User Interface Optimization

I am a hardstyle producer from New Zealand, and I’ve been using Ardour for a few months now, I’m absolutely loving it. The MIDI behaviour can get quite sluggish when there are too many tracks, but nothing unmanageable at this stage.

I’ve looked at a few forum posts around topics similar to this, and it seems as though suggestions to the UI/UX are a bit of a touchy subject, but I thought I’d offer a real specific suggestion that isn’t just “Oh, this should be better cause Reaper does this” or some other subjective opinion like that.

My suggestion: would it be possible/simple enough to allow customization of the buttons in Ardour besides just a tickbox for square or rounded corners, and a tickbox for flat or gradient buttons? Even if it was something as simple as actually customizing both colours in the gradient rather than just choosing one colour and making the bottom half of it darker. My theory was that maybe there could be a folder where you could place a grayscale texture file, and the buttons would just use that for their appearance, although I’m aware this is probably fundamentally different to how the buttons in Ardour are coded in the first place.

Would love to know what everyone’s thoughts are on this, and whether it’s actually possible or not. Aside from this and the MIDI stability issues, Ardour is great! Can’t believe I used FL Studio for as long as I did without realizing this project existed, lol!

In general, Ardour’s own “custom” GUI elements (which includes many, but not all buttons) are drawn in code as vector graphics (think SVG). They do not use loaded image files to create their elements.

All (well, almost all) colors used in the GUI are customizable, which is why there are multiple color themes, most of which were created by one user. The colors do not map 1:1 to specific elements - that would just create GUI chaos since there would be no general colors - and this makes figuring out “what makes this thing be that color?” more complicated than most people expect.

But yes, this customization will not allow you to change the things we do in code, for example, the way we draw gradients.

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Right, that makes sense.

Are there any current plans to update the GUI at all, or will that be for an update much further down the line (just out of curiosity)?

Oh, and will the MIDI workflow see some stability improvements in Ardour 7?

We continue on slowly moving towards doing more and more of the GUI with our own widgets, but that will not change “things are drawn in code, not taken from external files”.

We intend for v7 to have MIDI workflow improvements. Not really possibly to say much more than that until they are actually done.