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|reViSiT - Tracking Software for VST hosts -> Testing & Development||Message format|
There is more to review.
Edited by Rod 2009-08-30 2:59 AM
Welcome to the forum. I have often thought trackers would work well live, but - as you note - they would require some enhancements or dedicated live features, to attain their full potential. This is something I want to explore someday, but the priority now is regular composition and just getting the experiment done.
A few things you mention are to be found either on the forum or in reViSiT's integrated help documentation, but let me see if I can point you in the right direction, and fill in the blanks, where appropriate...
As you noted, this been a hot topic on the forum recently, not least because the next version of reViSiT (1.2 - due shortly) will have a number of new features to help people work with higher timing resolutions. However, it is important you understand that hosts are synchronised to pattern rows, not ticks, so changing the number of ticks per row (i.e. the resolution) will not change the speed of playback, as it might in other trackers. For more information, see the page on the Set Resolution (Axx) command, in the reViSiT help file.
Indeed, MIDI file import would be nice, but because of the differences behind MIDI sequencing and tracking, converting one to the other is not straight forward - reViSiT has to know how to divide up it's channels between MIDI notes and MIDI channels, how to spread the MIDI song over several patterns, and what to do about MIDI notes where the timing isn't tight. It's something I hope to include in a future version, but not a priority right now - not least because the host itself is likely already well-suited to handling MIDI files.
A Rows per Beat setting is coming in v1.2, it will allow you to set between 1 and 16 rows per beat.
Although a future version of reViSiT will add multiple pitches per tracker channel (i.e. allow chords in a single track), it sounds like you might not fully understand how channels work in trackers, versus how they might work in MIDI. The notes for a single instrument can be inserted anywhere in the pattern, allowing you to make up chords and harmonies simply by using multiple channels/tracks. For example, you could put a C-5 01 in Channel 01, a E-G 01 in Channel 02 and a G-5 01 in Channel 03, to make a major triad - and they will all be sent on the MIDI channel specified in the Instrument List (F4), unless you're using mapped mode.
reViSiT has no built-in harmony feature that might recommend or allow you to select from a list of "appropriate" chords. This is because reViSiT tries to avoid concepts of "appropriateness" and tradition, so that you are free to be creative and perhaps come up with something new.
reViSiT doesn't really support MIDI SysEx at the moment, though I might extend the MIDI effects one day to enable such a feature. However, it's a relatively advanced and complex feature that few users would actually use, so isn't an immediate priority right now.
Alt-F1 to Alt-F8 will mute channels 1 to 8, respectively. I could perhaps extend this (e.g. with Shift) to 16 channels, but once there are multiple pitches per channel, 8 channels might already be enough. In any case, I might be able to give you the option to assign extra keys manually. You have to remember, however, that there are loads of other features in the program that already use the various keyboard shortcuts you mention. I do, however, like the idea of a Live mix mode, where you could temporarily switch the keyboard to a channel mapping. It's something I'll bear in mind when I get around to considering dedicated live features.
No, but a channel lock feature has been requested in the past, and is on the list of possible features for the future.
Not sure if fully I understand you, but it is possible to swap the data on one channel with that of another within a pattern, using Swap Selection (Alt-Y). Make a selection, then move the cursor elsewhere, press Alt-Y and the data at the cursor will be swapped with that selected. Alternatively, there's always copy and paste, which works between patterns.
reViSiT works like IT2 in this regard, giving you the maximum number of channels (64) from the start. It does this not just to copy IT2, but to provide users with a blank canvas to write on, which they can fill as they see fit. Notably, it cuts out the rigmarole of having to add extra channels every now and again, which will only interrupt your chain of thought. Ultimately, it just means that there is one less thing the user has to worry about - one less key to learn, one less mouse click.
reViSiT tries to display as much detail and as much music on the page as possible, so that information is always at hand...
Colour is a powerful feature that can help, but only if used carefully. For example, if both instruments and effects had colours, then it would become that much harder to distinguish between instruments and effects. For example, if you had an area of green, you wouldn't be able to tell at a glance whether it contained the green instrument or the green effect. Obviously, you'd have to be very careful about choosing instrument colours and effect colours, so that they don't clash. As a rule, reViSiT tries to avoid situations where you have to "think hard" or set something up before it can be used - as users just get too bogged down in managing the program, and not actually using it for music!
User-defined effect names ("AKA's" would require extra characters in each channel column, which is something else I try to avoid. It would lead to a more verbose notation, and mean you could fit less music on the screen. It is also important to keep such terminology consistent and universal, so that everyone knows what is meant when they read about an effect on the forum, or in the help pages. Perhaps what can be done, instead, is to have a MIDI effect's actual assignment shown in the status bar or something, when it is being edited - or have access to a quick reference, without having to enter the Instrument List.
MIDI effects are not really designed as a way of storing initial synth settings, but for manipulating synth settings on-the-fly, for which 10 MIDI effects should be enough.
Note, however, that it is 10 MIDI effects per instrument. So, if you need more, just create another instrument with the same MIDI channel, to get another 10 effects for the same MIDI synth. For example, you could have an instrument "L1: Synth Lead 1" on MIDI Channel 1 with 10 effects for use during the song, but another called "LX: Synth Lead Setup" on MIDI channel 1, with 10 effects for use at the start to set your synth up. This way, you can even kind of use the instrument labels to identify effects.
Alternatively, you can use a MIDI track in your host to handle all your synth set up, before reViSiT starts using the same instrument.
I think someone else mentioned that they look dark on their screen, so I'll look at making these highlights clearer. If it proves difficult, I'll consider a user-defined setting, but I'm loathe to add more and more settings, and over-complicate the interface.
I've not had any problems reported with this setting, in the years it's been in service - perhaps you could be more specific? There are some situations when it is disabled on purpose. For example, when you use a file dialog, the "Always on Top" setting has to be turned off so that the dialog is not accidentally hidden. Since the dialogs are provided by the host, I cannot do much about this at the moment, but the long term goal is to replace all the host-provided dialogs with integrated reViSiT ones, with numerous extra features.
Note, also, that the "Always on Top" setting does not apply to the reViSiT toolbar (or transport bar), which is also a host-provided window (into which reViSiT can draw). However, all the features on the toolbar are available in the main reViSiT window, through keyboard shortcuts (mostly F-keys). Some hosts may provide "Always on Top" options for the toolbar, but this is out of reViSiT's control, so your mileage may vary.
Might it also be possible that reViSiT could be covered up with another window that is set to "Always on Top"?
This topic has also been discussed often on the forum. Bottomline: the second window is necessary if you want to be able to use the keyboard. Implicitly anchoring them together is something I'm considering, if its technically feasible. It's easy for WinAMP, which has complete control over all its windows, and doesn't have to argue with host software over keys, focus, positioning and sizing of one of its windows!
"SONG MODE"? What's that? Do you mean having an Order List (F11)?
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