Better sound quality / optimal zoom option

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Posts: 3

Post by Chatty » 09-22-10 5:16 pm

At first I must say Synthesia looks real good to me. I got noticed about it in a german magazine called c't (issue 07/10). I recently bought a MIDI2USB adapter for my cheap keyboard.

But I played a lot PianoMan on the iPhone before. v1 has some great classical tracks as well as a hell of sound engine. Current v3 has got other tracks, either too difficult or too easy but the sound enginge is even greater.

However, its tracks are plain MIDI files. Thus I loaded my current favorite track into Synthesia and I almost wanted to p*ke. Both my cheap keyboard as well as Microsoft's built in MIDI synthesizer sound like crap.

Another pain was finding the right keys in the right time (as a beginner). On the iPhone it's no problem because you directly touch the screen. But on a PC I'd like optically synchronize my display to my keyboard so I can really see the notes falling on my keyboard (with the display directly behind it).

So here are my feature requests coming:
  • bundled sound engine at least with decent piano tones
  • or: a link list with a few third party sound engines with their costs involved listed
  • a user defined zoom setting

Posts: 12430

Post by Nicholas » 09-23-10 5:38 pm

Bundling a set of instruments gets tricky with licensing. It would also make the download much, much larger.

I don't have a list of recommended instrument libraries, but this tutorial will get you started with one or two.

As for custom zoom, there is a way to sort of fake it right now:
  • Go to the Keyboard Size section of the the Keyboard Setup screen.
  • Push your keyboard close to your monitor, in the position you want to have it during the game.
  • Click "Reset Size" (if you already had defined the size).
  • Press the key just inside the left boundary of your monitor.
  • Press the key just inside the right boundary of your monitor.
  • Choose the 2nd or 3rd option for the keys-outside-my-range choices.
Once you're all setup that way, you can just use the "Zoom to Keyboard" option whenever you play a song.

Posts: 3

Post by Chatty » 09-28-10 4:20 am

Regarding file size: PianoMan is about 7 MB. Not that big.

Licensing of course is tricky. Therefore I tried your recommended setup. It sounds better than my cheap keyboard but is still far off from PianoMan. But I often have stuck keys I never played (playing high tones sometimes results in a very low key being played I don't even have on my keyboard).

Zoom to keyboard works quite well but again PianoMan is one step ahead. It shows one (two) octave on the iPhone (iPad) and auto-shifts the octave when a certain note is to be played.

And I also favor their business case: whole app for free (including auto-stop mode which is a necessity as a beginner) and pay for lovely made tracks. But that's just my personal opinion.

Don't get me wrong: this thread is not meant as an ad for another app. I started this thread to look forward to an upmarket PC app.

Posts: 12430

Post by Nicholas » 09-28-10 11:58 am

Chatty wrote:Regarding file size...
An extra 7 MB at 4000 downloads a day is triple my bandwidth costs. I didn't mean much larger for you guys, I meant much larger for me. ;)
Chatty wrote:whole app for free ... pay for lovely made tracks.
If I had any sort of expertise there, I might be able to try something like that. But I don't. :( I'm just a software engineer. I guess I could make some sort of marketplace thing to bring track-creators and track-buyers together, but right now I'm enjoying making a piano game. Making business'y websites is less fun, so it would necessarily move more slowly as the inevitable feet-dragging occurred.

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