The main interface is dominated by the display area. Above it are a small HUD display for grid size, population, generation and other information. To the right of the grid display is the tab view and at the very bottom of the window is the tools section.
This HUD (heads up display) is a convenient overview of of some of a document's settings:
|4||loop on/off and length|
In the tools section, framed by the color indicator on the left and the pattern indicator on the right, are stepper controls for BPM and loop settings. Between these steppers is the tool slider which hosts transport controls and draw or edit tools depending on the current setting.
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. The BPM stepper allows speeds from 8 - 240 bpm similar to those available on traditional metronomes. It also loops, so pressing up arrow with a current speed of 240 sets the stepper to 8.
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's transport controls which we will get to in a bit and. While the Loop Button is in an off state you can still change the number of generations to loop in the stepper, but it will have no immediate effect. The stepper allows for 2 - 256 generations.
The Color Indicator has a button for each of the 5 colors of a document's palette. Clicking any of these color buttons displays the system color window for that color and allows you to change it. Clicking to the right of a color button, in the area where the small arrow is shown above, changes the current draw color. So, click the color button to change its color and click to the right to select any of the 5 draw colors. 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. With Live Draw you can paint into the display area while a document is playing.
The 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. The pattern indicator is a button, so when you click it the patterns window opens and allows you to select a draw pattern to your liking.
This gives you a brief overview of the main application surface. Please note that there is a menu for selecting draw colors with the shortcuts cmd-1, cmd-2, cmd-3, etc. for the five colors in the document's palette.
For now let's take a look at a very central part of Quincy - the Tool Slider.