Lyrics and multiple videos

Posted by Adrian Holovaty on December 1, 2014

We’ve got two new features to announce today: lyrics and support for multiple synced videos.

First, we’ve added support for lyrics in our music notation. Here’s what they look like:

Screenshot of lyrics

As with the rest of our interactive notation, you can toggle lyrics on and off. To do that, click the track name at left and click the lyrics icon:

Screenshot of lyrics toggler button

Behind the scenes, the display of lyrics is a bit more complex than you might think. Depending on the length of the word/syllable, the notation engine needs to tweak the spacing of the associated note(s), such that lyrics can be properly centered under notes while preventing words from running together.

We also support extenders, which is the fancy name for the horizontal lines that extend from words that are sustained over several notes. And of course, everything works seamlessly with our “responsive” notation, which means it repositions everything depending on your screen width.

Here’s a demo of our lyrics in action: Take Me Out To The Ball Game.

This particular example also shows off the second new Soundslice feature — a single piece of music that’s synced with multiple performances. In this case, we’ve hooked the notation up to 33 different celebrity performances of the tune at Wrigley Field in Chicago. You can switch between them in real time by clicking the celebrity name at the bottom.

Screenshot of toggler

Obviously this tune is a silly example, but the ability to switch between performances is super useful for learning a piece of music. This lets you, for example, select a few bars of a piece that you’re having trouble with, then toggle through different musicians’ approaches to that same passage. It’s really powerful. Stay tuned for more!


I'm guessing the "multiple performance" feature could also be used for separate videos of the same performance (e.g. different camera angles) and you'd have to annotate each video by measure? If three videos of equal length were uploaded, could the annotations be copied and pasted between videos?
Yes, exactly -- people can use this to have separate videos of the same performance. I believe at least one of our partners is already doing that. And we do indeed have a way of copying syncpoints between audio sources. :-)
Sweet. You guys are awesome.
I just realized this could also apply to multiple tempos... One set of notation for various performances at different speeds including multiple camera angles... So awesome!

It would be nice if these kinds of "performance bundles" (which you are calling "scores" in your taxonomy) could be listed as single items on profile pages. For example, if I have 9 videos covering 3 performances of the same piece of music at different tempos, I'd want to link specifically to the entire bundle of videos with the related notation. Is that possible for non-partners?

If I record a song at 100bpm, 110bpm, and 120bpm with left- and right-hand videos and a zoomed-out video of the entire guitar at all three tempos (3 videos @ 3 tempos = 9 videos), I'd love to point people to that instead of to separate, individual videos
That's a great way to use it. :-) Let me send you an email with more info... -Adrian

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