Music Studio Lite User Manual

Music Studio Lite 1.5.1
User Manual
Music Studio is available on the App Store
for all iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad models
http://www.xewton.com
Table of Contents
Limitations of the Lite version
Keyboard
Instruments
Projects
Effects
Misc
Quick Start Guide
Reboot after the installation
Playing on the keyboard
Recording a song
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Performance and trouble shooting
Instruments tab
Tracks tab
Keyboard Tab
Introduction
Scrolling and resizing
Keyboard menu
Play button
Pause button (iPad only)
Loop button
Record button
Undo button
Display
Metronome button
Tempo Button (iPad only)
Keyboard layout button
Rows button (iPad only)
Key label button (iPad only)
Accelerometer button
Velocity (volume)
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Keyboard layout mode
Octave buttons Fullscreen button
Keyboard map
Rows button (iPhone only)
Key label button (iPhone only)
Keyboard playhead mode
Rewind button
Bar reel buttons
Navigation map
Marker buttons
Instruments Tab
Introduction
Sliders
Volume
Attack time
Release time
Buttons
Defaults button
Preview button
Keep attack/release times checkbox (iPad only)
Sync keyboard rows checkbox (iPad only)
Row indicator
Tracks Tab
Introduction
Scrolling
What is a track?
Track management
What is an event
Common controls
Play button
Loop button
Pause button
Undo button
Display
Tempo Button
Zoom button
Horizontal zoom buttons (iPad only)
Track view switch
Tempo indicator
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Song ruler
Song markers
Track zoom mode
Horizontal zoom buttons (iPhone only)
Vertical zoom buttons Navigation map
Track playhead mode
Rewind button
Bar reel buttons Navigation map
Marker buttons Mixer
Track list
Instrument icon
Gain bars Warning triangle
Keyboard row icon Filter track
Add track button
Mute button
Solo button
FX button
Edit button
Duplicate button
Delete button
Pan knob and volume slider
Sequencer
Track list
New selection button
Change selection button
Move button
Duplicate button
Repeat button
Transpose button
Quantize button
Edit button
Delete button
Song bar edit button
Piano roll editor
Piano roll view
Vertical scrolling
New selection button
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Change selection button
Draw button
Draw mode
Draw mode note buttons Draw mode dotted button Quantized drawing button
Move button
Duplicate button
Length button
Volume button
Quantize button
Delete button
Quantization popup
Note buttons
Dotted button
Triplet button
Note length checkbox
Soft (humanize) checkbox
Tempo popup
Tempo
Signature
Effects Tab
Bus structure
Common Controls
Power button
Limit to FX tracks checkbox
Preview button
Default button
Effects
Volume
Master gain
Device volume
Decibel meters
Reverb
Reverb size
Reverb brightness Reverb stereo spread
Reverb mix (wet/dry)
Reverb style
Reverb quality
Filter
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Resonance/Frequency display
Filter type switch
Filter accelerometer axis Accelerometer sensitivity
Snap back checkbox
Pitch
Semitone slider
Sensitivity slider
Pitch bend accelerometer axis Pitch bend invert axis checkbox
Pitch bend record mode
Projects Tab
Introduction
Filename textfield
File list
Beats
Buttons
New
Load
Setup Tab
Differences on the iPad
General settings
Latency
Polyphony
Continuous playhead movement
Lock interface orientation (iPhone only)
Restore defaults button
Keyboard settings
Velocity control
Snap to white keys
Allow touches between black keys
Allow touches on key borders
German key labeling
Accelerometer settings
Threshold slider
Reactivity slider
Calibration
Interface settings
Instruments tab
Keep attack/release times on instrument change (iPhone only)
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Tracks tab
Scroll on the margins when moving notes Centered zooming
Effects tab
Remember reverb settings for each type (iPhone only)
Metronome settings Volume
Style
Precount
Precount only at song start
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Best practices
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Version 1.5.1
Version 1.5
Version 1.4
Version 1.3
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Limitations of the Lite version
Keyboard
The keyboard is limited to 5 octaves (60 keys). The full version's keyboard features 85 keys.
Instruments
The lite version features 9 instruments, whereas the full version includes 40 instruments and 50 more in the instrument shop.
Here is a full list of the instruments by category:
Free instruments (40)
• Classic: grand piano 1 & 2, church organ, cello section, string ensemble, harp, brass section, trombone, clarinet, concert flute
• Band: E-Piano, drawbar organ, alto saxophone, acoustic guitar, clean electric guitar, overdrive electric guitar, electric guitar
power chords, acoustic bass, bass guitar, rock bass, drum kit
• Electro: synth brass, synth bass, distortion bass, analog square, fat lead, slicer lead, dirty lead, trance lead, blade sweeper,
dream pad, sky pad, choir pad, piano synth, remix drum kit, hip hop kit, sound effects kit
• World: harmonica, pan flute, marimba
Instruments available in the shop (50)
• Classic: harpsichord, choir, cello, violin, pizzicato violin, trumpet, trumpet muted, oboe, xylophone, timpani
• Band: vintage E-Piano, rock organ, hammond organ, hammond rock organ, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, steel
string, jazz guitar, electric lead guitar, electric strat guitar, muted electric guitar, electric funk guitar, pick bass, slap bass,
vibraphone, rock drum kit
• Electro: synth strings, synth bells, synth pulse, analog attack, aggressive sync, extreme sync, glass pad, moog pad, 5th
chord, space synth, 8-bit kit
• World: recorder, ocarina, shakuhachi, didgeridoo, bagpipe, accordion, banjo, ukulele, sitar, saz lute, japanese koto, steel drum
Projects
In the lite version, projects cannot be saved or exported into MIDI or wav format. iTunes file transfer and WiFi transfer to your
Mac/PC is also available in the full version only.
