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New synthetic playback engine

Starting today, if you choose synthetic playback (as opposed to using Soundslice with video or real audio), we’ll use a brand-new playback engine. We’ve rebuilt it from the ground up to fix some fundamental limitations. Here’s what’s new.

First, there’s no longer a limit of three(ish) seconds for each note. Previously, if your music had a long sustained note — say a couple of tied whole notes at a slow tempo — our synthetic playback would stop playing the note after about three seconds. Highly irritating! Now, notes can ring out indefinitely, though some instruments do of course have a natural decay.

Second, the synthetic instruments should have clearer, more well-defined pitches. Previously the sound could be a bit “blurry” in places, and we’ve greatly improved that.

Third, we’ve updated a few of the instruments to use higher-quality samples.

Finally, this new engine gives us a solid foundation for future work. The old system limited the kinds of things we could do, and we have a lot more flexibility and power now. Onward!