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Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

A Forum to Discuss NOTION

Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby pcartwright » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:21 pm

deanesque wrote:If you want to play a piano part it cannot be properly done by adding markings later. That is absurd.


Why not? Are you suggesting that you intend to play the piano part into Notion directly, have it display your score perfectly without any edits or changes, and be done with it?

Notion is an excellent composing application, but you still have to make revisions and edits. That means that at this point you will need to manually add pedal markings. Is it really that daunting on your composing workflow?

Perhaps you think that being able to properly play a part on the most important composing instrument of all time is not an important function for a composing app. Now that is nonsense.


Of course not. Users can still compose for piano in Notion without being able to record a pedal. I still use the piano with Notion. Furthermore, the feature you are describing is recording a pedal. Recording is a tool aligned more for production than composition.

Apparently Notion agrees with you. An upgrade would be worthless to me. I'll be staying with Sibelius.


I can't speak for Notion, but I think the admin's reply sounds like it's still on the to do list but other priorities come first. Look at the list of stuff being adjusted and revised. One item is correcting pitch playback in Notion's own sound samples. Some of the bugs being correct impact the ability to use the program at all. You can still use the program without being able to record a pedal, even if you don't like it or won't admit it.

I've had moments where I was frustrated at the lack of development (and if rewire doesn't work properly in version 4 I will most definitely go on a rant), but I am disappointed every time I try to go back to Finale or Sibelius. The draw of more professional notation lures me, but the lack of production tools in Finale and the difficulty of use in Sibelius always turns me back to Notion (I absolutely hate the way Sibelius is organized). I have to say, I think Notion is doing something right, and I hope that as the bugs get fixed that they can focus on workflow optimization and better notation, but that is up to Notion to address.

Now go ahead, be angry, write something condescending to me or Notion, etc. I hope it makes you feel better.
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby Funkybot » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:53 am

Hearing the sustain pedal as you're recording and having it notated and functional on playback are necessary features for piano players. Going back, and having to add the sustain pedal after the fact is no small feat. And yes, it's a pretty fundamental feature of all notation software. As far as I know, Notion is the only notation software that doesn't do this, and even the Notion support team considers this a bug to be fixed, rather than an enhancement, that's how fundamental this is.

Do I think they'll fix this in a future release? Yes. They even just said they would. However, I think it's important enough that it should have been addressed in Notion 3, and certainly in the initial Notion 4 release. If you don't use it, or need it, or mind it, that's fine. But it's pretty important to other people. Is there a workaround? Sure. Does that mean it's not important? No.
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby pcartwright » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:42 am

Funkybot wrote:But it's pretty important to other people. Is there a workaround? Sure. Does that mean it's not important? No.


Agreed. But again, having samples play the correct notes ranks a little higher in my book. Also, having advertised features working such as rewire should also be a higher priority.
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby Rubens » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:00 am

pcartwright wrote:Nonsense. Would the feature be useful? Yes. Is it critical? No.

Pedal markings can be added after the fact and there are times where pedal markings may not be wanted. I think cross staff notation is more important for proper harp and piano notation than the ability to record pedal markings.

It is a matter of opinion.


Just want to say that I don't like my Finale or my Sibelius, and love Notion. But unfortunately I can't give up them until Notion correct issues like cross staff, harmonics, basic professional notation needs...
It is difficult to understand why this wasn't a priority after that long period of Notion 3... and the promise that it will be corrected in some update is kind of vague too.
Obviously I will upgrade now but can't not express my disappointment. Sorry guys.
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby jim » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:10 am

Hi guys, let me first start off by saying that what I'm about to say is to be taken in a positive way. Intent and tone can sometimes be lost in text. I tend to go on long rants....sorry.