Effects
The full version includes 3 additional effects:
• Delay
• Equalizer with 3 bands
• Amplifier with overdrive
Misc
• The full version is compatible with the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer.
• The full version includes 100 beats and lets you save your own beats
• Open .xms and .mid files from any application (like Safari, Mail) with Music Studio
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Quick Start Guide
Reboot after the installation
After installing or updating the app, reboot your device by holding the Home and the Sleep/Wake button for about 10 seconds
until the Apple logo appears (don't slide to power off). This ensures optimum performance.
Playing on the keyboard
You can adjust the size and position of the keyboard by making a slide or pinch gesture anywhere on the menu bar.
• To change the labels on the keys, press the keys button and switch between the 4 key label modes with the
key label button.
• If you just want to play around with the instruments, switch to the instrument tab, select your instrument of
choice (the list is scrollable), maybe preview it, and switch back to the keyboard tab to play.
• Tap the accelerometer button to enable pitch bend, then tilt your device to bend the played note's pitch.
• Adjust the attack/release sliders in the instruments tab to change the fade in/out times.
• The sound is greatly influenced by the reverb. Adjust the reverb type and size in the effects tab to simulate a specific room.
High quality reverb sounds better but may introduce playback stuttering on older devices.
• You might want to get fancy with the effects: switch to the effects tab, choose an effect, switch it on, and play around with the
settings.
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Recording a song
Follow these steps to create a simple song from scratch:
• Open the projects tab and tap the New button to create a new project.
• Open the tracks tab and tap the tempo button to set the tempo and signature of your new song.
• Open the instruments tab and select your instrument of choice.
• Open the keyboard tab and press the record button, wait for the counter to hit 1.1
(precount can be disabled in the metronome section of the setup screen),
play your piece, then tap the stop button.
• If you made a mistake and want to re-record, simply tap the undo button to erase the notes you just recorded.
• Switch to the tracks tab to review what you just recorded. The track can be edited bar-wise (sequencer) and notewise (piano roll editor), more on this topic in the tracks tab section.
to create a new track.
• Tap the plus icon
The keyboard and instruments tabs always apply to the active track, so make sure that track 2 is selected.
• Repeat the previous steps to record something on the second track.
• Let's assume that your song has a duration of 20 bars and you want to start recording at bar 10. In the tracks tab, move the
left marker
on the ruler to the 10th bar and recording will always start from there.
• Tune the reverb in the effects tab, maybe set the equalizer and play around with the other effects.
• To save your song, open the projects tab, enter a song name in the text field and tap the save button.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
For more support-related discussions, please refer to the Forum on the Music Studio website.
Performance and trouble shooting
The application reacts slowly and crackling occurs
Rebooting your device will most likely resolve this issue. Press and hold the Home and the Sleep/Wake button for about 10
seconds until the Apple logo appears (don't slide to power off, hold longer). If playback stuttering remains, decrease the reverb
quality, increase the latency, or decrease the polyphony.
Key presses have a very high latency
• Deactivate the Zoom feature in the Accessibility section of the iPhone's Settings. Launch the Settings app, tap General,
Accessibility, Zoom and turn it off.
• Switch to a lower latency in the general section of the setup tab.
• If you still experience latency problems try to properly reboot your device.
The audio output sounds noisy
Use earphones or external speakers because the device's internal speaker cannot cope with the broad frequency spectrum of
Music Studio's instruments. Additionally, decrease the master gain (in the volume section of the effects tab) to prevent clipping.
This might be necessary if many instruments play simultaneously, because their gains add up.
The instruments sound unreal
To get the most out of the high quality studio-recorded instruments, use earphones or external speakers and set the reverb to
high quality. Most instruments are designed for a specific tonal range, an E-Bass sounds as unreal in the 4th octave as a flute in
the lowest octave. Some instruments also benefit from a higher or lower release time.
• Wind instruments in general sound best with a low release time and the reverb set to hall or canyon.
• A great effect for synths is to set the delay to 1/8th and dotted.
• String instruments sound best with a medium attack time (around 0.5s) and maybe a high release time.
• Keyboard instruments and guitars get a sustain feeling with a high release time.
Why are the drum kit's sounds arranged in such a strange way?
This "strange way" is called the "General MIDI Level 1 Percussion Key Map". It is commonly used on nearly every hardware
keyboard/synthesizer to retain full MIDI compatibility.
During playback, some notes end too early
Increase the polyphony in the setup tab, but keep in mind that this may lead to stuttering with complex songs on older devices.
Instruments tab
Why is the default instrument volume 80% and not 100%?
This way you don't have to change all the other track's volumes if you want one track to be louder.
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Why doesn't the preview button play a nice melody?
Because it would be distracting for a musician who has a melody in mind while composing music.
Tracks tab
If I select and edit bars in the sequencer, why are some notes ignored?
Selected notes are colored dark blue. If you select a bar but a note starts a few ticks earlier than this bar, it will not be selected. If
possible, quantize the track, thereby aligning the notes to simplify further editing.
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Keyboard Tab
Introduction
Music Studio features a 60-key clavier (85 keys in the full version) 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 input, the setup tab offers some handy keyboard preferences.
Scrolling and resizing
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.
Keyboard menu
Play button
Starts and stops playback of the song. Stop rewinds to the left marker.
Pause button (iPad only)
Simply pauses playback, like stop but without rewinding.
Loop button
Toggles looping, i.e. during playback and recording the song (or the section between the markers) will be repeated
indefinitely.
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Record button
Start or stop a new recording. More on this topic in the tracks tab.
Undo button
Tap to undo the last recording, hold for 2 seconds to display a popup with the possible undo/redo actions.
Display
The LCD displays the current instrument and the position of the playhead in the format measure-dot-beat, e.g. 7.2 means that
the playhead is in the 2nd beat of the 7th bar (measure). Tap it to enter the playhead mode. A small white dot in the upper left
corner indicates that the current track is not empty.
