Setup screen

1. Setup

1.1 General setup

1.1.1 Polyphony

Polyphony defines the maximum number of notes that Music Studio can play simultaneously. High polyphony requires more CPU and can lead to stuttering during playback, while low polyphony can result in notes stopping too soon.

If it is set to 16 and at one point during playback, the song would require 17 notes to be played simultaneously, the oldest note will quickly be faded out to allow the new one to play. The required polyphony of a song depends on the number of simultaneous notes on all tracks, and heavily on the release times. During export to wav or AAC, the polyphony is automatically set to 128.

1.1.2 Lock interface orientation

Per default, the interface is rotated to match the current device orientation. If the Lock interface orientation checkbox is enabled, the interface won’t be rotated regardless of how you tilt the device.

1.1.3 Continuous playhead movement

In order to save CPU power, continuous playhead movement is off by default and the playhead in the Tracks screen moves only at every beat. Enable this checkbox to trade a lot of CPU power for more precise playhead movement. It may lead to playback stuttering.

Note: This checkbox is available only on the iPad, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd generation and newer devices.

1.1.4 Keep attack/release times (iPhone only)

If this setting is disabled, each time you select an instrument its default attack and release time are set. If enabled, the current track's attack and release times are kept when you select another instrument.

On the iPad, this setting is located in the Instruments screen.

1.1.5 Bluetooth / AirPlay

This mode is required for output audio via Bluetooth or AirPlay. However, Bluetooth / AirPlay audio output and audio recording are incompatible so this mode will be disabled if you enter recording mode.

Bluetooth: Remember to activate Bluetooth in the iOS settings and pair your device with the Bluetooth accessory (headphones or speakers).

AirPlay: An AirPlay button appears next to the checkbox if an AirPlay audio device is in range.

1.1.6 Background audio

Background audio means that playback continues while the app is running in the background. Start the playback of a song, click the home button and playback continues, even if you launch other music apps. In combination with MIDI, background audio has several practical uses:

  • Play your backing track in Music Studio in the background while performing with another music app on top of it.
  • Use any app that sends Core MIDI (or virtual MIDI) data to trigger Music Studio’s sounds.
    Tip: Set MIDI IN to TRACKS, create 16 empty tracks and assign different instruments to them. Then configure the other app to send on a specific channel 1-16 to select the instrument.
  • Use Music Studio as a sequencer for other background apps.
    Tip: Set MIDI OUT to TRACKS to send each track’s notes to the MIDI channel corresponding to its track number. Configure other apps to receive MIDI IN from a specific channel to select the track.
  • Save battery by pressing the power button to switch the screen off during playback of a song.

Note: If background audio is enabled, Music Studio will drain your battery significantly even if the screen is turned off or if other apps are running, even if Music Studio does not trigger any sounds. To quit Music Studio, double tap the home button, tap and hold the Music Studio icon, then tap the red minus icon.

1.2 Keyboard setup


1.2.1 Snap to white keys

The keyboard can snap after scrolling so that it always starts with a white key at the left screen edge.

1.2.2 Allow touches between black keys

White keys can be touched in the area between the black keys if this setting is enabled. Otherwise, white keys can only be touched on the area below the black keys.

1.2.3 Allow touches on key borders

By default, a tiny invisible border between the white keys won’t react to touches. This minimizes accidental touches. If you find that the keyboard often doesn’t react to your input, enable this checkbox.

1.2.4 Key label language

Key labels on the Keyboard and the pads use the selected naming convention:

  • The German key naming system uses the letter H instead of B and B instead of A#.
  • The French key naming system is: Do, Ré, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si

1.2.5 Velocity control

Enable velocity to control the note volume while playing on the keyboard. There are 4 options:

  • Mod wheel: on the iPhone, the “Mod wheel instead of pitch wheel” setting needs to be enabled for the mod wheel to be visible and utilized for velocity control.
  • Touch position: the volume depends on where a key is touched (upper end quiet, lower end forte).
  • Accelerometer X/Y: Velocity can be control by tilting the device in the selected axis.

1.2.6 Mod wheel instead of pitch wheel (iPhone only)

By default, the pitch wheel is displayed in the Keyboard screen. Enable this setting to change it to the mod wheel which controls the filter effect or the keyboard velocity.

