New test version

All about the development and use of SynthFont2
Cos
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:32 am

Re: New test version

Post by Cos »

My computer is running on Windows 10 now.. When will we have native Windows 10 support? What about native INS (instrument files) support?

I still dream about a Synthfont pocket player. :) None of the current MIDI players I have fully satisfy me. MIDI Eddie would be the closest, but it's a bit buggy, although it sends a MIDI SysEx reset message (GM2 included) and that's great. VanBasco might be better in some instances, super stable, and also sends a GM (not GM2 but it doesn't matter) reset message, although I am not so happy with it either.

My favourite current MIDI player is TMIDI: Tom's MIDI Player, although it does have an issue with MIDI resets. If a song is GS -reset message built in the song-, starting a new song on hardware means the song will sound in GS mode instead of native GM2 mode because it doesn't send MIDI SysEX messages in between songs.

chasp
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: New test version

Post by chasp »

Cos... Is that you.... how are you my friend! :D

Admin
Site Admin
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:22 am

Re: New test version

Post by Admin »

Hi Cos! How good to hear from you again.
Native Windows 10 support? Well... Right now I don't really know what that would imply. I DO plan to purchase a new PC in a short while and I guess it will eventually be equipped with Windows 10. Right now I'll stick to my good old Windows 7 machine for all development work.

Your ideas for a midi player is pretty special, I think. There's probably not too many people out there with that need. I mean, playing a lot of non-GM MIDI files on external hardware. I mean a lot of files. If you play only some then SynthFont2 should be able to cope already tight now, or am I wrong? Please correct me. I tend to forget.

I'm back in office now, but I will probably not come up to full speed before mid September. Right now I'm working through the list of things to do. And fixing crash report bugs. I'm positively surprised as I haven't received too many of those during this last five weeks.

I'll have a new test version out by the end of the week, I hope.

Cos
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:32 am

Re: New test version

Post by Cos »

chasp wrote:Cos... Is that you.... how are you my friend! :D
:) Yes, it's "me". How are you, Charlie? I hope you are fine and dandy friend. Life has changed a little for me. I am about to move with my girlfriend (I did months ago, but work changed that and now we will be living together again soon), and I am working on completing my computer science studies.

How about you? It's been a while ever since I listened to one of your songs, but I still have the files from the previous ones you shared.
Admin wrote:Hi Cos! How good to hear from you again.
Native Windows 10 support? Well... Right now I don't really know what that would imply. I DO plan to purchase a new PC in a short while and I guess it will eventually be equipped with Windows 10. Right now I'll stick to my good old Windows 7 machine for all development work.

Your ideas for a midi player is pretty special, I think. There's probably not too many people out there with that need. I mean, playing a lot of non-GM MIDI files on external hardware. I mean a lot of files. If you play only some then SynthFont2 should be able to cope already tight now, or am I wrong? Please correct me. I tend to forget.

I'm back in office now, but I will probably not come up to full speed before mid September. Right now I'm working through the list of things to do. And fixing crash report bugs. I'm positively surprised as I haven't received too many of those during this last five weeks.

I'll have a new test version out by the end of the week, I hope.
Hello Andrew! Yes, Synthfont does that job pretty nicely now. But listening to MIDI stuff while I study or whatever is like second nature to me. And a Synthfont pocket player would be a dream come true. There isn't a single program out there, of ALL of those I have and tried, that treats program changes and patches so finely as Synthfont!! And I mean it.

Plus, it would make probably the best MIDI player on earth. If programmed properly to be a MIDI player, with all those little extra capabilities.. I don't think the old forum is still available for posting, but I had compiled many of the ideas for Synthfont Compact or Synthfont Peewee -whatever name floats your boat- :) in this thread.

http://www.synthfont.com/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=193

Regarding bugs, I don't find many these days. Plus after switching to Windows 10 I haven't reinstalled Synthfont 2 yet. Additionally, contrary to my past experiences, my Synthfont usage has become a bit more stuck in my ways til I get some extra time to play around with it. But some dreams are like part of me and never leave, so I still wish for a Synthfont player like that.

good luck and keep up the good work.

Admin
Site Admin
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Re: New test version

Post by Admin »

Thanks Cos for the link to your features wish list. I try to take notes on everything for my own todo-list (many of them as I often keep the todo-items within the source code, easy that way) but I also tend to loose things in there during the development process (trying something out - not good - going back a to previous version - trying something else - assuming it is good now - removing item from the list - one month later ... implementation not good, back to drawing board, hey! where's that list now?). So I'm happy for any occasion to freshen up the list.

(I don't mind you calling me Andrew, but there is an AndrewU member and we should try to avoid confusing people)

One question, Cos, would you like/want/need the tracks list in the midi-mini-me player?

