Composer Online Help

Notes/Events
Creating a Note
Deleting a Note
Editing a Note
Changing the Tuning
Changing Default Duration
Changing Current Duration
Changing Default Event Type
Changing Current Event Type
Changing Event Volume
Changing Vibrato Speed

Sequence Location
The Timeline Cursor
Changing location inside a measure
Changing location in the sequence
Playback
Playing the Sequence
Stopping the Sequence
Adding Accompaniment
Soloing the Current Sequence
Changing the Tempo
Changing Swing

How Do I Create A...
Pick
Palm Mute
Hammer On/Pull Off
Bend
Slide
Vibrato

Notes/Events

Creating a Note — Click at a desired location on the fretboard. A note will be created at the click point on the fretboard, and on the timeline below the fretboard (i.e. the measure timeline). The measure timeline highlights to indicate when this note was first played, and for how long it was played (its duration). The larger black rectangle indicates the start of the event. The smaller rectangles denote its duration.
Deleting a Note — Hold down either the "Shift" or "Control" key, and click on the note that you want to delete. The note should disappear. Note that this is possible only at the start of the note, and not on its trailing duration.
Editing a Note — Click the existing note on the fretboard that you want to edit. The note will highlight and contain a number which you can edit. That number is its volume (or speed in the case of vibrato). Click on a different event type ('hammer','mute') to change the event. Enter a new value inside the note to change its volume (0-127) or speed (1-8). Click anywhere else on the fretboard to de-select the note and finish the edit.
Changing the Tuning — The number of strings, and the base tuning of any string can be changed in the Composer using the Tuning toolbar. In addition, the site supports a few dozen known alternate tunings, and any of these options can be loaded into the Composer by clicking the Choose button.
Changing Default Duration — To change the default duration of new notes, choose a new 'duration' value from the list located just below the measure timeline to specify the duration of newly created notes and events. The Composer loads with a default duration of an eighth note.
Changing Current Duration — To change the duration of an existing note, simply drag the end of the note's duration in the timeline below the fretboard (i.e. the measure timeline) to a desired endpoint.
Changing Default Event Type — To change the default event type of new notes, click on the desired event type in the event menu located just below the fretboard. Newly created events will now be of this type.
Changing Current Event Type — To change the event type of an existing note, click on the note on the fretboard to select it, and then click on the the desired event type in the event menu located just below the fretboard. Remember to de-select the note when you are done by clicking anywhere else on the fretboard.
Changing Event Volume — To change the default event volume for picks, hammers, and mutes, click on the desired event type in the event menu located just below the fretboard. A box should appear next to the event menu. Enter the desired volume (from 0-127). Newly created events will now have this volume. For existing events, select the event on the fretboard by clicking on it, enter the desired volume in the event and de-select it by clicking anywhere else on the fretboard. This event will now have the specified volume.
Changing Vibrato Speed — To change the default vibrato speed for Vibrato On events, click on the Vibrato On event in the event menu located just below the fretboard. A box should appear next to the event menu. Enter the desired vibrato speed (from 1-8, with 8 being the fastest). Newly created Vibrato On events will now have this speed. For existing Vibrato On events, select the Vibrato On event on the fretboard by clicking on it, enter the desired speed in the event and de-select it by clicking anywhere else on the fretboard. This Vibrato On event will now have the specified speed.

Playback

Playing the Sequence — Click the button located above the fretboard. Playback will start from the currently displayed measure and will play according to the specified tempo located above the fretboard, and your playback preferences at the left of this page (sound, click, loop). Note that this is MIDI playback and does not use the same audio sounds that you heard when you created the sequence.
Stopping the Sequence — Click the button located above the fretboard.
Adding Accompaniment — You can have the music from another sequence or groove you've created accompany your current sequence by clicking the Choose Sequence or Choose Groove buttons and selecting from the dropdown menus for either.

