I'm using SynthFont 2 for quite some time now and still prefer it over all other similar programs I tried. Thanks for the work! However, SynthFont 2 has some really annoying issues, especially when using the MIDI Out feature.
My setup is the following:
- Open MIDI file with SynthFont 2
- Play most channels directly with SynthFont 2 using the SGMv2.01-Sal-Guit-Bass-V1.3 Soundfont.
- Pass a few channels to loopMIDI, and send them via UART to my device using Hairless MIDI<->Serial Bridge.
- My PC has an i7 4790K and a NVMe SSD which should make it more than powerful enough to run SynthFont. I'm not playing black MIDIs but pretty normal ones which are a few tens of kB in size. The issues described below occur with all files I tried. Even with very simple MIDIs containing just a hand full of notes.
Here are the issues I encounter:
- When jumping around in the Track by clicking on the "timeline" in the "4 Plug & Play" Track, the MIDI output gets out of sync with the SythFont Audio output. And I'm talking about the order of half a second. Only way to get them back in sync is to hit the stop and then the play button.
- Another annoying thing is that the user interface directly affects the timing of the MIDI output. if I switch f.ex. to the piano roll tab, the MIDI output gets interrupted until the piano roll has loaded. Even when I move my mouse over the channel list in the plug n play tab, I can hear that the notes play irregularly.
- Dragging a MIDI file to SynthFont while a file is playing causes it to freeze some times. Even when paused it can mess things up. The file loads but nothing happens when hitting the play button. I can't close SynthFont either in that case and have to kill it with Task Manager. The only reliable way is to stop and only then load the new file. Which is annoying if you're "searching" through a couple midis and quickly want to listen a couple seconds of each.
- When pausing or stopping SynthFont sometimes sends a note on command after the all notes off command, causing a hanging note. I can see in the Hairless MIDI Serial log that it comes afterwards indeed. Seeing the other issues described above - which are clearly a problem in SynthFont itself, I'm fairly confident that this is not caused by loopMIDI or Hairless MIDI Serial. I have to start, and stop again to get rid of that note. The same thing happens when jumping around in the MIDI file with the timeline as described above.
- When I copied a Track Edit: on the piano roll page, the new track contained all the notes I wanted, but also a random amount of "all 0" commands at the beginning of the new Track. Timestamp 0, MIDI command 0, first and second data byte 0. The first time it were around 1500 (!) "0-commands", the second time "only" a few hundred. I couldn't delete them with the search function on the MIDI event page because it somehow deleted the other, useful events, too (and I already used this featues successfully on other events). In the end I could select and delete them on the "Copy/Paste/Move" page. Still annoying.
- While writing this post I found that I could not select multiple notes in the piano roll with CTRL. Right click on a key marks all the notes of that key, left click on a single note marks that note, but whenever I click on a note with CTRL, it marks it briefly and then unmarks all notes...
- It would be great if at least a few most basic keyboard shortcuts would work in the "3 MIDI events" list. I'd love to select multiple events with CTRL and Shift. Deleting events by hitting the "Delete" key would be nice, too. Copy paste even better. I know this can be done by switching to the "Copy/Paste/Move" page, but it is not nearly as practical to select, copy and paste some specific events there.
- Speaking about the Copy/Paste/Move page, it would be great to have the "Show these events" section from the "3 MIDI events" page. As of now you cannot select/unselect all event types at once.
- The "3 MIDI events" page allows to export the event list as text. It would be awesome if it was possible to import the file again. Why? Some modifications like the copy and paste action above would be easier with a good text editor like Notepad++. Export text, edit, import text, done.
- Same page, it is a bit annoying to hit the "Apply" button each time you make a change. I'd expect that hitting "Enter" would apply the events, too. If some people find that annoying for whatever reason, then it is maybe possible to add a checkbox "do not apply on ENTER" or something like that.
- Piano roll: If f.ex. I want to separate the melody from other chords on the track I have to select a lot of individual notes. In such cases I'd find it hugely useful to always be able to select with a box. Just allow the user to make "box" selection always available. In combination with "CTRL" I think it would be much easier to select a bunch of notes out of a track.
- Why can I only drag and drop MIDI files to the channel list on the "4 Plug and Play" page? Why can't SynthFont open them when dragging them on the Piano roll page? Or any other part of the UI that is not a channel list?