Latest post Wed, Aug 21 2013 9:27 PM by Job ter Burg. 36 replies.
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  • Mon, Jul 22 2013 6:13 PM

    Audio Mixer gripes.

    Am I the only one bothered by the current state of the Audio Mixer in MC7?

    In the ABVB era, we also had a v7 that would allow us to vertically resize the mixer, thereby enlarging or shrinking the length of the faders, for more/less detailed fader control.

    Until a few years ago, we had two different Tool windows for the Audio Mixer (clip levels) and Automation Gain (volume automation). Because they were two different tools, they had their own Tool menu entry, and you could map them, and call up either the Audio Mixer (for clip levels) or the Auto Gain (for volume automation), and you could even have them open at the same time. At some point, the Live mixer mode was added. I am unsure about the percentage of folks ever using the Live mixer, but it must be extremely small, as I've never encountered anyone who has ever used it. But having the feature there would not matter, if we were not forced to switch through the Live mode when toggling between Clip and Auto mode (Clip->Auto->Live->Clip->Auto->Live, etc.). It makes no sense that A. we cannot skip through the Live Mixer and B. we cannot map any of the mixers – we MUST use the mouse to click the switch button in the Audio Mixer. And neither the Record button nor the Clip/Auto/Live modes can be accessed from the Avid Artist Mix.

    At some point we got the UI option to select a 4-ch, 8-ch or 16ch mixer. In 6.5, clicking the 8-track or 16-track mixer would auto-resize the Mixer so you could actually access the tracks you just said you need. In v7, you have to manually maximize the window, otherwise it stays the same size, but scroll bars are added.

    To me, that makes no sense, as I then still need to scroll to the tracks I want access to, or I need to click the maximize button first. If I wanted the window to stay the same size, but access A12, I'd simply toggle the Grp1/2/3 button, wouldn't I?

    And, worse, if I maximize the 16ch mixer on my Mac, this is what I get (notice the black space in that window to the right:

     

    And here's what happens if you go from a maximized 8ch window to a 4ch mixer (note the useless blank space to the right:

    The same issue applies when you go from 16ch to 4ch mode, which leaves you with a 75% blank window. Or if you are in 8ch mode for your timeline, then switch to your Source monitor: you will have a large blank canvas with just two faders on it. Not efficient, and far from goodlooking.

    Why would anyone want that window to become or stay that size and eat away screen real estate?

    This also applies if you are in 4ch mode and open a Surround Panner. Why on earth would that not show you the entire Surround panning window? How is that helpful? Note that you can barely see and use the 'Close' button to the right of the Clip button:

    This just won't fit in the window it opens in.

    Looks like bad UI design, but it has been suggested to me that this is actually by popular demand – which would astonish me. I'm starting to think that product developers have misunderstood the complaints about the huge mixer and have enabled this weird behavior as a new feature.

    Also, I'd much prefer a clearer visual difference between Clip mode and Auto Mode. I sometimes hit the record button (which doesn't even need to be there in Clip mode as it is without function) only to realize I'm not in Auto mode.

    Anyone else care to chime in?

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  • Mon, Jul 22 2013 7:17 PM In reply to

    • TrevorA
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Haven't used this v7 yet... but have been quite annoyed with some of the improvements in v6. Does seem like quite a few of the windows are not well thought out. The tabs are sort of useful... until you start piling the windows in there and can't read the titles on the tabs. 

     

  • Mon, Jul 22 2013 9:02 PM In reply to

    • Nnata
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

  • Mon, Jul 22 2013 10:09 PM In reply to

    • stevecohen
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Complete agreement on all points.

    Especially these: the mixer should resize itself based on number of tracks requested. It should be resizeable vertically. It should distinguish between modes in a visually more noticeable way. And I almost never use live mode.

  • Tue, Jul 23 2013 1:33 AM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    +1.

