NotBlock – (Score VST-Plugin)

Here you can find information about how to setup and use NotBlock. To use notblock you have to load it as a VST-instrument into your VST-compatible daw. You also need to enter your personal license-code to register your copy of NotBlock.

If you have other questions please send an e-mail to: support(at)blafotproduktion.se

NotBlock Manual and Instructions

  • What is NotBlock?

    NotBlock is the Swedish word for a booklet of empty music papers in witch you can write your own musik.

    The NotBlock plugin is a vst-plugin that you can load into the daw (desktop audio workstation) of your choise (Cubase, FL-studio, Reaper, Cakewalk by Bandlab, Waweform, Podium etc) and show your music scores and notes on the screen.

    You can the buttons on screen, swipe, use midi keys or the controller of your choice to change side using realtime changes (sustainpedal etc) or programmed in a miditrack.

    You can use it live and in studio.

    Here is some screenshots of NotBlock in use:

    NotBlock 64 bit VST in Cakewalk by Bandlab.
    NotBlock 64 bit in Steinberg Cubase LE8.
    NotBlock 64 in Zynwave Podium Free.
    NotBlock 64 bit in Nanohost.
    NotBlock 64 bit in Savihost.
  • Why should I use NoteBlock?

    I developed NotBlock as a Vst plugin for my own use.
    Thats what I need when I play shows live with my band. We play floorshows and use backing tracks in my daw to play along with.

    Instead of having a bunch of papers I now have everything synced inside my daw that I controll from my synthesizer.
    Backingtracks, midiprogrammed lights and also my musik scores (leadsheets, notes, reminders and my lines in the show), I can have it all automatically setup night after night.
    No need to change side in my papernotes, NotBlock does all the work inside my Daw programmed from a miditrack, on my screen.

    Also I can edit my notes and also create new notes using my touchscreen and pen directly inside the plugin.

  • Features:

    Here are some of the key features of NotBlock:

    • NoteBlock can show images with your music notes and scores as jpeg, png and bmp directly inside your daw.
    • You can access 128 patches/programs with 128 images each and all patches has it’s own settings.
    • You can switch between your pages using midi keys, buttons on the plugin user interface, swipe left/right, and go to the next image using the controller of your choice (default is CC# 64 – sustainpedal).
    • You can switch patch using midi and Program Change or buttons on the screen.
    • Each patch can store settings for Touch on/off, Midi CC# and on/off including the controller of your choice, keymode on/off, program-change on/off and the default start image.
    • NoteBlock has a built-in editor for editing your images (not jpeg or png, only bmp) with touch/pen support.
    • You have four diffrent pen-presets to chose from with custom color and width. Use white to erase.
    • You have five levels of undo and one level of redo while editing notes/scores.
    • When creating a new image (as bmp) you can have eight difftern templates of your choce to start with depending of what you are going to notate.

    NotBlock is avaiable as VSTi-plugin for VST-compatible host in Windows 64-bit and 32-bit format. It has been tested on Cubase 10 elements 64-bit, Cubase 8 LE 64-bit, NanoHost 32/64, Reaper 64-bit, FL-Studio 64-bit and Cacewalk by Bandlab 64-bit.

    NotBlock acts like a VST-instrument but does not produce any sound at all. You might mute the NotBlock track.

  • Installation:

    To install NotBlock into your DAW just follow this instructions:

    1. Copy the file “NotBlock-32.dll” or “NotBlock-64.dll” into your VST-plugins folder.
    2. Create a new folder on where you want to store the NotBlock data (default location: c:NotBlock-Data). You can have your data-folder on a sedondary drive as long as it has a valid path including drive-letter (even a network drive will work but it might be slow).
    3. Copy the directory GRFX from the install-zip file to your data-folder including all files.
    4. Open your daw and create a track for NotBlock as an instrument (VSTi).
    5. On the first start NotBlock ask you to select your data-folder you created in step 2 and type in your registration-code from your invoice.
    6. After initial setup NotBlock will register the code on your system and create necessery system files.

    Now NotBlock is ready to use.

  • Filestructure and how NotBlock works:

    NotBlock has a file directly under C: on your system drive called “VST-NOTYBLOCK.TXT” that holds the serach-path to the data-folder you created for NotBlock in the initial setup.

    In the data-folder there is one GRFX-folder that you installed from your zip-file that holds all system-images for NotBlock.

    • BOTTOM.PNG – The skin of the bottom panel in the GUI.
    • TOP.PNG – The skin of the top panel in the GUI.
    • LEFT.PNG – The skin of the left panel in the GUI.
    • RIGHT.PNG – The skin of the right panel in the GUI.
    • TEMPLATE1.BMP to TEMPLATE8.BMP – Your TEMPLATE-image that you can use as a template for editing scores/notes. You have eight tempaltes. You can edit your own templates in the editor of your choice. Has to be W800 x H530 and saved as BMP.
    • STYLES.TXT – Textfile that holds your four custimated pen setups.

    Tips! To make NotBlock as fast and light as posible just remove the shin-files and it will only show a white panel.

    The data-folder also contains a file called “temp.txt” that holds the temporary settings of your plugin.

