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Live mode

 live  mode is the best place to start composing a track.
This mode turns Hapax into a MIDI controller that you can use to experiment and record your music using the built-in pad matrix
pads icon
or an external keyboard. Depending on the current type of your track, you will have access to three different live modes :

Livemode scale

On poly or MPE Tracks, play some notes on the built-in isomophic keyboard, and add a scale to quantize their pitch.
Hold  live  + Rotate the main encoder to switch to livemode scale.

Livemode chord

On poly or MPE Tracks, effortlessly build and play some colorful chords.
Hold  live  + Rotate the main encoder to switch to livemode chord.

Livemode drum

On drum tracks, play your drum kit with the pads, divided in 8 zones of 16th velocities.
A simple Press on the  live  button will lead you to the livemode drum.
You will find many useful tools in those modes, such as a quantizer, scales and chords generators, hold/relatch options, chord recognition, a live looper, and of course a lot of real-time effects (arpeggiator, harmonizer, swing...).
Record your performance
record icon
play icon
if your sequencer is stopped) to record your performance. When you will start playing, you will notice that notes are starting to appear on the piano roll screen.
Recording settings can be accessed through the REC menu.
Press  2ND  +  settings  to enter this menu.

Toggle this parameter off to completely disable the note learn in  step  mode.
When hard recording is selected, the previously recorded notes will be erased upon a new recording. Overdub allows to merge incoming notes with the existing ones.
When enabled, Hapax will play a countdown before the recording starts. The track must be armed beforehand with a Press on rec
record icon
Enabling Metronome will output a quarter note when the sequencer is playing. The output routing and other parameters of the metronome can be set in the misc.  settings .
record icon
to arm your track. If punch-in is enabled, Hapax will wait for the first incoming note to automatically start recording.
This option provides a way to capture your performances as if you were using a looper pedal. The length of your track is not predefined, and will be determined by the final length of your recording.
First, Press rec
record icon
to start recording a loop.
Press rec
record icon
a second time to stop recording. The track length will now be set, and the track will start to loop.

When recording with auto-loop, press the live-looped-track button to set the track length while keeping REC enabled.
If enabled, this parameter will allow the recoring to stop automatically when the sequencer reaches the end of the pattern.
Quantize your performance
The real-time quantizer is very useful for correcting the timing of a live played recording, or for applying rhythmical variations on a pattern.
Each track quantize parameters can be set independently. Hold  2ND  + Press  track  to enter the track secondary setting window:

Rotate encoder ① to enable and set the rate of the quantizer. 1/16 is the coarsest setting, 1/64 is the most precise.
Rotate encoder ② to set the strength value of quantization.

As a 100% strength value will apply maximum quantization to the notes, lower values will allow the notes to be slightly off grid.

Tweak this parameter to taste to find the balance between straight and swung feel in your tracks.
Accross live and step mode
Any note recorded in  live  mode can be seen and edited in  step  mode.

Moreover, all notes and chords played on an external controller or using the live mode keypads are captured in step mode and displayed on the left screen under LEARN. Those learned notes can be added with a single press of a pad in  step  mode.

Click encoder ② to enable the LEARN edit:

To exit the LEARN edit, click encoder ① or ②.

Press  2ND  +  settings  and Rotate encoder ① to completely disable midi LEARN.
Livemode Scale

In this mode, the pad matrix
pads icon
are forming an isomorphic keyboard. This leverages the property of transpositional invariance, very useful for playing chords in various keys:
Any given sequence and/or combination of musical intervals has the same shape when transposed to another key.
- Wikipedia
By default, this isomorphic keyboard is chromatic, with a row-jump of 3 semitones : for any given pad, the pad to its right plays 1 semitone up, and the pad above it plays 3 semitones up.

When applying a scale, the keyboard will no longer add 1 or 3 semitones, but will move up by 1 or 3 degrees of the scale. For example, in chromatic mode, a pad up would translate into a minor 3rd jump, whereas in a major key, it would give us a fourth jump.
Basic operations
Press  ↑  or  ↓  to set the octave of the lowest note of the pad matrix.
Rotate encoder ① in order to set the lowest note of the pad matrix.
Rotate encoder ② to enable hold or relatch.
Rotate encoder ③ to set the row jump.
Rotate encoder ⑤ to change the scale color.
Rotate encoder ⑥ to change the scale type.
Hapax comes with 72 factory scales, sorted by families called colors.
Scales of the same color are sharing the same third and/or seventh degree, so that you can replace a scale by another of the same color without radically changing the feel of you track. The different colors are listed below :
  • None / Chromatic
  • Major
  • Minor
  • Dominant
  • Suspended
  • Half-Diminished
  • Diminished
  • Messian
  • Intervals
  • Major: Major, Harmonic, Augmented, Pentatonic, Pentatonic (V), Pentatonic (ionian), Arabic
  • Minor: Dorian, Aeolian, Phrygian, Japanese, Spanish, Pentatonic, Pentatonic Dorian, Pentatonic Pelog, Blues, Romanian, Gypsy b7, Hawaiian, Melodic, Harmonic, Diminished, Gypsy
  • Dominant: Myxolidian, Arabic, Blues, Pentatonic, Pentatonic (IV), Pentatonic (D II), Lydian, Melodic Major, Phrygian, Diminished, Tritone, Altered, Rock n Roll, Whole Tone, Inverted (Aug)
  • Suspended: Mixolidian, Pentatonic, Ritusen, Dorian (b2)
  • Half-Diminished: Half-Diminished, Locrian, Pentatonic minor b5
  • Diminished: Diminished, Half Tone, Romanian, Ultralocrian, Blues Heptatonic
  • Messian: 2nd mode T, 3rd mode, 4th mode, 4th I mode, 5th mode, 5th I mode, 6th mode, 6th I mode
  • Intervals: minor thirds, major thirds, fourths, fifth octave, octave
Hold and relatch
Hold and Relatch options are accessible through the "PLAY" parameter on the left screen. All held or relatched notes will remain highlighted on the pad matrix.
Rotate encoder ② to enable Hold or Relatch.

