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Routing Matrix Usability Improvements Issue Tools
issueid=960 08-15-2009 05:15 AM
Human being with feelings
Routing Matrix Usability Improvements
A series of bahaviours and graphical improvements

As discussed in this thread : http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=22716

EDIT on April 22nd 2010, 2:10
A filter box has been added to the request. This was originally posted in another issue tracker feature request, but at the suggestion of Mercado_Negro moved here.

The illustrations.
The big one, with inline track name indicators for patch points more than twenty slots away from the origin.

A larger Routing Matrix with diagonal target track text:

The larger Routing Matrix with text descriptions and colour on both ends. Suggested for when the other descriptions are no longer visible in larger projects.

The problem :
The routing matrix gets unwieldy very quickly.
A solution:
A filter box as we have it in the FX browser, for tracks in the routing matrix. It does not simply show us which tracks contain ALL terms we enter, such as "vox bus" will only display tracks with both the terms "vox" and "bus" in their tack names for the current View:Filter Track Visiblity dialog popup.

It needs to display the tracks that contain either the term "vox" and "bus" in this example.
Possible development:
Use this filter box in other areas of Reaper, such as the TCP and MCP.
The requested modifications of the original request:
  1. Column and row to the patch point are highlighted in the colour of the tracks. Users need only scan the edges of the matrix to find out what they're patching.
  2. Track names connected to the patch point are highlighted with a larger and bold font. Users need only scan the edges of the matrix to find out what they're patching.
  3. Patch point highlighted with two to four pixel black border around its area.
  4. Vertical divider lines are dark for easier scanning by the user across the matrix.
  5. Horizontal divider lines are bright for easier scanning by the user across the matrix.
  6. Tracks feature a colour rectangle at the edge of the matrix, indicating custom track colours, adding another quick visual cue to where the user is in the matrix. It has been suggested using group colours instead. A good option ? They could live in a similar strip to the left or up of the track name text.
  7. Folder parents and last child are indicated with the classic folder icons in front of the source tracks
  8. Source track numbers are right-aligned in their own column, names are left-aligned in theirs. This dramatically improves scanning efficiency for users, due to reduced clutter from the track numbers.
  9. Other patch points connected to the source or target tracks are inverted for quick indication of their existence. Scanning by user is reduced.

  10. Keyboard Modifiers - Hold CTRL to restrict mouse cursor movement to current row or column
  11. Create a series of patch points by click and dragging, restricted to same column or row of where the first patch point was done.
  12. Organizing your tracks - Moving tracks by drag and dropping on their names in the left column.
  13. Indenting track names if they are part of a folder(not shown in the mockups).

The primary goal was to achieve a more efficient way to spot what patch points are being created, removed or simply accessed.

The current tooltip is not optimal in that it combines track numbers and name of both source and target track in to one line, which thus often changes dramatically in composition and is therefore very hard for users to scan quickly. Most users would often resort to painstakingly trace the row or column of the patch point instead.

If the position of the tooltip could remain within the same grid that the patch points have, and have static positions for the track numbers and names, much like the track descriptions in the matrix itself, then readability and thus use of the tooltip would improve dramatically.
Issue Details
Issue Type Elevated FR
Project Deprecated REAPER issue tracker
Category GUI and graphics
Status Popular Request
Priority 6
Suggested Version 3.101
Implemented Version (none)
Users who would use this feature 237
Users who would not use this feature 9
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)

08-15-2009 05:44 AM
Human being with feelings
As I said earlier, very useful. I'm all for it!

One nitpick though, on the vertical rows, track numbers should be presented in the same manner as on the horizontal rows, for quick reading purposes.
The track names on the vertical rows are easily readable but the numbers kinda make tilt your head...

Just this and you get my 100% support. You're down to...humm.... 99.99999% right now :D
08-15-2009 07:54 AM
Human being with feelings
Also, alternate row or column shading (slight variation) would make it more readable.
08-15-2009 08:09 AM
Human being with feelings
this could be very useful, also for future routings like the internal controllers.

