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Old 12-04-2010, 05:20 AM   #41
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Oh I see - well then, yes. We're going to do a good range of layouts.

Discussion of the MCP folder interaction buttons

I'd like to kick off this discussion if I may. The size, styling and position of these needs much attention. I would say they need to be similarly styled, close to one another and close to the folder indents. This way the approximate nature of their job could be implied by their position (removing the need for a folder icon, for example) and the fact that they act on the same function (but in different ways, of course) by that and their similar styling. Of course, if they look too similar or their function isn't clear, that's a fail.

Personal opinion - I don't like these buttons either, and think the drag'n'drop does the task better. But only if you, the user, know about the drag'n'drop! I also think that, if there were to be buttons to do do this task, I can think of several ways that different buttons doing different jobs could get the task done better. But we're not going to go there, because:
  • We have to use those buttons. No discussion, sorry.
  • We're not FRing here. No sir.

So : we are using those buttons. They are going to work the way they always have. How shall we do this best?
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:42 AM   #42
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I pretty much like it all, more so than the V3 default. The folder intent is a bit ambiguous but I don't think it needs to be bigger, just darker would probably do it. If things all became a tiny bit smaller I'd like it more but I'm a laptop guy so I'm bound to say that. Keep up the good work and don't pay too much heed to the masses. Too many cooks and all that
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:44 AM   #43
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I think folder buttons are ok that way as they are. But it is really not clear which tracks are as a subfolder - so more contrast on that subfolder track column please (as already suggested).

I like the track name inside of the VU meter.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:57 AM   #44
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It's a fiddly thing on a hi-res widescreen with minimised track heights to press one when the other one a few pixels away does the opposite from what you intended doing. It also seems that although the placement of the Track is a folder (Tiaf) button is where it should be at the bottom of the track, when the track becomes a folder it feels to me that the Compact button should be at the bottom since it has priority (I'd imagine that a substantial number of folder users collapse/expand their folders a lot more often than create them).

Having said that, apart from those niggles the general pairing of the buttons (from the perspective of my imaginary new-user alter ego) makes sense.

For those who are troubled by the Tiaf button though, would it be possible to have a WALTER layout with it removed, leaving the Compact button visible?
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:22 AM   #45
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To start off, I really like the theme. If some of the feedback given is incorporated, it will be the theme I use.

First: The grouping in the TCP, as mentioned a number of times, is really hard to see, and a dealbreaker. It's already bitten me in the behind numerous times, last time was 2 minutes ago; that's why I'm here. It's just hard to see the grouping structure. So far I like AdamWathan's alternative with the indenting of the record buttons.

Second: The red on the record monitoring button, which means "off", signals "armed" to me. In other words, it communicates the opposite of what's intended to me.

Small stuff: Hover and all that stuff on most buttons, like M/S, etc, is not really that important to me. I like M/S not having any other stuff associated with it. I agree that the FX and phase buttons should probably look more like buttons, but it's not an absolute necessity for me.

Thanks for involving the community in this process, I really appreciate it.
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:12 AM   #46
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Hey everyone,

Thought I'd share what I think about the MCP Folder indent buttons/indicators for the new Default 4 Theme....


I think it's important that they do look similar as they belong as a group though have different tasks under the same functionality management.

A folder Track (the parent) should be easily recognizable upon viewing the tracks in the mixer. I tend to associate that if a track is a folder track (parent) it is it's or a very important part of it's identity. So, having said that I believe it would give more meaning if the "I'm a Folder" indicator, lived next to the tracks Number (the other very important unique id for the given track/folder). Top left just say "the start" to me.

It may also be more logical to have the actioning button for the track folder status changes located to the right (top right..) where I think the "last track in the (folders) nest" indicator lives currently seems in a good location, as it (to me anyway) is to the last edge of the last track in the given nest.

I agree that it has been difficult to see at a glance the overall structure of the projects Track/folder/nests levels. But purely discussing on the folder buttons/indicator for the Mixer area - It would probably be an FR for something small to assist the icons design and placement. I guess things like that can always be enhanced by the way other elements of the panel ie background could react upon the Folder/track state change.

The only other thought atm is that I think the indicators positioning should be consistent, tidy and never move for any reason not related to their function or layout change. ie- if tracks 1 and 109 (not that I usually reach that count) are folder tracks - visually their folder indicator should look the same or match.

Whats there now (the folder icon on the indicator inside a arrowish rectangular background) seems good/fine to me although something more simplistic would be nice to read and use if placed/incorporated well.


