After the start, the application occupies the entire terminal. The character-based interface should enable the operation of CuSE by means of screen-readers or braille-displays. The pull-down menu has mainly been included to provide all users with a quick overview over all features. All function are assigned keyboard shortcuts which are written in brackets after each command in the menu.
Another possibility is to reach different field of the display by using the PC-keyboard's cursor keys.
The uppermost display line is used to display the menu which can be invoked by pressing 2 x ESC. Escaping the menu and all dialog boxes is done by 1 x ESC. Please allow a short delay to escape a specific mode. It is caused by the cdk-library.
Below the menu line some status fields follow. They let the user define the speed, beat etc.
The bottommost status line is used to display hints and the current mode of the application (recording, playing, step-by-step mode etc.). On the right hand side of the same line, information about the currently relevant keys are given. Relevant means in this context that they can be used to manipulate the field the cursor is residing at. The field 'speed' can e.g., be set numerically by invoking a dialog-box with 'Return'. Alternatively, the user may increment or decrement the setting with the +/- keys in steps of 10 or by using 'space' in single steps. If the cursor resides on one of the fields of the track display in the middle of the screen, then only 'Return' can invoke a dialog-box to manipulate the displayed field. Here, the +/- keys are used to move the song a single quarter back or forth. The del-key is used to delete the entire track. We will come back to these functions later.
If you have operated a sequencer before and do no wish to use special features like defining your own accord-commands you may be ready to operate the sequencer now.
The largest part of the display is usually occupied with tracks that will contain the notes of your play after recording. Only one track is active at a time. MIDI-events are stored in the active track in record mode. All other tracks will be played back if not muted. The active track is marked by a blinking cursor which always resides at the static number-field. The track-cursor is not to be confused with the above-mentioned cursor that points at particular fields of the workspace and that can be moving freely into all directions.
The number of tracks is not limited in CuSE. The further the cursor is moved down, the more tracks appear.
After the track's first field, the running number, it's predefined name follows. It can be altered by the user by pressing 'Return'. This is as well true for the rest of the fields. The next field defines which MIDI-channels will be recorded by the particular track. Usually, all tracks are chosen so that all connected MIDI-devices are captured while recording.
The next field defines the channel that will receiver the recorded events while playing. Sending MIDI-events (recorded notes) to different channels is either used to operate different devices or different sounds on a single devices. Most modern MIDI-keyboards allow to assign different sound to one of the 16 channels.
CuSE will record different devices (MIDI-events coming in on different channels) on a single track if all of them are played by different musicians at the same time. A keyboard might e.g., send on channel 1 while another musician played a digital piano on channel 2. In this case, the play-channel field will show [MUL] for 'multiple' to indicate that events on more than one channel are present. By explicitly choosing a channel in the dialog box 'Played midi-channels', all recorded events will be forced to the chosen one. However, no information will be destroyed. The assignment between events and channels can be reset by choosing 'Multi channel' in the dialog box, later.
The fourth field is used only to toggle the state of a track between 'playing' and 'muted'. This can e.g., be used to record different improvisations or variations.