BTWWWW-WOW! Airon, I love your mockups!

did you make a theme for reaper?
08-17-2009 01:30 PM
NAS NAS is offline
Human being with feelings
Voted yes because the current matrix is total trash and takes much longer than to just open the relevent boxes and set the routing
Personally i prefer a much more visual router but as it stands i would never even dream of using the matrix because i do very complex routing and for that it is a mess

08-18-2009 02:21 AM
Human being with feelings
A big +1 to the click+drag
08-18-2009 02:30 AM
Human being with feelings
i think this would reduce the 'fear factor' in trying to make sense of "at a glance" routing sends and receives. Very big improvement when things get complicated. Well done with the mockup!

08-18-2009 02:57 AM
Three things I am missing in the routing matrix that are not covered by this request:
- Distinction of MIDI vs audio routing in the send squares (maybe by color code), so it can instantly be seen and not only via the rightclick popup
- MIDI hardware outputs
- MIDI track inputs

Please let's make "REAPER doesn't discriminate against MIDI" also true for the routing matrix.

Apart from that, the mockups are great and get my full support.
08-18-2009 10:06 AM
Human being with feelings
Interesting idea Gofer.

Post your ideas on this issue please. I'll try to work that in to the next mockup version.
08-20-2009 02:54 AM
Human being with feelings
Originally Posted by Evan
Also, alternate row or column shading (slight variation) would make it more readable.
alternate row/column background shading, good way to see what line you on.


plugin 'virtual channel' routing matrix.... give me a few weeks, to mock up this. LOL it'd have to be 3D or something. ACTUALLY have a button on the channel mixer that toggles visibility of CONNECTOR LINES to show i/o from start of channel strip all the way to final hardware outs.

IE, routing matrix i can see tracks patch to other tracks or hardware outs, and HUGE KUDOS FOR ADDING DRAG IO BUTTON OVER TO ANOTHER TRACK TO CONNECT ROUTING! (and alt click to enable/disable master/parent send). but theres no way of summarizing the 64 channel internal channel routing (plugin routing)

heres an example: i have 2 reaeq, one routed so it takes channel-internal channel 1-2 in and goes to 3-4 out. now i add a send slider and have it 'listen' to 3-4 in and send to 1-2 of receive track. the other reaeq and all other plugs go straight through with 'virtual channel' 1-2 to track fader.
THIS is for MONITOR SENDS live or in the studio, this is how you do it. better than cubaseo because the sliders dont TAKE UP THE WHOLE FRIGGIN' DESKTOP!

in master section its reeediculous: i use 18 virtual channels:
1-2 thru an eq, then 1-2 to a voxengo delay which send out to 15-16 which is picked up at a hardware out after master fader, to go to delay stacks at audience rear, then plugin 3 is 1-2 into frequency allocator, a crossover plugin, and out to 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 (lo, mid and hi), then 3 reacomps, first listens to 7-8 and out to 7-8, second to 9-10 out to 9-10, third to 11-12. these are limiters on the lo/mid/hi, they go out to hardware outs x 6, each pair listening to 7-8, 9-10 ant 11-12 in turn, going to the acutal speaker bins. then i have 17-18 patched out of the first eq plugin as well as 1-2, so i can solo the mains out only thru a separate headphone out, so i have a hardware out listening to 17-18 as well, at the master fader out.
i SKIP 3-4 (and 5-6) because they are used in the rest of the mixer as monitor sends, and i forget how but theres a way i could get these coming into master section causing DISASTER.

boy i and i have gotten into trouble mispatching something during a live show!
09-22-2009 04:38 AM
Human being with feelings
That interchannel routing matrix now has its own FR here: http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1018

There are plenty of good ideas that could improve the Routing Matrix. From reordering tracks to selecting them.
04-15-2010 06:51 AM
Human being with feelings
Another request that works in to this request has been posted:

Filter Tracks in Routing Matrix with multiple terms

Discussion thread for it is here: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=55997
04-16-2010 01:31 AM
Human being with feelings
Not a chance. I don't know what the real answer is but this isn't it for me. Does my head in. Don't know why in software in 2010 I'm having to see and /or deal with nuts and bolts and internals.

Gotta be at least 3D. Sorry but it's prehistoric.

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