Old 11-17-2019, 11:13 AM   #1
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Default Reaper V6 Default Theme - TESTING THE MIDI EDITOR

The Reaper V6 Default Theme's MIDI editor is now ready for testing. Please have at it and report back!

GET THE LATEST VERSION HERE

The MID editor is a tricky situation, because more than any other area of Reaper's themble UI it grows and alters a great deal between major versions, with a great deal of testing that I am not intimately involved with. I am also, relative to many of you, a light MIDI user, and many of you also use the ME in ways that are very different to the majority of casual Reaper users. Because of this, in previous default theme development cycles we have always (always!) reverted to the existing ME theming by the time the theme is final. There is a pretty good chance I'll be doing that again this time, as well. To reiterate:

It is likely I will be reverting the V5 MIDI Editor theming into the V6 theme

However, every time I do this it feels like an opportunity missed. I find it highly unlikely that the first midinotecolormap I ever made just so happened to be the best one I could possibly make, yet here we are still using it so many years later. So if we can get enough testing done on the new ME, I would be very eager.

As you will notice, I'm trying to do a dark background for the first time. This is not mere fashion; hardware manufacturers are driving computer screens to levels of full-white brightness that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago, and users aren't turning them down, because ...y'know... its awesome So it is of real-world value for us to try to make this work.

There have been some ME theming enhancements in recent Pre-Releases to help in this work, it is my expectation that there are unlikely to be any more, so my work now is to make the most of what we have (NO feature requests please!), and I would welcome your help with that.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:38 AM   #2
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I find this v6 ME coloring very pleasing to work with for longer periods. Even though ive created a few themes myself I personally always used the default ones for my work.
Ive been intenionally working with the alpha theme since its conception and its grown on me.(specially the darker arrange and ME bgs). I can say that the v5 midi editor colors werent so great to work with- as you said newer monitors are quite bright.

The latest Midi colormap is much more usable than the previous one (it clashed with the new selected velocity lollipops. The only thing i find a bit distracting is the violet color of cc automation in this latest. previous green (like the piano roll chosen note) or second red colors were better.

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Old 11-17-2019, 01:04 PM   #3
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Dark themed ME is absolutely necessary, IMHO. You'll find many working composers who just can't work with all the brightness from a light themed ME for longer hours.


But yes - purple as CC color for channel 1 is a no go. Please change that to something that is more visible against the background color of CC lane (which is great actually!).


I would also suggest to change the background color of the left-side piano keyboard and right-side track list area (the greenish hue) because it is clashing way too much with the rest of piano roll. Ideally it should have the same color (or close to) as the MIDI editor ruler.


Compare this:

https://i.imgur.com/V8qctrV.png

with:

https://i.imgur.com/Tk97ez6.png


Which one seems less tiring for you to look at - and, more importantly, easier to discern what is what? These are all random notes and CCs, but it is a VERY realistic scenario for the working composer dealing with many MIDI tracks/channels. This has to look good/flattering/easy to discern. Right now the colormap could use some improvements in making that happen.


CCs for MIDI channel 1 are extremely hard to see, the dark purple has to go. But overall color scheme is MUCH MUCH BETTER than the drab bright theme that was in v5 theme.

Last edited by White Tie; 11-18-2019 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:35 AM   #4
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Definitely like a "dark mode" version better than a white background for sure.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Dark themed ME is absolutely necessary, IMHO. You'll find many working composers who just can't work with all the brightness from a light themed ME for longer hours.


But yes - purple as CC color for channel 1 is a no go. Please change that to something that is more visible against the background color of CC lane (which is great actually!).


I would also suggest to change the background color of the left-side piano keyboard and right-side track list area (the greenish hue) because it is clashing way too much with the rest of piano roll. Ideally it should have the same color (or close to) as the MIDI editor ruler.


Compare this:

with:


Which one seems less tiring for you to look at - and, more importantly, easier to discern what is what? These are all random notes and CCs, but it is a VERY realistic scenario for the working composer dealing with many MIDI tracks/channels. This has to look good/flattering/easy to discern. Right now the colormap could use some improvements in making that happen.


