Choice of Display and Input Timing Modes
The great strength of the Beltower simulator is the multitude of display/input/timing modes, designed to cater for everyone, from complete novice through to black zone expert. The bells can strike either automatically or in response to your input, either with open hand stroke leads or cart-wheel style. You can input with a wide tolerance (over more than a whole stroke), or with precision, up to 80% earlier than the resulting strike, and you can enter your place, rely on the timing of your input, or even a combination of both. The timing of calls can be adjusted for tower bells, substantially later for hand bells, or anywhere in between.
The most important objective of good ringing is precise striking, and Beltower lets you practise your striking, from the keyboard, mouse, bell sensors or MIDI.
The variety of permutations allows, for example, those who don't want the complication of precise input timing, at one extreme, to simply input their place, or just to watch and listen, while everything else is done for them. At the other extreme, experts who can strike with perfection would be able to input in time with the rope pull, with interactive animation, and call call-changes or spliced touches.
Screen Shot 2) can simplify your selections, by offering both a Wizard and pre-configured 'Timing Options' combinations.
With multiple covering bells, you can ring, for example, doubles on eight with 468 behind. Or you can leave out the tenor altogether.
|In addition to the general and context-sensitive help, the Info' button will display a summary of your selections, indicating exactly what Beltower will do, what you can do, and how you can do it.|
Screen Shot 3) offer you complete control of the available choices.
Single Key on-time mode allows either the Y key or the space bar, but can also double as Place Key on-time mode. With each of the on-time modes, you can input at bell pull, up to 80% earlier than the resulting strike, simulating real ringing about as closely as you can get from the keyboard.
The Key Up/Down Transitions option allows absolute control over hand and back stroke inputs.
A similar option is provided for sensor high/low transitions.
And you can switch between Up or Down for hand strokes with keyboard entries on tower bells.
Place keys (normally number keys) are used to indicate the current place of the ringer's bell. There is a new mode which will wait for you to input your place, and will not proceed unless it is correct - good for practising methods, to save it running away if you go wrong.
Calls timing offers you the option to maintain a consistent 'thinking time', which ever mode you choose. They can be called between 280% and 127% of a stroke before they take effect. This allows calls to be timed at pull time 2 blows before, for use with ropes, through to just before the lead strike 1 blow before, for hand bells, or anywhere in between. When calling manually, calls can be entered at, or about, the selected call time, or up to a whole lead before.
In all modes, you can now choose to display the changes in time with either the striking or your input. No longer is 'display at pull' required for any modes.
Hand/back stroke input is now distinct and independent for each bell, and there are options to make life easy. There are striking challenges as well, to test your listening and conducting skills, and odd-struck options, to make life more difficult, now available with external sensors in 'single signal with delay' mode (and with display at strike).
Auto-Strike and Auto-Animate
With auto- strike and animate selected, if you stop ringing for a few blows, the simulator will fill in for you, until you start ringing again. This is now available with all ringer's bells.