[LAU] ZynAddSubFX Usability Survey

Tim E. Real termtech at rogers.com
Fri Apr 29 06:53:15 UTC 2016

Hi, hope I don't take this too far OT. Just want to relate experience.

I think it was the same person who submitted a similar mockup
 for MusE several months ago. Funny, a portion of my response 
 also concerned the lack of colour.

But I went ahead and implemented some of his ideas in MusE.
We now have MusE-3 with horizontal Compact Sliders.
The text is inside the slider like Ardour.

The space savings are awesome. Each of our mixers strips used to 
 contain a knob for pan, a knob for gain, plus a variable number of 
 knobs for each auxiliary send track.
A mixer screenshot of before and after was striking. All that space freed.
Our strips are the 'skinniest' and economic they've been in years.

The thing about horizontal sliders is obviously there's less to show and 
 manipulate given the same width that a knob previously occupied. 
That's one thing to hold anyone back from making them.
But I reasoned the coloured 'bar' is there just as a visual reminder 
 of the numerical value - which is clearly printed inside the control.
I added a shift control for single step bar movement in very short sliders. 
Otherwise, available values might be skipped in such tight spaces. 
The unused axis in a slider (y for a horizontal slider) is very tempting 
 to use for such resolution shifting - it screams out to be used.
I thought of some bizzare ideas like /circular/ motion on a slider.
I note that the Gimp has a 'two speed' scheme where you get more 
 resolution by moving the cursor to an upper region.

Are sliders perfect substitutes for knobs? No. We're keeping them and 
 I'm designing a new configurable strip where we might be able to 
 choose what types of controls are shown and their orientation.
MusE's knobs are different. You move them with a circular motion.
Want more resolution as you are adjusting? Move out to a larger radius!

(Vertical sliders? Well that's a challenge with text. Another story.)

About colours: I knew that with all these new sliders each having
 coloured bars, that hard-coding colours would be stupid, that we
 needed settings for them. So I really souped up our colours Settings 
 dialog and added a bunch more colour setting items. The dialog is 
 now fully 'live' and interactive - changes occur immediately. 
Saving and reloading of different colour settings in a file has been added.
This, together with our ability to load a stylesheet, made me think:
"That's it! Make it easy for the /users/ to contribute themes so that /we/ 
 don't have to rack our brains for several themes, so we can code more." ;-)

There can be problems with mockups from strangers who sometimes 
 aren't aware of the complexities of how the app works, which might 
 prevent implementation of the ideas presented or take massive effort.
It can be a bit like saying "nice car but I think it should look like this".
You know how it is, coders aren't designers and vice-versa :-)
I didn't know he makes it his passion to dream these mockups.
They're pretty cool. He motivated this coder to do something.


More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list