Quincy (iOS)

Basic Layout

Quincy has 2 very different views on the iPad. A performance view focusses on playing compositions with an always visible documents list is displayed when holding the device in landscape view. An editing layout with access to tools is visible in portrait mode. In the following we will focus on the latter. Please note that a performance view is not available on iPhones and iPods due to space considerations.

The main editing interface is dominated by the display area. Above it are a small HUD display for grid size, population, generation and other information and the title bar. Right below the grid display are the tools section and at the very bottom the applications's toolbar.

legend ipad



module HUD

This HUD (heads up display) is a convenient overview of of some of a document's settings:

1 grid size
2 population
3 generation
4 bpm*
5 loop stats*
6 key*
7 Audio Local indicator
8 MIDI connected indicator
9 activity gauge

* iPad only


Tools Section

In the tools section, framed by the color indicator/selection box on the left and the pattern indicator/selection box on the right, are stepper controls for BPM and loop settings. Between these stepper controls is the module display indicating module name, current key and tone material (scale). This section is arranged somewhat differently on 4 inch iPhones like the iPhone 5 and reduced to the tool slider on 3.5 inch iPhones like the iPhone 4. tools_section


BPM Stepper

The BPM stepper allows you to control the playback speed in increments of BPM (beats per minute). It is always available and thus rendered in the color Quincy uses to indicate activity - orange. This control is also available in the Settings window. The BPM stepper allows speeds from 8 - 208 bpm similar to those available on traditional metronomes. It also loops, so pressing + with a current speed of 208 sets the stepper to 8. Steppers in general have 3 speeds depending on how long their keys are pressed: step - fast - very fast.


Loop Stepper

The Loop stepper controls the number of generations in a loop. Loops are not enabled in the image above, so the control is rendered in gray. Loops are activated in the Tool Slider which we will get to in a bit and again - the Loop stepper is also available in the Settings window. While the Loop Button is in an off state you can still change the number of generations to loop in the stepper, but that will have no immediate effect. The stepper allows for 2 - 256 generations.


Module HUD

module HUD

This HUD (heads up display) refers to the currently active module in your composition. It shows the name of the module, its key and the selected tone material. Modules are responsible for generating sound in Quincy and have several settings. We will explore these in more detail in a bit when we get to the Modules chapter.


Color Indicator

color indicatorThe Color Indicator has a button for each of the 5 colors of a document's palette. Tapping one of these buttons changes the current color, moves the arrow to the right side of the buttons and changes the display label below to indicate the number of the current color. Color changes have an effect in two situations: Draw mode and Live Draw. We haven't seen either of these yet, so here is a brief explanation. Quincy has three modes - play, edit and draw. In Draw Mode tools like the pen tool draw the current color as you will see. Live Draw is another thing. You can paint into the display area while a document is playing.


Pattern Indicator

color indicatorThe Pattern Indicator shows the current draw pattern. A draw pattern is similar to what you may know as a brush from Photoshop. Quincy has a small library of ready made patterns like the famous Glider as well as a couple of pens. These can be used when in draw mode and also in Live Draw. We will get to all of these in just a bit.



This gives you a brief overview of the main application surface. The Tool Section is arranged differently on the iPhone, but should be recognizable after reading this. Also worth mentioning is that the display on the iPad changes quite a bit when held horizontally. It then display what we call Performance View. You can read all about that in the chapter called Play Mode.

For now let's take a look at a very central part of Quincy - the Tool Slider.