for Windows PC
by Chris Hughes
Abel is probably the most popular ringing software in the world, used by thousands of ringers and hundreds of bell towers. With Abel on your PC, you can ring call-changes and almost any method or principle on 3 to 24 bells. For example, you can practise Plain Hunt, Plain Bob, Stedman, or Bristol. You can ring plain courses and touches, and up to 100 spliced methods. You can practise ringing at home, and you can use Abel as a tower simulator too. Using Abel is easy, even if you're new to ringing or PCs.
You can let Abel ring all the bells itself, or you can ring bells using the PC keyboard, 'dummy' handbells, or by connecting the PC to silenced tower bells – or a dumbbell. You ring one bell (or two, for handbell practice); Abel rings the rest. You can ring call changes, a plain course of a method, or a touch from Abel's collections of pre-defined touches. Or you can 'call' touches yourself from the keyboard or by pressing footswitches attached to the PC. If you go wrong, you can go back a few rows (or more) and try again. Abel also includes a "silent practice" facility, that lets you hold practice sessions at a tower without disturbing the neighbours.
During the ringing, Abel shows pictures of ropes or handbells; it can show pictures that flip between handstroke and backstroke as the bells sound, or very realistic “video” of ringers that allows you to practise your ropesight. Abel can show the blue line as you ring, and speaks the calls and method changes. There are realistic tower and handbell sound. During the ringing Abel can show you how accurately you’re striking; at the end of a touch it can produce a detailed report, that you can use to analyse persistent faults. You can also tell Abel to ring its own bells early, late or irregularly, to demonstrate particular striking errors.
Abel can print out, or preview, methods and touches, in a similar style to the RW Diary, and can show the complete blue line for any method or touch on screen.
Abel comes with method collections containing many common methods; you can easily add further methods from the microSIRIL method libraries (more than 17,000 methods), which are also included. You can also add your own touches, usually in standard notation (for example, wrong and home twice is “2(WH)” ).
Abel has many options for controlling the ringing, screen display, sound and external bells. Options include open and closed handstrokes, doubles with or without a tenor behind, the pitch and character of the bell sound, ringing speed, non-conducted, call changes up/down, half-muffled, cartwheeling, etc.
For further details of Abel, Mabel and Mobel, see www.abelsim.co.uk. You can buy Abel and Mabel from the website, and can buy Mobel from Apple’s App Store.
Mobel for iPhone and iPad
Mobel, a ringing simulator for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, is available from Apple's App Store. When ringers are travelling or at towers, at ringing meetings or in the pub, Mobel lets them practise any method they are going to ring. It also shows the blue line diagram for any method.
Mobel lets you practise any method on 4 to 16 bells, ringing a single bell or, for handbell ringers, a pair. You can ring plain courses, or touches with bobs and/or singles that Mobel calls, or spliced. You can conduct touches of single methods, with bobs and/or singles. If you choose the Tower Bells option, Mobel displays pictures of sallies and tail ends, uses tower bell sound, and rings at tower bell speed. If you choose the Hand Bells option, Mobel displays pictures of handbells, uses handbell sound, and rings at handbell speed. You can select from over 17,000 methods, and can edit methods to create new ones, including Doubles Variations. You can vary the speed of the ringing, and ring with handstoke gap or cartwheeling. You can have Mobel wait for you if you hesitate while ringing a bell - or it can carry on in perfect rhythm. Optionally, Mobel will give you marks out of 10 for your striking.
Mobel can display the blue line for any method, showing all the rows or just the lines. Mobel shows the diagram for bobs and singles, if these are defined for the method. You can use pinch gestures to change the scale of the display, and swipe left and right if the picture is too big for the screen. For handbells, Mobel displays the lines for both bells.
Mabel for Apple Mac
Mabel lets you practise method ringing and call changes on your Apple Mac. You can practise anything from call-changes on three, through plain hunt and bob doubles, to Surprise Maximus, and up to 100-Spliced 24-in. You can ring any bell, or two if you're a handbell ringer. You use the keyboard to ring your chosen bell(s) and Mabel rings the rest, letting you practise the blue line of any method or touch, or practise call changes, and get used to ringing in perfect rhythm. You can ring a touch from a library (including random touches, different each time you ring them), or call them yourself. When you go wrong in the middle of something, Mabel lets you go back a bit and try again. You can print out, and preview, plain courses of methods, or touches, in similar style to the RW Diary, or various other styles.
Mabel has real tower and handbell sound, and shows sally/tail or handbells at back/hand, scrolling blue line, calls and method changes (spoken too), etc. There are many options, including speed of the ringing, pitch and scale of the bells, cartwheeling, tenors behind, call changes up or down, half muffled, etc.