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A look at the main window

After the startup, you should see the main window where all buttons and levers are grouped. Horizontal lines are channels which contain samples or MIDI events, stacked up in columns. Don't worry if you don't understand the behavior of these tools right now; they will be covered more clearly in the Performing 1, Performing 2, Channels and samples and Channels and MIDI sections.

Input and output stuff

The output peakmeter This is the output peak meter. It goes from -60 to 0 dBFS; when the bar is completely full it means that your program is playing at the maximum range available. If you exceed this limit your sound starts to clip and the meter turns to red. The circular knob controls the master volume.

The input peakmeter This is the input peak meter. It works exactly as the input meter but it manages the sound level coming from the soundcard. Turn the knob to zero in order to mute the recorder.

Input to output linker The button between the input and the output meter is a stream linker. If enabled, it takes the processed input and it copies it straight onto the output channel, in order to obtain a "hear what you're playing" functionality.

The sequencer

The sequencer (or beat bar)Play and stop buttons The sequencer shows the current running beat and the total bars of your program. This tool is managed by the two side buttons: play/stop and rewind. The former simply starts/stops the beat counting, the latter is used to quickly rewind to the first beat, useful for synching with other audio sources.

Recording tools

Recording buttonsThese buttons manage the recordings. The first one sets Giada to record mode: if switched on, every action (key press, key release, mute on/off, ...) is being stored in memory, then applied to the corresponding channel. The second one starts the live sampler: it records any sound from the sound card input(s) and puts it in the first available channel. Finally the metronomeMetronome might help you during a recording session.

Beats, bars, quantizer and BPM

Beats tools A set of tools dedicated to the beat management. You can find them grouped in the top right area of the main window.

  • QuantizerQuantizer — a useful feature which aligns the samples on beats and on exact fractions of beats (for a detailed explanation look at Wikipedia - Quantization). The quantizer provides seven operating methods: off (disabled), 1b, 2b, 3b, 4b, 6b, 8b. It operates only when the main program is running and affects those channels which are in a oneshot mode;
  • BPMBPM — Changes the BPM (i.e. the speed) of the performance;
  • Beats/barsBeats/bars — Changes the number of beats and bars; the feature was designed to provide a graphical hint for your performance and to activate the loop repeat mode. This tool allows to shrink or expand the recorded actions on the timeline through the checkbox resize recordings in the small popup window, as well as manage the sub-beats division;
  • Beat operatorsBeat operators — Dynamically shrink or expand the range of the sequencer (i.e. the total number of beats of your performance).

Sample Channels

Channels

The first type of channel is the sample channel. Each element is composed, from left to right by the following elements:

  • Play buttonPlay button — Starts and stops the channel (if loaded);
  • Arm buttonArm button — Arms the channel for recording;
  • Status boxStatus box — Reports the playback position of the running sample;
  • Main buttonMain button — Shows the name of the loaded sample and allows many operations on it;
  • Mute buttonMute button — Mutes the sample;
  • Mute buttonSolo button — Puts channel in solo mode;
  • FX buttonFX button — Opens up the FX stack;
  • Volume dialVolume dial — Controls the channel volume;
  • Mode boxMode box — Sets the play mode of the channel.

MIDI Channels

MIDI channel

The second type of channel is the MIDI channel. Each element is composed, from left to right by the following elements:

  • Play buttonPlay button — Starts and stops the channel;
  • Arm buttonArm button — Arms the channel for recording;
  • Main buttonMain button — If clicked, opens up a menu with options;
  • Mute buttonMute button — Mutes the channel;
  • Mute buttonSolo button — Puts channel in solo mode;
  • FX buttonFX button — Opens up the FX stack;
  • Volume dialVolume dial — Controls the channel volume;