Creating melodies

by Sean from
July 2020 Update

Simplified Instruments

This month I focused on the music editor.

I spent time to simplify the instrument options a little more. Previously, I had more sliders that could be used to tweak the sound. I've limited it to just three: volume, X, and Y.

The X and Y sliders will have unique results per instrument, and can be controlled using the grid, and automated in the score.

Drawing Melodies

Most of my time was spent on the tool for creating melodies and chords in songs. This is called the piano roll in music software.

Writing music is hard and takes a lot of knowledge, so I'm using a few tricks to try and make it easier.

The default setting is to only allow notes belonging to a certain key. The yellow sphere represents E Major, and the blue sphere represents the E Minor. You can also use E Major Pentatonic and E Minor Pentatonic. As a last resort, you can use all notes without restrictions.

Don't worry if you don't understand what that means :-).

Selecting a key means only allowing some notes to be used. If you doodle random notes, it will sound good and in tune, because the bad notes have been removed.

Another thing you'll notice is notes can be bent. It took a lot of attempts to make pitch bends easy to use, but I'm happy with the result.

Open Source Music Engine

Lastly, I decided to release the music engine as open source, on GitHub:

It's still under active development, but separating the music engine from Spook Show Studio means other developers can use it if they want, and I can use it across multiple projects too.

Thanks for following along!

It's a lot of fun to pick different projects each month, and share my progress!

See you next month!

- Sean aka @velipso