admin: First posted on 2009 02 15
Orinj version 2 (beta) was released. Orinj is designed to handle wave files, loops, MIDI files, and multi- track recording sessions. Thus, it is a relatively large software application. There are, however, infinite options for extensions and improvements.
This is a post about what I would like to see in future versions of Orinj. How much will make it in version 3 depends on available time and on interest by users. The options below are interesting whether or not incorporated into some future Orinj. They describe my idea of what useful music recording software should do.
Loop building sequences
Version 2 of Orinj can only work with a single loop file. To build a complete song, you should mix each separate loop file into a wave file and then insert and order all wave files into your multi- track session. This process is not difficult, but is time consuming and the end result is not always realistic. One way to get around it is to create larger loops. For example, you can create one 8/4 loop instead of two 4/4 loops. You can work with larger loops to avoid having to mix and insert a number of small loops. The problem with larger loops though is that they are almost impossible to re-organize once mixed and inserted into the multi- track session.
A good option for the loop building view of Orinj is to create some loop sequencing functionality. You should still be able to edit loops separately, but you should also be able to order them before mixing them into waves. The resulting loop sequence itself can be mixed and inserted into the multi- track session.
The loops that Orinj currently creates are a bit mechanical. In the simplest 4/4 rock drum loop, for example, a hihat may be used eight times always with the same accent and volume and always on the exact beat of the measure. The resulting loop is monotonous and does not necessarily sound real. A workaround would be to create several tracks for the hihat. Each track would use a different volume or even a different hihat. Hihat beats can be moved manually to create a "sloppier" realistic drummer. The problem is that all this requires a lot of manual work.
A better option would be to automate the "humanizing" of loops. Orinj could randomly adjust the volume and positioning of hits thus creating a less mechanical loop.
MIDI notes in Orinj are currently displayed as spots on the MIDI track. In principle, notes are easily visible as they are drawn next to the piano roll. A better option, however, would be to draw the notes as notes or as tablature. Note sheets and tablatures would be easily recognized by users.
Synchronized MIDI and wave files
The MIDI view of Orinj allows you to line up and play a wave file with your MIDI file. This makes creating MIDI files that fit with the rest of your song easier.
One of the known issues for Orinj version 2 is that the MIDI file and the wave file inserted in the MIDI view are not synchronized. One of them would start playing earlier than the other. At this point it looks like the underlying programming does not allow MIDI and wave files to be synchronized. On the other hand, it seems that the latency of both is consistent independently of how many times playback is started and stopped.
One option is to provide a user defined latency to either the wave file or the MIDI file. One of the two could artificially be delayed to match the other.
More complex effects
The current side chained compressor is simplistic. Its controls match the controls of the Orinj simple compressor. A good option would be to provide a side chained compressor that matches the Orinj complex compressor.
The current reverb is equipped with a parametric equalizer, but not with a gate. A gated reverb would be a nice addition to the Orinj effects.
Orinj does not stretch or shrink portions of waves. Being able to stretch of shrink a portion of the wave would be a step up.
Other functionality can also improve the usefulness of Orinj. For example, meta properties of waves can now be set only in the single wave view. It would be useful to set those in the multi- track recording view as well. The help could be improved with more examples. The Orinj installation itself could provide more example loops, wave samples, and MIDI files. The number of tracks displayed in the multi- track view and in the loop building view could be set by the user. Last but not least, the "undo" functionality of Orinj could be made specific to the view rather than general as it is now.
All of the above are only my suggestions. It is much more important to accommodate suggestions made by other users. Comment on this and other Orinj related posts with your recommendations to ensure that future versions of Orinj are made more functional.