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 524
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Re: New test version

Post by Admin »

Ok, here's a new test version:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/173 ... t2023D.rar

What's new here:
@ray890:
- I've looked at the very odd issue you have reported when playing at 8000 Hz sample rate on a quad-core PC. I don't have access to one myself just yet, but I have found one possible flaw. Thus I would like you to test this version.
- You had some suggestions for improving the Pianoroll:
  • + If there are the more than one of the same notes, either right beside each other or overlapping, there should be a visible line to indicate it, instead of misleadingly appearing as one long note. - Yes, I agree. I have introduced a "cheap" version of it here. It always shows the beginning of a note with a slanted ´-sign and the end with a ,-sign. Like this:
    Image
    This is always shown for the selected track, not only for overlapping notes. Good or bad?

    + Give the option to popout the piano roll into a separate window. - Yes, of course. You can now pop out also the Files / Folders page and the Midi events page. To do it, press the right mouse button on any of the four main tabs;
    Image

    + Add a toggle button to switch between default "middle" playback marker position, and locating playback marker right (LEFT) where the virtual piano keys are. - I have added one more option to the options for smooth scrolling:
    Image

    + Users should be able to right click a track name and get the same kind of context menu that you get when right clicking track names at the bottom of Plug & Play (rename, delete track.etc - Done. Use the right mouse button on the track name in the tracks dropdown list.
This version also has a rather large number of bug fixes. Some come from crash reports, some are my own findings. For example, the file save as dialog for saving an arrangement under a new name did not work.

One other new feature:
Image
Use this if you want to create a new arrangement for a particular MIDI file.

One devoted user (not a forum member) has complained that version 2.0.2.2 creates scratchy sound when playing to the speakers. It sounded to me like the effect you experience with high voice counts, but even if he used all means to limit the voice count he could not get a decent output. Sorry to say he abandoned 2.0.2.2 for 2.0.1.1. He used a number of VST instruments in his example. I have tried to reproduce this effect but I have not been able to do so. So, if anyone reading this has anything to say, then please stand up.

ray890
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:27 pm
Contact:

Re: New test version

Post by ray890 »

Cos wrote:My computer is running on Windows 10 now.. When will we have native Windows 10 support? What about native INS (instrument files) support?

I still dream about a Synthfont pocket player. :) None of the current MIDI players I have fully satisfy me. MIDI Eddie would be the closest, but it's a bit buggy, although it sends a MIDI SysEx reset message (GM2 included) and that's great. VanBasco might be better in some instances, super stable, and also sends a GM (not GM2 but it doesn't matter) reset message, although I am not so happy with it either.

My favourite current MIDI player is TMIDI: Tom's MIDI Player, although it does have an issue with MIDI resets. If a song is GS -reset message built in the song-, starting a new song on hardware means the song will sound in GS mode instead of native GM2 mode because it doesn't send MIDI SysEX messages in between songs.
In the meantime, I recommend that you contact the developer for Tom's MIDI Player; he may not be actively developing his player, but I found he's pretty active in responding to my emails and fixing the bugs I've reported to him. Alternatively, you may want to also test out the MIDI Player component of TiMidity++ (Win32GUI); but unfortunately it has bugs of its own and it's an abandoned project.

I may test SynthFont with Windows 10 and report Win10 specific bugs when I have a chance, even though I don't plan on using Windows 10 as my main OS any time soon.
Admin wrote:Ok, here's a new test version
Welcome back Kenneth! I've not experienced any new bugs other than the ones I've already reported in previous posts, otherwise I've been too focused on other things like college to do much more of my own testing.

First off, this version does not improve on nor fix the quad-core performance problem. Also, the problem is not limited to 8000hz sample rate, I'd describe the issue as "utilizing three or more physical CPU cores causes a decline in performance with lower sample rates", where the lower the sample rate is or the more cores beyond 3 that is used, the worse the rendering time is. For example, with "OTIJ Clip.mid" which I've mentioned previously, at 22050hz it renders in ~13-14 seconds in quad-core mode and ~7-8 seconds in single-core.

The context menu you've added to Pianoroll's track list is not the context menu I was expecting, rather I was expecting this one instead.

More testing always seems to result in more batches of found bugs, here they are listed as usual:

Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 524
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:22 am

Re: New test version

Post by Admin »

Thanks ray890. I didn't really expect the sub-44100Hz/multi-core issue to be solved. One question: what happens with sampling rates <b>higher</b> then 44100?

I think you missed something with the tracks list popup menu. Look again. This is what I get:
Image

Cos
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:32 am

Re: New test version

Post by Cos »

ray890 wrote:
Cos wrote:My computer is running on Windows 10 now.. When will we have native Windows 10 support? What about native INS (instrument files) support?

I still dream about a Synthfont pocket player. :) None of the current MIDI players I have fully satisfy me. MIDI Eddie would be the closest, but it's a bit buggy, although it sends a MIDI SysEx reset message (GM2 included) and that's great. VanBasco might be better in some instances, super stable, and also sends a GM (not GM2 but it doesn't matter) reset message, although I am not so happy with it either.

