Synthesia for iPad Beta 4: Nov-16

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
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Nicholas
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Post by Nicholas »

Beta 3 was a little crashy so here is a new one with 22 fixes/improvements. We're right down to the wire now so hopefully you guys don't mind these builds coming a little more frequently.

I'm grateful that all of you have stuck with it and continued to provide great feedback. Thank you! Beta testing will conclude no later than two weeks from now, so we're almost there!

Notable improvements since beta 3:
  • Externally added songs can now be deleted on iOS 6.
  • Increased the sample rate of the internal synth. It should sound better across the board.
  • The keyboard position and zoom is remembered for a given song/part for the duration of a play session.
  • Using the 'Previous Bookmark' button to restart the song will now add some lead-in time (and reset your stats correctly).
  • Dragging/pinching in the falling note area has been improved.
Still missing:
  • In-app purchase
  • Smooth-scrolling song library
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

I'm going to assume there has been no change to the notes off-screen markers and put this comment here even though it really is based on Beta 3.

I think the off-screen markers should only be shown for Notes I Play rather than all visible notes. I find the off-screen markers distracting clutter. I have a song I play with over two thousand notes in the right hand. If I practice the left hand only and zoom to notes I play, which are separated from the right hand by two or more octaves, the right side of the screen looks like a chicken walked in green paint and then down the right side of the screen.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

Nicholas wrote:
  • The keyboard position and zoom is remembered for a given song/part for the duration of a play session.
Long term I hope this will become remembered across play sessions, i.e. permanent until changed.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

jimhenry wrote:... the right side of the screen looks like a chicken walked in green paint and then down the right side of the screen.
I've independently started to feel the same way in the week or so we've had the markers. It was a trivial change too, so I just went ahead and did it.

How do you feel about them being shown in Watch Only mode? No markers? All markers?
jimhenry wrote:Long term I hope [zoom] will become remembered across play sessions, i.e. permanent until changed.
Definitely. I'm just becoming more and more risk adverse in these final days and file-format changes are especially scary.
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

Nicholas wrote:How do you feel about [off-screen note markers] being shown in Watch Only mode? No markers? All markers?
I am trying to imagine the person who wants to use Watch Only mode to position their screen. I think you have to show markers for all notes that are marked as "I Play".

More importantly, I think you have to remember the zoom and position when Watch Only mode ends. I think this will help but I'm not sure. It will take some play testing to figure out the best way to aid setting of keyboard position and zoom. I'd love to hear from anyone who moves the keys during the course of a song. I don't think I could do it so I don't really know how it should work for someone who moves the keyboard. For me the position and zoom will be the same at the start and the end of a song for the foreseeable future. I could be sold on the idea that zoom and position can be saved based on the settings as you leave the Play screen.

What I'd really like to see is markers that show whether there are off-screen notes anywhere in the song before the song starts, maybe automatically pausing if there are off-sreen notes. Maybe show a count of how many are off-screen to the side of the marker.

Another thing that might make off-screen markers less distracting is to always show the marker just above the keys regardless of where the off-screen notes are in the note window.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
reinweb
Posts: 10

Post by reinweb »

I wish, it would be possible to adjust the keyboard height - independent of the number of displayed keys.
Currently, the height is depending on the number of displayed keys (except on the maximum zoom of the stretch range). (My workaround is an individual keyboard settings (e.g. 40 keys))

Is it possible to adjust also the height of the "note sheet"? Especially for iPad, it is important to be able to adjust the height of the different sections (note sheet, falling notes, keyboard) to my personal needs - because the space on the iPad is not too much.

-all other things works perfectly for me... great work!
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

You mean you want to squish the keys down even further? Are you using an external keyboard then? It seems like making the keyboard too much smaller would make it hard to use on the touchscreen.

Otherwise, you can resize the sheet display by pinching it. :D
reinweb
Posts: 10

Post by reinweb »

Nicholas wrote:You mean you want to squish the keys down even further? Are you using an external keyboard then? It seems like making the keyboard too much smaller would make it hard to use on the touchscreen.

