Synthesia 11

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Postby Nicholas » 01-06-17 6:36 pm

sheet.png
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We're gettin' there. :lol:

For as silly as it looks, there is a lot happening that is actually correct. This is using the new music font and rendering to a single texture. I just can't help but share the ridiculous first-visible-results (like the initial buggy iPad results).
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Postby Nicholas » 01-15-17 10:11 pm

Now we're cookin' with gas! :D

beams.png
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Postby draco2023a » 01-16-17 2:53 am

Wow...to the untrained eye it would seem like you still have a ways to go, but I am guessing you are writing the engraving engine from scratch and that there is a lot of work.
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Postby Nicholas » 01-16-17 3:09 am

It's not quite as bad as it looks, but you are correct: there is a lot of work to go!

Almost all of the weird stuff going on in these pictures is a result of transitioning the existing code from a completely ad hoc system of measurement (with units loosely based on the size of Synthesia's notation texture) and staffs that were always a fixed distance apart to a much more principled system of measurement (with units in "staff spaces", which are used by musical fonts, engraving experts, and all of the literature) and staffs that have a variable baseline. Now that the dust from that transition is starting to settle, it's just a matter of reconnecting all the bits, replacing the old, made-up magic numbers in the code with the recommended values from the font we're using and making sure everything looks the way it used to.

That will be the first Synthesia 11 dev preview. It's not an especially exciting one, but it'll be nice to get it in your hands because it's got a number of other fixes and improvements. I don't like to wait too long between previews.
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Postby draco2023a » 01-17-17 7:54 pm

Cool. I can't wait to try it out....Thanks for all your hard work!
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Postby Nicholas » 01-22-17 12:30 am

Progress Update!

Hopefully to make things feel a little less dire, you can see that things are starting to get back to how they used to look. :D (Just a couple beams that go one pixel too far.)

almostBack.png
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Although... "repairing" things until they look like the old, awful notation just makes me more eager to start fixing the real problems. After seeing hundreds of examples of "do this; not this" in Behind Bars, looking at Synthesia's current notation makes my brain itch.
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Postby jimhenry » 01-22-17 6:05 pm

If you are able to do even a half-decent job of creating proper notation from MIDI files, you might want to consider spinning that part off as a separate application. Thinking about what it is going to take to do that makes my head hurt. :shock:
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Postby Nicholas » 02-20-17 6:08 am

Progress Update!

There. I probably agonized a little too long over having absolute pixel-accurate connection points between note heads, stems, and beams for any arbitrary font size... but now it looks nice.

I recently finished Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and one of my favorite quotes was "what is once well done is done forever". This feels like one of those things. Now that I've drilled this far into the minutiae, I won't have to again. :lol: (All of the new sheet code is plain C++ and 100% platform and graphics SDK/hardware independent. No matter which platforms we add/support/drop/whatever in the future, this will continue to work.)

beamsAndStems.png
beamsAndStems.png (14.78 KiB) Viewed 2444 times

And with that, the sheet music is back where it used to be (only sharper and rendered using a very different set of technology). There are some loose ends to wrap up: doing the sheet rendering on a background thread, adding Standard note labels, and fixing the usual new crop of Android bugs. But I daresay we may actually be approaching the first real Synthesia 11 dev preview. :D
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Postby sage789 » 02-20-17 10:20 am

Great news! Congrats! Looking forward to it!
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Postby jimhenry » 02-20-17 1:07 pm

Looks beautiful! This is going to take Synthesia to the next level.
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Postby advalencia » 02-21-17 9:49 am

is looking gorgeous, I can't wait.
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Postby Nicholas » 02-26-17 5:00 pm

Progress Update!

Nicholas wrote:But I daresay we may actually be approaching the first real Synthesia 11 dev preview. :D

If never fails. :lol: I should know better than to give predictions. Hence my usual policy of only mentioning release dates a day or two ahead of time.

The new stuff seemed reasonably efficient on my tiny super-computer of a development PC. Trying it on some tablets... I learned that was not the case. On the worst Android device I could find, a sheet music page-turn freezes the app for about a quarter second every time (followed by an out-of-memory crash a few pages later). :D After some investigation, there was a funny conclusion: the new drawing code is actually quite fast, even surprisingly so. It's some infrastructural stuff that is causing the hiccups: uploading that large of a texture to the GPU all at once, etc.

Anyway, far from this being a setback, it means I get to work on an interesting optimization problem! This is one of my favorite areas that I usually have woefully few opportunities to exercise. I've already squeezed about 5x(!) the performance out of the GPU upload procedure. The already-fast sheet drawing code is also 2.5x faster now, too. :D And, so this doesn't just sound like a feature-less detour -- making things "fast enough to not feel broken" probably isn't especially exciting for users -- already the big gains have required adding some new tech (arbitrary shaders!) that will become phenomenally useful in the short and long term. I've wanted an excuse to add them for years and this was a great one.

In any event, this road is a little longer yet. It doesn't stop until the worst platform can change sheet pages (zoomed as large as possible) without dropping a single frame. I've still got half a dozen tricks up my sleeve and I can't wait to try them.

So, the first real preview is still close. Just not quite as close, hehe.
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Postby monkel » 03-07-17 11:06 am

That render example looks very crisp and nice and now that I have a windows tablet with a USB midi 1x1 E-MU attached, I'm looking forward to using Synthesia without my trusted iPad and getting some flexibility on the customization side.

Now if only the stem orientation was correct (for my definition of correct - C/D pointing downwards) you'd have me sold completely already. :)
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Postby Nicholas » 03-08-17 3:37 am

Yeah, every day that I work on this the stem directions drive me a little more crazy. They'll be fixed in just a couple previews. :D
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Postby revilo2 » 03-09-17 4:53 am

In my opinion, stem directions is a detail.

For the next preview, what is very important and really can change the use of Synthesia is finger notation shown on sheet bar...
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Postby monkel » 03-09-17 5:14 am

While finger notation is important to learn a new piece I personally find that I don't need or read it once I've established "sufficient muscle memory". The stem direction on the other hand is an important hint for sight reading to me and only becomes less important once I really have the piece nearly memorized.

But I guess there's enough Synthesia users who don't care at all, because they never use the sheet view anyway ... :)
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Postby jimhenry » 03-09-17 1:05 pm

Wrong stem direction is like bad grammar or mispellings. If you know what it should be, having it rong are disfusing. You don't need distractions when you are trying to read music, or any other form of writing.
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Postby langdon » 03-12-17 11:41 am

I've been keeping an eye on this thread for some time as I'm really excited for v11. There aren't any preview releases yet, right? I'd love to try it... I run Synthesia on my tiny super-computer laptop, so performance isn't a concern. ;)

In the mean time, I'll continue building my small library of mid+xml files.
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Postby Nicholas » 03-16-17 6:33 am

langdon wrote:There aren't any preview releases yet, right?

Correct. The first preview (the "Off-screen Sheet Music Compositing" preview from the first page of this topic) is getting close.

... Although, business taxes just waylaid me for a couple days. But we're back on track now. :D
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Postby kiwi » 03-24-17 6:27 am

Hi,
Since you're workin hard in the notation stuff i would suggest a cursor for to adjust the brightness of the sheet.

so the background 'll go to white from grey and to finish on black and notes on white (inverted contrast if you prefer).

Really usefull for the night reading sessions...

I asked the same things in the beta of guitar pro 7 but i ask since the version 6...
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