Basic Usage

Jackbeat is pretty simple to use. Browse through the main menu, it is meant to be quite obvious. The Sequence and Track buttons at the bottom of the window open the corresponding properties panel where you’ll find convenient functions.

To begin, just a load a few samples using the track panel properties or the edit menu. Then by toggling some of the buttons on the drummachine and clicking Play you shall hear some music. Well… hopefully 😉

The double function

Available in the Edit menu, Double increases the beats number by a factor of 2, and duplicates the beats data. This feature allows you to increase your workspace size, while keeping the output unchanged.

About track masking

Track masks allow you to insert silences into a track interactively. Use Shift-Click (or press N) to toggle the mask for a given beat. The corresponding track will then get muted during the duration of that beat.

Notes about export parameters

When you export the current sequence as a WAV file, you are given a choice about how to handle samples that continue playing passed the end of the sequence:

  • loop: mix at the beginning. This is optimal for playing the exported WAV file as a loop in some external software.
  • truncate: don’t play at all. This will sound like the initial sequence playback, before it has looped at least once.
  • keep: continue playing samples until they terminate. Beware that the exported file may thus be (much) longer than the sequence.

Keyboard shortcuts

You can learn about most of the keyboard shortcuts by looking at the main menu.


Mac users: use <command> instead of <control>

<space> Start/stop playback
Z Rewind
<shift><control>N Add track
<control>L Load sample
F2 Rename track
<control>Delete Remove track
M Mute/unmute track
S Toggle track solo
X Clear solo on all tracks
P Increase track volume by 0.2dB
L Decrease track volume by 0.2dB
<shift> P Increase track volume by 3dB
<shift> L Decrease track volume by 3dB
O (letter) Reset track volume to 0dB
<arrow keys>/<home>/<end> Move around in the pattern
B or <return> Toggle beat
N Toggle beat mask

OSC Interface

Your primary source of information about the supported OSC methods and events should be the OSC Preferences tab, where they’re all listed. You can also list them on the command line by using the -o switch.

The OSC Preferences also is the place where to configure input and output ports and prefixes.

Methods (receiving):

Address Arguments Description
/<sequence>/start Start sequence playback
/<sequence>/stop Stop sequence playback
/<sequence>/rewind Rewind sequence
/<sequence>/set_transport <i:respond> <i:query> Configure JACK transport handling
/<sequence>/set_bpm <f:bpm> Change BPM
/<sequence>/loop <i:state> Enable/disable looping
/<sequence>/set_track_pitch <i:track> <f:pitch> Change track pitch
/<sequence>/set_track_volume <i:track> <f:volume> Change track volume (coefficient)
/<sequence>/set_track_volume_db <i:track> <f:volume> Change track volume (decibels)
/<sequence>/mute_track <i:track> <i:state> Mute/unmute a track
/<sequence>/solo_track <i:track> <i:state> Set track solo state
/<sequence>/set_beat <i:track> <i:beat> <i:state> Enable/disable a beat
/<sequence>/mute_beat <i:track> <i:beat> <i:state> Mute/unmute a beat

Events (sending):

Address Arguments Description
/<sequence>/beat_changed <i:track> <i:beat> <i:state> A beat was toggled
/<sequence>/beat_on <i:track> <i:beat> A beat is starting to play
/<sequence>/beat_off <i:track> <i:beat> A beat has finished playing

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