Tool palette

The tool palette provides controls for playback and navigation, as well as for modifying structure and timing.

[screen shot of tool palette]
The tool palette.

Controlling playback

The right-hand side of the tool palette provides controls for managing playback, recording and navigation while editing.

At the top, time information about the playhead location or current selection is shown. If there is no highlighted selection in the pattern editor (i.e., the red insertion point is blinking), the current bar and beat number are shown, as well as time point in minutes, seconds and milliseconds. In the example above, the insertion point is at the 19th bar on beat 1, which occurs 34.916 seconds into the song.

If one or more beats or bars are selected in the pattern editor (i.e., a region is highlighted and the insertion point is not blinking), the total duration of the selection is indicated instead. ["6 bars 0:12.000"] In the example at right, 6 bars are selected with a net duration of 12 seconds.

To start playback, click the forward-pointing green arrow button or press the space bar. If the insertion point is blinking, playback will begin from the current position. If one or more beats or bars are selected, only the affected region will be played. Playback can be stopped by clicking or pressing the space bar again.

Use the left-arrow and right-arrow buttons, or press the arrow cursor keys, to move the playhead backward or forward through the song. To skip a bar at a time, hold down the Option key. Clicking go-to-start and go-to-end will jump to the top and bottom of the pattern editor, respectively.

When playback reaches the end of the pattern editor (or current selection), it will immediately begin at the top if looping mode is activated. To toggle looping, click the looping button or choose Loop Playback from the Edit menu. The button will be shaded a darker grey when looping is active.

Adding and removing bars

To add a new bar to the current section, choose Insert Bar from the Song menu, or click the "+" button of the same name in the tool palette.

To delete a bar, first fully select it in the pattern editor (either by highlighting all its beats or clicking in its header region), then choose Delete Bars from the Song menu.

Tweaking tempo and time signature

[screen shot of time signature and tempo] At the left-hand side of the tool palette the current bar's time signature is indicated next to T.S., as well as its tempo.

The tempo is shown in beats per minute (bpm). The tempo basis — the note value by which beats per minute are expressed — can be changed by clicking on the note icon (in this example, a quarter note).

To insert a new beat, click the "+" button or choose Insert Beat from the Song menu. The top part of the time signature will be incremented, and a new beat will be created at the insertion point location.

To remove one or more beats, select them in the pattern editor and then click the "–" button or choose Delete Beats from the Song menu. The time signature will be adjusted accordingly.

Recording drums by keyboard or MIDI

Drums can be added to bars anytime by clicking in the pattern editor with the mouse. With record mode enabled, it also becomes possible to enter drum events using either the keyboard or a MIDI source. Pressing a drum's assigned shortcut key will insert it at the current location, and advance the insertion point.

To toggle record mode, click the record button or choose Record Enable from the Edit menu. The button will be shaded a darker grey when recording is enabled.

Turning off record mode can help avoid making accidental changes by typing or when using attached MIDI equipment for other purposes.