some more usability suggestions
here are some thoughts on usability that i came up with while working on a small project for a friend.
when you have the create send dialog open, it would be very useful to be able to see a fader/faders in the dialog to set the send levels without having to reopen the edit window to do so. i have another suggestion below about this, but i think the idea of setting the send up all in one step is much less clumsy than reopening the properties of a send to finish setting it up.
sends, inserts and plugins:
continuing on the previous point, there should be a button/option to activate it on creation. this is most useful when used like the above: set up a send's ports, adjust the send level, activate and apply. the send is now fully set up in one window.
there should also be an option to set all plugin/send/insert edit windows as 'always on top' by default. i often 'lose' these windows behind the main edit window when i jump back and forth, and find it very frustrating.
this may be already implemented, but is there an easy shortcut (middle click, double click etc) to open up the edit window of a send/plugin/insert? right clicking to chose it in a menu is too slow for me. (i'm not on a pc with ardour at the moment, so i can't check this). there should be an equivalent option for activate/deactivate as well (in logic it was ctrl-click on a plugin/send etc.
there should also be an option to have all plugin windows open on creation. when i add a plugin i usually want to edit it immediately, so i think ardour should automatically open up any edit windows appropriate to the plugins i just added.
sends on channel strips:
there should be a way of adjusting send levels (and maybe other things, like dry/wet mixes perhaps) in the channel strip itself. i think i mentioned this in another post a while ago, but i think it is important enough to mention again. i have made a mockup (not as good as thorwills' ones are i'm afraid) :) here:
clicking and dragging these should move the faders immediately.
this is especially important for headphone mixes, where you need to change various things *fast* - "can i have the guitars louder, but turn down that damn snare drum!", but also for quick changes to reverb send levels etc.
there should be a toolbar for functions such as 'split', 'trim', 'join' etc. these are used often enough to be at least an optional toolbar, and it took me a while to figure out how to do them (which makes me look bad :)
thanks for taking the time to read my rants :)