I've mentioned this a few times now. Even though it's still just some sketches on paper, they just went through something like their third evolution and the changes are even more radical than ever before. (Seriously, the Song setup screen is going to be an order of magnitude simpler... without losing any capability, and only gaining more flexibility. Bold claims!)Nicholas wrote:The Advanced / Simple Song View paradigm is changing. I think I've come up with a neat way to combine a lot of ideas that never really worked on their own into something much simpler. The notion of "Played by Me/Synthesia" and of "Left/Right/Both Hands" will be merging. And the new splitting interface will give you incredibly fine-grained control over all of it.
The scope of the changes is starting to get big though. Like... the current notion of "scoring" along with all the "song progress" stuff will now also be uprooted by this process. The reason I'm taking the time to mention it here is because I'd like to solicit feedback. It's come up before and I'm not sure there is a perfect answer, but I'm wondering:
How would you measure/define what it means to do well (or to "learn") a song?
Is it playing the entire thing at "full" speed without mistakes using a consistent set of fingerings that doesn't change between plays? How many times does that need to be accomplished until you've proven a particular play wasn't just a fluke? What role does melody (correct pitches) vs. rhythm (correct timing) play? (In a perfect world, Synthesia could allow rubato. Certainly a master pianist doesn't stick to the tempo like a metronome. Should Synthesia require it then?)
Here is a scenario involving two songs, each with 50 measures:
- You play Song A one hundred times, each time making a single mistake in a random measure.
- You play Song B one hundred times, each time making a single mistake at the same point in measure 47.
No promises, but there is a chance picking which hand you want to play might be getting pushed right to the play screen(!), meaning you could change it in real-time during practice. This assumes a more reasonable world than Synthesia currently does where it's normal to loop on sections until you get things right, trying it hands-together and hands-apart during that process.
I'm not sure the video-game notion of rhythm practice "points" makes any sense anymore. The direction I am taking Synthesia (my mission statement, if you will) is "the best piano practice tool available". I don't think assigning points to a single beginning-to-end playthrough of a song serves that goal. In fact, I'd like each iteration of those loops to count toward this "progress" metric... for that particular section of the song.
That is, I'm considering tracking this elusive "progress" on a per-measure basis(!) stored across ALL of your plays, including every loop in each of those playthroughs(!!). That seems like more valuable data to me. This change means Synthesia can start to make a distinction between things like "you know the first section of this song really well (and the rest not at all)" vs. "you know all the sections of this song fairly well". (Or, broken down one more level: "you've got the left hand part down-pat in the first section, but the right hand could still use a little work".)
The goal here is to try and get Synthesia to reflect reality a little better, strip out the superfluous metrics, but keep (and strengthen!) the motivational/gamification elements that make playing songs in Synthesia so satisfying today.
This is a great upheaval. I am interested in radical high-level ideas. I'm not so worried about implementation details at the moment. More of a "if we started from scratch, how could we do it better"? What questions do you have that Synthesia could help you answer with data? And which feedback could Synthesia offer that would help guide you the best? Let me hear what you think. Thanks!