Music Studio features a 85-key clavier capable of handling up to 5 simultaneous touches (10 on the iPad). Not every instrument has the full tonal range, hence the number of playable octaves varies from instrument to instrument.
If you are uneasy with the way the keys react to your touch input, the keyboard setup offers some handy preferences.
The keyboard position and width can be adjusted via the scroll and pinch gestures. Either tap the keyboard layout button or simply do the gesture on the top menu bar: move one finger left or right to slide the keyboard, pinch with two fingers to adjust the key width.
The play button toggles playback of the song. Stop rewinds to the left marker.
The pause button simply pauses playback and doesn’t rewind.
Tap the loop button to toggle looping the song (or more precisely, the area between the markers).
The record button start or stop a new recording. Tap it, then wait for the counter to hit 1.1 (this is called count-in) and start playing. Hit the record or the stop button if you’re done, or hit the undo button right away if you made a mistake and want to re-record.
Note: recording is always done on the selected track. To record with another instrument on top of your current song, create a new track, select it and record.
The undo button deleted the notes you just recorded, or reverts the song to the state prior to the last edit.
Tip: Hold the undo button for 2 seconds to display a popup with the possible undo/redo actions.
The LCD contains gain bars to indicate the volume, the icon of the selected track’s instrument and the position of the playhead within the song. The number format is measure-dot-beat, so “7.2” means that the playhead is in the 2nd beat of the 7th bar (measure). The small dot on the bar below the numbers also indicates the playhead position. Tap the display it to enter the playhead mode.
Tap the metronome button to toggle the metronome during playback or recording. Its state is remembered separately for playback and recording. Per default, the metronome is enabled only during recording. Metronome volume and style can be set in the metronome setup.
iPhone only: tap and hold the metronome button to bring up the tempo popup.
The tempo button brings up the tempo popup where the song tempo and signature can be set.
On the iPad, this button has a zoom icon because the keyboard layout mode allows you to scroll and zoom the keyboard. On the iPhone, the keyboard layout mode also holds the keyboard rows and key label settings, hence the keys in the icon.
The pads button toggles between keyboard and drum or chord pad input. See the section about drum pads.
The LiveTools menu contains the pitch wheel, sustain and chord buttons.
On the iPad, both the pitch bend wheel and the mod wheel are always visible. On the iPhone, there is only space for one wheel and there is an option in the keyboard setup to switch between pitch and mod wheel.
The pitch bend wheel’s range can be set in the Setup screen.
The accelerometer button is located below the pitch bend wheel. It toggles the accelerometer input, which can be recorded too. By default, it enables the pitch bend effect (and disables the pitch bend wheel in turn). Tilt your device to bend the pitch of the currently played notes. The filter effect can also be configured to react to the accelerometer.
The sustain button in the LiveTools menu holds all the keys that are currently pressed until it it released again. It simulates the right pedal of a grand piano.
Note: MIDI CC64 events are not recorded, but the note lengths are increased if you use the sustain button during recording.
Each chord button can be configured to not only play chords, but any number of notes at once. Touch a chord button to play it like a key.
To assign a chord, tap the SET button, then tap one of the chord buttons. The keys assigned to this chord button are highlighted blue. Tap a key to assign or remove it from the chord. When you’re done, tap the set button again.
To clear a chord, tap the SET button, then tap and hold a chord button. A popup will appear asking if only the selected or all chord buttons should be cleared.
Tip (iPad only): if chord pads are enabled, tap a chord pad (with SET enabled) to assign it to the selected chord button.
Tap the button with the keys to enter the keyboard layout mode, where the keyboard rows can be scrolled and resized anywhere on the screen.
The left and right octave buttons quickly scroll the keyboard one octave (12 semitones) down or up.
Tap the fullscreen button to switches to the full screen keyboard mode. Sliding and pinching in the top portion of the screen scrolls and resizes the keys. Tap the button in the upper right corner to exit the fullscreen mode.
The map illustrates which part of the keyboard is currently visible. Slide or tap it to quickly scroll the keyboard.
Tap the keyboard rows button to toggle between one and two keyboard rows.
See this section about the track created for the lower keyboard row. On the iPad, this button is always visible in the Keyboard screen’s menu bar.
The key label button allows you to select one of the 4 key label modes: off, C only, all keys labeled, and colored key On the iPad, this button is always visible in the Keyboard screen’s menu bar.
Depending on the instrument selected, the pads either play drum samples or chords.
The pad edit button makes all the pads wiggle. Tap and move a pad to rearrange the pads, or tap the X in the corner of a pad to remove it. The Plus button in the lower right corner adds a new pad, until the maximum number of pads is reached.
If a drum kit is selected, each pad will play a different sample of the kit. Tap a pad to display the list of samples, where the ones that are already mapped to a pad are greyed out.
If an instrument (as opposed to a kit) is selected, each pad plays a chord. Tap a pad and the bottom menu indicates the chord’s key, octave, quality and inversion. These parameters can be configured arbitrarily.
Tip (iPad only): if the LiveTools menu with the chord buttons is visible, tap the SET button in the menu, tap a chord button, then tap a pad to assign its chord it to the selected chord button.
The playhead mode can be accessed by tapping on the display in the Keyboard or Track screen menu. It allows you to adjust the position of the playhead and to set the markers. Use the controls in the bottom menu or simply slide your finger anywhere on the screen to adjust the position of the playhead.
Rewinds the playhead to the left song marker. Tap it a second time to rewind to the beginning of the song.
Rewind and forward the playhead position by exactly 1 bar (measure).
Tap or slide on the map to position the playhead anywhere in the song. The song markers are depicted by yellow lines, the areas outside the markers are darkened. The map also displays the current track's notes as white dots and lines.
Tap a marker button to set the left or the right song marker to the current playhead position. The markers must be at least 1 bar apart.
There are several reasons why markers are handy: