Synthesia 8.4

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
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maccer
Posts: 222

Post by maccer »

Nicholas wrote:all columns showing at once.
  • New functionality: Sort by play count. (Well, it's new since 0.8.3 anyway...)
  • More convenient: No more popup menus. Changing the sort is a single click/tap like it ought to be.
Yay :-)
Songs learned using Synthesia:
CT: Wind Scene, The Trial | FF7: Prelude | SMB: Overworld, Underwater | Tetris: Theme A | Zelda: Lost Woods | Other: Für Elise
PianoDude1011
Posts: 14

Post by PianoDude1011 »

About the learning pack, i already purchased it on my desktop. is it possible for me to copy the code onto my ipad when synthesia 0.8.4 comes out?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Desktop unlock keys will be incompatible with the iPad version for two reasons:
  • One of Apple's guidelines for iOS apps is "11.1: Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store will be rejected".
  • I have a licensing agreement for a part of the iPad version that involves royalties. Allowing desktop unlock keys on the iPad would complicate that agreement, too.
I wish I could allow them, sorry. Though, the good news is that the (identical) Learning Pack unlock on the iPad is only going to be around $6.
aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 »

Nicholas wrote:Desktop unlock keys will be incompatible with the iPad version for two reasons:
  • One of Apple's guidelines for iOS apps is "11.1: Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store will be rejected".
  • I have a licensing agreement for a part of the iPad version that involves royalties. Allowing desktop unlock keys on the iPad would complicate that agreement, too.
I wish I could allow them, sorry. Though, the good news is that the (identical) Learning Pack unlock on the iPad is only going to be around $6.
Why?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

"Why" on the low price?

That's just the culture for that platform. In fact, I feel like $6 is already pushing it. People are used to 99 cent apps. This is a well documented phenomenon. ;)
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DC64
Posts: 830

Post by DC64 »

Nicholas wrote:People are used to 99 cent apps. This is a well documented phenomenon. ;)
Yea it's true. People in the US pay very little for things instead of what they are actually worth.

The 1 dollar thing is just a mindset thingy where the price seems like its nothing, but over time it adds up to like 30 dollars worth of apps on a phone.
"And now for something completely different."
aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 »

Nah I mean why you aren't able to use the same license on the iPad. Is it because Apple wants to profit of the purchase? Is it for advertisement in their App Store or something else?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Yeah, Apple dictates that anything on their mobile platforms that requires money has to go through them. They get a flat 30% cut off the top of every purchase, always.

... if an app has a different way to unlock a bit of functionality, Apple doesn't make any money from it. So they reject the app. ;)
abstracte
Posts: 45

Post by abstracte »

swalker133 wrote:Hey, check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CkTcOaD1zc

Might be a good pair for Synthesia on iPad...

P.S. The ION Piano Apprentice is Core MIDI compliant
That looks like an absolute nightmare unless you're a 5 year old. $69 for 2 octaves? You can see the strain as he tries to handle those tiny keys.
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DC64
Posts: 830

Post by DC64 »

If you buy like 5 of those and do some screen combos then possibly, but still not that great.
"And now for something completely different."
CMPXCHG8B
Posts: 7

Post by CMPXCHG8B »

Nicholas wrote:Desktop unlock keys will be incompatible with the iPad version for two reasons:
  • One of Apple's guidelines for iOS apps is "11.1: Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store will be rejected".
  • I have a licensing agreement for a part of the iPad version that involves royalties. Allowing desktop unlock keys on the iPad would complicate that agreement, too.
I wish I could allow them, sorry. Though, the good news is that the (identical) Learning Pack unlock on the iPad is only going to be around $6.
Just out of curiosity, what is that licensing agreement for?

-CMPX
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

I had to license a GM sound set. iOS 5+ includes a software synth... but no sounds for it.

There are hundreds of "free" SoundFonts out there, but in six months of searching I wasn't able to find one where the rights were actually well-understood and the author could claim something besides "I don't think there are samples in here from anyone else... if you hear something of yours, let me know and I'll remove it."

FluidR3 is the closest I saw to really being in the public domain (I'm maybe 98% convinced -- I even got in touch with the author) but it's also pretty gigantic and would take something on the order of a couple hundred hours of careful effort to trim down to a size where iPads (especially the iPad 1) would be able to use it without crashing or running low on memory.

