Grid Music User Guide

Contents

Grid Music basics

Create a song

  1. In the document browser, tap at the top of the screen to open a new song in the song view.

  2. Tap New Pattern, then tap a template. For example, tap the 16 Steps template to create a pattern with 16 steps for notes and 4 steps for modulation. Templates can be used as a starting point for creating a pattern, or you can begin with an entirely blank pattern.

  3. Tap to start playback. Notice the yellow pulses that follow the connections between cells.

  4. Do any of the following to edit the pattern:

  5. You can add more patterns, duplicate a pattern, and delete patterns. See Add, duplicate, or delete patterns.

  6. To change the sound of the built-in synthesizer, tap , then tap Synthesizer. See Change the sound of the built-in synthesizer.

    To change the tempo and other sequencer settings, tap , then tap Sequencer. See Change tempo, time division, and pattern length.

  7. To close the song and return to the document browser, tap Documents. Grid Music saves changes to your song automatically, so your work won’t be lost when you close the song.

How patterns work

Patterns in Grid Music are composed of a grid of cells, each of which can be connected to its neighbors. All cells have a value and can be switched on or off. A cell’s value is indicated by the level of the bright area within the cell’s shape.

There are three types of cells:

Pulses follow connections between cells and activate cells that are switched on. Pulses move between cells according to the following rules:

When a source cell is connected to more than one neighbor, it will emit pulses in a direction depending on the previous direction in which it emitted a pulse and the random branching probability. As with a branch, the random branching probability determines how likely it is for a pulse to be emitted in a random direction. If a given pulse is not emitted in a random direction, it is emitted in the next clockwise direction.

Manage songs

Grid Music supports the iOS document browser and Files app, which makes it easy to organize and share songs. You can also store songs using iCloud Drive or other cloud storage services.

For more information about the Files app, see the Apple support document Use the Files app on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Working with patterns

Add, duplicate, or delete patterns

Add a pattern

Duplicate a pattern

With a pattern open, tap to duplicate it. The new pattern is inserted into the song after the current pattern.

Delete a pattern

With a pattern open, tap to delete it.

Delete multiple patterns

  1. In the song view, tap Select to enter select mode.

  2. Tap one or more patterns to select them. Then tap Delete. If you don’t want to delete any patterns, tap Done to exit select mode without making changes.

Change root note, scale, and octave

With a pattern open, tap Root, Scale, or Octave.

These settings determine how Grid Music interprets the values of note cells. This process is also called pitch quantization.

For example, if you choose C for the root note, Major for the scale, and +0 for the octave, the values of note cells will be interpreted as notes on the C major scale over the three octaves beginning at C one octave below middle C, or MIDI note number 48.

Because the value of a note cell can be interpreted as a note on any scale, you can quickly switch between different roots, scales, and octaves without modifying the values of the note cells.

Randomize note values

With a pattern open, tap Randomize to randomize the values of all note cells in the pattern.

Change the type of a cell

  1. With a pattern open, tap Edit Layout to enter layout mode.

  2. Tap any cell one or more times to cycle through the available types: source, note, and modulation.

  3. Tap Edit Layout again to exit layout mode.

Connect or disconnect cells

  1. With a pattern open, tap Edit Layout to enter layout mode.

  2. Touch and drag from a cell to a neighboring cell to add or remove connections.

  3. Tap Edit Layout again to exit layout mode.

Undo or redo changes

With a pattern open, you can undo or redo recent changes to the pattern.

Playback, sequencing, and synthesis

Queue a pattern to play next

You can queue a pattern to play next without opening it using queue mode.

  1. In the song view, tap Queue to enter queue mode.

  2. Tap any pattern to queue it to play next. The pattern will start playing on the next multiple of the Pattern Length setting.

  3. Tap Done to exit queue mode.

Change the sound of the built-in synthesizer

In the song view or with a pattern open, tap , then tap Synthesizer.

You can adjust the following settings to change the sound of the synthesizer:

When a modulation cell is active, it changes the internal pulse width setting. While you are changing the pulse width setting, your changes override active modulation cells. The Pulse Width slider does not show the effect of active modulation cells.

Change tempo, time division, and pattern length

In the song view or with a pattern open, tap , then tap Sequencer.

You can adjust the following settings to change the timing of the sequencer:

Change random branching probability

In the song view or with a pattern open, tap , then tap Sequencer.

The Random Branching slider changes the probability that a pulse will move in a random direction rather than the next clockwise direction at a branch or source cell with multiple connections.

Working with other apps and devices

Send MIDI to other synthesizers

In the song view or with a pattern open, tap , then tap MIDI.

Mute Grid Music’s built-in synthesizer

When sending MIDI to another app or device, you may want to mute Grid Music’s built-in synthesizer so that only the other synthesizer can be heard.

In the song view or with a pattern open, tap . Tap the Mute Synthesizer Audio switch to mute or unmute the built-in synthesizer.

Synchronize playback with other apps and devices

Grid Music can synchronize tempo and playback position with other apps and devices connected with Ableton Link.

In the song view or with a pattern open, tap , then tap Ableton Link.