Hope that doesn't come across as a bit wanky and makes some sense - but that's what I think anyway

Last edited by arkima; 12-04-2010 at 07:58 AM. Reason: clarified parts
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:51 AM   #47
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I'm actually pretty good with the folder buttons (hopefully you mean the "+" and "-" folder collapsing buttons). They are easy to understand, being positive and negative, and small enough to not compete visually with the overall design.

IDEA: You could also make a colored circle for regular status tracks and a triangle or some other angular shape to denote a folder track - even a straight horizontal line or rectangle by itself. That way the plus and minus is redundant and geometry rules the day.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:01 AM   #48
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TCP buttons
Text next to the "buttons" are good aid, especially when they are showing the activity/state, like eg IO button (Master, Send, RCV). However, track envelopes/automation could benefit of having some kind of indication of active but hidden envelopes also. Right now you can see immediately what automation mode is chosen, but not if there are hidden envelopes. I apologize if this is more of a FR, rather than impression that I get from looking at it, wondering.

I can see reasoning behind these not being actual, definitive buttons. They offer information about the states, not just separate buttons to go and select said states, like in V3.


Folder tracks
Folder indent is far more clear and telling in the V3. Especially when you go couple of folders deep, V4 gets a bunch of blocks not clearly showing the relationship between the tracks, but just adding to visual clutter.

[img]http://img130.**************/img130/1250/foldersv4v3.png[/img]

Given the default size above, two different layouts will give options to show either V3 or V4 style information, fader or metering. Visually V3 looks more relaxed and easy on this section, but it's also a matter of what needs to be shown here.

On the other hand, there's no denying that the button section is way more harmonious in V4. Again, what functions/info is shown differs also.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:01 AM   #49
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For the MCP folder business, I'm definitely no graphic designer but maybe something like this would help visually?



Maybe you could even add a touch of extra spacing (1-2 pixels) around the entire folder structure to visually separate it from the other tracks.

For multiply nested folders I imagine you'd have to add more "head padding" upward, or think of a more elegant solution. But the way it is now makes things very confusing to the eye when you have nested folders anyhow, since you have nothing really jumping out at you saying "this is a container, it contains these things, which contain these things..."

I actually think the folder icons on the MCP are fine, and possibly superior to the ones on the TCP (I think visual indication of what the button does is ok and preferable to trying to find some other functional or positional way of implying its duty, mainly because it's more immediate).

I hope this doesn't come off as just a feature request, but I'm not sure how to comment on the current look without suggesting a new one.

Now open for criticism!
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:04 AM   #50
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Here is what I see as a place saver:

MCP now v. s. Desired MCP (saving 40px height)



TCP now


Desired TCP (saving 60px width)



Anybody sharing a similar wish?
Of course if it is disturbing for a big display user, he can still use the function to enlarge/scale all UI elements (preferences/...).
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:19 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urednik View Post
Anybody sharing a similar wish?
Sorry, but I'm afraid I don't! On the current Reaper 4 TCP, I like the that there is a specific empty place to click on to select tracks, and having the track number on there is perfect, and it gives you a column of nothing but track numbers. Your mock-up looks very cramped to me.

Th MCP isn't so bad, but I still prefer a specfic, visually obvious track selection area, which the bar with track number serves as I think.

In Reaper 3, there was no such area, and on a number of ocasions found myself clicking on things I didn't really want to in order to select a track!
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:21 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urednik View Post
Here is what I see as a place saver:

...
It all looks VERY crowded. Design is as much about empty space as what you put inside it. I think this is often forgotten in the quest for utility.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:23 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broman View Post
For the MCP folder business, I'm definitely no graphic designer but maybe something like this would help visually?
Tabs are actually a pretty cool idea.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:27 AM   #54
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Ok, fair - an area to click on.
So making it an option to select a compact GUI would already be a FR, wouldn't it?

Hopefully I will not get TIEd up for that :S


But how about smaller fader button?
How about arm record button?
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:42 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyrow View Post
Here is what we have:


and what we had with the same height:


from spyrows pic - I'd like to ask in the spirit of the opening post about usefulness, accessibility, visual priorities etc:

why are the pans are so huge & prominent?

they are simply not as important or as regularly adjusted as mute/solo in the grand scheme of things yet they appear to be the 2nd most prominent thing in the panel.

users either set pan once and never again or automate pan in which case the pan handle is then pointless in terms of visual feedback.

so why give it a lead part in this play?

