores, but the result is just a bunch of garbage text (see attached).  I tried all three of the printer options that Atari800MacX has, but I wasn't able to get actual graphical images with any of them.  I've never tried to print to pdf from Atari800MacX before.  I'm guessing it's just a matter of getting the right settings, but so far I haven't figured it out.

flingblb.pdf

Edited by Explodey
added attachment

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I got it to work at least partially.  Use the Epson option in Atari800MacX and make sure you have the "P:" patch turned on.  In MCS you have to enter an Epson printer code before it'll work: take a look at the instructions in the MCS reference guide on AtariMania.

 

Atari800MacX beeps the entire time the printing process is going on, so I stopped it after about 30 seconds.  It was creating a staff and notes, but I never let it complete, so I don't know if it'll actually finish.

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