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Big improvements for drum notation

Today we’re launching many improvements to Soundslice’s percussion support!

Notate drums in our editor

Our notation editor now supports creating drum tracks. Just open the editor, add a track and select “Drum kit.”

On the subsequent screen, you’ll be able to choose whether to use drum tab (old school!) or the usual standard notation.

Once you have a drum track, use the A through G keys to enter pitches (same as for pitched instruments); we’ll eventually be adding more ways to add notes. If you’re using drum tab, enter numbers in the tablature. Details for both approaches are in our new documentation.

Better sounding percussion samples

We’ve taken the time to get some better sounds (“soundfonts”) for percussion in our synthetic player. Enjoy the higher quality!

Better importing for percussion

For those of you who already have percussion notated in other programs, we’ve improved our MusicXML and Guitar Pro importers to fix some weirdness. Previously, if you imported percussion into Soundslice, then wanted to add notes, your newly added notes wouldn’t have any sound during synthetic playback. That’s now fixed!

Imported percussion files are also a bit more efficient behind the scenes.

Editor support for X noteheads

Our editor now lets you set and unset X noteheads. These show up a lot in drum notation. Look for the button in the editor’s “Articulations” menu.

Extra polish all around

It doesn’t make sense to transpose an unpitched percussion track — so we’ve hidden the “instrument transposition” options from those types of tracks to prevent chaos and confusion.

Similarly, we’ve hidden the “Synth sound” menu from percussion tracks.

In our notation editor, we’ve disabled various editing functions in percussion tracks that were nonsensical — such as the ability to set an accidental, toggle enharmonics, set a key signature, change the clef and change the octave (8va).

Future improvements

There’s still more on our to-do list, as always:

  • At the moment, you can’t control the mapping between staff lines and percussion sounds: should the A line above the staff be a crash or splash cymbal? As percussion notation isn’t universally consistent, we’ve had to make some editorial decisions about the sounds. But eventually we’ll give you the fine-grained control you deserve.
  • We’ll be adding support for other notehead shapes used in percussion music, such as triangle noteheads.
  • We’ll be improving our synth playback to take into account articulations and other notations (e.g., tremolos and buzz rolls).
  • We’ll be improving the entry process for sticking, along with the visual rendering of the L and R.

Enjoy the new features!


Thank you, Soundslice team! We really appreciate editor support for X noteheads!
Has there been any further development in the area of percussion stickings? Thank you! well as tremolo playback?
No news yet on percussion stickings. For tremolo playback, our synthetic engine doesn't do that yet, but we always encourage people to use real recordings (which will *always* be better than a synthetic engine).
I've been using Lyrics for stickings it shows up much better than TXT.

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