Creating pieces fast and easily with HighC

Rapidly creating a rhythm line using cut and paste

Rather than tediously draw one sound after the other, create small patterns that you know will be repeated with small modifications, then select the pattern, copy it, paste it, move it to where it is meant to be.

By repeatedly copy/pasting sections, you can create very rapidly the bass and rhythm lines of a composition.

Use a scratch area to test your sounds, then copy/paste into your final piece.

If you have ambitious plans, it can be more convenient to use a blank piece as a scratch pad to test some sections and patterns, and then select and paste those small sections in the final piece.

Use the keyboard shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts have been designed to allow right-handed persons (and left-handed persons who use their mouse in the right hand) to operate the interface very quickly by leaving their hand on the left-hand side of the keyboard. With some practice, you should be able to edit pieces very quickly by selecting actions, tools and operations with your left hand while editing sound parameters with your mouse.

The following table shows the most important mappings as seen on a Qwerty keyboard:

  1 2 3 4 ...
  Q W

Ctrl: Set Waveform
Ctrl+Shift: Select from Waveform
Edit points Tool
Ctrl: Set Envelope
Ctrl+Shift: Select from Envelope

Ctrl: Set Level...

Ctrl: Make Pattern
Ctrl+Shift: Select from Pattern
Paint Tool
Ctrl: Select All
Alt: Show All
Select Tool
Ctrl: Save Piece
Alt: Show Only Selected
Alt+Shift: Hide Selected
Draw Tool
Ctrl: Duplicate

Ctrl: Modulate Frequency


Ctrl: Modulate Amplitude

Shift Z

Ctrl+Z: Undo
Ctrl+Shift+Z: Redo
Alt Z: Zoom out
Alt+Shift+Z: Zoom on Selection

Ctrl: Cut

Ctrl: Copy

Ctrl: Paste
Ctrl Alt Cmd Space

Play selection/pause

Backspace: Delete the selection - Return: validates changes in textfields (for instance when changing the name of a Waveform or Envelope) and validates dialogs (for instance, in Set Level... or Set Tags...).

There are mnemotechnic means to remember those shortcuts:

Any Ctrl + key performs a command (i.e. changes the piece or the selection),
Any Alt+key changes only the view, not what you hear.
Any key alone: changes the mode (current tool, or play), not what is viewed nor the piece.

To remember the tools: S-> Select tool, E-> Edit tool, A -> Paint tool, D -> Draw tool.

To remember the top row: W -> Waveform command, E -> Envelope command, R -> Level command, T -> Template (Pattern) command.

You should also know the modifier key used for the tools:
        +Shift: maintains a constant pitch when moving or creating a sound.

When selecting sounds, +Shift adds unconditionally to the selection, +Ctrl (Alt on MacOSX) toggles the selection.