8.4 Preview r1957 - The Big One

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.
Nicholas
Posts: 12490

Post by Nicholas »

PREVIEW r1957
Download from the pink box above.



Changes in r1957 since r1742:

Overall / Miscellaneous
  • Dropped the leading "0." from the version number. (Apple hates beta numbering.)
  • Everything looks totally different.
  • Output can be played in more (all?) places now. Typing a search while using the software keyboard is fun.
  • Lots of helpful prompts pop up now to inform you of useful stuff.
  • There is a good chance the ancient XML-saving/parsing problem is gone now.
  • Fixed a few finger hint bugs (crazy, broken hints could be added to invisible notes!)
  • Disable Notation.ShowUserNotes to hide the little notes in the sheet music for your pressed notes.
  • Disable Gameplay.AutoShiftToBestOctave to suppress "smart" (broken) auto-octave shifting.
  • G Major Music "First Pieces" are no longer all Learning Pack demo songs. That they were wasn't being communicated effectively.
  • Songs containing C0, C#0, and D0 notes no longer hang Synthesia when zoom is set to "Visible Song Notes".
  • Everything has built-in resize support now. Check the modding section for more details.
Title Screen
  • General cleanup; now a little more visually interesting.
  • More will be happening here: Title Screen News is coming in the next preview.
Learning Pack
  • Not even reworked. A major revamp will be in the next preview. It wasn't worth the quick re-skinning time since a larger pass was about to happen anyway.
Settings
  • All the (terribly spread-out) configuration screens ("Options", "Keyboard Setup", "Add Songs", etc.) have been consolidated.
  • Music Devices:
    • Multi-device support!
    • Customize what type of output is sent to each device individually for notes, percussion, metronome, and lights.
    • Input and output velocity scaling.
    • The key light test pattern is way more fun now. :lol:
  • Songs:
    • Two new options ("The Other Hand" and "Background Instruments") to control how the simple view handles not "Played by Me" tracks.
    • The "Add Songs" dialog seemed to logically fit here better than the Song Library screen.
    • When adding a folder, there is a new "Computer" sidebar item that shows a folder list in the main view. No more 8 drive limit!
  • User Profiles: Click a user to see a new summary stats screen.
  • Gameplay / Advanced: the old "Options" screen has been logically split into these two.
    • Percussion icons can now be forced always-off (and are by default).
    • Program change (instrument) MIDI messages can be filtered out so you can control your keyboard's patches yourself.
  • Shortcuts (previously "Key Bindings"): You can now set 8 custom bindings for each shortcut, up from 3.
  • Color Themes! Check the modding section of the forum for details.
Song Library
  • Breadcrumb is visually easier to tell it's a thing you can interact with.
  • Back by popular demand: All columns shown simultaneously.
  • Flags are gone forever!
  • The folder column has been removed (the next preview will show you why). ;)
  • Sorting can now be done in a single click (again).
  • Search box disallows many strange characters that could break your search.
  • Deleting/recycling now asks for confirmation.
  • Behavior has been smoothed out a bit. It's subtle, but if you're a frequent user you'll notice it.
Song Settings
  • Simple View
    • "Watch Only" is now a first-class citizen with information panels at the bottom and requiring two clicks like the others.
    • Sheet music can be toggled at any time now (instead of only from the "Instructions" panel).
    • Choosing a part in the simple view now also forces the usual blue/green instrument colors for those tracks, too.
    • Dropped the breadcrumb and profile list to reduce some visual clutter.
  • Advanced View
    • Instrument modes have been broken up into three parts: responsibility / visibility / audibility which can be toggled separately. This allowed two new modes: [Me/Hidden/Sounded] and [Me/Hidden/Muted].
    • The horrible copy-paste menus have been replaced by a slick drag-drop mechanic.
    • Assigning hands is a little more intuitive: instead of left/right/both there is just left/right and you drag each one to the same instrument to make it "both".
    • Multi-instrument preview! Single click to toggle. Double-click to solo it.
    • Instruments will fill your screen as best they can, rearranging themselves to fill wider screens.
Play
  • Song speed is now also shown in BPM.
  • Metronome volume is controlled via a slider instead of silly Low/Medium/High settings.
  • The key/note label buttons have been merged into a single labels button.
  • Device disconnect message only appears when the number of devices decreases (vs. changes at all).
Whew! That was a lot! Though, there is still a lot left to do. Previews are going to be more rapid now.
Raymond
Posts: 528

Post by Raymond »

It's nice! :D

Found a small bug on the Song Library screen: If you have a song selected then change the sorting, it visually looks like it selected a different song. Scrolling up then back fixes the selection.

