The Soundslice Blog

New feature: Fine-tuned cropping of audio and video

Today we’ve launched the ability to “crop” audio/video in our syncpoint editor.

This is best explained by example. Let’s say you’re transcribing a nine-second lick that appears somewhere in the middle of a six-minute YouTube video — like this Adrien Moignard lick I recently posted to my own channel. Naturally, you’ll want your slice to last only nine seconds, not six minutes. That’s where cropping comes in.

When you create syncpoints for your slice, you’ll now see a “Crop” button. Click that, and you’ll see draggable edges at either side of the waveform. Drag the edges to crop the audio. When you publish the slice, only the cropped area will be included.

Sometimes it makes sense to start the crop right at your first syncpoint. But in other situations you might want to give a few seconds of introductory audio/video to provide context. You now have the ability to customize it as needed.

Longtime Soundslice users will remember our old “Play audio before first syncpoint” and “Play audio after last syncpoint” checkboxes. Those enabled cropping in a limited way — only to the first/last syncpoints. Our new cropping interface replaces that feature. All recordings on our site that were cropped in the old way have been upgraded to use the new cropping.

Enjoy your new cropping powers!

Player improvement: toggle video position

Today we’ve added the ability to switch the position of videos in slices. Simply click the new icon to toggle whether the video is above notation or to the left of it.

Screenshot

Previously, our player automatically positioned videos based on your screen size. For example, we always put the video above notation if you’re viewing Soundslice on mobile devices or viewing somebody’s channel post. Now, you can toggle its position based on your own preference.

Screenshot

Seeing music being played alongside notation has always been a key feature of our player. Now you can place the video in the best place for you to learn.

Let us know what you think!

Improvements to our notation editor’s tab note entry

We just fixed our notation editor’s note entry to be more intuitive with regard to tablature.

Since we launched our notation editor a few weeks ago, several people contacted us to point out the unintuitive note-entry behavior on tab tracks. If you selected a track that had tablature — even if you selected the treble staff as opposed to the tablature — note entry via the A-G keys wasn’t possible.

That’s because we changed note entry behavior based on the type of track, as opposed to the type of stave. An obscure distinction, I know, but it was confusing.

At any rate, we’ve now fixed this so that you can always enter notes via the A-G keys if your cursor is in a standard notation stave (tab track or not). If you’re in standard notation that corresponds to tablature, the editor will automatically enter tablature corresponding to the notes. And, of course, you can always select the tablature to make changes to the fingering.

Please keep the feedback coming on our new editor!

New notation feature: Small noteheads

For those of you creating slices, we’ve added support for small (cue-sized) noteheads.

Screenshot of notation

Some people like to use these to specify notes are optional — for example, optional harmonies.

You have two ways to use small noteheads in your slices. First, using our notation editor, select a note or notes, then click the “Small notehead” icon.

Screenshot of UI

Second, for those of you notating in other programs and importing MusicXML into Soundslice, you’ll be happy to know that our MusicXML importer now detects small noteheads and does the right thing.

Introducing Soundslice Channels

Of all the things we’re launching today — including a notation editor, comments/covers and a new account plan — the thing we’re most excited about is a brand new part of our site: Soundslice Channels.

It’s a community for musicians to share musical ideas, to teach and learn from one another.

You can think of it as a “Twitter for snippets of music notation,” or perhaps “YouTube, but only for music performances, with awesome built-in practice tools.” In truth, there’s nothing quite like it, so have a look at some example channels to get a sense of it:

A channel is basically a feed of music notation, synced with video or audio performances. You can follow musicians to get a personal timeline, you can bookmark slices you want to practice, and you can cover the ones you really love.

Screenshot

We’ve spent a lot of time making it a seamless experience navigating through a channel. It’s quite fun to browse, and of course you can click on a particular slice to dive into it full-screen.

Of course, everything is built around the top-notch Soundslice music-learning tools, letting you slow down audio/video, loop arbitrary sections, navigate by clicking notation, view a visual keyboard/fretboard and more.

The idea is to give you a steady stream of new musical ideas, licks and pieces to learn and practice.

Why would you want to create a channel? For many reasons — sharing your knowledge, building an audience, connecting with like-minded musicians, promoting your music-education business, or just for the love of music.

Speaking as a musician who has been posting to his channel for a few weeks during our beta-testing period: I’ve really enjoyed having the ability to make a curated, beautifully presented selection of musical ideas. Stuff I’ve been working on, stuff I’ve been transcribing, licks I’ve made up. Just having these things all in one place is great — and the fact that it’s contributing to a shared, public repository makes it even greater.

Soundslice Channels is completely free — posting, following, bookmarking, commenting, covering. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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