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Old 11-18-2006, 11:42 PM
Mark Walsen (markwa)
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Default Notation Musician and Composer

Notation Musician and Composer 2.0 beta release version 1.9.15 are now available at:

This 1.9.15 represents a major milestone in the development of Composer 2.0 and Musician 2.0. As of this release, all features are frozen. No more features or even minor enhancements will be added. Our documentation efforts will now start, based on a user interface that will not be changing any more. There are still many known bugs, but almost all of these are minor and easy to fix, and most will be fixed before the final 2.0 release.

This 1.9.15 release is packed with lots of enhancements that resulted from some tremendous feedback I received from beta testers over the last several weeks. I thank all of you beta testers that have suggested enhancements such as those you see below; and you should thank each other!

You will need to download the complete setup program. (No patch is available.) This 1.9.15 release resets the beta trial expiration date to December 5, 2006.

Here's a summary of the enhancements and bug fixes in version 1.9.15:

General user interface. Usability improvements:
  1. The menus have been cleaned up so that the double-dashes "--" are no longer used in indentend menu items.
  2. There is a new Show Multiple Selections command in the View menu so that in a single dialog box you can toggle show/hide for many things at once, such as Song Tabs, Playlist Panel, and Staff Controls.
Layout. Enhancement: The Layout Palette has a new option for freezing the layout of pages. This freezes which measures are on which lines and pages, but still leaves the score the flexibility to evenly spread out the notation symbols within that constraint. This new option is especially useful if you want to pass your Notation .not file to someone else who has a different printer, which might otherwise lay out the pages with different line and page breaks. This Freeze feature also serves as a work-around for occasional problems that Notation unpredictably changes the pagination of a score.

Lyrics. Enhancement: When a MIDI file is imported, you now can specify whether lyrics greater than a certain number of characters (default 12) will be automatically hidden. This is helpful for hiding tracks that has song author and copyright information, without destroying those tracks. This is a Setup / Transcription Option.

Piano Roll and Velocity Editing. Enhancements (Composer only):
  1. The Setup menu has a new menu item Note Performance Locking Options. You can specify whether the notes of imported MIDI files will be automatically locked, and whether the notes of recordings from your MIDI recording will be automatically locked. Also, there is a new option for determining whether piano roll is displayed only for locked notes versus for all notes (locked or unlocked).
  2. There are now keyboard shortcuts for editing the as-performed duration and locations of notes and their velocities, as illustrated:
    • d+20[Enter] to increase the duration by 20 ticks
    • d=110[Enter] to set the duration to 110 ticks
    • d%80[Enter] to change duration to 80% of its current value
    • a-25[Enter] to move the attack of the note left by 25 ticks
    • s+30[Enter] to shift the entire note (attack and release) to the right by 30 ticks
    • v+10[Enter] to increase the velocity by 10
    • v=96[Enter] to set the velocity to 96
    • v%125[Enter] to set the velocity to 125% of its current value (increase it by 25%)
Transcription (importing MIDI files). Enhancements:
  1. There is a new Setup / Transcription option for ) automatic moving keyboard tracks to the top, in addition to recently added options for automatically splitting keyboard tracks into right- and left-hand staves, and correcting the reverse order of left- and right-hand staves. That option is useful for fixing MIDI files produced by certain collections of purchased piano MIDI files using by piano instructors.
  2. There is also a new transcription option for ensuring that single-note solo instruments have no double-notes, which you can also do even after you have imported a MIDI file with the new Convert to Solo Notes command in the Staff menu.
Parts. Fix bugs:
  1. If you exited the Defined Parts dialog box by using the [x] window close button, you were given an opportunity to save changes you may have made.
  2. Parts should not be created for imported MIDI files that have no notes.
Staff setup. Usability improvement: When you click the Show or In Part button in the Staff Setup dialog box, a help message will be displayed to explain the new design and relationship between parts and staves in Composer 2.0 and Musician 2.0. This will help many 1.x users more easily learn about the new Parts feature in 2.0.

New Song Wizard. Bug fix: Songs created with the New Song Wizard were always assigned to the Microsoft GS Wavetable SoftSynth device. Now they will be assigned to your default MIDI device.

Playlist (jukebox). Enhancements:
  1. Playlists .ply files now can be stored in different directories; and if the songs for the playlist are in the same directory, then their file names are stored as simple file names rather than full path names. This makes it easy to move playlists and their songs to other directories, or to send them to friends.
  2. When the mouse hovers over the name of a song the might not fit in the the playlist window, the full name is now displayed in a tip.
  3. Also, when the mouse hovers over the name of a playlist, a tip shows the full file path of the playlist.
Instrument Transposition. Enhancements and bug fixes: The table for specifying the transposition of instruments is now easier to use. A problem with an unwanted dialog box sometimes showing up has been fixed.

Clipboard. Enhancements:
  1. Copy/Paste now copies chord names if none previously exist in the destination region.
  2. The Edit / Paste Special / As Extra Measures command will now ask you where to insert the measures if you have not previously selected the destination with Ctrl+Drag.
Note Editing. Enhancements:
  1. The Sequential Note Entry method now uses a whole note for the to-be-added red note, rather than a quarter note. This better reflects the fact that when you add a note with Sequential Note Entry method, it normally has a long value that extends to the end of the current measure, and ties to a whole note spanning the entire next measure. (The length of that long note is truncated when you add the next note in the sequence.)
  2. In Add Mode, the red to-be-added note now is drawn with no more than 6 ledger lines, to reduce visual distraction as you move the red note between staves.
Bug fix: The note ruler for the Sequential Note Entry method could not be adjusted to a beat other than eighth note.

Barlines. Enancement: The Shift Barline command now lets you click in the initial barline without having to select a region with Ctrl+Drag. Fix bug: The buttons for start- and end-repeat flickered when an ending was selected.

-- Mark
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