Add a Better Glissando
I really love being on Noteflight and I also love the limitless opportunities it provides.
Unfortunately, I have discovered slight problems with the software. In some compositions I have recently made, I have repeatedly tried to use the glissando option with terrible results. Instead of sliding up and down the fingerboard or extending a slide, it only moves up or down the chromatic scale.
Not only this problem, but I am also not able to shape them the way I would like them to. The glissando does not continue through different notes (for example if I were to place three or four notes to 'guide' the gliss., it would stop at the first two notes (check my score 'The Battle Begins for clarification)).
I may not have explained it well enough to understand, but thanks for the trouble.
Yes we agree, this could use improvement! I just added previous votes so that this can move up in the rankings!
Stephen Miller commented
In some of the music I have been writing, I wanted to have a glissando running from the bottom note on the piano to the top. However, the glissando feature does not allow it to change from bass clef to treble clef. I feel like this would be a handy addition as it would make the music easier to read.
I have not seen the answer to this yet. How would you place a glissando going from D above middle C to a 9th above? Easy, it goes right up the staff. BUT I have a time signature change there. Should I put the gliss on top of the time sig or have it kind of up in the air above the time sig hoping the player will figure out what I mean?
It sounds more like a really fast chromatic scale. Glissando is a really cool effect, it would be great to have it here!
I second this heartily! Especially for the harp, the glissando should only follow the available notes between the starting and ending pitches. For mallet instruments (in my experience, bells and xylophone have glissandos rather frequently; marimba and vibes less so) there should be at least an option of "white key" only.
There are several problems with the current glissando implementation, especially when considering the instruments which use them most often (plucked and bowed strings, trombones, keyboards, harp, etc.).
First, we should be able to have glissandi change direction mid-slide (even if it doesn't affect playback). As an example, see this image: http://forum.makemusic.com/attach.aspx/10905/harp%20gliss.jpg
This shouldn't be too difficult to implement; it could mimic programming for the way we are already able to freely shape slurs.
Now, to shift focus to actual playback of the glissando. This section is not quite as high of a priority as the first, but there is a bit more to put into it, and it would boost the efficiency of Noteflight's playback tremendously.
With fretted string instruments, glissandi, as they are, manage okay. For the others previously listed, however (and I mean no offense in saying so), the way they function for playback borders on atrocious.
The easiest to program (to match the nature of the instrument) would probably be keyboard instruments and the harp (I would guess, anyway; I will admit to not knowing much about programming). You could use the same method as the current one, but instead of sliding through each note of the chromatic scale, just slide through each note in a different scale. For keyboard instruments, you could slide through all the "natural" notes, those which would be white keys on a piano, and have an alternative glissando for just the black keys.
For the harp, you could do the same as the white key approach (slide through seven natural notes, seven flat notes, or seven sharp notes); however, since the glissando is a very distinct and recognizable sound on the harp, the fact that you have included this instrument at all suggests that its features should receive a little more attention (in this case, the glissando) than they currently do. Since a standard pedal harp can have exactly seven distinct pitches at any given time, its glissandi should be dealt with accordingly.
I would suggest allowing the scale for glissandi to be customized at any given point in a score. First you could give the user the option of how many notes the glissando would go through (5-12 would be most realistic of glissandi, but 2-12 would technically still allow for the same effects). Then you could have the option to customize every interval within whatever scale is used. Let's say I want a glissando on harp to run through the notes of Bb harmonic minor. In the first option, I would set the scale (to be read by the glissando) at seven pitches. Then, I could choose the specifics of those seven notes (Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, A) to repeat at each octave. That glissando would be set, and it would be able to run through those notes (that scale) in the same manner that it (already) runs through a chromatic scale.
As for the trombone, I don't have as much of a direct idea, though I would imagine it would be something similar to the pitch bending sound effects Noteflight already features.
I'm sorry this is so long, but I wanted to be as specific and detailed as I could. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to read so many of our requests, and as always, I'm very thankful for all that you've already done for your customers. I'm looking forward to what the future has in store for Noteflight!
Currently, Noteflight's glissando sounds more like a chromatic scale, probably because Noteflight is only programmed to play all the notes in the scale. It would be a lot better if the glissandos could actually sound like glissandos and not just chromatic scales.