Music_SDP 1.4 Is Live!
Music_SDP 1.3 brought powerful new functionality to the program with the ability to finally return to projects exactly where you left them. The 1.4 release brings a lot of new modules and system features that add more flexibility and functionality across the platform. In this post we will share all of the new features and fixes, and we’ll discuss a little bit of the future as well.
New System Features
- Upgrades to the language means a faster everything: Max, the core language of MSDP, recently received a major overhaul. We were able to immediately take advantage of that to allow for a program that loads much faster across the board. From a faster startup time, to quicker project loads and module loads, everything performs at hyper-speed now!
- New, Improved Dials: We’ve redesigned the dials to make them more accurate, and to give you more control options. With the new design, you can click on any point of a dial to jump to that location immediately, and then you can rotate your mouse in a circular fashion to turn the knob just like a real dial. Plus they look neat too!
- Delete Saved Boards: A new System Board option allows you to review the saved boards on your list and remove any that you aren’t using. Don’t worry, you’ll be prompted to confirm your decision, so you won’t be likely to accidentally delete your work.
- New Module Organization and New ‘Control’ Category: We’ve begun the process of converting many of the System Board tools into their own modules, and we realized that many of our modules are dedicated to the act of performing other modules! To clarify function, and to make it easier to find the module you need, the new ‘Control’ category has been built in the Module List. Several new modules have been built for it, and a number of modules have moved to this category from other locations.
- Project Save Confirmation: This is a minor feature, but when saving a project, you will now receive confirmation of your save in a small pop-up window.
New Modules and Module Upgrades
We emphasized module development for this update, and we have lots of new things to show off!
Create beautiful polyphonic melodies and loop them into your favorite MSDP instrument! Sequences can be up to 64-steps long, can have up to-16 note polyphony, can sync with the Master Metronome, or can use a local clock instead. Sequence mapping tools allows you to automatically scale melodies into a variety of keys and modes, and will even fix your wrong notes for you, if you want!
The controller mapper gives you the same functionality of the Controller Setup on the System Board and implements it as a module. Map any hardware dial, button, slider, or key onto any parameter in any module. Have multiple hardware devices that you want to use? Just create multiple Controller Mapper Modules and use them all!
Do you like building incredibly complex and detailed automation? Create a score to execute complex, precise automation across as many parts of your project as you need. Control scores using another control system to sync with the Master Metronome, with hardware, or use the Signal-to-MIDI module to create a pitch-following score! We’ve taken the Score Player from the System Board and turned it into a module. Now you can create as many scores as you want and use them in any combination.
Build and combine up to three LFOs to control any parameter in your project. Choose from a robust selection of waveforms, and sync to the Master Metronome or to a custom beat source, then build the control parameters to use your LFOs wherever you need!
This fun little variation on reverb is just in time for Halloween. It’s a pretty simple tool, until you turn the Rotate and Flux functions way up or way down. Then you’ll get howls and buzzes that might terrify the neighborhood children.
New Tempo Sync Tools in all Stochastic Modules
Sometimes wild sounds need just feel better when the occur on-beat. With the new Tempo Sync tabs in our Stochastic Files, Grains, and Controller, you can now syncronize the musical events to the Master Metronome or to a custom beat source. This opens up a whole new series of possibilities for performance syncronization across modules and boards!
Finally, we’ve built a new utility to help you visualize your work at any point in your signal chain. SpectroView has two modes: Spectrogram and Sonogram, and both come with a series of visualization options. This can help you get a better understanding of the frequency content of individual signal chains, of inputs, audio files, or even your entire project, with some clever routing!
The new msdp.builder object makes creating new modules easier than ever!
It’s become standard now that each update adds additional tools for potential MSDP developers, and this update adds a really cool new device called the “msdp.builder”. The builder adds MSDP UI elements to any module with the click of a button. Just select the UI device you need, hit build, and builder will do the rest. You’ll get an interface object and all of the parameter tooling, and it will be built and connected for you. All you need to do is set the arguments and hook it up to your effects! This already makes creating an MSDP module easier than ever, and we’ve just started! The builder is still in early development, and we’ll be adding more building options in future releases.
Fixes and Improvements
We have a host of fixes for this release that will make everyone’s life better:
Fixed a problem where saving a project with a minimized board resulted in a board that you couldn’t see upon re-load.
Metronome issue where the measure number would not resetting to 1 is fixed.
Fixed an issue that would keep the Metronome loop function from working.
Controller automation will now start even if default start and stop times are used.
All module inputs have default values affixed for numbers. This resolves some issues with setting I/O pairs by only changing letter value and not number value.
System Settings renamed to System Preferences. Board Browser (deprecated) has been removed as an option.
Removed an issue where line objects and dials create duplicate outputs.
Randomator – value display doesn’t update as often. No need to share so much data, it’s updating in the target module anyway.
News About the Future
The MSDP team is regularly exploring new ideas and working behind the scenes on some big features for the future. We don’t usually share plans until we know that they can be implemented, and since we’re typically ready to launch shortly after we finish learning how to fully implement a concept, we don’t often have much to share in advance. Today, however, we have at least two smallish bits to share:
Over the next two-to-three releases, we will be phasing out the System Board full-view tabs. Now that pedal boards can reload on project save, it makes more sense to relocate System Board functions into modules, which allows for greater flexibility and scale. Two examples of this can be seen in this update with the Controller Mapper and Score Player. Now that we have these as modules, users can utilize as many scores and as many hardware controllers as they want, instead of being limited to one of each. Everything is more flexible as a module, so it improves the system overall to move in this direction, while keeping closer to our creation paradigm. Over the next several updates, all “Full View” tabs will be re-purposed as modules, and once that is complete, the System Board will be redesigned as a single strip of access tools at the top of the full-screen background. When not in full-screen, the System Board will continue to exist as a small strip of content that can be moved around the screen. This will make sure that all of the critical functions remain nearby while removing clutter from the performance space.
Official Documentation is being redesigned into an online manual, and the current (and mostly ignored) google doc file will be taken down. The manual has already launched, and currently exists at http://docs.musicsdp.com. It is in very early stages, but will be continually developed and will continue to live at that url for the foreseeable future. The first focus, now that the site is built, will be to fill out the Module Database. If anyone would like to contribute, they can email the team.
We are thrilled to provide so many new tools with the 1.4 update, and we know the community will love digging into them. If you enjoy the software, join us on social media and share your thoughts. We’ve got a facebook page, a twitter account, a subreddit, and a YouTube channel, and we love engagement on all fronts! If you really love what we’re doing, please consider leaving a donation.
To sign off, I’d like to say thank you to our users for your belief in our project, and for all of the contributions to the Music_SDP community. Your engagement gives this program purpose, and inspires us to continue working.
-Hugh Lobel, and the Music_SDP team.
Donations help us pay for development work, bandwidth, web hosting, development tools, and audio hardware, and make a real impact in helping us realize this massive dream.