Ardour 3 "cute" look; why?

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jopjop
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Hi!

This may not be an "idea" for Ardour, it's more like a rant... Anyway:

Having just downloaded and tried Ardour 3, beta 3, I am somewhat surprised to see that the look of the GUI has taken a turn for the worse, at least in my opinion. What's with the "cute" look? For instance the "bulging" buttons and drop downs. It looks like Fruity Loops ten years ago. A direct comparison of Ardour 2 with Ardour 3 makes the latter look like a toy, all different shapes and fuzzy lines - whereas the former looks crisp and to the point. In other words: the new look rather belies the capabilities of the software, methinks.

What do other beta-testers think? Am I the only one to find the new look off-putting and inappropriate?

(Please note that my beef is solely with the LOOK of the GUI, not its functionality or the software as a whole!)

gusta
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I prefer new look..
the look of ardor 3 beta are cute, but you can do better, even putting a lot of functions directly into the interface also makes everything much easier to reach

linuxdsp
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I think the A3 GUI is a huge step in the right direction - its a lot better than the 'functional' (and quite sparse) look of A2 (I know there are users who prefer plain functionality over fancy graphics, but personally I like there to be something to enjoy visually too). My main criticism of the A3 GUI would be the colour scheme - but as with all these things, its very much personal taste.

However, if by chance the next release of A3 could turn out looking something like, for example, Pyramix:

http://www.merging.com

Then I think the GUI would be perfect :)

ahellquist
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Wooha !

Pyramix looks awesome,

But does it run on linux ;-)

linuxdsp
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@ ahellquist: no, I don't think there's a linux version... :) but I thought it worth a mention, something to take inspiration from.. perhaps.. although it's probably a little difficult to capture the 'look' with GTK :)

LeatusPenguin
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I thought the same myself at first . In the alpha releases, i really liked the addtions in functionality with minimal changes to the interface. When i first saw the changes i didn't like them. By the end of using beta 2 a few times, the changes started to grow on me. I was hoping for more changes in beta 3. Not as much as i had expected but i have come to like it more. I think the mixer window itself looks great, however, i still think the main window looks a bit odd. My main issue is the gradients used on the mute,solo,rec enable buttons. I much prefered them being plainer. Personal preference though.

There have been a few improvements. I really like the changes to the colours used for the tracks. Reminds me of the colours used in cubase (my first DAW). I would agree with LinuxDSP in that the colour scheme is the thing that i dislike most. Having said that, after using beta 2 a bit and getting used to it it did bother me less and i did get used to it. I already mentioned that i am really liking how the mixer window is looking. It really is up to personal taste i suppose. I would like a few more changes before the final release. It may or may not happen. Overall, the few tweaks since the interface has started to change have, in my opinion, been for the better. I think more than anything else, it's just resistence to chance. When Ardour 3 comes out and we all use it i think we'll forget about it and start to look back at Ardour 2 as looking very plain.

prokoudine
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Personally I have a strong dislike for the chosen colors palette in both UI elements and tracks. And the lack of pixel grid alignment in buttons doesn't actually help either.

calimerox
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after a while trying it out, i prefer the new ardour 3 look a lot to the old one. it s definitely a step into the right direction!
I d love to have a more elaborated light scheme at one point, like a light scheme keeps me longer awake working at night ;)

mcgruff
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Me too. Can Ardour easily support a list of options for user-selected visual styles? I'd like to help design something "bright & clean" if that would be any help.

jopjop
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@prokoudine: I agree about the colour scheme, but luckily that is easy to remedy with the theme manager. The disjunct buttons are not so easily fixed though, I guess...

@LeatusPenguin: Yes, the gradients is one of the things that i dislike (that's what I meant by "bulging look"). It seems that I was a bit to quick to react, though, since after playing around a while I realized that it is possible to change even the gradient colours, eg set them to the same colour, and voilà: no gradient! The same thing can be done with borders etc.

One problem persists, however: the symbols on the buttons don't have a consistent look - eg outlines have varying thickness and colour. Some are grey, some white. Some are sharp, some "fuzzy". This seems to be rather "by accident", since some of the symbols/icons are new and some are old and thus probably not drawn by the same person. Also, why is the stop button smaller than the other transport buttons?

I guess I'll have to download the source and see if I can come up with something to my liking. Or is there a way to change button size and layout without delving into the sources?

