All of a sudden, over the past week I have received lots of requests for an update on our progress, so here we go. My last update was at the start of November, on the occasion of the first anniversary of our team joining Steinberg. This new update comes more or less on the occasion of the first anniversary of us starting to write our new scoring application. We’ve made a lot of progress in a year, but we still have a long way to go before the product will be in your hands.
In my last update I described the high-level design of the musical brain at the heart of our application: lots of individual engines performing single tasks, some dependent on one another, others running independently. This design approach allows us to break down the immensely complex problem of how to correctly notate and lay out music into smaller, more manageable chunks, and also provides the opportunity for these little engines to be designed and implemented independently, and eventually to run in parallel (unless an engine is dependent on the output of another engine, of course).
I described in broad terms the first couple of such engines that we had implemented already: determining the staff position of a note (taking into account clef, transposition and octave shift), and determining the stem direction of a note (taking into account staff position and musical context). We were also starting to embark on engines to handle note and rest grouping, and to position rests in multiple voices correctly. Over the next couple of posts, I’ll talk about these engines, together with a few other new ones we have developed since the last update.
Today I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Scott, Adam and Samuel of The Audio Podcast about our in-development scoring application. We discuss why we need another scoring application, what benefits a Lua plug-in API might bring to users, and I completely avoid the question of when the application will be unleashed upon the world.
Thanks to the team for having me on the show! I had a great time.
Steinberg is currently looking for an experienced C++ software developer to join our team in London to help accelerate the development of our scoring application. If you’d like to join a small, close-knit team working on the next generation of scoring and composition software within a supportive and forward-looking company with a technological pedigree that is second to none, and you believe you have the right combination of skills and experience, you should consider applying.
Full details of the role are available on our web site.
One year ago today, my colleagues and I began work on our new scoring application in our new home at Steinberg. To mark this anniversary, I thought I would bring you right up to date with our progress. My last update took us up to the end of July, so there are three whole months to catch you up on. We’ve been continuing to work hard on getting our application’s understanding of fundamental musical concepts to be really solid, so that we can build powerful and flexible features on top of those foundations. Read on.
In my last post, I started to bring you up to date on our progress over the past few months, and today I’m going to continue the story. You have probably by now come to expect a fair amount of nerdy detail, and hopefully I won’t disappoint.
It’s been four months since I last provided an update on our progress in building our new scoring application, so I thought it was about time to lift the curtain a little bit and give you some idea about what we’ve been working on. Warning: this post is pretty nerdy, and very long… and it only covers April and May.
David MacDonald, Patrick Gullo, Nate Bliton and Sam Merciers were kind enough to invite me to appear on the SoundNotion podcast this week, and I had a great time chatting with them about the work we’re doing on our new scoring application, SMuFL and Bravura. You can download the podcast from the SoundNotion.tv web site, subscribe via iTunes, or watch the whole thing on YouTube. Enjoy!
Today I’m at the Music Encoding Conference in Mainz, Germany, where I am giving a presentation on the work I have been doing over the past several months on music fonts for our new application. There are two major components to the work: firstly, a proposed new standard for how musical symbols should be laid out in a font, which I have called the Standard Music Font Layout (SMuFL to its friends, pronounced with a long “u”, so something like “smoofle”); and secondly, a new music font, called Bravura. Read on for more details.
We’re now a few days into April and our team has been working for Steinberg for five months (we started work on 5 November last year, which happened to be my birthday). Although I can’t share lots of details about what we’re working on, perhaps a few details of what we’ve been up to will be intriguing enough to be interesting.
I was asked to answer the question, “Does music notation software have a considerable impact on musicians?” on Quora. Here’s my answer. (If you want to follow me on Quora, here I am.)
I’m certain that music notation software has had an impact on musicians in many fields, both on the creation side with composers, arrangers and publishers, and on the consumption side, with performers. This impact is both positive and negative, of course, just as with any other tool.