Hello, fellow music lovers...
We've been hammering out another big update to StaffPad, which has now gone live with Microsoft. This update will be beaming itself over the internets for you and updating itself very soon, without you having to do anything. Of course, if you're super keen, you can manually force the update by opening the Windows Store App, swiping in from the right edge and choosing "App Updates". It's well worth watching the quick 3 minute 'what's new?' video, which should appear to the left of your scores, on your home screen, once you get the update.
The June update adds a number of big features. Let's get right to it!
The big one! To add lyrics to a staff, trigger the context menu (by touching+holding on the screen with your finger, or using the pen's secondary button) underneath the staff. The menu will display an "add lyrics" option. Trigger the menu where you'd like to start inserting lyrics from.
Then you can just start typing; use the spacebar to move forward to the next note, and the delete key to erase/go backwards. You can use the arrow keys to step between notes and, of course, you can tap on any syllable/word to edit it in place.
Use the hyphen key to split a word into multiple syllables over one or more notes. For an extender line, use the underscore character; this is used for when a monosyllabic or final word is to be sung over many notes.
TOP TIP: On the Windows on screen touch keyboard, you can drag down with your finger on the '?' key to quickly get to hyphen and underscore characters.
You can also insert/remove verses from the context menu, by triggering it on the verse itself.
Of course, you can also use the handwriting input panel on the Windows 8 on-screen keyboard to handwrite your lyrics.
First, second (and more) time endings
You can now add first and second time endings very easily with StaffPad. First, create a repeat barline, and then touch+hold on the bar at which you wish your first time ending to appear. The app will automatically add the second time ending after the repeat barline.
You can drag the handles to change the length, and trigger the context menu again on the ending to add an additional (3rd) ending.
Of course... repeat barlines now also play back correctly!
We've added a few more articulation symbols into StaffPad, and organised the palette more efficiently. The new symbols are:
- Mordent/inverted mordent
- Turn/inverted turn
- Up/down bow
We've also slightly changed the behaviour for how symbol variations are accessed. Now, whilst placing the symbol, you can drag up or down with the pen to change the variation. For example, instead of having 3 arpeggio tiles in the palette (one for up, one for down, one for unspecified), we now just have one: Whilst you're placing the symbol, you can drag up to add an up arrow or drag down to add a down-arrow. It's very intuitive, and the same idea also applies to up/down bows, octaves, mordents and turns.
Of course, you can also drag these symbols up/down to change their variation after they've been inserted.
The mute symbol can be dragged out horizontally to encompass a range of notes.
Symbols are now only shown for relevant instruments, so you won't see the bowing symbols if you don't have string instruments in your score, for example.
Arpeggios, mordents, turns and trills now all have playback support as well. We also have harmonic/flageolet samples for harp and strings too - mmm, gorgeous!
StaffPad is now far more memory efficient, meaning larger scores can be played back on slower devices, and we've added CPU overload protection to ensure nothing slows down your device too much.
Of course, there's many more little features and fixes under the hood. Here's the full change log, in case you're interested.
We're continuing to work hard on StaffPad - we hope you enjoy writing music with it!