10 Preview r2680 - Quality of Life 1

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

PREVIEW r2680
Download from the pink box above.



NEW FEATURES in r2680 since the r2613 release
  • Measure-based FF/RW.
  • Added a new handle to drag the keyboard down below the screen.
  • The score box now shakes and flashes red when a mistake is made.
  • Synthesia now remembers which monitor it was last run using.
  • Introduced a short (visual-only) break between back-to-back notes.
  • Added a new "Tangerine" color theme.
  • Color themes are now much easier to create. The modding post has been updated.
  • Songs that cannot be loaded are now able to be deleted.
  • Double-click to copy score table to clipboard.
CHANGES
  • Development previews now store data in "SynthesiaDev" folder! This post describes how to copy your settings over.
  • Middle C is now labeled "C4" instead of "C3". ;)
  • The pedal no longer visually extends notes.
  • Melody points no longer depend on speed or timing at all.
  • Removed letter grades from the score table.
  • Notes played before the song starts are no longer counted as mistakes.
  • When stopped in melody practice, pressing a note more than once (before completing a chord) no longer counts as a mistake.
  • Hitting a correct note a second time no longer halts the song or count as a mistake.
FIXES
  • Song deleting works again on Windows.
  • Instruments are now correctly reset to piano between songs.
  • Synthesia now starts with the correct window size while using the DirectX renderer on Vista and later.
  • MIDI events are no longer sometimes lost during fast-forward.
  • Virtual piano key labels are now always correct, even when another input device has a larger key range.
  • Note/key labels no longer show incorrectly depending on which was drawn first.
  • Bad time signature events should no longer cause a crash.
  • Song zoom, speed, and bookmarks are now saved when Synthesia is closed during playback.
  • The (relatively new) CC#88 MIDI message no longer interferes with shortcut mapping.
  • Several language fixes (mostly for "Free Play").
All kinds of stuff in there! It probably feels a little scattered, but this is about the first third of the big laundry list of little things you guys have been waiting on forever now. The 2nd and 3rd "Quality of Life" previews are going to have even bigger changes.

More than those lists, a ton of under-the-hood refactoring happened too. The keyboard drawing and MIDI loading code has never been in better shape.
revilo2
Posts: 116

Post by revilo2 »

Removed letter grades from the score table.
WHY ??!!! It's so Encouraging.....

Please, put it back , please, please....
PHIDIAS
Posts: 136

Post by PHIDIAS »

THERE HAVE A NEW THEME ,MORE THEME TO USE :D
PHIDIAS
Posts: 136

Post by PHIDIAS »

Spoiler:
PHOTO X.jpg
PHOTO X.jpg (181.67 KiB) Viewed 18795 times
UP BLUE,DOWN TANGERINE
Spoiler:
PHOTOZ.jpg
PHOTOZ.jpg (244.3 KiB) Viewed 18795 times
AGAIN?
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

revilo2 wrote:WHY ??!!! It's so Encouraging.....
There are a few reasons:
  • The grade given for time-spent in Melody Practice often had more to do with the speed of the song than the quality of your performance. I played every note perfectly but still saw an "F" (in the speed column) in the Points Earned section. I would describe that as the opposite of encouraging.
  • Synthesia is very popular in Europe, where many of those countries don't use letter grades at all... so they're just kind of visual noise in that case.
  • I've heard that the usual US grade breakdowns (90=A, 80=B, etc.) doesn't match reality here with statements like "I consider an A grade to mean barely acceptable". So at that point the letter grades are misleading.
  • A teacher recently requested they be removed, here, presumably for the first reason I gave.
PHIDIAS wrote:AGAIN?
You don't have to enter your Learning Pack key again. Check the pink box at the top of this page. :D
revilo2
Posts: 116

Post by revilo2 »

The grade given for time-spent in Melody Practice often had more to do with the speed of the song than the quality of your performance. I played every note perfectly but still saw an "F" (in the speed column) in the Points Earned section. I would describe that as the opposite of encouraging.
Maybe Grades are not perfect, but they give a very good indicator of your progression : G,G,G...F,D...C,C,C,C,C,....B-,B-,B,B,B+,.... A

Synthesia is very popular in Europe, where many of those countries don't use letter grades at all... so they're just kind of visual noise in that case.
I'im french, and i can tell you that the Global Grade (Maybe you can delete the speed and the note grade) is very more usefull and understandable than a progression of score like : 9245;9278,9347... 9545,9623,... 9856.

