10 Preview r2840 - Quality of Life 3

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 06-17-14 2:20 pm

PREVIEW r2840
Download from the pink box above.



REMEMBER: Your data isn't missing! Development previews store their data in a different place! See this post.

LABEL IMPROVEMENTS
  • Keyboard and falling note labels are now easier to read. (The ugly circles are gone.)
  • Labels now scale up with keyboard zoom level.
  • On small notes, labels now center themselves nicely.
BOOKMARK IMPROVEMENTS
  • Added new "MIDI Markers" bookmark type, including the text from the MIDI file.
  • Added new "Key signature" bookmark type, auto-generated by key changes in a song.
  • Bookmark editing mode lets you toggle the visibility of each bookmark type independently.
  • Whenever key signature bookmarks are enabled, the current song key is shown in the bottom left corner, above the keyboard.
  • All loop and bookmark shortcuts now recognize and treat all bookmark types equally.
LOOP IMPROVEMENTS
  • The falling note area shows repeating loops correctly!
  • In loop editing mode, you can add an adjustable delay between loops.
  • The current loop is now saved for each song.
FINGER SUBSTITUTION HINTS
  • Look for the '+' in the finger hint assignment pop-up. Selecting it will add another hint that can be changed independently of the first. This kind of hint indicates the finger holding that piano key should transition to the other finger without releasing the key.
MIDI IMPROVEMENTS
  • Music output "Notes" has been split into "My Notes" and "Background Instruments" to give you control over your keyboard's duplicate notes.
  • Music output devices have a new "Prevent 'local' notes" option as an alternative solution to the duplicate notes problem.
  • Music output devices now have a master enabled/disabled toggle so you don't have to micromanage the individual (notes, metronome, percussion, etc.) settings whenever you just want to quickly switch devices.
OTHER CHANGES
  • On tablets, off-screen notes are now considered "out of range" for the purposes of the "Notes Outside My Range" Gameplay setting. That is, the virtual piano's note range is determined dynamically based on the current screen zoom level.
  • Advanced "Gameplay.AllowFanfare" setting that can be disabled to prevent the fanfare song and confetti from happening after finishing a song.
  • Advanced "Metronome.LatencyOffsetUs" setting to push the metronome ticks forward or backward some number of microseconds, to better compensate for latency between your (piano-only) keyboard and the built-in synth.
  • The config tool now only shows settings that cannot be set inside Synthesia, which shortens the Advanced list considerably.
  • The config tool's advanced settings list is now alphabetized.
  • Added a loading screen in places where long (MIDI loading) operations were taking place in the UI thread. (The iPad terminates apps that hang the UI thread for long periods of time. This solves that problem.)
  • Synthesia can now load (incredibly rare) SMPTE MIDI files. However, sheet music cannot be generated for them.
  • The "--bookmark-count" command line option was a casualty of an under-the-hood technology change and has been removed.
  • Known issue: There is a bug that prevents assigning finger hints to notes inside future loop iterations.
Alright, it feels really good to get all of those off the task list! Some of that stuff has been waiting more than four years to see the light of day. This is probably my favorite preview since The Big One before the first iPad release.

It's finally time to do track splitting and release this thing!

pariah
Posts: 17

Post by pariah » 06-17-14 5:21 pm

finger substitutions is the feature i was most excited about,
but the loop function looks so great, i think it's my favorite as well.
for ipad, i'm really happy the shortcuts have been improved.

...and thanks for metadata bookmark fix.
i like how the bookmark text fades away when the key signature passes.

Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 » 06-21-14 2:12 pm

There is a bug when displaying multiple fast notes, they don't show as played on the virtual keyboard but they do show if you pause at one of those notes individually

Here is a video of it

http://youtu.be/wqKyhxiCcXw


Also even though no black circle behind the notes makes it look professional and fancy, the bright green behind the note makes it quite difficult for me to follow the rapidly moving notes, would it be possible to toggle the black background behind the notes on and off?

EDIT: I just tried to play a few songs and holy crap my eyes and head hurts from trying to focus so hard on reading the notes..