We appreciate all the feature suggestions, arguments, complaining, and rants. We do listen. For example, the previous argument about pedal markings, beaming, etc... I know it's a bit of a disagreement between a few people...but you are all correct. These features are important. For ex. pedal captured in MIDI has a work-around for some. For some the notation-based work around is an option, but it is not the same and does not fully resolve the issues of the person who needs it to work the way they need it to work. So you are actually both right. The place where you will never be totally right or wrong is that this or most other wanted features are any more or less important than another, because it is strictly opinion.
When you say that we don't know, comprehend, or understand that a feature is needed, this is not true. Here is an interesting fact: Other than a few new technologies (which were added), there has never been a feature suggestion on this forum that was not placed in a future feature list by a small group of us prior to the very first version of Notion. Ever. Well...perhaps there was a few rants by Surfwhammy that...well, that's another story :D However, the previous statement was written with all due respect to all of you, but also our small team. Just because you don't see it does not mean we don't know, have known...or actually understand.

Most of you who, let's say, who can write the loudest have at one point written something like the following statement: "I dislike or can't stand Finale, I dislike or can't stand Sibelius, but I love Notion, but I'm disappointed." I have seen that type of statement many times from many of you. I am sorry you are disappointed in something we have done, we never like disappointing anyone, but we know we are going to disappoint someone with every decision we make. However, with the previous quote, obviously you are disappointed in all the top notation products. I have used all these products professionally and taught them on the university level, I know them all VERY well...and this following statement is true...and you never hear this coming from competitive companies enough:
Finale does an incredible job, great product, but yes, they are weak in areas.
Sibelius does an incredible job, great product, but yes, they are weak in areas.
Notion does an incredible job, great product, but yes, they are weak in areas.

There is a trend there... From a distance these three products are the same, "notation". But to people who know, those that use these products, they are very different. What we all do great and what we are all weak at is different. So, logic tells me that if our strongest supporters consistently make the statement about disliking Finale and Sibelius but love Notion, then we did something that was different enough that felt right to some people. However, if we go on the same path or use the same recipe as other products, then by using basic logic, we will most likely end up in the same place. That path, leading to where they went is what brought you to Notion to begin with.
Trust me, there are some intense fights that sometimes occur within the Notion Music walls as we are talking about features. Following that previously used recipe seems so right sometimes, it's much easier to follow, it "could" be right. But in my opinion the world does not need another Sibelius or Finale, they have done a good job being who they are, they fit a need. But I do feel the world needs a Notion...and even more, what Notion will become. I wish there was a button to press that just added all the features I want, integrated the way I imagine...too bad that button does not exist. Well, it kind of does, but a sort of slow button...it's the staff here like me who is sitting here at 7am on a Saturday morning working to make it happen. But the work we are doing is not a path that has been taken. We are going to do it our way, and heck, we may take some very big right or left turns going forward that alienate some users and gain the love of others. But those turns are going to happen to achieve a goal. I recall when Sibelius released their 64-bit version and their users were really upset because there were not many additional features...well that's because that 64-bit update was hard to do and took a long time to do it. We know. Our upcoming version is our best release ever...but we still have a lot we want to do, and it makes everyone here disappointed that we can't deliver everything. It's tough to work as hard as we do and never have that feeling that something is finished. But if we all felt it was finished we would never continue to work hard to improve it. Just because you do not see new features that you want does not mean we did not hear you, or understand, or think about it. Many of you influenced many of our decisions. But, not getting to a feature was probably because something else mattered just a small amount more for the stability, usability, and the current and future path of our product....the same path that was different enough from other products that initially earned your respect.

So going forward, please let us know what you want, features you need, etc... we do listen, it does make a difference...so does letting us know what we do right (that's usually what companies lose sight of first). I just wanted to give you some perspective to what some of us here are thinking.
What could be a huge help and more quickly get the features you want in the product? ...More customers. Your recommendations to future users, your stories and opinons, can help add more customers, which is more revenue, which can add more staff, which will produce features faster, etc... We understand negative posts, but there are often undecided future users who only see those statements and never see what we do well, or understand that those critical posts are from people who really truly care about our products. We understand that, but it's not as obvious for those seeing it for the first time and deciding if they should try our products. Thank you all for your support and your opinions. Sorry for the long post...
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby Surfwhammy » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:29 am

