Horizontal Music Implementation: magnetic regions and transition timelines limitations

The scenario is the following:

I have a music master event that controls all music changes via a label parameter (idle, explore, combat, etc.) Each music state is referencing a music event for each state on the timeline with magnetic regions to snap from one state to another. I also want to use transition timelines to blend seamlessly.

I was excited to use magnetic regions, as opposed to transition regions, to simplify the timeline logic but it has some clear drawbacks, as far as I can tell, when dealing with more than just 2 states.

Main problem is having bespoke timeline transitions for every music state permutation. You can do that with transition regions but it gets messy pretty quickly, filling up the top black part of the timeline with an endless number of transition regions and markers. Magnetic regions where introduced to simplify that same problem, but it doesn’t seem like transition timelines have been given the same kind of considerations. For instance, the 1 magnetic region dedicated to state B shares the transition timeline with every music track I have setup, so when moving from A to B, then from C to B, I am gonna hear the transition of both A and C and there is currently no way to do some kind of exclusion based on which state I am coming from, which I think would solve the issue.

I don’t know if I am being clear enough, I have found hard to describe my conundrum in simple terms.
Ask away if you need more clarification.


I have thought a little more about this and I may have found a dirty workaround, which still increases complexity but not as much as with using oldschool transition regions.

I have created a mirror label parameter to my musicState parameter called “previousMusicState”
I set this new label with a command instrument whenever the playhead has snapped to a new part of the timeline. This acts as a memory buffer so I know what was my previous state before the game calls for a new state. Based on that new label, in my magnetic transition timeline I create playback conditions so only the correct transition music plays.

It’s not perfect but it’s an improvement for sure

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That’s a good workaround indeed!

The main issue with my workaround is that all transitions share 1 transition timeline, so you would need to make all your transition stingers the same length otherwise you might have inconsistencies, having to set the timeline as long as the longest transition stinger you have. All in all, I am not sure this is viable anymore.
Therefore I am ditching magnetic regions for this scenario and use transition regions instead.

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Yes, hence the transition will not feel very reactive in some cases… To summarize, you’d like a complex setup, magically handled by a simple tool :smiley: I’m afraid there’s no shortcut but using a transition regions maze…
You also could do a compromize: several magnet regions by section (say: short, mid, long), conditioned to a parameter changed via command instruments.

To summarize, you’d like a complex setup, magically handled by a simple tool

You nailed it :rofl:

I think in part it’s because of the promise of magnet regions to be that magical simple tool to rule them all. Which it kinda does, but not for my scenario.

Alas, magnet regions are useful because they’re simple - and because they’re simple, they can’t do complex things. There’s not really any way to have our cake and eat it too: If magnet regions could do everything transition regions can do, they’d be just as complex as transition regions, and thus no longer a simpler alternative.

So, for complex behaviors that magnet regions can’t handle, we recommend using transition regions instead.

Understood. Thanks all!