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thatoneXman

this program is NOT User Friendly.

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On 9/11/2020 at 3:25 AM, thatoneXman said:

I mostly use DAWs for making music. so far, I have LMMS, OpenMPT, Soundbridge, and Cakewalk. Yes, I have experience with DAWs.

That surely isn't a comparable set of products. If you compare Cakewalk with other highly specified pro DAWs like  Cubase, ProTools, Logic, etc,, I'm sure you'll find Cakewalk as good or better in terms of usability AND function. One of CdB's best features is that it lays in front of you and makes immediately accessible a fantastic array of features in a super graphical interface (which you can customise extensively). Compare this with Cubase, for example, where you have to hunt though a highly opaque set of menus to get at even quite simple functions. I agree with most other comments here: to use a highly-specified product like Cakewalk requires some investment in learning how to do things, but it's worth it.

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In addition,  there is also the Add Track button shown simply as the big "+" at the top of  the track view. You can choose audio or instrument tracks from the pop out menu. However, it seems to lack the "add MIDI track"  option show in the other methods.

Covered in detail here in the Cakewalk Documentation: http://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=0x18A8C

 

 

Cakewalk - add track.PNG

Edited by abacab

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We had a good laugh in the old forums when this button was introduced.

IIRC, it brought the number of ways to create a new track up to 7.

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14 hours ago, John said:

You do know that there is a right click menu on the track header area for doing that?

Of course I do. It was actually the first thing I tried when I wanted to add tracks. I wrote that from the perspective of a new user who may not be so right click oriented, and to point out how counterintuitive the menu system is.

The menus in the major views are confusing and inconsistent.

If we assume that the Track View is the "default" view, then the other views should follow the same menu logic (such as it is) and layout.

As much as I love the Console View, its menus are baffling. "Track" menu instead of "Tracks" menu, Modules and Strips should be consolidated into a View menu, Track Manager is in the Strips menu rather than the Track(s) menu as it is in Track View, and Track and Bus should be consolidated into a single menu. Options is the only one that makes complete sense, and it's in a different location from the Track View's Options menu.

In Piano Roll View, the commands that are in the Notes menu and Controllers menu should be in the missing Options menu, and again, there's no way to add new tracks from inside the PRV (even with a right click in the Track pane), you have to switch to another view or the Global menu to do that. Also, and this is the most egregious omission, there's no way to go directly to Drum Map Manager from the Piano Roll View, which is where drum maps are used.

None of these changes require revisions to code in the functions themselves, they're just shuffling menus around, and, before the moaning geezers chime in, there could be an option to use the old menu configuration.

Quote

[the Add Track button ] seems to lack the "add MIDI track"  option show in the other methods

@abacab, it's there, it's just easy to miss. When you select "Intrument," down at the very bottom of the list of synths is "MIDI Only." I think it would be better to have it as a checkbox or even a tab, with options to set the output, etc., but it's there.

Edited by Starship Krupa
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14 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

@abacab, it's there, it's just easy to miss. When you select "Intrument," down at the very bottom of the list of synths is "MIDI Only." I think it would be better to have it as a checkbox or even a tab, with options to set the output, etc., but it's there.

You're right, it's there. Too awkward to scroll to the bottom for that one. (As in I have a long list of synths, so didn't notice that hanging waaaaaay down the list). Agree that it needs its own tab or something...

@Noel Borthwickthis looks like an easy one!

 

Edited by abacab
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Posted (edited)
On 9/10/2020 at 1:47 PM, thatoneXman said:

I'm a New User, and I have been screwing around with cakewalk for the past 4 hours, and so far, I hate it, mostly because the Interface is Incomprehensible. is this the case for Other Users? it is for me. sorry.

No, it's not just you. It happen to me also :).

I sometimes like to make a very simple home made midi music,
and I use the old Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 after moving from cwpa 7.
Never use VST plugin etc,  I even don't know what is it.

After install Cakewalk Bandlab, seeing the panel really got me confused :).

For example :
Old Cakewalk : right click the track, user can choose to open the staff view.

New Cakewalk : not the same. User have to click the track timeline, choose view then choose staff view.
(I know that I can just do the shortcut alt+6 to open the staff view after I've found where the staff view is).

