Synthesia 11

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Postby silvrica » 04-20-17 10:08 pm

jimhenry wrote:Hi silvrica! Since you are the first to complain about not having all the keys labeled, can I ask you to read the discussion about why only 7/12 of the keys are labeled and then tell us if you now agree with that change or why you disagree? To be honest, I never turn on key labels and I don't have the perspective of someone who would want the keys labeled.

Be warned that if you come up with a good reason for labeling all the keys then you'll be on the hot seat for answering how the remaining keys should be labeled, since it was that puzzle that lead to not labeling them at all. :twisted:


Well. My main reason in not based on musical theory, It is a visually appealing feature.
To be honest. It is one of the features that I like the most of syntesia since I started using it several years ago. I have learnt a lot seeing the labels of every falling note, mainly for sightreading. I am not good at reading sheet music and I am waiting anxiously for Synthesia 11, but the old note labelling really helps me. It is good that it is kept as an option in the Settings.

I open the Settings of preview r4264 and I cannot see the option Gameplay>Note Labels.
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Postby Nicholas » 04-21-17 1:33 am

sage789 wrote:when I hit pause, if a note is playing it will continue sounding. Is it possible to have the music stop when pause is pressed?

If you're near a mouse, you can roll your mouse-wheel down one tick and it should stop the sound. (On touch-screens, any dragging upward at all will do the same.)

I'm trying to think of a reason not to just do that immediately on pause... and I'm not coming up with one. (Can anyone else imagine a scenario where those notes should continue to be sustained while paused?) I think I've been holding out for a method that would allow gradually fading the volume down over a few seconds, but MIDI doesn't provide an easy/compatible/consistent way to do that. I am reminded of the expression "perfect is the enemy of good". :lol:

sage789 wrote:... notes don't appear on the staff when the keyboard is pressed anymore.

This is one of the known issues mentioned in the release post. Those held-note indicators should return in the next preview. (Yes, it was a consequence of the technology change, but not an insurmountable one. :D )

silvrica wrote:I open the Settings of preview r4264 and I cannot see the option Gameplay>Note Labels.

Does this thing not show up?

NoteLabels.PNG
NoteLabels.PNG (20.62 KiB) Viewed 8469 times
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Postby jimhenry » 04-21-17 9:26 am

Might I suggest changing the Notes setting from "Only In Current Key" to "Only In Current Key of Song"?
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Postby Nicholas » 04-21-17 10:05 am

I went back and forth a few times on the wording. I worry most about the statistically longer languages (German, Portuguese, etc.) and the eventual portrait-ification of the UI that is implied by multiple lines of sheet music. It's going to make a lot more sense to have things shaped like a piece of paper (I can already envision the requests pouring in after Synthesia 11 is released), and some Android "tablets" are already just barely larger than phone-sized screens. When you start counting up the (lack of) screen real-estate that's going to be available, shorter wording starts to look more attractive.

Like most things in the app, it's a delicate balance. Practically a tight-rope walk, most of the time. :lol:

How do you feel about "Only Shown for Song's Key"? It doesn't mention the possibility of multiple/changing keys anymore, but... I'm not sure it has to. The nomenclature of a song having a key (even if it happens to change sometimes) seems fairly standard.
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Postby jimhenry » 04-21-17 11:05 am

How about "Use Song Key"? I assume the other choice is "All"?
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Postby phoegh » 04-21-17 12:08 pm

Nicholas wrote:Well, the lower-latency Win10 synth feature just went up last night if you'd like to try it. (Opening MusicXML files will be coming in a future preview.)


Just tried it and the win10 synth has improved greatly! I did a side by side comparison with my macbook synth with synthesia and it is close! (mac OSsynth still has the advantage, like zero latency)

Why is it MacOS synth is still faster? Will the win10 synth get better with a near zero latency in the future? I am happy they have improved it and hope they continue to work on it.
:)
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Postby Nicholas » 04-23-17 10:53 pm

jimhenry wrote:How about "Use Song Key"? I assume the other choice is "All"?

