The Soundslice Blog

An easier way to add slices to courses

Here’s a wonderful change for those of you creating courses on our platform. We’ve massively improved the way you add slices to courses.

Previously, you’d have to select slices from a single dropdown of all the slices in your account. You could only do one at a time, so this was painful and took way too long. Not to mention the interface wasn’t up to our usual high design standards.

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Now, we’ve introduced a new interface that lets you select multiple slices at once, complete with a search box for quick filtering.

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This makes the process much faster!

Customize bar numbering in your slices

Here’s a new feature that several people have requested: you can now customize bar numbering in your slices.

Before this change, bar numbering in Soundslice was simple and “dumb.” The first bar was labeled as number 1, and the number increased by one for each subsequent bar. There was no way to change that.

Now, you can use our notation editor to override the bar numbers however you’d like. For example, you might want to:

Here’s an example of the second idea:

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This slice includes two licks, and we’ve reset the bar number for the second lick (hence the bar number “1” at the start of the second stave).

If you’ve overridden a bar number, all subsequent bars will be labeled relative to your override — so you only need to override one bar. For example, if you change the first bar’s number to “9,” the second bar will automatically be labeled as bar 10, and so on, without you needing to override the subsequent bars.

If you’ve overridden a bar number, the number will always be displayed in notation. Otherwise, we only render bar numbers for the first bar in each stave. Eventually we plan to add a “Display bar number for each bar” setting.

You’ll find the new “Override bar number” feature in our notation editor (see the help page here). We’ve also improved our MusicXML importer to automatically detect custom bar numbers for any MusicXML files you upload moving forward.

An easier way to manage your recordings

Today we’ve made it easier to rename, delete and reorder your slices’ recordings. (Recordings are the audio/video files you’ve synced with notation.)

When viewing any slice you’ve created, you’ll now see a “Recordings” button at the top of the page, between “Sync” and “Settings.”

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Click that, and you’ll access a convenient place to manage all the recordings in your slice.

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Specifically, you can:

All of these things were possible before, but some of them could only be done via the slice manager, as opposed to the slice page itself — which was inconsistent and required a little too much clicking. Our goal was to make everything accessible while you edit the slice directly.

New URL format for Soundslice embeds

A quick technical announcement for those of you who embed the Soundslice player in your own websites: we’ve changed the URL format for our embeds.

Specifically, the embed URLs used to start with soundslice.com/scores. Now they start with soundslice.com/slices — which matches the rest of our site. The embed works exactly the same with both URL formats, so this is purely a bit of housekeeping on our end, to make things consistent.

The old URLs will still work indefinitely, so you don’t need to worry about changing any of your existing embeds.

Note that, for a given slice, the ID that comes after soundslice.com/scores is different than the one in soundslice.com/slices. For example, soundslice.com/scores/193583 corresponds to soundslice.com/slices/nZHcc. This means you can’t just replace /scores/ with /slices/ in your existing embeds; just leave the existing embeds as-is.

If your publishing system assumes Soundslice embed URLs start with soundslice.com/scores, followed by a number, no problem. In the slice manager, we’ve added a little message, beneath the embed code, with the old-school /scores/ embed ID. This is specifically for old-school users in this rare situation (we know there are a few of you). Feel free to keep using that old-school ID until you update your systems to the new URL format.

Please feel free to contact us any time with questions!

New options for capo and shifted guitar tunings

Here’s a new feature for those of you using our tab editor with capo or shifted guitar tunings: you can now control whether the standard notation takes the capo/tuning into account.

Previously, if you used a shifted tuning such as “Tune down 1 step,” our standard notation would always reflect the sounded pitch. For example, here we see some tablature in a shifted tuning, with the notation reflecting the sounded pitch:

Screenshot of notation

The problem is, this notation is a bit hard to read, because you have to keep in mind your strings are all shifted a whole step down. It’s much easier to read if it’s relative to standard tuning. (This is similar to the concept of transposing instruments.)

That’s where our new feature comes in. The “Add track” and “Change track” menus now have an “Ignore tuning shift in notation” option. If you check the checkbox, then the notation will ignore the tuning shift. Hence, our above example would look like this:

Screenshot of notation

Much easier to read. An experienced reader will be able to see this is an open G shape, without needing to do the mental gymnastics of the tuning shift.

Note that you’ll only see the “Ignore tuning shift in notation” option if your tab track has a shifted tuning, with six strings. If it uses a non-shifted tuning, such as Drop D or Fourths tuning, we’ll always take the tuning into account in the notation.

Capos

We’ve also added a similar option for capos. When you add or edit a track with tablature and specify a capo, you’ll now see the option “Ignore capo in notation.” It’s checked by default.

This is a bit less exciting than the shifted tuning feature, because our notation engine already ignored capos — but now you can opt in to taking the capo into account.

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