This is AUTOBUSK 2000, Copyright (c) 1986-2000 by Clarence Barlow

AUTOBUSK is a program for the real-time probabilistic generation of MIDI signals, primarily note-ons and -offs (remappable to other command types), in upto 3 parallel note streams (more than one computer used in parallel offers multiples of 3 streams). Pitch sets (i.e. scales e.g. major or minor) and pulse sets (i.e. metres e.g. 6/8 or 4/4) serve as the main input Material. A set of 12 variable Parameters, externally storable in time-tagged score form, can form MIDI and/or filed output; re-inputting the latter also sends MIDI events along 2 given Routes. 14 attendant programs (with, like AUTOBUSK, the extension .PRG) serve to enter and compile the Material and to process 'meta-scores'. AUTOBUSK itself took 272 days to write, spread between 18 August 1986 and 30 October 2000.

The current version of AUTOBUSK has been written for the Atari ST and compatible computers running TOS 1.0 thru 4.4; it requires an internal memory of 576 KB and a minimum disk space of 1.1 MB, which will increase during the use of the program. The total software package comprises the program AUTOBUSK and the 2 folders PREPROC (holding the 4 programs ASC, HRM, IDP and JST and the file HRM.JST) and PRMPROC (holding the 9 programs EDIT, FILL, FUSE, JOIN, PACK, PART, PICK, TIDY and VARY). To install the program, simply copy the AUTOBUSK folder to a floppy or hard disk on your Atari computer. The program is run by double-clicking AUTOBUSK.PRG in the AUTOBUSK folder.

AUTOBUSK is currently being ported to PCs running Linux. For the time being, you can also run AUTOBUSK using an Atari ST emulator software. For Windows, the recommended emulator is Steem (freely available from; make sure you get a recent version (0.4 or later) which supports MIDI I/O. Other Windows ST emulators known to run AUTOBUSK (with some limitations) are Gemulator 2000 (, WinSTon and PaCifiST ( ST emulators for the Macintosh like NoSTalgia ( probably work as well, but have not been tested yet. With most emulators, you can simply unzip the AUTOBUSK folder to some directory on your host system and configure the emulator to map this directory to a ST hard disk. See the section INSTALLATION below for more detailed installation instructions.


AUTOBUSK with the sample score INVENTIO.PRK loaded, running on a Windows PC using the Steem emulator:


This is copyrighted software.

Copyright (c) 1986-2000 by Clarence Barlow
All rights reserved

AUTOBUSK is provided AS IS. It is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. You are granted the non-exclusive right to use this software for non-commercial purposes, free of charge. Any other use needs written permission of the author.


By courtesy of the author, this package is available from the Department of Music Informatics at the University of Mainz. Note: We kindly request WWW authors not to copy this software to their WWW pages, but to link to this page instead.

The following items are available:


AUTOBUSK is distributed in the form a ZIP archive which contains the program and all necessary support files in a separate "Autobusk" folder. To install the program for use with an emulator, you have to configure the emulator to map an Atari hard disk to a directory on your physical hard drive. Then you simply extract the contents of the archive (using a program like InfoZIP or Winzip) into this directory. Next time you start the emulator the AUTOBUSK folder should appear on the virtual Atari hard disk. Double-click on that folder, then double-click on AUTOBUSK.PRG to start the program.

E.g., a typical setup procedure when using the Steem emulator ( might proceed as follows:

For installing the program on a real Atari ST or compatible, you need an Atari computer with hard disk and floppy drive capable of reading 3.5" HD floppies in 1440K MSDOS format. Unzip the contents of the ZIP archive on a Windows PC onto an empty formatted MSDOS floppy, then copy the AUTOBUSK folder from that floppy to your Atari's hard disk. Run the program from your Atari's hard disk by double-clicking on AUTOBUSK.PRG in the AUTOBUSK folder.


Clarence Barlow's AUTOBUSK user manual ("AUTOBUSK: A real-time pitch and rhythm generator") for the Atari ST version (54 pages) is available as report no. 44 (2001) in the series "Musikinformatik & Medientechnik" (ISSN 0941-0309). You can order the manual for Euro 8 + shipping costs from your local bookstore (make sure to supply the correct ISSN number) or directly from the Dept. of Music Informatics at:

Dept. of Music Informatics
Johannes Gutenberg University
D-55099 Mainz

By courtesy of the author you can also download PDFs for the manual here (both high and low resolution versions are provided):
High Resolution (14MB)
Low Resolution (4MB)


Questions concerning problems with installation and operation of the program, as well as bug reports can be sent to Please note that at this time we cannot provide regular support for this software, but if you have an unusual problem which cannot be solved using the manual, chances are that we will try our best to help you. If there is enough interest, we will also consider setting up a mailing list for discussion of the AUTOBUSK software.