10.9 preview r5825-r5850 - Better Free Play

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Nicholas
Posts: 12963

Post by Nicholas »

SYNTHESIA 10.9.5825
Download from the pink box above.

CHANGES SINCE r5766
  • Reminder: Synthesia for PC now requires 64-bit Windows.
  • Lots of new Free Play features! See each breakout, below.
  • The multi-track recorder on the Free Play screen now records all MIDI events (including your pedal!), instead of only notes.
  • The most recently used tempo on the Free Play screen is now remembered.
  • The Settings → Gameplay → Menu Bar setting now applies to the Free Play screen, too. With this and the new display settings dialog, you can hide everything and get a totally clean view of just the keyboard and notes.
  • users.xml has been migrated to the settings database. The list of users should no longer become lost/corrupted.
  • settings.xml has been migrated to the settings database. Unlocks and options on the Settings screen should no longer become lost/corrupted.
  • Promoted an old advanced setting to Settings → Gameplay → High Contrast Labels. This removes the outline, which can help on slower-updating TFT LCD screens that have more blurring.
  • There was actually a rather large rework under the hood of the way text size is detected and handled (for centering, etc.) across all our platforms. In the end, this only means things shifted a pixel or so here-and-there, but screenshots between say, the Android and Windows version will have text placed more consistently (excepting the different font used in each case). This was totally a perfectionist thing that had been bugging me for years.
  • Our first Synthesia LLC-specific SysEx message is now sent.
  • Quite a few other fixes on top of all this. See the full changelog for more details.
EDIT: It might take a few days to get the Android build onto Google Play. Google took away the ability for Android 11 and later to see MusicXML or SoundFont files without asking for a special permissions exception... and then they just denied my permissions exception request when I told them it was the only way for the app to work correctly. :? (The direct, side-loaded APK download above should still work just fine.)



Free Play Display Settings



You can hide everything now! This is also where you can choose the key signature that should be used for key/note labels, that should be saved in your exported recording, and for chord numbering (see below).

Multiple Instruments/Colors



Normally there is only a single color/instrument "swatch" shown at the left. Now, at the first sign of input from a second MIDI device or from the same device playing on a different MIDI channel (or any combination of the two), additional swatches will begin to appear. This works well if your keyboard has a "split point" feature. (And if it doesn't, something like that could be simulated with utilities like MIDI-OX.)

Note: During record, all but the first swatch are temporarily hidden. You can only record a single track at a time. All input on all channels from all devices is redirected to that first swatch's color/instrument until you stop the recording process.

Roman Numerals (Music Theory) and "Only my Notes" Labels



Some instructors had asked for a way to only show the note names on the keys that were actually being played. You can do that now. I'd also heard a few requests to add the Roman numerals for the chord. The Roman numerals change appropriately if you choose a minor key.

Style Volume

styleVolume.png
styleVolume.png (27.4 KiB) Viewed 1229 times

The style drop-down now has a volume slider to adjust how loud the back-beat is played. This also affects the metronome ticks during recording sessions, so you can turn that down (or off!) now, too.

Snap-To Icons



Now that I've got the tech to generate bits and pieces of sheet music outside of the main sheet music display (mainly for the key signature picker in the display settings popup), it's easy to sprinkle more of it around the interface. These new icons on the Save Song prompt aren't stored in the app as resources but are instead generated on the fly. :)




That's most of the 10.9 release. I've only got a couple more knick knacks and then this cycle's sheet music feature. I think I've settled on beams. That means the next preview should have variable-length stems, beams across more than two notes, and beams across notes with different durations (so, variable/partial beams). That should keep me busy for a little while. In the meantime, let me know if you run into any trouble with the new stuff.

EDIT: See the r5850 notes below for the new sheet music feature choice/rationale.
Korados
Posts: 64

Post by Korados »

Hey Nicholas,

long time no... write? And I'm here with bad news. The new preview crashes for me all the time. Whenever I try to play a Midi file or open Free Play, I get an error message that I have to merge my changes to the colors.xml. I only ever used the colors.xml one time when I suggested an orange-colored theme but that was years and years ago. I didn't even have it in the folders. I downloaded it just now and placed it in the AppData/SynthesiaDev folder, to no avail. The previous version r5766 works just fine. I tried copying the colors.xml to the AppData/Synthesia folder as well but of course that didn't work, too. I attached the error message and Crash Dump. I hope I can help you with that!
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Nicholas
Posts: 12963

Post by Nicholas »

Strange that the error message mentions colors.xml... a "text string" should be something in language.xml. Do you have a modified language.xml?

I'll get the error message fixed so it knows which file to warn you about.