[NOTE: I started this post last night, and I did not see the more recent post by Jim, so to avoid any possibility of confusion, when I refer to the "other source", it was an abstruse joke where I was referring to myself, since using another of my online monikers ("Baldenario"), I routinely refer to myself as the "source of all knowledge in the known universe", where to be as precise as possible I include a portion of a letter that "Melvin Piffle [not his real name], Director of the Pretend FBI" sent to Dr. Julie Gerberding, who at the time was the Director of the CDC, regarding the problem which initially was attributed to Florida tomatoes but ultimately was tracked to contaminated serrano peppers imported from Mexico, where my concern was that the CDC, FDA, and USDA essentially shut-down the Florida tomato industry based entirely on patently goofy pseudo-science, where the fact of the matter was there were no reported illnesses in Florida and surrounding states . . . :shock: ]

While Melvin Piffle [not his real name] continues to be in charge of the Pretend FBI, more recently he has been working undercover as Baldenario (The Source of All Knowledge in the Known Universe), who receives encrypted transmissions from Fantabulo (His All-Seeing Third Eye), which then are translated into English by his Official Scribe (Alfred the Individual, Thirteenth Cousin of the Earl of Lower Wattlefern by the Lake, Twice Removed)--and, one of the more fascinating scientific research projects on which Baldenario currently is working is the apparently ongoing Puzzle of the Mystery Tomatoes . . .


According to the other source of all knowledge in the known universe, these are the pedal markings for piano:

1. Image Engage Pedal

2. Image Release Pedal

3. Image Variable pedal mark

4. Image Con sordino, Una corda

5. Image Senza sordino, Tutte le corde

[SOURCE: Pedal Marks (wikipedia) ]

NOTION 3 provides (1) and (2) on the palette, and (4) and (5) are provided as text in the "VSTi Techniques" section of the palette . . .

[NOTE: Whether these markings actually do anything during playback is another matter, and at present I have no idea, since I do not use them, but so what. And for reference, the NOTION 3 User Manual states that (1) and (2) apply during playback for guitar and bass, which is all I know at present in this respect . . . ]

From a programming perspective, I think that (1), (2), (4), and (5) probably are no different from doing any other type of binary articulation (ON/OFF), but (3) looks to be a bit more difficult, although technically it is just a combination or series from the set of binary actions {ON|OFF}, and visually it is similar to drawing a crescendo, which is part of the difficulty, since it is yet another thing to fit into the mélange of stuff that needs to be drawn or painted on the display; mapped to playback actions; and so forth . . .

Recording it from a MIDI keyboard should be straightforward, but reading the MIDI data and then mapping it to what needs to be drawn or painted on the screen and score is another matter, as is editing it, where after pondering everything for a while, I think the primary difficulty is devising an accurate strategy for fitting the variable actions to a discrete or binary timeline . . .

Using an example, staccato applies to a note or series of notes, which is straightforward and by definition is discrete or binary, because playing a note staccato are not two separate and independent activities--instead being a single activity--but holding and releasing a sustain pedal does not need to be anchored to a particular note, since I think that one certainly could play a note and then a few milliseconds later press the sustain pedal, followed by holding the sustain pedal for a while and then releasing it in such a way that none of the pedal-down and pedal-up actions coincided specifically with playing distinct notes on a timeline, and considering the general perspectives of composes who actually would use a sustain pedal, I suggest that even if one provided millisecond granularity, then a few composers would not be happy for a variety of typically esoteric "artistic" reasons . . .

[NOTE: Yet another dilemma occurs when you allow after-the-fact tempo changes and time signature changes, where for example if you provided either an absolute timeline in milliseconds or "ticks" or an intra-measure timeline in millibeats or "micks", the original value specified or played by the composer would need to be both preserved for "undo" and modified proportionally, which if you allow subsequent numeric editing of the value creates a bit of a bookkeeping mess . . . ]

And for playback, there is the matter of the ways various VSTi virtual instruments and sampled sound libraries handle pedals, where absent detailed scripting, most of them probably do not handle pedals, at least in the sense of being able to emulate what happens when a chord is played on a grand piano with the sustain pedal ON, which certainly could map to the chord being sustained and gradually diminished in volume and tone spectrum over 30 seconds or longer, although I suppose that individual notes on a grand piano can be sampled with the sustain pedal pressed, and if they were sampled for different lengths of time, this could work nicely . . .

