Sqeech App Documentation

Instrument Mode

Sqeech supports three modes: spectrum, chromatic, and major. Access the mode menu from within the app by pressing the gear icon in the bottom corner of the app.

Spectrum Mode

Similar to a violin or a slide whistle, spectrum mode allows any frequency to be played. Use spectrum mode for note smearing and swiping.

Chromatic Mode

If you want to conform to the traditional music scale, use chromatic mode. Chromatic mode plays any note similar to a piano or a guitar.

Major Mode

Major mode allows you to select any major key and all of your touches and swipes will conform to that key. Similar to how a blues harmonica or a recorder work. This gives you a precision-safe fret board for expression within a specific key.
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The entire screen is devoted to the fretboard. The top of the screen yields a higher pitch, the bottom a lower pitch. You set these pitch thresholds with the range bar on the left. You can play up to eight notes simultaneously. Touching the screen begins the note, releasing the screen stops the note. The further your touch is to the left of the screen the quieter the note, the right is louder. You can wiggle your finger back and forth left-to-right to achieve a vibrato quality to your sound. When you touch the screen a spinning crossed circle symbol appears (referred to as earth). The spin corresponds to forces felt by the Sun and Moon propellors you can control. As a note fades, it moves from right to left on the screen.

Lines on the fretboard correspond to the musical scale. They are only guides to show you where the note is located. In Spectrum mode this shows you where to aim if you want your note to be in tune. You can adjust the fretboards brightness by clicking the gear icon at the bottom corner and going to the "Style" tab.

The visualizer can also be adjusted in the Style tab. The visualizer renders a wav for each note. The height and opacity of the wave correspond to the note's volume. You can turn off the visualizer by sliding the brightness control all of the way down. In the iPad Settings app you can adjust the Visualizer's settings further by specifying if the waves should by filled with the color of the note or as simple lines. On older iPads you will get a more responsive fretboard by setting the visualizer's fill settings to off. Also, you can set the number of waves to render. Eight is the maximum value since a wave represents a touch on the screen.
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Range Bar

Use the Range Bar to set the keyboard's high and low frequency thresholds. Lower notes are at the bottom of the range bar, upper notes are at the top. You can set the range bar a maximum of 120 notes (10 octave range) or a minimum of 6 notes. The area highlighted with a white box shows you the current range setting. You can drag the current threshold up or down the range bar with one finger by dragging from the center. Clicking on the top or bottom edge of the box allows you to adjust the top and bottom note.

If you are in spectrum mode the keyboard shows a color fade gradient background. In chromatic mode each key is colored by note. Major mode's keys are colored by each note in the selected key.

When you are in Major mode the range board slides out to reveal a key chooser. You drag the white box to the specific key you want. You can't click on the desired key, you have to drag the highlighted box to the key. This prevents accidental key changes during play.

The color of the notes is determined by converting the sound frequency into wavelength and multiplying the figure by 40 to reach a visible light spectrum color. Using this method, the note we think of as middle "C" is green while "G" is red.
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Sustain Bar

The sustain bar is at the bottom of the screen. Tapping the sustain bar holds whatever notes are currently playing so you can lift your fingers from the fretboard. You can play with the sustain bar on too. You can set the sustain bar to work on single taps or double-taps in the iPad Settings menu of Sqeech. When the sustain bar is on it is white in color, off is gray.

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Pitch Adjuster

In the middle of the sustain bar at the bottom is a square button used for pitch. You drag this button to the right or left and all notes currently playing will go up or down in pitch respectively. You can adjust the pitch buttons effects in the iPad settings menu of Sqeech. The default is to allow you to adjust the pitch of every note up or down one octave. The pitch release also has a speed setting. When you release your drag on the pitch button is falls back to the center playing each note along the way. You can make a very slow return to center by releasing the pitch drag at the top of the screen. Releasing the pitch button directly over the sustain bar returns the note instantly. You can use the sustain bar and pitch button together to hold and adjust several notes. As the pitch adjusts the notes move up and down the fretboard so you can choose exactly where you want the pitch adjustment to land.
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Mute Button

In the right corner of the sustain bar is a mute button. Pressing mute cuts off the sound output by keeps all active sounds alive in the app. Mute is on while the finger rests on mute. Releasing the mute button turns on all sounds again. Use the mute button to add percussive spaces to your sounds as you play.
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Sun Propellor

Sun Propellor: This propeller always affects your solo finger only (the finger you placed on the screen first). Raising the sun on the screen causes the propellors pitch to go higher or lower. Left-to-right affects the propellors speed in real time giving you an powerful solo button you can "squeech" out a melody with. Double-clicking the sun makes it conform to half steps up or down. Placing the sun at the very top of the screen gives you a one octave higher propellor. Left is a slower speed, right is faster. The bottom of the screen yields one octave below the note currently affected. You can turn off and adjust the moon's effects by clicking the gear icon in the bottom corner of the app and going to the "Style" tab.
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Moon Propellor

The moon affects everything the sun does not. This gives you a more rhythmic effect since it broadcasts through the remaining fingers. It's speed and pitch are controlling similar to the sun. Double-click to turn on pitch snapping and the propellor will conform to the nearest half step. This allows you to form any triad sequence and play it with one finger setting the root note. Use the propellors to open Sqeech up as an expressive electronic vocal. You can turn off and adjust the moon's affects by clicking the gear icon in the bottom corner of the app and going to the "Style" tab.
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Style Tab

Access the style tab from inside the Sqeech app by clicking the gear icon in the lower left corner. A popup window appears and in the top right click on the style tab.

Note Attack/Release

Adjust theses sliders to set the speed on each note being played. Slower is left, faster is right. A slow attack means you hear a gradual fade into the note when you press the screen. A slow release gives you a gradual fade out when you release the touched note.

Earth/Sun/Moon Volume

The earth volume is the main output for each note touched. This volume output slider affects all touches to the screen only. It does not affect the sun or moon propellors. You adjust the propellor volumes independent of the notes volume to yield rhythm waves with no solo voice.

Keyboard/Visualizer Brightness

The keyboard brightness is the fretboard and the selected notes alpha channel. The visualizer is the colored wave patterns in the center of the screen. You can turn these off complete by dragging the slider all the way to the left.
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