Synthesia 0.8.0

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
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HealyHQ
Posts: 8
Location: KY, USA

Post by HealyHQ » 11-18-10 8:37 am

Hello, all!

I've been following Synthesia for a very long time now (since 2009!), lurking amongst the shadows as an anonymous guest, silently rooting for Nicholas through his many updates over the months. I recently got an account on the forums, but still continued to remain a lurker (that is, until now, I suppose!) ;)

Ever since I was a kid (I'm currently 19 though, so I guess some people would still consider me a "kid" :P ), it has been one of my many dreams to play a musical instrument. I feel like I have so much music in my head, but no way at all to get it out in a form that people can actually enjoy. I've tried many of them (Recorder in elementary school,Trumpet in Band class in 6th grade, picked up a guitar my senior year of high school, intermittent experiments with those of the 'unorthodox' or 'relatively unknown to the mainstream' variety ( the Erhu (most folks have probably only heard it when dining at a Chinese restaurant), the Ocarina (that most only know exist because of a certain Nintendo video game), and other instruments that most people don't even know exist (but still produce some very beautiful and unique sounds))) but always had a problem with "sticking to it," you know? It's very difficult to stay motivated when no matter how hard you try to drive forward, it seems like you're just 'spinning your tires in the mud' so to speak. It was very depressing to me, to see so much work put into something, but no reward for it all. Rather disheartening, to say the least.

But with the development of new platforms and the evolution of old platforms, I am beginning to finally have hope that even I, a cloud-chaser in the truest sense of the word, may be able to make beautiful music one day. With the release of Rock Band 3 (I've been playing the Rock Band franchise of games since its first installment (I'm quite the avid gamer, you know (well, maybe you didn't know (you do now! :lol:)))) and its "Pro Mode," with its ability to possibly teach a person how to play (or at least learn the fundamentals) of several instruments, I have been inspired to pick up my guitar again, and am currently saving up for the game and the pro guitar MIDI controller. I love games almost as much as I love music, and bringing the two of them together like Harmonix has with Rock Band 3 is immensely exciting to me! A game with goals/achievements and scores that allow me to track my progress in a way I've never been able to do before is just what I need to give me the motivation to stick with learning and practicing an instrument.

But there is also another game/learning tool that has inspired me. Can you guess what it is? It begins with an 'S' and it's not Spaghetti. ;)

I've decided to also save up my precious pennies for a keyboard and Synthesia (along with Synthesia's "Learning Pack" so I can get the most from the software). I've been researching various keyboards for several days now, and have settled on the Casio WK-500 as my keyboard of choice to begin learning on. It seems to have the most 'bang for your buck' in terms of features, and I love how the keys are stylized to appear as acoustic piano keys (a nice touch, aesthetically). I also did a search for the Casio WK series here on the Synthesia forums to see if they were compatible (which they are (yay!)).

Like I said before, I've been following Synthesia for quite some time, and I absolutely love what you've been doing with it, Nicholas. I am actually really excited to see just how far you can take it. I've seen that you've been going after the "Rock Band crowd" ever since you learned Harmonix were releasing a Keyboard peripheral, and have been doing so with such vigor (even at the expense of your own personal life! :o (Such admirable dedication!)) that it's just impossible to ignore the amazing progress you've made! I'm not honestly sure how you'll do in catching any drifters from the Rock Band scene (they are quite a fickle bunch (I should know; I've been a member of their forums for years), but I wish you luck nonetheless. It is most certainly going to be quite the undertaking. I'll, of course, continue to follow you and your work as a fan and lend possible ideas (I have spent all my stars in voting for features to tackle in 2011) regardless. (Hey, I've made it this far, haven't I? (And I've never even played a piano before! ;) ))

I'm really excited to begin learning in the near future. I don't have any way to take formal lessons or anything like that, so Synthesia will be my one and only source of knowledge and instruction. Even so, I am sure that with dedication and lots of practice, I will still be able to achieve great things. Wish me luck! :D

I will also be wishing you luck in your current venture and future endeavors, my friend. You are doing a really great thing here, and I want you to know that -- even though I haven't actually used your software (yet) -- I, and I'm sure many, many others too, are very appreciative of your hard work and dedication to your craft.

