This dialog allows you to choose various options that affect the sounds Abel makes. If you change options, you can click "OK" to exit the dialog, or "Apply" to make most of the changes take effect (the bells can be ringing while you're using the dialog!) but leave the dialog on screen so that you can make further changes. Note however that a few of the options cannot be applied until you exit from Abel and restart it: see below. Also, if you click Apply and subsequently click Cancel, this does not cancel any changes that you already applied.
Allows you to select the tenor note to be used for each number of bells. Choose the number of bells you want to change, then use the arrows next to Tenor Note to change it. You can also change the tenor note during the ringing by pressing < and >.
Allows you to choose a different musical scale or mode. The normal major scale is the one commonly used for the majority of rings of bells; this corresponds to the Ionian mode. The Phrygian mode corresponds to using the front 6 bells of a ring of 8. You can add your own scales if you like - see Musical Scales and Modes for details and a description of the scales and modes supplied with Abel.
Use DirectX / Use MIDI for bell sounds
These two radio buttons allow you to choose how Abel makes bell sounds. If you choose DirectX, then Abel will generate all the bell sounds internally. You can choose from digitally sampled tower and hand bell sounds supplied with the program, or you can make your own.
If you choose MIDI, then Abel will send bell sounds to your selected MIDI device, if you have one installed in your computer. This MIDI device can be the default driver often supplied with sound cards, or it can be a driver for an external device such as a MIDI keyboard. To use this, you will need to have an external MIDI device connected to your computer via a MIDI cable.
Voice prompts are always generated using Direct X.
If you have chosen DirectX for bell sound output, this allows you to select the style of bell sound that Abel uses. See Defining your own bell sounds to find out how to add your own bell recordings. In some cases the description of the bell sound tells you the pitch of the original bells (eg, Worcester Cathedral in B); you may want to alter the pitch of Abel's bells to match it, see above.
MIDI Channel / MIDI Patch / MIDI Output Device
If you have chosen MIDI for bell sound output, these options allow you to set MIDI parameters:
Note: some MIDI devices use patch numbers that start at 0, and some use patch numbers that start at 1. To determine which number to use may require either experimentation or reference to the manufacturer's instructions.
Abel allows you to simulate the sound of half muffled bells, by decreasing the volume of the handstroke or backstroke. (If you specify both strokes, the bell just sounds quieter; it doesn't sound muffled.)
Some users want Abel's spoken prompts (for method changes, calls, etc) to sound louder relative to the bells. You can achieve this by ticking "Reduce bell volume relative to prompts".
Some ringers have difficulty hearing which is their bell. Abel can help by reducing the volume of the bells it rings, so that the manually-rung bell stands out. Tick "Reduce Abel bells relative to manual bells" to achieve this.
Allows you to choose which voice prompts Abel issues. If you are happy copying files around on your computer, then you can also choose to turn off individual prompts (e.g. "Stand!") by copying the file quiet.wav in Abel's Prompts directory to the prompt you want to turn off - but take a backup copy first!
Use Mono Sound
Abel normally uses stereo sound for the bell notes, and arranges them spatially so that it sounds like you are in the middle of the ringing circle. If this is unhelpful to you, you can turn off this effect by setting this option.
Always Blend Sounds in Software
If you have a modern sound card that supports mixing of sounds on the card itself, Abel can use it. However, this can mean a short delay whilst Abel downloads sounds to the card; and it can mean that you might sometimes get an imbalance in sound levels if Abel fills the sound card's memory and then has to start using the computer memory instead. If you set this option, Abel will never try to download sounds to your sound card.
Note: this option only takes effect the next time you start Abel.