90’s Notation Software – Encore by Passport

This is an installer for the last beta (as far as I know) of Passport’s Encore music notation software. They sent it to me for pointing out a glaring bug in their lower level program whose name I can’t remember. The full release for this beta was never released (again, as far as I know). I got Sibelius and moved on.

I used it a few years ago to export my old scores as MIDI. Worked well enough to not have to re-enter everything. I was able to run it on an XP machine without too much pain as I recall. I don’t think I used any compatibility options. I think playback may not have worked, but I was able to export as MIDI.

I’m posting it because the company folded and recently I’ve seen a couple online mentions of the program because no modern software can import its files.

Here’s the installer.

Encore Beta

Good luck!

StageCaller OSC Monitor and Cueing Patch

Updated 10/2/15 – Has MIDI trigger to broadcast status; Now accepts OSC commands, e.g. from QLab 3, to configure settings for ease and reliability.

I recently found this great app, StageCaller, to make your iPhone or Android ring when triggered by MIDI or OSC commands. It also has a heartbeat function for monitoring.

I made a monitor to listen for the heartbeat using Max 6.1.9. I added a simple cue start/stop firing option and an arm/disarm option. I also added to ability to receive via the heartbeat OSC string the time interval for the heartbeat, a name for the device (so you know you’re listening to the correct phone) and the last octet of the phone’s IP address. The first 3 of the IP are derived from the computer on which the monitor’s running (assuming you are on a subnet with 24-bit mask, i.e. – probably safe in many cases…). It can be run on Max Runtime

There’s also an option to hide the cue firing functions so it’s just a monitor.

StageCaller Heartbeat Monitor

This patch requires the external object, OSC-route from Berkeley University, which I’ve included, but please see the link for the most recent version, documentation and lots of other great objects.


Configuring heartbeat string in StageCaller:
OSC:/heartbeat is the default, which will work, but the monitor needs to know the time interval to expect.
OSC:/heartbeat/INTERVAL/PHONE_NAME/LAST_IP_OCTET can be used to pass the time interval, arbitrary device name, and last octet of phone’s IP address (assumes the first 3 are the same as the monitoring computer, i.e. a subnet mask of
Example: OSC Message: /heartbeat/10/Andrew/102

If you have multiple devices with the augmented heartbeat string configured, you can simply change the heartbeat monitoring port number (in the purple box) and the monitor will be configured to listen and send basic messages after receiving a heartbeat.

MIDI Trigger

This sends the specified MIDI note with either velocity 100 or 0 depending on the status of the connection. Example: note 20, velocity 100 is sent every time the heartbeat is received. Note 20, velocity 0 (noteoff) is sent every time the heartbeat is missed.

This can be used to enable/disable alternate cues for the phone ring/vibrate, e.g. if the heartbeat is missed, the StageCaller ring cue can be disarmed, while the audio clip of the ring or vibrate is armed making the fail-over seamless.

The MIDI trigger can be enabled or disabled with the check box.

Firing Cues

Use the “fire cue number” selector to set a cue number. Click the green or red buttons beneath to start or stop a cue of the chosen number (stop cues have to be explicitly activated in the StageCaller Action setup). This can be used to test the connection, or to fire the cues in the event you have don’t have QLab or don’t have version 3 yet.

“Arm/Disarm” uses the StageCaller default OSC message number 99 start and stop to arm and disarm StageCaller.

The bottom, lefthand, yellow box displays the computer’s IP address (allows you to choose the correct network interface if needed) and based on that constructs the first 3 octets of the StageCaller device’s IP address. If the checkbox is ticked, the 4th will be updated automatically by a heartbeat string that includes the device’s 4th IP octet.

An error counter is provided to help troubleshoot connection problems.

Configuration via OSC

The monitor’s parameters can be configured via OSC messages sent on the same port as the heartbeat listening port, i.e. if you are monitoring the phone’s heartbeat on port 3333, then setup an OSC destination in QLab 3, localhost:3333 (or other IP if external). QLab 3 can send these by using the ‘Custom OSC Message’ message type.

OSC commands

              /setip nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn
              /setport nnnn
              /autoupdate yes|no|true|false
              /send yes|no|true|false
              /note nn
              /devicename {midi device name} (no quotes, spaces allowed)
              /port nnnn
              /interval nn

/phoneip is for the IP and port of the phone being monitored. This can be configured in the heartbeat string as mentioned above, but it can also be done here in case a change is needed, e.g. different allowance for error in heartbeat timing, or a 16-bit subnet where the last two octets of the IP address may be different from the computer’s.

/miditrigger configures the MIDI trigger feature (on/off), MIDI note and the MIDI port to use. The MIDI port is specified in the OSC message with spaces – do not use quotes. Example for specifying “from Max Runtime 2”:

/SCM/miditrigger/devicename from Max Runtime 2

/heartconfig configures the heartbeat port to listen on and the time interval to expect the next heartbeat. This can already to be done in the heartbeat string on the phone, but if a last-minute swap happened or if it’s more convenient, the option is here as well.

