8.4 Preview r2193 - Smooth Scrolling Library

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

PREVIEW r2193
Download from the pink box above.

Changes in r2193 since r2154:
  • Smooth scrolling song list.
  • Learning Pack demo songs are now indicated right in the song library instead of on the Learning Pack page.
  • Restarting the song using the "Previous Bookmark" button now adds some lead-in time and correctly resets stats.
  • Off-screen note markers are now only shown for Played by Me notes.
  • Zoom is now remembered per configuration (left, right, both, or advanced), per song, inside a single play session.
  • New button on the Music Devices screen to send you to the Keyboards page on the site for troubleshooting.
  • Dragging loop boundaries no longer also scrolls the song.
  • Sliders (difficulty, rating, volume, song position) shouldn't behave poorly when you drag outside their bounds anymore.
It took a few years but the song library finally scrolls smoothly again. Only this time we've got the best of both worlds: it's still backed by a database, too. So you should be able to have thousands and thousands of songs in there and still have everything be super smooth.

It doesn't look much different on the surface, but there are now a few new layers of weird caching that were needed to make it run as smoothly as it does. The inner-workings are kind of intricate, so I wanted to get this in your hands to mess around with right away. This is really late in the development cycle for me to be introducing so much new, untested code. So it's scary for me! :lol:

Try to find those bugs! :D
Requiem
Posts: 4

Post by Requiem »

Hi, when I return to the song list from viewing/playing a song the list always starts from the top. It would be nice if the last position in the song list would be remembered.
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

Yeah, it's kind of a tricky technical problem to find out where it is in the list (when the list can potentially be thousands of songs long). I decided to keep the behavior the same as it was when it was page-based for now. One work-around is to use the search box a little more liberally and then your songs are usually on the first page anyway. :lol:
maccer
Posts: 222

Post by maccer »

Hm, I would rather have it remember my position than have the smooth scrolling. I don't understand, why is it so hard to solve? Can't you just know what position your last chosen song had and center the list on that song when the song library reloads?
Songs learned using Synthesia:
CT: Wind Scene, The Trial | FF7: Prelude | SMB: Overworld, Underwater | Tetris: Theme A | Zelda: Lost Woods | Other: Für Elise
Requiem
Posts: 4

Post by Requiem »

Well, yes. To find my songs I would make use of the ratings I think (with the corresponding sort function). Then you are right. ;-)

It was just, that I was browsing 'all songs' to find out which song would be fun to try out and I wanted to see the 'fingering' for the difficulty. But I think in that case (browsing) I have to be more or less satisfied with the sound preview. Which is OK I think. ;-)

But to center the last song, like maccer said might be also a nice solution.
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

maccer wrote:Hm, I would rather have it remember my position than have the smooth scrolling.
Well... it's not really a trade-off. The last version had neither. This version has one of the two. Eventually we can get two of two.

There are lots of reasons it might not be on the same page. Two common ones: the library was still populating (in the case of lots of songs) when you picked your song. Or, you may have removed some files via something like iTunes File Sharing (on the iPad version) at some point since you were last in the library. (The lifetime of Synthesia on that platform can be weeks long because it just sits quietly in the background when you're not using it.)

Anyway, it's something I'll get to someday. Just not today. I am happy with the smooth scrolling though. ;)
davemac1
Posts: 31

Post by davemac1 »

Latest version all seems to work great so far. Song scrolling is perfect. As some one else said it would be nice if the library list remembered where it was parked when you return to it
after a song, but as you say this is the same on the desktop version.
On a personal note my Yamaha GT2A which can only receive midi on chan 1, I will still have the same problems as the destop version ie can't hear both hands etc ? I guess there is no work around for this on Ipad version ? The workaround on pc was to use loopbe etc or edit the midi file .
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

davemac1 wrote:I guess there is no work around for this on Ipad version ?
Outside of editing the file, no. :(

The iPad version is going to be the start of a strong argument for putting those sorts of customization right inside Synthesia. I've been happy to rely on cool third-party tools in the past, but like you said: those tools don't exist on that platform (or any of the others I might go someday, like Android).

This starts to get a little convoluted, but you can use the "Network MIDI" feature built into the iPad to build a big device chain that includes your computer and any third party tools along with it. It might look something like this:

Yamaha GT2A ---[USB/adapter to your computer]---> Something like MIDI-OX ---[LoopBe1]---> rtpMIDI ---[WiFi to iPad]---> Synthesia ---> (and all the way back...)
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jimhenry
Posts: 1821

Post by jimhenry »

davemac1 wrote:On a personal note my Yamaha GT2A which can only receive midi on chan 1, I will still have the same problems as the destop version ie can't hear both hands etc ? I guess there is no work around for this on Ipad version ? The workaround on pc was to use loopbe etc or edit the midi file .
If you have Local On you'll hear the hands you're playing without the intervention of Synthesia. The issue would be hearing a part Synthesia is playing for you, either the other hand for piano or accompaniment tracks. I gather all the GT2A can do is receive on Ch 1 and play a piano sound? I believe Synthesia mostly plays parts on the MIDI channel on which they appear in the MIDI file. So I think what you'd want is for Synthesia to remap the piano part it is playing to Ch1 so you can hear it through the GT2A.

MIDI remapping can get complicated. There are MIDI files that use all or most of the MIDI channels and some change instruments on a channel part way through the song. Files like these would wrek havoc with remapping. I think Synthesia for the iPad might have to forego such features to avoid overly complicating the app. There are going to be users who need a more flexible environment than can reasonably be managed on an iPad.

The iPad soft synth is pretty good so hearing the parts played by Synthesia through a seperate sound system connected to the iPad and skipping the Music Output to the GT2A isn't out of the question.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
kiwi
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

Well i just need to dl the pink preview and load my monstruous midi-library
Feedback soon ;)

Ok the library is smooth very good!
But what database? if i restart synthesia it rescanning for songs.

