BankStep Module Layout

The Module Layout utility is used to select and position the modules for custom layouts. You can select any number of any of the available BankStep modules, and place them as you wish. You can save layouts to be reused (recommended) or you can create new layouts for each composition.

Modules are represented to scale as squares with the module label in the upper left. Modules that have a variable size, such as Banks, will also show their size.

Creating Modules

The list of all available modules is on the left. Create modules by clicking the module name in the list and dragging it to the layout area. The first module created will be placed in the upper left corner. Once created, modules can be positioned by clicking on them and dragging them to the new position.

Modules can be positioned against each other by dragging them onto other existing modules. Dropping onto the left side of a module aligns the module with the bottom left of the target module, dropping on the right half of the target aligns the module with the top right of the target. The same method can be used when first creating a module, by placing the drag cursor of the module to be created on to the left (to align with bottom left) or right (to align with top right) side of an existing module.

You can also place modules anywhere in the grid workspace. Modules wil snap to the grid or to the half grid.

Deleting Modules

Delete modules by dragging them into the lower right corner of the layout area. Release the mouse button when the lower left and upper right corners are out of view. You can also use the Delete Last button to remove the last module created.

Screen Size

The pull down menu in the upper left sets the screen size. The actual screen size will be determined by the module layout: BankStep will size itself to fit the modules. Setting the layout screen size only sets the workspace size and gives some indication of the screen size the module layout will occupy.


All modules available to BankStep are listed in the selection box along the left of the workspace. Modules are listed in a particular order, which is the order the modules will be calculated when BankStep runs. In general, timing and control modules are calculated first, and MIDI output calculated last. This order will work properly in nearly all cases. In the rare case where a timing glitch arises because of execution order, you can refer to the module list to determine where the problem originates. While the calculation order cannot be changed, you will be able to affect it by the module connections you make.

Module Size

Some modules have variable sizes. These are Bank, Row, Gates, and Select ("Sel"). Sizes must be set before the module is created. Set the size for these modules with the up/down buttons along the top of the workspace. Row modules share the same size setting as Bank modules. Bank modules also may be set to have 3 or 4 rows with the button following the size setting. Click the button in for 4 rows, out for 3 rows.

Short Modules

Other modules are available in "Short" sizes. These are Switch, LSwitch, Test, Rand, Scale, Add, and OR. Click the "Short" button in for the short versions of these modules, leave it out (the default) for the normal size. Shortened modules have the last input hidden. For example the Add module normally has 3 inputs:

...but when the "Short" button is selected, it has only 2 inputs:

...however the third input will still be accessible. When the module is in its short mode, the label or LED at the bottom left of the module (for Add, it's the bottom "+" label) becomes active, and clicking it pops up the input dialog for the missing input button. You can immediately see that the label is active because the mouse cursor changes from the normal arrow to an arrow with a question mark.

Finally, there is one other module that can have different sizes. This is the expanded knob, or XKnob, which allows multiple knobs to be grouped together into a single module:

XKnob 2x4: 6x3:

The number of knobs is selectable for both rows and columns, up to a total of 48 knobs. If either the rows or columns counter is set to exceed 48, the other value will automatically decrease.

Command Buttons

New - Clears the workspace of any existing modules.

Current - Loads the modules from the currently active layout.

Load - Loads modules from a layout (".lay") file.

Save - Saves modules to a layout files.

Copy - Copies layout to a clipboard file.

Swap - Swaps the current layout with the clipboard file.

Cancel - Exits Layout utility without changing the current BankStep layout. Same as the upper right "X" button.

OK - Exits Layout utility and updates the current BankStep layout.

Delete Last - Deletes modules, last first. To delete a module at random, drag it to the lower right of the workspace area. Modules will be deleted if the lower left corner and upper right corner are moved offscreen.

BankStep is Copyright © 2001-2004 by John Dunn and Algorithmic Arts. All Rights Reserved.