[Doggiebox] 2.1 beta for Catalina, Big Sur, and M1 Macs!

Ben Kennedy ben at zygoat.ca
Wed Feb 10 16:14:32 EST 2021


Hi everybody,

New build up: http://doggiebox.com/distribution/Doggiebox-1J03.zip

It became apparent to me that the “Check for Update…” command has been broken in one or both of the past two builds. This is now fixed (but you'll have to download this one directly first).

Here's what's new:

- Drum kits support sounds based on sub-regions of linked sound files.
- After re-linking missing sound files, substitutions are remembered and the drum kit is no longer surreptitiously rewritten.
- Updated GarageBand drum kits (for GarageBand 10.5, using consolidated audio and with new custom hand-drawn icons):
    - GarageBand Classic Drum Machine.dbkit
    - GarageBand Classic Studio Kit.dbkit
    - GarageBand Hip Hop Drum Machine.dbkit
    - GarageBand House Drum Machine.dbkit
    - GarageBand Live Rock Kit.dbkit
    - GarageBand Vintage Kit.dbkit
- Fixed “Check for Update…”, which in previous beta builds reported a connection error.
- Bug fixes to sound waveform view in drum kit editor.
- Fixed memory leaks introduced following ARC conversion.
- Minor updates to help documentation and legal notices.

Unsurprisingly, GarageBand has changed a bunch in the past few years, and as a result the old Doggiebox GarageBand kits didn't work anymore because the linked sound files no longer existed where they once were. To fix them up, though, required a fair bit of supporting work first. Here's a little background for those interested.

Modern-day GarageBand does things a little differently from before: instead of providing individual AIFF files for each sound, everything for an entire kit is now combined into one continuous audio file. Alongside it, a secondary metadata file (EXS) contains details for each  instrument, such as its start and end points within that big audio file. To make things fun, this EXS format is proprietary and undocumented, so it took some detective work to figure out how to extract the necessary information in order to be able to re-create a Doggiebox drum kit based on its contents.

For the time being I made a separate tool to convert EXS files to dbkits, which I then used to create the new bundled GarageBand kits before cleaning them up and adding icons by hand. (The conversion isn't perfect; some manual work is still necessary, such as renaming and organizing the instruments, but it gets most of the way there.) A future version of Doggiebox will include built-in support for this.

Logic Pro X also uses the EXS format and provides a number of drum kits and other instruments; I hope to eventually provide Logic kits in future too.

-ben



> On 15 Jan 2021, at 2:08 pm, Ben Kennedy <ben at zygoat.ca> wrote:
> 
> Happy new year all!
> 
> First off, my heartfelt appreciation to those of you who've responded (both on- and off-list) over the past couple of weeks. It's gratifying to still find so much enthusiasm for Doggiebox after all this time, and also to start reconnecting with some familiar old folk! I hope everybody had a reasonable holiday break, and are managing to cope with all the world events that just keep getting wilder.
> 
> To usher in 2021, it's time for a new build (1J02)! Grab it by using "Check for Update…" from the menu, or from http://www.doggiebox.com/distribution/Doggiebox-1J02.zip.
> 
> There are quite a few more underlying changes this time around, mainly to support app sandboxing (a modern security regime to improve protection and also necessary for the Mac App Store). This should all be largely invisible, but will have some bearing on how songs point to their drum kit files. As a consequence, you might once again be prompted to locate drum kits when you first re-open a song.
> 
> Changes that should not impact the user experience:
> 
> - Song files save a security-scoped reference to their drum kits.
> - Drum kit files save security-scoped references to any linked sound files.
> - Internal memory management uses ARC instead of manual reference counting.
> - App is sandboxed.
> 
> Improvements to defects in Doggiebox 2.0.x and earlier:
> 
> - Fixed bug where doing “Save As” of a drum kit more than once would create a corrupted kit.
> - Fixed bug where exporting sounds or saving drum kits containing non-LPCM sound files could fail.
> - Fixed crash when loading a drum kit with linked sound files that can’t be found.
> - Fixed bug that prevented adding linked sounds to a new un-saved drum kit.
> 
> In addition, the sample files (demo song and drum kits) are now packaged inside the app bundle, so the total download size is a few MB bigger than it used to be.
> 
> As mentioned above, there might be some side effects related to locating drum kits when opening songs, and/or using drum kits with linked sound files. In each case, once you save the file, it should then re-open subsequently without incident. If that does not seem to be true, or you observe other weirdness along these lines, please let me know -- there could well be lingering bugs in this regard.
> 
> cheers,
> 
> -ben
> 
> 
>> On 18 Dec 2020, at 10:38 pm, Ben Kennedy <ben at zygoat.ca> wrote:
>> 
>> Hello friends!
>> 
>> (Er, is anyone still here?...)
>> 
>> A lot of time has ambled by since the last release of Doggiebox back in August 2012. One hundred months, in fact. Yikes! And as you well know, with last year's release of MacOS 10.15 Catalina and its lack of support for 32-bit apps, Doggiebox stopped working altogether on recent Macs.
>> 
>> Thanks in part to the pandemic, throughout this spring and fall I've finally been able to spend enough time bringing Doggiebox back up to speed -- to make the necessary and long-overdue changes to make it 64-bit and work with the latest SDKs and current Mac developer tools. (With a legacy codebase dating back to 2002, and many MacOS updates over this span, there was a lot more to this than one might guess.)
>> 
>> As such, is with great pleasure that I can announce a shiny new beta! Get it here:
>> 
>> http://www.doggiebox.com/distribution/Doggiebox-1J01.zip
>> 
>> Notable changes since version 2.0.2:
>> 
>> - Now a 64-bit Universal build, supporting MacOS 10.15 and 11.0 on Intel and M1 Macs. (The minimum required system is now MacOS 10.9.)
>> - Numerous internal changes to support modern architecture and updated APIs.
>> - Fixed bug where trying to Revert in the drum kit editor would crash.
>> - Fixed bug where drum kit palette would not be shown until a song document is opened (i.e. absent for a drum kit document).
>> - A new preference setting “Include pre-release (development) versions” will fetch such builds when checking for updates.
>> 
>> Known issues in this build:
>> 
>> - You may be prompted to locate drum kits when opening existing songs.
>> - Lack of dark mode support and other minor visual anomalies.
>> 
>> On account of some of the plumbing changes, there might well be a number of other things that are broken. I would appreciate your feedback in identifying any problems or weirdness so that I can get it fixed. My intent is to clean up the remaining rough edges and issue an official release of Doggiebox 2.1 within the next couple of weeks.
>> 
>> My heartfelt thanks to all you loyal Doggiebox enthusiasts for your involvement over all these years. While the Dog may have been snoozing (!), I hope there remains a lot more life in him yet.
>> 
>> Arf arf!
>> 
>> -ben
>> 
> 
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