Voyetra on Win10 – Pyramid midi

Leave a comment

February 27, 2019 by aubreykloppers

Background:

Over the last couple of years I have tried to move away from running a DAW to running a pure stand-alone environment.  This is due to the fact that all the bits and pieces of a DAW tends to suck the artistry out of music.  Well, my latest problem is the sequencer I use, a Squarp Pyramid, is just that, a pure stand-alone sequencer, that for the lack of words, is awesome!

Problematic concepts I had was to get midi I downloaded from the internet into the Pyramid.   This is just due to the fact that I sometimes do not understand translated instructions.  Worst of these is the generic Chinese to English translations, but in the case of Squarp, some French thinking and understanding is necessary.  Not that the manual is anything lacking, it is just the train-of-thought is, well, different.  AND concepts you need to understand is sometimes taken for granted.

Problematic concepts using midi in Pyramid:

  • To import midi into Pyramid is just a case of getting a single track exported as midi type 0 and placing it into the “PYRA_{NAME}” directory on the SD card.
  • Not much is written about the true nature of midi type 0 and 1.
  • There are not really much in converters available.
  • I do not feel like getting another DAW installed onto my PC, just to do conversions.
  • I do not want to kill my PC with DAW’s from the “underground”

Now about Voyetra and converting midi files:

The Pyramid is basically a Voyetra “box”.  Old-school artists who have used and loved Voyetra and who are now using Pyramid will recognize the fact the two are so close in relationship thinking.  We all know how badly it was the day Voyetra got killed by Turtle Beach and Cakewalk.  Both companies now in derelict state!

Installation:

  • Download here: Sequencer Plus Gold zip file and Dos Box installer for your environment.
  • Install your Dos Box environment.
  • Open installed Dos Box (noconsole)
  • Open the Voyetra zip file.
    1. Create a folder you want to mount to (in my case C:\Users\{USER}\Desktop\Voyetra)
    2. Mount the folder you want to install to with, in my case: “mount C C:\Users\{USER}\Desktop\Voyetra”
    3. Edit your Dos Box conf file (C:\Users\{USER}\AppData\Local\DOSBox\dosbox…conf) and add at the end (after [autoexec] the commands to run automatically when you start your Dos Box.
      • mount C C:\Users\{USER}\Desktop\Voyetra
      • c:
      • cd voyetra
      • seq.bat
    4. Prepare a flash drive noting the drive letter (G in my case)
    5. Copy the contents of the “Sequencer – Installer” folder onto the flash drive
    6. In DOS Box:
      1. Mount the flash drive as a floppy disk device. “mount B G:\ /t floppy”
      2. Change directory to the newly mounted floppy drive. “B:”
      3. Type “VINSTALL.EXE”. This will begin installing Voyetra.
      4. It will ask you for the next disk.
    7. Delete everything on you flash drive. Then copy the files inside the folder that is asked for to the flash drive.
    8. Reset the mount by pressing CTRL+F4.
    9. In DOS Box:
      1. Hit enter..
      2. Load next disk as per Point 7/8.

Notes:

  1. This runs with no driver support.
  2. To exit out of a screen hit “ALT+TAB” or “Window-KEY”

Example (Exporting track-by-track – MIDI TYPE 0):

  • I am using “Take 5 – Dave Brubeck
  • Open your dos box / voyetra installed program and hit:
    • “F” for file
    • “M” for mode until Ext.MID is displayed
    • Highlight file and “L” for load and load the file.
  • Make sure you are on track 1:
    • HIT “F” for File
    • HIT “S” for Save
    • Enter “TRACK01” as name
    • Choose “Type 0”
    • Choose “Single”
    • Enter “1” for track number
    • Choose “Ignore” Main Screen Settings
    • Choose “Midi-Only” Suppress all meta-events
    • Hit ESC to return to track view.
  • You will now have a file called “TRACK01.MID”
  • Make sure you are on track 2/3/4…-10… and repeat.

This will now leave you with files exported as MIDI TYPE 0 called TRACK01-10.MID

Actually, I only realized later that tracks 4/5/6/7/8/10 has nothing to contribute (they are empty), so only tracks 1,2,3,9 are in use.

Now for the Pyramid:

Open an empty Pyramid project (SD CARD) and dump these files (TRACK01/2/3/9.MID) into the project folder.  Load the project onto Pyramid and you will have the midi information imported into Pyramid.


The following, untested method, has also been published.  I did try it on Windows, but did not get it to work as there are just too many variables to consider. It does, however work on Linux, but that is beyond the scope of this writing.

Using Python:

Of course, we could also just turn this into a definitive guide that does describe all the known methods :smile:

So here’s my take. Requires Python 3 and Mido library, both open source software available free of charge, and you can consider this little scriptlet to be public domain:

#!/usr/bin/python3

import mido
import sys
import os.path

if __name__ == '__main__':
    mid1 = mido.MidiFile(sys.argv[1])
    if mid1.type == 1:
        projpath = 'PYRA_%s' % sys.argv[2]
        os.mkdir(projpath)
        for i in range(1, len(mid1.tracks)):
            trkname = os.path.join(projpath, 'track%02d.mid' % i)
            origname = mid1.tracks[i].name
            mid0 = mido.MidiFile(type=0)
            mid0.tracks.append(mid1.tracks[i])
            print('Saving track %02d (%s) as %s' % (i,origname, trkname))
            mid0.save(filename=trkname)

With the official sample material of the thread, here’s what I get:

[pmatilai@mursu mid2pyra]$ ./mid2pyra.py 'Dave Brubeck - Take Five 1.mid' 'Take_Five'
Saving track 01 (Acoustic Bass) as PYRA_Take_Five/track01.mid
Saving track 02 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track02.mid
Saving track 03 (Alto Sax) as PYRA_Take_Five/track03.mid
Saving track 04 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track04.mid
Saving track 05 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track05.mid
Saving track 06 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track06.mid
Saving track 07 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track07.mid
Saving track 08 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track08.mid
Saving track 09 (Drums) as PYRA_Take_Five/track09.mid
Saving track 10 (Acoustic Grand Piano) as PYRA_Take_Five/track10.mid
Saving track 11 () as PYRA_Take_Five/track11.mid
Saving track 12 () as PYRA_Take_Five/track12.mid
Saving track 13 () as PYRA_Take_Five/track13.mid
Saving track 14 () as PYRA_Take_Five/track14.mid
Saving track 15 () as PYRA_Take_Five/track15.mid
Saving track 16 () as PYRA_Take_Five/track16.mid
[pmatilai@mursu mid2pyra]$ 

The whole thing takes less than a second, and should work on any platform where Python is supported. This too will lose time signature and tempo, some of that might be fixable depending on how Pyramid stores things, but not here and not now :slight_smile:

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: