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Old 12-06-2010, 07:08 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by brainwreck View Post
I hate those diagonals. They remind me of late 80's-early 90's dodge cars. Ugly! *cries a little*
I'm sure they could be smoothed out a little.... a nice modern curvature?
I would do a mock-up but I only have paint installed at work ;P
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:08 AM   #82
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Cool, but just to play devil's advocate, isn't monitoring ON the 'normal, nothing to see here, move along' state, and monitoring OFF the 'OMG FFS why can't I bloody hear this?' state ...?

Now that is an interesting argument Mr. Tie... I guess it comes down to what the users thing looks the most appealing for the state that will be on most. And if monitoring On is the normal state, then shouldn't it be on by default? Hmm...


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That's going to need discussion. The more saturated colours we use, the more 'busy' and less 'easy on the eyes' the overall interface will be, to make a sweeping generalisation. Ultimately, its all about relative eye-grabbing-ness, for which I refer you to my 'mixing a track' simile.
I say steer clear of the saturated colours myself. The best themes are the ones that you can stare at for hours and not be fatigued by it. If your eyes are getting tired, then you'll feel tired. Not good for those long sessions and sleepless nights... I find the new theme very soft and pleasant!
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:09 AM   #83
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Cool, but just to play devil's advocate, isn't monitoring ON the 'normal, nothing to see here, move along' state, and monitoring OFF the 'OMG FFS why can't I bloody hear this?' state ...?
In that case, why not have monitoring ON as a default for a reaper project? Then the button will appear in the pushed state and truly reflect on what's going on
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:28 AM   #84
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I think this is the way to go - just to add on to others comments. The eye naturally wants to look to the right to see what child tracks are underneath the parent track - the diagonals are much better for this. A diagonal glance, as opposed to a down and then over glance is better.

What would be really cool is f the parent track looked slightly different to make it even easier - maybe an embossed / 3D look? Not sure how hard that would be. Maybe even like a button. For example - look at the GUI on Major Tom. Look at the RMS / Peak button, and how it's "pressed in" - would be cool if the child tracks could have a similar but more subtle effect.



Edit - if you could skin the entire app to look like Major Tom, I would die happy.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:44 AM   #85
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Just some random thoughts on monitor button:

What about treating it as a dial - 3 positions?

What about "aiming" the icon in the direction of the flow - input points left, output right, that kind of thing.

I haven't got anything concrete in my mind (except concrete itself) but those are just random thoughts on the subject, if you're looking for a departure from the norm.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:04 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
I admire your manners, but you don't need to say sorry but you DO need to say why sir. One man's opinion is worth 1/(total number of Reaper users) whereas one man's highly persuasive argument is worth everything. With me?
Lemme try. I like it how diagonals on every folder parent show extremely clearly how the folders are routed. Removing the diagonals for all the folder parents inside the top folder parent removes that easy-to-follow flow... for me.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #87
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Lemme try. I like it how diagonals on every folder parent show extremely clearly how the folders are routed. Removing the diagonals for all the folder parents inside the top folder parent removes that easy-to-follow flow... for me.
Yes, make's your eyes naturally flow down the folder path, and when they hit a sharp edge, you instinctively know it ends there without having to think about or analyze anything.

Mixing sharp horizontal edges with angled one within folders make you stop and analyze the relationship.

Probably one of those right/left brain thing.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:01 AM   #88
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I admire your manners, but you don't need to say sorry but you DO need to say why sir. One man's opinion is worth 1/(total number of Reaper users) whereas one man's highly persuasive argument is worth everything. With me?
OK, well I can think of a few reasons. First, there is a consistency issue which clutters the display. Having the top level diagonal but the rest squared looks inconsistent and less clear. EvilDragon and bullshark (and others) seem to agree; the diagonal/bevelling definitely works better for me too. Then there is the ongoing problem of the alignment drive creating pointless whitespace and reducing visibility and interactivity of the fader and VU, perhaps the most important items in this area. This compounds when using track icons. Consider:



OK, it's an exaggeration to illustrate a point. The amount of whitespace vs. usable space is just silly.

