Search | Statistics | User Listing Forums


Forums supporting
reViSiT (http://revisit.info)
and MIVI (http://mivi.nashnet.co.uk)
nashNET Forums ->  reViSiT - Tracking Software for VST hosts -> Testing & Development -> View Thread

You are logged in as a guest. ( logon | register )

Sticky Development Blog
[Frozen]

Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [25 messages per page]
View previous thread :: View next thread
Frozen    reViSiT - Tracking Software for VST hosts -> Testing & DevelopmentMessage format
 
chrisnash
Posted 2009-03-18 2:21 PM (#14576)
Subject: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England

Feedback from v1.00.7 has been overwhelmingly positive, so I'm happy to confirm that my efforts have now switched to adding functionality, rather than maintenance. I've created this thread to keep everyone apprised of developments. As yet, I've not planned a release / version schedule for specific features, so don't ask about specific dates. However, I intend most of the innovations discussed here to appear during the reViSiT Experiment, so there shouldn't be too long a wait. As always, feel free to comment on anything that comes to mind, but I'm reserving this thread for my own scrawlings, so please create a new thread, with an appropriate subject (e.g. the appropriate bold keywords mentioned here)...


The current focus is user-configurable keyboard support, which requires that I completely replace the existing keyboard handlers. The plan is to have the next update for reViSiT using the new keyboard handlers, but with the current (fixed) settings so as to make sure the handlers are functioning properly. Then I'll start work on a keyboard configuration interface.

It's also perhaps time I brought the Standard Edition up to date, so I'll be looking into what needs to be done there, too. For an idea of when it'll be ready, see above.

Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
chrisnash
Posted 2009-03-19 9:31 PM (#14606 - in reply to #14576)
Subject: RE: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England

With today's release of v1.00.8 Pro, the ardent reViSiT enthusiast will notice an enigmatic entry in the version history:

[MOD] New keyboard handler in Sample List.

Now, before you get all excited, let me warn you that this should represent no change in functionality or keyboard support, from the user's perspective. No, you can't turn reViSiT into FT2... not just yet. But this is the first, and possibly the biggest, step towards it. In the last week, I've coded a shiny new keyboard system that will support user-configurable keyboard shortcuts. Now begins the process of converting the actual program code to use this system. So far, with .8, I'm just trying it out in the Sample List. It was a relatively painless exercise for me, and I hope it will be for you - one you won't even notice.

Then, over the coming days and weeks, I'll convert the rest of the program. Once done, all I need to do is code a configuration interface and keyboard map load/save support (XML, naturally).

Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
chrisnash
Posted 2009-04-10 7:48 PM (#14645 - in reply to #14576)
Subject: RE: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England
'Hope those lucky enough to have one, are having a good Good Friday! I've been using mine to transfer more of reViSiT's shortcuts over to the new keyboard handler. It's nearly complete - everything except a few pattern editing commands have been converted, and all seem to have taken to the new system without complaint. It's been a useful exercise, reminding me what shortcuts / features are there, and what gaps are available for future features!

The goal is to get this conversion done over the Easter weekend, and release v1.00.9. As mentioned previously, user-configuration won't be available initially, but will probably appear in the subsequent v1.01 update - which hopefully won't be too far behind .9.

Aside from the keyboard changes, they'll be a few other workflow tweaks and fixes that have cropped up from forum and email feedback- including a somewhat-improved activation process (not that most of you will be even slightly interested in that!).

Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
chrisnash
Posted 2009-04-16 3:45 PM (#14663 - in reply to #14645)
Subject: RE: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England
Work on the interface for keyboard configuration is going well. One of the first steps has been to code a tree view control for reViSiT, for displaying hierarchical information. In this case, it'll be used for showing the available keyboard shortcuts within the appropriate context (Global, Pattern Editor, Note Entry, etc.), but the control will ultimately form the foundation for other forthcoming features, such as native file browser support.

