The latest update to the Music and Sound Design Platform is a week away, and I’m ready to tell you all about it! Over the course of the last 10 months, we’ve received lots of requests for new features in currently-existing modules. Many of these features have already been implemented, but we had a bunch left to take care of. With that in mind, we’re excited to present our first “Update” update, where we changed our focus for the better part of a month to heaping lavish affection on many of our favorite already-existing Music_SDP Modules. In today’s newsletter, I’ll be showing off many of the new features you can expect with the 1.1.2 update.

But that’s not all! We’ve been busy making videos and updating the website, and our community has been busy too. Before we get into the details of the update, let’s talk about the larger world of The Music and Sound Design Platform.

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One of my big pushes for December was to add more resources for new, or potential users of our program. To that end, I’ve created two new sections to the  website: a Getting Started section, and a Features section.

Getting Started is basically an annotated walkthrough of the tutorial videos, with additional notes and information to guide new users through the most daunting aspects of beginning work in the software. Even though most people on this mailing list are already familiar with the software, this guide may still be able to introduce new concepts and could help you get into the software on a whole new level!

The new Features section is three separate pages designed to explain and demonstrate the makeup of the software. Our hope is that this section can entice tentative users who may be curious about our program but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge and download. Sometimes, offering something for free just isn’t enough, and we understand that. Check out the new section to see if there are any features that you may have overlooked!

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We also have new and upcoming YouTube videos to share and discuss!

Right now there’s a video worth checking out called “Building a Distorted Bass Synth”. This is the first video in a new series of “practical tutorials”.  These tutorials will be guides to using various parts of the system, from building instruments to creating songs with scores. Each of these videos show off the tools of Music_SDP in practice. Work will be done in realtime so that you can follow along and experiment as you go. We’re excited about the new series and what we can add to it in the future! Check out the first video now:

I’m also excited to announce that I’m working on the long-awaited tutorials on building custom Music_SDP modules. This will be a big two-part series, and each part will be comprised of four detailed videos. The first part walks through the entire process of making a module and integrating your own designs into the Music_SDP structure. The second part will introduce each of the template files and will demonstrate how different types of modules can be built using the unique features in the templates.

The first video will be released alongside the 1.1.2 update, and the entire first part will be released over the course of the following week. I’m over halfway through the work of making the first part, and I’m thrilled to see what our community does with the knowledge!

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Finally, we want to share a really cool community creation! This one is a doozy, and it comes in the form of an 80-minute video of a recent live performance. An artist by the name of Modify (you may have heard his music in some of our recent tutorials), put on an impressive solo concert at the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Modify’s signal chain included several industry standard software suites that you may recognize: his guitar signal goes through MainStage and Reaktor, but finishes up in Music_SDP. He uses our software for a variety of functions: from sample triggering, to audio-gating, to compression, echo, reverb, and more. He even uses the record audio feature to capture the final signal! If you’re interested, I’d strongly recommend checking out this highly-engaging performance:

Do you have something that you’ve made with Music_SDP that you want to share? We absolutely love hearing what our community is making, and we’d be thrilled to show off your creations in our newsletter or on our facebook page!

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Alright, let’s get to the incoming software update! What kind of improvements can you expect with the 1.1.2 update?

1. The Audio File Player and the EZ Audio File Player now automatically detect whether your audio files are mono or stereo, and routes the signal accordingly! No more mono signals only coming out of the left speaker.

2. The Audio File Player and EZ Audio File Player now include playback pointers that show, in the waveform, the current position of playback. Now you can see exactly where you are in your audio file at all times.

3. The players have also been re-worked on the backend to be more reliable and more efficient.

4. The Audio File Player can now pause and resume, like the EZ File Player, and the EZ Player now includes the ability to specify the exact start and stop points, like the Audio File Player.

5. The MIDI Arpeggiator includes additional beat divisions, and now defaults to the internal metronome, instead of the global metronome.

6. The MIDI Arpeggiator has had a complete retooling of the automation parameters so that every aspect of the module can now be automated.

7. A new feature in the Arpeggiator now allows multiple notes to be randomly generated per column whenever the grid starts over.

8. The Additive synthesizers have been re-worked so that note-off decay times happen more naturally, and don’t get cut-off if a new note begins too soon.

9. Synthesizers can now be “flushed” via automation, meaning that it’s possible to quickly remove stuck notes even during a performance.

10. The Waveform display in the Signal-In Control module now changed color based on the amplitude. As the signal reaches dangerous levels it will now be easy to detect thanks to a color scheme based on the one used by the Master Mixer and the Master Volume gain sliders.

11. The Signal-to-MIDI module now includes a new “1-octave” option, scaling all input values into a one-octave range. This is really valuable when you want to use the pitch to control something, but don’t care about which octave the pitch happened.

12. DegraderDrive can now route through both effects, in either order, so you don’t need to load two modules if you want to send your signal through both.

13. We’ve created a new MIDI Splitter tool, making it possible to send a single set of MIDI values to up to four modules. Perfect for combining multiple instruments into a single instrument.

14. The Gater module now includes a “Clear” button, so that you can design your envelope from scratch, or reset your design quickly and easily.

15. We’ve provided a MAJOR overhaul to the templates in preparation for the upcoming Build-Your-Own-Module tutorial series. The templates are easier and more standardized than ever, and we’ve fixed a number of minor issues. If you are curious about making your own Music_SDP tools, this update is a MUST HAVE!

16. And More!… I’ve only listed the changes that we KNOW will be arriving with the 1.1.2 update. We’re working away to pack as much as we can into this next update, and we’re excited to see what users do with the new features!

So when is that update coming out? Either Saturday or Sunday of next weekend! That’s only a few days away! We’ll let you know with another newsletter when the update has gone live, so don’t forget to check your email. Or you can always check the website, which is updated regularly. We’ll see you soon!

-Hugh Lobel, and the Music_SDP team.

we’ll see you soon with another update 🙂

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