The following sections describe how to use Handbell Stadium as a simulator for practising.
Setting up your computer
- Download the appropriate version of Handbell Stadium for your computer from Downloads.
- Find the downloaded zip file and unzip all its contents into a folder.
- Create a shortcut to the Handbell Stadium executable and put it in an easily accessible place, such as on your task bar or start menu.
- Plug in two eBells or motion controllers into USB ports and check that they are recognised as joysticks by your Operating System.
- Check your system output device for sound is selected for what you want e.g. speakers or headphones.
- Run Handbell Stadium.
Checking your controllers are working correctly
- Select Handbell Stadium Options and click the Input tab.
- Click the dropdown on the first DeviceId, you should see at least two motion controller devices listed.
- If there is only one or none, unplug your controllers, wait 20 seconds and reinsert them. Repeat from step 1.
- Select left and right controller from dropdowns making sure that you have selected different numbered motion controller devices.
- If your controllers are working, and the window has focus (click on it), then the numbers in the green boxes should move independently as you move each controller.
- Leave the other values as their defaults if you are using ActionXL wired controllers.
- Click DONE, then PRACTICE.
Choosing Room Decor
- There are three room decors to choose from to ring in. The Basement, the Lounge, and a Black Box. Which of these you choose is purely a matter of personal preference. Some may be clearer to ring with than others depending on the quality of graphics on your computer.
Choosing a Collection
- A collection may contain methods and or compositions. Handbell Stadium uses the term Touch to refer to an entry in a collection that may be either the plain course of a method or a composition for one or more methods.
- To choose any collection or touch, your computer needs to be connected to the internet, as it will retrieve the data from Composition Library where over 20,000 rung methods and 40,000 compositions on 4-12 bells are available. Voices for any calls and method names are also synthesized and downloaded. There are choices of a male and female voice in a small number of English speaking accents - see Conductor's voice in Options/Audio.
- By default Handbell Stadium will load a public collection from Composition Library called Handbell Stadium. From this you can select from some common methods and compositions to ring.
- Clicking on the collection allows you to search for another public collection in Composition Library by typing 3 or more characters from its name. There are over 150 to choose from.
- Alternatively you can click on the Method Library button to give you the full choice of any of the methods in the Central Council Methods Library.
Making Your Own Collection
- If you want to practice a previously unrung method, or a composition that is not in the default collection, you will need to create your own private collection in Composition Library. The suggested way of doing this is as follows:
- If you do not already have an account, register yourself as a Composition Library user. In order to create new methods, compositions and collections you will also need to be upgraded to a Power User. You will normally be upgraded within a few days, but if you are impatient an email request to [email protected] may speed things up.
- In Composition Library click on the "+" dropdown in the title bar and New collection. Give the collection a title, such as "My Handbell Stadium" and click Save. You now have your own private collection.
- To add methods or compositions you want to ring in Handbell Stadium to your collection, first find and display the method or composition you want, then click on the Add to collection button selecting "My Handbell Stadium" from the dropdown.
- Once you have added all the methods and compositions you need, you can view the collection to confirm that it contains everything you selected. You can also edit the collection to put a sequence number on the entries, to put them in the order you desire.
- You can add further entries, or remove some over time to maintain your collection as you wish.
- Your collection is a private collection, and this will not appear in a search of collections in Handbell Stadium. To be able to access it, you need to go to the Collection view page in Composition Library and click on the Share button to obtain a public link to it. Press Ctrl C (or Cmd C on a Mac) to copy the link. Then start Handbell Stadium and go to Options/Library. Press Ctrl V (or Cmd V) to paste the link into the Default Collection field.
- After clicking Done, go into Practice and click the Collection button. Click on the Default Collection to load up "My Handbell Stadium" collection.
- Note: It is also possible to use a private collection created by someone else if they generate and provide you with the public link to it as described above.
Selecting a Touch
- If you are learning to ring handbells from scratch, and are looking for Plain Hunt, click on Touch, then you can select Original Minor, Major or Royal from the My Handbell Stadium collection. Original is the name for plain hunt when rung as a method (Original Minor is plain hunt on six bells).
- If you want to ring a plain course of a method that is not in the Handbell Stadium collection, click on the collection and then the Methods Library button.
- You can then click on Touch and type as many word fragments in the select touch box as is necessary to display the method in the short list, before selecting it.
- If you select an odd-bell method, a tenor behind is assumed, to give an even number of bells.
- Click START to be put in the room with your bells. The touch will be downloaded automatically, along with any verbal calls or method names required.
Checking Your Bells are Working
- If everything is set up correctly, the pair of bells immediately in front of you should ring when you swing your controllers up and down like a handbell.
- If not, and Handbell Stadium is running in a Window, it must have focus, so click on it.
- This is the button showing two handbells and your current pair.
- Each time you click the pair button you will move round clockwise to the next pair.
- The pair button also controls which bells have lines drawn through them in the blue line display, even if you are not ringing them yourself.
- This is the button showing an aircraft.
- If the button is displaying off, then your controllers are operating the two bells shown on the Pair button.
- If the button is displaying on, then the computer will ring the displayed pair, and your controllers are disabled.
- This is the button showing a pair of lines.
- If the button is showing off, then the blue line display is off.
- If the button is showing on, then the rows being rung are displayed in a transparent panel on the right hand side of your screen with lines drawn through your pair.
- A red and blue line are shown for the trebles and green and blue line for the other pairs.
- This controls the speed of ringing, and is the final control in the bottom left hand panel.
- The speed of ringing is measured as the equivalent peal speed (calculated as the time to ring 5040 changes).
- Drag the slider right to go faster or left to go slower.
Touch Spinner Control
- This control allows you to choose a position within the touch to start ringing.
- The control will display the Row number, Lead number, Course number and Part number as you proceed through the touch. The latter three will only be displayed if there is more than one Lead, Course or Part to choose from.
- To select a start position, you can either type a number and press Enter, or use < to decrement or > to increment the number.
- The start row will be displayed below (twice) with the method to be rung at that point.
- You can then start ringing by pressing the space bar or left button on your controller. To join in, check the position of your bells in the start row and ring them at both handstroke and backstroke in the same position. Once you are ready to restart the touch, press the space bar or left controller button again. You will get a voice instruction to go next handstroke.
- If you want to restart from the same point, just press the space bar or left controller button again to reset. The spinner will reset to the previously selected position.
Keyboard Controls and Motion Controller Buttons
- The space bar, G or left-hand controller button will cycle through Start/Go/Reset, so press once to ring rounds, press it again to start ringing changes, and a third time to stop and reset the bells to handstroke rest.
- The pause key, P or right-hand controller button will pause and resume ringing without restarting from the beginning.
- The F9 or R key will stop ringing and reset the bells to handstroke rest.
- Pressing T is the same as clicking the autopilot button.
- Pressing C is the same as clicking the camera button.
- Pressing B is the same as clicking the blue line button.
- Pressing H displays or hides the avatars (men in black).
- Pressing N hides your own pair from view, provided that the camera is set to POV.
- Lower case letters work exactly the same as upper case.
- Pressing Options/Help will display a reminder of these functions.