Introduction

Glitchbreaks is an iOS Universal manipulation tool for “Glitching” breakbeats. Glitchbreaks uses four audio channels setup like mute groups. You can quickly switch between them to construct new beats, or manipulate loop points to “Cut” or “Glitch” the breaks.

Main Screen

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Menu Bar Icons

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Play

This button starts playing the currently selected sound. Tapping it again will stop playing.

Record

This button will begin recording if the Play is active, and will cue up recording if it Play is not active, the recording will begin if cued as soon as play becomes active. Using the Limit Recording setting in Options will set the amount of time in bars that will be recorded. To use this function you need to cue the recording while Play is not active. Once play is activated the recording will begin.

File Management

Touch the diskette icon to launch the File Management screen, where you can load files on the pads, copy, paste, rename and delete files. (see File Management later in the manual for a more detailed description of this screen).

Cut Editor / Options

Touch the gear icon to launch the Cut Editor and Options screen, where can edit cut styles and set options for Glitchbreaks. (see Cut Editor and Options later in the manual for a more detailed description of this screen).

Mixer

Touch the mixer icon to show the mixer. (See Volumes / Mixer later in the manual for a more detailed description of the mixer.)

FX

Touch the FX button to open the effects screen to turn effects on and off, edit effects parameters, assign effects to the X/Y pads, and edit effet automation.

Pitch Reset

Touch the circular arrow icon to reset the pitch of the Pitch Slider. Touch dragging the snap button and releasing your finger outside of the button target area will also snap the beat back in time (See Snap Button for a more detailed description of the snap function). (See Tempo, Pitch, and Time for a more detailed description of Pitch Reset and the Pitch Slider.)

Snap Button

Touch the snap button to snap the beat back in time. If you take the beat off time, typically done by retriggering off time, or pitching the beat down, you can use the snap button to snap the beat back in time. If you pitch the beat down out of time, hitting the snap button does not reset the pitch, so while it will snap back to the correct spot if you leave the beat pitched down it will quickly go back off time, the best way to do this is to touch and drag the pitch reset button, releasing it off of the button target area, this resets the pitch and snaps the beat back at the same time.

FX X/Y Control Toggles (These are in the main menu bar on iPhone)

These buttons toggle the functions of the X/Y Modulation Pads. On the effects screen you can assign effect parameters to the X and Y of each X/Y Pad. Each of these buttons toggle their respective Pad (Glitch, Cut, Loop Mod) from normal function, to effect function.

 

Performance Pads

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All of the performance controls are on the main screen. Touch one of the four pads on the bottom of the screen to play the sound that is currently loaded on that pad. Touch another pad to switch sounds, when you do this the sound will play where the other sound was located in time, switching sounds at key points in the beat allows you to create new beats, and “juggle” breakbeats.

X/Y Modulation Pads

There are 3 X/Y Pads to modulate the sound of the loops above the performance pads. Loop Modulation, Cut, and Glitch. The X/Y pads are exclusive, only 1 of these can be selected at once, selecting another pad will deselect the currently selected pad.

Loop Modulation

 

Loop Modulation sets the loop start point on the x-axis and the loop length on the y-axis. Touching the pad starts the modulation, moving your finger on the pad modulates the values in real-time. There is a power button above the pad to turn it off and on, this is useful if you have a value set and want to repeat that setting again without adjusting the position on the pad.

Cut

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The cut pad selects the cut style (1-4) and starts cutting the breakbeat. Pressing on a numbered section will begin the cut, selecting a different section will change cuts. Selecting the same section again or selecting one of the other X/Y pads will cancel the cut. You can use the Cut Editor to sequence the cut patterns and save them to the 4 slots.

Glitch

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The glitch pad works similar to the cut pad, you can select a glitch style (1-4). Pressing a numbered section will begin to auto glitch the beat, as soon as you let go it will stop glitching. You can make slight variations in the glitch by moving in the the numbered section you selected, or move to a different section.

Glitch Editor

The glitch editor lets you take the glitch pad and edit the patterns on them. if you touch the little editor button above the Glitch pad you get a screen that shows the current glitch pattern. it shows it in the table that appears. The Current Glitch selects which Glitch number you are editing. 
 
When you press on a glitch quadrant on the pad, it takes the list shown in the Glitch editor and applies it to the sound, so for example if your glitch was :
 
Length 1/32 x 5
Length 1/16 x 10
Length 1/128 x 20
 
When you hit the Glitch it will at the point in your audio play 5 32nd note loops, 10 16th note loops, then 20 128th note loops, then start over....
 
