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Ownership of the staffpad company

workedintheory

New Member
Have we've been played here? Now suddenly I am again fearful for the future of StaffPad. This entire sale/acquisition affair has been handled so poorly. It doesn't instill much confidence in the company. Going forward my advice to would-be users will have to be, "Wait, don't buy, as this ship may yet founder." There is no way to credibly advise anyone on which iPad to buy or which libraries because we are again in the dark. Clearly, there are big changes afoot, and the only thing one could tell a would-be user is, "If you buy, only buy the most powerful iPad Pro possible, as it may be the only thing that works in the near future, and don't buy any of those libraries because they will likely soon be obsolete." Though I would always tell someone to buy the most powerful iPad possible, the necessity of an iPad Pro instantly takes a lot of people out of the game.

I get that someone at StaffPad got their feathers ruffled by your post, but people are spending a lot of money here on a trip with an unknown, changing destination. It seems like they at least deserve a road map.
There is nothing to worry about.

It is just that official communication through official channels will help to avoid any potential confusion in the future.
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
People who never had a lesson in orchestration, composition, who never learned how to notate music, in many cases even people who either don't prefer using a keyboard or simply never learned to play the piano are producing orchestral music by hammering on a pad grid with free orchestral libraries and it's awesome.
Heaven help them if they entertain the notion that they can print off their stuff and hand it to a real group. They will be in for a rude awakening.... And if that isn't their intention, then they should stick with production-based apps like any DAW on the market that is available... They don't need StaffPad...

I'm going to go controversial here and throw caution to the wind- why must everything cater to everyone, including the lowest common denominator?? StaffPad's original concept was excellent- get people familiar and comfortable with the nomenclature and language of music notation. Working in Staffpad without the benefit of a pitch reference helps with interval recognition and sight-reading. It can only strengthen and build one's skills and confidence. There are tons of other software apps that allow for a broader demographic of user.... why dilute the real appeal of StaffPad?

Ok, let the obligatory responses about elitism fly...
 
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muratkayi

Member
Hey,

I was just pointing out that I think the most powerful movement for new entries into the world of orchestral programming/production is not happening with notation based apps right now. And yes, in that respect they absolutely do not need Staffpad. I am just saying it's fascinating. Also, if they have fun doing orchestral stuff, they might end up listening to more composers, try to get deeper into it and so on. And if they can churn out a track with woodwinds and a cello quartet and an unholy beat beneath it which is finished the way it is, just the better, imo.

As concerns "without pitch reference"
I can imagine that Mozart really just jotted down a gazillion voices and knew it would all just be tuttifrutti, but us lesser composers really like playback, be it through software or...you know... through the instruments. We play. When composing. Ehem.

All in all, I don't think that anyone is trying to get Staffpad to understand MIDI at the expense of those who can just write notation down. Also, I can't see the app going anywhere. Also, I can't see any signs of windows users being left behind. If that miracle chip can do stuff an intel chip can't, let's hope other platforms catch up.

All in all: We're fine, aren't we? Two major updates, probably this year, new features. Looking forward to it
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
Hey,

I was just pointing out that I think the most powerful movement for new entries into the world of orchestral programming/production is not happening with notation based apps right now. And yes, in that respect they absolutely do not need Staffpad. I am just saying it's fascinating. Also, if they have fun doing orchestral stuff, they might end up listening to more composers, try to get deeper into it and so on. And if they can churn out a track with woodwinds and a cello quartet and an unholy beat beneath it which is finished the way it is, just the better, imo.

As concerns "without pitch reference"
I can imagine that Mozart really just jotted down a gazillion voices and knew it would all just be tuttifrutti, but us lesser composers really like playback, be it through software or...you know... through the instruments. We play. When composing. Ehem.

All in all, I don't think that anyone is trying to get Staffpad to understand MIDI at the expense of those who can just write notation down. Also, I can't see the app going anywhere. Also, I can't see any signs of windows users being left behind. If that miracle chip can do stuff an intel chip can't, let's hope other platforms catch up.

All in all: We're fine, aren't we? Two major updates, probably this year, new features. Looking forward to it
Mozart wasn't the only one who had absolute pitch. Beethoven, Bartok, Liszt.. those guys.

The issue I have with orchestral libraries and all this tech is that it often gives people a heightened sense of accomplishment... StaffPad and its ilk like Dorico or Sibelius (w. NotePerformer) don't make things sound amazing, especially if someone doesn't know their orchestration. If someone wants to learn, like seriously, try Adler's book, or Thomas Goss' online orchestration (YT) or attend orchestra performances (kinda hard these days, but prior to Covid, it was an excellent learning experience while supporting your local orchestra).