Maybe you can improve them, but PLEASE put it back if only in complement.
PHIDIAS
Posts: 136

Post by PHIDIAS »

Nicholas wrote:You don't have to enter your Learning Pack key again. Check the pink box at the top of this page. :D
NO,I ASK THAT WHY THE "VISIT SYNTHESIA'S PAGE,AND BUY NOW" BUTTON IS BLUE,NOT ORANGE.
ALSO,WHY THE MUSIC THEORY WILL CHANGE TO ENGLISH?
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

revilo2 wrote:... more useful and understandable[/b] than a progression of score like : 9245;9278,9347... 9545,9623,... 9856.
Actually, in Melody Practice, those numbers are already sort of like percents. Because the maximum is 10000, you can just move the decimal point two places and you end up with: 92, 92, 93 ... 95, 96 ... 98. All of which are easy to read (and pretty high scores).
PHIDIAS wrote:NO,I ASK THAT WHY THE "VISIT SYNTHESIA'S PAGE,AND BUY NOW" BUTTON IS BLUE,NOT ORANGE.
Blue is orange's complementary color. Those buttons are supposed to stand out.
PHIDIAS wrote:ALSO,WHY THE MUSIC THEORY WILL CHANGE TO ENGLISH?
Translations are the very last step before an official release. Any new text added in development previews will appear in English until it's been finalized and I have all the text that I need to send off to the translation service. (For example, quite a few things are still going to change on that screen before Synthesia 10 is released, so having that text translated for each preview would be a waste.)
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jimhenry
Posts: 1824

Post by jimhenry »

Nicholas wrote:
revilo2 wrote:... more useful and understandable[/b] than a progression of score like : 9245;9278,9347... 9545,9623,... 9856.
Actually, in Melody Practice, those numbers are already sort of like percents. Because the maximum is 10000, you can just move the decimal point two places and you end up with: 92, 92, 93 ... 95, 96 ... 98. All of which are easy to read (and pretty high scores).
Is the 10,000 point scale really meaningful except to give Synthesia a game feel? Should you display a 0 to 100 score to be less "noisy"?
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

There is a good chance both metrics (melody and rhythm) are going to be completely supplanted by something rooted more in piano pedagogy... once I am able to discover what that might be. This goes back to the "What does it mean to "learn" a song?" question. I just spent a shower thinking about the kind of interview questions I might ask domain experts on the topic. I live only a dozen or so miles from my alma mater, which has a really strong music school. It might be worth the effort to contact the department and see if I can't schedule some time with any Masters or PhD students in piano performance and/or pedagogy.

I have a handful of other pertinent topics that I'd love to get that kind of input on, too. "What makes a particular passage difficult?", "How much does that perceived difficulty vary from person to person?", and "Concretely, rank the hardest types of passages you encounter" all readily come to mind. Automatic or machine-learned difficulty assessment is something I'm very interested in, to help guide users to repertoire that would most likely be in their current flow sweet-spot.
revilo2
Posts: 116

Post by revilo2 »

I understand but, while waiting for, why don't you keep the Grades (maybe only the global one) as an option (in synthesia config) ?

Thanks
Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 »

These are all amazing features but please tell me seeing the key signature while playing the song will be available again without having to enable sheets to check the key signature which isn't that useful anyway because the song might be in C major or A minor and the midi contains info on the specific key. I find this feature incredibly useful since i would be able to easily refer to my scale notes and identify what all the notes in the signature are quite easily and therefore learn all the scales faster while playing the songs.
Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 »

Ok, I have big issues with this version, i set it all up, opened a song and it plays back normally, i open up a different song and it doesn't make any sound, and then the previous song that has sound doesn't have sound either, I close synthesia and reopen it and now it says i have no output even though in the settings usb midi cable is activated like it's working properly o.O Any ideeas?
Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 »

Another issue, synthesia can't be closed from active processes, i close synthesia, go to processes, i hit end task and it's still there!
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

Birdman87 wrote:... seeing the key signature while playing the song will be available again without having to enable sheets...
Hmm, is this something that was in Synthesia before? I don't remember the key showing anywhere outside of the sheet music before. It's something I have plans to add eventually, but I didn't think I took anything away.
Birdman87 wrote:Another issue, synthesia can't be closed from active processes, i close synthesia, go to processes, i hit end task and it's still there!
Putting the two problems together (no MIDI output and a process that won't close) it sounds like there might have been a problem in the MIDI thread that caused it to hang. That would explain both: a still-running thread wouldn't let the process close, and a MIDI thread still running in the background wouldn't let the next Synthesia that opened have access to your keyboard.

This is the first time I've heard of this problem. Sorry for the inconvenience! I'll investigate. (In the meantime, the brute-force way to get things back to normal would be to restart your computer.)

