KaraWin is a complex program. It continues to evolve and improve. This evolution makes difficult to update the help file.


If a chapter seems missing or incomplete, do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope that you will have many hours of pleasure with KaraWin.

JP Cocatrix

1, Impasse Victor Grignard
91220 Bretigny sur Orge

This help page is written by
Robin MarksUpdated: 01/18/2001




There are 3 main windows:
The Directory window. This appears on starting Karawin.
The MIDI window. This appears when playing MIDI (.mid) files which do not contain lyrics.
The Lyrics window. This appears when playing Karaoke (.kar) files (MIDI files with lyrics).

Directory window

On opening Karawin the directory tree appears on the left of the screen.
This looks and behaves like the directory tree in Windows Explorer.
One of the directories (folders) will be open.
The file name and other information from each Karaoke and MIDI file in that directory is displayed to the right of the tree, in 5 columns.
The first column is the file-type:
K = karaoke
Kz = zipped karaoke
Mz = zipped MIDI
(The latter 2 will be displayed if Options / Auto OPen Zip is selected)
2nd column: file name.
3d column: index number of the file.
4th column: song title (if present - see below**)
5th column: Artist (if present)

Click at the top of any column to sort the files by that column in alphabetical order.
Click again to obtain reverse alphabetical order.
At the top left, there is a button called 'include subdirectories'
To list all the Midi and Karaoke files on your C: drive (including zipped files), click on 'include subdirectories' then click on C: in the directory tree. (warning: this will take rather a long time; it is more sensible to list just files in chosen subdirectories)
You can then sort these files by name of file, song title, or artist by clicking at the top of the relevant column as described above.
To play any file just double click on it.
Press the 'stop' button, using the mouse, to stop it.

**The 4th column will display the song title of a .kar file if the song title is the first 'text' event in the file starting with '@T' ( format @T<artist>).


Recording voice plus music as a .wav file


Click wav/record on the main menu. Choose a file name, then press the red record button. Start the karaoke file playing and start singing into the microphone. If no voice is heard on playback then increase the microphone recording volume on the mixer (find a mixer on your system which displays microphone record volume). The recording will automatically start the when a song is played.
The Juke-box

Under the main menu are the titles 'Folders' and 'Jukebox and catalogues'
'Folders' is selected on start-up.Click on 'Jukebox and catalogues'.
The Jukebox playlist will be displayed.
Unless you have already created a list, this will be empty.
Click on 'Folders'. Click on a directory in the directory tree with some MIDI files

in it. Select a few file by holding down the Ctrl key and left-clicking on them.
Now, with the cursor over one of the selected files, press the right mouse
button. A pop-up menu will appear. Choose 'Insert in Jukebox'.
To check that this has worked, Click on 'Jukebox and catalogues' again.
The files you selected will be listed.
To play them, press the 'On/off Jukebox' button at top-left under 'Folders'. It has
a picture of an old Jukebox on it. The songs will start playing.
If you press the stop button while the Jukebox is playing, the song will
stop, then the next song on the list will start. To stop the song list playing
altogether, press the 'On/off Jukebox' button first, then press the 'stop' button.
There are various play options including 'play songs in random order'.
Songs in the Juke-box can be re-arranged into a new order by dragging and dropping,
or by pressing the right mouse button and selecting cut and paste.
The Jukebox (playlist) can be saved using File / Save as.
A saved Jukebox cannot play files that have been moved or deleted
after the Jukebox was saved.

File-copying, moving, deleting (Directory window)

It is possible to copy songs to another directory by dragging from the list of song filenames
to a directory in the directory tree on the left.
To move rather than copy a file, hold down the Alt key then drag the file to its new location.
To delete a file right-click on the name then choose delete from the pop-up menu.
To rename a file, do a slow double-click to invoke editing mode, then edit the file name.

Note: On files belonging to a zip file, only the 'copy' is available.
Zipped file or files selected will be copied to the new directory as a normal (non-zipped) file.
Do not try to re-name a directory.

The Lyrics Editor

In the Directory window, click on a directory on the directory tree.
Choose the file with the lyrics you wish to edit, by placing the cursor over the chosen
filename, then right-clicking with the mouse.
On the pop-up menu choose 'Edit Lyrics'.
The lyrics editor allows you to modify the text information in a .mid or a .kar file.
After editing the lyrics, choose the "Save As" button save any modifications made
with a new filename of your choice. (If you do not save to a new filename, the original
file will be overwritten and will be unretrievable).
Structure of a typical karaoke (.kar) file.

In a .kar file, the first text lines are usually 'header' lines giving the language,

the title, the artist, copyright information, and other information.
Each piece of header information starts with the character '@'.
@K Type of file / copyright information. Example @KMIDI KARAOKE FILE
@L language of the song. Example @LENGL
@T Title of song, artist, sequencer (SEQ), ... Examples @TTrue Love @TBing Crosby
@I other information.