Maybe a solution to this is to provide a UI option "Extend VU and fader for nested folders", resulting in something like the following - see tracks 5,6,7:



A modification of Adam's mockup to keep the fader and VU nice and usable in nested folder situations. The VU and fader keep their length irrespective of the track nesting.

Another thought for increasing usability is to offer the option for a nested group to become top level, hiding other tracks temporarily and providing a TCP "<--" to bring them back. Typical use-case for heavy nesting is that the user is working within a nested group for some time, so there's really no need to see everything else, and this brings back the collapsed space by hiding the nesting. I'll do another mockup if this is at all interesting.

As a last little detail (sorry if this is a little OT), another way to compress some wasted horizontal whitespace (restoring it to usability) could be to integrate the track icon into the track number bar:



Although is the track number bar really necessary?:

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Last edited by zappa; 12-06-2010 at 09:28 AM. Reason: track icon
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:33 AM   #89
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Leaving the recarm and label behind seems an agreeable compromise to me:



--------------------

The folder activity buttons remain a worry, I think its going to take a lot more thought before we get some clarity on where to go with them. It also looks like we have a bad font size difference between Windows and OSX here. Please have your say on such things ...in the other thread.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:03 AM   #90
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I think most of the folder button problems here in v4 alpha theme stems from the fact that you used two buttons instead of one to organize folders. One button takes less space and makes it easier to position, etc.


I cannot be admired enough at how nickmoritz made folder alignment on his RADO theme - it is utter work of art, and extremely clear even without using diagonals. It would be worth a shot bringing that principle to v4 default theme (along with all WALTER goodies, naturally), for sure:

[img]http://img375.**************/img375/850/radofolders.png[/img]

Last edited by EvilDragon; 12-06-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:26 AM   #91
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I cannot be admired enough at how nickmoritz made folder alignment on his RADO theme - it is utter work of art, and extremely clear even without using diagonals. It would be worth a shot bringing that principle to v4 default theme (along with all WALTER goodies, naturally), for sure:

[img]http://img375.**************/img375/850/radofolders.png[/img]
That doesn't look good to me. I can't tell what's really happening in those tracks at first sight, it's too busy imo.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:27 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by White Tie View Post
Leaving the recarm and label behind seems an agreeable compromise to me:



--------------------

The folder activity buttons remain a worry, I think its going to take a lot more thought before we get some clarity on where to go with them. It also looks like we have a bad font size difference between Windows and OSX here. Please have your say on such things ...in the other thread.
What about the buttons from my 5,6,7 example above?

I still think the whitespace thing is a problem. Am I alone in thinking that VU and fader size are important for usability?

Also, is there any reason why the track name can't superimpose the VU to an extent in order to give more usable space to the VU?

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Old 12-06-2010, 10:37 AM   #93
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Eh, just shows how opinions vary widely. To me RADO is one of the best looking themes out there, definitely in top 3 for v3...
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #94
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Eh, just shows how opinions vary widely. To me RADO is one of the best looking themes out there, definitely in top 3 for v3...
It's a nice theme for sure, but one for a certain type of user. Personally I also like darker themes with smaller buttons and less text. I think the idea here is to try to focus on usability rather than just aesthetic in moving towards a layout and appearance that will be both functional and appealing for a wide range of users.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #95
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Indeed, but I recognize that it is a quality theme. Just not my style. I prefer the new reaper v4 look and feel (yes, I am actually liking it). But personal preferences aside, quality is recognized by everyone and that is what we're all looking for.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:30 AM   #96
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Now that is an interesting argument Mr. Tie... I guess it comes down to what the users thing looks the most appealing for the state that will be on most. And if monitoring On is the normal state, then shouldn't it be on by default? Hmm...
We're actually pushing for the Input monitoring to be independent of the arming state. That means a default 'ON' would have the inputs on at all times, something I prefer to deliberately turn on. It is of course a choice the user makes in the preferences as a default state of a track, and that of track templates.

