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Postby martin » 05-27-16 11:55 am

I posted this feature request couple of years ago
Currently you have good control over your midi file in the advanced view. Color, played by, mute/sounded etc are all good tools that can be used creatively teaching students.
Once you want to share this (letting students see the midi file the same way at home), you face difficulties..
The metadata editor was a great step towards sharing files. In order to fullfil this jouney I hope you to will make the modes (SHOWN, HIDDEN, SOUNDED, MUTED) from the advanced view controllable from there.

Currently the only way to control the order of the different tracks is to control the average note pitch on each track. This being the case I have added a bunch of notes to the end of each track to control color and to make it sharable. All though it is not the prettiest solution it works and is really not a problem.

If I want to be able to share SHOWN, HIDDEN, SOUNDED, MUTED I have realized that I might have to have it developed myself this beeing a advanced feature request .

Here is my question:

I always use 10 tracks and 3,4, 9,10 are always muted and shown. The rest of the tracks are alway
sounded and hidden

This always beeing case could one make a on time metadata file that I could paste into my song folders telling synthesia to make this excact configuration?

The other solution would be to develop the metadata editor include control over SHOWN, HIDDEN, SOUNDED, MUTED but that is perhaps a bigger development task.

Please let me know. I need this function feature very much!

Thanks in advance!
Posts: 45

Postby Nicholas » 05-30-16 10:08 am

martin wrote:I always use 10 tracks and 3,4, 9,10 are always muted and shown. The rest of the tracks are always sounded and hidden

If you could, I'd love to hear a little more about this very specific use of MIDI files. What are the notes in 3, 4, 9, and 10 showing to the user?
Posts: 11798

Postby martin » 06-02-16 11:42 am

Hi Nicholas!
I use "shown and muted" tracks for a number of things. If you teach 14 pupils at the same time it nice to have an indicator on where to put your efforts at different times.
If a pupil is playing a difficult rythmical part I will then have the highest black key (that is seldomly used) show a continues light. That way I can from a distance get an instant overview on which pupils I need to support and have better effeciancy in my teaching.

Another thing would be that pupils often cognitively will understand seperated lights better than legato lights. However if you want to have a legato/slurred sound file you will need to have one track for sound (sounded and hidden) and another for lights (shown and muted)

A third thing could be if you do ear training for beginners. You can play them a short piece of melody (sounded not shown). At the same time (or right after) you can have the cluster of notes that the melody uses lighting red and the student should try to play back the melody.

The advanced mode really makes it possible for you to be creative in use of Synthesia as a teacher and makes it a great tool.

Here is my problem:
Once I have made a midi file I will test on the kids and see what works and what doesn´t. After that I will change the midi file and try it again.
Everytime I make even a small change in the midi file I will have to set up which tracks I want muted,sounded and so on. That is a tiresome job if you have 14 tablets and and and a growing song library. Having a meta data file that could control these things would be so much better. That would also make possible to share midi teaching files so that the kids can practise at home.

Posts: 45

Postby Nicholas » 06-04-16 3:29 pm

Wow, you've found a lot of really interesting ways to use Synthesia! This is easily my favorite kind of feedback and it's been a long time since I've heard from someone with so much of it. :)

Your description reminded me of an ancient feature that may have been able to solve your problem immediately. I just checked and -- this is embarrassing -- we recently removed it because it was getting trickier to support as time went on and virtually no one knew it existed, let alone used it.

Instead of metadata, there used to be a command-line interface to Synthesia. You could start the app with little snippets like "channel 2 should be shown/hidden". It was strange because it's really a per-song setting, but you can only give that directive when the app first started. So it was only applied to the first song that played. This led to making individual batch-files for each song that would only play the song once and quit Synthesia immediately. Very rough around the edges. It also operated on MIDI channels (which are different than tracks), which weren't referred to anywhere else. Each of those rough edges made it trickier to tip-toe around in the code. Eventually the extra cost of the development maintenance outweighed its rare usefulness.

At least the first use-case is a bit of an abuse that would be better served by a dedicated feature. I don't know how much use Synthesia's sheet music is seeing in your classroom, but would something like highlighter tape (third picture down) serve that need a little better? Those types of highlight annotations would be a good candidate for metadata.

The 2nd use case is a little trickier. If you force the MIDI pedal events, you can get away with short notes but long sound. It's a little more fiddling around in the MIDI editor, but it should have the desired effect with just a single MIDI track.

The 3rd should happen automatically if you're setting the left/right hands via metadata. Background tracks are hidden by default. You'd just leave your ear-training tracks assigned as "background" and sounded/hidden should happen automatically.
Posts: 11798

Postby martin » 06-06-16 5:53 pm

Hi Nicholas!
Thank you for your respons!
I appriciate your interest and your ideas for solving my problems within the current features of Synthesia.

Using hand parts in the meta editor is at great way to control which tracks I want "sounded and hidden" (background tracks) and which I want "sounded and shown" (left or right hand parts).
As for the tracks i need to be "muted and shown" I am, although you have good workarounds in 2 of the cases, still in need of way to control this.

From your respons I gather that you do not see a way for me to have programmer solve this issue for me, modding the metadata editor (please correct if I am wrong)

I therefore have another and hopefully simpler idea:

Can I turn down the volume on the tracks I want muted to 0 in my midi editor or will that not affect the volume in Synthesia. I think I remember testing this a few years ago with success but I cannot get it to work now.

If not could you see a developer making this possible?

Appriciate any thoughts on this!
Posts: 45

Postby Nicholas » 06-20-16 2:10 pm

Sorry for the wait on this -- I remember reading it and thought I'd already responded!

The bad news is that the behavior you're looking to change is controlled via Synthesia's source code. So, an external programmer without access to the source wouldn't be able to change it. The closest I can think of for a workaround is really awful: using something like AutoHotkey to simulate all those clicks (very quickly) for you. It would mean a fixed window size and an especially brittle AHK script with exact pixel locations, but you could assign the script to a single key press and it could probably get the job done in under a second.

Regarding track volume, this is definitely a cleaner solution. You could either set the note velocities to 1 (a velocity of 0 actually means "this is the end of a note") or you could add a "Channel volume" meta event that sets the whole channel to zero volume. Depending on your MIDI editor, that could be very easy or very complicated. Something like Sekaiju should be able to do it.
Posts: 11798

Postby martin » 06-22-16 7:32 pm

Thanks for all your feed back!
I have tested the track volume solution and it works good!
Have some problems with the metadata editor importing handparts though. I posted it in the help thread viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7882.
Posts: 45

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