I eventually found Eye & I Productions. They've produced sounds for tons of different synths and soundcards over the years. So they have lots of experience building sound sets for hardware-limited synths that still sound fantastic. It has been great working with Mark through the whole process, too. I'm actually really excited about how much better the iPad version of Synthesia is going to sound than the default synths in Windows and OS X.
Oldrich
Posts: 61

Post by Oldrich »

Nicholas wrote:I'm actually really excited about how much better the iPad version of Synthesia is going to sound than the default synths in Windows and OS X.
Does that mean that iPad version will be cheaper and better than Windows version? :shock: :P
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Correct. ;)

Though really, if there is going to be any limitation, it's going to be on the raw horsepower of the iPad. Even the 3rd-gen iPad won't be able to play the totally insane MIDI files out there like Circus Gallop. Apple's software synth consumes a much(!) larger relative percentage of the CPU than you see on a desktop computer. Simple two-hand piano pieces won't be any trouble... but I'm worried about more complicated MIDI files.

Technically it's based on the complexity of the SoundFont you run through it, but again, that's exactly what the Eye & I Productions guys do. The CPU usage with their font is lower than any other font I've run through it (including the little 2 MB DLS file included with Windows) and it still sounds awesome.

To give you an idea, playing something like 4-6 notes concurrently can consume between 4% to 30%(!) of the CPU depending on the instrument and generation of your iPad. (Acoustic Grand Piano with an iPad 2 or later is on the 4% side of that scale.)

There are a few ways to adjust the audio rendering quality that I'm going to expose to the user via the settings screen. So if you have a busy song (or an iPad 1 ;) ) you'll be able to adjust it down. Similarly, if you've got a simple piano piece, you might dial it way up.

Most of my concern right now is hypothetical: I haven't seen my MIDI code up and running alongside my drawing code on the device at the same time yet. Maybe drawing is way cheaper than I'm expecting it will be and there won't be any trouble at all. *crosses his fingers* I'm trying to keep the rest of the game's CPU budget down below 50% during play. Should be easy on the iPad 2 or later. Will be harder on the iPad 1. :lol:

At any rate, the real winners are users of the desktop version. I'm actually going to have to do old-school optimizing (the way I've been avoiding for 6 years now) so all the same performance improvements that will make the iPad version possible are going to make the desktop version absolutely fly.
Raymond
Posts: 528

Post by Raymond »

Do you think us desktop users could have the sound font?
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

For my purposes, I've licensed the font for specifically one use: redistributing it with exactly one iPad app, where duplication or extraction by end-users is strictly prohibited.

For your purposes, you should be able to head over to this page, click the "General Midi" button on the left, check out some demos, and purchase a copy for personal, private use for just shy of $15. My understanding is that the font on that page is nearly identical to the one that will be used in Synthesia. We've only had to make a few small adjustments to work around some of the quirkiness in Apple's synth.
CMPXCHG8B
Posts: 7

Post by CMPXCHG8B »

Will the iPad version support networked Core MIDI connections in both directions (in and out)?

-CMPX
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Yeah. That part is already tested and working. I've been able to get upwards of seven different devices connected just fine without having to do anything special. I've tested both with Apple's Camera Connection Kit and IK's iRig Midi so far. In every case, it was just a matter of plugging in the adapter and keyboard and having them show up right away in my Synthesia test app.

Though, a few of the USB-power-only devices needed more power than the iPad was interested in giving, so they had to be passed through a powered USB hub. After that they worked fine. Typical wall-powered keyboards work just fine right away though without any of the USB hub nonsense.

(I feel like I should have some sort of separate iPad FAQ someplace. This has been asked a bunch of times now.)
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

The advanced song view is rapidly becoming the most-upgraded screen of this entire revamp. I can't wait to show all of you. I think you're going to love it.

In other news, today is the two week mark (even though this is still sort of my Monday) and I'm surprised how close I still am to being on schedule. It's remarkable what you can accomplish in successive 12+ hour workdays when there is a looming deadline. :lol:

The Simple View is done. I didn't mention the (advanced-only) end-of-song stats screen last time, but that's finished now too. The advanced view itself is coming along (very!) nicely. All that leaves is the play screen, and this initial usability pass isn't going to change much there except a few graphics. So it should be quick.

With any luck (and constant effort whenever I'm not asleep or eating ;) ) I think this preview is finally going to happen here in another day or two.
Lemo
Posts: 313

Post by Lemo »

Stuff & experiments for Synthesia: Gramp v0.2SkinboxFireSynthVideoWebradio
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