Synthesia 11

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Postby eFse7en » 07-20-17 6:54 pm

I hope it's just an alternative way to use Synthesia, because I actually find the falling notes faster to read. It would be only good to add somehow the pedal events.
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Postby Nicholas » 07-20-17 9:58 pm

It will always be an alternative. (Synthesia 11 will simply be making sheet mode a viable alternative. :lol: )
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Postby Nicholas » 07-24-17 3:03 am

Progress Update!

I am thinking about removing the "Move Notes Inside My Keyboard's Range" option (in favor of always having Synthesia automatically play notes outside your keyboard's range for you).

Long-winded explanation, here.
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Postby revilo2 » 07-25-17 2:13 am

It's a good choice.
What about fingering on the sheet area (In my opinion, the major feature) ?
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Postby Nicholas » 07-25-17 3:06 am

So far the plan is to show finger hints on the sheet music in the usual way with the numbers above or below the staff. (I mentioned not being able to edit them from the sheet music in the last paragraph of the topic I just linked.)
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Postby revilo2 » 07-25-17 7:49 am

Too bad...

But isn't it the same problem with bookmarks, loops, etc. ?
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Postby Nicholas » 07-25-17 11:31 am

Bookmarks and loops are simpler overlays that don't push any sheet music elements around. They'll be directly editable right from the sheet music: you'll be able to "drag a loop" in the sheet music the same way you can in the falling note area today.

Albeit, there will be more snapping to the start/end of notes or measures. A lot of the padding between elements in sheet music is "virtual" space with no exact correlation to time, so giving users a smooth pixel-"accurate" way to specify bookmarks or loops in the sheet area would lead to unexpected results. Just like finger hint editing, users can always switch back over to specifying their bookmarks or loops in the falling note area if they want additional precision. (Really, beginning/end of notes is probably the most common intent, so editing those things in the sheet area might end up being a better experience than in the falling note area!)

In any event, bookmarks and loops don't present any of the challenges that the "Move Notes Inside My Keyboard's Range" does for sheet music, they're major features that are used by a much larger percentage of Synthesia users, they're not an especially large source of bugs, and there are plenty of pedagogical reasons for both to exist.
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Postby thorr » 08-17-17 6:54 am

I am back in the mood to get better at playing the piano, and I am excited about Synthesia 11! I really want to get better at site reading sheet music as well as get faster at playing without tripping over my own fingers, and this sounds like a great way to learn! I have been using Synthesia for awhile and there are a couple of things that I wish were improved that should be easy to implement (at least the first item on the list) and make a huge difference for me:

- It would be great if it could be set up that I could preview a song using the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth or the Midi Output so I can hear what it is supposed to sound like, but when I play the song, it doesn't use it. I would rather turn up the volume on my digital piano and hear that instead when I am actually playing. Using the software to make the sound, there is still a slight delay even with Synthesia 11 4264 and it is uncomfortable. Right now I have to change the settings to "Watch and Listen" to the song, then change them again when playing. If I use Midi Out instead of Microsoft Wavetable, it sounds better when playing because there is no initial delay, but there are two note presses with a slight echo because of the delay (one from my piano directly and the other from the note coming in via Midi). There could/should be an additional setting in Synthesia to configure devices for while playing vs while watching and listening.

Edit: I think I figured out how to fix this. I turned off the output for My Notes. So this one is taken care of already. Thanks!


- When playing midi files that were played in by somebody else, I need to edit the midi file to get everything perfectly lined up so when I use Synthesia, I don't have to play each key at different times that should be all together. The original person was being expressive by not playing chords with all the notes perfectly played simultaneously. It would be nice to have an adjustable threshold slider, possibly time-based in milliseconds or 1/16'th notes vs 1/8'th notes, etc. that will dictate how Synthesia interprets the midi file when it displays sheet music and accepts input and does the piano scroll so it appears simultaneous even though in the midi file it is not. Another option might be a checkbox to easily turn that on or off such as Source: Sequenced or Recorded with the recorded settings set somewhere that it refers to, and this could be adjusted and saved per song. I suppose I can use another program to quantize the song and save the new midi file, but I would rather skip this step. I guess in short, please add the ability to quantize. The notes may be slightly early or slightly late, and each of the notes in a chord might be shorter or longer than each other, but to quantize, it could see what time period is most used by the overlapping notes and adjust them to those points. If the quickest note is 1/8th notes, time them that way even if they are slightly early/short/long but less than a 1/4 note. If one of the notes in the chord is slightly longer that it might be normally interpreted as a 1/4 note but it is still less than a 1/4 note, treat it as a 1/8 note since the rest of the notes in the chord were determined to be a 1/8 note, etc. A future enhancement would be to be able to quantize, but if you are in an area of the song that didn't quantize the way you wanted, you could turn it off for that measure, or maybe even be able to correct it by dragging the bars coming down to the right timing.

