Mannikin allows you to create and edit drum beats.

Mannikin represents music as lists of steps. Each step has a length of time and one or more messages attached to it. These messages are the events or "hits" of the music (such as a kick drum being turned on, a hi-hat being turned off, or a piano playing a certain note, etc.). The lengths of the steps determine the spacing in time of the hits - the rhythm of the music.

Programmed beats often end up sounding robotic because the composition is constrained by the tempo of the song in the sequencer. Not only does tempo determine the pace of the music, it also determines the grid system of note values. A rhythm that conforms to a perfectly spaced grid does not swing and groove in a human way. Mannikin deals with this issue by making tempo a quality that arises out of the rhythm of the sequence. There is no absolute tempo, only average tempo over lengths of time. This approach makes it easy to make adjustments in tempo and timing.

One of the problems with programming music on computers is that the rhythms often come out sounding robotic or rigid. Mannikin has a number of features which help in making beats that sound like they were played live by a human.

Sequences are unrestrained in terms of tempo. Rather than defining a set tempo, tempo is automatically treated as a property that arises out of the music itself. Because of this philosophy, it is easy to make the slight changes in tempo and timing that are crucial to making a rhythm "groove" in a human fashion.

Playing to a metronome can be a disadvantage, because the beat you have in your imagination might not be at the same tempo. Or the beat you wish to create might contain a complex groove with tempo changes. With Mannikin, you can record new beats without worrying about the tempo.

A lot of sequencers present the sequence data in the traditional format of notes on a staff. One must keep in mind that this type of notation was developed long ago, and essentially based on sight reading. Mannikin presents a new type of notation, that takes into account the development of computers and sample-based music.

Musical events are shown as distances in time as opposed to note values. Doing so makes it easy to account for the slight (millisecond level) variations in timing that gives music its distinctive groove and feel.

All data exists with in a single track, but can still be edited separately. By showing all the musical parts next to each other, you can easily tell how things occur in relation to one another. For instance, you may want a synthesizer note to occur slightly before a snare drum hit.

You determine how the different sounds appear so that you can visually tell how the beat sounds. For instance, since snare drum hits play such an important role in beats, you may want to make them tall and red.

Uses things called "templates" to classify MIDI data so that it is easier to understand and edit.

MIDI is a powerful way for digital instruments to communicate. However, MIDI data is simply numbers - it is hard for a human to read and understand. During recording, MIDI messages get turned into "template messages" attached to steps. During playback, "template messages" get turned into MIDI messages. Template messages are much easier to understand than MIDI messages, because they have an actual word that describes their sound or purpose.

You can edit your sequences in Mannikin by running commands. These commands can take arguments, and are similar to the functions you would find in programming languages. They are easy to use though but are easy to use even if you've had no programming experience.

Multiple commands can be run at a time as scripts, allowing powerful editing opportunities.

Commonly used commands can be assigned to buttons.


■ 2.0 Ghz Intel Processor

■ 256 MB Ram


■ Project size is limited