In other news, I've been tinkering with the reViSiT font to bring it a bit more up-to-date, and kick that slightly dated DOS look. Of course, the older font has it's advantages, as Microsoft undoubtedly spent some time developing an easily-readable font that would pervade their OS. Since the fashion today is for sans-serif fonts, I've effectively gone through the glyphs and sliced off the serifs. Also, the reViSiT font has long since moved to being a truetype font, and now supports anti-aliasing, but has 'til now still looked like its old pixelated/bitmap counterpart. As such, I've slightly smoothed some of the edges to get rid of the "fake jaggies", that were fine at font size 6, but didn't scale well. I'm hoping everyone will be happy with the result, which should not only look more modern, but help move reViSiT beyond the "post-IT2 era" - and, hopefully, only improve text clarity.

The last innovation I'm going to introduce today is also font-related, and also takes advantage of the anti-aliasing capabilities. Simply, it's a Pattern Font Width option that allows you to tinker with the aspect ratio of your font. What this means is, if you want to fit more channels on the screen, but don't really want to shrink the font to unreadable proportions, you can now find a happy medium. As such, if your favourite Windows font is too wide to have previously been practical in the Pattern Editor, it might be worth another try! Of course, the interesting thing is that the reViSiT's pattern font has always looked fatter than it's predecessor in IT2, as the DOS screen aspect ratio was a non-4:3 640x400, elongating pixels. So, in someways, you'll be able to make reViSiT look more like IT2, should that be your poison!
Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
chrisnash
Posted 2009-06-06 2:56 PM (#14733 - in reply to #14663)
Subject: RE: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England

A few weeks ago, prompted by reports of problems in SONAR and following the generosity of Cakewalk (in providing me with a copy of SONAR PE for testing - many thanks to Alex Westner), I set about trying to improve the compatibility between SONAR and reViSiT. I am happy to say with relative confidence that this effort has been a great success, and will lead to improvements in stability, compatibility, performance and even audio quality for not just SONAR, but also every other host.

Notably, I caught a big bug in the audio engine, which caused a crash when large buffer sizes are used. However, I also discovered that the pattern sequencing engine was not handling tempo, resolution and host time sync. correctly, sometimes failing to trigger the pattern frames/ticks at the correct moments - an important feature when you're about to introduce high-resolution patterns! The anomalies become more audible at these large buffer sizes and less-used pattern resolutions, but still affect audio quality at lower latencies. I have thus completely rewritten the sequencing engine, which not only produces tighter, more faithful renditions of your patterns, but has also allowed me to tweak the audio mixing code for significantly improved audio performance. My tests show that CPU load is up to 50% lighter for songs using the built-in sampler.

I believe the code for MIDI rendering was not affected by these problems, and although the new sequencing / sync. code also controls MIDI, the MIDI performances should be largely unaffected. In the past, I've had reports of miniscule timing fluctuations for MIDI notes, but I'm pretty confident these are down to either the host (for "VST Host" outputs) or due to the limitations of Microsoft's multimedia timers (for external MIDI devices). Microsoft themselves admit that they have their issues, and now recommend an alternative, Timer Queues, which I will give a go when I have some time.

I have also experimented with other performance optimisations, such as those related to using the Intel C++ Compiler, rather than the stock Microsoft one. With a little tweaking, performance does improve, and there is further improvement to be had with specific further tweaks. However, I've yet to be convinced that the advantages are worth it, and will thus stick with the Micorsoft compiler in the next release, v1.1.3. I was hoping to have the release this weekend, but haven't been well this week, so didn't get the chance to do the requisite sanity checks in preparation. We'll see how I feel next weekend!

Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
chrisnash
Posted 2009-08-18 6:28 PM (#14784 - in reply to #14733)
Subject: RE: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England

Following a quiet period on the forum (as I settle back into Blighty), I'm now able to bring you up to speed on the progress towards reViSiT v1.2, a major component of which is high-definition (HD) patterns - previously know as "Pattern Zoom".

