Specifying method details
The Add Method dialog allows you to enter method details yourself. This is useful, for example if you want to input a method that has not yet been named, or specify non-standard calls for a method. This dialog contains fields that enable all aspects of a method to be defined. If you get the method from the microSIRIL library instead, most of these fields will usually be filled in for you.
The fields are:
If you put a tick in this box, this method will become the default method that is selected whenever you select a generic composition such as Plain Courses. See Compositions for details of generic compositions.
This field allows you to specify the name that Abel will use for this method in the Methods drop-down list. The name can be anything you like, but a standard-style method name (such as "Cambridge Surprise Major") is clearest.
Number of bells
Type the number of bells that are changing in this method (the method stage). This will be 8 for Major, 7 for Triples, etc. Note that when ringing a method for an odd stage, Abel will automatically add a tenor behind (optional for doubles: see Ringing Options, and you can remove it again for any stage, using the bells counter at the top left of Abel's main window).
Choose a short name for this method. The short name, also known as the method identifier, will be displayed in the blue line display when you start the method (or change to the method in spliced). It is also used in the composition editor to allow you to associate particular methods with a composition. Short names be 1-3 characters long. If you don't give a short name, Abel will use the first three non-space characters of the method name.
This is the place notation for this method. There are several ways you can enter place notation. The example above shows the standard microSIRIL way of writing place notation. You can also use diary-style notation or combinations of these. See place notation for full details and examples.
This is the place notation for bobs and singles. Usually the place notation for a call will be just one set of places (e.g. "14"), but if your method's bob causes the place notation to be changed for more than one row, enter all the affected rows here (for example, a Grandsire Single would be "3.123").
Stedman doubles is a special (unique?) case, with the Single having two different place notations, depending on whether it is in a slow or quick six - Abel makes special provision for this: see Place Notation.
You must specify the frequency of the calls: usually this will be the same as the lead length (eg, 10 for Plain Doubles, 32 for Surprise Major), but some methods require special treatment (eg, Stedman has a lead length of 12 blows, but a call frequency of 6 blows).
You must specify the row within the lead where the bob takes effect. 0 means the last row of the place notation (which is what you usually want, eg for Plain Bob type bobs), 1 the first row, etc. For example, a bob in Grandsire doubles occurs at the handstroke lead, which is row 9. Grandsire and Stedman (triples and above) are pre-configured for you, so look at these for examples.
So, in summary, for a simple Plain Bob style bob, you'd specify place notation "14 every 10 rows starting at row 0".
Doubles variations provide some of the most complex examples of calls, often changing the place notation (and blue line) over several rows, starting before the lead end. For example, Reverse St Bartholomew is a variation of St Augustine, using a plain lead of Bob Doubles as a bob. The place notation around the lead end changes from 3.123.3 at a plain lead to 5.125.5 at a bob. Thus, you'd tell Abel the bob details "5.125.5 every 10 rows starting at 9". If you were specifying more than one call, it would probably be best to give them all the same start row: having different start rows complicates compositions (see Lead End Compositions).
Call X/Call Y
Abel allows you to configure additional calls as well. These calls can be used for whatever purposes you might want – extremes in doubles, half-lead singles, red bobs and blue bobs. Specify the notation here, as for normal bobs and singles.
If you use these special calls, you might want to change the voice prompts that are issued when one of these calls is made. By default, Abel uses the word "Extreme" for Call X and "Omit" for Call Y. If you want to change these, either record your own WAV file to replace them, or copy one of the existing samples. You can find these sound files in Abel's Prompts directory, called CALLX.WAV and CALLY.WAV.
This field allows you to specify a voice file, so that Abel can say (for example) "Go Cambridge", or to make the appropriate prompt when ringing spliced. The file contains a recording of just the method name "Cambridge" – Abel Abel adds the "Go" itself. Abel comes with a library of pre-recorded method names, or you can record your own. Click on the Browse button to see what is available. If you don't specify a voice file for a method, Abel will say "Go next time" to start changes, and "Change method" at a splice point; the name of the method is always displayed in the centre of the screen, so you can see what's going on.
The voice files that come with Abel use exactly the same names as microSIRIL uses, and it is best if you do so when adding further method names. If you add a method from the microSIRIL library, Abel can then fill the voice file name in for you automatically.