[LAD] panning thoughts
fons at kokkinizita.net
fons at kokkinizita.net
Mon Nov 22 14:36:30 UTC 2010
On Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 02:14:54PM +0100, Remon Sijrier wrote:
> On Sunday, November 14, 2010 01:01:17 am fons at kokkinizita.net wrote:
> > Let me guess: a combination of a badly designed widget that has no
> > central position, and a print format that doesn't show the smallest
> > step.
> Hmm, you never used Traverso I see ... at least not in the way it should be
> used: there are no widgets in Traverso to control gain/pan values.
I have a look at it every now and then to see how it's evolving. Last time
it still was limited to stereo, and it crashed within minutes. Which does
indeed mean I don't use it.
> But you are correct that the pan/gain 'indicators' have less precision then
> the actual gain/pan values.
> One of the reasons I didn't fix this earlier is due I've no idea how much
> precision is needed. I.e. how small a step value do we want/need for gain and
> pan, and do we actually want to show that in the indicator? E.g. a value of
> -3.05 dB is a bit overkill?
There's a simple rule: if the indicator says '-3.0' then the actual value
should be -3.0. Not -2.96 or -3.04. In other words the indicator should have
the required precision to be able to show *all* possible values exactly.
Steps of 0.1 dB for gain are perfectly OK, even bigger ones. You have
to 'smooth' the transition anyway if the gain changes.
> Right now gain increment steps are 0.05 dB for gain, and there are 200 steps
> for pan normalized between -1, 1
I hope '200 steps' means 201 positions. You need an odd number in order to
have a central position.
> Just some thoughts: rotary knob controls are better to control by the human
> then sliders are, probably due the movements of the fingers are much more
Real ones provide support so the user can hold the knob without moving it even
in shaky conditions.
> The use of sliders vs knobs in software imho still is a different issue since
> you have to control those with a mouse, right?
> And this mouse movement dictates how good the movement (and precision of that
> movement) can be done in combination with how the knob/slider 'widget' is
> implemented. E.g. the width of the slider is 100 pixels, then you can't use
> more then 100 steps.
You can, and in fact the sliders I'm using in some new projects do have
sub-pixel accuracy, also visually.
> Traverso does away with that by using the relative mouse moving distance,
> allowing for mouse movements to be translated in relatively small gain/pan
> adjustements in effect giving the user a much better control over the
> gain/pan/other values.
Relative motion is the only one that makes sense for a slider. There's nothing
more useless than a control that jumps to the value you click on.
> Side effect is that the mouse can be moved physically
> for over long distances without being limited by screen sizes, so no matter if
> you're using a large or small screen, a large or small knob/slider, it always
> feels the same, with much more precision :)
Which in general is a good idea. OTOH, fader attenuation should 'go faster' for
low gain values (e.g. below -40 dB w.r.t. the maximum), so a fixed step is not
There are three of them, and Alleline.
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