You can test this by opening the editor selecting Current Glitch 1, then touching edit, and removing all the glitches in the table, well you need at least one, then adding your own... by selecting the Length, and how many times it will repeat, then selecting Add.
 
When you are finished touch save, and play with it

Tempo, Pitch, and Time

Tempo - BPM

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Glitchbreaks automatically detects the BPM of breakbeats and adjusts the pitch accordingly to match the four loaded sounds to the value that you set with the BPM buttons. On the BPM windows, pressing the left button decreases the BPM and the right increases it, if you press and hold and slide the BPM will be adjusted very quickly, tapping will adjust the BPM one number at a time, so you can accurately dial the BPM in. (Note: adjusting Pitch or Time is independent of BPM, when the BPM window is not controlling the BPM it turns orange, when it is showing the true BPM again it turns back to blue).

Pitch

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The pitch slider controls the pitch of the current playing pad, independently of the BPM. Sliding it to the left will decrease the pitch, sliding it to the right will increase the pitch. When used in conjunction with Loop Modulation, it is possible to achieve fantastic sound effects. Using this method is a great way to instantly make a club riser sound effect from almost any sound. To reset the pitch either touch another trigger pad at the bottom, or select the pitch reset button which is a circular arrow icon directly above the pitch slider. Note: when using the pitch slider the BPM will turn orange signaling that what you are hearing may not be the BPM that is shown in the BPM window.

Time

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There are three time settings; Full, Half, and Quarter. Selecting these settings will adjust the playback speed of the pads independently of BPM and the Pitch slider. Note: when using the time functions the BPM will turn orange signaling that what you are hearing may not be the BPM that is shown in the BPM window.

Volumes

Master Volume

This vertical slider controls the master volume for the entire mix. This can be used to fade sounds in or out in a recording, or to bring the volume level down if you have all the channels on.

Mixer

If the mixer is active, each Performance Pad will have a vertical slider next to it. Adjusting the slider next to a pad will light the channel up and add it to the mix. This allows you to adjust the volumes of all the channels and hear the overall mix. Touching a pad will solo that pad again muting the rest of the lit pads.

Mute and Reverse

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Mute

The Mute button will mute the mix, but the sounds will continue playing. When you touch the Mute button mute will be active until you let go, for precise muting and more accurate timing. This allows you to add variation to beats, when used while performing it can add dramatic pauses and better transitions with glitch effects.

Reverse

The Reverse button changes the play direction of the sounds. When you touch the Reverse button reverse will be active until you let go. You can use this for special effects, and transitions.

Quantize

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The Quantize window sets the quantize amount for the Glitch and Cut pads. The setting is in fractions of a bar. If you set it to 1 touching Glitch or Cut will turn them active at the beginning of the next bar, also if you deactivate Glitch or Cut it will turn them inactive at the beginning of the next bar. For example if you set Quantize to 4, and select Cut or Glitch then it will become active on the next quarter note.

Waveform Display

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On the iPad and iPhone 5 (See **Note for 3.5 inch devices) versions of Glitchbreaks above the X\Y Pads, there is a waveform display that shows the currently selected sound represented visually by a waveform.  When playing a marker shows the position of the play head on the waveform.  This makes it much easier to predictably glitch the breakbeat with Loop Modulation, since you are able to visually see the sound. When the mixer is selected and more than one channel is active the waveforms are mixed together in the display to show the new sound being created.  Next to the waveform display the name of the currently selected sound is also shown. (When in mixer mode and multiple channels are selected the name of the sound that was initially chosen is displayed.)

**Note : This display can be opened on the iPhone/iPod 3.5 inch screens by selecting the waveform view icon from the menu drop down, and will add the waveform view just above the performance pads resizing them to fit.

Effects

Tapping on the FX button on the main screen opens the effects view. There are 3 main units Distortion/Ring Mod/Delay. Filter, Reverb. Each unit must be turned on with the power button next to it’s name in order for the effect to be audible.

Once turned on, each effect has a host of parameters that can be edited to change the sound. Each of these parameters can be assigned to one of the X/Y Pads.