To accomodate these extra features, the Pattern Editor has also had a minor makeover, improving the general aesthetic and making some text easier to read. The screenshot below not only shows these changes, but also shows off a new reViSiT logo, which will begin appearing throughout the website and program...

  
Unlike the conceptual image from way back in 2004 (see Screenshots), this short animation below shows you how both sub-row editing and a genuine pattern zoom feature have been more closely integrated into reViSiT's Pattern Editor...

  

Here's what you're seeing:

  1. Unzoomed, the pattern looks much as it always has done, except for the addition of blue separating bars between the channels. These bars are not only part of a Pattern Editor makeover (see below), but also indicate whether a pattern cell contains any sub-row data, using a white mark.
     
  2. Zooming in, the pattern is 'exploded' to reveal the sub-row data, for the current and/or surrounding rows. Depending on the zoom factor, reViSiT displays the sub-row data for the current row, and up to 3 rows above and below it. The farther away from the cursor, the smaller the data is displayed. This prevents the sub-row data from taking up the whole screen, so that you don't lose sight of the rest of your music.
     
  3. Zoomed, you have access to the individual tracker frames (or ticks), where you can enter and edit note data in the normal manner, to get fine timing control of your music - you are no longer limited to the cumbersome Note Delay (SDx/SCx) or Retrigger (Qxy) effects. Changing the pattern resolution (e.g. Axx) determines the number of sub-rows (i.e. frames / ticks) that appear at any given point in the piece. In the zoomed view, the cursor steps from sub-row to sub-row, but there are also keyboard shortcuts to speed up stepping between whole rows, and the traditional jump commands are naturally still available for even faster navigation.
     
  4. Zooming out, the sub-row data is collapsed and the traditional pattern view returns; but zoom even farther, and the text shrinks so that you can see more data and get an overview of your music - similar to the Pattern Overview (#) feature.

The data, storage and interface development for v1.2 is largely complete. Most of what remains involves hooking it all up to the audio/sequencing engine, which itself shouldn't provide too much of a challenge, and then just a bit more testing and release. I hope to get the audio code all-but-sorted this weekend, so hopefully you won't have to wait too long to take your tracking experience HD...

Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
chrisnash
Posted 2010-04-20 1:05 AM (#15079 - in reply to #14784)
Subject: RE: Development Blog



Developer

Posts: 739
50010010025
Location: England

As the experiment winds down, thus begins the writing-up, and my hectic life as a research student continues. Recently, this has lead to a relatively quiet time on the reViSiT forums - though, happily, for bug reports too. Yet, behind the scenes, reViSiT 1.4 begins to take shape... addressing a couple of niggles... but, more importantly, introducing Sample Library and Instrument Library screens, to provide integrated file management.

reViSiT will no longer rely on the host to provide file dialogs, together with the limited functionality and awkward windowing they typically serve up. Instead, the Sample List (F3) and Instrument List (F4) will get special browsers that not only allow you to seamlessly load samples/instruments from disk, but also "rip" samples and instrument directly out of other tracker songs (.ZIP, .IT, .S3M, .XM and .MOD supported) or file archives (.ZIP), and allow you to audition/preview them before loading them into your song.


Development on this front is proceeding well - a working Sample Library interface is already coded (see actual screenshot, above), with full file and ripping support. From here, it should be a short step to enable the auditioning/previewing of the selected sample. Other features to be added include the ability to tag and load multiple samples at once - previously supported by some hosts - and the ability to export/save samples. Once done, the interface will be adapted for use by the Instrument List, and a simplified version developed for loading/saving modules.

Hopefully, the result will contribute to reViSiT's seamless, keyboard-friendly user experience, so stay tuned!

Bookmark and Share Top of the page Bottom of the page
Jump to page : 1
Now viewing page 1 [25 messages per page]
Frozen
Jump to forum :
Search this forum
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread

(Delete all cookies set by this site)