Liner Notes
The FATpick Blog

Version 1.6.3 of FATpick was released on Monday, 13 April 2020.

This release is primarily intended to address a couple of obscure but frustrating bugs, but also includes the first of several upcoming improvements to the audio signal processing chain.

✨ New and Enhanced Features

  • New "Noise Suppression" and "Automatic Gain Control" options have been added to the Audio Settings and Advanced Audio Analysis Settings control panels. We recommend leaving both of these filters disabled (the default setting). A slight increase in input latency (lag) and some loss of signal is unavoidable when they are enabled. But the options are now available to users that might benefit from them.

  • The "volume monitor" widget - the bar graphs indicating the "instantaneous" input signal level that appear on the tablature player and throughout the app - has been reimplemented to simultaneously be more responsive and less computationally "obtrusive". You may notice some slight performance improvements, but the immediate impact of this change is subtle. The component was lightweight and efficient to begin with.

  • Based on field data - and validated by lab testing - changes have been made to both the test tones and to some parameters of the algorithm used for latency calibration in order to achieve more accurate and consistent results across a wider variety of environments.

🎁 Notable Improvements

  • Some performance optimizations were made to the audio signal processing pipeline, reducing the latency of the input signal on most systems. All users should recalibrate the audio latency for their system with FATpick v1.6.3 to ensure the accuracy of pitch and timing detection.

    Note that this isn't a matter of "recalibrate to take advantage of this improvement". The input latency is an inherent property of how the software interacts with the components of your set up (like the computer, microphone and audio interface that you are using). As soon as you start using FATpick v1.6.3 the latency will almost certainly change (probably for the better), whether or not you measure it by recalibration. If the input latency has been reduced for your system, this will very slightly reduce the delay before FATpick "scores" a note as hit, but only by a few milliseconds so the difference may not be obvious. You might also notice a small improvement in performance or resource utilization during game play, due to the optimizations making the pipeline more efficient overall. But if your input latency is changed by this new release, you will notice problems with note timing (and to a lesser extent, pitch detection) until you recalibrate. For this reason you'll see a reminder within the app until you've recalibrated for this update.

    Latency recalibration is quick and easy. The process literally takes less than 10 seconds to complete. Just select "Calibrate Latency" from the main settings menu to get started.

🐞 Bug Fixes

  • A problem that made it impossible to open the General Settings control panel in some circumstances has been fixed.

  • Some Guitar Pro imports were failing due to improper handling of the edge case of an implicit "begin repeat" marker in the first measure of a song. This case is now handled properly.

  • The wrong keyboard shortcut was indicated on a couple of buttons within the settings control panel dialog. These have been fixed. The proper shortcut activation key is now displayed.

While the audio-processing-related changes FATpick's v1.6.3 each represent a moderate improvement in their own right, the real driver for making these changes now is to act as a sort of "proving ground" for an ongoing architectural redesign of the audio processing engine. We're loving the impact of this new architecture so far - which includes some unreleased stuff we're testing internally - and we're confident you will too. But it is a big change, so we're rolling it out carefully. If you encounter anything notable - whether negative or positive - please let us know

Visit the downloads page to get the latest version of the FATpick app for Windows, Mac OSX and (unofficially) Linux.

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