CCs for MIDI channel 1 are extremely hard to see, the dark purple has to go. But overall color scheme is MUCH MUCH BETTER than the drab bright theme that was in v5 theme.
I agree with a dark theme and no dark purple for channel 1. The second picture with the slightly lighter grey and less saturated notes and CCs stand out much better and easier on the eye.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:59 AM   #6
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Evil Dragon's mock-up (or example) has a good use of color and looks a big improvement to me too.
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:07 PM   #7
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I love the piano roll.

Of course the dark option works well (or even better) for me ... I don't have any preference between WT's and ED's option. But plz ... my eyes are getting old, make clear the selected note plz, both in the piano roll and the ME, as easy to identify as possible.
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Old 11-19-2019, 04:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Dark themed ME is absolutely necessary, IMHO. You'll find many working composers who just can't work with all the brightness from a light themed ME for longer hours.

Which one seems less tiring for you to look at - and, more importantly, easier to discern what is what? These are all random notes and CCs, but it is a VERY realistic scenario for the working composer dealing with many MIDI tracks/channels. This has to look good/flattering/easy to discern. Right now the colormap could use some improvements in making that happen.


CCs for MIDI channel 1 are extremely hard to see, the dark purple has to go. But overall color scheme is MUCH MUCH BETTER than the drab bright theme that was in v5 theme.
I am one of those working folks who cannot

But I'm optimistic about V6 because I have faith. ReaFaith
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Stupid question but for this how did you get some velocity text to be light and others dark depending on the note color?

EDIT ok I checked my own theme and it also does this. I swear it didn't used to do this... very confused now...

Last edited by Argle; 11-20-2019 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:39 AM   #10
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I prefer a little darker look of the Midi Editor, and I'm putting a link here so you can see my thoughts on it. It's easier for me to show instead of writing in my bad English))

Really don’t want to take away focus from WT’s fine creation, which I honestly think is very useful, only with some minor color-tweaks as already mentioned. I would vote for the gray’ish (upper) version. Perhaps the lower one with dark background will create problems on other UI windows that include tab text(?)


My suggestion here uses tweaked V6, the Midi Colormap is a brighter version of V5 default.

Only thing I would swap or re-arrange, is the first red (CC 1) that I believe should be a green-like V6 ‘identity-color’ – perhaps also the purple a touch brighter.

– use it for inspiration, or ignore it!

https://i.ibb.co/MMgBgGq/V6-Midi-Editor-dark-alt.png

Last edited by White Tie; 11-18-2019 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:58 AM   #11
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I would like to know if you plan on leaving a light background MIDI editor as an option for those of us who struggle to see these dark themes.
As your eyes get older, many of us experience difficulties with light fonts on dark backgrounds.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
I would like to know if you plan on leaving a light background MIDI editor as an option for those of us who struggle to see these dark themes.
As your eyes get older, many of us experience difficulties with light fonts on dark backgrounds.
i agree. this coming from someone who still uses the default version 1.0 reaper theme. (not kidding)
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhelixK View Post
I prefer a little darker look of the Midi Editor,
The problem with darker look is persistence of vision due to the greater contrast with other elements.
Read a text on a web page that has white text against a pure black background. Then, look around. The image is burnt on your retina longer. It's not user friendly in the long run.
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Old 11-19-2019, 05:58 AM   #14
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Channel colors need more differentiation, preferably in hue.

pic - up/down channels 1,2,3,4; left-right unselected/selected

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Old 11-19-2019, 06:05 AM   #15
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Do not forget the notation.

The problem is the notation is white BG, but the colors used for notes are the same as in the MIDI editor with the dark BG. Notation cannot be dark, it would be really distracting.

Pic - up/down channels 1,2,3,4. Left - unselected notes, right - selected notes. Option to color noteheads is on.

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Old 11-19-2019, 06:19 AM   #16
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Using a darker background (not fully dark, but some gray, maybe WT's favorite green-gray hue? ) would maybe work... it's tricky with notation. I don't have it fully sorted out in my RADO v4 theme, but at least it's an attempt...

https://i.imgur.com/2a3JXvj.png
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
This is a dark BG with white notes and I don't think this would work for the majority of notation users. Notation has been used for centuries and it was on white paper. For me it is far more easier to orient myself in the white BG and dark notes.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:22 AM   #18
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These are my colors. I am using mainly 4 channels (4 voices is the default thing in notation, SATB), with 5,6 as supplementary ones. I tried to spread hues as much as possible and also tweaked brightness.