EDIT2: I forgot i mention, all the features look amazing, especially the scales/bookmark thing, great job with all the improvements.

lbphelan
Posts: 2

Post by lbphelan » 06-22-14 10:47 am

Wow - I love Synthesia so much! Thank you for all your continuing hard work on this great programme and for helping me learn to play the piano. I'm most looking forward to using the loop features of this preview. All I would say is that, personally, I prefer the previous note labels, and if there was an option to select those I would probably use it. And also that on the main page before you actually start playing, where you select who plays what instruments etc, the text is sometimes a bit jagged and wonkaloid on my macbook. Thanks again for a brilliant programme though!

qwertyo76
Posts: 22

Post by qwertyo76 » 06-23-14 3:32 pm

Ooo. I love all these changes.

Nicholas
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 06-23-14 6:55 pm

Birdman87 wrote:There is a bug when displaying multiple fast notes...
This is a consequence of the technology that adds a gap between consecutive notes (see this video at 2:50), but I agree the behavior is a little strange. A workaround today would be to adjust the "Gameplay.ForcedBreakBetweenNotes" advanced setting down to 0. That would make consecutive notes look like a single long note again, but it will solve what you're running into.

Still, let me see if I can't improve the technology a little more. The new effects "cooldown" shouldn't fire when the note is pressed, but instead when it's released. That would let the first short note show up correctly but subsequent very-short notes would still be cut off. In the case of a note-run or scale like you showed, it would work perfectly again. And that's probably the most common broken case today, so it's worth a little extra effort to make it better.
Birdman87 wrote:... the bright green behind the note makes it quite difficult for me to follow the rapidly moving notes...
I wonder if a heavier outline isn't a good answer. Essentially the black circles were a huge outline (that looked bad). Perhaps meeting somewhere in the middle will help the readability. Another workaround in the meantime: tap page-down a couple times to squish things a little. That makes the perceived falling note speed a little slower and makes hints a lot easier to read.

Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 » 06-24-14 12:29 am

Nicholas wrote: This is a consequence of the technology that adds a gap between consecutive notes (see this video at 2:50), but I agree the behavior is a little strange. A workaround today would be to adjust the "Gameplay.ForcedBreakBetweenNotes" advanced setting down to 0. That would make consecutive notes look like a single long note again, but it will solve what you're running into.

Still, let me see if I can't improve the technology a little more. The new effects "cooldown" shouldn't fire when the note is pressed, but instead when it's released. That would let the first short note show up correctly but subsequent very-short notes would still be cut off. In the case of a note-run or scale like you showed, it would work perfectly again. And that's probably the most common broken case today, so it's worth a little extra effort to make it better.
Hmm, i have an ideea for this, could you maybe make the code specify that if a note is too short and a too fast speed and too close together that feature is disabled for those notes? seems like an ugly hack but you can't have a break when you have slides, most of them even overlap so breaks would be a bad idea
Nicholas wrote: I wonder if a heavier outline isn't a good answer. Essentially the black circles were a huge outline (that looked bad). Perhaps meeting somewhere in the middle will help the readability. Another workaround in the meantime: tap page-down a couple times to squish things a little. That makes the perceived falling note speed a little slower and makes hints a lot easier to read.
I thought about a heavier outline, but you would need a VERY thick ugly outline to make the bright colors behind the note names not mess with your eyes, i know the black circle behind the notes is very ugly but it made the notes very readable.
I have an idea though, what about making the entire tip of the note greyed out? like a perfect rectangle, would be a bit easier to scale with the note, the one problem is the very very small notes, they would all be basically greyed out. This should probably be a feature that can be turned off, some people might not like the look of it.
Another option would be to mess with the color of the notes alltogether, make the note names and outline sorta match the note color so it's less strain on the eyes with that bright color in the background.

EDIT: I just thought of another thing, what about an option in the settings to scale the border as much as the user wants? the maximum being that circle

Nicholas
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-01-14 1:48 am

I have an idea I'd like to try that should help the outlines. It will hopefully allow them to be thicker without becoming too hideous.

pariah
Posts: 17

Post by pariah » 07-03-14 6:33 pm

even when there is no key signature event in the midi, synthesia shows c-major.
i think that should be fixed for pieces that modulate too much to assign a specific key.

edit: or atonal music.