    There is also a lot of folders with numbers from 0 to 127 that holds the images to display in your plugin, your scores and notes. Inside those folders are your images and also a file called “Patch.txt”. This is your settings for your patch (program-change). Please do not edit this file manually.

    Images can be stored in JPG-, PNG- or BMP-format but you can only edit and save BMP-images inside the plugin, it can only show JPG and PNG.

    When you edit an image or create a new image and save it, the old version of that image will be renamed with an “.bkup” extention so you can recover it.

  • The GUI (User interface):
    To the left of the top-panel you have checkboxes for switching on/off the four modes:
    • Key-mode: Select image using midi. All images/scores/notes have a number linked to a midi key (0-127, C3 – middle C is 64).
    • ProgramChange: Select patch using Midi-Program Change messages. A program is a collection of images and can hold it’s own settings.
    • CC#-Mode: Step to next image (increase number by one) using the midi-controller of your choice. You can edit the desired controller after the CC#: by clicking on it and type in the number you want. Default is CC#64 (sustain pedal).
    • Touch-Mode: You can switch picture by swypeing left or right on the picture. Needs some practicing.
    The Image-lable shows the loaded image full path. You can klick it and open the image in your default program. The Patch-lable shows the loaded/selected patch full path, the patch-folder. You can click it to open the patch-folder in explorer. The Program-lable shows the patch/program number. You can klick on the number and type in the number you want to load. You can have 128 (0-127) diffrent patches. The Key-lable shows the number of the selected key, or pressed by midi. You can type in the number of the key/image you want to load. If the key/number has a corresponding image it will be loaded.
    To the right of the top-panel you have 4 style-slots for pen settings. When you enter edit-mode the first slot will be selected. To Select at slot click on the kolor and you can see it will be selected. After the color you have a number with the width of the pen. You can click it and enter the width. When changeing width it will be saved to styles-file. Chose color using color button. The button with the blue feet to the right shows the about dialog.
    • Close the about dialog.
    • Show the NotBlock help-page online in browser (this page).
    Description of the icons in the top-panel:
    • Denna bild har ett alt-attribut som är tomt. Dess filnamn är BACK.png Step to the previous/next image. You can also swipe left/right on the screen or step to next image using Controller mode (midi) or switch freely between the images using key-mode (midi).
    • Clear the image and insert new image from one of the eight templates.
    • Edit the loaded image. Does not work on JPG- or PNG- images, only Bitmaps (BMP). The pencil in the icon changes to red from white when in edit-mode. To exit editmode click the red pencil.
    • Undo and Redo your edits. You have five levels of undo and one level of redo.
    • Save your edited image. NorBlock will make a backup of your old image named “NR.bmp.bkup” when saving the new image. When saving an image from a template it will be saved and assigned to the midikey of the number in the Key-label (key-edit).
    • Step to previous/next patch. A patch is a program with it’s own settings and are stored in the folder with the patch number. You can change this using MIDI-ProgramChange.
    • Save settings for the loaded patch. Saves modes, midi-controller and default image to load.
    •  Chose color of thye four pen-slots. Changingh color will directly save settings to the Styles-file.
  • First start and adding notes:

    After install and setup of NotBlock you have to add some notes. You can do so in several ways.

    Method one:

    1. Enter the notenumber in the NotBlock gui or hit the key on your keyboard to activate the right key to assign notes to.
    2. Hit the edit button or the templates button to activate edit and insert your template.
    3. Selekt the pen-slot (color and size) you want to use and draw on screan using pen or mouse.
    4. Save.

    Method two:

    1. Open your paint-app of choice (gimp, paint, photoshop…) and create a new image 800 x 530 pixels and draw on it.
    2. Save it in folder 0 (or other depending of what patch youre using) and give it the key-number of the key you want it to be assigned to.
    3. Olay that key on your keyboard, type in the keynumber in the key-field and it will load into NotBlock.
  • Setup your first program (Patch):

    A patch saves the modes on/off and what image (keynumber) to load on patch load.

    1. Check the checkboxes you want NotBlock to respond to (Key, Controller, Program Change and Touch).
    2. Edit the CC# number to the number you want. If you don’t use Controller mode you do not have to edit this number.
    3. Play the notnumber/key or type in the keynumber and then save your patch.

    Every time your patch vill be loaded, when you enter that patch/program-folder it will load and show the initial image.

  • How do I move NotBlock data-folder?

    To move your NotBlock-Data folder you just move it to the new location after you have closed your NotBlock and your DAW otherwise NotBlock will try to save data to the folder you just moved.

    Then you have to open the textfile “C:VST-NOTBLOCK.TXT” in notes and edit the first line (do not touch the second line as it will corrupt the installation) to point to the new data-folder-path. It shuld end with a “”.

    Or you can delete the file “C:VST-NOTBLOCK.TXT” after you moved your data-folder and start your DAW and NotBlock plugin and enter the data-location and your Licence-code again.

  • Known bugs and version history:

    Version 1.0.0:

    Intial release.

    Known bugs:

    • No bugs registered.

     

  • Copy protection and license-code:

    x