Assigning Effect Parameters

Assign Effects parameters by tapping the inset slots on the FX page under each X/Y Pad heading, for example to Assign Effect Parameters to the Glitch Pad select the X or Y under Glitch Pad Effects. A list of effect parameters is revealed and selecting one will assign it.

Once an effect parameter has been assigned and the effect is on, you will be able to control the effect with the assigned pad on the main screen. In order to flip the pad to the FX controls tap the FX button above each pad (on iPhone there is an easier to touch dropdown menu with the FX switching buttons, on iPhone 5 they are in the right tray menu).

Effect Automation

Also on the effects screen on the right side are the controls for effect automation. You can apply automation to any effects parameter either through the Automation Editor, or by Writing live automation.

Automation Editor
Tapping the power button next to the automation editor label will show the automation editor screen. Select an effect parameter to edit automation for my tapping the inset button at the top left labeled Not Assigned. This will display a list of effect parameters, selecting one will make the automation for that parameter active.

You can now use your finger to draw the automation for the parameter. Setting an effects parameter active will automatically turn on Automation, and Read Automation on the effects screen.

Tapping Clear Selected Automation will set 0 values for the currently selected automation parameter, selecting Clear All Automation will set 0 values for all of the automation parameters.

Write Automation
To capture live Write Automation on an effect parameter, turn Automation on, Write Automation on, and Read Automation off. Then double tap on an effect parameter knob. It will turn red, if Glitchbreaks is playing when you move the knob it will capture the movement.

Note : you will need to toggle off write automation quickly as it will capture values when the knob is not being moved.

Read Automation
To turn on Read Automation turn on Automation, and Read Automation, make sure Write Automation is off. Triple tap an effect parameter to toggle Read Automation on and off. It will turn green when reading, and blue when not.

Note : Parameter Automation is saved with presets but the status of the Automation, Read Automation, and Write Automation, buttons is not saved to avoid unwanted automation from automatically being loaded and applied.

File Management

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The file management screen is where load sounds onto the pads, audio copy, audio paste, rename, and delete sounds.

Loading Sounds with the File Browser

A scrollable table shows all of the Factory and User Sounds in Glitchbreaks. Touch anywhere on the table and swipe up or down to scroll the sound list. Tap on a sound to select it and it will be highlighted. Once a sound is selected tap on the pad that you would like to load the sound onto, and select OK to the confirmation that the sound was loaded. If play is not active it will be activated when you load a sound. If play was already active, the selected pad will change to the pad that you loaded the sound on, and you will hear the sound that you loaded. Select play (triangle icon)  in the menu bar to deactivate play.

Bars

When you have imported audio into Glitchbreaks, in order for the auto BPM detection to work properly you need to tell it how many bars the loaded sound is. Select the sound that you loaded then touch Bars. A dialog asking how many bars are in the selected file will be shown. Select the number of bars from 1 to 4. Glitchbreaks defaults to 1 bar, if you are working with 1 bar loops there is no need to specify how many bars the file contains. The number of bars is read when you load a sound onto a pad. For the best performance and synchronization make sure all of the pads contain equal bar length sounds.

Import

The Import menu lets you paste sounds form other applications and import sounds from AudioShare.

Audio Paste

Selecting AudioPaste will show the Sonoma Pasteboard in the table view. To paste a sound select the sound that you would like to paste and select AudioPaste again to paste it. You can also select a pad to paste it and then load it directly onto a pad. You will not see the file that you pasted in the User Sounds section in the table view. The last file in the pasteboard view is the General Pasteboard File, the name of this file will always be the same, since the general pasteboard does not support meta data. Note:  If you are in the pasteboard but do not want to paste a file, touch the Back button to see the Factory and User sounds again.

Export

The export menu lets you Audio Copy and Export sounds to AudioShare.

Audio Copy

To Audio Copy a sound into the pasteboard select a sound from the file browser, and touch AudioCopy. This will copy the sound both into the Sonoma Pasteboard and replace the sound in the General Pasteboard with the selected sound. After pasting a sound in the pasteboard you can launch other pasteboard compatible apps to paste the sound into.

Rename

Touch Rename to rename the currently selected sound in the file browser. A dialog and a keyboard will appear, change the name of your sound and touch Save to rename your sound.  Select Cancel if you do not want to rename the sound.You cannot rename Factory Sounds or sounds that are currently loaded on a pad.

Delete

Swipe the sound you wish to delete from right to left, and a delete button will appear to delete your sound.

