ui improvement ideas

Having come from a background of using emagic logic on pc (yes apple, there WAS a market for logic on the pc… around 45% of logic users i believe)… sorry, still bitter :slight_smile: … there are a few things i miss quite a lot that i don’t think any other project has successfully replaced (both with commercial and free software).

oh, and if any of these DO exist in other software (especially ardour) then please correct my ignorance :slight_smile: also i am writing these without any concern whatsoever of the difficulty of implementing them, i suppose it’s more of a ‘dream program’ i am thinking of :wink:

First and foremost: SCREENSETS!!! :slight_smile: i really miss the day where i could press ‘1’ for a dual-screen spanning arrange window, ‘2’ for a dual screen mixer, ‘3’ for arrange on left monitor, mixer on right, ‘4’ for the midi matrix editor (i know this isn’t much use yet for ardour but anyway) etc. for those of you who don’t know the feature, it is basically a glorified way to save screen layouts, but you could have up to 90 (i only ever used about 8) different presets and switch between them with the number keys at the top of the keyboard. i really get annoyed having to use ‘alt-tab’ or whatever to go through my many open windows to find the one i want. i also like the fact that because the logic parent window contained all the others i could just click on the logic task and i would get all windows, plugins etc back to the top.

Second is regarding adding sends or inserts to the mixer. I have found ardour’s ability here to be outstanding, however one problem niggles me… when i add a send to a track, the only way i have found to modify the level is by right clicking, choosing edit and using the dialog. maybe i’m blind and can’t see the obvious way to enable this, but adding a ‘master’ rotary control beside the send name would be really useful for finetuning multiple tracks at once. perhaps there could even be an option (disabled by default to avoid confusion) to add these controls to inserts and plugins as well and make it a ‘wet/dry’ master level.

Third is the way mouse control is used in logic (on the pc anyway, i never used a mac). This is probably more of an issue if (when?) midi sequencing is implemented, but i miss the way that in logic rather than having to choose the pen tool to make a note, bar, object, whatever, then the modify tool to move or stretch the object, then the blah blah tool to do the blah blah thingy etc it was simplified to left mouse button to manipulate (move, stretch, select etc) and the right button was purely used to create new objects. this made it an order of magnitude faster to do repetitive tasks with the mouse. i almost leapt for joy when i pressed the right button on the track list down the left of the arrange window and it immediately opened the new track dialog rather than having to go through yet another drop down menu.

Forth is the customisable transport (that could have as many instances open as you want, all synchronised, as was the case with the other windows). this was especially useful with screensets (i manually copied the transport to the same spot on every screen i used, but a ‘pin’ option would be absolutely wonderful). it was also useful though to have different layouts for different screens- one with large buttons for easy quick recording etc, one with smaller buttons to be out of the way (say for editing audio regions), one with just a big clock (obviously this isn’t necessarily a part of the transport though) for helping recording back from the computer or showing others where the time is up to) etc.

I think i better stop, i may have gotten carried away…

Even if none of these features are implemented, i still believe ardour to be the absolute best multi track audio program around. if it had midi features of the same calibre it would in my opinion de-throne the might logic entirely. as it stands though it beats everything in terms of audio only work. thanks for all the work!

I will definetly take a look at your post later but first, did you realy need to post the same one 5 times ??

Marc-Olivier Barre,
Kinoko en Orbite

Please don’t mock the poor newcomer. Accidents happen, and they can be fixed. :slight_smile:

the connection kept telling me it had timed out. i checked on the forum to see if it had posted anyway and and it wasn’t listed, so i assumed that it hadn’t gone through. i must have had some weird cache problem or something with my provider… sorry about that.

I found that if I hit the “login” tag at the bottom of a post to login, and then afterwards, log in using the login panel in the side bar that I will actually get logged in. Weird, but it’s always worked.

I think it would be appropriate use of the vernacular to say that this forum sucks.

Sometimes, logging in works for me, but usually, I have to log in multiple times before it “sticks”. Logging in to reply to this post took 2 tries. Some days I have to log in a dozen times before I can post. Some days I just give up.

So… you are not the only one who has frustrations with this forum… you try to do something, and it should work, but doesn’t most of the time.

Luckily, the people in the forum are stellar, and IMO, that makes up for the challenges.

Although I did a little mocking in my previous post (sorry about that :wink: ) I must admit that logging on ardour.org is a pain. I had a talk with paul (well, as far as I remember, I think it was paul) on irc about this problem. He told me to check my browser settings. And so I did… on different machines, with or without cache enabled, with different browsers… no change.

Since other users are having the same kind of trouble, I hate to say it, but for once, Paul, you are wrong. This web site has a problem.

