The Soundslice Blog

Much easier notation-audio syncing

Posted by Adrian Holovaty on February 3, 2016

We’ve made some nice improvements to our syncpoint editor today.

Guide notes

The biggest change is a simpler way to make inner-bar syncpoints (i.e., syncpoints that don’t fall on downbeats, in case of wild tempo variations in a performance).

Previously you had to click a note, then click “Add inner-bar beat,” then drag the newly created syncpoint — an unintuitive process that we got a lot of confused emails about.

Now, you’ll see notes directly integrated in the waveform view. We call these “guide notes.” If part of your audio doesn’t line up with the notation, just drag a guide note left or right to compensate. Super simple!

Screenshot of syncpoint editor

Even if you don’t need to create inner-bar syncpoints, these guide notes give you a feel for how your notation aligns with your recording, in the context of your current syncpoints.

If your notation has multiple tracks/instruments, guide notes are taken from the first track. You can toggle the track used for guide notes — or hide the guide notes entirely — by clicking the new “Toggle notes” button. This is useful if, say, one instrument has a measure-long rest but you still need to create an inner-bar syncpoint due to a tempo variation by other instruments.

Implied syncpoints

If your audio has perfect time — like if it was recorded with a click track — then you only need to create the first and last syncpoint. Double-click the last syncpoint and enter the last measure number, and Soundslice will place the other syncpoints automatically.

But that’s old news, and maybe you’ve already been using that feature. Today we’ve improved it: we now display the “implied” syncpoints between your actual syncpoints, so that you can get a clearer picture of what we’ve auto-generated.

Implied syncpoints are light gray and appear in parentheses. In this example, we’ve created syncpoints for bars 1 and 4, and Soundslice displays the implied syncpoints 2 and 3 in between:

Screenshot of implied syncpoints

Note that, as you drag syncpoints around, implied syncpoints and guide notes update in real time — giving you immediate feedback, so you can tweak them to perfection.

“End” shortcut

Finally, there’s a new shortcut: you can double-click a syncpoint and type “end”, and Soundslice will automatically convert that to the last bar number (the measure number corresponding to the end of the piece). This is a small but useful thing for longer scores with repeats, where you might not quickly be able to figure out the last syncpoint number.

I hope you enjoy these new powers! Please keep the feedback coming.