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  • Tue, Jul 23 2013 2:59 AM In reply to

    • Adman
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    +1 ...I just wish you could adjust the level while the video playback continues to play in the composer window without stopping. 

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  • Tue, Jul 23 2013 6:03 PM In reply to

    • Dhansel
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Hi Job,

    Thanks for your post on the audio mixer.  There are a lot of different issues in there, some of which are the first time I've heard a request for (such as mapping mixer modes to the keyboard which we should look at).  Editors have been complaining about the mixer size for a while now, and so v7 attempts to address a lot of those issues in ways that many users supported during development and in the beta program.   Many editors told us that they use laptops frequently and when pressing 4, 8, 16 the audio mixer window would obliterate most of their screens.  After much discussion, and even a poll being taking by the beta users,  we agreed to let the user decide how big the mixer window should be and to not automatically resize the window.  This follows the same paradigm as the timeline in that adding more tracks does not increase the size of the window. This also follows how ProTools works.  An editor can now save the window at a given size as part of a workspace (or multiple workspaces for different sizes). I agree that maximizing the window should not show all that dead space.  That's a bug.  Also, it appears the the default opening width is not correct since it covers some of the buttons in the big panner and also the master fader.Another bug to be fixed.

    The Group toggle still works as before, but it's limited as to what it shows (for example, in my current mixer, I cannot find a way to simultaneiously show A7 and A11 at the same time using the group toggle, however I can scroll the window and get just the tracks i'm interested in) Someday I'd like to see us reorder the tracks at will too!

    So, as the code is currently written, the mixer window will remember what size you want it set to and should recall the exact same size the next time the window is opened.

    If you guys have some suggestions about how to better differentiate between Clip and Auto Volume modes other than changing the fader trough colors, please let us know.

    Thanks,

    Doug

     

  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 6:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Thanks, Doug. 

    I would very much like the Audio Mixer size behaviour to be optional. How many people on laptops actually use the 16ch mixer, and why would they? Is laptop use a primary design focus now, at the cost of 99% of your daily workstation users? I bet that is not the intention.

    I just want to see the mixer that I order. I don't want to be forced to perform another mouse click to Maximize or Scroll. There is just no need.

    I don't want to have to change the size of my mixer whenever I switch between record monitor and source monitor. Or when switching between sequences. You seem to to suggest I call up a different workspace whenever I switch between 4/8/16ch mixers or when toggling between the source and record monitor, or between sequences. Makes no sense to me, these actions should not require that.

    For the life of me, I don't get why anyone would want to click between 4/8/16 and NOT get that actual mixer size. People who would prefer that, can use the Grp buttons. What other use does the Grp button have? I understand that on a laptop, one might prefer to set the max size and scroll through it, but that should not bother folks on workstations. 

    Have you seen anyone in this tread agree with the current implementation?

    Also: Pro Tools does not have a source window, nor can it switch between sequences, so the need to adjust the mixer in Pro Tools is just very different in that application.

    And the Timeline is a very different tool, mostly sized to stay in position with the S/R monitors in a certain mode. And it has way more options and those options can be stored as settings and retrieved, through the KB. Plus: normal use of the application does not require to show/hide the timeline, while normal use of the application does not require the Audio Mixer to always be visible, you can just call it whenever you need to adjust levels.

     

    With all due respect, I really feel you guys made a wrong decision here.

    How about ALT-clicking the 4/8/16ch button if you want the window size to stay the same, and let the rest of us use this functionality as it used to be?

     

     

    As for the changing color of the faders, they are not too different when you are set to a dark interface. Also: why not let me assign Clip and Auto to a button or key? That would help me so much, as I'd just hit the button for the mode I want, rather than having to remember to mouse click anything.

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  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 7:20 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    I'm with Job on this.  At home I work on a laptop, and I'm fine with the audio mixer window adjusting itself to the number of faders rather than me having to re-adjust it manually.

