Blog

Updates 14th April 2020

Tuesday 14th April 2020
By Brecht De Man

Open to all!

We’re excited to present you the beta version of Faders, currently live on faders.io:

https://faders.io

This concludes the first stage of user testing known as alpha, where we worked closely to a small group of early adopters, and may remove or alter a lot of functionality, accidentally delete your account, and get in the way of you making art in an enjoyable way! Fortunately, none of that really happened. And because we are now confident that it never will, we feel ready to go to the next stage: beta!

We would like to thank the early adopters who tried out the alpha version of Faders. Their keen eye and patience have improved the tool many times over, from spotting bugs to inspiring new functionality.

In this phase, we are still really eager to hear from the community, even if there are now a lot of you! Our mission from the start has been to deliver a creative platform inspired wholly by what creators want and need, rather than by convention and tradition, and you’re helping us get there.

As before, you can reach out to us in case of any weirdness, mild annoyance, major problem, or suggestion. You can reach us via email, on the Discord server, through the in-app chat on the top right of the session bar, via the floating megaphone button, or through our social media pages.

info@faders.io

Discord server

Everyone who made an account can still log in using their normal credentials. Additionally, anyone who hasn’t made an account yet can do so without invitation or approval, and using your email address or through your Google account.

This version introduces too many changes to list, but we wanted to share some of the most important ones anyway.

Piano Roll

The MIDI editor is a small music workstation in its own way, so we gave it a proper overhaul to make it as powerful and reliable as the DAW itself. For instance:

  • we connected the DAW Timeline view with the MIDI editor timeline, so that the playhead position is consistent across both and the time stamps match up.

  • we support multi-selection and multi-editing, so that several notes can be edited in one movement.

  • you can zoom in and out using the zoom bar or by scrolling with the Alt key depressed.

  • the editor is closed when the corresponding region is deleted, so you’ll never spend hours on your magnum opus only to find it was never stored.

  • you can hear notes as you add or edit them, if you want – this is easily disabled.

Say more with less

We spent some time optimising the communication with the cloud – again! You may notice sessions are loaded faster, with a bunch of things only loading when they are actually needed. One technique we used is pagination, where we only load the sessions, audio, plugins, presets, … that are currently in view, with the option to show more. This has the additional advantage of making the user interface more manageable and less overwhelming.

Another important improvement behind the scenes is the serialisation of requests. This means that each request waits its turn instead of sending everything at once, possibly ending up out of order. If you close the window before your most recent request is properly processed, you’ll get a warning first so that no changes are lost.

Import/Export

Faders support any kind of audio recording and different types of synthesising, all in one place. But it’s still possible you want to import some audio content, from old sessions to newly purchased sample packs. Now in addition to dragging this into the window, you can also right click a track or click the new Import icon in the session bar to browse your files and import any number in one go.

If that’s not enough, the My Assets page in the User Space now also allows dragging files in or browsing the system.

A new record

Arming a track without setting an input first will set a default input, to make quickly recording ideas less laborious. For audio tracks, this is the first input on the operating system's chosen audio interface. For MIDI tracks, it will be the Computer Keyboard, or whichever MIDI device was last used. In Chrome, external MIDI controllers now show up in the input selection menu without any further setup.

Automation continued

Many small improvements have made automating a track’s parameter a completely new experience. Automation nodes will appear quicker, only active automation graphs will be shown in the background watermark, lines between nodes are draggable, and disabling a parameter’s automation reduces the graph to a single node-with-line. In addition, we’ve added the multi-select and multi-edit behaviour to automation nodes too, so you can drag (or delete) several nodes at once.

Major minor

Just for fun, here’s a list of some more small-ish improvements you may enjoy:

  • click the Faders logo to go to the User Space

  • a new magnet button toggles “snap to grid”

  • several “undo/redo” fixes

  • dragging to capture several regions, MIDI notes, or automation nodes no longer accidentally selects text

  • meters are also showing the level of the input when the track is armed

  • region fades are persistent, in the right place, and the grabbers are always visible on hover for quick access

  • track duplication is robust

  • musical typing (controlling an armed MIDI track via the computer keyboard) doesn’t accidentally trigger keyboard shortcuts

  • you can zoom in (much) further now

  • stereo regions show both waveforms

  • you can drag Sends from one track to the next

Now what?

The alpha stage is officially over, but we’re busier than ever addressing your latest feedback and ironing out a few more bugs. It’s safe to say this will never end. That said, we are also looking forward to unveil some new, big features in the very near future. Stay tuned!

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