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New metronome button, UI improvements and much more

Posted by Adrian Holovaty on November 1, 2019

Lots of features and improvements to announce today! Here’s what’s new:

New metronome button

We’ve added a metronome button directly to our player. This lets you quickly toggle a metronome pulse during audio playback.

Screenshot

We already had a metronome, of course, but it was a bit awkward to get to — as people had pointed out. You needed to go into the audio mixer and increase its volume from zero. Now, it’s a simple one-click thing.

And this new metronome button is now particularly useful, because...

Metronome during real recordings

This is another thing many people have asked for. Previously, the metronome was only possible if you switched a slice to “Synthetic” playback. Now, the metronome works over everything — YouTube videos, MP3s, other videos, everything!

When played over a real recording, the metronome will use the recording’s syncpoints for the timing. This means it will ebb and flow naturally with the tempo of the performance. If you create slices and find the metronome feels “off,” it’s a sign your syncpoints are likely not precise enough — an easy fix in our syncpoint editor.

New video resizer

For slices with video, we’ve changed the way video resizing looks. Previously, it used a thick gray bar — which some people didn’t realize you could drag. Now, we use a (we hope) much more obvious drag “handle.”

Improvements on touchscreen devices

We’ve changed/fixed the way our player works on touchscreen devices:

Resizable loops in waveform view

When dragging across the waveform view to create a loop, previously it wasn’t possible to resize an existing loop. We’ve fixed that. You can now drag loop edges in the waveform to resize.

We’ve also tweaked the visual design of the waveform loops to have “drag handles,” matching our style of loops over notation.

Loops in notationless mode

Speaking of waveform loops, when you’re viewing a slice that has no notation (only a video), we’ve fixed the Loop button. Previously it did nothing if you clicked it in notationless view! Now, it will create a three-second loop from the playhead’s current location. You can then drag the loop edges to fine-tune.

Automatic panning during dragging

When you’re dragging across notation to create a loop, we’ll now automatically pan the notation forward/backward when you drag near the edge. This is a really nice usability improvement.

Extra ‘close’ buttons

We’ve added an explicit ‘close’ button at the upper right of the visual fretboard, keyboard, violinboard and audio mixer. You could always toggle them with their respective icons in the player’s controlbar, but this makes things a bit faster and easier, especially when on a small screen.

Audio mixer panel simplification

We’ve simplified the audio mixer, which is where you can tweak volume on a per-track basis. Given that per-track volume changing is only possible when you’ve selected synthetic playback, we’ve changed the mixer to hide the per-track controls if you’re not in synthetic mode. This should help clear up confusion.

Track name cleanup

We’ve tweaked the way the track names look, at the left edge of notation. They used to have a thick orange rectangle, and we’ve removed that, to make things less distracting.

We also now hide the track name entirely if there’s only one track. This helps reduce visual clutter.

Smarter search engine

We’ve improved our sitewide search engine to work properly with accented characters. That means you can search for João Oliveira and find what you’re looking for.

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