Quincy / Quincy Lite (iOS)
Documentation

v1.5.5 - release notes

Modules

Piano KeysPiano Keys

The Modules window is available by tapping the module HUD or the 3rd toolbar button from the right. Its icon is a little puzzle piece. Some modules (Chroma and Pentrix) have a Rhythm section as seen above to the left. Gregorian, however, uses a Voices section which is shown to the right above.

 

Modules and Keys

The Modules and Keys window features another picker control at the top. This one has 2 columns with the left one being used to select a module. The right column lets you pick a key for your composition. Notably Quincy does not have a traditional concept of tonality or key like when we say "concerto in c minor" for example. The word key here is more akin to what is understood as root. Anything else is a function of the tone material. Since there are at least 20 different minor scale we'd be hard pressed to define tonality in a traditional way.

We also have an option here to express the key with syllables. The latter are also localized.

 

Tone Material

Selected Key

A very import thing to understand about modules is that they all come with their very own tone material. Chroma uses a bunch of symmetric scale, Gregorian uses around 30 scales that are church modes or variations thereof and Pentrix finally features close to 40 pentatonic scales. A full listing of modules and they scales they include can be found in Appendix A of this documentation.

As seen above the current scale for tone material is 1. Aeolian. If we tap on that line we expand the window to show us all available scales for this module as seen below.

 

Selected Key

Here we can now make a selection.

 

Voices

Selected Key

The Gregorian module uses voices when generating music. It can render 4 voices simultaneously - Bass, Tenor, Alto and Soprano. The volume sliders use MIDI native values and go up to 127. As you can see these voices also have on/off switches. The benefit here is that you can trun off a voice while still maintianing the volume setting it has. The differentiation of voices as shown above does not correspond to the classical concept of ranges. If you remember, in Quincy the size of the grid determines the overall range of available pitches. That is the "master range" you are working with. Now imagine that master range divided into 4 equal parts and you have an accurate picture of voices in Quincy.

NOTE: When working in Quincy in general it is almost never a good idea to just turn everything on. Especially in the module settings you might want to start listening to one voice alone before adding another one. The same holds true for the Rhythm section. Get an idea of what one thing does before adding another one.

 

Rhythm

Selected Key

Rhythm settings are available in the Chroma and the Pentrix modules. These modules can generate half -, quarter - and eighth notes simultaneously. And again you can mix and match. Other than when using voices, you are not guaranteed a note event per ryhthmic setting on notes other than quarter notes. So if you select eighth notes exclusively for example you will most likely not hear an uninterrupted line of eighth notes. There will be rests between some notes depending on your composition. This is another place where we like to say, that's a good thing, because it makes for a more organic rendition. The same thing holds for half notes. You are, however, guaranteed a quarter note event. So, if you wanted to build yourself a metronome using the Chroma module, you'd be best of selecting only the quarter note in this section.

NOTE: Have another listen of the Quincy Showcase at the beginning of this documentation and pay close attention to note events in the Seeds compostion. It is a very good example of this topic. It has all three rhythmic options switched on, but you should hear that half notes make a somewhat later appearance than the rest. You should also hear the occasional rests in the top (eighth notes) voice.

 

Additional Modules as In-App Purchase

Selected Key

With Quincy 1.2.0 ten additional modules are available as IAPs. They are available individually as well as in our new Module Collection. These new modules are a bit more intricate than the original shipping 3 modules. The new modules are called Bebop, Blue, Ethnos, Gupta, Hepta, Hexa, Lydia, Nona, Octo and Spain.The naming convention gives a hint about the available tone material (i.e. scales) for these modules. Bebop for Bebop scales, Blue for Blues scales and Hexa, Hepta, Octo and Nona feature scales with 6, 7, 8 and nine notes. Ethnos takes ethnic scales of all kinds, Spain a smattering of Spanish themed scales and Gupta over 30 Ragas. We put together a playlist of short excerpts from the accompanying sample docs on SoundCloud which nicely illustrate the difference between these new modules. Please note that the recordings were made with the Mac version of Quincy and will sound a bit diffferently on iOS.

 

Summary

Quincy's module architecture can be a bit intimidating at first, but it is a concept that allows you to narrow down your compositional goals or change the character of composition.

This completes our overview of main application elements. If you read from the beginning, you may feel a little overwhelmed with all these windows, tools and modes. Therefor we designed the next section of this documentation to be a little more tutorial like. Each of the next three chapters lets you follow along and contains a lot of pictures to check your progress. We'll talk about the Play Mode first, then the Edit Mode and finally the Draw Mode.

 

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