Metronome button
Toggles the metronome. Its state is remembered separately for playback and recording. Per default, the metronome is
enabled only at recording. Beat and signature can be configured in the tempo popup in the tracks tab. Metronome
volume and style settings are found in the setup tab.
iPhone/iPod touch only: tap and hold the metronome button to bring up the tempo popup.
Tempo Button (iPad only)
Toggles the tempo popup.
Keyboard layout button
Toggles the keyboard layout mode.
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Rows button (iPad only)
Switches between one and two keyboard rows. More on this topic here. On the iPhone, this button can be found in
the keyboard layout mode.
Key label button (iPad only)
Switches between the 4 key label modes: off, C only, all keys labeled, and colored key labels. On the iPhone, this
button can be found in the keyboard layout mode.
Accelerometer button
Toggles the accelerometer input. By default, it enables the pitch bend effect. Tilt your device to bend the pitch of the
currently played notes. The filter effect can also be configured to react to the accelerometer.
If this button is enabled while recording, the device tilt is also recorded (which could affect the pitch bend and/or the
filter effect). In this case, the filter track will be overwritten unless you disable the accelerometer button or the
accelerometer checkbox of the filter effect.
Velocity (volume)
In the setup tab, enable Velocity to control the note volume. If set to Touch-Y, the volume depends on where you touch a key
(upper end quiet, lower end forte). The Accel setting allows you to control the note volume with the accelerometer by tilting the
device.
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Keyboard layout mode
In this mode, the keyboard rows can be scrolled and resized anywhere on the screen.
Octave buttons
The left and right octave buttons quickly scroll the keyboard one octave (12 semitones) down or up.
Fullscreen button
Switches to the full screen keyboard.
Keyboard map
The map illustrates which part of the keyboard is currently visible. Slide or tap it to quickly scroll the keyboard.
Rows button (iPhone only)
Switches between one and two keyboard rows. More on this topic here.
Key label button (iPhone only)
Switches between the 4 key label modes: off, C only, all keys labeled, and colored key labels.
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Keyboard playhead mode
Tap the LCD in the menu bar to enter the playhead mode. 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.
Rewind button
Rewinds the playhead to the left song marker. Tap it a second time to rewind to the beginning of the song.
Bar reel buttons
Rewind and forward the playhead position by exactly 1 bar (measure).
Navigation map
Tap or slide it to quickly position the playhead anywhere in the song. Areas outside the markers are darkened. The map also
displays the current track's notes as white lines.
Marker buttons
Set the left or right song marker to the current playhead position. The markers must be at least 1 bar apart.
Why markers? Recording always starts at the left marker. The loop button loops the section between the markers.
When exporting to a wav file, you can choose to only export the range between the markers.
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Instruments Tab
Introduction
Change the selected track's instrument by tapping an instrument from the scrollable list.
Sliders
Volume
Sets the current track's gain, like the volume slider in the mixer does.
Attack time
Controls the fade-in time, i.e. how long it takes for the instrument to reach its volume. Use longer attack times for soft sounds
like strings and synth pads.
Release time
Controls the fade-out time, i.e. how long the sound fades out after a key is released. Use longer release times for simulating
legato or one-shot for drum kits and percussive instruments.
Buttons
Defaults button
Resets the three sliders to the instrument's default preset. If "Keep attack/release" is disabled in the setup
tab, this button is automatically pressed each time you select an instrument.
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Preview button
Plays one or more notes (alternating) with the current instrument.
Keep attack/release times checkbox (iPad only)
If this checkbox is disabled, each time you select an instrument its default attack and release time will be set. If enabled, the
current track's attack/release durations are kept when you select another instrument. On the iPhone, this setting can be found in
the setup tab.
Sync keyboard rows checkbox (iPad only)
Enable this checkbox to synchronize the settings (instrument, volume, attack and release time) of both keyboard rows. Every
change you make will affect both rows and thus two tracks.
Row indicator
Tap the lower row to switch to 2 keyboard rows. This control then allows you to switch between them to
select different instruments for the upper and lower keyboard row. More on this topic here.
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Tracks Tab
Introduction
Scrolling
Analogous to the keyboard tab, sliding and pinching on the menu bar scrolls and zooms the visible range of the song.
What is a track?
Think of a track as one instrumentalist in a band or an orchestra. It holds recorded notes (events), one instrument and some
parameters. There can be multiple tracks with the same instrument but different parameters (e.g. volume, pan, attack/release
time).
Track management
Only one track can be selected at a time. The keyboard will play this track's instrument, the record button will record on this
track, and all the changes you make in the instrument tab will apply to it. You cannot delete the first track, the maximum number
of tracks is 128. If you switch to two keyboard rows, a separate track for the lower row is created (more on this topic here)
What is an event
A recorded note places 2 events on a track: key-down and key-up (also called note-on and note-off). The position of an event is
stored with a resolution of 48 ticks per beat, which equals to 192 ticks per bar with a signature of 4/4, meaning that the shortest
note can be a 1/192th.
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Common controls
Play button
Starts and stops playback of the song. Stop rewinds to the left marker.
Loop button
If looping is active and the playhead reaches the right song marker (by default the song end), it will jump to the left
marker and continue playback from there. This allows you to loop any part of the song, the markers can be moved in
the song ruler.
Pause button
Simply pauses playback, like stop but without rewinding.
Undo button
Tap to undo the previous action. Hold for 2 seconds to display a popup with the possible undo/redo actions. If the
result would not be obvious, the popup appears anyway (e.g. if you would undo a recording but switched to the tracks
tab, or if only redo is possible). Selection does not count as an action.
Display
The LCD displays the position of the playhead in the format measure-dot-beat, e.g. 7.2 means that the playhead is in the 2nd
beat of the 7th bar (measure). Tap it to enter the playhead mode. The display also shows parameter values (pan, volume,
transposition) while you are changing them, and the currently selected note range in the piano roll editor.