And for our greatest luck, our dear Ardour devs do a lot better work with c++ than with PHP :wink:

Marc-Olivier Barre,
Kinoko en Orbite

I have had nothing but problems with the option (on my drupal servers [2 of them now]) to cache the webpage; which means code to cache the page and tried to keep the cache up to date or flush and re-run the whole page.

In one word, it “sucks”.

I ended up disabling all server side caching. That is what makes thee logging in process take 2, 3 or 8 times (was the most for me). Usually three times is normal.

I’ve changed client side caching option and it is not an issue there. There remains possible that there is some issue between server and client clocks being off. I use NTP on most of my machines (one machine speeds again 10 seconds or so a day) so NTP keeps it in check.

However the local clock on ONE machine should not effect everybody elses experiences.

I have suggested turning off server side caching and nobody has verified that it is actually off. The symptoms are identical to what I was having THAT WAS SOLVED BY A CONFIG OPTION (disable server side caching).

Oh well (or as I sometimes says, aw hell).


I have suggested turning off server side caching and nobody has verified that it is actually off. The symptoms are identical to what I was having THAT WAS SOLVED BY A CONFIG OPTION (disable server side caching).

Last time I heard about it, I was told that the webmaster disagreed with your diagnostic… But apparently everyone disagrees with the webmaster :slight_smile:

Marc-Olivier Barre,
Kinoko en Orbite

I’d like to reply to your actual thread, it seems the others digressed! I’ve never worked with emagic so I can’t compare the two, however I do like many of your suggestions. I believe that up until the port to gtk2 (ardour2) the Screensets idea would have been far to difficult to achieve, but it may be something that you will see in the future. Your mouse control idea will probably remain so, since there are so many different ideas out there of how it should behave depending on what program you have come from. I personally would love to see it behave like the smart tool in protools, where it changes from ‘I’ bar, to grabber, to boundary changer to automation pencil editor, depending on where you place it on the region. And that means the only key one needs to press is to zoom! But ardour has very good shortcuts for the mouse as it is, and it would probably be easier for our devs to spend time on other important parts of ardour if we would take the time to learn ardours ways (I’m not having a shot at you here, just thinking about the prioroties of a program that is developed for free). As for the transport idea, it makes great sense to have an ‘always on top’ kind of option so no matter which window you are in you have control. Mind you with the integration of JACK into any of the worthwile linux audio arsenal, you have transport control from any other program as well! Also many serious audio users will have a hardware based transport control to take the frustration out completely =).

Even if none of these features are implemented, i still believe ardour to be the absolute best multi track audio program around. if it had midi features of the same calibre it would in my opinion de-throne the might logic entirely. as it stands though it beats everything in terms of audio only work. thanks for all the work!

I agree, and I think that is worth everyone remembering…ardour is trying to be the best pure DAW only software around…not a complete composition solution.

Keep up the good work all you ardour devs, we may ask a lot of you at times, but you are doing a better job than I would have ever thought anyone could in their spare time!


spending more time with the ardour2 ‘beta’ has made me focus my thoughts here a bit. My main wish now is for the ability to edit the send levels on a channel strip without right clicking it, choosing ‘activate’ then right clicking again and choosing ‘edit’. in logic the send was enabled by default, but set to -inf output (no output). i think there should be an easy way to enable/disable the send, plugin, insert etc. in logic it was ctrl-click from memory. The fact that i have to open an ‘edit’ window just to adjust the send level seems a little clumsy to me. the edit window is of course essential for choosing outputs etc, but i always found logic’s send ‘dials’ to be much more efficient, and doesn’t clutter the interface too much.

ps. if there is a much faster way to do this in ardour that i don’t know of, then please let me know, i’m still learning ardour ways :slight_smile:
perhaps there is a ‘keyboard and mouse shortcut’ reference around somewhere? if not maybe we should work on one. i’d be glad to help, only i don’t know that many shortcuts.

the logic ‘send’ dials for those who have never seen them. obviously i’m not after the same look necessarily, just the concept:
logic-send screenshot

pps. this isn’t a complaint, but this forum doesn’t seem to be as active as some of the other oss forums i frequent, is there another place where ardour development and issues are discussed? like i said i’m not complaining, just wondering :slight_smile:

edit: i just subscribed to the ardour user and dev lists, so the previous point may be not relavent. i’d like to use the irc channel but i can’t get it here at work without tunneling out through the proxies. i also mucked up the img tag, fixed now :slight_smile:

If you want to be more involved, then join the ardour mailing list and frequent the #ardour irc channel on freenode. You will find much more and quicker responses! Also there is a keybindings section in the manual wiki if you wanted to have a browse. Your ‘sends’ idea makes a lot of sense. These sorts of things are probably in development as I write this…I don’t actually know as I’m not a dev!

Andy J