Nicholas
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-04-14 2:14 am

Hmm. This gets tricky because Synthesia only knows what the MIDI file tells it explicitly. Many pieces (e.g., many of those included with Synthesia) don't contain any key signature MIDI events, at which point the MIDI standard dictates they are to be considered as C Major by default.

This is why I left a way to toggle the visibility of the key name: by hiding Key Signature bookmarks from the bookmark menu. At least in those cases you specified or simply where the MIDI author has omitted that particular detail, the mistake can be hidden.

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-09-14 3:17 am

Looping preview on falling notes looks great, the removed under the hood is no problem, can be solved externally, using Keykit for example. Probably I was the only person who used it, in the last time I had no time using Synthesia anyway. If I would want to use this feature hardly with Synthesia only, I can anyway use the older versions. The train has to move on.

slash8789
Posts: 90

Post by slash8789 » 07-15-14 8:10 am

Great to see my Finger substitution suggestion has made its way into Synthesia. I haven't been able to use it yet but, later in the year I'll hopefully get back into practicing myself.

Now all that is left is to be able to put Pedal markings and this software will be pretty much complete. With so many new features, you really need to develop an instruction guide.

Nicholas
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-15-14 6:20 pm

slash8789 wrote:With so many new features, you really need to develop an instruction guide.
I agree! :D

After Synthesia 10 goes out the door, we'll be developing a new section on the website with video tutorials. The appropriate videos will eventually be linked right in the Synthesia interface, so users will be able to find them easily.

deed02392
Posts: 38

Post by deed02392 » 07-19-14 12:57 pm

RIDICULOUSLY excited for track splitting.

advalencia
Posts: 37

Post by advalencia » 07-20-14 9:07 am

I've been trying the new version, haven't seen any bugs yet.
I really like the idea of waiting before loops feature, but it throws off my timing, could it be changed to number of beats instead of a free in between cycle? if you can keep the metronome running during the pause that would be even better.
Is it possible to make the letter grades optional?
Thanks a lot for the awesome work.

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jimhenry
Posts: 1815
Location: Illinois

Post by jimhenry » 07-20-14 11:54 am

I haven't tried the new version since I am an iPad user. However, I agree that the beat must be kept perfectly on time when looping even if one or more empty measures are inserted into the loop. In the release version there is a slight hiccup at the moment of the loop repeat and it is very disconcerting.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-20-14 12:14 pm

How was the looping in the past? Better?

Nicholas
Posts: 12440

Post by Nicholas » 07-20-14 1:42 pm

jimhenry wrote:I haven't tried the new version since I am an iPad user...
Assuming you're still using the same iPad as a couple years ago, if you check TestFlight there should be a build available. (I was working with someone via email on an iPad issue recently and when I pushed the build for them, I left the checkbox next to your name because I knew you were primarily an iPad user.)
TonE wrote:How was the looping in the past? Better?
They're talking about a new feature that lets you add a delay between successive loops. In the past, no delay was possible, so this wasn't an issue that could have come up.

In any event, I do agree. Instead of a smooth slider, it could have a few different stops that would mean "X beats of delay".

TonE
Synthesia Donor
Posts: 1180

Post by TonE » 07-20-14 4:36 pm

I see, most would set to 4 beats I guess, but who knows.

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jimhenry
Posts: 1815
Location: Illinois

Post by jimhenry » 07-20-14 5:33 pm

Nicholas wrote:In the past, no delay was possible, so this wasn't an issue that could have come up.
Oh yes it was! I only recently started making heavy use of looping. It was on something where rhythm was what I was working on and there is a fraction of a beat error at the "splice point" of the loop. I think the time from the last beat to the first beat is just a bit longer, but it could shorter. All I know for sure is it is off because I am off beat when the loop restarts. I didn't submit this as a bug because I knew you were well into ver. 10 with significant changes in this are so I figured I'd wait and see if it had been taken care as part of those changes.

I am setting up Test Flight now.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/

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