1.2.7 Auto quantization

To speed up your workflow, quantization can automatically be applied after each recording on the keyboard or drum pads. The default setting is off. It is recommended for bass and drum recording.

Note: Automatic quantization can lead to undesirable results and is not undoable.

1.2.8 Transposition

If you tap a C on the keyboard with the transposition set to +2, a D will be played. The transposition range of -24 to +24 semitones allows you to play in a different key without having to learn the melody again.

1.3 Pitch

Pitch bend can be applied when playing live or recording with the pitch bend wheel or the accelerometer. In the piano roll editor, pitch bend is indicated with lines emerging from the notes.

Note: Unlike most MIDI sequencers, Music Studio stores pitch bend data per note, not just per track. This means that two simultaneous notes on the same track can have different pitch bend data (events). The big advantage of this method is that editing a note automatically affects the pitch bend data for this note, but does not affect any other notes on the track (other software sequencers commonly ask if you want to move the pitch bend data too, this is obsolete with this method).

1.3.1 Pitch bend semitones

The pitch bend range fader sets the number of semitones from 0.25 to 24 in both directions. This applies to the pitch bend wheel as well as the accelerometer.

1.3.2 Pitch bend sensitivity

The sensitivity fader only applies to accelerometer controlled pitch bend. It sets the tilt angle required to bend the full semitone range. The text to the right of the faders clarifies the behavior of the current setting (e.g. the device needs to be tilted 49 degrees to achieve a pitch bend of 4 semitones).

1.3.3 Pitch bend accelerometer control

Select OFF to disable accelerometer control and enable the pitch bend wheel, or select an axis and tilt the device to pitch bend.

Invert axis reverses the behavior of the accelerometer, e.g. moving down (instead of up) will increase the pitch.

Adaptive calibration starts the pitch bend at zero for each note that you trigger, regardless of the current device tilt.

1.3.4 Pitch bend record mode

The recording mode controls how existing pitch bend data is treated during recording:

  • Overwrite means that existing pitch bend events on the recorded track are overwritten by the new ones.
  • Overdub mode preserves existing pitch bend data and stores the new pitch bend events only for newly recorded notes.

1.4 Accelerometer setup


Pitch bend, the filter effect and the keyboard velocity can be controlled via the accelerometer. The global settings in this screen might come in handy if you use the accelerometer a lot. The crosshair in the accelerometer panel indicates the current device tilt as perceived by the app (after processing the calibration, threshold and reactivity settings).

1.4.1 Threshold

Device tilt is ignored until it reaches the angle set by the threshold fader. With a high threshold, the device can be tilted by about 15° until accelerometer vales are recorded.

1.4.2 Reactivity

High reactivity increases the effect of accelerometer sensor noise while low reactivity leads to sluggish behavior (which may be a desirable effect in some cases).

1.4.3 Calibration

Tap the calibrate button to set the current device tilt as the center position. The Reset Calibration button restores the original center setting.

1.5 Metronome setup

1.5.1 Volume

The volume fader controls the gain of the metronome tick sound.

1.5.2 Pan

The pan fader controls the left/right output balance of the metronome tick sound.

1.5.3 Style

Choose between five metronome style. Each style consists of two sounds, one (the higher one) for the beginning of a bar, the lower sound marks the other beats.

1.5.4 Count in

When the record button in the Keyboard screen is pressed, the metronome will count one or more bars before triggering the song playback. This is called “count-in” and is handy for recording the first note at the very beginning of the song. Without count in, there wouldn't be enough time to play the first note immediately after tapping the record button. Count-in also helps you to get in line with the rhythm before you start playing (recording).

For example if count-in is set to 2 bars, the playhead position is at the beginning of the song (1.1) and you tap the record button, the playhead will count 2 bars from -2.1, -1.1 until the recording starts at 1.1.

1.5.4.1 Count in only at the beginning of the song

If this checkbox is enabled, count-in is only applied if the recording starts at the beginning of the song.

