Liner Notes
Red Guitar Pick
The FATpick Blog

Version 2.4.3 of the FATpick client for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux was released 24 May 2021 and is available for immediate download.

This release is focused on improvements to the percussion component of the audio synthesis engine. It includes two notable feature changes:

  1. A new standard drum kit featuring high-fidelity audio and expanded MIDI percussion support.

  2. A significant upgrade of the stand-alone metronome tool, adding new customization options and advanced rhythm-pattern controls.

A handful of bug-fixes and minor changes are also included in this release.

New Drum Kit

The virtual instrument used to voice percussion tracks - including the stand-alone metronome, the metronome track used during game play, and all drum tracks found in imported songs - has been completely rebuilt for this release both to improve sound quality and add new capabilities.

Changes include:

  • The previous analog-modeling synthesis strategy has been replaced by a sample-based drum kit using granular-/wavetable-synthesis and featuring more than 60 new digital recordings.

  • Added support for the extended set of MIDI GM2 drum sounds, including surdo drum, record scratch (push/pull), laser ("High Q") and whip ("slap") sound effects, assorted shakers and bells, and various digital and analog click sounds.

  • Micro-timing adjustments to percussion note onsets during audio generation to better account for note envelope variations.

  • Enhanced sound quality for drum tracks in many of the already imported songs.

  • Modest improvements to performance consistency (fewer noise artifacts) when generating audio for percussion tracks.

Enhanced Metronome Tool

The stand-alone metronome has been redesigned to integrate capabilities of the relatively recently introduced metronome track (added in v2.4).

New metronome features include:

  • Advanced Rhythm Patterns - There's more to rhythm that just the number of beats in a measure. The way in which beats are grouped within a measure creates the "pulse" of a rhythm; like the strong downbeat on 3 that subdivides 4/4 time into two 2-beat groups in many rock-and-roll songs (counting: one two three four). Now you can set both the total beat count and the sub-measure grouping pattern for the stand-alone metronome.

  • Audible Sub-Measure Beat Accents - Distinct metronome "clicks" mark both the start of each measure and how beats are grouped within each bar.

  • Visible Sub-Measure Beat Accents - Accent beats are also highlighted on the metronome "clock" to graphically illustrate the sub-divisions of the meter.

  • Metronome Sound Customization - Use any of the percussion "notes" available in the new drum kit as a metronome click. Notes can be configured independently or selected from a list of presets.

  • Full Screen Mode - Hide the metronome controls to maximize the metronome display.

  • Sticky Settings - Your last-used meter (tempo, beat count and grouping pattern) and sound settings are restored when you re-open the metronome.

  • Shared Configuration with Metronome Track - Metronome sound configuration is shared with the metronome track as it appears in the tab player.

UPDATE: The metronome tool upgrade is described in more detail in a later post.

Bug Fixes and Other Changes

  • An error in the song parser impacting the computation of beat duration for compound and irregular time signatures with a "beat unit" (lower number) greater than 4 (e.g., 12/8 or 7/16 time) has been corrected.

  • The header button layout for the Fretboard Diagram Tool was slightly broken when opened via the Tools menu (rather than the quick-link on the tab player). This problem has been fixed.

  • As a side-effect of the switch to the new drum kit, the "Chiptune Style" option has been dropped from the metronome track configuration. (We've debated giving users the option to select from a list of alternative drum kits, so if you're really going to miss that option, let us know. We can probably bring it back if there's demand for it.)

  • The metronome preset list has been cleaned up with better choices and more a sensible organization.

  • If your device or keyboard includes multimedia control buttons, the Play/Pause and Stop keys can now be used to control both the tab player and the stand-alone metronome.

FATpick is the guitar tab player that listens. Open any GuitarPro file - or hundreds of songs already shared by others - in an auto-scrolling tab player, synchronized with backing audio tracks, that indicates exactly when and where to play each note. FATpick listens as you play along with any guitar to provide instant feedback on your pitch and timing accuracy.

FATpick is currently free for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Get it here.

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