The classical toggle mode. When notes are played, they will be held until the same notes are played again.

The held notes will be replaced by any new input of notes.

Hold is very useful when designing drones/synth pads or experimenting with effects, such as an arpeggiator.
Chord recognition
The name of the currently played chord is displayed under the keyboard representation on the left screen. The number between brackets is the inversion index of this chord.

For example, when you play (C - E - G), Hapax recognizes a Cmaj, as well as a second chord name : Em6 in second inversion:

Here are the conventions used for chord naming :

Major Chords
Minor Chords
Half-Diminished Chords
Diminished Chords
Suspended Chords
Livemode Chord

This mode gives you access to a large variety of chords, harmonized to the currently selected scale, and can be used to generate complex harmonies for your tracks.

The interface is meant to be played with both hands. The left side is focused on inversion, spread, drop, alter, and general enrichments. The right side is where the basic degrees of the chord are played.

Although it is based on musical theory, no particular knowledge is required for using this mode. It has been designed to quickly try and listen chords until you find something you like.

The pad matrix
pads icon
is divided into two main areas :



Press some of the bottom pads
pads icon
to input your initial chord.


Press a pad of the left part of the pad matrix
pads icon
. A modifier will be added to the modifiers list. You can stack up to 8 modifiers per track to enrich and perfect your chord.

Right hand (chord generator)
Press a chord pad on the pad matrix
pads icon
to play a chord.
Rotate the scale encoder to change the selected scale. If pScale in enabled, pScale will be used in this mode.
Each chord pad represents a scale degree : if the pentatonic scale is set, five chords will be available on the pads, as this particular scale contains five degrees.
Scales, when used as basis for chords, entails vast possibilities, which are yours to discover.

Major scale example

Harmonizing a scale is done by stacking thirds of a scale.
C Major Scale harmonisation leads to those chord degrees :
Maj7, min7, min7, Maj7, Dom7, min7, half-dim.
Left hand (voicing)
The chords that are generated by pressing the bottom pads are in their common root position.
If you want to spice things up, it's time to add some modifiers. You can stack up to 8 modifiers for a chord. Their order in the list have an influence on the processing order, and thus on the output.
Press a modifier pad to momentarily add a modifier to the list.
Hold  2ND  and Press a modifier pad to add/remove it from the list.
The different modifier descriptions are listed below :


  • Octave +/-1: Every note is raised/lowered by one octave.
  • Octave +/-2: Every note is raised/lowered by two octave.


Spreads the chord notes across octaves. Spreaded chords have a very pleasant sound, especially if they are complex chords.
  • Spread up: raises one chord tone out of two.
    Spread up ++ to raise it more.
  • Spread down: lowers one chord tone out of two.
    Spread down -- to lower it more.


Chord inversions are displayed under the keyboard representation on the left screen. Inversions are great for making chords match with each other.


Voicings refers to the placement of the notes in the chord structure. How a musician will rotate, spread and double notes.
  • Spread up & down: applies spread up and spread down at the same time
  • Wider Interval Down: rotate chord until wider interval is in the lowest part of the chord.
  • Quartal voicing: no thirds, only fourth.

Extended chord qualities

  • power chord: root & fifth only.
  • sus2: 3rd is replaced by a 2nd.
  • sus4: 5th is replaced by 4th.
  • add 6th: 7th is replaced by 6th.
  • add 6/9: 7th is replaced by 6th and 9th added.
  • Kenny Barron (11): add 9th & 11th. Mostly used on minor chords

Bass (Drop)

Lowers (one octave) one of the chord tones.
  • bass root: drop the root note.
  • bass third: drop the third.
  • bass fifth: drop the fifth.
  • bass seventh: drop the seventh.


Transpose by semitones all chord tones at once.
  • transpose +1/+2/+3/+4: transpose semitones up
  • transpose +5: is equivalent to a perfect fourth up
  • transpose +7: is equivalent to a perfect fifth up
Auto inversion
It's purpose is to enable a well known pianist skill. From one chord to another, move as few fingers as possible.

Auto inversion is listed as a modifier: enable it by pressing the red modifier pad.

Livemode Drum

Drum tracks are specially intended for drum machines, grooveboxes and samplers.
In livemode drum, the pad matrix
pads icon
is divided in 8 zones, corresponding to the 8 drum lanes of the track.

Hold  step  and Rotate the main encoder to switch the track type to drum.
Then, Press  live  to enter the livemode drum.
Pressing a pad will trigger a sound mapped to the corresponding lane. The velocity values are indicated by the brightness of each pad.
Rotate one of the eight encoders to change the lane note number.

Hold & Rotate an encoder to change the lane output channel/gate number.

for a more in-depth configuration of drum lanes, you can have a look at the chapter about stepmode drum.