Also the phase button seems to be in its own 'supermarket car park' of space that could be utilised by something crucial like the fader which is significantly shorter in comparison.

reducing that space and giving less prominence to the pan would give more space for fader and meter.

this is not an FR... just food for thought perhaps!

Last edited by BenK-msx; 12-04-2010 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:47 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broman View Post
I hope this doesn't come off as just a feature request, but I'm not sure how to comment on the current look without suggesting a new one.

Now open for criticism!
I really like it. What distinguishes an FR from a non-FR is probably whether or not it can be done with the current theming engine. Unfortunately I think this is not possible with the current theming engine. It would be totally kickass, tho.

Also, I'm sure we're cut some slack when it comes to distinguishing between theming and FR's, it's very hard to tell the difference a lot of the time, because you need to be pretty intimate with how themes are built.

But I really like the idea.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:49 AM   #57
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I have one request only. That the meter lights can be toggled on/off. Once I've set up my levels I have no real desire to see a constant lightshow onscreen for the rest of the mix, I think it's an unnecessary distraction. The way most DAW's are setup up you are obliged to look at some flashing lights everytime you glance at a fader or the mixer. One of the Scope devs produced a mixer with the option to toggle lights on/off, it's great, instant visual peace.

I'm sure one can do this with the Walter but it could be a nice inclusion in the default settings.

Many thanks to the Theme Team working on the Dream Theme behind the scene.

ns
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:09 AM   #58
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Maybe white tie and team had touchscreens in mind, things are probably heading that way so being able to get to pans with a fat finger is probably not a bad thing but I'm sure we can have track layouts that get around this.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:18 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broman View Post
For the MCP folder business, I'm definitely no graphic designer but maybe something like this would help visually?


I like this idea, but the background could be a bit darker to make the indent more pronounced. Theres not much room in the track number bar to make too many sub levels visible this way though.

As for the actual MCP folder interaction buttons, I don't see any yet. There's the folder icon(symbol) but that doesn't do anything else but just shows that there is a folder...not working yet? Anyhow, even as it is, it's already better than V3 where there's none.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:20 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urednik View Post
But how about smaller fader button?
How about arm record button?
- I actually prefer the bigger fader, it provides
a larger touch area which is welcome in this case.
And I find it's size generally fitting the design.
(yeah, I'm still describing the volume fader)
The transparency also looks slick while being a
smart functional decision.

- record button is imho well put into design, and the
circle is the common record symbol anyway. The only
difference I might probably do is fill the circle on
all states:

[img]http://img840.**************/img840/3301/recbutton.jpg[/img]

As suggested by Adam I agree on better folder indication,
making it darker and probably less border-ish. Also I would
reposition/resize the pan somehow to be more consistant with
other elements. Now it just seems randomly positioned.

I do agree on the more contrast remark, the theme
looks a bit washed out currently, especially the waveforms
need a lot more black.

In general the TCP design is very well thought out and
aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. Except the general
green shade of the theme, but that's a personal preference.

e
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:22 AM   #61
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I quite like that mcp folder mock..
-

regarding spyrows issue about short faders/meters

here a quick dodgy mockup/tweak, I've made track 10's pans smaller, rid the backround block, moved the phase button down and extended meter down a bit. compared to tracks 11 and 12 you can see thats quite a bit more fader/meter room after minimal adjustment.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg mcp-tweakbk.jpg (37.6 KB, 606 views)

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:27 AM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicbynumbers View Post
Maybe white tie and team had touchscreens in mind, things are probably heading that way so being able to get to pans with a fat finger is probably not a bad thing but I'm sure we can have track layouts that get around this.
I hope you mean alternate layouts that accomodate fat fingers on touch screens not a default theme that does?!
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
1. I am definitely not liking that track name is merged with VU meter. This needs to be dumped.
I will have to agree on this one. Seems like most like the new title being in the meter. Will Walter allow us to separate the track title from the meters for a version 4 theme? Like I've already said, I like the new meters, why not show them off, and show the full length?

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:33 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
1. I am definitely not liking that track name is merged with VU meter. This needs to be dumped.
Not sure why? I find this well thought out, as it makes
only one single dark bar of information, and saves space.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:36 AM   #65
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Adding on using the graphic from above... The I/O graphic seems to be a bit of a waste of space maybe where all it may need is a M, S and an R to illustrate Master, Send & Receive states.

