FL's piano roll has the best piano roll out there, but unfortunately its implementation of the snap function in the Piano Roll, Event Editor and Playlist, is not very good compared with some competing products such as Bitwig or Studio One. Youtube user JC Biffro (who BTW also uses FL Studio & Bitwig) shows us how snap works in Bitwig, and implies that he prefers the way it works there (so do I!):
And this is what snapping looks in FL:
OK so what is the difference? Both softwares give us several snap options, but Bitwig lets us select a combination of those options, while in FL we can only select ONE option at a time. So if you want to snap to "Events" and also "1/4 step" you can't, you are forced to choose between either "Events" OR "1/4 step", but not both.
The other thing that is very inconvenient in FL Studio is that it always assumes a relative grid and doesn't give the option of an absolute grid. This means that events that originally don't fall exactly on a grid line will never snap to the actual grid lines you see, but to a relative grid. There are times when a relative grid is needed, and there are times when an absolute grid is more adequate, and users should need to be able to decide. Again, Bitwig and Studio One have had this from the start. FL Studio could take this one step further by allowing events to snap to relative and absolute grids simultaneously, which would save a lot of clicking around.
Here is my mockup of my "dream" snap functionality. I've only done a mockup for the Piano Roll but the equivalent for the Playlist and the Event editor shouldn't be too different. This implementation would give users more options to adjust how snap works. Some users who don't like snapping to an absolute grid would be able to uncheck it (see below mockups), which means this implementation meets everyone's workflow preferences.
First, this is what it looks like when snap is on and off.
● The magnet icon colour indicates whether snap is enabled (green) or disabled (grey).
● A single Left-Click on the magnet icon toggles snap on and off.
● The snap size selector shows the current snap size, which is visible at all times (so no clicks are required to check what's the current snap size).
● The snap size selection remains unchanged even when snap is off (no need to change to "none", because the magnet icon changes to grey to indicate snap is off).
Then we have the snap menu:
● A Left-Click on the snap size selector opens the snap menu. Note how the "none" option is no longer needed and has been removed.
● A Right-Click shows the "stock note lengths" menu).
The important thing to notice is that not all settings are mutually exclusive, as detailed below:
Note 1: "Snap starts" and "Snap ends" only applies to moving clips in the Playlist and notes in the Piano Roll. When resizing items, both start and end will snap regardless of this setting.
Note 2: Towards the end of the Bitwig video on my original post, the author says he prefers Absolute snap because in Bitwig you can hold down the Shift key temporarily enable Relative snap. IL might want to consider something like this for FL.
Post your ideas and suggestions here
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