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Old 11-19-2019, 07:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bFooz View Post
This is a dark BG with white notes and I don't think this would work for the majority of notation users. Notation has been used for centuries and it was on white paper. For me it is far more easier to orient myself in the white BG and dark notes.
Yeah, I know. It's weird and needs an adjustment phase. But it blends well with the rest of the GUI, at least.


(Your note colors look pretty great!)
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:33 AM   #20
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I don't touch the notation editor, that is very much schwa's domain. But you're absolutely right, there is a fundamental problem here that I hadn't considered

Possible huge rethink in progress, please stand by.
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Old 11-19-2019, 08:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bFooz View Post
This is a dark BG with white notes and I don't think this would work for the majority of notation users. Notation has been used for centuries and it was on white paper. For me it is far more easier to orient myself in the white BG and dark notes.
True.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:08 PM   #22
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I just came back from a friend that used reaper until 2 weeks ago and now moved to another DAW because of reaper's GUI (theme)

his reason was the same as what I feel exactly "reaper just doesn't feel complete" which is not inspiring enough..

I moved back to FLstudio but I still use reaper for final mixing.
my friend move to studio one and left reaper behind

I really feel that reaper need more attention and maybe more people involved to make it looks more completed DAW.
I see updates every 2-3 days, but still after 10 years that I use this program, it feels drafty somehow and not as inspiring when it comes to its GUI.

not sure that you care
but I'm just saying... and that's because I still care.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reflected View Post
I just came back from a friend that used reaper until 2 weeks ago and now moved to another DAW because of reaper's GUI (theme)

his reason was the same as what I feel exactly "reaper just doesn't feel complete" which is not inspiring enough..

I moved back to FLstudio but I still use reaper for final mixing.
my friend move to studio one and left reaper behind

I really feel that reaper need more attention and maybe more people involved to make it looks more completed DAW.
I see updates every 2-3 days, but still after 10 years that I use this program, it feels drafty somehow and not as inspiring when it comes to its GUI.

not sure that you care
but I'm just saying... and that's because I still care.
The GUI and the Theme are two different things. At least in Reaper you can use lots of themes or even do your own theme... "inspiring themes" ... my goodness, no comment.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:55 AM   #24
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The new greenish cc color is much better.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:22 AM   #25
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The channel hues goes sequentially from red to red. I'd suggest to shuffle the order into 4 groups of 4 "hue families" - GBYR.

something like this:

voices 1-4 https://paletton.com/#uid=73c1q0kuLTxiIV4oNUjN+RMOGur
voices 5-8 https://paletton.com/#uid=73y1q0kuLTxiIV4oNUjN+RMOGur
voices 9-12 https://paletton.com/#uid=73U1q0kuLTxiIV4oNUjN+RMOGur
voices 13-16 https://paletton.com/#uid=74f1q0kuLTxiIV4oNUjN+RMOGur

(Notice the hue is not HSB based)
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:24 AM   #26
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^^^^ Extremely good idea!
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:21 PM   #27
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!NEW VERSION! Please see the theme thread for a new version with the changes we've been discussing.

- A number of colouring tweaks
- The new note color map. Unselected state is now brighter, mute is black, channel one colour change.

The change to the channel one colour, in particular, seems like a big win. Thanks to everyone who suggested it!

You'll be pleased to know a fix for the notation problem is on its way, please keep an eye out for a when a new pre is available.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:21 PM   #28
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i like the darker background.but i agree,there need to be better contrast
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:44 PM   #29
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Quick impressions on the MIDI Editor:

1. Like the background colors and overall look.

2. Unselected notes are too dark. They're so mellow, they almost look like they belong to a different, inactive track/clip.

3. There are too many velocity colors. Purple, blue, turquoise, green, orange, red? What does that mean to me? A two-color diverging color scheme would be much more effective. Blue to Red (like a thermometer) is the most obvious/intuitive. Blue to orange works too.

4. I think having the measure number appear higher than the sub-divisions in the ruler doesn't look particularly great. It's also inconsistent with the main arranger ruler. I'd also like to see a little more contrast with those numbers. They're a little difficult to see on my laptop in a dimly lit room.
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Old 11-20-2019, 10:52 PM   #30
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Note colors in the MIDI editor look nice and clear!
Bar line and beat, hope to be clearer.
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:04 AM   #31
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Thanks for all your help folks! Please see the main RC1 download for the latest changes and use this thread to feedback.
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