Yes we agree, this could use improvement! I just added previous votes so that this can move up in the rankings!Roman commented
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!
11 votesRoman shared this idea ·
We do have timbales, and several other instruments that may not be so obvious. Please see this article for a complete explanation of our percussion setup. http://notes.noteflight.com/playing-techniques-and-how-to-notate-them/