By the way i love the new keyboard picture!
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

I'm using SQLite internally, but it keeps the database entirely in memory (so it has to be rebuilt each time you start Synthesia). I tried putting it on the disk but things got a lot slower. I'm going to see if there isn't some way to read/write to a file at startup/shutdown but otherwise keep it in memory the rest of the time. That would work nicely.

There is a bit more work to do beyond that like rescanning silently in the background to see if anything changed since the last time you started Synthesia. But otherwise, we're pretty close to a solution that just works for everybody now: large and small libraries alike. Especially with the "All Songs (grouped by folder)" auto-grouping thing introduced in 8.4.

Still, we're in a better place than we've ever been before. I am happier every day with how this huge release is turning out. To think that it's going to debut on the front page of the site in a couple weeks is very exciting.
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jimhenry
Posts: 1821

Post by jimhenry »

Smooth scrolling feels great on the iPad.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
kiwi
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1178

Post by kiwi »

ah ok it's just in memory but no problem it's smooth so it's ok.
Yep the website need some cosmetics on it 0.83 is ridiculous compared to the 0.84 new features :)
one things too when a major version 0.83=>0.84 is out maybe a mail for peopple who buy a license.
For me it's ok i live on this forum but for others...
Ex rayzoon software have just emailed me for a new version of jamstix ...
davemac1
Posts: 31

Post by davemac1 »

jimhenry wrote:
davemac1 wrote:On a personal note my Yamaha GT2A which can only receive midi on chan 1, I will still have the same problems as the destop version ie can't hear both hands etc ? I guess there is no work around for this on Ipad version ? The workaround on pc was to use loopbe etc or edit the midi file .
The iPad soft synth is pretty good so hearing the parts played by Synthesia through a seperate sound system connected to the iPad and skipping the Music Output to the GT2A isn't out of the question.
Thanks Jim. I assume you mean by using soft synth that I would need to take audio output via headphone socket on iPad to a sound system ? I agree that would work but then I end up
with lots of wires etc. I only play piano music so I guess it might be easier to remap my midi files as they generally have only 2 chans but I have a lot of them !
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jimhenry
Posts: 1821

Post by jimhenry »

Yes, you do need to do something with the iPad sound. It is pretty anemic without an external sound system. If creating a rat's nest of wires is a concern, maybe some effort spent on cable management would solve the problem. There are a lot of things sold to keep home theatre setups tidy. I would guess you can't use Synthesia's metronome as things stand. Using the iPad sound would let you use the metronome.

I think there is software that will do MIDI file "reworking" in bulk. The problem with merging MIDI channels in the files is that you lose the split between the hands in Synthesia.

You can remap MIDI channels with hardware:
http://www.midisolutions.com/prodevp.htm
But you still have the metronome and non-piano sound issues.

All in all, I'd probably figure out some way to deal with the iPad sound. My keyboard has Line Inputs and I just ordered a cable to connect the iPad audio to those inputs. Then I can deal with the keyboard plus iPad sound together, either through headphones or via Line Out to speakers. (My keyboard doesn't have internal speakers.)
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
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Pianokid0051
Posts: 1

Post by Pianokid0051 »

This one is better. Added the smooth scrolling with your mouse cursor is great (is it that feature or is it another one). A bit easier for scrolling, not to go to the edge and scroll from there. Can't wait for you (Nicholas) to add more features to it. :D
sirknight
Posts: 75

Post by sirknight »

haven't even finished flogging the previous revision yet :lol:

the slightly transparent particles seem to be much better now... they don't FEEL as intrusive/obstructive as they did before... meaning I don't get a nagging urge in the back of my mind to turn them off again, but it could very much just be placebo.

Is there a way to completely reset the options? Where's the config file? I'd like to wipe all the configs for 2193 to see if it's some goofy data causing my key issue.
Pianotehead
Posts: 321

Post by Pianotehead »

Synthesia r2193 crashed the first time I ran it on my laptop, my screen just went black and I had to force reboot. Next time it ran without problems. Don't know if the way I set it up is problematic, I replaced the old .exe files of Synthesia and SynthesiaConfig (0.8.3) with the r2193 .exe files, so I don't have to have two versions of Synthesia.
Nicholas
Posts: 12471

Post by Nicholas »

sirknight wrote:Is there a way to completely reset the options? Where's the config file? I'd like to wipe all the configs for 2193 to see if it's some goofy data causing my key issue.
Go to the Advanced section in the Synthesia Configuration tool and there is a little button in the corner that will open Synthesia's data folder. You can delete settings.xml (or rename it) to reset most settings. Wipe the whole folder to start from scratch like Synthesia had never been installed on your computer.

Though if you mess with settings.xml, you'll have to re-enter your Learning Pack key if you have one.
Pianotehead wrote:Synthesia r2193 crashed the first time I ran it on my laptop, my screen just went black and I had to force reboot.
Hrm. It should run just fine when replacing your .exe's. There aren't any upgrade steps or anything like that. It's a shame it hung, too... that doesn't usually generate a crash report on your desktop. Those are really useful in tracking down problems.
Korados
Posts: 62

Post by Korados »

Hello Nicholas,

thank you very much for the new revision! The smooth scrolling is much more convenient to browse through my big MIDI library!

But I have one complaint: Why did you restrict the offset note markers just for Played by Me notes? I use Synthesia
only to listen and watch to music and really liked them because I could see the ranges of the instruments. As you can't
scroll lower than A0, it would be much better to place them in again because, like I said, there are MIDIs I have which
go down to G-1 or up to D8. That's my opinion about this. ;)
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