Tempo Button
Toggles the tempo popup.
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Zoom button
Toggles the zoom mode.
Horizontal zoom buttons (iPad only)
Zoom the ruler in or out. Tap the zoom-out button a few times to view the whole song. On the iPhone, these two
buttons can be found in the zoom mode.
Track view switch
Switches between the mixer and the sequencer.
Tempo indicator
Displays the song tempo, bpm stands for beats per minute. Double tap it to enter the tempo popup.
Song ruler
The numbers and the vertical lines indicate the measures (bars), the short vertical lines are beats. The ruler also holds the
playhead (white vertical line) and the markers (triangles). Slide anywhere on the ruler to position the playhead.
Song markers
The left and right song makers are located on the ruler and can be moved to a certain song position. An alternative method for
positioning the markers is via the playhead mode.
Why markers? Recording always starts at the left marker. The loop button loops the section between the markers. When
exporting to a wav file, you can choose to only export the range between the markers.
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Track zoom mode
In this mode, the view (i.e. the ruler) can be scrolled and resized anywhere on the screen.
Horizontal zoom buttons (iPhone only)
Zoom the ruler in or out. Tap the zoom-out button a few times to view the whole song.
Vertical zoom buttons
Only visible in the piano roll editor for zooming the mini keyboard.
Navigation map
Tap or slide it to quickly position the viewed range. Areas outside the visible range are darkened. The map also displays the
current track's notes as white lines.
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Track playhead mode
Tap the LCD in the menu bar to enter the playhead mode. 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.
Rewind button
Rewinds the playhead to the left song marker. Tap it a second time to rewind to the beginning of the song.
Bar reel buttons
Rewind and forward the playhead position by exactly 1 bar (measure).
Navigation map
Tap or slide it to quickly position the playhead anywhere in the song. Areas outside the markers are darkened. The map also
displays the current track's notes as white lines.
Marker buttons
Set the left or right song marker to the current playhead position. The markers must be at least 1 bar apart.
Why markers? Recording always starts at the left marker. The loop button loops the section between the markers.
When exporting to a wav file, you can choose to only export the range between the markers.
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Mixer
The mixer is designed to edit whole tracks and set their volume and pan.
Track list
The track list allows you to select a track and scroll the list of tracks. Each track row holds its number, instrument icon, mute/
solo/fx icons (see below), the keyboard row icon (if 2 rows), and the recorded notes as lines. Move your finger across the note
area to scroll the playhead and get an audio preview. Double tap any region of a track to enter the piano roll editor.
Congruent (identical) and overlapping notes are marked red. Congruent notes result in higher note volume. Delete congruent
notes and move overlapping notes to an additional track.
Instrument icon
Double tap it to change the track's color to a random color. Double tap and slide your finger to select a color (move horizontally
to change the hue, vertically to set the saturation).
Gain bars
These 2 green bars show the track's output gain for the left and right stereo channel, allowing you to see the volume and pan for
each track at one glance. If the pan is centered, both bars have the same height.
Warning triangle
Indicates that some notes on the track are outside the instrument's note range. Tap it to see more information. Notes outside
the range will be played back but may sound atypical for this instrument, since every real instrument has a limited range of
playable notes.
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Keyboard row icon
Only visible if 2 keyboard rows are enabled, indicating which keyboard row the track is assigned to. If you switch to two
keyboard rows, a separate track for the new row will be created. Selecting a track will always assign it to the upper row.
However, the track assignment of the lower row cannot be changed. If you switch back to one row, the lower row's track will be
deleted if nothing has been recorded on it.
Filter track
The filter track appears only if the filter effect is enabled. The 2 lines represent the cutoff frequency and the resonance, like in the
filter's panel. With the filter track selected, only the mute and the delete buttons are enabled. Muting the filter track prohibits it
from being played back, allowing you to experiment with new filter settings.
Add track button
The add track button is located at the end of the track list. It adds a new track with the current instrument to the
bottom of the list.
Mute button
Mutes the selected track, excluding it from playback. Muted tracks are darkened and are indicated by the mute icon.
Solo button
If one or more tracks are switched to solo, all non-solo tracks will be excluded from playback.
FX button
Sets the effects bus of the selected track. In short, effects with FX enabled act only on tracks that have FX enabled.
The other effects are applied on all tracks except the ones with the crossed out FX icon.
Per default, all standard effects apply to the track. Tap the FX button once to mark the track as an FX track, meaning
that also the FX effects apply, in addition to the default effects. Tap the button again to exclude the track from all
effects (useful for raw drum and base sounds). The blue FX icon next to the track icon indicates each track's FX state.
Edit button
Switches to the piano roll editor for the selected track.
Duplicate button
Duplicates the selected track, thereby copying its parameters and recorded notes.
Delete button
Brings up a popup with the options to deleted or clear a track. Clear will delete its notes but leave the track in the list.
Delete will remove the track from the list. If the track holds pitch bend events, a checkbox for clearing only the pitch
bend data appears.
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Pan knob and volume slider
The pan knob controls the track's stereo pan. Touch it and move your finger left or right to change the selected track's stereo
pan. Double tap it to reset the pan to 0 (center). The LCD displays the current value (left is -127, center is 0, right is +127).
The volume slider displays and sets the track's volume. Its function is identical to the instrument tab's volume slider. The LCD
displays the current value from 0 to 100%.
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Sequencer
The sequencer is designed for quick, bar-wise editing of the song. Select a range of bars (measures) and delete, repeat, move,
or transpose them.
Track list
The sequencer's track list is almost identical to the mixer's track list. Since the sequencer edits bars, track selection is not
possible and the current track is not highlighted. Tapping a track's instrument icon will select all bars on the track.
