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Updates 8th November 2019

Friday 8th November 2019
By Nick Jillings

An overview of all the fixes and improvements we've added this week

The Good Kind of Feedback

Sound engineers usually go out of their way to avoid ‘feedback’, where a microphone picks up its own signal from a nearby speaker resulting in a vicious cycle of screeching and squealing. But this week the sound engineers that bring you Faders couldn’t be more grateful for all the comments, questions and suggestions we got from you – the good kind of feedback.

We made addressing all of your comments our top priority. To that end we have just pushed updates to the alpha to give you the best possible experience going forward. Here's what we've done:

Login pages - passwords

A frustratingly small bug (actually just one line of code) caused the registration system to pack up. So we apologise if you got stuck with an ‘invalid password’ error on registration. Refreshing the page solved it, but let’s be honest – that’s not a great user experience straight away! This has now been fixed and gives feedback as you go, with green validation notifications if all is well.

The DAW

Recording

It appears our recording system still needed some work, so here we go. Firstly, we’ve fixed an issue where arming a track to record would also mute it, while disarming it would actually let you listen to the input. Not exactly a desirable outcome. Now, record arm will monitor the incoming audio in real-time, disconnecting when disarmed.

We've also made record arm more persistent so you can record multiple regions without needing to re-arm the track in between. A minor update but one we think you’ll find useful.

We are aware of problems with accessing external audio interfaces. This has come as a bit of a surprise to us, as this was something that had been quite stable. However, we are making this issue a priority, and shipped a temporary fix with this week’s release.

Playback

Our playback engine received a bit of a makeover as well. In particular, it is now completely unfazed by toggling the ‘Session Loop’ button in the transport bar, or changing the looped region boundaries. We think you’ll also find the playhead behaves nicely when being dragged around – even during playback, if you can catch it!

MIDI Editor

We haven’t had the best of times with our piano roll, and parts of it are very clunky and basic. So instead of trying to patch up what’s there, we’re going to redesign that section and implement something a little more fully-fledged – watch this space.

In the meantime, we’ve fixed a few usability issues. Notes now snap to the grid whether you create them or drag them around, using the same resolution as the note length. So if you create a quarter note (crotchet), it will appear at a quarter note division and be a quarter note long. We have an improved system in the works, but for now you can already work with timings a little easier.

When opening the MIDI editor, it shows the selected synthesiser by default and the piano roll should centre around note C5.

Sliders

A public apology to Ryan (sorry) when I told him making SVG sliders for the fader controls would be a waste of time since the HTML 5 sliders were easy to style. I was very wrong.

The HTML5 input slider is a prime example of where browsers just don’t play along. We were quite pleased with the delightfully customised slider we made by restyling the default browser one. One problem: not all browsers really like being ‘restyled’. It caused some interesting problems in different browsers, in particular for the vertical controls in the mixer view.

  • In Firefox, our development browser of choice, it behaved as intended.

  • In Chrome, the fader was upside down: interesting, but the world may not be ready.

  • Safari would create a fader you dragged sideways to move it up or down.

Whilst providing some funny moments trying to debug it, we decided instead to create our own SVG sliders. Please let us know how these are working out for you! In the process, we added in the ability to ‘slow-drag’ the faders as well by holding down the SHIFT key as you drag, giving you a much higher precision.

All the little things

These are some of the smaller things that we've fixed along the way as well:

  • For Halloween, our stage view was haunted by ghosts of tracks which should have been buried in groups. They are now resting peacefully again until you dig them up (double click the group or use the track browser on the left).

  • Adding a track which is solo enabled into a group will enable solo on the group, so you can still hear it.

  • Enabling session loop will start a loop of eight bars if no other loop period is drawn.

  • Waveform resolutions of the group and master are drawn correctly, no more low-res smearing.

  • Adding and filling groups is more robust.

  • Regions should not jump onto other tracks.

  • Locked and level-automated tracks have their Timeline faders properly disabled.

  • Creating a new send from a group.

  • Can solo and mute tracks from the stage view channel strip.

  • Extending or trimming a region (dragging the left and right sides) now has a different cursor from looping (dragging the top right corner).

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