Having the inputs on by default can be quite dangerous, so I wouldn't count on any responsible engineer doing this, especially in live situations.

The vanilla, default setting in Reaper is in fact to have input monitoring OFF.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:44 AM   #97
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That's neat! If we can just have the folding button overlap the diagonal and hide that stupid folder (up/down) button, we'll be set.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:52 PM   #98
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I still think the whitespace thing is a problem. Am I alone in thinking that VU and fader size are important for usability?
You're not alone.
Fader / meter size is *the* most important thing.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:03 PM   #99
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You're not alone.
Fader / meter size is *the* most important thing.
My grandma says "It's how you use it, sonny!"

re; TCP meter I think the vertical meter crowd is going to finally get some joy from WALTER. This should really free things up all round. I guess the question also comes down to "what do you want to calibrate/see in that meter? Activity? Or actual input readings? If the later, then too small is futile, unless it somehow just reads the input and does away with the db ruler/gauge altogether.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #100
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We're actually pushing for the Input monitoring to be independent of the arming state. That means a default 'ON' would have the inputs on at all times, something I prefer to deliberately turn on. It is of course a choice the user makes in the preferences as a default state of a track, and that of track templates.

Having the inputs on by default can be quite dangerous, so I wouldn't count on any responsible engineer doing this, especially in live situations.

The vanilla, default setting in Reaper is in fact to have input monitoring OFF.
All good points, especially now that I think of it in a more practical situation!

In this case, then the "On" state should definitely be the button pushed in look. Unless of course we start calling it "input monitoring mute". Then it should be the opposite
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:04 PM   #101
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Below is an idea that takes in various ideas from above. Not sure if it's all possible and not sure if I'm treading into FR territory here...

[IMG]http://img98.**************/img98/465/jdfoldermockup.png[/IMG]



It's a bit crude in spots but hopefully you get the idea!

This would provide instant feedback as to how the folders cascade and which are the parent tracks. It minimises space wasting and keeps things nice and neat. It also gives indications from both ends of the TCP which I feel helps encapsulate the folders.

Note that VU meters all still line up as do the faders and phase buttons.
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:20 PM   #102
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Nice
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #103
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That's not bad jdutaillis but having stuff only appear on hover is bad for new users (though maybe better for experienced users since you know it's there but don't want to see it all the time).
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #104
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I think most of the folder button problems here in v4 alpha theme stems from the fact that you used two buttons instead of one to organize folders. One button takes less space and makes it easier to position, etc.
I agree. The one folder button in V3 was great.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #105
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That's not bad jdutaillis but having stuff only appear on hover is bad for new users (though maybe better for experienced users since you know it's there but don't want to see it all the time).
Yea, I don't like hidden/hover over stuff in general. I think that Evil Dragon hit it on the head mentioning the single folder button.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:18 PM   #106
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Yea, I don't like hidden/hover over stuff in general. I think that Evil Dragon hit it on the head mentioning the single folder button.
Seriously, and instead of the folder-comp button completely hiding the diagonal, what if we keep the button small, so that the diagonal can be seen behind it? The best of both worlds.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:22 PM   #107
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Also, I saw no need in V3 for that little stack looking icon when using folders.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:27 PM   #108
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Yea, I don't like hidden/hover over stuff in general. I think that Evil Dragon hit it on the head mentioning the single folder button.
Ok, I can agree on the hidden/hover stuff, it's a killer for new users. I'm more pushing towards the diagonal actually being a button itself, not just a theme element. Themers can then create whatever behaviour they like.

As for the single folder button... Well that just isn't the case! REAPER 3 still had two folder buttons.

1. the button that actually looks like a folder which you create the folders with.

2. the three pronged button that toggles through the folder collapse states.