New selection button
Clears the current selection and starts a new one. Tap it, then draw a rectangle on the note area in order to select
bars. Selected bars are highlighted white and their notes are colored dark blue. Tap a track's instrument icon to select
the whole track.
Change selection button
Adds or subtracts bars from an existing selection. Tap the button, then tap an unselected bar to add it to the
selection, or a selected bar to deselect it. Tap a track's instrument icon to (de)select the whole track.
Move button
Activates the move mode where the selected bars can be dragged around. The song length can be increased by
moving bars past the song end.
Duplicate button
Duplicates the selected bars and selects the new ones which can be moved around immediately. The copied notes
will appear orange until they are moved, because they are congruent (identical) with the originals.
Important: Not moving the new notes will cause them to be identical (colored orange) to the originals, resulting in
increased volume at playback.
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Repeat button
Duplicates the selected bars and moves them to the right so that they start where the selection ended. The song
length is automatically increased if the new bars reach past the song end.
Transpose button
Brings up the transpose menu which allows you to change the tone pitch of the selected bars. The semitone buttons
de/increase it by one semitone, the octave buttons by 12 semitones. The LCD displays the number of semitones
currently transposed.
Quantize button
Tap the quantize button to bring up the quantization popup for quantizing the selected bars.
Edit button
Switches to the piano roll editor for the selected track. This button is disabled if the selection encompasses more than
one track.
Delete button
Deletes the notes in the selected bars.
Song bar edit button
Toggles the song bar edit mode where whole bars can be
inserted and cut from the song. Tap anywhere to select a
bar of the song (not just of individual tracks), which gets
highlighted in red. The cut button deletes all notes in the
selected bar and cuts it, i.e. shifts all later notes one bar to
left and decreases the song length by 1 bar. The insert
button inserts an empty bar at the position of the vertical
line left to the red area. This means that the song length is
increased by 1 bar and all notes to the right of the line are
shifted one bar to the right.
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Piano roll editor
Piano roll view
In contrast to the mixer and the sequencer screen, the piano roll editor displays only one track. The horizontal song ruler is still
the same, but the vertical axis now represents keys. The mini keyboard on the left serves as a ruler for the note pitch. The
background has the track's color scheme, where the dark stripes represent black notes. White horizontal lines between B and C
keys mark the octaves. Notes are displayed as blocks, the color indicates the volume (velocity) from dark blue (silent) to green
(default) to yellow (loudest).
Congruent (identical) and overlapping notes are marked red. Congruent notes result in higher note volume. Delete congruent
notes and move overlapping notes to an additional track.
Notes with pitch bend data have a different texture.
Vertical scrolling
Slide vertically on the mini keyboard to scroll and do the pinch gesture to zoom vertically. At low zoom factors, selecting
individual notes is nearly impossible, but of course greater note ranges can be selected at once.
New selection button
Clears the current selection and starts a new one. Tap it, then draw a rectangle in order to select notes. Selected
notes are highlighted and the note range of the whole selection is displayed in the LCD.
Change selection button
Adds or subtracts notes from an existing selection. Tap the button, then select a range to toggle it.
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Draw button
Tap it to enable the draw mode.
Draw mode
In the draw mode, notes can be created without recording on the keyboard. A crosshair, an OK button and a new menu will
appear. Underneath the crosshair, the translucent note is the one which will be created if you press the OK or the Done button.
Move the crosshair to the desired note location and tap OK to create the note - immediately, a new translucent note awaits
creation. The song length can be increased by dragging the crosshair past the song end. Press the done button to exit the draw
mode.
Draw mode note buttons
The selected note button defines the length of the note to be drawn.
Draw mode dotted button
Increases the note length by 50%.
Quantized drawing button
Quantizes the new note even before it is drawn. If this button is enabled, the crosshair snaps to a raster defined by the
selected note button.
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Move button
Activates the move mode where the selected notes can be dragged around.
The buttons in the menu (notes, dotted, done) have the same function as in draw mode. The OFF button disables
quantization and allows for (almost continuous) movement with 1/192th precision. Tap one of the the lock buttons to
lock horizontal or vertical movement, which is very handy if you intend to move or transpose only.
Duplicate button
Duplicates the selected notes and selects the new ones which can be moved around immediately. The copied notes
will appear red until they are moved, because they are congruent (identical) with the originals.
Important: Not moving the new notes will cause them to be identical (colored red) to the originals. They will be played
back with increased volume.
Length button
Tap it to enable the length edit mode which brings up a new menu. The buttons in this menu (notes, dotted, quantize,
done) have the same function as in draw mode. Either tap a note button to set the length of all selected notes to an
absolute value, or move your finger horizontally to de/increase the relative length.
Volume button
Toggles the volume mode where the volume (also called key velocity) of the selected notes can be modified by moving
your finger vertically. The LCD displays the current volume of the first selected note, ranging from 0 to 127 (default is
100). The note color indicates the volume from dark blue (silent) to green (default) to yellow (loudest).
Quantize button
Brings up the quantization popup for quantizing the selected notes.
Delete button
Deletes the selected notes.
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Quantization popup
Quantization is the most important step after recording because it corrects the timing. If the quantization raster (resolution) is one
quarter note, every selected note is moved to the nearest raster point in a 1/4 note raster. The selection of the right raster is
crucial, therefore you might want to try out different settings for each recording. For example, if you played a rather fast melody
and quantized it to 1/4, the timing will be ruined - in this case, just tap the undo button and try again with a higher resolution like
1/16. On the other hand, quantizing notes with a high resolution might not correct all timing errors you made when recording
them.
Note buttons
Set the quantization raster (or resolution) by selecting a note. In practice, low resolutions like 1/4 are the right choice
for slow notes like the background cello in the demo "Canon in D (Pachelbel)". 1/16 fits to most melodies, while at
1/32 you will only notice the difference if you recorded fast notes (like a fast drum pattern) or at a low tempo setting.
