[ardour-dev] Ardour2 wishlist

Thorsten Wilms t_w_ at freenet.de
Fri Mar 2 04:22:38 PST 2007

On Fri, Mar 02, 2007 at 11:50:42AM +0100, Kjetil S. Matheussen wrote:

> But instead, I post here a long wish-list. Ardour is a really great 
> program, and I hope this list can help make it even better. Also note 
> that although my writing style isn't always as smooth as it should be, I'm 
> not always right (perhaps even ignorant and uninformed here and there), 
> and I'm certainly not demanding anything. :-)

There are no too few bugs and feature requests on the tracker.
The project could always need a helping hand.

>    * The connection nodes are too small. I would like to have bigger size
>      by default, and an option to change its size. Even when setting the
>      tracks to largest size, it takes some time to adjust the mouse pointer
>      so that the node is selected. When using "normal" size, or smaller,
>      its almost impossible to hit the nodes.

Hmm. Don't have a problem with hitting them. But then I fiddle with 
beziere nodes and sometimes vertices (3d) all day ... :)

Their visual size is identical to their target area as clicking on any free 
space will add a new note. Plus the lines have a target area, too.

If both other actions would be relegated to somemodifier-click, dragging 
could always work on the closest-to-pointer node (with pre-lighting to 
make it obvious). That would maximize the target areas of the nodes.

Shifting segments could still be made availabe without a special 
modifier-click: Either by having target areas in the middle between 
2 nodes. And/Or by allowing shift-slection of nodes: after selecting 
2 adjacent nodes, you can move the segment.

>    * The lines are too thin. I would like to have thicker automation lines
>      by default, and an option to change their thickness.

Adding options always has it's problems. Increase line thickness could be 
seen as accesinility feature, though.

>    * When creating new nodes, I have to make sure the mouse pointer is
>      exactly above the line. It would be better if the threshold was a bit
>      bigger.

With the Object tool, you can click anywhere away from nodes and segments 
to add nodes on automation tracks. That this doesn't work with Gain tool 
is a bug, I'd say. Clicking anywhere to add works on regions with Gain 
tool, though.

>    * I don't think the "Draw Gain Automation" mode is necessary. As far as
>      I can see, the only thing you can do in this mode is creating nodes,
>      moving nodes, and probably also deleting nodes. (haven't figured out
>      how to delete yet). All these operations are limited to a few specific
>      graphical areas in the tracks, and its functionallity could have been
>      supplied in all the other modes. Creating new nodes could be made by
>      clicking on a line (or perhaps using shift/ctrl or something), which
>      would be easy if the lines were a bit thicker.

Automation on regions ...

>    * In the effect automation tracks, it is possible to select more than
>      one node by drawing an area with the mouse. However, I can't find out
>      for what use this is. It could perhaps be useful if selecting more
>      nodes made it possible to move all those nodes simultaniously, but I
>      can't find out how to do that.

Yes, a selection of nodes should be movable.

>    * Panning automation goes from 0 to 1. Wouldn't it be better with -1 to
>      1? (not important)

Well, I would like it.

>    * It would be nice if when pressing a modifier key (for example ctrl)
>      made the mouse pointer stick to center position. Especially when
>      panning, this would be useful.

Yes. and unity for gain.

> * Sometimes the triangles showing fade-ins and fade-outs are colorized,
>    sometimes not. This might be a bug, but in case not, why is it so? To
>    me, it appears to be a bug...

The fades are turned on/off?

> * I can't add a new meter or tempo, because its impossible to click the
>    "apply" button. If this is not a bug, its very unintuitive to understand
>    whats wrong.

You need to change a value before the Apply button is enabled. No point in 
'changing' from same to same tempo or meter. Now if we had a tempo track 
with a/deceleration, 2 tempo marks with same value _woud_ make perfect 
sense (to keep tempo constant over a duration).

> * I would like to have a graphical function to change the overall volume
>    of an object. One way of providing that functionality would be to
>    connect the top of the fade in/fade out lines, so that you could move
>    that line up or down to select volume.

You can use on-region envelopes for that. Use a reset to get a straight line 
over the whole duration if necessary.

> * I miss the "Editor Mixer" button in ardour1. I had it selected all the
>    time so that I didn't have to switch between
>    the editor and the mixer window. Could it be reintroduced?

You say you had it enable all the time but want a button? A button 
to be down all the time? Hit Shift-E. It's in the menu, too. Sometimes 
the strip disappears, I think theres a bug regarding handling it's state. 
But a buuton is not solution, rather a problem in this crowded interface.

> * I miss a handle on both sides of the time slider to change its size, so
>    that you don't have to use the zoom buttons.

>From GTK to custom widget. You'd have to handle the case of the viewed 
area becoming very very narrow in relation to session length. But you must 
have sensible target areas for both resizing handles and a move handle.

> * Its inconvenient to have two windows for the mixer and the editor. I
>    would like to have an option where the mixer
>    is placed in the bottom half, or right half, of the editor window.

Tell us how to make that fit while there are problems with just the editor 
on 1024 x 768 (or whatever it was exactly) resolution.

> * When editing a plug-in, its inconvenient that it pops up in a new
>    window. It would be nice if the editor or mixer
>    window was automatically split in two vertically whenever a plugin is
>    selected, so that it would be possible to
>    edit the plugin in the lower part of the window. Or perhaps to the right
>    or left instead, I don't know. (not important)

I like inspector panes. It's less window juggling at the price of longer 
mouse ways and the panes having to fitin somewhere, though.

> * I would like to have an option to get rid of the time code window [1],
>    and I would like to be able to move the mode selection icons + slide
>    edit selector to the top right of the window. This way
>    20 vertical pixels or so could be saved. [1] The one that is placed to
>    the right of the mode selection icons

Right-click: Mode Off. I start to think that you should have payed 
with Ardour somemore before writing such a list.

> * The vertical slider in the editor window should be placed to the right
>    of the window. (not very important)

It's on the left to be next to the track/bus heads, on the assumption that 
the mouse is in that area more often. Also, on the right it would change 
position depending on the notebook, what is no good muscle memory. (Assuming 
that most will keep the editor mixer strip either shown or hidden most of 
the time, not switch all the time.)

> * I think it would be better if the horizontal slider was placed in the
>    top of the editor window, like in ardour1.
>    It makes more sense since the timecode is there as well. This would work
>    very well if you used a custom made
>    slider instead of the ugly gtk2 slider.

It's down there because of Fitt's Law. Sadly it only works in fullscreen 
mode. With just a maximized window, it's about 1 pixel off here.
That means in fullscreen mode you can just slam your mouse cursor down 
to hit the scrollbar.

> * I would like to have a shortcut to make sure all visible tracks are
>    shown at once by adjusting their height automatically,
>    so that you don't have to scroll up or down. I want this because I also
>    want to be able to set the height by
>    dragging some kind of handle, instead clicking the "H" button and so on.

I think dragging would be rather problematic with a very limited number of 
sizes. Try Shift-mouse-wheel sometime.

> * The handle to change the size of the "Regions / Tracks/Buses / etc."
>    area is almost invisible and difficult to get
>    a grip of. Perhaps its possible to make bigger handle areas at the top
>    and bottom of it?

It's far from either to my eyes. I hope you don't aim at the middle instead 
of using the full height as target area?

Thorsten Wilms

Thorwil's Creature Illustrations:

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