It seems to load 3k songs a lot faster now. :D Although the FPS seems a litle lower.
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DC64
Posts: 830

Post by DC64 »

This is pretty cool. :) The color layout is a bit different but I think with the new modding forum that can be fixed. I really like the new things comming up. :D
"And now for something completely different."
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swalker133
Posts: 246

Post by swalker133 »

hey nick any new iPad news? I'm doing everything i can to promote it on Twitter
Learning, creating, recording, and performing music on the iPhone and iPad...
http://www.iosmusician.com/
Nicholas
Posts: 12490

Post by Nicholas »

swalker133 wrote:hey nick any new iPad news?
Have you run this new preview yet? This is huge iPad news. ;)

This was the biggest step. Now it's just finishing some loose ends for a couple more months and it should be finished. :D
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swalker133
Posts: 246

Post by swalker133 »

I'm out of a computer right now (working at libraries and on iPads) haha

Could you upload a screenshot here? I'd be happy to tweet it to my 1600 followers :D
Learning, creating, recording, and performing music on the iPhone and iPad...
http://www.iosmusician.com/
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PianoVideosJustForU
Posts: 52

Post by PianoVideosJustForU »

Nice I like it!
Yeah the library glitch is not a problem for me much.
So the next you can probably fix it ;)
PianoVideosJustForU
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PianoVideosJustForU
Posts: 52

Post by PianoVideosJustForU »

OK here it one:
Spoiler:
bandicam 2012-09-05 21-47-54-649.jpg
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PianoVideosJustForU
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PianoVideosJustForU
Posts: 52

Post by PianoVideosJustForU »

Also in gameplay:
Spoiler:
bandicam 2012-09-05 21-48-17-689.jpg
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PianoVideosJustForU
Oldrich
Posts: 61

Post by Oldrich »

It looks nice. I will test it in more detail when I get to my piano. One thing I have noticed -> no keyboard support. I know that tablets do not have keyboards but still it would be great if you could include keyboard support to all the menus for us having laptop...
aria1121
Posts: 1505

Post by aria1121 »

I like it aswell! It's awesome! Especially the modding part.
Congrats you made it (11:49), I stopped monitoring half an hour ago.
It looks very neat how you did the menus.
Oldrich
Posts: 61

Post by Oldrich »

Just a quick note. The progress will be lost window is one of the most annoying ones... ;). Especially when the only way how to get rid of it is to use mouse...
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jimhenry
Posts: 1822

Post by jimhenry »

Congratulations! A major accomplishment.

The playing of notes using the computer keyboard should only be active when in the falling notes display with "Played by you" is in effect.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
maccer
Posts: 222

Post by maccer »

It looks nice!

But: playback using built-in MIDI doesn't work anymore for me, I can't hear any sound (Mac OS 10.6.8).
Or rather, the Music devices settings don't get saved.
If I go into Settings > Music devices > Music input > Synthesia Software keyboard and check "Use this device", and then go back, it still says that Synthesia Software keyboard is "Off".
Same problem with the Music output > Built-in MIDI Synthesizer; if I check Use this device for > Notes and go back, it still says "Off".

Haven't tried connecting it to my digital piano yet so I have no real MIDI device connected.

Also, you need to have some kind of max limit for the width of the settings pages and the song library, because on a 24" screen the columns are simply too wide.
Too wide settings.png
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Songs learned using Synthesia:
CT: Wind Scene, The Trial | FF7: Prelude | SMB: Overworld, Underwater | Tetris: Theme A | Zelda: Lost Woods | Other: Für Elise
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jimhenry
Posts: 1822

Post by jimhenry »

Should "Notes" on the Music Devices... Use This Device For... screen be split into "Notes Played by You" and "Notes Played By Synthesia"?