Dotted button
Increases the quantization raster by 50%. For example if you selected 1/8 dotted, the quantization resolution is 1/6 of
a bar.
Triplet button
Treats the notes as triplets, meaning that the raster interval is multiplied by 2/3. This allows for more swing and
quantization of Jazz style melodies. Naturally, dotted and triplet cannot be enabled at the same time.
Note length checkbox
If checked, note lengths will also be quantized, meaning that every note length will be an integer multiple of the selected
quantization. This is especially handy if you want to enforce legato.
Soft (humanize) checkbox
If you want to keep a human touch to the recording, soft quantization will shift every note by just 50%, keeping it slightly
off the perfect timing.
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Tempo popup
Tempo
Tap or hold the +/- buttons to change the tempo in the range of 40 to 240 bpm (beats per minute). A faster way to set the
tempo is to tap and slide the value on the LCD. An alternative tempo input method is to tap the Tap Tempo button with the
desired tempo for at least two times. Hold the Preview button to hear a metronome preview of the current tempo and signature.
Signature
The song signature can be set to a value between 2/4 and 7/4. Most songs have a signature of 4/4, meaning that 1 bar has 4
beats (i.e. the length of 4 quarter notes). Hold the Preview button to hear a metronome preview of the current tempo and
signature.
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Effects Tab
Bus structure
In short, effects with FX enabled act only on tracks that have FX enabled. The other effects are applied on all tracks except the
ones with the crossed out FX icon. The following diagram illustrates the audio signal flow:
• Tracks are treated separately depending on the FX bus setting.
• Effects are always applied in the following order: pitch bend, amplifier, delay, equalizer, reverb.
• If the amplifier effect (overdrive) is enabled, it’s applied to the tracks like a pre-fader effect in order to have a high overdrive
even on quiet tracks.
• All effects with the FX checkbox enabled are applied to the mix of all tracks with FX bus setting.
• This is added together with the rest of the tracks (those without FX bus setting)
• The rest of the effects are applied to the mix (those effects with the FX checkbox disabled)
• The tracks with a no-FX setting are now added to the mix.
• The limiter is applied, according to the master gain.
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Common Controls
Power button
Simply switches the effect on or off.
Limit to FX tracks checkbox
Puts the effect into the FX bus, meaning that it will be applied only to those tracks which have FX enabled (blue FX icon in the
track list). All the other effects are still applied to all tracks after the FX effects are processed.
Preview button
Identically to the instrument tab's preview button, it plays one or more notes (alternating) with the current instrument.
Default button
Resets the current effect's settings to the preset values.
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Effects
Volume
Master gain
This is not the device gain, instead it controls the gain of the internal limiter. High values may lead to unwanted volume
compression or distortion, low values may not produce the desired volume. Different volumes may be required depending on
your output route (the device's internal speaker, or earphones, or loudspeakers).
In technical terms, this setting is required because if all playing instruments are mixed (added up), the resulting values will in most
cases be much higher than 65535 (the 16 bit border) and clipping would occur. The limiter uses a smooth mathematical function
(a curve) to compress larger numbers into the 16 bit range. The master gain slider controls the slope of this curve.
Device volume
Brings up a popup with a slider which has the same function as the iPhone's hardware volume buttons. If the iPhone's internal
speaker is used (not recommended), be sure not to turn it all the way up. If you connected external speakers, set this slider to
maximum and control the volume via the speaker's volume controls for the best audio quality.
Decibel meters
These gauges indicate the current output level of each of the stereo channels.
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Reverb
Reverb simulates a room of a certain type (Hall/Canyon/Room) and size. If stuttering occurs during playback, decrease the
reverb quality.
Reverb size
Controls the size of the sound space. In larger spaces, the reverb is audible for a longer period of time. The size also depends
on the selected reverb style, e.g. the largest room reverb is smaller than the largest canyon reverb.
Reverb brightness
Low brightness gives the impression of a darker room (using a low pass filter), while maximum brightness leaves the reverb
unfiltered.
Reverb stereo spread
Controls the perception of stereo wideness of the reverb space. In technical terms, this slider sets the delay between the reverb
reaching the left and the right channel.
Reverb mix (wet/dry)
The mix slider controls the relation of the dry sound (the original, without the effect applied) and the wet sound (the effect's
result).
Reverb style
Selects the type of reverb (room, hall, canyon). Each style uses a different algorithm, thus the size slider has a different effect for
each style.
Reverb quality
Reverb requires a lot of processing power. In order to prevent playback stuttering on older devices or with complex songs,
decrease the reverb quality. In technical terms, the reverb algorithm stays the same but the number of filters used in the
reverbation filter chain is decreased.
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Filter
The filter effect is a resonant low-, high-, or band-pass filter. The cutoff frequency and the resonance can be set by moving the
crosshair, or by tilting the device if the accelerometer is enabled. The filter track in the mixer holds the recorded events (which
can be deleted there).
For synth sounds and drum kits, this is a very useful effect. Enable the accelerometer control, switch to the keyboard tab and
play or record something while gently tilting the device from one side to the center. A commonly used effect is, with the filter type
set to low pass, changing the cutoff frequency from low to high, while keeping the resonance low.
Resonance/Frequency display
The crosshair indicates the current values of the cutoff frequency (x axis) and the resonance (y axis). Move the crosshair to
change the values. This can also be performed while recording.
Beware: high resonance values may lead to unpleasantly loud and high tones.
Filter type switch
The filter type defines how the cutoff frequency influences the sound.
• Lowpass: All frequencies above the selected cutoff frequency are dampened (attenuated). The sound remains unchanged if
the crosshair is in the lower right corner.
• Highpass: The effect behaves inverse to the lowpass. All frequencies below the selected cutoff frequency are dampened. The
sound remains unchanged if the crosshair is in the lower left corner.
• Bandpass: Frequencies above and below the selected cutoff frequency are dampened. The sound remains unchanged if the
crosshair is at the bottom center.