OSC message examples:

/SCM/phoneip/setport 3421
/SCM/phoneip/autoupdate no
/SCM/phoneip/autoupdate true

/SCM/miditrigger/send false
/SCM/miditrigger/send yes
/SCM/miditrigger/note 45
/SCM/miditrigger/devicename from Max Runtime 2
/SCM/miditrigger/devicename IAC Driver Bus 1

/SCM/heartconfig/port 3334 (have to direct at current port, and then use this new port for subsequent calls. Can be used to load multiple instances of the monitor and configure them for different ports.)
/SCM/heartconfig/interval 12

Download Monitor patch here:

Next to consider: A monitor for multiple phones in a single production. Would be nice to make a clean simple status light and MIDI trigger for each and maybe one firing section, but with multiple phones, one’d probably be using QLab for firing.

I’ve requested that StageCaller add an option to optionally automatically include these things in the heartbeat string to reduce configuration mistakes. I’d also like to see the Arm/Disarm status to be sent via OSC in the event of a change or with the heartbeat. I would think it would be relatively easy since the heartbeat function is already there.

I am sharing this patch in accordance with the GNU General Public License

unRealBook Real Book Index Files

I’ve been using this incredible program, unRealBook for displaying sheet music on my iPad. Aside from the convenience of being able to take every PDF’d chart I have to any gig, it also supports annotations and exporting with such for other band members.

I also made a Bluetooth page turner on the cheap based on this plan:

with this at its heart:

Another really cool thing it supports is using index files to make your Real Books searchable (and therefore easy to use on a gig).

I found some index files online but had to do a bunch of work on several. I far as I can tell, they’re accurate now (or nearly so). There are inconsistencies in title conventions, but I think I’ve eliminated most of the errors.

Here they are, including a master index with all of these combined so you can load just the one index file and be ready to go:

unRealBook Real Book Indexes

Bill Evans FakeBook.csv
Colorado Cookbook.csv
Jazz Fake Book.csv
Jazz LTD.csv
Library Of Musicians Jazz.csv
New Real Book I.csv
New Real Book II.csv
New Real Book III.csv
Real Book I.csv
Real Book II.csv
Real Book III.csv
Standards Real Book.csv

The last one is the Sher publication, not “Just Standards Real Book” whose index file is more readily available.

The master list is All Real Books.csv

The only thing you may need to do is rename your Real Book PDFs or edit the CSV files to reflect the correct file name. Spaces in the file name are not a problem. Also, how you sort the titles determines how they display in unRealBook.

Warning: commas in the titles mess up individual titles, but not the whole file.

Martha Graham Cracker and a String Quartet from the Philadelphia Orchestra!!

A string quartet of members of the Philadelphia Orchestra will be playing Rich Hill’s and my arrangements in accompaniment of Martha Graham Cracker on Sept 5th, 11:30pm at the new FringeArts venue located at Delaware Ave and Race St.

The event is free and open to the public starting at 10pm. Doors to the theatre open at 11.

Needless to say we are thrilled beyond belief, not mention a bit nervous, at such an opportunity.


The show was incredible! So amazing to work with Juliette Kang, Jason DePue, David Nicastro and Yumi Kendall from the Orchestra and to hear our tunes played, well, as well as they could ever be. Martha delivered on top of that as always in the finest fashion. So pleased!

Pictures from my dad:

Some press:


Photos and comments:



Repaired Broken Cry Baby 535Q – Extremely Loud Static When On

I bought a broken Dunlop Cry Baby 535q Wah Wah pedal recently to re-purpose as a teensy controller or passive volume pedal. When I tried it out, though, it worked perfectly. Later it started making really loud static noises whenever it was engaged. I figured it had a loose component or one that was overheating. There was an easy fix, and one I did not find anyone mentioning online, so if you have a noisy 535Q, try this.

Cry Baby 535Q

After taking apart too many pieces (hint: never remove the pot/PC board assembly if you don’t need to!) I discovered that touching a micro transistor, Q2, made it work again.

Cry Baby 535Q - Q2 Transistor - Reflowed Solder Joints

Cry Baby 535q, 9-volt Schematic
I’m not certain that this is accurate, but it looks about right. The transistors, Q1 and Q2 – MMBT5059, are bordering on non-existent. They may be Polish, but I’m not sure how to replace them.

Since pressing helped, I decided to reflow its solder joints, and that did the trick! It’s been working great for a month now. Not bad at all for $20.

1967 Baldwin Burns Jazz Bass

Due to a shortage of information on what’s become one of my favorite basses ever, I’m attempting to compile as much as I know about this instrument in a single place.
Baldwin Burns Jazz BassMine is a 1967. Burns manufactured the Jazz Bass from ’64-’65 (http://www.brianmaycentral.net/burnshistory.html). Baldwin purchased the company in ’65 and the Jazz bass was continued until ’70 (http://www.guitar-list.com/baldwin/bass-guitars/baldwin-jazz-bass).