My favourite current MIDI player is TMIDI: Tom's MIDI Player, although it does have an issue with MIDI resets. If a song is GS -reset message built in the song-, starting a new song on hardware means the song will sound in GS mode instead of native GM2 mode because it doesn't send MIDI SysEX messages in between songs.
In the meantime, I recommend that you contact the developer for Tom's MIDI Player; he may not be actively developing his player, but I found he's pretty active in responding to my emails and fixing the bugs I've reported to him. Alternatively, you may want to also test out the MIDI Player component of TiMidity++ (Win32GUI); but unfortunately it has bugs of its own and it's an abandoned project.

I may test SynthFont with Windows 10 and report Win10 specific bugs when I have a chance, even though I don't plan on using Windows 10 as my main OS any time soon.
Thanks for the suggestion. Alas, I am not in touch with him and I have very limited time as of late. If you ever copy my message to him in an email concerning the SysEx messages resetting the hardware to GS -or whatever- but not returning the hardware to its "default state" (General MIDI 2 in my case) it would be perfect. :)

In that sense, having the option to send a SysEx reset message (GS, GM2, GM, etc) when switching sons might do the trick, or filtering out SysEx messages --that's not without its issues if you don't send a SysEx message after a song starts though, because some songs are XG native and they distort the sound with GM2 modules for some reasons, with devilish superb hight pitched odd sounds and strange drums, etc etc.

I had another player that I used a lot before, Synthesia, but it's now when I discovered it's working perfectly with patches and bank changes no matter what. It works as good as Synthfont, save for some songs that if you don't send a GM2 reset message some sound might be off, but then you have Synthfont for that. :)

Synthesia (can you see how similar it sounds compared to Synthfont) :) works perfectly as long as you use the option to filter out SysEx messages. Its only problem is that it doesn't send SysEx messages on whatever mode when a song starts and if you are unlucky to play a XG song, every single song afterwards is going to sound bad and full of high pitched sounds and odd sound overall to the point of becoming unbearable because a hardware reset message wasn't sent after the first XG song sounded.

Plus Synthesia isn't a pure MIDI player, like say.. VanBasco.

Back into Tom's MIDI..another issue I have with Tom's MIDI is that it freezes when I set the MIDI In to the Roland SD-50, and no other player does that. But I can live with that, actually, since I use other programs to edit music, Tom's MIDI is meant for playing..

I finally installed Synthfont 2 in Windows 10, it's working flawlessly. :) Only problem I have is non OS related, just that I can't use as a default MIDI player, 'cos if I open a MIDI file on an internet site, Synthfont doesn't continue with the previous session and starts a new one.

That has two problems, one is that the previous session continues open -it'd be an ok feature if optional though- and it takes memory, I guess.

The second problem is that the Setup and Options aren't saved between sessions because of a bug. So Synthfont restarts with the default settings, and it's a nightmare to change them again -In and Out devices, GM2 reset Yes, check "use selected output instead of ANY Soundfont or VST instrument when no arrangement exists", etc etc, so it's a nightmare.

Additionally, it doesn't feel like a Synthfont mini player, but I could live with that meanwhile.

Cos
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:32 am

Re: New test version

Post by Cos »

Admin wrote:Thanks Cos for the link to your features wish list. I try to take notes on everything for my own todo-list (many of them as I often keep the todo-items within the source code, easy that way) but I also tend to loose things in there during the development process (trying something out - not good - going back a to previous version - trying something else - assuming it is good now - removing item from the list - one month later ... implementation not good, back to drawing board, hey! where's that list now?). So I'm happy for any occasion to freshen up the list.

(I don't mind you calling me Andrew, but there is an AndrewU member and we should try to avoid confusing people)

One question, Cos, would you like/want/need the tracks list in the midi-mini-me player?
Cos is.. well, it sounds like 'cos instead of because, but you can easily identify me. My actual name is Xose in my language --Cose is like a nick my sister uses. :mrgreen:

I am sorry to have called you Andrew. I know you are Kenneth and always did, but wrote that for whatever reason I can't remember (gotta edit it). I even have seen a photo of you (youtube profile) and your videos on youtube -even that of the laboratory machine- :geek:

As for your question, I would. I think such a Synthfont player could use two modes. Play mode, with additional panes opening up the tracks list and an Edit mode where you could quickly edit tracks and instruments and stuff. The edit mode could smartly merge the portability and usability of a small Synthfont player with its powerful editing capabilities. Plus, it could render files to WAV, WMA and so on..

A nifty, nimble Edit mode could be perfect for quick testing and editing, and you have the code already, it's the interface and memory usage that should change to your vision of it.

As for the name, Synthfont Mini-me sounds ok, Synthfont Teeny or Synthfont Teensy actually sounds fine. In my language it would be like Synthfont Peque. Synthfont Lilli sounds also ok to me, because it would be a lilliputian version of Synthfont. :)

Whatever floats your boat, actually, and if it sounds like a pocket name for something and fun and uplifting all the better.

best regards all, see you

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