Filter accelerometer axis
If the accelerometer is enabled, tilting it in any direction changes the cutoff and the resonance. The sound remains unchanged if
the device lies flat on a surface.
• X+Y: Tilting along the x axis changes the cutoff frequency, while the y axis changes the resonance. Starting from the centered
position, all 4 quadrants are symmetrical, i.e. tilting the device to the far left has the same effect as the far right.
• X: Filter and cutoff frequency are both changed if the device is tilted in the x axis.
• Y: Filter and cutoff frequency are both changed if the device is tilted in the y axis.
Accelerometer sensitivity
With the sensitivity set to low, the device needs to be tilted almost 90 degrees to achieve the maximum effect. At high sensitivity,
small movements are sufficient to set the filter values to maximum.
Snap back checkbox
If snap back is enabled and the crosshair is moved, it snaps back to its original location after you release it.
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Pitch
If the pitch bend effect and the accelerometer button in the keyboard tab are enabled, the pitch of the currently played notes can
be influenced by tilting the device.
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).
In the piano roll editor, notes with pitch bend data have a different texture (a vertical color gradient).
Semitone slider
Set the pitch bend range with the semitone slider from +/-1 to +/-24 semitones.
Sensitivity slider
The tilt angle required to bend the maximum semitone range is controlled with the sensitivity slider. The text to the right of the
sliders clarifies the behavior of the current setting (e.g. the device needs to be tilted 45 degrees to achieve a pitch bend of 8
semitones).
Pitch bend accelerometer axis
This pulldown menu selects if the pitch bend reacts to tilt in the x or the y direction.
Pitch bend invert axis checkbox
Enable it to invert the behavior of the current accelerometer axis, e.g. moving down (instead of up) will increase the pitch.
Pitch bend record mode
The recording mode controls how existing pitch bend data is treated at recording.
• In overwrite mode, 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.
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Projects Tab
Introduction
In the full version, the projects tab can be used to create new projects, load, save and delete existing songs, or to export songs
into WAV or MIDI files which can be transferred to your Mac/PC. The lite version can only load the demo songs.
Filename textfield
If a project is selected, its name is displayed in the textfield.
File list
The list displays the type, name and length (or size) of every file. Demo songs and beats are organized in separate folders. Select
a file to view its details (date, size) in the area below the list. Double tap a file or a folder to open it.
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Beats
Beats contain one or more loopable drum tracks which can be appended to a song. Tapping a beat immediately plays a
preview, which simplifies the process of finding the beat you are looking for.
If the current song is empty, loading a beat applies its tempo and reverb settings and enables loop playback and recording.
Otherwise, a popup lets you choose to append the beat tracks to the current song or to replace all beat (drum) tracks of the
current song with the beat’s tracks. In practice, beats are great to start a song with, and are also handy for trying out different
rhythms for an existing song.
Buttons
New
Creates a new project, deleting all tracks and resetting all effect parameters in the process.
Load
Loads the selected .xms or .mid file. You can also double tap a song to load it.
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Setup Tab
Differences on the iPad
On the iPad, all settings are organized on one screen, while on the iPhone/iPod touch they are split up into sub screens.
General settings
Latency
The time interval between your finger touching a key in the keyboard tab and the sound being audible is called latency. Low
latency is required for a musician to feel connected with the virtual instrument and to play fast pieces. However, on slower
devices, high CPU load can lead to stuttering/crackling in the audio output. This can happen if a complex song with many tracks
is played back or if the device is busy with background tasks like mobile phone network processes. To avoid these performance
dropouts, the latency can be increased, however the keyboard's responsiveness will suffer.
You might want to choose the lowest possible latency for recording and a higher latency to ensure stutter-free editing and
playback.
Polyphony
Polyphony defines the maximum number of notes that can be played simultaneously. High polyphony requires more CPU and
can lead to stuttering/crackling in the audio output, but low polyphony can result in notes fading out 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. When exporting a song to a wav file, a polyphony of 128 is
applied.
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Continuous playhead movement
This checkbox appears only on the iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 2nd generation, iPad and newer devices. In order to save CPU
power, this setting is off by default and the playhead in the tracks tab moves only from beat to beat. Enable it to trade a lot of
CPU power for more precise playhead movement (may introduce playback stuttering).
Lock interface orientation (iPhone only)
Per default, the interface is adapted to the current device orientation, i.e. if the home button is left or right in landscape
orientation. If this checkbox is enabled, the current interface orientation is locked.
On the iPad, use the hardware switch beside the volume buttons to lock the interface orientation.
Restore defaults button
Brings up a popup asking you if the factory defaults should be restored. This means resetting all preferences in the setup tab
and creating a new song. Saved songs (i.e. all files in the projects tab file list) will remain unchanged.
Keyboard settings
Velocity control
Enable velocity to control the note volume while playing on the keyboard. If set to Touch-Y, the volume depends on where you
touch a key (upper end quiet, lower end forte). The accel setting allows you to control the note volume with the accelerometer
by tilting the device in the selected axis.
Snap to white keys
If enabled, scrolling in the keyboard tab will snap to the nearest white key.
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Allow touches between black keys
If enabled, white keys can be touched in the area between the black keys. Otherwise, white keys can only be touched on the
area below the black keys.
Allow touches on key borders
Allow touches on key borders If disabled, an invisible 5% border is between the white keys in order to minimize accidental
touches.
German key labeling
The German key naming system uses the letter B instead of H and A# instead of B. If checked, key labels on the keyboard tab
and the piano roll editor's display use this naming convention.
Accelerometer settings
Pitch bend, the filter effect and the keyboard note 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).
Threshold slider
Device tilt is ignored up to the angle set the threshold slider. At a high threshold, the device can be tilted by about 15° until
accelerometer vales are recorded.