I am not convinced that "Volume Scale" is as useful as it could be. I also think it is a bit of a contradiction to have "Volume Scale" and the Metronome volume slider on the Play screen.

Perhaps there should be volume sliders for all 3 (4?) device uses on the play screen? Maybe Notes needs to have an advanced screen that allows the volume to be set per MIDI channel? And maybe all these setting should be saved in association with the selected song?
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
Nicholas
Posts: 12490

Post by Nicholas »

Raymond wrote:Found a small bug on the Song Library screen: If you have a song selected then change the sorting, it visually looks like it selected a different song. Scrolling up then back fixes the selection.
That should be an easy fix, thanks for the report.
Raymond wrote:It seems to load 3k songs a lot faster now. :D Although the FPS seems a little lower.
Both of those are unexpected. :lol: Song scanning didn't change at all and I wouldn't have expected performance to decrease on the song library screen either. Is your FPS much lower? What are the before and after numbers?
swalker133 wrote:Could you upload a screenshot here?
I just updated the first post with a YouTube video. Will that do?
Oldrich wrote:One thing I have noticed -> no keyboard support.
I'm not sure I understand. All the existing shortcuts that were there before should still work. And I have a little Bluetooth keyboard to test with on the iPad; I'm hoping that will be able to work too (it's easily small enough to leave sitting right on your keyboard).

Are there more things you'd like to be able to control with your keyboard? You can bind many of the menu controls to typing or music keyboards (menu proceed/back, page up/down, etc.)
Oldrich wrote:The progress will be lost window is one of the most annoying ones... ;)
I'll add an advanced setting to disable it.
jimhenry wrote:The playing of notes using the computer keyboard should only be active when in the falling notes display with "Played by you" is in effect.
You mean the "Synthesia Software Keyboard" should be disabled on the rest of the screens?

I agree and was thinking of doing it at some point before the final release, though I thought it was kind of fun having notes play when you type in the various search boxes here-and-there. (The reason it's happening now when it didn't before is that input is echoed to output on all screens now.) Still, the virtual/software keyboard could be an exception. Though... if the notes had purpose, it might be fun. E.g., each key struck (regardless of which one) would play the next note in some predetermined melody. I think the menu system for Bioshock did that. Each time you highlighted a different choice the next note in a pretty spooky piece played.
maccer wrote:If I ... check "Use this device", and then go back, it still says that Synthesia Software keyboard is "Off".
Instead of crashing when it can't open a device now, it just reverts to "Off"... though that shouldn't ever happen for the software keyboard. (And there should be some kind of helpful message.) I'm not sure what might be going wrong. I just double-checked on my Mac (10.7, unfortunately... I don't have anything older) and I was able to fiddle with input and output devices just fine. Nothing gave me any trouble.

Do you have anything else open that is using your MIDI devices? Does a reboot help?
jimhenry wrote:Should "Notes" on the Music Devices... Use This Device For... screen be split into "Notes Played by You" and "Notes Played By Synthesia"?
I think I like that. And it shouldn't be too hard to split, either. At each point along that whole chain I think I keep a pretty good understanding of where a note originated from.
jimhenry wrote:I am not convinced that "Volume Scale" is as useful as it could be. I also think it is a bit of a contradiction to have "Volume Scale" and the Metronome volume slider on the Play screen.
I like to think of the scaling options on the Music Devices screen as a way to level things out in multi-device scenarios. If you've got a keyboard with a great piano patch but that isn't fully GM compatible, you might want to use the built-in synth for percussion. (My old P-70 falls squarely into this use case.) Once you get those sliders set up so everything sounds right together, they should be able to be left alone.

The metronome on the other hand is positioned to be a real-time preference you can change on a whim. Maybe it's just bringing to the fore that there aren't additional volume sliders like you suggested. That is: now that the convenience of a metronome volume slider exists, the next logical question is why one doesn't exist for everything else.

I'll give some thought about where it might fit. At 1024 width that header bar is already pretty crowded...
Raymond
Posts: 528

Post by Raymond »

Nicholas wrote:Is your FPS much lower? What are the before and after numbers?

