Clarion 2.0 Beta

December 29th, 2005

My oft-neglected utility for mastering musical intervals, Clarion, received a bit of renewed attention recently. I have been planning a fairly major revision to this application for more than a year, but various other responsibilities have repeatedly put it on the back burner.

Motivated in part by a desire to show off the spiffy new icon, pictured here and designed by Steven Ansell, I have finally put in the lion’s share of finishing touches on Clarion 2.0.

For those of you familiar with Clarion 1.4, the major change in 2.0 (aside from the icon) is a complete redesign of the Preferences interface and underlying structure. Prior to 2.0, Clarion offered users the ability to define and save custom “interval sets” (like a scale), but other settings such as interval direction, consonance, instrument, etc., all had to be changed by hand if you wanted to mix up your practice. In Clarion 2.0, all of these preferences are contained in a new “Configuration,” any number of which can be defined and easily switched between by the user in the main quiz window.

Clarion, like my other main product, FastScripts appeals to a niche audience. Some of you are wondering what the heck a music interval even is. Although the niche products don’t make anybody zillions of dollars, they are perhaps more appreciated than others because they connect so directly with the user’s specific interests and needs.

So if you need to learn your intervals, or you just want to brush up, give the Clarion 2.0 Beta a try. This sucker is dang-near done (he says with dangerous confidence), so if you’ve got feedback, be sure to let me know ASAP!

A special note for developers: if you have been putting off investing in a professional icon designer, wait no longer! I put it off for years, partly thinking that one day I’d just “get good at it,” or afraid that the costs would be unmanageable. Steven Ansell makes it easy and affordable to add panache to your technical creations. In addition to designing the Clarion icon for me, he also gave the FastScripts icon a modest makeover, and designed a third icon for an as yet unreleased product. Take advantage of his generously reasonable rates while the getting is good! And thanks again, Steven.

Update I accidentally posted a release of Clarion with artificially strict “trial period” controls in place. If you happened to download within the first 5 minutes of this post appearing, please download again to see the more generous side of the Clarion trial period :)

3 Responses to “Clarion 2.0 Beta”

  1. Gus Mueller Says:

    What would be really cool is if I could use my usb/midi keyboard to do this.. maybe for 3.0 :)

    Nice icon- I really like the wood border.

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Gus – yes, the whole MIDI interaction thing is one of the “always on the TODO list, never quite done” things. Thanks for reminding me to take a look at it again.

    There’s also the question of what exactly the program should do with the MIDI keyboard. On the “easy” list is making the sound happen on the MIDI keyboard – the question of whether there’s an elegant way of “guessing” from the keyboard is a bit more difficult.

    Anyway – the mere fact that I have a MIDI keyboard on my Mac means the feature has an infinitely higher chance of getting done. At least you’re not asking for Ukulele integration – although that might be fun :)

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Also – ironically, I think the “make sound through the MIDI keyboard” thing actually worked way back in Mac OS 8/9 when I was going straight through QuickTime. The QuickTime Music Architecture was one area that degraded in the transition from OS 9 -> X, and I’ve since switched to using CoreAudio for everything.

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