Reactivity slider
High reactivity increases the effect of accelerometer noise while low reactivity leads to sluggish behavior (which may be a desired
effect in some cases).
Calibration
Tap the calibrate button to set the current device tilt as the centered position. The Reset Calibration button restores it.
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Interface settings
Instruments tab
Keep attack/release times on instrument change (iPhone only)
If this is disabled, each time you select an instrument its default attack and release time will be set. If enabled, the current track's
attack/release durations are kept when you select another instrument.
On the iPad, this setting is included right in the instruments tab.
Tracks tab
Scroll on the margins when moving notes
If enabled, the sequencer and the piano roll editor automatically scroll if you move a selection to the edge.
Centered zooming
If checked, the pinch gesture in the tracks tab zooms into the center of the song ruler. Otherwise, the left song ruler position
stays fixed and the right border changes when zooming.
Effects tab
Remember reverb settings for each type (iPhone only)
As you change the reverb type, the previous settings you made for this type are recalled. If this checkbox is disabled, the reverb
sliders remain unchanged if you change the reverb type.
On the iPad, this setting is included right on the reverb screen in the effects tab.
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Metronome settings
Volume
The volume slider controls the gain of the metronome tick sound.
Style
Choose between five metronome sounds. The higher pitched (first) sound indicates the beginning of a bar, the other sound
marks the other beats.
Precount
Set how many bars a recording will be precount. This is handy if you want to record the first note at the very beginning of the
song (beat 1.1). Without precount, there wouldn't be enough time to tap the record button and immediately play the first note.
Additionally, precount helps to get in line with the rhythm before you start playing (recording).
For example if precount 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.
Precount only at song start
If checked, precount is only applied if the left song marker is positioned at the beginning of the song. If it is not checked and the
left song marker is for example at position 7.1, a 1-bar precount will begin at 6.1.
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Best practices
Use higher latency for editing
Change the latency setting in the setup tab to achieve the best performance: low latency is best for recording and playing on the
keyboard, while high latency minimizes stuttering when editing a complex song.
Avoid overlapping (red) notes
Congruent (identical) and overlapping notes are marked red in the tracks tab. Congruent notes result in higher note volume, if
the effect is unwanted just delete the top note.
Make use of the undo button
If you misplaced a note while recording, don't even hit the stop button but instead tap the undo button , tap undo and
restart recording.
Try different quantization parameters
Every recording requires its own set of quantization parameters. Better results are obtained if you don't just stick with quantizing
everything with 1/16. Try different settings and hit the undo button in between.
Release times can simulate legato
If a recorded melody should flow but it sounds more like staccato, the notes are simply too short. The perfect correction would
be to manually increase the note lengths in the piano roll editor, but there is a quicker way: increase the track's release time until
it sounds like legato.
Adjust the reverb quality
Reverb requires a lot of CPU power. If stuttering occurs during playback, decrease the reverb quality. Set it to high quality before
you export your final song to wav.
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Version history
Version 1.5.1
Released in October 2010
Bug fixes regarding
• Audio output and bluetooth accessories
• Pitch-bend recording
• Crashes at launch
Minor changes
• Additional polyphony choices (8 and 12) for older devices
• iPad: if “Sync keyboard rows” is on and a track is selected, the lower row’s instrument is changed too
• Fix: the YouTube button did not work
• Fix: when an instrument was changed during playback, the selected instrument was silenced
• Fix: graphics glitch when changing (loading) an instrument on newer devices
• Fix: the projects tab’s Load button did not display its down state correctly
• Fix: the redo button did not work in some cases
Version 1.5
Released October 16, 2010
Major new features
• New instruments: HipHop Kit, Sound Effects Kit, Trance Lead
• 10 beat loops
• iPhone 4 retina display supported
• Improved multitouch on the keyboard (slide and play simultaneously)
• Battery consumption improved
• Lots of performance optimizations and stability improvements
Major bug fixes
• iPad-only fix: audio route changes (connecting earphones) disrupted audio output
• iPad-only fix: changing the metronome type did not load the new metronome until the next launch
• Fix: accelerometer pitch bend with adaptive calibration was too sensitive
• Fix: signature 7/4 was not selectable in the tempo popup on the iPhone
• Fix: when deleting congruent notes, both were deleted instead of only one
• Fix: volume and pan changes did not affect notes that were already playing
Keyboard tab
• Even when keys are touched, the slide/pinch gestures on the menu can now be performed (scroll the keyboard with one
finger on the menu while holding down some keys with your other hand).
• Menu buttons can be tapped while keys are touched (e.g. to tap stop while you are still holding down some keys)
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• iPad: number of keyboard rows and keyboard row syncing setting are now retained
Tracks tab
• Piano-roll editor: note colors improved, now ranging from blue to green to yellow, overlapping notes are red
• Piano-roll editor: selection of overlapping and congruent (red) notes improved
• Fix: filter recording cleared the filter track (was overwrite instead of overdub)
• Fix: filter track visualization improved
• Fix: zooming in the piano-roll editor sometimes was erratic
• Fix: too many undo points were created when drawing notes
Projects tab
• Folders for demos and beats
Version 1.4
Released August 3, 2010
Major new features
• iPad optimization: Music Studio is now a universal binary
• New free instrument: a gorgeous grand piano (replaces the old grand piano)
• iOS 4 multitasking enabled
Keyboard tab
• Tap and hold the metronome button to bring up the tempo popup
• Fix: accelerometer pitch bend did not conform to the desired pitch range in some cases
Instruments tab
• iPad: checkbox to synchronize the keyboard rows
Projects tab
• New demo added: “Club on fire” by TecWeed
Misc
• A tempo or signature change is now an undo step
• Fix: undo unloaded used samples in rare cases
• Fix: orientation changes were not handled correctly by the loading screen
• Various memory optimizations and stability improvements
Version 1.3
Initial version. Released June 26, 2010
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