Otherwise, you can resize the sheet display by pinching it. :D
yes, I'm using external keyboard, but displaying the screen-keyboard for finding the keys on the "hardware" easier.
currently the screen-keyboard has the following heights:
88 keys ... 25mm
32 keys ... 40mm
25 keys ... 56mm
11 keys ... 56mm
I would appreciate to have for example:
25 keys ... 25mm
32 keys ... 28mm

In consequence, the height of the displayed keyboard should be independent of the number of visible keys (like from 55 keys to 11 keys the height is not increasing, only the width is changing).
In other words, I am asking for a possibility to deselect "asprect ratio" for the screen-keyboard.
koponet
Posts: 4

Post by koponet »

Still running fine with the Yamaha CVP 505 (iPad 3, USB Camera Adapter).
Regarding the business model: I like the idea with the unlocked Midi's, $5.99 to unlock all other Midis is ok, I would even pay more.
One thing is still confusing for me while playing with the iPad instead of the Mac: the size of the Keyboard shown on the iPad. Any chance to get an option NOT to limit the size of this Keyboard to the Scores in the current Midi ? I always like to see the full Keyboard size instead.
Nicholas
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Post by Nicholas »

Tap the little magnifying glass icon and choose "All 88". :D
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

There may be something not quite right with the iPad keyboard display when using My Keyboard for the note range. Since I have a propensity for doing weird things, I'll just report what I saw in the hopes that someone else can either confirm that they also see an odd behavior or report that if you are doing more reasonable things everything works as expected.

First I set the keyboard range of my 88 note keyboard to be only 61 notes.

Next I selected My Keyboard for the keyboard display range. The keyboard remained at 88 notes. I figured out that this was because I had the STK enabled in addition to my MIDI keyboard. So the first question is should the STK be considered as having a note range that affects the My Keyboard range selection?

I then disabled the STK. What was then displayed for the keyboard using My Keyboard for the note range was a larger keyboard (88 note?) with the notes outside the 61 note range darkened, much like the display for setting the keyboard range.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

You are hitting the new zoom cache, I think.

For each of those trials, were you manually selecting the same zoom option again? If not, the zoom will always remain because it "sticks" to whatever it was set to last for a given song/part, as per your campaign. (My first block here described that users might get confused in exactly the way you just got confused.) :lol:

Should any change in any input device's range reset the zoom cache for all songs?
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

Now that I have a bit of insight as to what might be going on, I'll try to test a bit more methodically.

Does leaving the STK enabled affect the My Keyboard zoom? In other words, will My Keyboard always go to 88 keys if the STK is enabled?
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

For now you'll have to disable the STK to have the "My Keyboard" zoom option do anything meaningful. It performs a mathematical union on the range of all your input devices to find out what "My Keyboard" means, and it doesn't discriminate against the STK.

I looked into improving that a week or two ago, but it's more risk than I'm willing to assume this late in the development cycle. (The first release candidate will be going out in a couple hours.)
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

Nicholas wrote:The first release candidate will be going out in a couple hours.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :D
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
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jimhenry
Posts: 1821

Post by jimhenry »

Nicholas wrote:For now you'll have to disable the STK to have the "My Keyboard" zoom option do anything meaningful. It performs a mathematical union on the range of all your input devices to find out what "My Keyboard" means, and it doesn't discriminate against the STK.

I looked into improving that a week or two ago, but it's more risk than I'm willing to assume this late in the development cycle. (The first release candidate will be going out in a couple hours.)
Does having the STK enabled also affect defining notes as being outside the range of your keyboard? I am guessing it does and it would mean that setting a keyboard range is meaningless if the STK is enabled. Could you pop up a warning when someone sets a keyboard range while the STK is enabled? It might say something like:

The Synthesia touch screen keyboard must be disabled as a Music Input Device for the set keyboard range to take effect.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

I believe you are correct. Though I think I'm going to leave it for this first release. I'm counting on 98% of users using the STK exclusively anyway.

Solving that problem, the other related STK + MIDI-keyboard problems, and the general "whenever I move my iPad to or from my keyboard, I have to fiddle with every setting" problem will be best dealt with together and decisively. I am really hesitant to change a single line of code at this point for anything that isn't absolutely critical to avoiding Apple rejections or one-star reviews.

Multi-device support definitely made a few things more awkward, but I'm still happy with where we ended up this time around. Plenty of time to tackle it next time.
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