Happy Birthday to StaffPad!
It's been 12 short months since we released StaffPad, and it's been an amazing journey so far. We've had an amazing response from people all over the world, and the app has evolved and improved at an astonishing rate.
Of course, we haven't been resting on our laurels. Matt, myself, and the rest of the team here have been hard at work over the last few months to bring a big update to StaffPad, just in time for our first birthday.
The Windows Store will automatically download and install the update for you, so you don't need to do anything to get the update. If you've turned off automatic updates, or would like to manually check for and install the update, you can open the Windows Store app, go to the Downloads and Updates page, and click 'Check for updates'.
Ok, let's dive in and see what's new:
It's now really easy to add an anacrusis or pick-up bar into your score. Simply write the first bar as you wish, then long-press on the bar (or use the secondary pen button to trigger the context menu) and choose "Create Pickup Bar". If you decide that you don't want it after all, you can remove the pickup bar - just long-press again on the pickup bar itself, and choose "Remove Pickup Bar".
D.C./D.S., Coda/Segno, and Fine!
You can now add D.C. and D.S. markings in really easily, as well as Coda and Segno signs. StaffPad helps you out with this process to ensure you can't get illogical structures. From the Symbols palette, just choose either the D.C. or D.S. tile. A single tap with the pen will insert a D.C. instruction, if you hold the pen to the page and then drag up and down whilst inserting, you'll get the options for D.C. al Coda and D.C. al Fine. For D.C. al Fine, you'll see the bars turn red after the D.C. - this is telling you that these bars will be removed! Remember, you can always undo this action.
Repeat bar symbols
The repeat bar symbol looks like a % sign, and just instructs the players to repeat the previous bar. Again, in StaffPad we've made entry very easy - you can 'paint' them in with the pen. If you drag up or down with the pen whilst inserting, you'll get 2 or 4 bar bar repeat signs.
Flip note stem direction
You can now flip stems of notes when they're selected with the lasso. Just hold down the secondary button on the pen, and draw your lasso around a note or group of notes. You'll see a new 'flip stem direction' button on the toolbar. It does... well... pretty much what it says. It'll flip the stem(s)!
Subtitle, Copyright and Arranger/Lyricist credits
It's now super easy to add a subtitle to a score, as well as an arranger or lyricist credit. Just hit the Enter key after typing your title, and a subtitle will be created on the second line. The same goes for the arranger/lyricist credit - just hit Enter whilst typing the composer's name, and you'll get a new line for the arranger or lyricist's credit (or whatever you like!)
For the copyright information, it's a little bit different. The copyright info can be added on the 'Score Details' page, which is found on the main Welcome Page itself. The copyright is added as a footer on the first printed page - you won't see it whilst writing in StaffPad itself - only once the score is printed or exported.
Double sharps and flats
You can now draw double sharps (they look like an x) and double flats (which look like, erm, two flats together) in StaffPad.
We now have additional clefs that you can add from the 'Change Clef' control, including treble octave clefs.
Composer assistant enhancements
If you live in an English speaking region, you can now also ask the assistant to insert rehearsal marks for you, as well as D.C./D.S. and it's variants. Just say "D.C. al Coda at bar 16", for example, then "Write 'To Coda' at bar 10". The app will do the rest for you.
As well as these new features, we've added a whole raft of improvements. One of the big areas we focused on was performance. StaffPad is now twice as fast as it was before, and large scores are handled better - so you shouldn't notice too much of a slow-down when the scores get very long! We've also added in a brand new playback engine, which is much more efficient, and features a high quality reverb too. It's easier to scroll around the score during playback, and we've made the view scroll now on repeats and D.C./D.S. instructions too. There's a couple of new instruments, and some free handclaps (well, it had to be done!). You'll also now find a handy single piano staff, which is very useful. Drum notation now formats itself, and is exported as a GM compatible MIDI file, to help that transition into a DAW.
Of course, we've also been working hard on the recognition engine, so you should find the app is now even more accurate than before.
There's also hundreds of little improvements and bug fixes that we've been smashing through, which you'll no doubt discover whilst using the app.
We hope you enjoy this update, and continue to enjoy writing music with StaffPad!
David and Matt