Song Editor and Pattern Problems still make this app unusable
I purchased this app soon after launch as I have other Positive Grid products I love. I also have been waiting for something like X-Drummer to be available on IOS. I never really started using the original version of the app as it was buggy, crashed often and was generally unusable. With recent updates, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at the app again. The latest version 1.5.4 is much better but it still has basic bugs that make the app unusable.
I am seeing a number of problems with the song editor and pattern fine tune. I am running version 1.5.4 on Ipad air 2 run IOS 11.2.1
If I drop say a 4 bar pattern from browser onto the song editor and then change its duration to be 2 bars. I also then fine tune the pattern, i.e. change the style, change leading hand and/or add cymbal hit at start of bar.
If I then "duplicate" that "2 bar pattern" it is always duplicated as the original 4 bar pattern. i.e. none of the changes I made to the pattern are duplicated. This makes the duplication process worthless as I may as well just add the pattern from browser again (at least then I can select where in the song time line I add the pattern).
I am also seeing that changes I make to patterns are randomly lost as I make other changes to the song. e.g. I decide that a certain pattern is not what I want. I delete it and replace with another pattern. After this I often (not always) find other patterns in the song have reverted back to their original state losing all of my fine tunings.
Worst of all, changes made to patterns and song are not being saved reliably. Changes in pattern duration, i.e. changing a 4 bar pattern to 2 bar is never saved. Each time I go back to the song, close down X-Drummer, re-open it and load song, the pattern I changed to 2 bars is always showing as 4 bars again.
Randomly, but not always, other fine tuning to patterns is also not being saved and is lost when I re-open the project.
To be honest, I am not 100% sure what is supposed to be going on with the project saving. I assume it is being auto-saved as there is no longer a Save option on the projects screen. However, I notice that if I make some changes to a project and then go to projects window and tap on that project, I do get a prompt to save the project. Even if I click Save, the changes I have made to patterns are lost the next time I load the project. Note the overall sequence of patterns is saved just not the changes made to pattern duration or pattern fine tune.
The above, basically makes the app unusable whereas if these issues did not occur it would be extremely productive to use.
I would also second the idea in another post to be able to "mute" or remove certain drums from patterns in the fine tune. This would allow much more variation. It would also be nice to vary the complexity of the bass drum. It would be nice to be able to make manual edits to the drum midi of a pattern to really get the pattern you want.
Finally, I'm disappointed to see the "tap to find" feature removed. This did not work well in earlier versions but I had hoped it would be improved rather than dropped as I find it an easier method of finding patterns than play to find for certain types of songs.
I really hope Positive Grid is committed to the X-Drummer product. It really is very close to being just what the IOS platform needs but, unfortunately, is still unusable as of version 1.5.4.
All the best
@Nick-Evans I appreciate you sharing with us your overall thoughts on X Drummer. There are indeed some issues with the app, all of which our engineering team is working on to address them very soon. Since the release of the 1.5 update back in mid December, we've already released several updates to implement some of the changes that were suggested by the community. As indicated by these recent improvements that we've been putting out recently, we are fully committed to X Drummer. We'll continue to document every feedback that we receive and put out updates regularly to ensure that the product is always well-maintained.
As mentioned in your feedback, one big issue that's currently bogging down the user experience is the auto save function. Our engineering team is already looking to implement a few changes to correct it in the upcoming update. I would have to check with our engineering staff, but the issue with the duplicate function might have to be addressed in a separate update to minimize the risk of introducing new bugs.
The addition of a MIDI editor would allow for more control over drum editing, but our intent is to provide a drum production software that's easy to use for guitarists (and iOS musicians) of all levels. If a MIDI editor is strongly requested (which hasn't been the case thus far), we will have a discussion with our UX team for their input.
The Tap to Find feature was later omitted when we made the entire pattern library available in our development for the 1.5 update. The reason being that we discovered it was not a feature that was often used by our users. Also taking into the fact that it was not as matured as we had hoped to be, it was decided best to move away from it altogether. Again, if the community expresses a need to bring the Tap to Find feature back, then we'll reassess our available resources and make the best decision from there.
@ben-lee I'm sorry I haven't replied earlier but i wanted to say that since the 1.5.5 update X-drummer is significantly improved and now stable, very usable and highly enjoyable. I have also just downloaded the 1.5.6 update. I haven't had much time to play with the 1.5.6 update but one small issue seems to remain in 1.5.6 when it comes to duplicating patterns. If I load up a pattern in song editor and drag to shorten it from right hand side, e.g. reduce from 8 bars to first 4 bars, the modification to the pattern length is included if I duplicate it which is great. However, if shorten the pattern from the left side, e.g. remove first 4 bars and then duplicate the pattern, the pattern is duplicated with its original length of 8 bars. This is not a big problem but would be appreciated if you could look at this in next update. Thanks to you and your team for your hard work on this app.