Backing Track

The button labeled Bkg Track is used to load a sound as a backing track. This track is played independently of Glitchbreaks audio system, and is not captured in recording. After selecting a backing track if you tap the play button on the main screen you will hear the track looped in the background. You can set the volume for the backing track in the options menu.

Load Preset

To load a Glitchbreaks user presets tap the Load Preset button. Select the preset from the list and tap Load Preset again to load the preset. You can also select a preset from the list and hit the Delete or Rename buttons to delete or rename the preset.

Save Preset

To save a Glitchbreaks user preset tap the Save Preset button. A dialog will appear asking you for a name for the preset, name it and tap the save button or tap the cancel button if you do not wish to save the preset. Saving a preset saves the following :

  • Sounds loaded to pads
  • BPM
  • Effects Parameter Settings
  • Effect Automation
  • Cut edits
  • Cut Offsets

Back

Touching Back will take you back to the Main screen. If AudioPaste is selected touching Back will show the User and Factory Sounds in the file browser.

Itunes File Sharing and File Formats

Glitchbreaks supports Itunes Files Sharing. You can import and export your sounds via Itunes by selecting Itunes File Sharing from the Apps Screen, and selecting Glitchbreaks. Your sounds must be 16 bit .wav files in order for Glitchbreaks to work with them.

Cut Editor and Options

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Cut Editor

The Cut Editor allows you to edit the cut styles for the cut X/Y pad using a sequencer like interface. Each cut point dictates where the sample will retrigger creating a cut. The editor is split into 16th notes, 15 of which can be turned either on or off. The first note will always be on. The larger boxes represent quarter notes, for example if you only have all the large boxes on, you will have a typical “four on the floor” cut of the beat.

Once you are finished with the cut pattern you can use the “Save Pattern to Cut Number” slider in the options panel to decide which cut quadrant you will be saving the pattern to. Selecting Save will confirm that you want to save the pattern, save it to the cut quadrant and take you back to the main screen. Selecting Back will take you to the main screen without saving the Cut pattern.

Cut Offsets

You can set the offset for each cut by swiping up or down on the cut. This will change the number of the cut. This number defines the start position of that cut. For example if you swipe up on the first cut and change it to 4, that cut will start at 4/16 in the sample.

Note: Cut offsets are saved with the presets.

Options

There are several options you can set in the options panel.

Save Pattern to Cut Number

Selects which cut number the current pattern will be saved to.

Limit Recording

Sets the limit in bars when recording from 1 to 32. In order to use this function you must first arm the recording when play is not active.

Bkg Track Volume

Controls the volume of the background track.

Loop Mod Latch

Changes the behavior of the Loop Mod pad, with Latch on, when you touch the loop mod pad, it latches, and you need to hit the power button to unlatch it.

Index Tracking

Tracks the index of the samples, so when you glitch, cut, or loop mod, it jumps to the position where the sample would have been if you didn't modify it. This keeps the beats in time.

Dynamic Glitch

With this on, moving your finger on each quadrant of the glitch pad changes the glitch position, with it off, it locks it into place at the play head position.

Performance Mode

With this on, Glitching, Cutting, and Loop Mod only effect one of the audio channels at once, easing up on CPU.

Detect and Change BPM

When set to ON, BPM will be auto detected and the sounds will be matched to the BPM that is set in the BPM window. When set to OFF the BPM window is disabled and ignored, each sound will play it the original BPM of the sound. Note: This is useful for manipulating sounds that do not have BPM, like Voice Samples.

Scale Time Factor

When you have the time factors selected (Half Time, Quarter Time) with this on it will scale the play head to the position in the sample, for example if the play head is 3/4 of the way through the sample it will remain at that 3/4 spot when half or quarter time is selected. If this is off, it will jump back in time to the index of the full time sample, with this off it is possible to get some really interesting syncopated beats.

About

This button brings up the credits screen. Pressing the circular arrow on the credits screen will return you to the Options screen.

User Manual

This is a hyperlink to this document.

Audio Requirements

Glitchbreaks uses 16 bit .wav files and prefers them to be 1 - 4 bar loops.

System Requirements and Recommendations

Glitchbreaks requires iOS 5

It is recoomended to run Glitchbreaks on : iPad/iPhone4/iPod Touch 4th Gen  higher.

You can run Glitchbreaks on iPod touch 3rd Gen with iOS 5, but the lower memory and processors in these devices may yield some performance issues.