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  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 8:06 AM In reply to

    • Nnata
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    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Lets do a pole vote for this -

    -Keep the current audio mixer as it is

    OR

    -Go back to the original audio mixer that was last seen in 5.5

  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 10:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Ok,

    The initial problem was, that there was a lot of movements and resizing of the Audio Mixer, when switching between Source and Record Monitor.


    IE. Initial behavior was that the Audio Mixer Window would adapt to the amount of tracks in the clip or sequence. So if you would go from an 8 track sequence to a 2 track clip, the Audio Miser window would jump and resize every time from the size of a 2 track window to the size of an 8 track window.

    This was considered VERY annoying and distracting. So we wanted to change that behavior.
    So now the Audio Mixer window size stays the same, according to the dimensions that the user sets.
    That is why Job, and everyone in MC7 see those scroll bars appearing...

    But I think, what would be a much BETTER solution, would be:
    MAKE AUDIO CHANNELS VISIBLE according to the 4-8-16 view, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT THERE.
    And let the Audio Mixer Tool auto adapt its size to that...

    Ie., say you select and 8 CHANNEL view in the Audio Mixer, but you would only have a 2 channel Clip loaded. Then, just fill up the Audio Mixer to 8 channels, but the last 6 channels would have a darkened UI. The window itself would not resize, just "fill in" the tracks accordingly.

    Just my point of view 

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  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 10:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Wim Van den Broeck:
    Audio Miser window would jump and resize every time from the size of a 2 track window to the size of an 8 track window. This was considered VERY annoying and distracting.
    Not by me, though, and I have heard and read very, very little about it. I can imagine folks complaining about the Mixer being too big altogether. I can understand gripes with the size INCREASING when switching between source and record monitor, but not by the size DECREASING when there's nothing there to show. That makes no sense to me. Neither does opening a surround panner and having it not fit its own window. It's ugly and it's not right.

    Wim Van den Broeck:
    MAKE AUDIO CHANNELS VISIBLE according to the 4-8-16 view, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT THERE.
    I still think that results in real estate eating windows with hardly anything in them.

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  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 10:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    Job ter Burg:

    Wim Van den Broeck:
    Audio Miser window would jump and resize every time from the size of a 2 track window to the size of an 8 track window.

    This was considered VERY annoying and distracting.
    Not by me, though.

    Me, either.  I liked the way it worked when it automatically resized itself to however many tracks the editor asked it to show.  If I click the button to show 4/8/16 tracks, I want to see 4/8/16 tracks immediately thereafter.  I don't want to click the button to show the tracks and then have to scroll or resize the window to see the tracks I've already asked to see.

    Media Composer 2018.12 w/Symphony/SS/PF options, HP Envy 17t-j100 Quad Edition laptop, Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7 2.4GHz, 16 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce... [view my complete system specs]

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    Carl Amoscato | Freelance Film & Video Editor | London, UK

  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 11:20 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    camoscato:

     I liked the way it worked when it automatically resized itself to however many tracks the editor asked it to show.  If I click the button to show 4/8/16 tracks, I want to see 4/8/16 tracks immediately thereafter.  

    But that was not what I was explaining...

    Initial Beta7 behavior was:

    If there would be one track, the Mixer would adjust to the size of 1 Channel,
    If there would be 5 tracks, the Mixer would adjust to the size of 5 Channels,

    If there would be NO track (say a title), the Mixer would even collapse to nothing more than the upper 2 rows...

    I'm sorry, but when I am editing, and switching between Source and Record,  I want th UI to stay calm, and not "flash" its window sizes. Too much distraction...

     

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  • Wed, Jul 24 2013 11:24 AM In reply to

    Re: Audio Mixer gripes.

    I respectfully disagree.

    But also, I'm not comparing to Beta, I'm comparing the way the mixer has worked in various versions I have used, from MC 5.5.2 in 1995 to MC6.5.3 last month.

    The latter version had it better when it comes to the 4/8/16ch button.

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