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The Soundslice Blog

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Using Soundslice on a touch device, such as a smartphone or tablet? You’re going to love the improvements we’ve just made to scrolling and zooming.

This is best explained by showing. Here’s a quick before-and-after video:

Previously, using a single-finger swipe would stop scrolling the music as soon as you lifted your finger — which felt icky and unrefined. Now, the music will continue scrolling for a bit even after you lift your finger — just like a news article or social media feed. (The technical term for this is “momentum scrolling.”) It feels so much better.

Previously, using a two-finger “pinch zoom” would temporarily hide all the notes except for bar lines and staff lines. Now, we keep everything visible, to give you clearer, more immediate feedback.

These changes make a huge difference in how responsive Soundslice feels on your mobile device. Enjoy!

Here’s a small improvement that several people have asked for. If you’re using our performances feature, you can now download original performance videos.

You’ll now see a “Download” button on the performance page. Just click that to start the download:

Screenshot

Teachers have been using Soundslice performances as an easy way to manage the logistics of student performance videos. This new feature helps make that even more useful. For example, some teachers have told us they compile their student performance videos into montages to showcase student progress.

Thanks to those of you who requested this, and please keep the feedback coming.

Three new guitar courses have made their way to the Soundslice store this past week. The first two are beautiful solo compositions, the third is an instructional all about extended technique for acoustic players.

Waltz for Bireli (@antoineboyermusic) — $6

If there’s been a silver lining to the quarantine for Antoine Boyer, it’s that he’s been able to compose. His newest piece, “Waltz for Bireli,” is a solo guitar tribute to the great Biréli Lagrène.

The waltz’s main motifs have punchy and powerful chords that rise and fall — you can almost picture the string section of an orchestra. In between these moments are single-note explosions of pure guitar playfulness that make you think of Mr. Biréli himself.

Watch the full performance below. Click here to purchase the transcription.

This Moment (@klotzguitar) — $6

“This Moment” is a meditative fingerstyle composition by Chicago guitarist Eric Klotz. About the piece, he says:

I think we can all agree we are living through a historically difficult time. I’ve had many conversations with people about days where depression is getting the better of them, myself included. On the flip side, we have seen humans working together in ways that are inspiring and give hope that we will see better days.

This song was written in this context and for me carries both a deep sadness and moments of optimism. I decided to call it “This Moment” because when the last note is played, I feel very present in the moment. There is some relief in being fully in the present moment in that we aren't worrying about the future or past. I hope this brings a similar peace to you.

Preview or purchase the transcription here.

Advanced Acoustic Mastery (@SDPguitar) — $22

For those interested in acoustic guitar and music with a back beat, have a look at Simon Pratt’s new release, Advanced Acoustic Mastery. The two-hour course takes you through six mini compositions that use advanced tapping techniques, a variety of open tunings and hybrid picking ideas.

See the embedded slice for a preview of the kind of guitar flash you can expect. For more previews or to purchase the course, click here.

Create and sell your own courses

Did you know you can create and sell your own lessons and transcriptions on Soundslice? We have a section of our store dedicated to community-created courses. You’ll also see any such course listed on its creator’s channel (as in the neighboring photo). If you’re comfortable creating slices and you’re interested in making instructional content, check out our guide on selling courses.

If you’re new to Soundslice, we recommend that you first get a feel for making a slice or two for your own channel before diving into course creation. Have a look at our “Getting started” video.

We’ve launched some significant usability improvements to our editor! This makes editing sheet music and tablature on Soundslice easier than ever before.

Immediate ‘hover’ feedback

When you hover your mouse cursor over the music, we now give you visual feedback:

Screenshot animation

The bit of notation you’re hovering over will change color, and your mouse cursor will change to indicate that something is directly editable by clicking on it.

“Wait,” you say. “More than notes and rests are directly editable by clicking now?” Yes —

Clickable notation elements

We’ve made lots more of your music directly clickable.

Previously, our editor’s approach was: you select a note, then edit its attached information (such as text, chords, time signature, key signature) via the “Current” menu or the various icons on the left.

Now, you can click on those bits of notation directly. Here’s what’s directly editable at the moment:

  • Time signatures
  • Key signatures
  • Clefs
  • Section names
  • Section letters
  • Fingering
  • Right-hand fingering (for plucked instruments)
  • Commentary bar labels
  • Bar numbers
  • Lyrics
  • Our four types of text
  • Tempo markings
  • Triplet feel/swing markings
  • Chord names/diagrams
  • Directions (e.g., “D.C. al Coda“)
  • Segno and coda symbols
  • Fermatas
  • End-repeat bars
  • Multi-bar rests
  • Barre numbers (Roman numeral positions)

The “Current” menu is still available, as not every type of notation would make sense to be clickable. For things like accent marks, you still edit them by clicking the note and toggling the appropriate icon in the “Current” menu.

Change voices by clicking on the note

The concept of multiple voices can be confusing to newcomers to music notation. Historically our editor has grayed-out notes that aren’t in the currently selected voice — which is unintuitive if you don’t know what a voice is.

We’ve made an interface improvement that we think will help with this (along with saving time for more seasoned pros). If you click a note that’s not in your current voice, we’ll now automatically switch the current voice to that note’s voice. Here’s what it looks like:

Screenshot animation

This makes editing multi-voice music nice and snappy!

Better-looking selections

One more improvement: we’ve improved the look of the selection when you drag to select multiple notes/rests.

Previously, each note or rest had its own rectangle with rounded corners — resulting in awkward white vertical lines within the selection:

Screenshot animation

Now, we smash them together into a single rectangle, which looks and feels a lot nicer:

Screenshot animation

It’s a small detail but brings a little more joy to the editing experience.

Final notes

Please note that these changes only apply to slices in edit mode. If you’re in read-only mode (e.g., the view seen by your students or people looking at posts on your channel), nothing has changed.

Together, all of these changes add up to make the editing experience feel much more interactive and responsive. We hope you enjoy the changes. And we will continue to add polish and make Soundslice the best way to create/edit sheet music and tablature online. :-)

We’ve added the ability to upload a ZIP file containing many notation files. This lets you quickly create lots of slices in bulk.

If you’re in the Teacher or Licensing plan, you’ll now see a “Bulk upload notation files” icon in your slice manager:

Screenshot

Click that to get started. You’ll see this page:

screenshot

Here, under some info on how it works, you’ll have the ability to set some default parameters for each imported slice:

  • Whether printing is allowed
  • What to use for the slice name (the filename or data within the file)
  • Whether embedding is enabled (only Licensing customers will see this)

It can take a few minutes for us to process the ZIP file, so there’s a place for you to enter an email address. When the import is done, we’ll send a report to that address, with detailed information on each slice that we created and any errors we found.

Bulk uploads will automatically be put in a fresh folder in your slice manager. If you’re not happy with your bulk upload for whatever reason, you can quickly delete it using our new “delete folder” feature from last month.

Lots of people have requested the ability to bulk upload, especially teachers who have lots of existing materials in MusicXML or Guitar Pro formats. Enjoy the new feature!

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