The IO graphic seems to be at least 2-3 times larger / wider than it maybe needs to be. I'm also not sure that - on the TCP - the actual words Trim, Read, Latch etc necessarily need to be literally spelled out. There is a lettering conflict with Trim and Touch so you can't just use "T" but maybe T for trim & "Tc" for touch. But that one also seems to unnecessarily take up more horizontal space for things where the choices - or representation of current state - is limited enough to be given with a single letter in most cases.



So maybe design wise some of those things may be using more space than they necessarily need which results (it seems) in having to use a necessarily taller vertical size for a certain amount of control display.

Thanks.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:38 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urednik View Post
But how about smaller fader button?
How about arm record button?
The meter does have a lot of padding on its edges (though it probably helps make things cleaner). Maybe we could get an alternate layout that has meters with less padding, and then smaller buttons that flow on the right instead of underneath (with the button's appearance indicating the state of sends and receives and so on like in the v3 skin).

Quick mockup:



This is a bit fatter since I left some of the text indication (which is very useful) and in the process some alignment of elements had to be altered to match the wider appearance. It's also a bit busier, but you could play with the amount of padding on the meters and distance between elements. This is just a proof of concept anyway. It definitely works better at lower track heights.

Again sorry if this looks like an FR... it's just a suggestion on an alternative that hopefully will spawn some useful discussion.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:41 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
Adding on using the graphic from above... The I/O graphic seems to be a bit of a waste of space maybe where all it may need is a M, S and an R to illustrate Master, Send & Receive states.

The IO graphic seems to be at least 2-3 times larger / wider than it maybe needs to be. I'm also not sure that - on the TCP - the actual words Trim, Read, Latch etc necessarily need to be literally spelled out. There is a lettering conflict with Trim and Touch so you can't just use "T" but maybe T for trim & "Tc" for touch. But that one also seems to unnecessarily take up more horizontal space for things where the choices - or representation of current state - is limited enough to be given with a single letter in most cases.



So maybe design wise some of those things may be using more space than they necessarily need which results (it seems) in having to use a necessarily taller vertical size for a certain amount of control display.

Thanks.
I disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteTie
Eliminate, wherever possible, ambiguity. WALTER allows us to assign as much (or as little) space as is needed for an element to do its job well. A good example of this is the IO button; previously space issues restricted us to various schemes to indicate the master / send / receive status of the track. We can now take the space to make that message very clearly, on every track, with full words. Experienced Reaper users will likely find they don't need this level of clarity, they can effortlessly interpret (for example) an icon based representation, but we favour a solution that benefits all users including casual, occasional or new Reaper users. If this is ever in conflict with efforts to make the interface attractive, the lack of ambiguity is favoured.
For exactly these reasons.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:42 AM   #68
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I like the below too



I can see why people like the combined option but I'm a fan of big names and also love the fact that we can have walter set up so things can hide when on small heights, with the meters and names in one place this is not possible (i don't think?) but I can see that this same reason is probably why Whitetie went for this way of combining them.

As long as there is a Walter additional layout to have them seperate I'm happy
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro View Post
I disagree.
For exactly these reasons.
Ah... that's right. You can just go in and remove the label or make your own. Thanks MN.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:45 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro View Post
I disagree.



For exactly these reasons.
Me too, for the reason that now the objects are adaptable and at least we can have our own options for bring back the small ones (I love the arrows one) but for new users it speaks volumes.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:57 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broman View Post
The meter does have a lot of padding on its edges (though it probably helps make things cleaner). Maybe we could get an alternate layout that has meters with less padding
Personally, I really like that 'fatter' VU space (the padding around the meters), so I'd be keen to keep them that way! I just find them more aesthetically pleasing than the narrow ones. I like the slightly flattened bottom curvature around the rec arm button, and the space around it - it looks especially good in the meter only mcp layout too!
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:13 AM   #72
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The transport bar text-to-icon proportion is out of whack. Iconography(fader, transport control) is way too big in proportion to text box(rate, selection), a disproportion immediately evident when you try to scale down the interface.