Edit: I suppose this might be a lot of work and it is easy enough to use another program to do this when needed, so why reinvent the wheel. Maybe down the road this can be added though. Thanks!

Thanks for your consideration!
-Michael
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Postby Nicholas » 08-17-17 10:24 pm

thorr wrote:Edit: I think I figured out how to fix this. I turned off the output for My Notes. So this one is taken care of already. Thanks!

So you've correctly identified that there are two notes: one from your initial key strike (played by the keyboard itself) and the one that follows (sent back out by Synthesia).

The solution you found turns off the second note.

There is another solution in the Music Output settings for your keyboard: "Prevent local notes". Instead, that will turn off the initial note generated by your keyboard. I'm having trouble imagining why you might prefer one over the other, but I thought I'd mention it for completeness.

(As a funny combination: if you use both solutions at the same time, you won't hear your notes at all!)

Regarding built-in quantization: I agree with your edit. It's something that I've hoped we could improve on for years now, but it's a big feature with a lot of room to inadvertently come up with a poor solution. It's something I'd like to see some day, but it's definitely a tricky problem (like you illustrated when describing the reasons you might want to disable it per-measure).
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Postby thorr » 08-20-17 6:00 pm

Thanks! The reason I would prefer to hear my piano instead of the Microsoft piano is because my piano sounds better. Also, there is a slight delay with the one coming back in vs having it right away with the piano. Since I posted my original post above, my Windows update came in and I think I got the new MIDI updates and the delay is much less now than it was before, but it is still ever so slightly there. When I play Pianoteq, I don't notice any delay at all if I turn up the volume on my piano and hear both at the same time. This was before the update for Windows. That is using ASIO, so maybe that is something you could look into to improve the slight lag down the road.

I tried quantizing the song I am working on with a few different programs including Cubase and it came out like crap. I find that just manually left-aligning the notes works best and using the scrolling bars rather than the sheet music. I am getting better at sight reading the scrolling bars. I am hoping the new Synthesia 11 gets me better at sight reading sheet music too. Thanks for all of your hard work on your amazing program!

- Mike
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Postby Nicholas » 08-23-17 9:52 pm

thorr wrote:That is using ASIO, so maybe that is something you could look into to improve the slight lag down the road.

It sounds strange, but Synthesia doesn't technically produce any sound of its own. It just sends MIDI messages which are a sort of little data packet that are essentially instantaneous. The good news is that makes things a lot more flexible! You can actually have Synthesia use Pianoteq. All you'd need is a virtual MIDI loopback driver (like LoopBe1 or loopMIDI -- both of which are free) and you can send Synthesia's output to whichever DAW is running Pianoteq.

That gives you the best of both worlds: great sound and low latency.
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Postby Nicholas » 10-15-17 9:58 pm

Progress Update!

Here are a bunch of lines at once!

multiLine.png
multiLine.png (104.7 KiB) Viewed 9117 times

  • Grand staff braces are back and rendered pixel-accurately regardless of staff size/spacing. (This is the first dynamically-sized element of many and needed a bit of new technology for the new music font infrastructure.)
  • Staffs are fully justified (all the same width) again.
  • Many lines can fill the screen now!
Things remaining before the next Synthesia 11 preview:

  • Page-turn effect: both restoring the old single-line effect and introducing a new one for multi-line mode.
  • UI to toggle between single/multi-line notation mode.
  • Sheet music interaction: bookmarks and loops. (Finger hints will remain editable via falling-notes only for now. Rationale in the last paragraph of this post.)
I've also recently decided to make a small Synthesia 10.4 bug-fix release in the meantime -- even before this next Synthesia 11 preview is finished -- just to catch the rest of the outside-the-forum world up on all the other work that has been completed since 10.3 (Win10 BLE MIDI, the new label mode, new key light modes, bug fixes, etc.). That will hopefully liven up the site's front page news list. There should be a preview for that release, soon'ish.
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Postby revilo2 » 10-16-17 3:38 am

Great !

