Editing Instruments

By tapping an existing instrument, you can highlight it for editing. Zooming into the scene by spreading two fingers makes selecting instruments much easier.

The selected instrument is highlighted with a turquoise border, and editing tools are displayed in the toolbar. A dark grey grid also appears to help place the instrument.

With the New Instrument button in the toolbar, you can place a new instrument in the scene by tapping the desired location. This new instrument is automatically highlighted for editing.

 

Moving an instrument

A highlighted instrument can be dragged to a different location within the scene. The instrument snaps to the dotted grey grid. If you want to position the instrument more precisely, simply zoom closer.

Editing an instrument

When an instrument is highlighted, the toolbar displays basic information about the instrument and editing tools:

edit toolbar for instruments
The edit toolbar for instruments

First, the last bit: As usual for Android apps, the Done button exits edit mode.

This is the delete button. It allows you to delete the highlighted instrument from the scene.

The most important button is the edit button. It opens a window in which all settings for the highlighted instrument can be edited:

edit window
The edit window.

1 Instrument play mode: "sends notes" or "plays instantly"

instrument play modes
Instrument play modes

Instrument set to “send notes” don't play tones by themselves. Instead, they produce flying notes according to their rhythm grid. When these flying notes collide with equal notes, they play tones.

An instrument set to "play instantly" plays the note set in the rhythm grid instantly. This is particularly handy for creating a backing track. Instruments set to this mode are displayed with more intense colors within the scene.

2 The rhythm grid

The rhythm grid determines when a note is sent or a tone is played immediately, depending on the mode 1 setting.

The grid is divided into sixteenth note steps. "All on" plays sixteenth notes, turning on every other step plays eighth notes, every fourth step plays fourth notes, and a single step plays whole notes. The steps can be turned on or off by tapping. If no steps are on, the instrument is silent.

Acccelerando uses a four measure loop. With the four measure switches below the sixteenth steps, you can choose in which measures the rhythm grid should be played. For example, you can create a rhythm for an instrument that is only played in the fourth measure or create longer than whole notes. This gets even more interesting if you're using chord progressions for the scene. More on this in Settings.

3 Sound selection

Here you can choose between instrument sounds (e.g. piano, guitar, or harp). The Acccelerando instrument and the notes it sends out are in the same color as the sound selected here.

4 Pitch selection

pitch selection
Pitch selection

With a miniature keyboard, you can choose the pitch for your instrument. Two octaves are available, from A3 to A5. Only white keys are available; adding black keys would make everything a lot more complicated.

The two bass sounds "bass" and "cello" are two octaves lower than what you select here.

5 Volume

The basic volume of the instrument. The actual volume of notes played can differ as flying notes become larger by colliding with other notes or smaller by flying for a long time.

Some sounds (e.g. piano) produce a different sound at different volumes.

6 Background synthesizer

Each instrument can play a synthesizer sound in addition to the selected sound. It makes the sound a bit more intense and makes it last longer.

7 Edit starting movement

Intrument with a starting movement
Intrument with a starting movement

This button allows you to set the starting movement for notes an instrument sends out or delete an existing starting movement.

Instruments with a starting movement send their notes into the direction of the arrow, with a set velocity according to the arrow's length. Thus, you can create instruments that fire off all their notes into a certain direction, changing the entire dynamic of the scene. Notes without starting movement are only moved by gravitation, so you can use this feature to breathe some life into a static scene.

As with instruments, you can move the tip of the arrow by dragging.

Of course, this feature is not available for instruments that are set to "play instantly" and don't send out notes.