How to operate this thing
Click on any of the small buttons marked R, O, Y, G, B, I, V (for red,
orange, yellow, ... Duh!) or press the corresponding key to select a sound
type. Put notes on the sheet by placing the cursor where you want the
main "dot" to be and press 1, 2, 3, 4,
6 or 8 for the appropriate length
of the note in 1/8 units. Hold down the CTRL key if
you want the note to be raised half a step.
All notes can be dragged up or down. They will vanish if you drag them
off the sheet, or if you place the cursor over them and press
delete. The applet inserts pause marks at appropriate places
and makes sure you don't do anything illegal. You are not allowed to
play more than one note of the same color at once.
When you want to hear the result, click on the Make button. The
applet will then compile the melody (which takes a few seconds -- you
should be able to see the progress in the status bar at the bottom of your
browser window) and play it from beginning to end. Once it's been
compiled, you can play it without having to go through the computational
process again if you just click on Play, but whenever you have
made some changes (or if you just want to play it at a different speed)
you need to click on Make again in order to hear the new version.
I assume I don't need to explain the use of the Load and Clear
buttons. To switch to 3/4 or 4/4, you need to clear the
The little "Waveform" and "Envelope" areas aren't just there to show what
the different voices sound like. You can edit them by clicking and dragging.
Want a softer sound? Draw a smoother waveform. Want to tone down the
volume? Lower the height of the envelope curve. Experiment! You can always
get the original shapes back by clicking Reset.
When you "save" the finished melody, you don't get the result as a file
(since that would violate the security restrictions of Java). You get a
bunch of odd characters in the "Java Console" window. (Look under "Options"
in Netscape.) Copy all of it into whatever text editor you've got and
save it from there.
What to do with the stuff you've saved
The resulting text file can be read by a particular melody object I've
created, which can be included in applets and used in place of AudioClip
objects. The Melody .class file is here
and the source code is here.
For the source code of a very simple test applet using the Melody class,
Need more info? Visit the "About Rainbow Notes"