Old 10-30-2006, 12:14 AM   #1
chip mcdonald
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Default Virtual Fader Ergonomics

This isn't exactly a FR, so I'm putting it in here.

It occurs to me that onscreen/virtual analog paradigms are not ergonomically correct.

By that I mean when you're presented with a fader, it works one of two ways:

UP/DOWN
LEFT/RIGHT

.. when really, the motion most easily done seems to be maybe an UP/DOWN motion that has a slight angle to it.

For instance, how many times do you grab a virtual object, and while manipulating it you "lose grip" on it because you didn't go in a perfectly straight line with the mouse?

Plus, depending on where the control-object is, the effect is worse. If I'm having to go to one side of the screen (like for the TCP), "space curves" - because I'm having to move my hand more to get over there, my grip/positioning changes on the mouse and alters the way my hand moves.

I guess what I'm saying is that I could imagine two things:

.. a mouse-interface for a program that analyzes your average up/down mouse movement and takes into account how you "drift", or..

.. fader/objects that move at a slight angle onscreen.

For instance, shoving the mouse around on screen here I find that my horizontal scrolling technique, while my hand is relaxed, isn't really flat. It's actually more like a 20 degree or so angle, lower on the left than the right.

I could make my mouse ballistics go faster and it would be flatter - but I'd lose fine control.

But, if either controls took that into account or they were made to "move" onscreen at an angle instead of perfectly in the cartesian ordinals, I think things would flow a LOT more easily. That little bit of conscious thought about keeping the mouse going straight when you try to push the scroll bar all the way - it seems like that could be fixed, somehow.

Something else I'm imagining is sort of like a topographic grid-map, maybe like a flattened sphere, that altered mouse ballistics depending on where the cursor is relative to the center of the screen.

I'm writing this because of the eq-on-the-TCP post: "knobs" don't work, "faders" work better with the mouse I think... BUT, if there were faders at an angle, I think it would be easier to not worry about using them quickly and losing "grab" on them.

/ doesn't expect this to make sense to anybody
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:19 AM   #2
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..another thing is what I think of as the "2001: a space oddyssey active effect":

when you mouse over something, it would be cool if it started blinking slightly to show you that it now has focus. That sort of invisible window around controls is another cause for minor mental clock cycles to be expended I'd like to streamline ever further...
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:22 AM   #3
malcolmj
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I always use the mouse wheel to adjust Volume and Pan faders in REAPER. The control is much more accurate than dragging.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:53 AM   #4
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Well I mentioned a long time ago that I would like the mouse cursor to actually disappear while you are controlling a fader or knob. Some VST/i's already do this and I find it nicer to use. Ohmforce plugins are a great example of how to implement this type of control. Up/down movements are coarse and side to side movements are fine.

But I guess this implementation might not allow for selecting multiple faders...

Last edited by Bogi; 10-30-2006 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:46 AM   #5
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I just tried, but it looks like the reaper faders keeps the grip until you release the mouse button.
So no matter how much you move the cursor away from the fader it still follows your move.
Is this happening with the normal faders or in some plugins?
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:27 AM   #6
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I put it here because it wasn't specifically about Reaper... except in the aspect of, if there's going to be eq controls on the TCP, it might be more ergonomic (and fit better) to have them run at an angle.

I love the way the mousewheel works on the faders, actually, EXCEPT...

.. it's not immediately obvious when the fader gets focus. I guess that's referenced in my bit about the blinking indicator.

HOWEVER,

I haven't heard anything about haptic mouse control in a long while, I thought it was a great idea: if the mouse gave a little resistance/bump when you "touched" a control as instant feedback that you're actually on it. Oh well.
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogi
Well I mentioned a long time ago that I would like the mouse cursor to actually disappear while you are controlling a fader or knob.
Totally agree. I've mentioned this issue too. Either the mouse pointer needs to disappear when moving the fader or, when using a fader whilst holding CTRL to slow it down, the mouse needs pointer needs to be 'throttled' to move at the same speed as the fader (see Vegas). Otherwise the pointer often ends up 'stuck' at the side of the screen and you have to release the mouse button and reclick the fader to get it to where you want it to be. Which is a major PITA...

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