I often compare learning music and its components to martial arts. When you begin, you suck. No two ways about it. Especially in some grappling arts like Judo and JJ. You will get dropped, choked, and submitted by higher ranks. It's like trying to fight against a tsunami. You aren't going to win. These experiences build resilience, determination, and light a fire in one's belly to improve. By having things too easy, people won't develop to their full potential.

I'm just saying it would be nice for a company to continue to develop their tools for their original intended market/users and improve upon it rather than try to cater to everyone and the app suffers for it. Old adage- jack of all trades, master of none.
 

muratkayi

Member
Do you feel, Staffpad caters to what you perceive as not their intended user base with that audio transcription feature?

I was thinking that i don't really know when I would actually use that. When I am composing while/through playing, I consider stuff unfinished for a long long time until I notice I don't make changes anymore when I play it. If the app could reliably transcribe a polyphonic performance, that might very well be worth a try. But by then I know the piece inside out anyway and could probably jist write it down. Depends, I am really curious.

If your misgivings are about the quality of the playback in general, because you feel that a notation or composition app should sound as bad as possible to sharpen one's sense of judgement, then I feel we are very much not on the same page, here, hahaha.
Honestly, a good music app or a good piece of hardware can be as versatile, simple and inspiring as an instrument. And Staffpad does that now.
I can play a guitar with two strings on it that is all wavey, because it has been used as an umbrella twice and have fun, but do I prefer one that sounds like hot butter? Yes. Yes, I do, thank you:)

If what you are saying that people should be content with how Staffpad sounded back in 2015 when CPUs were made of wood, then I feel it sounds a bit like those rants that begin with "kids these days" ;)

Apart from that I also think that it is really really useful that Staffpad can now handle everything from drum ghost notes to intricate articulations and what not, because I really feel the level of what you can deliver with just a bit of post processing is really high and that is kind of pure magic if you think about iz
 

Jett Hitt

Active Member
is it? I finished the podcast and don't feel very optimistic about any of this. I will have to wait and see how these ideas materialize.
Uh oh, what did I miss? I was pretty excited about the StaffPad technology coming to Musescore as well as the additional funding that was now at StaffPad's disposal. There were things that I didn't hear that were disappointing. It sounds like the StaffPad team will continue to work independently. I had hoped that some of Martin Keary's insight would be brought to bear, but it sounds like that isn't in the cards. I had hoped that a new set of eyes would evaluate the entry method. I would like to see a hybrid entry method wherein we could continue to use the pencil as it currently functions but also have the option to have more automated entry, such as the ability to choose the note value before touching the staff. It would save an awful lot of drawing. The pencil is great for entering simple passages, but when textures get thick, it is a real headache. Entering 32nd or 64th notes is a bit of a nightmare. You literally have to draw every detail all while praying that StaffPad recognizes what you have written when you have finished. Entering smaller values like this is so cumbersome. The most successful way to accomplish a measure full of 32nd or 64th notes is to start with larger values all on one pitch. Add the beams until you finally get a full beat of 32nd or 64th notes. Then lasso them and copy them to the subsequent beats until the measure is full. Now drag all of the notes to the correct pitches. It is a horribly inconvenient process. This could easily be simplified with a rhythmic palette that allowed you to choose the value and then just click on the staff. (Of course this would mean that StaffPad would have to develop an understanding of proper beaming, which it sorely lacks.) As it stands, however, we're left drawing on a tablet like 1st graders practicing our letters.
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
Uh oh, what did I miss? I was pretty excited about the StaffPad technology coming to Musescore as well as the additional funding that was now at StaffPad's disposal. There were things that I didn't hear that were disappointing. It sounds like the StaffPad team will continue to work independently. I had hoped that some of Martin Keary's insight would be brought to bear, but it sounds like that isn't in the cards. I had hoped that a new set of eyes would evaluate the entry method. I would like to see a hybrid entry method wherein we could continue to use the pencil as it currently functions but also have the option to have more automated entry, such as the ability to choose the note value before touching the staff. It would save an awful lot of drawing. The pencil is great for entering simple passages, but when textures get thick, it is a real headache. Entering 32nd or 64th notes is a bit of a nightmare. You literally have to draw every detail all while praying that StaffPad recognizes what you have written when you have finished. Entering smaller values like this is so cumbersome. The most successful way to accomplish a measure full of 32nd or 64th notes is to start with larger values all on one pitch. Add the beams until you finally get a full beat of 32nd or 64th notes. Then lasso them and copy them to the subsequent beats until the measure is full. Now drag all of the notes to the correct pitches. It is a horribly inconvenient process. This could easily be simplified with a rhythmic palette that allowed you to choose the value and then just click on the staff. (Of course this would mean that StaffPad would have to develop an understanding of proper beaming, which it sorely lacks.) As it stands, however, we're left drawing on a tablet like 1st graders practicing our letters.
The problem with too many drop downs is then StaffPad turns into Notion Pro.. which is fraught with its own workflow gaffes.. and I say this as someone who has used that app since 2005. On computer it's fine but on an ipad, all those drop down selections seriously hinder workflow.