R4:

[img]http://img809.**************/img809/4405/r4t.gif[/img]

By comparison, R3 proportion was perfect(and took a while to get it there), and scaled beautifully, up OR down:

[img]http://img249.**************/img249/6278/r3t.gif[/img]
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:20 AM   #73
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Unfortunately this screenshot doesn't show the mouse cursor which I carefully placed next to the folder buttons on one of the folder tracks, but suffice to say that the mouse arrow is the same exact height as a track and therefore trying to collapse and expand folders whilst not hitting the other button (and also forgetting which is which (yes, I know, I know)) is a new precision sport that I could do without.

http://img225.**************/img225/9...rbuttonpic.jpg
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:20 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by karl View Post
Personally, I really like that 'fatter' VU space (the padding around the meters), so I'd be keen to keep them that way! I just find them more aesthetically pleasing than the narrow ones. I like the slightly flattened bottom curvature around the rec arm button, and the space around it - it looks especially good in the meter only mcp layout too!
Yeah I guess I do too, I'm just trying to think of ways to resolve the short track problem. Gotta start somewhere. I actually wish the meters had more padding on top, so that the clip indicator wasn't so obstructed by the peak dB text.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:29 AM   #75
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The panels in MCP might give a fatter look, but that's because of a big sacrifice, the lenght of the meters. They actually take a double blow, being smaller (shorter) both in TCP and MCP.

[img]http://img121.**************/img121/9271/fadersv4v3.png[/img]

If intention is to keep information in each area as clear as possible, no extra text belongs into the meter area (no track names in actual meter bar, TCP). Yes, the track name sits there nicely, but it doesn't help the visibility of the meter itself, quite contrary.

Also, bunched up numbers in possibly the most important meter of them all, the master meter, are no good. Given that there are ways to make different areas bigger will help in this regard, but to get the same visible resolution as in V3, MCP screen has to be extended way bigger than in V3.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:30 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Kundalinguist View Post
IDEA: You could also make a colored circle for regular status tracks and a triangle or some other angular shape to denote a folder track - even a straight horizontal line or rectangle by itself. That way the plus and minus is redundant and geometry rules the day.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broman View Post
Thinking and agreeing with some of the discussion on MCP Folder Buttons/indicators...

atm - which is good imo:
[IMG]http://img413.**************/img413/6326/image2826.png[/IMG]

and a few ideas to throw out there:
[IMG]http://img94.**************/img94/6649/image2830.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://img842.**************/img842/378/image3695.png[/IMG]

..food for thought..

-a
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:31 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by bullshark View Post
The transport bar text-to-icon proportion is out of whack. Iconography(fader, transport control) is way too big in proportion to text box(rate, selection), a disproportion immediately evident when you try to scale down the interface.
I think the idea behind this approach is to provide feedback 'from a distance'. Many musicians record themselves in separate rooms and sometimes it was a bit hard for them to see what's the current project state (playing, recording, paused, etc). This also applies to the numbers at the left of your image.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:41 AM   #78
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I posted in the interaction thread, though maybe this is more appropriate

regarding fader indentations, anyway my overall point is a lot of real estate can get lost with nested folders and indentations\folder tabs

<script src='http://img204.**************/shareable/?i=screenshot20101204at113.png&p=tl' type='text/javascript'></script><noscript>[IMG]http://img204.**************/img204/9564/screenshot20101204at113.png[/IMG]</noscript>

to me that is a lot of wasted space

my best thought of how to keep a clear structure of folders and not lose too much space is to set a max folder tab width (in tcp) and subdivide THAT as more folders are created, not eat further into the track

im not great at mockups, though hopefully that's a clear enough explanation

g
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro View Post
I think the idea behind this approach is to provide feedback 'from a distance'. Many musicians record themselves in separate rooms and sometimes it was a bit hard for them to see what's the current project state (playing, recording, paused, etc). This also applies to the numbers at the left of your image.
Ok, but you could scale up the R3 interface if you needed it bigger, or down for smaller screen like netbook. Now it's disproportionate at any scale, and you can't scale down at all because the text then become completely impossible to read even with magnifying glass.

And, do we really need a rate fader THAT big? Come to think of it, do we even need a fader photo there at all? I would think for this you need, above all, to be able to read the actual value.

Last edited by bullshark; 12-04-2010 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:49 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteTie
Eliminate, wherever possible, ambiguity. WALTER allows us to assign as much (or as little) space as is needed for an element to do its job well. A good example of this is the IO button; previously space issues restricted us to various schemes to indicate the master / send / receive status of the track. We can now take the space to make that message very clearly, on every track, with full words. Experienced Reaper users will likely find they don't need this level of clarity, they can effortlessly interpret (for example) an icon based representation, but we favour a solution that benefits all users including casual, occasional or new Reaper users. If this is ever in conflict with efforts to make the interface attractive, the lack of ambiguity is favoured.
Disagree fully with Tie and some users here.
Reason: this is no reason, since normal newbies are well accustomed to reading tooltips when they hover a button (all the text and functions can be displayed there).

I disagree with every attempt which does not save space, since there is no need to have big empty spaces when you work. It only looks better.
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