Visibility Jam. July 19-21, 2024. Happening now.

saw

A new experimental music sequencer.

About saw


Project idea

My main goal is to rethink modern music software standards to enable new creative concepts in writing music.

Why I do it

There is a lot of things I don't like in currently available music software. Some of them are: bad performance, instability (bugs and crashes), complicated system environment requirements, inconvenient UI, lack of features, closedness, and, most important, bad standards. I decided to make a new music sequencer from scratch, so I can experiment with it and find better ways to make music.

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Closing thoughts

My goal for the Jam was to implement very minimal working prototype. I consider this goal to be achieved.

Implemented features:

  • Editing music sheet in piano roll view.
  • Editing and playing multiple music sheets in compose view.
  • Several synth sounds: sine wave, sawtooth wave, square wave, kick drum.
  • Sheet looping.

Also, the source code is cross-platform. You can try Emscripten build of the prototype in the browser.

Controls:

  • Left mouse button - Select, add element, or stretch selected element.
  • Middle mouse button - panning.
  • Right mouse button - delete element.
  • Space - Play / Stop.
  • Enter - Move playback pointer to the start.
  • Escape - Reset panning.
  • D - Duplicate selected sheet.

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Future plans

I will continue to work on the project. Ideally, I want to make it commercial, but there will be a free version always available.

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Recent Activity

I made some updates for the &saw music sequencer

  • UI rework. New font and icons, and now it works with touch screen as well as with mouse and keyboard.
  • Sampler instrument. You can drag & drop a WAV file and use it for the sampler. Also works in browser.
  • Microtonal tuning for the music sheet. Now you can see exact frequency of each note in the UI, and there is two tuning modes: equal temperament (pen icon), pythagorean tuning (feather icon). This is temporary until I implement the complete tuning UI. Also, you can directly edit note frequencies in the project file, which is just plain text.

Here is a quick demo drum beat; and an example of how the same 5th interval sounds in different tuning modes. You can hear that in the pythagorean tuning there is no interference; in the equal temperament tuning there is very little interference; and the last one is "wolf fifth" with a lot of interference - worst case of the pythagorean tuning.

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&saw UI improvements. Added note placing sound as @daniel_hooper suggested. Also, now sheet duplicate on D key placed under the cursor.

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&saw works in the browser! Controls are not very convenient, because browser doesn't send input events when cursor is outside of the window. However, it's quite awesome how you can write same C code and it will work on any platform without extra adjustments. C is a true cross-platform language.
https://guattari.tech/e/saw

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New synth sounds: kick, square, sawtooth. Implemented track looping. Now project is automatically saved and can be loaded from a file. &saw

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Did some minor UI improvements. Added instrument settings UI, not all the settings work yet.You can hear how two identical tracks cancel each other out when stereo width is 0 and phases are opposite: 0 and 0.5. &saw

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Added piano roll panning, tracks composing, rewind. &saw

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I refactored the piano roll code, now I'm able to edit and play multiple tracks simultaneously. Also, added a font, so I can use text labels in UI. &saw

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Piano roll and playback control working. Candyman theme cover in &saw

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