Cheers
/J

paul
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@jopjop size and layout are all in the source, though "size" is a misnomer since the sizing is mostly automatic.

jopjop
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@paul: I see... I guess this would be an excellent opportunity to practice my relatively untested programming skills! We shall se. Thank you for your swift reply. And keep up the good work!

fernesto
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mmn... quite late answer but i really like A3 GUI... when compared to A2 i can remember what and where are most of the options on screen and menus, even coloring buttons is great because it lets you keep the different things on the screen "organized in your head" ... or at least in mine which turns out later in easier and faster workflow, that´s a part of ardour´s evolution that is priceless... heh...

If something could be changed to better in the GUI in my opinion would be the Faders, i´d like a lot Analog-Like faders ala Mixbus, and as of functionality i would add also some of the GUI functionality of Mixbus such as the speed faders and alikes work in perspective to the mouse speed (sorry for my english i hope you understand what i mean...) there are things you would like to change slower because you want them to change just a little bit, example: Gain Layer and Automation = when you try to set X Track to -3.1 dB of Gain you could find yourself either going up and down over and over until you luckily get to -3.1, or decide -3.2 or -3.3 is close enough for what you want and leave it there... oooor ... you would set the track size larger so you get the resolution you want to go to -3.1... its kind of annoying but as a lot of things i find annoying in Ardour... there´s for sure a shortcut to do it that i don´t know of... (so if there is... let me know xD)

paul
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@fernesto: click in the numeric display above the fader and type -3.1<return> :)

fernesto
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@paul: thanks paul i noticed that it works for faders but what i meant was when changing the "gain layer" of the track on the editor, if you add two random points and try to change them both to an exact same gain (not for the whole track but for a small time in the middle of the track for example) you would find it difficult with the resolution of the track unless you change its size....

now i know that theres an option to raise or lower the whole track gain and i know the layered gain feature could be soon added, all that is great, thats why im referring to a resolution feature, like ... if you clicked Shift+Mouse drag and that would change the resolution of the fader or mouse movement to a higher resolution (or lower speed), that highter resolution happens whithout any shortcut in Mixbus 2 in the Compressors Threshold for each track in the mixer (thats the one i can certainly recall right now...) and its cool because you want to be precise when using the threshold.

colinf
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@fernesto: If you hold down after starting to drag gain control points, you get finer control over their level.

gusta
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I feel what I say is related to the roll bars are positioned above the sequencer ...
I do not understand so melodic ardor will open with the default set time code, and not the beats, and why others put under (bpm, markers, loops, etc. etc.) do not have the ability to hide occupying space above ...
I'm also saying that having all the busses and the master on the sequencer creates a lot confusine and that the buss on the mixer should be separate from the traces ..
over the grid sequencer would find it very useful that the line that marks the beginning of the beats were thicker than those of the quarter (or that of the meter used) lightly thinner, and those of 16/1 32/1 etc. giving subtle greater clarity ...

paul
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@gusta: feature requests that are not in tracker.ardour.org will almost certainly be ignored.

GMaq
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Hi,

For the most part I really like the new UI, I kind of like the use of some not-so-common colours on the buttons and as far as the gradients they mask a lot of the ho-hum plain-ness that plagues GTK. I'm just thankful that the panner UI's got some well deserved attention... I think the new UI looks much more complete and like it or not when you fire it up you know it's Ardour you're looking at.

Just my .02

christophski
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@colinf: if you hold down what? :s

colinf
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Ah, sorry! Drupal ate my angle brackets. I was trying to say <Alt>.

bassbass
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Hi

Me I am not agree with the critics of the fruity look

To be able to set the maximum of information on one screen there are no alternatives.

Many modern looks (as it has been said) are software that have limited feature or can display on relevant information.

For security solutions, we can indeed display a blank screen when nothing happened and 3 videos when an alarm triggers.

In the case of Ardour we can not automatically display some data only.

The only one way is to design some "style-sheet" in order to make views customizable . For that more displays or a more configurable display of the track/busses have to be design. That can be for the A3.5

cajmere
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sure?:-)

I get finer regulation if i hold down ctrl :-)

BenLoftis
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@bassbass:

Very insightful comment!

In an audio application, it is impossible to know what the user will reach for next: level control? eq? region trim? transport?

It's a fine line between (a) providing a clean look that doesn't overwhelm a new user and (b) providing the huge array of various colored/sized/located elements to help the experienced user quickly find the controls needed to get work done quickly.

-Ben

Smeefer
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Ardour "themes" would be great....a bunch to choose from. Unnecessary...totally unnecessary! But fun.