I won't presume to know everyone's challenge with handwriting recognition but I'm left handed and should be in that category of people with bigger challenges because of it, yet I've found notating in staffPad pretty seamless. I'm glad David added the mass articulations but of course, now that menu is far longer to scroll through as a result. Of course, it's always going to be a measure of developers trying to address the majority not the one-offs, so I figure Muse/Pad will continue to develop this technology to appeal to most people.

Some of us will end up dropping off as a result methinks.
 
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sundrowned

Member
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I would like to see a hybrid entry method wherein we could continue to use the pencil as it currently functions but also have the option to have more automated entry, such as the ability to choose the note value before touching the staff.
Absolutely this. The thing that gets touted as staffpads usp (handwriting recognition) isn't it. It's the playback and portability. If anything the handwriting recognition is one of it's negatives.
 

Jett Hitt

Active Member
The problem with too many drop downs is then StaffPad turns into Notion Pro.. which is fraught with its own workflow gaffes.. and I say this as someone who has used that app since 2005. On computer it's fine but on an ipad, all those drop down selections seriously hinder workflow.

I won't presume to know everyone's challenge with handwriting recognition but I'm left handed and should be in that category of people with bigger challenges because of it, yet I've found notating in staffPad pretty seamless. I'm glad David added the mass articulations but of course, now that menu is far longer to scroll through as a result. Of course, it's always going to be a measure of developers trying to address the majority not the one-offs, so I figure Muse/Pad will continue to develop this technology to appeal to most people.
I completely agree about drop down hell, but that can't be the tail that wags the dog. The addition of articulations was indeed welcome but poorly implemented in my opinion. That menu needs to have an A & B option so that some tools are in A and others in B (There could even be C & D.). As is, it is awfully long and requires too much scrolling. If you could just choose A, B, C, or D (like layers) at the start of the menu and have that determine which set of tools appeared, it would be so much more efficient.

If anything the handwriting recognition is one of it's negatives.
Hear, hear. If it weren't for the playback, StaffPad would just be another damned iPad app. Let's face it, none of us bought StaffPad because of the ability to write by hand. No, we heard that sound and then bought it and spent a lot of money on libraries for playback. Prior to StaffPad, I hadn't used a pencil in 30 years. I didn't enjoy it as a child, and I don't enjoy it now. Unfortunately, DWH is not receptive to change. He thinks the solution is educating people about how to use it (see the new tutorial in the last update) and perfecting the hand writing recognition. Everyone is trying to get to Rome, and the best way to facilitate that is by providing multiple avenues. As is, there is only one route, and it is more of a dirt road than a super highway.
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
Hear, hear. If it weren't for the playback, StaffPad would just be another damned iPad app. Let's face it, none of us bought StaffPad because of the ability to write by hand. No, we heard that sound and then bought it and spent a lot of money on libraries for playback. Prior to StaffPad, I hadn't used a pencil in 30 years. I didn't enjoy it as a child, and I don't enjoy it now. Unfortunately, DWH is not receptive to change. He thinks the solution is educating people about how to use it (see the new tutorial in the last update) and perfecting the hand writing recognition. Everyone is trying to get to Rome, and the best way to facilitate that is by providing multiple avenues. As is, there is only one route, and it is more of a dirt road than a super highway.
This is somewhat true. I jumped on SP in the MS Surface 2015 days. I returned the Surface because I find the ROI not worth it. It was difficult to read my handwriting and the sound pay-off wasn't there. When I heard the playback with Berlin add ons, then I jumped on the app because the pay off was there.
 

