Update: the update is now out (pun intended). Contrary to earlier plans, AudioNodes HD also made it into this update.
Welcome to the new major update of AudioNodes, focusing on a new account subscription system, new features, an integrated auto-updater for all downloadable versions, major visual and performance updates, and other improvements.
The update is planned to go live on the 4th of December, but an online test preview is available already.
We would again like to thank you all for your contributions (donations and otherwise), you made this new update possible. Please read on for all the major changes we prepared for you!
There is 1 significant change in this major update that might affect your projects:
Introducing AudioNodes HD
This update begins to introduce the early access of AudioNodes HD. This is an optional, monthly subscription service that powers up your editor with numerous powerful productivity features. Major features of AudioNodes HD include Subpatches, multi-window support, and Envelope creation directly from the Timeline.
To express our gratitude to present and past contributors, AudioNodes HD will be permanently available to all who made a donation on the current 0.2.1 download page until AudioNodes 0.3.0 launches, planned December 4th. Also please note that AudioNodes HD will launch shortly after this update, not immediately. We'll update this post with more information soon.
Please read on to discover some of the more prominent features of AudioNodes HD.
Group Nodes into Subpatches
One of the key highlights of AudioNodes HD is the new Subpatch system. Subpatches enable you to group Nodes and re-use them like a single Node. Subpatches in AudioNodes HD support nesting and automatic creation of inputs/outputs, making this a powerful tool to organize large projects easily.
Assign Envelopes to Audio Clips on the Timeline
For quickly prototyping projects with audio clips, AudioNodes HD provides a new tool to create and assign an Envelope Node from the Timeline directly. This tool features a set of options for Envelope presets and associated effects, and will automatically create and wire up all Nodes on the Patcher.
Other Features in AudioNodes HD
Additional noteworthy features in AudioNodes HD include:
- Multi-Window and Multi-Screen support -- this was an experimental feature previously, and improved a lot in this update
- Early access to experimental features -- most notably: VST Plugin support and audio output selection at this time
- Higher definition WAV exports
These are the main features AudioNodes HD provides in its current early access form. Features will expand in the near future with regular updates.
The Patcher received a large set of visual updates and new features:
- Nodes can now be dropped on connections, automatically routing the connection through the Node (if it has compatible ports)
- New Swap Tool -- swaps the position and connections of 2 selected Nodes (if possible)
- Collapse/Expand feature was removed in favor of Subpatches, as it was essentially unused due to its limitations (if you are one of the very few users who happened to have used it, collapsed branches will automatically expand without affecting your projects)
- The Patcher now highlights Audio and Control connections which transmit a non-zero signal, to give a better overview of what's happening in your projects -- this is still a work-in-progress, but should work reliably for most Node combinations
- New snap-to-grid system with guidelines
The Timeline has been rebuilt and changed significantly. Most notable changes include:
- Improved visibility and a better polished UI which is in line with the new Patcher visual changes
- Clip titles now always remain in view while scrolling and zooming
- A new control box for tracks was added -- currently it allows swapping a track up/down, more features are planned for later
- Files can now be drag-and-dropped onto the Timeline directly, this behavior can be configured from settings
- From settings, deleting all Clips for a Node can be configured to delete the Node from your project, either automatically or through a confirmation
- New features were added to the right click menu of Timeline Clips:
- View Node -- switches to the Patcher and moves the viewport to the Node
- Delete Node -- deletes the Node, all associated clips, and all associated connections (as if it was deleted from the Patcher)
- Add Envelope -- Audio File Node clips only, feature of AudioNodes HD (see above)
Additionally, the Envelope Pattern Node can now be added to the Timeline from its settings panel. This lets you sync it with other content on the Timeline as you see fit.
A new (and probably rather unconventional) feature addition in this update is the share snippet tool. The share snippet tool lets you share a selection in your project through a web URL. Anyone knowing the URL can view the shared snippet in their browser, even without being an AudioNodes user.
Later we'd like to evolve this into a system that lets you store and re-use snippets easily (while still retaining the ability to share them). Also, at the moment, this tool doesn't support sharing external files. Support for sharing included files should come in a later update.
Streaming Audio Files - WAV
A highly technical but notable change in this update is streaming read support for audio files. Instead of loading the entire file into memory, it's now streamed from disk, reducing memory use when working with large files.
This is only supported for WAV format for now. We are planning to optionally expand this to all formats in the next update.
Beginning with AudioNodes 0.3.0, the downloadable desktop versions all come with a built-in auto-updater (Windows, macOS, and Linux).
The auto-updater will automatically do its thing in the background. On Windows, an update may pop up the UAC dialog when exiting AudioNodes (depending on your system settings).
Node Processing Improvements
Audio and Control Processing
- Audio and control signal processing in AudioNodes has been optimized across the board, and should use less system resources overall
- Gate Node, Memory Bit Node, and Timer Node are now sample-accurate, and work at much better performance without any latency (and without occasional glitching)
- Pitch Detect Node latency has been reduced, but audio signal pitch detection inherently incurs a minor latency
- Graphic Equalizer Node received a new look on the Patcher
- The experimental VST Plugin Node was rebuilt, and had its latency removed; it should use a lot less CPU and RAM now as well
Melody/MIDI processing has been rebuilt from the ground-up. The new system should provide significantly improved performance, and should also fix an issue where AudioNodes would lock up for a short time with complex melody sources.
Misc Changes & Improvements
The following is a summary of some of the more significant changes in this release:
- Multi Sampler Node UI has been simplified, now enables cropping samples to only play a portion of them, and has been renamed to Sampler Node to replace the now deprecated Sampler Node
- Recorder Node has been rolled back to a simpler version, performance and stability has been improved -- this Node is still a work in progress
- Spectrum Analyzer Node can now be zoomed to full screen for more accurate inspection, and its appearance size can be changed on the Patcher
- New settings page with a new buffer size setting to help with glitching in complex projects
- The online public test version now uses a separate storage for projects and files, so you can now test it out without interfering with the live version
- Export process received a nice new look, as well as options to specify basic metadata
Known Priority Issues
- The new UI is known to result in a slight performance regression on some graphic cards, especially when you have a lot of clips on the Timeline -- sorting this out is one of the goals of the next update
- VST Plugin Support has been improved, but buggy plugins may still crash AudioNodes occasionally
- New streaming WAV support requires at least a semi-decent HDD to work reliably, especially with several large files in one project -- a later update will include an option to toggle between in-memory and streaming mode, as well as streaming mode for all formats besides WAV
- Rarely, connections on the Patcher might be displaced for a very short duration -- we are still investigating this one, but other than a minor visual inconvenience, it shouldn't affect use
- Exporting the project to a file silences real-time audio from the project -- does not affect the exported file, and once the export is done everything is back to normal
- Exporting complex projects with several thousand notes takes much longer that reasonable
So, this update is unintentionally the result of several smaller updates we wanted to push out over time. However, some big internal changes were a much bigger piece of work each than we wanted, hence this one big chunk of updates now, which should pretty much set the record of the largest AudioNodes update so far. Additional follow-up updates might be published shortly after this large update, to sort unexpected issues (if needed).
As always, if you find issues, please don't hesitate to report them on the forums. We hope you'll like this update, please enjoy!