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Bars & Pipes Pro 2.5b Bug List

Maintained by Mike Clarke. Last update: 30 April 2000
(NB: an old date does not indicate a dead page, but merely that no new bugs have been found)

Bars & Pipes is a fantastic piece of software, and is on the whole very solid and reliable. However, the last commercially released version of Bars & Pipes Pro was v2.5b (dated 28th April 1994) and there are a number of bugs present in that release which may never be fixed. I thought it necessary therefore to document all bugs that have been found so that users are aware of them before they happen, and have some ideas for possible fixes or workarounds. I strongly advise that you read through the full list as there are some potentially fatal (to B&P, not to you) bugs in there. Please note that the sourcecode to Bars &Pipes has now been released by Microsoft, and endeavours are underway to update the program, so hopefully some of these bugs will be fixed in the future.


Data order

If you have a Control Change value and a Note that are to play at the same time, there is no way to guarantee which will play first. This can cause some problems - for example, if you have a CC#10 value (pan) at the same time as a note, and your synth does not support real-time panning (ie only notes received after the last pan message play at that pan position), then there is a possibilty that your synth will not play the note at the correct pan position because it would have received the pan information after the note had started. Or if you have a filter set to operate via a Control Change; If the filter was previously open and you send a new note and a close filter command at the same time, if the note data is sent before the CC value, you will hear a nasty click as the filter closes just after the note starts.

Set your Control data to play 1 ppqn before the note, or the note to play 1 ppqn after. You can split your Note Data and Control Data into two separate Tracks, and use the PlayTime Tool to set the Data Track to 1 ppqn early.


Switching off the Visual Metronome while the transport is playing does not reset the colour to its default.

Stop the Transport before switching off the Visual Metronome.


If you select Record mode (by clicking the R button, or pressing R on the keyboard) while a Note is sounding, the Note will sometimes stick.

Use Richard Hagen's Ravenous Bug Blatter Tool.

Saving files

If your Amiga crashes when saving a file, your work will be completely lost due to the way B&P handles file overwriting (it deletes the old file and then writes a new one, instead of writing a new file, deleting the old one, then renaming the new one).

Always save a backup, and install "NoDelete" (aminet:util/misc/nodelete.lha) which patches the Amiga's delete function and will backup your old file before B&P deletes it.


Sometimes when loading B&P, the startup information window appears and then B&P hangs before opening its screen.

This seems to be some sort of memory problem. Switch off the Amiga and then try again. Installing Enforcer has also been reported to help. If you are still doing important work on the Amiga and wish to continue before resetting, you will find that your Amiga is running very slowly. This can be solved by using a utility such as Scout to freeze the Bars&Pipes task. However, this is not really advised as memory corruption may have occured. You should save any other work immediately and reset.


Selecting the "1/2" and "3/4" buttons at the same time actually sets a new tempo. If for example, your Tempo is 120 and you select the "3/4" button, the Tempo will change to 90 until you deselect the "3/4" button again to revert to 120. However, if you press the "3/4" button and then press the "1/2" button, then both buttons will deselect and the Tempo will be set to 1/2 of 3/4 of the original Tempo (3/4 of 120 is 90, 1/2 of 90 is 45, so the Tempo will now be set at 45). The same is true if you press the buttons in the opposing order. This can be very annoying if you set your Tempo and then completely forget about it.

Simply make sure not to set both buttons at the same time. You might want to make a note of your Tempo in a Track name, or with the NotePad Tool.

Bars&Pipes tempo may not be exactly the tempo it says it is. The timing may actually be slightly out due to the nature of running the timing interrupt from an Audio channel. Every audio chip is slightly different and this causes tiny discrepancies between different computers. Thus, what Bars&Pipes says is 140bpm may actually be 140.1bpm or similar.

There is no fix for this. It is essentially a hardware problem. You would have to test lots of different Amigas until you found the one with the most accurate timing.

Track Split

If you select a Track and then select "Split" from the "Track" menu, the program will ask, "Are you sure you want to split this Track into x tracks", where x should be the number of different Notes contained in the Track. In fact, this number is always one greater than the actual number of Notes.

This is okay. If it asks to split into 3 Tracks, it will actually only split into 2 as it should.

Song Construction


The horizontal drag bar in the window does not update when the play marker crosses the position shown at the right of the window.

Click on the drag bar and the window will reset to the position it was in before playing started.

If the display is zoomed in and the horizontal drag bar is moved fully to the right, then when you zoom out the drag bar expands to it's full width without the display position changing. Clicking the drag bar should reset the window to the beginning of the song, but instead resets to the beginning + the number of measures which are not displayed when zoomed in fully and the drag bar is shifted one page to the right.

Zoom back in and the drag bar will shrink so that you will be able to scroll back to the beginning of the song.

A-B-A Sections

If too many different sections are marked then the song may loop sections that are not intended to loop.

Switch all of your Tracks to Linear mode (double-click on the Track name, and set the Linear button). This will effectively disable all looping in the A-B-A information and will also make your Tracks a different colour which will take some getting used to. It is worth it though as the Section marking is very useful, and copying/inserting/deleting by Section (using the Lock to A-B-A button) is much faster than doing the same action as a block of measures.

If you insert a Section with the "Lock to A-B-A" button selected, then select "Undo" from the "Edit" menu, the Measures in the Section (ie the Song data) are removed, but the Section Name remains. The same is true when a Section is resized in the same manner with the Section remaining the same size.

Deselect the "Lock to A-B-A" button and delete the offending Section Name.

If you copy a Section with the "Lock to A-B-A" button selected then select "Undo" from the "Edit" menu, the Section you just moved is deleted!

