• Music creation software / User friendly User Interface (user-experience) Design
  • Started by Mar T.
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« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 03:24:44 by Mar T. »
Lol, I recommend to look at this ( sooo recognisable for software users in general, let alone specifically 'feature' demanding music creators )



See it a bit broader. Say you're a beginning music creator, using your first Digital Audio Workstation, plugin instruments (VSTi's), effects (VST's)..
See it in the context of someone trying to find a solution to create scores for their music, and stumble upon Sibelius.
Do you recognise the frustration?

Let us know! Does your DAW, instruments, effects, scoring tools work as expected? Or are you getting MAD when trying to create and end up being frustrated, not being able to find the right 'buttons' in the software you use to achieve your goals?

So what tools do you use (in the 'creating music' context)? What's good about your toolset? And what needs to be improved?

Curious about your answers!!
Cheers..
Mar T.
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An interesting video @Mar T. .

I feel that people are divided into those who use quick keys like Ctrl + X etc. and those like me who are old fashioned menu people to to around applications. As a menu person I personally hate the Microsoft ribbon as I was already using basic menus and I got used to the classic way of doing things. Others will find the ribbon really good as it declutters an interface. 

Having said all that about using menus, when you are doing stuff in a DAW for hours and hours those extra mouse moments add up so I now have a Behringer X touch mini interface with my main transport buttons and certain things I do often mapped to latching and non latching buttons. This has been a revelation as I could never remember quick key combinations (e.g.  was it Ctrl X .. or was it Ctrl H .. or maybe Alt .... ohhh I don't know  LOL).

Now I can do things like press one button I've labelled 'Zoom Loc' that zooms into a previously selected region . This one button has already saved me lots of time when editing stuff.

So this workflow topic when using software is quite critical as you don't want the peculiarity of the interface to get in the way of just making music. This is why the methods employed by Gus and others on this site who like to keep it simple  are really healthy ways to create as you don't get "DAW-rage" at 2am having not really read the manual and trying to bludgeon your way through making things work.

"DAW-rage"... ummmmm is that a thing....  ;-)
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So what tools do you use (in the 'creating music' context)? What's good about your toolset? And what needs to be improved?

I know this discussion is really aimed at folks who create music using software tools mostly so I'll just get my somewhat Luddistic  admission out of the way and clear the stage for a more 21st century discourse.  ;)

Around the turn of the century I went from a 4-track tape machine (Tascam 424) to protools....and I have never changed. I have no software tools for music creation.....my tools are guitars and a keyboard that is routed through a circa 1990 rack synth unit. I just have never embraced the software music creation thing.

I agree with you @MrBouzouki about DAW rage. I read about it frequently. My advice to all is to choose a DAW and stick with. Learn all of the keyboard shortcuts as well....that has been so crucial to my production protocol.

That said, a lot of the pro studio guys go back and forth between DAWs all the time. For me, as a songwriter though.......I want no stress over my recording methods so I can concentrate on my music.
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

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Score Creation Software ….. always seemed to take pride in being for professional or educational use … ie NOT USER FRIENDLY!

Finale was first I think and then Sibelius was the competition. Sibelius was considered the new and easy to use alternative. Like a Mac vs PC kind of thing, though. One would either use Finale or Sibelius. I used Finale ( still would if needed).

Have you ever tried photoshop? Wow! Any of the open source alternatives like Gimp? ….. Vegas Pro? … Cubase has some crazy settings ….. I think it is a status thing. These are professional programs made by professionals for professionals.  :) If it was for just anyone then people all over the world would be doing their own photography, video creation and music productions at home ….. oh wait.  :D
Like @Leonard Scaper says once you learn one it is probably best to stick with it.

Slightly off topic but I believe certain musical instruments have that attitude of superiority as well. It's like they say, " We're not going to be ergonomic whatsoever. Instead you need to contort your wrist and hands to fit us." (the bassoon comes to mind)   


 
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Slightly off topic but I believe certain musical instruments have that attitude of superiority as well. It's like they say, " We're not going to be ergonomic whatsoever. Instead you need to contort your wrist and hands to fit us." (the bassoon comes to mind)

Making that comparison between difficult to play real instruments and difficult to master music software platforms is brilliant....and it speaks perfectly to the discussion at hand while tying in old school and 21st century methods of creating music.

 8)


I sometimes frequent composer sites and these guys use mainly notation software. The sound sets that come with them are not very good. There are some really great composers who just can't grok a DAW which is sad really, so they use these notation programs.
Many of these notation programs are getting better and beginning to incorporate better sounds, so maybe things are starting to look up there.
I always approached music in a DAW with creation first notation second. Notation is mean't to be read. If they can't play it or it's too difficult for them to play then there's no point in making it. It seems most hobbyists are more into the pop or rock thing probably because they were raised on it. Nothing wrong with that.
My main DAW I have used for years and it's almost second nature using it, though I still sometimes need to look at the manual  if I'm doing something I don't often do.
The only thing that really frustrates me when using my DAWs is if a vst locks up my program and I'm in the middle of something I've worked on for hours. I remember one time it happened to me after a whole day mixing. I try now to save everything twice. Some DAWs have an auto save feature that saves everything every so often...but yeah I have lost some good takes that could not be repeated again and that totally sucks. Actually happened to me in the last contest I participated in. It seemed I could never get the same feel back to a new mix no matter how hard I tried. It doesn't happen often any more, but when it does.....ouch.



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