(And yeah, long time no see! :D )
Nicholas
Posts: 12963

Post by Nicholas »

SYNTHESIA 10.9.5829
Download from the pink box above.

CHANGES SINCE r5825
  • Maybe fix an Android startup crash? (EDIT: Looks like it worked. :D )
  • Added "Proprietary 3" key light option for Vangoa lighted keyboards (based solely on the information provided in this forum post).
  • Increased the contrast of the text in the title screen's header and footer.
  • The error message shown for missing language text entries should no longer refer to the colors.xml file.
Korados
Posts: 64

Post by Korados »

Nicholas wrote: 08-14-22 7:09 pm Strange that the error message mentions colors.xml... a "text string" should be something in language.xml. Do you have a modified language.xml?

I'll get the error message fixed so it knows which file to warn you about.

(And yeah, long time no see! :D )
I just tried out r5289 but I still get an error message. In both AppData folders, there is no language.xml. And I'm sure I never modified anything. The only things I changed are some settings and key bindings but like I said before, on r5766, everything is just fine.
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Error message.png
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Nicholas
Posts: 12963

Post by Nicholas »

SYNTHESIA 10.9.5838
Download from the pink box above.

CHANGES SINCE r5829
  • Choosing non-English languages should no longer crash. :?
  • The little keyboard drag block now stays out for one second so it's easier to grab on touchscreens.
  • Song recording was completely broken since r5825. :shock:
  • Replaced our (awful) Android text entry window with the built-in alert window.
  • Mentioned "Piano LED Plus" as being compatible with The ONE Smart Piano's lights.
  • I'm giving up on MusicXML/SoundFont files being visible in Android 11+ for now just so Google will let the app back onto the Play store. Arguing with them hasn't been very productive. Maybe I'll just maintain two releases: the Play store version without and the stand-alone, side-loadable APK version with it. *sigh*


Korados wrote: 08-16-22 11:16 amI just tried out r5829 but I still get an error message...
Sorry (again). I found it and fixed it this time.

Curiously, that crash dump was unrelated (crashing in a different place because the code had failed to tear Synthesia down cleanly after the first error ) and I fixed that one, too!
Nicholas
Posts: 12963

Post by Nicholas »

SYNTHESIA 10.9.5850
Download from the pink box above.

CHANGES SINCE r5838
  • Windows-only: Shortcuts can now use Alt as a modifier key (in addition to Ctrl and any MIDI Pedal).
  • Windows-only: The hard-coded "Alt-Enter" shortcut to toggle full-screen is now a customizable shortcut (near the bottom of the list) that is bound to F11 and/or Alt-Enter by default.
  • Windows-only: There is now a full-screen toggle button (like a video player) right on the menu bar on the song playback and Free Play screens. (Android/iPad are always full screen and macOS has its own machinery on the window frame to do this, so this brings the Windows version up to parity.)
  • Windows-only: The "System.LimitThreadAffinity" advanced setting is now disabled by default.
  • The scrolling marquee dot effect around the play mode buttons has been replaced by a glowing effect. (This was for a vaguely technical reason, otherwise I didn't mind the dots.)
  • The little "off screen" arrow indicators at the left/right side of the screen should now scroll smoothly (instead of on whole pixels) and are limited to being drawn no more frequently than once every 10 screen points (which are defined as "pixels × resolution scale"). The limit makes things more sane on songs with >10,000 notes.




Alright, that's the grab bag. Now it's just this cycle's sheet music feature and 10.9 will be going out the door.

While thinking about my attack vector for the sheet music beam improvements, I think I discovered a prerequisite: actually listening to the MusicXML file for which staff things belong to. So that'll be 10.9's notation feature instead: notes should appear on the staff indicated in the MusicXML file. (At this point I'm not expecting any behavior changes for MIDI files.) But this should set things up nicely for quite a few additional "pay attention to what's inside the MusicXML file" features (including beams) as things move forward.
Rumsey
Posts: 9

Post by Rumsey »

Hi Nicholas,
I've been having problems with jerky notes as they fall down the screen and rather than roll back to 10.7, which a forum user suggested doing, I installed 10.9 Dev which did the trick, much smoother. Only problem is now the 'points earned' section won't scroll.
Regards,
Simon
Nicholas
Posts: 12963

Post by Nicholas »

Nice catch. I think I was able to reproduce the problem. Just as a double-check:

1. Using the mouse wheel anywhere in the "Points Earned" pane does scroll the list.
2. Clicking above or below the rounded scroller control does jump a page at a time.
3. Dragging the rounded scroller control itself does not scroll the list.

Are you seeing all the same behavior? That last one is a bug. I haven't touched that code in ages, so I'll be curious to see how it broke. But it'll be fixed in the next preview. Sorry for the trouble in the meantime!
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