I like "Use Song Key" a lot! (The other choice is "Show All" because I got to steal that bit of language from somewhere else in the app, so it doesn't need to be handed off to translators again! :D )

phoegh wrote:Why is it MacOS synth is still faster? Will the win10 synth get better with a near zero latency in the future? I am happy they have improved it and hope they continue to work on it. :)

If I had to guess, when the NeXTSTEP OS (which eventually became OS X, now macOS) was first designed, they had the multimedia stuff in mind from day one. Windows went through several versions before it even gained real support for sound. After that, it's all legacy. Until Windows 10, the built-in MIDI synth hasn't really changed since first introduced with Windows NT (and eventually Windows 95 on the consumer side). That is to say more than 22 years ago!

Since then, there have been a few shake-ups in Windows' multimedia capabilities. Vista introduced the WASAPI layer for low-latency sound, but they didn't update the MIDI synth to use it. In Vista, the built-in synth actually ended up slower!

Now that Microsoft is trying as hard as they can to break compatibility with the old stuff and sweep the old APIs under the rug, their hand was forced by customers. There was a funny (well, sad) forum post a few years ago when Windows RT was released. Developers had realized the Win32 MIDI stuff was no longer available... but that Microsoft hadn't provided a replacement. No MIDI support at all. The forum post included a response from a Microsoft employee confirming it with a terse one-liner along the lines of "There is no modern replacement MIDI API." That thread exploded for a few dozen pages with angry developers until someone else from the multimedia team wrote "I mean... we're looking into it!" :lol:

And now, a couple years later, we have a replacement.

Regarding when it might improve again, outside of bug fixes (I've already found a couple), I suspect it'll be another 22 years before it gets another bump. It has never struck me as a particularly high-priority part of their operating system. The good news is that there are good (free!) alternatives like VirtualMIDISynth.
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Postby phoegh » 04-24-17 8:55 am

Nicholas wrote:
Regarding when it might improve again, outside of bug fixes (I've already found a couple), I suspect it'll be another 22 years before it gets another bump. It has never struck me as a particularly high-priority part of their operating system. The good news is that there are good (free!) alternatives like VirtualMIDISynth.


Man I hope it doesn't take 22 years..... They have been doing good stuff so far, I hope they continue to improve it soon. I would have ordered macs in my classroom but its hard to get an approval for a macbook classroom (office and IT politics :? )..... Oh well... I will use what I can get.
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Postby revilo2 » 04-25-17 2:32 am

Hello Nicholas,

Thanks a lot for your work !

In wich preview, the fingering on sheet music is planed ?

In the future, with the new windows API, will Synthesia work without latency combined with midi loop / Pianotech ?
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Postby Davidonabus » 05-01-17 2:16 am

Just want to chime in regarding the note labels.

I suspect the primary audience for Synthesia are people without a background in music/theory that simply want an "easy" way to learn the piano.

Removing some of the note labels by default seems to hurt this primary audience.

Furthermore, removing the note labels as a non-solution to the problem of how to label these out-of-scale notes seems like a bizarre choice. I'm not sure who these out-of-scale labels were really hurting to begin with. I do know that removing them is hurting at least some people though.

I'm glad they can be turned back on by the user.. but, most people won't figure out how to do that without some frustration first.

The preview build is working great for me, btw. Thank you :)
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Postby Nicholas » 05-01-17 4:45 am

Perhaps all 12 labels should be the default (as before) with the new option to pare it down to only 7 being something that music-theory versed users can elect to enable manually?
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Postby jimhenry » 05-01-17 12:06 pm

Lest we forget, the whole reason we started down this thankless road is because there is no agreement on how the black key should be labeled. That is why I made this suggestion in the other thread on this subject:
My guess is that the people who use key labels want something simple, not something "correct". These three choices will probably satisfy almost every one who really uses key labels:

  • All white keys labeled with naturals
  • All keys labeled with all naturals and sharps or all naturals and flats depending on the key (probably naturals and sharps if in C major/A minor?)
  • Seven keys per octave labeled using the song key
The third choice will probably be something only teachers using Synthesia for their students will appreciate. The first choice should probably be the default.
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Postby Nicholas » 05-01-17 3:51 pm

Your 1st and 3rd bullet are available in the most recent Synthesia 11 preview verbatim.

For your 2nd, when compared against what we can start calling the 2012 implementation, did you mean it should be more uniform?

