Desfonema Sequencer Manual

0. Installation

0.1 Requirements

You need a linux system widh:
  1. Python 2.4 or greater
  2. Python development libraries
  3. Alsa development libraries
  4. Python GTK Bindings
  5. aconnect util from Alsa Utils package
Supposing that you are using Debian or Ubuntu you can installall of them by:
apt-get install python-dev libasound2-dev python-gtk2 alsa-utils
Desfonema Sequencer is a midi sequencer, so you gonna need some midi synth's to actually hear any sound. If you didn't already then you gonna want to install Yoshimi, Hidrogen, etc and install the low latency audio daemon Jack to use them.

0.2 Download, Unpackage, Compile modules

The most basic instructions are:
tar -xjvf dseq-0.3.1.tar.bz2
cd dseq-0.3.1

0.3 Test Run

and if everything was ok you should see the main window.
Main Window

1. The Main Window

When you start the dseq (Desfonema Sequencer) you find the Main Window. There you have the Toolbar, the Patterns section and the Song Section. In dseq you create patterns that you later arrange in order to make a song, very much like in a traditional tracker, so the very first thing you wanna do is to Add a Pattern. Once you have some patterns you Add them into the Song list so you can actually listen them in order.

1.1 Main Window Menu

The Main Window Menu has a very basic and self explanatory File menu with commands like New, Open, Save, Save As, and Quit. Also has some less obvious options:

1.2 Toolbar

Main Toolbar

1.3 Patterns Section

Patterns Section
Once you have one or more patterns the Patterns Section starts to get populated. For each pattern you have a set of controls

1.4 Song Section

Song Section
To append a new pattern at the end of the Song use the Add button on top of the Song Section. With the existing patterns into the song list you have
  1. Pattern position into the song.
  2. Pattern Selection: Selects the pattern played in that position.
  3. Del: Deletes the pattern in that position.
  4. Ins: Inserts the same pattern after the position.

2. The Pattern Editor

Pattern Editor
The patter editor is where you work most of the time. Each pattern has one or more tracks of the same length. You have 3 controls that are common for the whole pattern:
Pattern Tools After that you have the tracks in a tabbed interface.

2.1 Track Tabs

Each track is represented in a tab with the set of controls and a piano roll interface for editing. The controls are:

3. The Piano Roll

Piano Roll
The Piano Roll is the main interface where you insert and edit notes in each track. It has live editing while playing the pattern or step mode when the pattern is stopped. You can insert notes just from the midi input, or use the virtual keyboard, or use the mouse like. The cursor is always selecting the note it's over. To select an area you have to always go from upper-left to bottom-right. Keyboard shortcuts are provided for the standard actions like copy, cut and paste. Also delete and backspace are used to delete all the notes in the cursor position and move forward or backward.
The Piano Roll is designed with a heavy keyboard use in mind, but as gtk is a little bit tricky with focus you will have to click on it to let it grab the keyboard. I'm working to improve that.

3.1 The Insert Cursor

When you insert notes in step edit mode they go where the insert cursor is, like in a text editor. You can move the insert cursor with the Mouse Center Button:
Mouse Center Button
Or with the cursor keys:
Cursor Keys

3.2 Inserting notes

You can insert notes using the mouse right button:
Mouse Right Button
Or you can insert notes trough the virtual keyboard:
Virtual Keyboard
Or you can use your favorite midi input device.

3.3 Selecting Notes

You select notes holding down the Shift Key and moving with the Cursor Keys:
Shift Cursor Keys
Or by selecting with the mouse holding the left button:
Mouse Left Button

3.4 Moving Notes

You move notes holding down the Alt Key and moving with the Cursor Keys:
Alt Cursor Keys
Or holding down the Shift Key and dragging them with the mouse holding the left button:
Shift Mouse Left Button

3.5 Stretching Notes

You stretch notes holding down the Ctrl Key and moving with the Cursor Keys:
Ctrl Cursor Keys
Or holding down the Ctrl Key and dragging them with the mouse holding the left button:
Ctrl Mouse Left Button