Plans for Orinj version 4 again

Submitted by mic on Fri, 03/30/2018 - 11:20

I wrote about our plans for Orinj version 4 about a year ago. As usual, some of our ideas from that time made it into version 4. Some did not. Here is how version 4 is shaping up.

Integration of drum loop files in the multitrack session

Orinj version 3 can incorporate mixed loop files in the multitrack session. If you want to change a session drum loop though, you have to remove the loop mix from the session, open the loop file in the loop building view, make changes, mix the loop into a wave file, import that file into your session, and potentially move it to the right place and repeat it. This produces the right result, but is a lot of work.

Orinj version 4 allows you to insert an unmixed loop file in the session. You can switch between the loop building view and the session to edit the file. This is simpler. It also avoids having to move the changed loop in time or repeat it.

Integration of MIDI files in the multitrack session

In Orinj version 3, you can insert and play MIDI files in the session. However, if you switch to the MIDI roll view, edit the file, and switch back to the session, the session MIDI file will not reflect the changes made in the MIDI roll view. Also, not all session commands work for MIDI files. They were designed for wave files. For example, the command to change the position of a wave in the session does not work for MIDI blocks.

Orinj version 4 provides for better integration of MIDI files. As with loop filers, you can switch to the MIDI roll view, make changes to the MIDI file, and switch back to the session to see your changes reflected in the session MIDI file. All commands that work for wave blocks also work for MIDI blocks (as well as loop file blocks). These are the commands to adjust the block in time, to loop the block, to see or change the sound file used by the block, and so on.

One thing that Orinj still does not do is include MIDI files in the session mix. To do so, Orinj must act as a MIDI synthesizer and convert MIDI files into wave files. We have begun to add this functionality to Orinj and, depending on how quickly we can complete it, this functionality may become a part of version 4. If not, it will make it in one of the next versions.

Integration of wave and MIDI markers

In version 3 of Orinj, markers in the single wave view and in the MIDI roll view were not placed in the wave or MIDI file, but kept separate. Thus, if you transfer your wave or MIDI file to another software, those markers will not be there.

Orinj version 4 places markers inside the wave or MIDI file, according to the standard wave or MIDI file format. Wave file markers are placed in an associated data list chunk, in note sub-chunks, with corresponding cue points in a cue chunk. MIDI markers are saved as MIDI marker meta messages. They become part of the files.

Different file management

In Orinj version 3, the single wave view operates independently of the multitrack view. If you make changes to wave files in the single wave view, the session remains unchanged even if this wave file is used in the session. Orinj simply operates on a copy of the original wave file and what happens in the single wave view has no impact on the session. The same is not true of MIDI files. Technically, you can open the MIDI roll view and make changes to a MIDI file. If you then save the file, the multitrack session may pick up these changes depending on what else you may have done with the session (although that is not guaranteed).

There are also differences in how you work with wave files and MIDI files in Orinj version 3. For example, you can open and work with several wave files in the single wave view, but you can only open one MIDI file at a time. Wave editing is not destructive and the Orinj version 3 single wave view always operates on a copy of the wave file, but the MIDI roll view operates on the original file.

Orinj version 4 manages files in a different and more consistent manner. Each of the three types of files – wave, MIDI, loop – can be used in a session. Each of the corresponding views can open and switch between multiple files. If you make changes to these files and these files are used in the multitrack session, the session will be updated automatically to reflect your changes. All editing is on a copy of the sound file for all types of files, and the original sound data is replaced by the new sound data only if you choose to save your file.

The Orinj version 4 multitrack session does not modify sound data (except for the processing of effects, which is there to help reduce computational requirements for larger sessions). All commands that modify sound data are placed in the respective views. Thus, fur example, if you want to pitch shift a wave file, you must do it in the single wave view. If you do so on a wave file that is used in the multitrack session, the session will be updated.

In the multitrack session, Orinj version 4 works on "blocks" instead of on sound data. A sound block can be a wave file, a MIDI file, or a loop file. In all cases, you can insert blocks, move them, or cut them. Changing their sound data though is done through the corresponding view – wave files are changed in the single wave view, MIDI files are changed in the MIDI roll view, and loop files are changed in the loop building view. The multitrack session is adjusted automatically.

Other changes

Some of the other changes are:

  • We are adding RPDF and TPDF dithers.
  • We are adding a command to replace samples in a wave file. This command can be used, for example, to replace a hollow kick with a better kick drum sample throughout the kick drum track.
  • We are adding right-click popup menus to improve ease of use.
  • We are adding "Do not show this message again?" option for selected warning messages.
  • We are optimizing certain effects (chorus, bass chorus, reverb, simple reverb) to make them faster and to reduce quantization errors.
  • We are fixing some minor bugs.

Demo version

The changes in version 4 are very significant and much of the code no longer looks like the code implemented in version 3. How Orinj version 4 handles licensing also had to change. We are not sure what a licensed version will do vs. what a demo version will do. It is likely that all operations in the demo version will be limited to, say, the first minute of audio in each of the views.

Where we are now

The updates are complete, except for the MIDI-to-wave synthesizer and the handling of demo versions. What is left to do is to update the help and test.

authors: mic

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