Code: Select all

r1742
Main Menu		: ~850fps
Song Library	: ~160fps
Playing song	: ~170fps
Song Library load = 47s

r1957
Main Menu		: ~750fps
Song Library	: ~130fps
Playing song	: ~172fps
Song Library load = 9s
I defiantly notest the song library load times. :lol:
Nicholas wrote:
Oldrich wrote:One thing I have noticed -> no keyboard support.
I'm not sure I understand. All the existing shortcuts that were there before should still work.).

Are there more things you'd like to be able to control with your keyboard? You can bind many of the menu controls to typing or music keyboards (menu proceed/back, page up/down, etc.)
There is a LOT you can't do with the keyboard. Like setting up a song. Selecting which mode to play. Selecting which hand to play. Viewing scores. etc.. Basicily right now all you can do is go forward,back and select songs in the library. Unliss you really added alot to the controls. I havn't checked. :?


Also After checking the numbers then I went to exit Synthesia it wouldn't close. It just froze. (If i didn't have Process Explorer open in other screen, I would have had to restart.)
Ill test more when I play later.

using DirectX 9 'Full-screen using specific video mode' Set to main screen 1980x1050(native) no vsync.
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jimhenry
Posts: 1822

Post by jimhenry »

Nicholas wrote:
jimhenry wrote:The playing of notes using the computer keyboard should only be active when in the falling notes display with "Played by you" is in effect.
You mean the "Synthesia Software Keyboard" should be disabled on the rest of the screens?
Yes.
Nicholas wrote:I thought it was kind of fun having notes play when you type in the various search boxes here-and-there.
I guess I'm not a fun kinda guy. :ugeek:
Nicholas wrote:
jimhenry wrote:I am not convinced that "Volume Scale" is as useful as it could be. I also think it is a bit of a contradiction to have "Volume Scale" and the Metronome volume slider on the Play screen.
I like to think of the scaling options on the Music Devices screen as a way to level things out in multi-device scenarios.
Duh! :oops: I read "Scale affects notes, percussion, and metronome beats sent to this device" but "sent to this device" didn't really register, nor did the fact that I was on the screen for configuring a particular device. I get it now. You might need to do some balancing when using multiple devices. Maybe that slider should be hidden until you do have things spread over multiple devices?
Nicholas wrote:The metronome on the other hand is positioned to be a real-time preference you can change on a whim. Maybe it's just bringing to the fore that there aren't additional volume sliders like you suggested. That is: now that the convenience of a metronome volume slider exists, the next logical question is why one doesn't exist for everything else.

I'll give some thought about where it might fit. At 1024 width that header bar is already pretty crowded...
Always the question of when to draw the line on feature creep. I do find that I want to balance the levels in multi-instrument MIDI arrangements fairly frequently. I don't think there is much consistency in the relative volumes of instruments from one MIDI synthesizer to the next. An author balances things in his synth but it probably needs to be different in mine.

The thing that hopefully suggests a mixer could bring up a list of sliders to adjust the volume of each MIDI channel identified by what instrument is played by that channel.
Mixer.png
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Last edited by jimhenry on 09-07-12 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

Showing a button every instrument for the percussion track on the Advanced screen seems cluttered.
Advanced 1.png
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I suppose the idea is that if a drummer wanted to use Synthesia, they would want each instrument displayed in a different color. Perhaps percussion should be displayed as a single button while Hidden and then expand to a button per instrument when switched to Shown, with all instruments then being set as Shown.
Advanced collapsed percussion.png
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Also, percussion should sort to be after everything else. The drum staff is typically the bottom staff on a band score.

Ideally, when a button per instrument is displayed, there would be a quick and obvious way to return percussion to all Hidden on just one button. Maybe an "All Percussion" button alongside the "All Parts" button when the Reset lightning bolt is active?
Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
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jimhenry
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Post by jimhenry »

While we are on the subject of the Advanced screen, I think the likely keyboard instruments, GM1 instruments 1 to 24 should sort ahead of the other instruments. If you laid them out left to right, top to bottom, with lower note range before higher note range, I think you'd wind up with the piano left hand followed by piano right hand at the left of the top row at least 99% of the time. You probably should sort the parts tagged as LH and RH, if any, ahead of everything else.
Advanced keyboard sort.png
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Jim Henry
Author of the Miditzer, a free virtual theatre pipe organ
http://www.Miditzer.org/
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