Controlling Abel's Striking
Normally Abel's striking is extremely good – far better than most human bands! However, there are controls which allow you to tell Abel to strike its bells badly. You can set the striking for each bell, at handstroke and/or back, making it ring early or late, steadily or irregularly, and either following the errors of the previous bell (sight ringer) or ringing independently of other bells' striking (rhythm ringer). You can use these controls to demonstrate a wide variety of common striking faults. A good game (and good training) is to set several bells to strike badly then ask other ringers, who cannot see what you've done, to tell you what to correct!
To turn on the striking controls, click the right mouse button on one of the bells. A dialog appears:
This shows the striking controls for the bell you clicked. If you want to show the controls for a different bell, just right-click that bell, or click the down-arrow next to Bell Number and select from the drop-down list.
You can leave the controls on display during ringing, and any changes you make immediately affect the striking of the bells. If you close the dialog (click the Close button or the x in the title bar), the controls continue to affect the striking, and the controls will have the same settings if you later re-open the dialog. If you right-click the screen background between the bells, the dialog will re-open showing controls for the same bell as when it was last open.
When you're using the striking controls, you'll usually want to turn on the striking display too, so you can see the effect of what you're doing, as well as hearing it. The two horizontal sliders control whether the bell rings Early or Late, at hand and backstroke; you adjust these by pressing the (left) mouse button over the control, sliding, and releasing the button. The vertical bar between "Early | Late" shows the mid-point, where the bell strikes accurately.
To the right of the sliders, the small up/down arrows control how Unsteady the striking of the bell is; the small n% boxes next to the arrows show how unsteadily the bell rings at hand and back. With 0%, the bell is perfectly steady; by clicking the up-arrows, you can increase the unsteadiness to up to 90%. Try it, to find out what the effect is. You can set the bell to ring both early/late and unsteadily. (For the technical: the striking is pseudo-random with a standard deviation of n% of the inter-bell gap.)
Below the sliders are the Rhythm and Sight "radio buttons". A rhythm bell, though it may have its own striking errors, is not misled by the errors of other bells. A sight bell, on the other hand, follows the error of the previous bell as well as making its own errors – just like ringers who pull "six inches" behind the bell ahead, relying on their eyes and ignoring their ears and sense of rhythm. Click the appropriate button to set the behaviour you want.
Bottom left of the controls, are On and Off "radio buttons" that allow you to turn on/off the defects of the other controls (early/late, unsteadiness, sight ringing). This can be useful to highlight the effects of the errors, when demonstrating to others. Note that setting Off does not alter the other controls: it merely turns off their effects.
The Reset button towards the bottom right sets all the controls for this bell back to their initial, perfect ringer, values.
At top right, the Reset All button does the same thing for all the bells. There are also All On and All Off controls, that override the individual On/Off controls for the individual bells; click the boxes to alter their state. You can set All On, or All Off, or neither, but not both!
Finally, towards the top left there are the Silent and Ext bell check boxes. These do not affect the accuracy of Abel's striking: for a desciption of them, see Tower Bell Simulator.