Vertical piano roll?

Would anyone else find this useful?

Hi there,

I know the horizontal piano roll is the rule de jure, but geez I don’t play piano sideways! (Okay, I hardly play piano at all! :slight_smile: ). What I would LOVE to see thow is a vertical piano roll in ntrack. Can that be done, and if not, who would like to see that option added to a wish list?

Paul

I’m not sure how a vertical piano roll would work when the timeline goes left to right…

And I do read music and play sideways - left to right…

Maybe I’m not thinking outside the square and am missing something…

Real piano rolls are that way – notes horizontal and time line vertical. I do catch myself occasionally tilting my head to make sense of the notes on the keyboard. Brain damage, no doubt!

Thanks for the replies. To me, the current way piano rolls are presented to us would be like turning a physical piano 90 degrees counterclockwise, then trying to play it and understand what notes you need to hit or are seeing.

What I’m suggesting is a pardigm shift, no doubt, but one I think I’d love to see. There is no functional difference between the two… any matrix can be flipped along it’s diagonal, and that’s all a piano roll is in essence, a matrix of keys versus time.

Paul

ok I get what you mean now. :)

Yeah would be a bit weird as the track timeline would either need to change as well or not easily correlate with the piano roll…

I am not a real good keyboard player so it has never really bothered me…
I think of the left right as progressing along the timeline and then the up down of the keyboard/piano roll as the up/down of the pitch of the notes, kinda like the same way I think of notes on the music staff…
I wanna go up 2 semitones, I go up 2 lines on the piano roll etc.

Or maybe it is the piano roll that has conditioned me to think in this way…???

And that’s another thing! The music staff! What kind of archaic 14’th century invention is THAT! :slight_smile: You can’t represent all the notes on the keyboard without having little flat and sharp marks everywhere! Oh, well.

Yeah, I think we got programmed into using the piano roll in the manner n-track and other programs see things… I just see things outside the box sometimes… WAY outside the box a lot of times! That might explain why I’m still single…

Paul

Well, you could have the time line (and piano roll) as is, but then have a certain ‘action point’ (maybe a red line that goes from top to bottom ?) and at that point it gets played, and then you can have an added ‘floating piano’ that show the normal piano keys with keys that ‘lights up’ as they are playing.

I think Guitar Pro has a view like that already.

W.

Now THATwould work as well without any mods to ntrack. The only problem I see with that, if I understand what you’re saying, is that the floating keyboard would only be a ‘snapshot’, ie, the keys being played at that particular instance in time. But it would definitely be an improvement and a nice option.
Paul

Yeah i guess it would only show the notes being played.

I guess shifting to a 90 degree piano roll wouldn’t be such an issue …

How about a screen driver that can flip the viewable screen sideways with a hotkey ?

If you go into the piano roll “hotkey flip” the screen by 90.
If you can live with mouse control being flipped by 90 degrees as well you’ll manage (and you’ll have my respect in the ‘eye-mouse-coordination’ dept as well) :p :D

I’ve seen kids in the local arcade with that ‘dance game’, as well as the yamaha drum game - those have a ‘top-to-bottom’ scrolling display that is esentially a piano roll type of setup, and they seemed to have their heads around it.

I think it shouldn’t be too hard to get used to it.
(With a button that you can use to ‘flip-the-pianoroll-screen-by-90’ added - how difficult could that be to program ?)

Edit:/ let me rephrase: How difficult is that to program ? /

W


Edit2:/ As I’m thinking more about this I realise that I’m so used to everything flowing sideways its gonna be difficult for me if its going vertical.

I can look at a piano roll (as is) and ‘visualise’ the sound (of piano, strings or drums) just by looking at the timeline and the pianoroll. I’m sure I’ll be able to do the same given the time to get used to a new way, but then again, why would I change the way I work ? (Oh my goodness! Resistance to change. Am I growing old ?!?!?!?!)

For me a floating piano would be enough, given that you still have the piano on the side as well…

Maybe you should start a poll ?
Flavio is in the process of making a new version, so if there ever is a time for ‘mass feature request’ this is it…
/End edit2

A poll might be a good idea, but if there is a mass resistance to change I would definitely be booted off the island! :slight_smile: However, I wouldn’t want it to REPLACE the existing piano roll, just as an option to flip between horizontal and vertical.

Here’s another idea that can piggyback onto this… what if in ntrack you could say “Bars 4:1:000 and 4:2:000 are a Dmin, while bars 4:3:00 and 4:4:000 are AMin7th”, then in the piano roll as the song goes through those bars, all the keys in those chords would have changed colors (with a hotkey to switch to, and remember, alternate voicings). Now THAT would be useful in either horizontal OR vertical mode.

Paul

The timeline view of a MIDI track shouldn’t change regardless.

Quote (TallPaul @ July 10 2006,10:08)
Here's another idea that can piggyback onto this... what if in ntrack you could say "Bars 4:1:000 and 4:2:000 are a Dmin, while bars 4:3:00 and 4:4:000 are AMin7th", then in the piano roll as the song goes through those bars, all the keys in those chords would have changed colors (with a hotkey to switch to, and remember, alternate voicings). Now THAT would be useful in either horizontal OR vertical mode.

I'll vote on that one !

But just because I was a naugthy little kid that didn't want to learn my scales on the Piano...

:D

One thought for you with regards to the vertical piano roll (which probably won’t be changed) is to get one of those publication monitors. They allow you to turn the screen between horizontal and vertical.

I like the way Band In a Box does it. There is a horizontal “keyboard” displayed where you can click notes with the mouse or play them in with a KB. When the track is played back, a dot lights on the key(s) for the correspondings note(s). I’d like to see something similar in other packages. BIAB and PowerTracks Pro Audio smoke n-Track in MIDI features but their audio handling is far out done by n-Track IMO. Combining the programs makes for powerful DAW’ing but switching back and forth is a PITA.

D

Yeah, BIAB was what gave me the idea. It would be neat if ntrack emulated that, or better yet improved on it. Something like that might be a powerful motivator for people to upgrade from 3.X and 4.X to 5.X.
Paul

Here is a company that has a vertical piano roll for Mac’s to give an idea of what it would look like.

http://fracturedsoftware.com/rondo/features

Paul

Quote (TallPaul @ July 12 2006,07:26)
Here is a company that has a vertical piano roll for Mac’s to give an idea of what it would look like.

http://fracturedsoftware.com/rondo/features

Paul

YEAH! I like that! Make the note section switchable vertical/horizontal to maximize screen space when not editing the track.

D

I seem to remember suggesting a vertical timeline display as an option a while ago…

What would be the virtue of a vertical timeline for audio tracks?