No double flats/sharps, white keys always natural:
test1.png
test1.png (3.05 KiB) Viewed 8159 times

Or that it should be completely uniform?

No double flats/sharps, accidentals determined completely by which side of C Major/A minor they fall:
test2.png
test2.png (2.89 KiB) Viewed 8159 times


EDIT: It also just occurred to me while re-reading the discussion on that old page, that we will finally be able to improve the situation you described in your last post (C#-E#-G# vs. Db-F-Ab) once we've got MusicXML. It contains the note names explicitly. It wasn't on my radar to feed that info back to the note naming algorithm... but if someone already pored over the names in their editor, it seems like Synthesia should respect that on the keyboard and falling notes, too.

(Easier said than done, really. To be able to generate the names on the keys at all time points given the set of parts currently shown in the song is a lot of work. Easier would to only carry over the MusicXML names to labels shown on the falling notes and just use the standard algorithms for the key labels.)
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Postby jimhenry » 05-01-17 5:56 pm

My suggestion is completely uniform. I don't think most users of key labels are going to be interested in the nuances that lead to a mix of sharps and flats on the black keys in the "easy" keys of C (0 sharps) to A (3 sharps).
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Postby jimhenry » 05-01-17 6:22 pm

Nicholas wrote:...once we've got MusicXML. It contains the note names explicitly. It wasn't on my radar to feed that info back to the note naming algorithm... but if someone already pored over the names in their editor, it seems like Synthesia should respect that on the keyboard and falling notes, too.

(Easier said than done, really. To be able to generate the names on the keys at all time points given the set of parts currently shown in the song is a lot of work. Easier would to only carry over the MusicXML names to labels shown on the falling notes and just use the standard algorithms for the key labels.)

Oh yeah, MusicXML is coming. :shock:

You're right. Having agreement between the notes shown in the sheet music view and the labels everywhere is probably really important because people could be using the labels to learn to read the sheet music. I think you have to assume that people displaying sheet music using MusicXML are reasonably serious musicians who do want keys labeled as correctly as possible.

How about the falling notes are always labeled according to what is in the MusicXML (whether or not the labels are shown) and the keys are labeled according to:
  1. the next note to be played on the key
  2. the most recent note played on the key
  3. the labeled note in the nearest octave
  4. the 2012 implementation
Yes, this could lead to jumpy key labels because I see a lot of sheet music where the labeling of accidentals bounces back and forth for ascending and descending ornamentation. And it won't be hard to write MusicXML files that make key labeling look absolutely nuts.

There probably needs to be a "Use MusicXML names for note labels" option that overrides the note labeling choice when a MusicXML file is being used.
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Postby phoegh » 05-02-17 10:13 am

Hooray for Music XML! That will make things soo much easier for key signature and correct spelling of notes
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Postby PriviaCasio » 05-10-17 7:25 am

Nicholas wrote:I learned from the Android release that review scores are essentially permanent.

Review score system has changed so it now shows last 14 days of reviews avg
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Postby Nalienffxi » 05-22-17 12:52 pm

Thanks so much for this. I've been waiting for the sheet music update for a while now since I _really_ wanted to use it for sight reading practice without dying of boredom and distraction.
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Postby Nicholas » 07-17-17 12:54 am

Progress Update!

In the next preview, currently pressed notes will show in the sheet area again and they will be better than ever:

  • When your input is matched to a note in the song, the "active" note head now correctly tracks that note in the sheet music (vs. always following the current position).
  • This will automatically extend to notes with multiple note heads (ties between measures, etc.), so all the note heads will light simultaneously.
  • Matched notes are now drawn using the correct note head type (quarter/half/full).

(As of July-2017, the following animation won't work in Edge/IE or Android. Everyone else should see something cool.)

activeNotes.png
activeNotes.png (60.81 KiB) Viewed 10494 times

This is one of those small details that are embarrassing to admit have been missing for so many years (and one of the hundreds of things that will finally be fixed in Synthesia 11).
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Postby fscotte55 » 07-20-17 2:13 pm

It's fantastic to see Synthesia moving away from the "falling notes" method and further into the notation venue.

FYI, I don't ever look at the falling notes per se, but just the note names + sheet music.
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