The pattern editor is the core of the song creation process. A pattern consists or rows of events per track, each event can contain any combination of a note trigger, with optional instrument number, a volume effect command and a general effect command. The pattern editor widget is the main editing interface for this data. The event data is displayed in a table form, with each main separated column representing a track. Within the track are columns for the note data, instrument data, volume, and effect data, as shown in Fig2.
For the purpose of editing there is a cursor in the pattern editor, identified by a transparent green square over a single event item. The arrow keys can be used to move the cursor around in the pattern editor. The current line in the pattern is highlighted by a blue bar, the editor is designed to keep the current row in the middle of the view at all times, the pattern will scroll through this marker as the cursor is moved up and down.
The cursor itself will change size depending on the item it is over. For example, a single keypress is used to alter the value of the entire note item, so the cursor will not adapt to the individual 3 characters that make up the note item, more on this later, whereas the volume, instrument and effects items are edited as individual characters.
In order to make any changes to the pattern, the system must first be put into “edit” mode, this is achieved by pressing the space key, and is indicated by a red border around the widget. When in edit mode, keys pressed will enter or overwrite data in the pattern at the current cursor position, depending on the item the cursor is currently on.
Pressing keys on the virtual keyboard will insert the appropriate note, in the right octave into the pattern at that position. By default, the currently selected instrument in the instrument list will be added to the instrument item at the same time.
The instrument number can be edited independently to manually choose the instrument separately from the note entry described above. The note instrument is a hexadecimal, or base 16 number, that is each of the two digits can be 0-9 or A-F, pressing the letter keys for a through f will be sufficient, no shift for capitalisation is necessary.
The volume effect item is in two parts, the first character defines the volume effect type, the second is a hexadecimal digit that provides the value for the effect. See volume effects for a reference of the types.
The effect item is in two parts, the first digit is a character that identifies the effect type, the second and third form a hexadecimal number that provides a value for the effect. See standard effects for a reference of the effect types and values.
Normally, whenever a new value is entered into an item, the cursor moves down by the number of rows defined in the step field of the pattern editor. This makes it easy to enter notes and effects at regular intervals.
Copy & Paste
To speed up making large scale changes to the pattern data, it’s possible to copy and paste sections of the the pattern data and paste them elsewhere in any pattern in the song.
To select the area for copying, move the cursor to one corner of the data, and then, while holding shift, move to the cursor to the opposite corner.
The copy region can cover any amount of the pattern, including the whole pattern, or any combination of items. If the region only partly covers a track, only the items covered will be copied. Once you have placed the region over the data you wish to copy, press CTRL+C (CMD+C on a Mac) will copy the data under the green marker into an internal buffer. To reset the copy region, simply move the cursor without the shift key held, and the copy region will disappear, you’ll be back to the normal cursor again.
Once you’ve copied some data, you’ll want to paste it somewhere else to reuse parts of the song. The paste operation is simple, move the cursor to where you want to paste, and press CTRL+V (CMD+V on a Mac) to paste the data. The nature of the items in a pattern mean that data will have to be pasted into the same columns it was copied from. This means that in effect, all you need to do is move the cursor to the row and track that you want to start copying to. If you have note data in the copy buffer, and you move the cursor to a volume column, it will still paste the note data into that row, but in the note column. For example, to copy data from one track to another, highlight the first track data, copy, then move the cursor to any position in the second track, on the start row that you wish to copy to, and paste.