I call the Hold mode one of the magical features of Chronotron. It makes the sound appear to be frozen in time, while allowing you to continue playback – either forward or backward – so slowly that you can distinguish every single note even in the fastest music passages. You can jump to the demo video below if you want to see it in action right away.
To access the Hold mode, click the button. Once in Hold mode, the Audio Scroller takes control of playback and the real fun starts.
The Audio Scroller
The Audio Scroller, or scroller for short, is depicted below. The center of the scroller represents the current playback position, which in this example is close to 02:14.
You can swipe left or right to play forward or backward respectively, as slowly as you want. This works great with a touchscreen, but if you don’t have one you can still use the mouse or the arrow keys. When using the keyboard, first click on the scroller so it gets the keyboard focus.
The red zone indicates that playback won’t be smooth if you happen to go that far back in time. This zone will appear closer to the playback position right after seeking to a new location within the media clip or after having played backward for a while. You can affect the amount of audio and video to be buffered before hitting the red zone via the setting “Maximum reverse playback length” in the Options pane.
In addition to supporting touch, mouse and keyboard input, the Hold mode can be operated with the Surface Dial.
The Surface Dial
According to Microsoft marketing, the Surface Dial is “a completely new way to interact with technology”, but you can just think of it as glorified jog wheel. It looks like this:
Pushing and holding the Dial brings up a radial menu showing the different things the Dial can control, and the Hold mode in Chronotron is one of them. There are other functions that can be controlled with the Dial, but let’s leave those for a separate blog post.
When controlling Hold, clicking the Dial allows to enter or exit Hold mode. Rotating the Dial is equivalent to swiping on the scroller left or right. That’s all there’s to it.
The Demo Video
This demo video shows how the Hold mode can be used together with the polyphonic note detection feature to make music transcription a breeze. Isn’t that magical?
Start using the Hold mode today and post your stories in the Comments section!