SUMMARY

I tend to think that this is not a trivial set of algorithms, especially when it is extended to recording real-time MIDI, although when you think about it from a different perspective, it should be "ballpark" similar to the most primitive activity in music notation, which specifically is playing a single note, where the difference is that instead of playing a note, you are "playing" a pedal which is either (a) ON or (b) OFF on an inevitably discrete or binary timeline, and from this perspective it might not be so difficult to generate everything for purposes of (a) printing a score and (b) sending playback instructions to a VSTi virtual instrument, provided whether the pedal actions actually are played by a VSTi instrument is dependent (a) on the VSTi instrument rather than (b) on NOTION needing to perform a series of elaborate reverberation and echo emulations . . .

Lots of FUN! :ugeek:

P. S. For printed scores, it is useful to remember that musicians tend to be bright people, and most of them have ready access to pens and pencils, which with a bit of training they can use to make performance notes, really . . .

[NOTE: All the instruments are done with music notation in NOTION 3 using IK Multimedia and Orange Tree Samples VSTi virtual instruments . . . ]

"It Was Only A Dream" (The Surf Whammys) -- Featuring Pretend Johnny Cash -- MP3 (7.3MB, 283-kbps [VBR], approximately 3 minutes and 16 seconds)

Really! :P
Last edited by Surfwhammy on Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:25 am, edited 17 times in total.
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby thorrild » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:32 am

Thank you, Jim, for a beautifully argued account of why we are all here, instead of arguing these points on the competitors' user forums (fora?).

The fact that we are already at each other's throats arguing about features for Notion 5 before we have even got our hot hands on Notion 4 must say something wonderful about this product. Here's to the future, and Saturdays off!

Best wishes,
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby jim » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:41 am

thorrild - "...and Saturdays off!"

Saturday's off? Does this exist? Or is this some kind of attempt at humor that I cannot comprehend? :shock:
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby pcartwright » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:31 am

thorrild wrote:Thank you, Jim, for a beautifully argued account of why we are all here, instead of arguing these points on the competitors' user forums (fora?).

The fact that we are already at each other's throats arguing about features for Notion 5 before we have even got our hot hands on Notion 4 must say something wonderful about this product. Here's to the future, and Saturdays off!

Best wishes,
Thorrild


+1
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Re: Random Selection of Things We've Been Working On

Postby Rubens » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:56 am

Hi Jim,

thank you for your post.

I just want to clarify a little more my perspective ok?
As I said, I do love Notion, can't imagine doing my work without it. But I felt your post a little unclear for me...
The comparison I did with other softwares is not based in some perfect image I do have about what Notion or others should be. Don't like Finale, don't like Sibelius, but in the perspective of professional notation layouts they do what is needed to do. That doesn't mean that I want another Sibelius or another Finale! I just want basic notation features corrected in Notion... I am emphasizing this because besides I personally want to use only Notion, (because it is so much better in a lot, lot of ways including the tech support!) I know that how much more users Notion can have, much more chances to improve even more the software we will have! So live long to Notion!
I am in Rio de Janeiro with lots of others colleagues composers around. They never heard about Notion, and they are all long time Finale or Sibelius users. As they are contemporary composers and arrangers I can't convince anyone to take a look at Notion without those basic features as cross writing, and harmonic issues fixed.
I can understand that composers mostly working for musicians to play maybe are not the focus of Notion team... Is that you are trying to say? So... in your perspective maybe I will need always to work with Notion for sampled music and another software just for layout needs? That's not a provocation, not a irony or something. Agree with you that sometimes word written can make misunderstandings. Sorry for any inconvenience.
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