Karawin extracts some of this 'header' information.
It is a good idea to put the song title on the first @T line, and to put the artist on
the second @T line. This way Karawin will display the information in the 'Title' and 'Artist'
columns in the directory window.
Songs files can then be sorted by artist alphabetically simply by clicking at the top of
the 'Artist' column.
Alternatively they can be sorted alphabetically by song title simply by clicking at
the top of the 'Title' column.

Standard karaoke text is formatted as follows:
\ before the start of a word, indicates 'insert a blank line then start a new line'
/ before the start of a word, indicates 'start a new line'
[ indicates 'start using the second pre-active text colour (for a second voice)'
] indicates 'stop using second text colour - go back to first colour'
In a .kar file, the first text lines are usually headers giving the language,
the title, the artist, copyright information, and other information.
Each piece of header information starts with the character '@'.
@L language of the song
@I other information
@T Title of song / artist / sequencer (SEQ) / karaoke maker (KAR) / songwriter
@KMIDI KARAOKE FILE Type of file / copyright information
Several lines of header information may be present.

Chords display

In a .kar file, if chords such as F#m7, A, E, G#7 etc. are entered in the file as 'lyric' events, they will be displayed at the top of the screen, moving from right to left, with the words of the song (which are 'text' events) moving from top to bottom below the chords display.
(in a .mid file on the other hand, words are 'lyric' events and chords are 'text' events)


The Diaporama

In the lyrics windows, right-click, choose 'pictures', choose Diaporama.

The Diaporama requires a fairly fast processor / video display card.

You can display a succession of images under the words with the diaporama function .
The time between change of images is adjustable.
The images which are displayed are all those present in the directory of the chosen background image.

Command Keys

F1 Help Menu
Ctrl F1 Opens Options window
In the Directory window (right panel)

up/down arrow        Select a song
Enter                        Start playing the currently-selected song
In MIDI and Lyrics Windows:

Space Bar               start, pause, or continue to play the song.
Enter                        (Useful !) toggles the midi window display on/off when lyrics are present.
Esc                           stops current song.

When lyrics are being displayed, to adjust the volume, transposition, tempo, et cetera, press return.
The MIDI window will appear.
Adjustments can be made using the mouse.
Press return again to go back to the lyrics screen.,
Alternatively the Keyboard Commands below can be used to make adjustments during a performance without obliterating the lyrics with the MIDI window.


Keyboard Commands - MIDI and Lyrics Windows

M or m       Mute one channel (used to mute the main melody as singer takes over)
                        (Press M to mute a channel followed by + or - keys to change the muted channel)
T or t          Transposition.
                        (Press T followed by + or - keys to increase or decrease the transposition)
V or v         Adjustment of controller Volume
                       (Press V followed by + or - keys to increase or decrease the volume)
E or e        Adjustment of controller Expression
                       (Press E to followed by + or - keys to increase or decrease the expression)
G or g        Find another song by the index number of the list (directory or jukebox)
F2              Adjustment of margins of lyrics display
F3              Adjustment of scrolling
F4              Activate/deactivate the diaporama
F5              Choice of image under the lyrics
F6              Erase the image under the lyrics
F7              Tile the image under the lyrics.
F8              Stretch the image under the lyrics.
F9              Centre image under the lyrics.
F10           Ultimate Full screen (even start button is no longer diplayed)
                     (For normal full screen use Maximise button (top right of window) ) .
F11           Display the 'moving blobs' Bar (shows timing of upcoming lyrics)
F12           Display the lyrics within a second framework (??????????)
Shift F5    Choice of Background Image between songs
Shift F6    Erase the Background Image between songs
Shift F7    Background Image between songs tiled.
Shift F8    Background Image between songs stretched.
Ctrl D        Display the directory window
Ctrl M        Display the midi window
Ctrl F4      Adjustment of time delay for diaporama image change.
Ctrl A        Choice of color of active text
Ctrl P        Choice of color of post-active text.
Ctrl N        Choice of color of pre-active text.
Ctrl O        Turn shading under the text on or off.
Ctrl X         Choice of prime background colour
Ctrl Z         Choice of color of beginning of gradient
Ctrl G        Activate or deactivate the gradient
Ctrl V        Vertical or horizontal Gradient Control
Ctrl W       Play a Wave file.
S or s xx (enter)      mute, or un-mute, a channel xx= number of channel to mute or un-mute.
Page Up                  Go back a few lines in current song
Page Down             Go forwards a few lines in current song

MIDI instrument display / editor window

In this window, modifications of velocity and transpositions of MIDI channels, and some
other changes, can be saved to hard disk by pressing the 'Save' button.
To save a muted channel to disk, reduce the velocity to 1 before saving.
Warning! This will overwrite the original file settings.
Some modifications (volume, expression, mute) cannot be saved.
Lyrics Window
Lyrics are displayed, synchronised with the music.
Right click with the mouse when the display is active to find a large number of
display options.



©Jean-Pierre.Cocatrix KaraWin