  • 22 frets
  • 30.5″ scale
  • Controls:
    • Pickup selector – 4-position rotary switch
      • Contrabass – Neck Pickup, with highs rolled off
      • Bass – Neck and Middle Pickups
      • Treble – Bridge Pickup
      • Wild Dog – Middle and Bridge PIckups with Bridge out of Phase.
        • I added the neck pickup to ‘Wild Dog’ to give it low end that was completely missing originally. The out-of-phase sound is still there, so it’s a nice contrast to the ‘Bass’ position.
    • Tone
    • Volume
  • Burns patented Gear-o-Matik® Truss Rod Gearbox mechanism in heel of neck. geared low, i.e. requires more turns than traditional direct adjust truss rods. The modern gearing is 1:18. I don’t know if the old ones are the same. It turns easily and did take full turns where I’d normally have made only partial turns.
  • Fully adjustable bridge with roller saddles on threaded shaft for side to side adjustment
  • Burns Tri-Sonic pickups, but not split-sound that are mentioned frequently which only seem to be on the guitars. They are low impedance requiring transformers.
  • Metal-button Van Ghent tuners with a streamlined cover. (http://www.retrofret.com/products.asp?ProductID=5545)

Truss rod tool and bolt head:

Burns Gear-o-Matik® Truss Rod Wrench Burns Gear-o-Matik® Truss Rod Bolt Burns Gear-o-Matik® Truss Rod Wrench in Place
About the pickups (I contacted Burns UK and got the following response):

“Regarding the pickups – the low impedence units that you have were only made for a few years and then discontinued, never to return. Although the system worked quite well, it was massively expensive to produce/manufacture and really the same sort of sounds/tone could be achieved with the standard high impedence units which were fitted to different Burns models, at a fraction of the price. If you disconnect your pickups from the transformers, they will basically become useless and un-useable. If you try to wire high impedence units through the transformers it would probably work, but the residual noise would be ridiculous and there would be almost no high end frequencies whatsoever. All the new pickups currently supplied by Burns London are the high impedance standard units.”

He also said in another exchange:

“Regarding your E-mail to Burns London about the schematics/wiring on your Baldwin bass. There is a copy of the original UK Burns schematic printed in Paul Day’s “Green Burns Book”. However, this is a copy from an original heavily used schematic – and in all honesty is barely legible – and gives little info on component values etc.. Burns instruments were also notorious for changing spec on an almost weekly basis – this was really down to the availability of various components at that time. To make matters even more complicated, when Baldwin purchased Burns – much of the actual production moved to the large EKO plant in Italy. This also caused circuits/components to change. Regarding the “wild dog” setting – many people are under the impression that this was some sort of booster or overdrive sound. In fact, it was essentially an “out of phase” setting – which basically sucked the mid frequencies out of the signal. The pickups were normally very low impedance units and the small transformers under the pickguard boosted the coils back up. This was an attempt to achieve a very “clean” un-distorted type sound.”

Baldwin Burns Jazz Bass - BodyBaldwin Burns Jazz Bass - Controls

Other feature of note – the awesome scroll headstock.

Baldwin Burns Jazz Bass - Head

I use Thomastik-Infeld flatwound Jazz Bass strings – JF324
http://www.juststrings.com/toi-jf324.html – they’ve gotten expensive, but they really make the bass speak well. It’s amazingly consistent all over the neck with a nice fat sound around and above the 12th fret. It came with unidentified roundwound strings that were unremarkable.

I have a ’75 Gibson EB-3 that I also love, but it’s hard to play live because its sound is inconsistent on the lower frets, ranging from really dead to super boomy. I’ve had good luck recording it, but I don’t play it any more, though, because I moved the now 10-year old Thomastik strings to the Baldwin bass.
'75 Gibson EB-3

I would like to draw up a schematic with as much info as I can determine. The transformers are only labeled 3206 and 3136, which I’ve found is consistent with other Baldwin/Burns instruments, but I doubt I’ll ever figure out any more than that.

Sound Clips:

George Urgo Blues Band from our last summer in Philadelphia. I recorded this live at a Sunday brunch at Juniper Commons, April 2015.

Guitar, Vocals – George Urgo
Drums – Ben Diamond

Bass – Andrew Nelson

Other links:

Recovering Data From a Broken USB Flash Drive

Last year I was able to extract all the data from a friend’s 16GB USB flash drive that was broken in half when the laptop it was still plugged into was put in a knapsack. It was broken almost cleanly through, so I broke it all the way to expose the guts, cut open a USB cable and soldered wires to the power connector PC board traces. The exposed parts of the traces for the data connectors, however, were torn off and what remained was too small to solder to. So I stuck two sewing pins through a piece of 1/4″ lauan, lined up the pins with the data traces, wiggled them through the insulating coating and after a few tries had a slow but steady transfer of the nearly 16GB of critical, non-backed up data. On my first try, I was holding the board and the pins (needed enough weight to make contact), but my hand cramped up before it could finish. After that, I steadied the board with two finishing nails and weighted it down. All I had to do then was tip toe and keep the cats away from it. Kinda surprised it worked.

Hotwiring a USB Drive