SIP Newsletter #7

Brussels, January 2, 2003

Happy 2003 to all Score users!

- Control Center revision
- The SIP backup mechanism
- SipEdit feature 'Offset'
- SipEdit feature 'Instrument Id setting'
- SipAnlib
- SipXref
- Score Help

Dear SIP user,

We start the new year with a serious number of improvements which I have been adding over the Christmas period. The Help file (v4.08 downloadable) reflects these changes.

Control Center

The layout of the main panel underwent some cosmetic changes. The version number of SIP is now 4.01.
(1) The 'about' screen was added and the product description and disclaimer have been moved there.
(2) Buttons are arranged in alphabetical order in two groups, Licensed and Freeware.
(3) The Backup status has been extended with a restore function (see further down).

The SIP backup and restore mechanism

The editing programs SipEdit, SipRenum, and SipResiz offer the option to have an automatic backup before any updates are made to one or a series of Score music files.
The way this works is as follows: before each file is updated, a file by the same name is copied from the original with the .BKx suffix. The first time this is done, the suffix is .BKU, the next time .BKV and so on until .BKZ. This means that the file with the 'highest' suffix is the most recent backup and that you can have six generations of backups.
When you work on a group of files, the names of these files are usually defined in the names list NAMES.SIP.
On the main panel there is a button 'Backup status' which when pushed gives a summary of all the backups for the current group that you are working on. The summary also gives an explanation on how to restore a backup.
Next to the 'Backup status' there is a small button which when pushed allows you to restore the most recent backup (that is the one with the highest suffix).
By repeating the process you can go back to all previous versions! This is because once you recovered from say BACH*.BKZ, that name will disappear and BACH*.BKY will be the most recent one.

There are some situations where automatic recovery is not possible and SIP will tell you: when backup files have been erased individually 'by hand' or when the names file NAMES.SIP does not exactly represent the same group of files at restore time as when the backups were taken.

The following is for the more IT inclined users: SIP does not keep a register of backups which it has taken - the presence of .BKx files with the identical file names is all there is. Roll-back of just the updates is not possible as SIP works with full backup only. Remember to clean of backup files once your project is finished.

An example may clarify the mechanism:
SIPNAMES.SIP has the following three names
You run SipRenum once to give page numbers to these files. Then the old files get the names
Then you run SipResiz to change the thickness of all slurs to .8. Another generation of backups is then generated (SIP knows that because the .BKU group exists)
At this stage the files with the .MUS suffix have the new page numbers and the new slur thickness.
When you come back on your decision to change the thickness of the slurs, you can do one automatic restore. The files with the .MUS suffix will be erased and the files with the .BKV suffix will get the .MUS suffix.
The result is that the .MUS files have only the first update, the new page numbers.
The most recent backup is then the .BKU group.

SipEdit feature 'Offset' - Automatic note and beam offset

After entering input with Score with more than one voice per staff (stems up for the upper voice and stems down for the lower voice) conflicts arise when notes of these voices get closer to each other than a third, or when the down-stem voice sounds as high or higher than the up-stem voice.

SipEdit now has a feature called 'Offset' which fixes this automatically. Notes and beams in a group of files are inspected for such conflicts and the lower voice is adapted accordingly (Code1 Par10, and Code6 Par14/15).

There is an option which controls what to do with overlapping notes: Some want one note with two stems, others prefer two offset notes each one with its stem.
The program takes care of a number of special situations as demonstrated in the example. An LJ is still necessary for proper horizontal spacing.
Before deciding whether a down-stem note belongs to a multivoice situation, the whole bar is inspected.

SipEdit is a freeware utility which comes with any licensed SIP product.

Demonstration of this feature:    SAMPLE.PDF

SipEdit feature 'Instrument Id setting'

Suppose you have a string quartet and wish to set all instrument id's (Code8 Par9) for the four instruments in one go. SipEdit now has a simple command for this.
Just select the files, then give the number of staves and the instrument numbers to assign such as '4/21,3/22,2/23,1/24'.
Remember that with the bar numbering feature of SipRenum, you can visualize instrument numbers. The cross-reference report made by SipXref will also tell you where they are.


This program partly ran under DOS and has now been rewritten in native Windows.
Reason for the rewrite was that it contained an error - it would crash when a file were presented which from the filename could be interpreted as a DRW but have a different structure.
The output report is presented in a slightly more condensed form and optionally the file date/time stamp can be added for documentation purposes.
The Phase 2 option (generation of a graphical index of DRW symbols) has not been affected.


A small change was made to the Cross-reference program. Version 9.18 (downloadable for licensed users) now provides the Code10 Par16 setting.
As a reminder of what this is let me include the text from the Score 4.01 documentation:

Code 10 - Fingering numbers
Set P16=1 for a single-digit number to take part in the justifying process. This can also be used with a P15 offset.
The main purpose for this is when fingering numbers must be placed to the left side of chord notes.

Score help

While most users of Score are familiar with the F1 quick help, SIP offers access to this file with the point and click method. Starting up this SIP panel from the graphical Score interface however took unacceptably long (the more files on drive C: the longer it took to get started).
This has now been improved and the Score help panel will appear instantaneously.
With this update, the default path for \HLP is constructed from the LIB preference path in SIPCNTRL.INI to accomodate users with SCOR4.
Note that there is still a restriction for screens which are too small. This function requires a screen of minimum 15360 by 11520 twips. An error message will tell you when your screen is too small for Score help.

Long live SCORE

Thought of the month: So many people talk about lifting Score into the age of Windows - so few do something about it...

Jan de Kloe