Select "Undo" again from the "Edit" menu again to replace the missing Section, and move the Section to its original position by hand.


MIDI Clock

Switching on Synchronise to MIDI Clocks and Playing the Transport when no MIDI Clock is present causes B&P to play at light speed!

Stop the Transport and hope B&P doesn't crash. Keep away from the Timing Menu if you don't need it!


If the reception of MTC causes the Transport to play, manually stopping and restarting the Transport while MTC is still being received will cause B&P to play at light speed.

Stop the Transport and the MTC source and hope B&P realises before it crashes.

Everytime you move the Play Marker (either directly in the Tracks window, by the Transport, or by the keyboard ("(" and ")" on the numeric keypad), B&P plays all Control data (CC's, Program Changes etc, excluding Note On (which should have been optional IMHO)) that exist immediately before the new position. This is to ensure that no matter what position the song is started from all the sounds are correct (correct tone, volume etc). However, if you are syncing to MTC then when B&P jumps to the new song position stated by the MTC, previous Control data is not played which can sometimes cause instruments to sound incorrect.

Stop the external MTC, press the Stop button in the Transport and play the external MTC again.

Track Editor


The piano keys on the left do not appear when using CGX.

Ugrade to the newest CGX.

It is impossible to scroll (and consequently edit) past the current end of the song.

Zoom in fully, scroll to the far right, and Zoom back out again. This will give you more space to edit into.

Note Data

Sometimes notes at the start of the first visible bar are not acknowledged by the pointer.

Switch on "Auto-Redraw" in the "Preferences" menu, or press Return to re-draw the display.

When moving or copying the note on a non-standard screen (eg Double height mode or CGX screen), the pointer (although invisible) moves at a different ratio to the note. When the invisible pointer gets to the top or bottom of the screen, it wraps and cause causes the note to jump away from where you intend it to go. The note will "trill" between the pre-jumped and jumped position until you move the mouse sharply enough to break away from the edge of the screen. The note will now continue moving until it reaches the window boundary.

Highlight the note with the Pencil or Hand and use the cursor keys to move the note, or always use the bounding box with the Hand or Duplicator..

Control Data

Editing Control Change data using the bounding box (Move, Copy, Delete) affects all Control Change data at the same position.

Don't use the bounding box. If you need to delete a big contiguous block of a specific Control Change then set the Edit Flags and use the Event Filter to remove offending data.

When using the pencil to edit a specific high resolution Control Datum, the pencil will only edit the datum that is closest to 10 ppq's previous in time to the actual one you intended on changing.

Go to the List Editor to edit the specific datum.

Tracks window

Song length

In some circumstances, the Song length is set to be shorter than the actual song making it impossible to scroll to the end of the song.

Select "Length..." from the "Song" menu and increase the Song length, or enter "0000.00.000" to have Bars&Pipes calculate a new correct length.



Does not Rewind or Fast Forward.

Either use BigSys to transmit the SysEx for one of the commands, or create two new tracks with the SysEx for Rewind at the beginning of one track and the SysEx for Fast Foward at the beginning of another. Keep the plugs on these Tracks closed until you need to FF or REW and then select the Track and press the Solo button. Play the Transport from the beginning of the song to transmit the SysEx. Not perfect, but better than having to possibly get out of your chair to press rewind on your tape machine. The SysEx for REWIND is "F0 7F 7F 06 05 F7" and for FastForward is "F0 7F 7F 06 04 F7".



Some Tools (VeloMap + VeloDoc for example) have the potential to crash the computer if they are opened from inside a ToolTray. This seems to be linked to the fact that when opened, the Tools show the Track name in the title bar of their control windows, or if opened from the ToolPad show the Toolname. These Tools seem to have forgotten about the Tooltrays and if opened from one, then when the Tool tries to display the name it will either show garbage in the title bar or crash your Amiga.

Check a Tool by opening it from a Track before putting it into a ToolTray. If its title bar displays the name of the Tool, then you will have no problems. however, if it's title bar displays the Track name then you must be careful. You can setup the parameters you want to store before dragging it from the Track into a ToolTray. Then never open that Tool from inside the tray. I suggest creating a separate ToolTray called DoNotOpen specifically for these Tools.


Once you have started to edit a MacroTool, there is no way to cancel the changes you have made and revert back to the original. Also, if you create a new MacroTool, cancelling will leave an empty Tool in the ToolBox.

When asked if you want to update the MacroTool to disk, select "No". Then Remove the offending Tool from the ToolBox and re-install it again.


Intermittently crashes.

Use The MIDI Meter Tool by Ned Robinson.

Event Smoother

Sometimes when Toolizing in the Track Editor with this Tool, the even immediately before the Edit Flags is included in the Toolize operation.

Simply Undo the operation and Toolize again.

Pattern Tool

Be very careful with this Tool! It contains potentially fatal flaws, but can be very useful if used carefully.

Sometimes you cannot change between drum mode and note mode more than once.

Save your drum map. When it is loaded back in, the Tool will always switch to the drum mode.

A "Recoverable Alert" appears when switching between drum and note mode, or switching to the default drum map.

No fix. Save your work immediately after this occurance and reboot your Amiga.


When using Toolize from the Edit menu with this tool, all Control Change data as well Velocity data is affected at the same position.

Use "Selective Toolize" and only switch on Note On/Off, or use the Tool pointer and the bounding box.

Found a bug that isn't listed here? If so then send a mail to
Please be as detailed possible. Try to answer the following: How is it caused? What are the symptoms? How can it be solved?