Introduction

Quincy is a musical explorer of Life, a cellular automaton created by J.H.Conway. Conway’s Game Of Life has long been of great interest to musicians specifically as a pattern generator. Quincy is a full implementation of Life, capable of generating all possible variations, the common B3/S23 as well as others like HighLife or Seeds. It is document-based and features adjustable grid size, random cell insertion and more. Quincy comes with a large library of patterns, a color mixer for a document’s color set and many display options. Editing tools beyond pen and pattern stamp also include options like copy, paste and rotate.

Quincy for Mac Showcase

Life

Conway's Game of Life in essence depicts what happens to the cells of a rectangular grid where each rectangle is assumed to have 8 neighbors. 4 on each side and one on each corner. These rectangles or cells have 2 states - either they are alive or they are dead. In Quincy we observe what happens to these cells over generations. Going from one generation to the next a set of rules is applied to each cell to determine whether it survives in the next generation. These rules can also cause it to come alive if it is dead. It all depends on the neighbors.

Modular Architecture

Quincy originally shipped with three sound modules (Chroma, Gregorian and Pentrix). 10 additional gen 2 modules were introduced in version 1.2.0. The new modules are available as add-on purchase in the iOS version and included for free in the desktop version. Each module uses its own algorithm to create sound but also defines meter, key and a base scale as tone material. The Chroma module for example is geared towards atonal music with several symmetric and chromatic scales. The Gregorian module employs church modes and the Pentrix module offers 27 types of pentatonic scales.

Documents

Quincy is a document-based application. Compositions can be saved, shared, archived and transmitted. It is possible to transmit Quincy documents from Mac OS to an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad. This is done via iTunes File Exchange - a simple drag and drop workflow. The opposite is also true. Compositions created on an iOS device running Quincy can also be opened with Quincy for Mac OS. Quincy ships with 12 sample documents. These are meant as an introduction and can be deleted if so desired.

Quincy for iOS Movie


The original Quincy showcase movie. The interface has changed in some minor detail since version 1.0 but the sample documents played are still an integral part of the Quincy app and distribution. The movie shows an iPad in horizontal position which presents the performance view available on iPads only. In performance view the tool slider is hidden and the document list shown.

Listen to Quincy

All recently added gen 2 modules (s.a.) come with 3 sample compositions. We took the time to record brief sample of all 30 of these and put them on SoundCloud. You can listen to them here.

Concluding

While this is only a brief introduction to Quincy, hopefully provides an overview of the many possibilities available with this application. Make sure to watch the provided videos and maybe take a look at the extensive documentation (iOS, Mac OS) for a more in-depth perspective. Quincy is very powerful and a joy to work with. You can create infinite variations on a theme just by coupling playback loops with random inserts or use it in performance mode with one-tap document switching and the ability to draw into the playing document without disturbing the original. Quincy renders stunning visuals, produces the craziest looking metronomes, very atmospheric soundscapes and strange rhythmic patterns that have many uses in music production.

Features

  • Intuitive interface
  • Adjustable grid size
  • Document based
  • Full general MIDI instrument library
  • Large pattern library
  • Virtual MIDI
  • MIDI over WiFi
  • Inter-App Audio support
  • Audiobus 3 compatible
  • Ableton Link integration
  • File transfer with iOS versions via iTunes File Sharing
  • Extensive documentation (iOS, Mac OS)



Available for:

iOS

Mac

Quincy Lite

After the initial universal iOS app Quincy has also been released as an iPhone only version called Quincy Lite. It is meant for those that don't have an iPad and is more moderately priced. In all other aspects Quincy Lite is identical to Quincy.

Quincy is on FaceBook

Quincy has its own Facebook site. A little bit of a diary but also a growing collection of all things surrounding the app. Check out the timeline to see the development of Quincy, additional images, platforms and links to several 3rd party reviews. Make sure to stop by and see what's new.