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Recording Issues

I'm having no luck at all getting SP6 to to record in realtime using the screen keyboard. At first, I thought the problem was latency from the piano sound, but I got suspicious and muted the piano so that I could hear my actual screen tapping against the metronome. I'm a professional musician and although I'm not going to put myself up against any great drummers for timing accuracy, I'm also pretty aware of when I'm playing well with the metronome and when I'm not. I'm not doing anything all that complicated and I can hear that I'm accurate, but the mess that comes out as notation is completely bizarre. 

I'm trying to analyze what's going wrong and in quick testing I have noticed that SP6 often puts a rest equivalent to the current quantization value at the very beginning of the recording even though I play the first note on the downbeat. To be more accurate - this occurs when I have 16th or 32nd notes as the quantization value, but I didn't see this when I used 8th note for the quantization value. I also don't see it on a first pass. But, once I Undo and record again, I see it every time.

Another odd thing is that I can play a bar of 8th notes with an 8th note quantization and SP6 will correctly fill the bar with 8th notes. But, if I play the exact same thing with 16th note quantization, I'll get some 8th notes and a bunch of tied 16th notes. When I play 8th notes with a 32nd note quantization, it's anybody's guess about what will show up. It looks like SP is trying to determine how long I played the note, but the onboard keyboard isn't a very accurate way to input notes, so I'm not sure when I would want to see that kind of timing accuracy in the notation. Is there a provision to quantize after the notes are recorded? I mean, if I chose 16th notes as my quantization input value and then recorded a part that only used quarters and eighth notes, It would be nice to be able to easily get rid of any 16th note interpretations that I don't want.

I just got this app last weekend and I'm still learning, so maybe I missed something? There's a lot to like here, but I could really use the realtime recording feature, so I'm hoping I can get a working version of this feature.


  • edited July 2021
    Very sorry to hear about your experience. These are top priority issues, and we'll be issuing new update(s) as soon as we identify and resolve the described bugs. We suggest and request the following information:

    - First make sure that the latest update (6.3) is installed (although this is most likely the case). This is important since 6.3 was (roughly) when a series of major bug fixes to the Recording feature were introduced, though they remain ongoing. This has included fixes to bugs that were introduced earlier in version 6.
    - Several of the bugs you've described are new to us and they are also top priority.
    Especially for the above reason, we'd greatly appreciate any of the following details:
    1. One or more SP projects that were affected by this issue by emailing [email protected]. Sending this attachment will allow us to look at your project configuration and determine if that likely had to do with the inaccuracies. It will also include important details about your Record configuration, as well as app/iOS version automatically. 
    2. Second, turning off the Repaint Score While Recording option (illustrated) from the MIDI Recording Options menu might reduce some of the latency, especially if a lot of notes/symbols are being displayed over the Recording run:

    3. Any other steps you took (including the above suggestion) that helped with the issue.

  • Thanks for the reply and suggestions. I had already turned off Repaint Score While Recording, but the problem persisted. 

    To be fair, I'm purposely playing in syncopated 16th notes specifically to see what SP will do. At this point, I basically think it's not a practical way to work with this program. I've got the metronome set to play 8th notes, I turned off the audio for the piano and can just hear my tapping in relation to the metronome and I get the feeling that SP is either too sensitive to any timing that isn't perfect or there's some tiny lag in the screen keyboard or something that's throwing it off. I know that if I play anything with even close to this accuracy into Logic, I'll get it cleanly notated. But - and I think this is the big issue - Logic allows me to apply a quantization for the notation that's independent from the actual position of the notes. Essentially, I can quantize the notation after the recording is done if I'm not happy with the way the notation turned out. With SP, the only quantization that occurs is on input and this just doesn't seem accurate to me or it's just too fussy. If I'm patient, I can usually get close enough to do a quick edit and get it fixed up. But, that annoying habit it has of putting a rest equal to the quantization value at the front is a real problem. My guess is that it has a very small window where it expects to see a note and if I miss, it assumes a rest should be there.

    The other problem is that syncopations can be notated different ways and everyone has their preferences. SP will take a played rhythm of sixteenth-eighth-dotted eighth-eighth for a two beat phrase and notate it exactly as I wrote it. But, I generally prefer the notation to go sixteenth-eighth-sixteenth tied to eighth over the beat followed by the final eighth. The problem is compounded when the syncopation continues across the bar and I visually see nothing that ties me to the actual beats anymore. Some people may prefer this because it's cleaner and there are certain rhythms where I also prefer this, but not the way SP is doing it. I've tried using the Subdivide Note Values Across Beats command, which I assumed would do what I would do in the example above, but instead, I got sixteenth-sixteenth tied to sixteenth-dotted eighth-eighth. In other words, it simply divided the second eight note into two sixteenth notes and tied them, but in a 4/4 bar, the second and third sixteenth notes aren't where the beat is. The beat is where the dotted eighth note is and that was left untouched. Maybe this is a bug? 

    Anyway, notation programs are complicated and all of them have their quirks. For a $15 app, this is really impressive. I'm just figuring out the best way to get it to work for me and I think that by using a combination of realtime recording and step entry to get the basic melodies and rhythms in place and then doing the full harmonization in select mode with the screen keyboard, I'll get what I want. It's really pretty cool that we can do things like this even when we're traveling and away from our DAWs!

    Thanks again for your help. If you think that you can learn anything by having me send a project over, I'm happy to do that. I'm just not seeing any different behavior even when I bring up a new project, so I'm assuming that this is just the way things currently work in SP.
  • edited July 2021
    Thanks for the insightful follow-up response. This gives us a good enough idea of what we think are the main bugs to fix. In particular, we're looking into the following three issues:
    - Intermittent or frequent input lag (i.e. from when you press down on a key and when you hear any sound of the note), even with Repaint Score While Recording (described earlier) turned off, in which case this is an ongoing issue that we will be investigating.
    - Quantization values of 16th-32nd note not being accurate and not cleanly notated.
    - Insertion of extra rest (causing inaccurate timing) with quantizations other than eighth note.
    - On the other hand, we can confirm that playing syncopated notes will result in a notated rhythm that is written exactly as played (verbatim). This means that e.g. recording a dotted 8th+16th rhythm will result in a dotted 8th+16th notated staff. A feature where such a rhythm is interpreted as straight eighth notes by the program is still a planned feature for now*. 

    Please let us know if there are any revisions, qualifications, or other comments to our above understanding of how to best improve MIDI record in the coming updates. This might include any feedback about instances where the app doesn't record to the tempo accurately (and exactly as written).

    *Given the above considerations, one suggestion to efficiently modify written note values after recording is to do the following:
    1. Switch to Select mode by choosing the cursor icon, located at the start of the Notes Toolbar. This exits Record mode.
    2. Select one or more notes whose duration you want to modify. To select them, tap on the note(s) or drag a rectangle over a group of notes.
    3. From the Notes Toolbar, tap on any note value icon to change duration; you can also tap the dotted note icon to apply or remove a dot from the notes you have selected, and likewise for tuplets. 

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