This is the same as we have now just with different icons people!
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:38 PM   #109
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Ok, I can agree on the hidden/hover stuff, it's a killer for new users. I'm more pushing towards the diagonal actually being a button itself, not just a theme element. Themers can then create whatever behaviour they like.

As for the single folder button... Well that just isn't the case! REAPER 3 still had two folder buttons.

1. the button that actually looks like a folder which you create the folders with.

2. the three pronged button that toggles through the folder collapse states.

This is the same as we have now just with different icons people!
I blurted out the comment about the collapse button without thinking about, because I never really used it - too quick to the draw, my bad. Yea, you're right. We did still have two buttons, but they made more sense visually......man, I would not want White Tie's job. This stuff gets hairy.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:08 PM   #110
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the three pronged button that toggles through the folder collapse states.
I really liked that icon - with its three states, the symbol's 3 prong design neatly and simply represented what it did.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:12 PM   #111
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Another option is sticking a small button next to or on the diagonal line, and then keep the collapse button at the top left corner like in v3. The track elements would have to shift to the right a little bit to accomodate it (they already do actually, but only because of the slightly unpopular fader/meter alignment).

I don't know if I'd want it to work that way but I'm just putting it out there.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #112
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You're not alone.
Fader / meter size is *the* most important thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kundalinguist View Post
My grandma says "It's how you use it, sonny!"

re; TCP meter I think the vertical meter crowd is going to finally get some joy from WALTER. This should really free things up all round. I guess the question also comes down to "what do you want to calibrate/see in that meter? Activity? Or actual input readings? If the later, then too small is futile, unless it somehow just reads the input and does away with the db ruler/gauge altogether.
Thanks for that guys I was beginning to think either I'm from another planet (nothing new there though, so no worries) or I'm on everyone's ignore list (come to think of it, nothing much new there either). Feel free to tell me if I'm wasting valuable threadspace with my ideas and I'll stfu.

I guess the shortening of faders and VU's just for aesthetic effect bugs me a little; as does the pointless wasted whitespace. For me it's usability first and aesthetic second. I feel that my mockup and config option (keeping fader/VU at full length over the indenting) would please both camps by keeping things optional for when the use-case requires it. I'd like to hear some opinions on this, whether or not in agreement.

On that subject, I'm also disliking the track name stealing space from the VU. This even happens when the track name is absent. Could we either have it outside the VU, or overlay the track name on a full length VU - chopping it at say -30db and replacing with the guide numbers.

I guess if TCP layout options (ie. walter presets) allow for the current approach, plus small vertical meters at the right with full length track name, and perhaps what's suggested above, that would cover all the bases. If only we had that option to extend the length of VU/faders...

Oh, and I too prefer the one-button approach for managing folder tracks & nesting, and the above mockup for the bigger button on the diagonal. Might we bring the right mousebutton into play here or is that breaking Reaper's default usability approach?

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Old 12-06-2010, 07:42 PM   #113
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On that subject, I'm also disliking the track name stealing space from the VU. This even happens when the track name is absent. Could we either have it outside the VU, or overlay the track name on a full length VU - chopping it at say -30db and replacing with the guide numbers.

Oh, and I too prefer the one-button approach for managing folder tracks & nesting, and the above mockup for the bigger button on the diagonal. Might we bring the right mousebutton into play here or is that breaking Reaper's default usability approach?

z.
You're alright, zappa.

I'm working on a track layout I should be finished with by the end of the night I think you'll like. I'm a usability-first kinda guy myself.

I don't think layering the track title and the VU would help any though. What I'm attempting is layering the volume control and the VU, which should prove to be an excellent mix. In my perfect world, the track title has absolutely nothing to do with the VU.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:52 PM   #114
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I don't think layering the track title and the VU would help any though. What I'm attempting is layering the volume control and the VU, which should prove to be an excellent mix. In my perfect world, the track title has absolutely nothing to do with the VU.
Unfortunately, code order seems to not affect the meter as it does the other layout items. No matter which order I write it in, the VU obscures the volume slider.