Note: Accompanying music is simply provided as a convenience during sequence authoring to let you pre-listen to certain pieces of music played together. It has no affect on the sequence itself.
Soloing the Current Sequence — If you've using accompaniment, but want to just hear the current sequence alone, check the "Solo" checkbox to the right of the Accompaniment buttons. This is simply provided as a convenience during sequence authoring so you don't have to keep selecting and un-selecting the Accompaniment music.
Changing Tempo — You can speed up or slow down your sequence by choosing different tempos from the drop down menu located to the left of the Composer. This tempo will be used the next time you play your sequence.
Changing Swing — Any eighth note sequences can be given a "jazz" feel or "swung" by using the arrow buttons to adjust the 'Swing' parameter located above the fretboard. The value indicates the percentage of a beat that is occupied by the first eighth note. Thus, a value of '50' means the first and second eighth notes are treated equally. A value of '66' means the first note will receive the first 2/3 of the beat and the second will get the remaining 1/3. Good values for swing generally lie between 53-57. Any changes in the swing value will be used the next time you play your sequence.

How Do I Create A...

Pick — Select 'Pick' from the event menu located below the fretboard and click at a desired location on the fretboard.
Palm Mute — Select 'Palm Mute' from the event menu located below the fretboard and click at a desired location on the fretboard. This event mimics the sound of resting your palm against a string while you pick it, which deadens the note.
Hammer On/Pull Off — Select 'Hammer/Pull' from the event menu located below the fretboard and click at a desired location on the fretboard. If the note before it on that string is lower in pitch, it is considered a hammer on. If it is higher in pitch, then it is a pull-off.
Hammer Example:
  • Create a pick event on the 1st string at the 5th fret, and advance to the end of this event by hitting the right arrow key.
  • Select 'Hammer' from the event menu and create a hammer event by clicking on the 1st string at the 7th fret at the new time.
  • Play it back.
Bend — The main point about bends is that you have a pick a time and place where the bend begins (which we call a 'bend' event) and a time and place where the bend ends (which we call a 'hold' event). In addition, the maximum amount of bend that can be applied is two frets for most sound cards.
Bend Example:
  • Create a pick event on the 1st string at the 5th fret, and advance to the end of this event by hitting the right arrow key.
  • Select 'Bend' from the event menu and create a bend event by clicking on the 1st string at the 5th fret at the new time.
  • Now, we need to figure out where our bend will end. Hit the right arrow key to advance the cursor to the end of the bend event. Select 'Hold' from the event menu. Now, click on the 1st string at the 7th fret. This is where our bend will end.
  • Play it back.
Note: A bent string will stay bent until you insert a 'Reset (Bend)' event on that string. So, to release a bend after a note has stopped ringing, simply insert a 'Reset (Bend)' event anywhere on the bent string after the note's duration. In general, it's a good idea to insert a slot of space in between the end of the duration and the 'Reset'.
Slide — The main point about slides is that you have a pick a time and place where the slide begins (which we call a 'slide' event) and a time and place where the slide ends (which we call a 'hold' event).
Slide Example:
  • Create a pick event on the 6th string at the 5th fret, and advance to the end of this event by hitting the right arrow key.
  • Select 'Slide' from the event menu and create a slide event by clicking on the 6th string at the 5th fret at the new time.
  • Now, we need to figure out where our slide will end. Hit the right arrow key to advance the cursor to the end of the slide event. Select 'Hold' from the event menu. Now, click on the 6th string at the 8th fret. This is where our slide will end.
  • Play it back.
Vibrato — Vibrato can be added to your sequences by simply inserting a 'Vibrato On' event when the vibrato is to begin, and a 'Vibrato Off' event when it should end.
Vibrato Example:
  • Create a pick event on the 6th string at the 5th fret, and advance to the end of this event by hitting the right arrow key.
  • Select 'Vibrato On' from the event menu and create a vibrato event by clicking on the 6th string at the 5th fret at the new time. You have just added vibrato to this note.
  • To turn off the vibrato, select 'VibOff' from the event menu and click on the 6th string at the 5th fret at the time the vibrato should end.
  • Play it back.

Sequence Location

The Timeline Cursor — The vertical blue bar located in the timeline below the fretboard (i.e. the measure timeline) is your timeline cursor. This indicates your current location inside the current measure.
Changing location inside a measure — To move your current position inside a measure, you can:
  • use your right and left arrow keys to move the timeline cursor.
  • click or drag anywhere in the measure timeline, and the timeline cursor will follow your mouse. If you move the cursor along a displayed note, you can see that the note on the fretboard is solid during its start time, and is dim during its duration.
  • Check the "Autostep" checkbox which will auto-advance the sequence by the default duration each time you enter an event.
Changing location inside a sequence — To move to a different measure, simply click the desired measure number in the sequence timeline, located at the bottom of the Composer. Note that measures containing music are colored solid.