I'm curious, does it happen every time? Or is it an intermittent problem?
Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 »

Nicholas wrote: Hmm, is this something that was in Synthesia before? I don't remember the key showing anywhere outside of the sheet music before. It's something I have plans to add eventually, but I didn't think I took anything away.
Yes, it was present in synthesia 0.8.2 as shown here and has been gone ever since
Spoiler:
Image
Nicholas wrote:Putting the two problems together (no MIDI output and a process that won't close) it sounds like there might have been a problem in the MIDI thread that caused it to hang. That would explain both: a still-running thread wouldn't let the process close, and a MIDI thread still running in the background wouldn't let the next Synthesia that opened have access to your keyboard.
This is the first time I've heard of this problem. Sorry for the inconvenience! I'll investigate. (In the meantime, the brute-force way to get things back to normal would be to restart your computer.)

I'm curious, does it happen every time? Or is it an intermittent problem?
It does happen every time, and yes it might be related to the midi remaining in the thread, that would explain why the output is no longer available cause the current midi thread is still using it, also it crashed once when i tried to enable software output.
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

Birdman87 wrote:Yes, it was present in synthesia 0.8.2 as shown here and has been gone ever since
!!!

You are absolute right! I totally forgot, sorry. Sheesh, has it really only been two years since 0.8.2 was replaced? It feels like it's been forever. I am still hoping to bring that back. This has waited too long now. Thanks for reminding me. I've been hesitating on adding anything else to the quality-of-life previews for Synthesia 10 (in an effort to get this thing out the door), but I can't think of anything that deserves to be in that list of features than this. I just added this to the 3rd quality of life task list. That's two previews from now.
Birdman87 wrote:It does happen every time...
Hmm. If you open the Synthesia Configuration utility and go to Advanced, what is your "Midi.HardReset" option set to? Is that enabled or not? I wonder if disabling a few of the other "Midi.Reset..." options would help. I'd love to figure out exactly what it's getting hung up on after you leave a song.
Birdman87
Posts: 60

Post by Birdman87 »

!!!

You are absolute right! I totally forgot, sorry. Sheesh, has it really only been two years since 0.8.2 was replaced? It feels like it's been forever. I am still hoping to bring that back. This has waited too long now. Thanks for reminding me. I've been hesitating on adding anything else to the quality-of-life previews for Synthesia 10 (in an effort to get this thing out the door), but I can't think of anything that deserves to be in that list of features than this. I just added this to the 3rd quality of life task list. That's two previews from now.
Thank you very much!
Hmm. If you open the Synthesia Configuration utility and go to Advanced, what is your "Midi.HardReset" option set to? Is that enabled or not? I wonder if disabling a few of the other "Midi.Reset..." options would help. I'd love to figure out exactly what it's getting hung up on after you leave a song.
Ok i've figured out the problem, it only happens with certain midi files i have for example if i open the midi called "Awoken2.mid" it doesn't play any sound at all even after a fresh restart, others songs i have in my list seem to play fine and don't cause synthesia to hang up also play back normally and others songs after it as well even if i restarted synthesia.

Regarding the file called "Awoken2.mid" I have edited it in order to split the hands properly with a software called Midi Editor, found here, http://midieditor.sourceforge.net/. This program must be exporting in a different file format or something which might be causing the issue, but awoken works perfectly on previous versions of synthesia and the very strange thing is, songs edited with this recently work with no hangups...

I have sent you a pm with 2 files for comparison of the format that might be causing the issue

1. Awoken2.mid - this file has been edited with midi editor and it's sound doesn't work at all with version r2680
2. Super mario 64 - Cool Cool Mountain2.mid - this file has been edited with midi editor and works perfectly with version r2680 without causing it to hang up the thread

I haven't tested the hard midi reset since i had a fresh restart and it still didn't work on the first go so it must not be related.

EDIT: ok nvm about the pm, i tried sending it and it told me this "The requested users to be added do not exist."
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

Thanks for the update! You can send those files to support@synthesiagame.com and I'll take a look.

I'm definitely interested to see what is going on inside Awoken2.mid to make that MIDI thread lock up.
Nicholas
Posts: 12519

Post by Nicholas »

Thanks for sending those along so quickly!

I just took a look at both files. Strangely they both appear to be pretty vanilla as far as MIDI goes. No SysEx, just using channel 1 or 2, all sensible values for the various tempos and other numbers. They don't contain much beyond notes and pedal events. Both run just fine for me in r2680. :?

Which hardware are you using? Do you know which model USB-MIDI adapter you have and which model keyboard you're using with it? Thanks! (Oh yeah, did that HardReset option fix anything?)
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