More fancy GUI

Hey there,
first sorry for my bad english.

I just wonder, why Ardour still has no “good” GUI. I know, good is relative, but it looks totally like open source. (no offense)

I own PT HD, Logic Studio 8 and Reaper 4. All of them have a good GUI for its own. I try to use Ardour since the 2.0 release with mac and linux, but I always came back to the other DAWs.

I don’t mean the fancy thumbnails, but much better positioning for the “tools” in the track header and the mixer.

How realistic is it, if “anyone” do some mockups, that it will be maybe implemented any time? Or is this community jsut as stuck with it self like the PT one? (no offense again, just asking).


@sonnie: GUI’s are entirely subjective. There are many users who consider Ardour to have a nicer GUI than some other DAWs. Nobody in the development team is going to respond to general requests to “make the GUI more fancy”. We do respond to specific suggestions regarding particular details, and even better when they come with mockups that show evidence of careful thought and awareness of actual human-computer interaction studies rather than just personal preferences.

I think it looks good in my opinion. Great work on this program.

@paul: thanks for your reply. The GUI is not bad, its just simple. Of course there are many opinions about it. But one of the things I dont like is the big space from the solo and mute in the mixer. And the missing indicator for left and right panning (maybe a colour fill).
Also the transport with its “deformed” tools like play and stop button is not that effective in using space like in other DAWs.
Its no offense, just a try to improve. =)

I try to get rid of my Mac (with PT HD and Reaper) and try Ardour on my X200 with Manjaro. On Mac Ardour is much more fuzzy (idk. the right english word) behaviour. So have to use my small notebook and it works quite well.

Perhaps you should write that again in your native tongue and get someone else here to translate it. I’m not really sure what you mean by any of the specific points you mentioned.

We don’t take offense at suggestions. We just ignore suggestions that only contain “I don’t like …” and are missing the “it should be like <this>” part :slight_smile:

Oh, I forgot to klick on “save” the last time. :-/
I’ll try it again with other descriptions.

I don’t think the GUI is bad, its just improvable.

  • tools/buttons in the mixer should look the same as in the channelstrip-header in the arranger
  • the panning should be colour-inicated (p.e. the more left I pan, the more green/blue/… the panner gets)
  • the transport buttons are in my eyes too deformed (in german: zu langgezogen), means they sould me more quadratic to make the spacing/placing more effective

The Macintosh Ardour behauviour is not fuzzy but laggy (in german: hakelig/verzögert) - don’t know, why I used fuzzy, maybe because I played with my ehx BigMuff. I tried it with my old linux machine and performance was fine.

sonnie, maybe there’s something wrong with the way Ardour displays on your computer, because on mine it looks just fine, very usable and pretty.
Maybe you could post a sceenshot to let us check if it displays as it’s supposed to do ?

I think sonnie is suggesting that the buttons should be square, not rectangular See: ( just a joke! )

Actually, I agree. I think the transport buttons should be square and much smaller. I never use them anyway; I use the keyboard commands. However I’m always surprised to see how many first-time users need to see the transport buttons large and clearly, or they get lost. So, like everything, it’s a tradeoff between power-users and newbies.


Edit > Preferences > User Interactions > Button Size (vary the slider)
Edit > Preferences > User Interactions > Button Shape (use the popdown)
Edit > Preferences > User Interactions > Button Stiffness (vary the slider - adjust how hard you have to press the button to make it work
Edit > Preferences > User Interactions > Button Click (on/off - controls whether buttons click when pressed)

Thanks. I’ve never heard of Stackenblocken (there is no real . :smiley:
I’ll post a pic the next days.

Paul: I’ll have look on it. Sometimes its just some guys (me!) ignorance what make them mad. :wink:

The smiley ate the word “translation”.

Here is the picture with the transport and the preferences menue - without those posibilities.

Sorry for those many posts. Here comes the real picture:

sonnie: sorry, my post was a slightly sarcastic attempt at humor.

You totally got me. :smiley:
Maybe I just got to deal with it. :slight_smile:


I registered only to say that paul’s sarcastic comment is definitly not a silly one (except for the stiffness part :slight_smile:

Here’s my scenario:
I use ardour in a laptop with a touch screen connected to an external display.
I don’t have any hardware daw controller, but using the mouse is obviously not an option.
Using the keyboard shortctus might be an option, but it is not the most comfortable one.
And here’s why:
Most part of my ardour usage sessions I am recording an instrument, usually a guitar, and I obviously don’t have my hands put on the keyboard but on the instrument.
Also, I am usually not even properly sit in front of the computer, but rather sideways and a bit a part from it.
So, when I need to control simple things like starting the transport or muting a track, I want my input interface to be easy to use, so I can do it with one hand, in a single gesture (just like I would do with a control surface like MCU).

So, the best solution I found is to put the miker and the transport panel in the touch screen and use it directly as a “Daw controller”.
However, in a 13" screen with a 1920x1080 resolution, transport buttons and faders become quite tiny, so touching them with precision is sometimes hard.
And lowering the resolution only results in making everything bigger, and then the channels are not properly seen, if they even fit the mixer.

So, at least for this reason (touch screen usage), being able to make the transport buttons bigger and the faders wider would be a big improvement.

Maybe it’s not necessary to do it through the options menu, but just make the transport panel size and the faders width adjustable in a “drag and drop” fashion, making everything look proportional (now, if the transport panel is made bigger, the buttons remain the same, but with more wasted space around them).

NOTE: Let’s make clear that I am a very big fan of keyboard usage: my laptop runs i3 as the window manager, vim is my default editor and I cannot live without Vimperator addon in firefox.
But. everything in its place: while recording, keyboard is not the ideal input interface.

touch screen use is always going to be an issue since controlling with fingers needs larger less accurate controls. and in the case of a DAW sometimes this may actually make the gui worse by pushing more stuff off the screen.

the only solution i have seen was a particular touch screen panel that used a pen. i seen a demo of it for cubase i think and it was fantastic appart from a couple minor issues.

Ardour is designed primarly for desktop pc’s (as far as i understand it)

as for playing guitar, i record playing guitar too and just put up with having to reach for the mouse untill i get myself a midi control surface.

As far as the interface is concenrned, i think its fine. ofcoarse theres always room for improvement, but ive never bothered too much about visual looks. functionality is more important.

enough of the fancy flashy stuff. free up resources for the important audio processing

If you have an android phone, theres ardroid that works pretty well. its very basic but gives you transport and basic track controls (arming disarming tracks)

it says it needs wifi to work but i have managed to get it working over USB with USB tethering as it is a network interface under linux. Just find the IP address of the USB wired connection