Liner Notes
Red Guitar Pick
The FATpick Blog

FATpick users have been getting into the holiday spirit, importing a number of Christmas-themed tabs, both classic and contemporary, in recent weeks.

Many of these tracks aren't hard to play. There's plenty of time to learn one of these festive songs and impress the fam at your holiday get-together. And best of all, much like your local radio station you can revisit these songs year after year - they are evergreen.

In fact, I decided to try my hand at one of these Christmas-themed songs. Here's a screen-cap of my playthru (certainly not my first) of Feliz Navidad - and I managed to (just barely) scratch out a new personal record.

Courtney's PR playing the lead guitar tab to Feliz Navidad

ASIDE: Incidentally, I haven't yet figured out the ideal process for recording playthroughs like these. I mean, it's not hard to capture a screen-recording using QuickTime (on macOS, like I was here), but there are a least two prominent issues that I haven't been able to solve:

  1. Full-screen recording with QuickTime brings my laptop to a crawl. The combination of QuickTime and processing-intensive application like FATpick seems to be too much for my laptop: the fan starts running loud and hard; performance begins to suffer; the animation gets a little jerky; note-resolution gets a little laggy; etc. AND the problem seems to get worse the longer you record - the degradation is noticeable on a complete playthru of a 3 to 4 minute song.

    This problem is managable but I'm not really satisfied. The performance degradation is annoying. The fan is distracting. But the biggest source of frustration is that it mis-represents the app experience. For every game-play demo we've attempted the recorded video presents an experience that's at least a little worse than anything you'll see when using the actual app. It's not supposed to be that way :( Demos are usually a chance to present a curated, best-possible, highlight-reel version of an app. :)

  2. There doesn't seem to be a way to record both my guitar performance and the app audio at the same time. QuickTime can capture the microphone input (together with the screen recording). And, if you jump through some hoops, QuickTime can capture the computer's/application's audio output. But you must choose one or the other - QuickTime won't record them both simultaneously.

    Thinking that it's probably better or more interesting this way, in the video above I've captured FATpick's audio output rather than my playing. Also the fan noise tends to ruin the mic audio anyway. But it's far from ideal. Obviously capturing both the user performance and the application audio would give a much more complete view of the FATpick experience.

    And while we're on the topic, the in-the-moment audio experience is even worse than implied by the video and description above. In order for QuickTime to record the audio that FATpick emits during the play-through I've been using something called Soundflower. Soundflower acts as virtual audio device - a fake microphone and speaker that's visible in the Sound control panel. So to capture the audio for the video above I've directed FATpick's audio output to Soundflower and QuickTime's audio input from Soundflower. I understand this to be the conventional solution for this type of situation. But under this configuration, I can't actually hear FATpick's audio output while it's being recorded by QuickTime - there's nothing going to the actual speakers. So this means in order to capture the app audio (and necessarily not the mic input) for the video above my real-world, live experience during the recording was exactly the opposite: I could hear my guitar but nothing from the application itself.

If anyone reading this happens to have any ideas or advice how to solve any of these problems - or can recommend a better process for recording a more holistic demonstration of the FATpick gameplay experience - please lemme know. There are loads of demo and tutorial videos I'd love to create but so far the process is so tedious and the results so comparatively poor that I'm disinclined to spend a lot of time on it.

Here, in no particular order, are 5 of the most recently shared Christmas songs:

Last Christmas Cover Art

Last Christmas

Music from the Edge of Heaven
4/4 time    ♩ = 106 BPM    D MAJ

2 Guitar Tabs; 3 Audio Tracks
Carol of the Bells Cover Art

Carol of the Bells

Mannheim Steamroller
3/4 time    ♩ = 150 BPM    E MAJ

4 Guitar Tabs; 5 Audio Tracks
Feliz Navidad Cover Art

Feliz Navidad

José Feliciano
4/4 time    ♩ = 120 BPM    D MAJ

2 Guitar Tabs; 1 Bass Tab; 4 Audio Tracks
All I Want for Christmas Cover Art

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Mariah Carey
Merry Christmas
4/4 time    ♩ = 150 BPM    G MAJ

3 Guitar Tabs; 1 Bass Tab; 6 Audio Tracks
Jingle Bells Cover Art

Jingle Bells

James Lord Pierpont (comp)
4/4 time    ♩ = 108 BPM    G MAJ

1 Bass Tab; 2 Guitar Tabs; 5 Audio Tracks

Happy Christmas, Merry Holidays, and Have a Joyous New Year!

Also see more posts by or tagged .
Or, visit the tag index, or view the latest posts.