1.6 MIDI setup

The MIDI section in the setup provides options for connected MIDI hardware and MIDI communication with other apps. The black text box indicates if a MIDI port is detected. Tap it to show a list of all the detected external and internal MIDI devices. See the quick start guide for a list of compatible hardware. The name of the detected

1.6.1 MIDI out for muted tracks

By default, MIDI events are not output for muted tracks. Enable this checkbox to send all track’s events via MIDI during playback. This way you can minimize the CPU load on your device by muting all tracks, using Music Studio like a MIDI sequencer.

1.6.2 Send MIDI clock

The MIDI clock checkbox toggles Music Studio's MIDI clock output to other apps and external MIDI devices. Clock signals are only output while playback is running.

1.6.3 MIDI Thru

If MIDI Thru is enabled, all incoming MIDI events are routed through to MIDI OUT. If set to "MIDI Thru sel. track", the channel of the relayed MIDI events is changed to the selected track’s channel (track number).

1.6.4 Keyboard split point

Enabling the keyboard split point will automatically create a track and assign it to the lower row in the Keyboard screen. On your external keyboard, the lower row’s instrument (which you can configure in the Instruments screen) can be played on the keys left to the split point. Move the marker on the mini keyboard to set the split point.

1.6.5 Configure button

The configure button shows the MIDI configuration popup.

1.6.6 Send params button

The Send Params button transmits the current song’s instruments, track volumes and track pan values to the connected MIDI device. If a multitrack MIDI device is connected, it can be set to mimic Music Studio’s current track setup with this button.

1.6.7 MIDI panic button

Tap the MIDI Panic button to silence both Music Studio and the device connected to the MIDI ports. This can be useful in the rare event that notes are hanging.

1.6.8 MIDI ports & channels popup

The MIDI configuration popup looks different depending on the kind of hardware connected:

  • For the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer, it offers MIDI IN and OUT channel selection.
  • With a CoreMIDI device or app connected , port selection is available in addition to the channel selection.

Tip: Set MIDI IN to TRACKS, create 16 empty tracks and assign different instruments to them. Then configure your MIDI device or another MIDI compatible app to send on a specific channel 1-16 to select the instrument.

Tip: To use Music Studio as a sequencer for other background apps or external devices, set MIDI OUT to TRACKS to send each track’s notes to the MIDI channel corresponding to its track number. Configure other apps to receive MIDI IN from a specific channel to select the track.

1.6.8.1 MIDI IN

The channel can be set to the following values:

  • TRACKS: Incoming MIDI events are routed to the corresponding tracks 1-16. For example, if track 4 exists, incoming MIDI notes on channel 4 will be played by Music Studio with track 4’s instrument and settings.
  • ALL: All incoming MIDI events are routed to the selected track (the upper keyboard row), regardless of their channel.
  • 1-16: Only events with this channel are routed to the selected track.

In addition to note on/off events, Music Studio responds to the following MIDI events:

  • Note velocity
  • Sustain pedal on/off (MIDI CC64)
  • Pitch bend
  • Mod wheel controls the filter effect (MIDI CC01)
  • Volume and pan: the selected track’s volume and pan can be set with a hardware controller (MIDI CC07 and CC10)
  • Start and stop events trigger playback

1.6.8.2 MIDI OUT

Note on, note off and pitch bend MIDI events are sent to the connected device as you play on the Keyboard screen or play back a song. The channel can be set to the following values:

  • TRACKS: MIDI events from all tracks are sent to their respective channels. For example, a note from track 4 will be sent to MIDI channel 4 during playback. Tracks above number 16 are mapped to channel 1.
  • 1-16: Only the keys touched in the Keyboard screen are transmitted to the selected MIDI channel. When a song is played back, the notes on the tracks will not be transmitted in this mode.

In addition to note on/off events, Music Studio sends to the following MIDI events:

  • Note velocity
  • Sustain pedal on/off (MIDI CC64)
  • Pitch bend
  • Mod wheel
  • MIDI Clock (if enabled)
  • Playback start and stop events
  • Volume, pan and program events are sent only when the "Send params" button is tapped.

1.6.8.3 Port

If a CoreMIDI device is connected, the input and output ports can be selected. For example, most MIDI-USB adapter cable have two plugs and thus two ports. The possible choices are:

  • ALL: sends/receives to/from all ports. This might lead to playback stuttering on older devices.
  • 1-16: MIDI events are only sent/received to/from the selected port.