It would be great if this got fixed soon...

Also, I don't know which version this popped up in, but supercollapsed tracks VUs were still showing. Rearranging the code like this fixed it:

Code:
set tcp.meter h<10 [0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0] w>372 h<32 [59 33 45 18 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.5] [59 8 45 18 0.4 0 0.6 0] w>280 h<32 [95 33 102 18 0.5 0.5 1 0.5] [95 8 102 18 0.5 0 1 0] h<32 [105 33 132 18 0.3 0.5 1 0.5] [105 8 132 18 0.3 0 1 0]
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #115
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After messing around with Walter, I did manage to get some things moved around to my liking. I separated the track title from the meter, and thinned out the volume fader line. I figured I would post it anyway to show what I meant about longer meters, and more space for longer track names. Still a work in progress. This Walter stuff is hard, but it's a good challenge.

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Old 12-06-2010, 10:04 PM   #116
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What about the buttons from my 5,6,7 example above?

I still think the whitespace thing is a problem. Am I alone in thinking that VU and fader size are important for usability?
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You're not alone.
Fader / meter size is *the* most important thing.
I also still think faders and VUs shouldn't get shorter, just because their tracks are inside a folder. I don't see a reason to sacrifice the ability to make precise settings on tracks inside a folder for optical favor. Yes, you can gain it again by dragging the right border of the TCP right or by being forced to use a qualifier on in-folder-tracks, but IMO this would really be a kludge. Maybe have a look at my post #13 and Adam's post #19 again. The graphical implementation could of course be better.



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Old 12-06-2010, 10:46 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by WyattRice View Post
After messing around with Walter, I did manage to get some things moved around to my liking. I separated the track title from the meter, and thinned out the volume fader line. I figured I would post it anyway to show what I meant about longer meters, and more space for longer track names. Still a work in progress. This Walter stuff is hard, but it's a good challenge.

Looks good! But why not lengthen the name strip to the right (to the right edge of the solo button) and (just personal taste) to the left up to the left edge of the record button?

Or put the env button and the I/O button there, thus having enough whitespace even when the fader would have the seme length as the VU. Then giving all elements 2 or 3 more pixels room to sit below each other, could look not too busy, but at the same time quite efficient.

Maybe like this:





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Old 12-07-2010, 12:33 AM   #118
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A bit late in the discussion perhaps, but has any thought been given to having the fader on top of the meter? You'd need a new look for the fader whatchamacallit to make it transparent enough but still noticable.... A great way to save some space IMHO.
You could then move the solo and mute buttons down and have the fader the entire length...


(Sorry for the very very crappy mockup, I'm sure others can do way better)


anyone?

Last edited by vocalid; 05-03-2011 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:33 AM   #119
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A bit late in the discussion perhaps, but has any thought been given to having the fader on top of the meter? You'd need a new look for the fader whatchamacallit to make it transparent enough but still noticable.... A great way to save some space IMHO.
anyone?
as option
+100000000...

another one:

Don't know Walter yet. Therefore i don't know if my following proposal is an FR or not; please consider it a proposal:

Meter and record button are merged into 1 ui element. Please keep them separate (option). Benefits:

- saves space in case you don't need the record button (sound design, mixing, mastering, film scoring, post pro; 90 % of my work)

- independent shape, sizing, positioning, hiding...
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:14 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Gerold Slama View Post
as option
+100000000...

another one:

Don't know Walter yet. Therefore i don't know if my following proposal is an FR or not; please consider it a proposal:

Meter and record button are merged into 1 ui element. Please keep them separate (option). Benefits:

- saves space in case you don't need the record button (sound design, mixing, mastering, film scoring, post pro; 90 % of my work)

- independent shape, sizing, positioning, hiding...
Absolutly optional of course!
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