An overview of all the fixes and improvements we've added this week
We’ve been writing these release notes to highlight subtle new features and bug fixes behind the scenes, that would otherwise escape all but the most attentive users.
Not this time. If you used Faders today, you have already noticed a bunch of BIG changes to the look and feel of the application.
The Timeline regions received a total makeover, combining form and function in our best design yet. The new colours and borders are not only pretty, but also clearly show when a region is selected.
MIDI regions show their content more prominently, by zooming in on the range of notes it contains. For instance, if a region contains only notes in the middle octave, the region no longer wastes space on the rest of the keyboard.
An empty MIDI track is now born with a placeholder that you can click to quickly create a new region. You can still double-click anywhere on the track to create more regions.
Finally, the buttons on the regions made way for indicators to show where to drag to extend, trim, and loop regions. You can still double-click a region to open the editor, and enable fade-in and fade-out there or in the context menu.
As you load a session, an animation shows you what’s happening to make the wait more bearable: starting the actual application, applying settings, and downloading and displaying files.
The impatient can dismiss this info while files are still loading, you just won’t be able to play all of them yet. But long waits are rare – if the audio files are already in the browser’s cache, the loading will only take a few seconds. Conversely, if you open the session on a different computer or using a different browser, you may have to wait a few moments longer.
Dragging the Timeline canvas no longer moves it, but draws a rectangle that selects every region it touches. Standard meta-key logic (‘ctrl’ on Windows, ‘cmd’ on Mac) still applies, if you wish to add multiple selections together. For instance, you could ‘lasso’ a few regions, press the modifier key (and keep depressed), and click or drag some more to add additional selected regions. You can then move, copy, delete, ... all these regions at once.
Scrolling through time, then, is now done by moving the horizontal scroll bar at the bottom of the Timeline.
The snapping functionality in ‘Bars.Beats’ mode has been expanded to include automation, region trimming/extending, and session looping. We use so-called ‘smart snapping’, adapting to the zoom level and magnetically moving to the next minor Timeline division. For good old snap-less movements, switch to ‘Minutes:Seconds’ mode (right-click the Timeline ruler).
The session loop had a number of quirks where it required very precise clicking of the boundaries, didn’t allow dragging the whole region if its start point was at 0:00, bothered the database even when there was nothing to change (resulting in orange warnings on the screen), and only highlighted the selected time labels on release. But no more!
In order to give you a smooth, simple, and distraction-free experience, we removed a few unfinished features awaiting their full implementation. In particular, the audio editor and the smart structure bar – both of which were only visual so far – are hidden from view.
We also removed a few warnings and errors by solving the underlying problems, and reduced the number of notifications for successful uploads. You should assume everything is successful until a banner says otherwise!
You can expect more big updates in the following weeks, as we take the feedback from this alpha testing stage and turn it into an elegant, solid application. Enjoy!