Are finger hints visible on staffs ?
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Postby serkol » 10-16-17 9:26 am

Looks good!
Was this notation based on MusicXML, or it was generated from MIDI? I see staccato in the base staff - did it come from MusicXML, or detected from MIDI?
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Postby Nicholas » 10-16-17 10:40 am

Still MIDI and still the ugly, existing notation. (Loading MusicXML and sprucing up the notation will be covered in the next two previews, respectively.)

And yes, finger hints will eventually be shown on the staff. (Two previews from this upcoming one, when the notation gets spruced up. :) )

This preview is more about getting the interactivity of the notation up to par with the falling note interactions so all the features can still be used when in sheet-only mode.

EDIT: copy-pasting the progress update here so it shows up at the top of this new page. :D



Progress Update!

multiLine.png
multiLine.png (104.7 KiB) Viewed 6817 times

  • Grand staff braces are back and rendered pixel-accurately regardless of staff size/spacing. (This is the first dynamically-sized element of many and needed a bit of new technology for the new music font infrastructure.)
  • Staffs are fully justified (all the same width) again.
  • Many lines can fill the screen now!
Things remaining before the next Synthesia 11 preview:

  • Page-turn effect: both restoring the old single-line effect and introducing a new one for multi-line mode.
  • UI to toggle between single/multi-line notation mode.
  • Sheet music interaction: bookmarks and loops. (Finger hints will remain editable via falling-notes only for now. Rationale in the last paragraph of this post.)
I've also recently decided to make a small Synthesia 10.4 bug-fix release in the meantime -- even before this next Synthesia 11 preview is finished -- just to catch the rest of the outside-the-forum world up on all the other work that has been completed since 10.3 (Win10 BLE MIDI, the new label mode, new key light modes, bug fixes, etc.). That will hopefully liven up the site's front page news list. There should be a preview for that release, soon'ish.
Nicholas
 
Posts: 11867

Postby Nicholas » 10-16-17 4:16 pm

Progress Update!

In the same way the falling notes have to show repeated notes due to an upcoming loop, the sheet music will be doing the same:

sheetLoop.png
sheetLoop.png (44.62 KiB) Viewed 6805 times

In this case, the loop happens to contain the final line ("system") of the song, so it gets repeated over and over. :) (If the entire loop fits on a single system, instead of filling the screen with that same line, it will simply draw it once.)

Eventually there will be an annotation right on the sheet music showing the loop boundaries, much like the orange indicator in the left margin of the falling note area. Hopefully that will help make it look a little less silly. :lol:
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Postby jimhenry » 10-16-17 5:49 pm

Have you considered enclosing a loop in the musical symbols for repeats (double bars with double dots) and then just bouncing the cursor from the end to the start?
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Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
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Postby Nicholas » 10-16-17 6:07 pm

Repeat dots are an interesting problem. Given that MusicXML pieces will have a relatively rigid layout (predetermined measure numbers, repeats/endings baked in, maybe some limitations on where you can do line-breaking, etc.). So rearranging things (say, so the loop starts at the beginning of the line after the first repeat) might be tricky. And, if the song already has repeat dots here-and-there, adding additional repeat markers might get confusing, too.

Maybe an extra-stylized version of the marker -- bright orange, maybe larger, etc. -- would help make it easier to drop in wherever you've defined your loop boundaries.

It's going to get really interesting when you drag a loop across a section of the sheet music that contains repeats with more than one ending! Imagine dragging the loop across a single measure and having the same loop indicator in the timeline jump halfway across the song. Going the other way: as you drag a loop across the timeline, you might end up with it spanning the same sheet music measures more than once if a repeat is involved. Is there a way to highlight that differently to show that a single loop iteration will be covering certain measures more than once?
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Postby mphasis1983 » 10-17-17 4:34 am

does that mean you wont be able to make loops less than half a measure in the next preview?
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Postby Nicholas » 10-17-17 9:46 am

From the falling note interface, everything will continue to work exactly as it does today. No changes.

When creating loops via the sheet music interface, there will be a little bit of snapping. Right now the goal is snapping to the beginning/end of notes (or rests) inside a measure.

If you create a loop in the falling note area that is right in the middle of a note and then view it in the sheet music area, that display will probably still have to snap to the nearest note's or rest's beginning/end. The technical reason is because the notion of "time" becomes a little discontinuous when looking at sheet music. Not only are there gaps that don't contain any time at all -- say, the space between the bar line at the start of a measure and the first note in that measure -- but also how far along in a measure you are vs. how much time as elapsed in that measure isn't a linear relationship at all. It makes a lot of things trickier to calculate internally and trickier to allow users to interact with!
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