Clemens Slama explains the AutoTonic MIDI Note Transposer.
@Logic Pro Expert (Danski's Blog Article)
A few Words with the Developer:
How did you come up with the idea of creating AutoTonic?
In Vienna there is this musicians high-society since so many famous composers lived and died here.
I personally never agreed with all those manifestations and sanctification on how music ‘has to be correctly written’, learned or handled. I also never fully understood why the piano keyboard has such a confusing layout. The invention of the grandfather of all keyboard instruments itself, the Harpsichord, was over 400 years ago already.
I mean, the only point to have those black keys there, instead of an all-linear keybed, is that there is a visual reference for playing. And this to me clearly results in a disadvantage regarding ease of playing, since most harmonic content will require its own unique finger pattern that has to be learned and practiced. But, as always, if something seems too difficult or makes your life too complicated, you can be sure that there also will be an easier way to do things…
How did you go about developing this program?
The initial idea for this I had back around 2011, when I was concentrating on learning new finger patterns at that moment.
The very first amateurish prototype I built myself and used for a while was based on a MIDI basspedal for all that harmonic switching. I thought that this is how it might work best – until I figured out, that the most efficient way for the triggering will be the black keys, since they’re positioned at the closest point possible to the playing fingers. The remapping of the white keys makes them unused anyway.
From there I kept drawing schemes in my head and on paper, to figure out what the most optimal User Interface and User Experience should be.
In October 2014, after a long research period, I submitted the idea for a patent filing (including the basspedal method and touch interfaces). A little later, I quit everything else I was working on, and started getting into C++ code and related project management tasks for the preparation of the actual development of the software.
That was when the ‘less musical’ part and the actual hard work began. Over the past year, there were periods where I barely slept for weeks. But it was an amazingly delightful experience, and I can recommend to anyone who wants to get into the coding world that it is great fun.
You’ll meet amazing people there
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in the historical center of Vienna and always had access to many instruments, books and drawing equipment. We never owned a TV. My parents ran a small circus, a dancing studio, a design bureau and were involved in all sorts of local art scenes, so I started growing interest for different kinds of art at an early age.
For a while now I have been dedicating all of my free personal time into the creation of AutoTonic whenever I’m not spending time with my family, my beautiful wife and our little 9-month old son. I am very thankful for every new AutoTonic user who has discovered this tool and has joined our community. Since I’ve invested an incredible amount of personal resources, time and money into the creation of this software, I am very pleased to see it was worth all those efforts. It’s an amazing feeling to see someone being excited about something you were confident about all along.
Thanks to all supporters and AutoTonic users, have a great day!