[LAU] ZynAddSubFX Usability Survey

Mark D. McCurry mark.d.mccurry at gmail.com
Fri Apr 29 15:24:03 UTC 2016

On 04-29, Louigi Verona wrote:
> Just want to add something to what I already wrote.
> Do not try to accommodate all use cases! There is no software package
> (apart from several of the "free software" ones) that do this or should do
> this. Trying to make software that works for everybody might result in
> software that works for noone. So, I would, for example, totally exclude
> the use case of live performance. A complex soft synth is not a live tool.
> Also, I would suggest sticking with one decision and not adding huge amount
> of options "for all those other use cases". This is the problem of many
> free software projects. If you decide to go for single window, stick with
> single. If you go for multi window, stick with it as well.
Yeah, a design needs to be opinionated for it to rise above others.
Without a strong opinion things would be muddled and confusing.
As for the multi window problem the survey overwhelmingly supports that

> And again, apart from asking opinions of this, I must say, very small
> community, reach out to people who use other synths, talk to people at KVR,
> for example. Make sure that if you go multi-window, for instance, this is a
> well thought out decision and not a "free software tradition" (not saying
> that multi-window is not an option, although I personally know of no well
> established synth that has multiple windows).
It's a small community, though it does contain a large portion of
users which have been exposed to the synth at some stage.
Even if they were turned off by it a large percentage likely have some
useful insight.
As per kvr, I've already posted the survey over there as that's where a
larger portion of the windows demographic appears to exist.
Once stuff gets built up to a light demo then deeper feedback will
hopefully be collected, as I feel that it's easier to express why an
interface is liked or disliked when the real deal is in front of users

> By the way, a case that you might also consider - are you thinking of Zyn
> only in terms of standalone software or also a plugin inside a DAW? If it
> is inside a DAW - is it a good idea to have multiple windows? How will the
> synth look in side a DAW?
Personally I use zyn almost exclusively in a standalone sense, but there
is very clear demand for it in the context of a DAW plugin.
While there might be some standalone synths out there which make use of
multiple windows it seems to be very strongly discouraged to do so in
the context of a plugin.
I think the look/feel organization fits in a daw, but that is something
which beta tests will eventually help to define.

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