The Reverse Butterfly Effect
Sometimes the tiniest little action can have enormous consequences, a concept often referred to as the butterfly effect. This week’s changes are the opposite of that. Our radio silence of the past few weeks was due to a drastic overhaul of both the audio engine and the database interface, which in fairness were crucial, but it shouldn’t be obvious from the user’s perspective. Put another way: if you notice lots of differences, we’ve done something wrong!
The heart and soul of our application, the audio engine deals with all things, well, audio. As lots of functionality was added over time, it became quite a beast, so it was time to chop it into less unwieldly components.
One crucial difference is the new lookahead, which guarantees seamless playback of session loops, and real-time adjustment to changing region positions and moving automation nodes. We now also support recording straight from a track or bus in the session, optional count-in, and software monitoring.
Your most prized possessions are the recordings you made and sequences you programmed. We therefore made the downloading and uploading more robust and included clear progress indicators, warnings and errors. For instance, you’ll know when an asset has gone missing, but you can still play the rest of the session. You can drag an asset on a track holder if you wish it to start at 0:00. And when you reached your account storage limit, you’ll get a helpful warning as well. For now just reach out to us if you need more space!
A good chunk of the positive reactions we receive are about the Stage view, our very visual mixing interface with control over balance and stereo panorama, group hierarchy, and real-time visualisation of automation. Playing to our strengths, we spent some time making it even better.
We now ignore the master level in calculating the maximum level labels on the stage, as this caused some confusion. A line in the middle of each Group segment shows the stereo panning centre, which you can also grab to pan the whole Group. Finally, each track object’s callout bubble now includes the track name, so you can easily find the track you’re looking for when the instrument label and colour are no help.
One benefit of a browser-based platform is that you’ll always have the most recent version, every time you log in! The one thing you may need to update... is your browser. Because old browser versions don’t support the web technologies that make multimedia apps possible, your experience will depend on the age and type of your browser. From now on, if we think your browser may not be optimal, we’ll alert you! That said, we try to support as many versions as possible, so most of you won’t even notice.
We don’t show as many warnings and errors as before, either because they are only important to us, or because we fixed the underlying cause!
Hover over a track’s coloured line in Timeline or Mixer view and it will expand, click it and you can change the colour! Much quicker than going into the “...” menu and selecting the colour picker (which you can still do).
Copying regions became more robust.
Automation parameters for FX and Sends are structured in submenus.
Very long track names don’t break the interface but are sensibly truncated if they don’t fit the view.
Similarly, long file names in the audio browser will be revealed on hover in a title text.
You can no longer accidentally drag the horizontal Timeline canvas lines. To change the track height, drag the bottom of the track header.
Fader values are rounded to 0.1 dB precision, and pan values are rounded to the nearest integer (..., 1L, 0, 1R, 2R, ...).
When you extend a MIDI region, its “waveform” will be recalculated so it stays intact instead of being stretched.
An overview of all the fixes and improvements we've added this week