Jett Hitt

Active Member
This is somewhat true. I jumped on SP in the MS Surface 2015 days. I returned the Surface because I find the ROI not worth it. It was difficult to read my handwriting and the sound pay-off wasn't there. When I heard the playback with Berlin add ons, then I jumped on the app because the pay off was there.
My story was nearly exactly the same. I bought the Surface Pro because of StaffPad in 2015. This was quite a leap for a Mac user. The pen broke in the first two hours. I had to wait 10 days for Microsoft to send me another. I then spent two days working with StaffPad. I found it to be a frustrating experience, and I failed to see how this was so much better than just using Finale. Then the pen broke again. I put the Surface Pro on eBay and didn't look back. When I saw a thread here on VI about the new iOS version, I thought, "Been there, done that." And then I kept seeing that thread for several months. I started asking myself what all the excitement was about. Finally I read the thread and heard the sound. Before I knew it, I was out $2500. StaffPad is brilliant, but it is the sound that is brilliant. Nothing else about it attracted me. There have been some fantastic innovations along the way. The ability to drag a notehead and change the duration was incredible. (Still don't know why I can't do this with rests.) Same with dynamic markings. It is an amazing tool, and it has the potential to be much much better. As things stand, though, handwriting is like a millstone around its neck.
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
My story was nearly exactly the same. I bought the Surface Pro because of StaffPad in 2015. This was quite a leap for a Mac user. The pen broke in the first two hours. I had to wait 10 days for Microsoft to send me another. I then spent two days working with StaffPad. I found it to be a frustrating experience, and I failed to see how this was so much better than just using Finale. Then the pen broke again. I put the Surface Pro on eBay and didn't look back. When I saw a thread here on VI about the new iOS version, I thought, "Been there, done that." And then I kept seeing that thread for several months. I started asking myself what all the excitement was about. Finally I read the thread and heard the sound. Before I knew it, I was out $2500. StaffPad is brilliant, but it is the sound that is brilliant. Nothing else about it attracted me. There have been some fantastic innovations along the way. The ability to drag a notehead and change the duration was incredible. (Still don't know why I can't do this with rests.) Same with dynamic markings. It is an amazing tool, and it has the potential to be much much better. As things stand, though, handwriting is like a millstone around its neck.
I'm assuming DWH and the development team will still make this a tiered thing. If some people like the handwriting, they can continue to do so. Those who wish for the other options can use them. I could see resorting to help occasionally if the handwriting is being fussy on a particular thing.

If MuseScore does end up turning into a compositional app not just an engraving one which Daniel indicated in that podcast, with the ability to use the StaffPad library sounds as playback, I could see switching to MuseScore. However, I would hope they didn't ding users for a third time to upgrade the sounds.... that would be a deal-breaker for many. I was fine with paying for the SP libraries because they were tailored for SP but not again for desktop... that would be asking a lot...
 

muratkayi

Member
I would like to point out that I specifically bought Staffpad for the handwriting method. My previous experiences with keyboard based entry methods were ok, but similar to typing certain texts and using a pen for others I was very keen on trying it and liked it.

Also, with the major update after the hiatus I found the recognition improved and liked it even more.

Of course, the playback engine was immediately haunting my waking dreams and I kinda happily shelved out money for that combination of sound and handwriting.

I listened to the podcast and while I did not find the talk exciting I can't see what the worries are about.
But I do think that before you say "none of us bought it for the handwriting" you should consider it altogether possible that the majority of users is kinda happy with it.
 

Jett Hitt

Active Member
I would like to point out that I specifically bought Staffpad for the handwriting method. My previous experiences with keyboard based entry methods were ok, but similar to typing certain texts and using a pen for others I was very keen on trying it and liked it.

Also, with the major update after the hiatus I found the recognition improved and liked it even more.

Of course, the playback engine was immediately haunting my waking dreams and I kinda happily shelved out money for that combination of sound and handwriting.

I listened to the podcast and while I did not find the talk exciting I can't see what the worries are about.
But I do think that before you say "none of us bought it for the handwriting" you should consider it altogether possible that the majority of users is kinda happy with it.
Sure, maybe a few bought it for the handwriting facet, but the app existed for five years before the addition of the 3rd party libraries. That is what made it explode, not the handwriting capability.
 

dcoscina

Senior Member
Sure, maybe a few bought it for the handwriting facet, but the app existed for five years before the addition of the 3rd party libraries. That is what made it explode, not the handwriting capability.
Well also the advent of it being iOS compatible with less stupidities of the windows version. 😜
 

jonathanparham

Senior Member
Finally I read the thread and heard the sound. Before I knew it, I was out $2500. StaffPad is brilliant, but it is the sound that is brilliant. Nothing else about it attracted me. There have been some fantastic innovations along the way. The ability to drag a notehead and change the duration was incredible. (Still don't know why I can't do this with rests.) Same with dynamic markings. It is an amazing tool, and it has the potential to be much much better. As things stand, though, handwriting is like a millstone around its neck.
Well for me not quite. I was same, got a surface Pro for staffpad in 2015 and put it down, but pulled out it out agina as I wanted to get better at orchestration. There are some things I notate better than programming CC's. That just where I am in my music. Musically I know what I want, but get tired of programming stuff, and depending on the 'latest' library to give me the sound. Let alone loading templates just to pull out a few lines.
Also, this is why I follow VIcontrol, didn't know about the 3rd party libraries until I heard some of yall talk about it. Love love the sound. StaffPad has slowed my GAS tremendously.
Also the thing with being able toi drag notes but not rests, drives me crazy. Now if we could just add timecode, MTC, and maybe a sampler . . . .
 
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