Oh, wow! Look at this glorious wall of text I have built! :roll: Sorry about that; I have an infamous (amongst my peers) habit of rambling on and on like this at great length. My apologies. :lol:

I'm sure you're sick of hearing (reading) me talk (type) after all of this (I guess I made my first post count, huh?) You will probably hear back from me again once I've acquired the WK-500 keyboard and set off on my Synthesia adventure! :D

Until then, keep doin' what you do, man! :)

~ HealyHQ :ugeek:
~ Robert B. Healy III
My Blog: http://HealyHQ.com

"Well it's not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life." -- Train

Nicholas
Posts: 12289

Post by Nicholas » 11-18-10 12:18 pm

Hey Healy... or Robert, I guess, unless that's too weird... but it is right there in your signature link. :D Anyway, welcome to, uh... being a poster on the forums. I guess you've been here a while otherwise.

That was a great story. I hope Synthesia is what you're looking for. I still haven't even booted Rock Band 3 up yet(!) if only because I've been working on 0.8.0 and now the online scoreboard display stuff, but I've heard that's pretty good too. These types of interactive platforms really start to feel like the future, don't they? Maybe someday Synthesia will get the rest of the way there.

Thanks for the positive wishes. And definitely post around here more often. Now that you're not a lurker anymore, don't be a lurker. ;)

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HealyHQ
Posts: 8
Location: KY, USA

Post by HealyHQ » 11-19-10 3:51 am

Oh, yeah, call me Robert, by all means! That is my name after all. :D Thank you for the warm welcome.

You know, you're right; I should post around here more often. I can't tell you the number of times I've felt compelled to make an account and perk up in a thread. But it just felt weird to me in that, I didn't want to suddenly appear from nowhere with nothing of interest to say. Really, most of the time, even though I would probably end up typing a lot, it would only amount to maybe a, "Yes, I agree. That's a great idea!" or, "I'm not sure how such a thing would work out, but it certainly sounds interesting!" Or the occasional pop-culture reference that some folks make, and I just wanna post a link to a cool and/or funny video that relates to it. Ultimately, I wouldn't really have all that much to say, though my word count would allude otherwise.

I think Synthesia is really something special, and definitely something I would love to play with. I'm sure it's probably more than what I'm looking for. And the fact that it can only get better, makes it even better! :lol: I think it's the kind of thing where, the more I use it, the more I'll get out of it, you know? Not just in musical skill, but also, as I gain that skill, I would grow into some of the more advanced features Synthesia has to offer. It would be like, the better I get, the better Synthesia gets.

I don't even own Rock Band 3 yet, but I've heard great things about it from both reviewers, and the members of the RB Community. Though I do believe it needs to be patched, and quick. There are a couple game-breaking bugs that somehow got through, and it's been causing a bit of trouble for some folks. Luckily, there seem to be work-arounds to not experience them, or to at least lower their frequency. HMX said they are looking into them and are actively trying to get rid of those pesky bugs as we speak.

You're very welcome! I will try to maybe become a little more active in the Synthesia community, though I don't have much to say at the moment. I have a feeling I'll be posting much more once I actually have a keyboard and actively playing Synthesia. :)

~ Robert :ugeek:
~ Robert B. Healy III
My Blog: http://HealyHQ.com

"Well it's not just a daydream if you decide to make it your life." -- Train

Kasper
Posts: 149
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands

Post by Kasper » 11-29-10 10:20 am

The loop function doesn't work properly in this version.
If you loop x measures, it doesn't stay in beat. If pauses a tiny moment if it repeats.
English was my worst subject on school, so my language could be a bit awkward sometimes...

Nicholas
Posts: 12289

Post by Nicholas » 12-02-10 3:09 am

Kasper wrote:If you loop x measures, it doesn't stay in beat. If pauses a tiny moment if it repeats.
So, I made a little fix to make sure Synthesia didn't cut off a (typically unquantized) note at the start of a measure by not rewinding far enough. If you open the config tool, go to the advanced section and set "Gameplay.LoopExtraRollback" down to a small number (say, "1"), does the little pause go away?

At the default setting, it will roll back an extra 50ms (the 50000 number in the config tool is in microseconds, not milliseconds). 50ms should be close to undetectable, but I suppose if you're listening for it you'll notice it. It might be a little too strong. Something like 5000 (or 5ms) might be safer and most-likely totally undetectable.

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jimhenry
Posts: 1789
Location: Illinois

Post by jimhenry » 12-02-10 3:18 am

The rule of thumb that I've heard is that delays of about 20 mSec. are perceptible to most people.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.VirtualOrgan.com/

Kasper
Posts: 149
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands

Post by Kasper » 12-03-10 6:06 am

Ah, that's great.

I can detect it easily at 50 ms.
English was my worst subject on school, so my language could be a bit awkward sometimes...

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