And until now I still can't find out on how to change the velocity scale of the selected notes in the new Cakewalk.
With the old Cakewalk is easy to find .... it's in the Edit menu :


10.png.ece8818a8eeaab9875ab4f381bdeda5e.png

 

In the new Cakewalk, it's not in the Edit menu:
Not in Edit menu here :
11.png.bf9d87e138b8cb1ceb9fcc16efb36dc7.png

 

Not also in Edit menu here:
12.png.7d1350dec90e3cd835be5bab8491b2de.png

Not also in the Edit menu where the wrench icon is.

 

A few hours later ..... 
Even after I read the "manual" from this link, it still take so much time for me as my English is very limited.
 

Quote

 

To scale all selected MIDI note velocities

1.Set the track’s Edit Filter control to Notes.

2.Select all the Note velocities you want to scale.

3.Do one of the following:

With the Smart tool , position the pointer near the top center of any selected note, then hold down the SHIFT key and drag up/down.

With the Edit tool , position the pointer near the top center of the note, then hold down the SHIFT key and drag up/down.

 

Just arrive at number 1 above, it already have me to scratch my head .... "what is "Edit Filter control" ? where is the location of the "Edit Filter control" in the app ?". Until now I still don't know what is it and where is it.

Anyway, the link has an image, so after hours I try this - try that just to get the same panel like in the image, finally I found it by opening the Piano Roll view - yet it still "hiding" below the Piano Roll view - so I need to drag up the border in order to see the same panel like in the image on the link. Then another "trouble", I need to put the pointer at the top center of any selected notes until the pointer change to another icon - then I can do the drag up/down.

I already need to spend so much time just to learn "old" things which I already can do in the old Cakewalk.
It's my fault that I use a very old Cakewalk version and I understand that the new Cakewalk has sooooo many new things which are not in the old Cakewalk.  But I think those things are for the professional users, a production studio.

So just like you, to me, the new Cakewalk is also not user friendly :).

If you just for making a simple midi music, maybe you can try the old Cakewalk.
The interface is not congested and you can do all the basic things very easily.

Thank you.

01.png

Edited by reko tomo
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(1) My comments in this thread relate to the difficulties I faced moving to the Skylight UI and seem to fit your difficulties as well.

(2) You seem to be using the Staff View. If that meets your needs, no need to pressure yourself to give up using the old version.

(3) Regarding the simpler UI in older versions, you can greatly simplify Cakewalk by Bandlab (CbB) using the Workspaces feature. For example, I've made some personal/custom "Staff Entry" Workspaces that enable me to focus on recording notes from my usb keyboard and editing in the Staff View.  As for CbB's "congested" UI, you might want to spend some time tweaking/designing a Workspace (including Control Bar Moules) that better fits your workflow.

 

 

  

 

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@reko tomo - I think some of the issues you're having are maybe down to you using a basic workspace.  For the time being, I'd recommend switching your workspace to "None" to give you access to all of Cakewalk's menus.  Once you're familiar with what's available, you can then decide whether to design a workspace of your own or not.

The other issue is that it's now 21 years since Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 was released. Many things have been changed / moved about since then.

I strongly recommend watching some tutorial videos if possible. I appreciate that most tutorials will be in English, but even if you don't always understand what the user is saying, you'll at least see them using the features.

The Groove 3 SONAR tutorials are very good, as is this free collection on YouTube (with this you can also turn on CC's and auto translate to your native language): 


Anyhow, in answer to your questions:

This is where the Track's Edit Filter control is:

image.png.b4a4201c12203a8aaf40db8141112198.png

Operations like Scale Velocity that do processing on your clips are now in the Process menu:

image.png.fa5230b199198228d5766613ca4e87d3.png

 

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Posted (edited)

One thing I've always thought makes Cakewalk more difficult to use out of the box for some is the default preference where the Track View shows only some controls. The first thing I do with any system I setup is save the normal template with Track Controls set to "All". I then move the MSR/Volume/Pan controls to the top of each type of track so that they are all accessible even when tracks are minimized.

Once you do that, almost everything is right there in front of you to edit and mix, even with the Track Inspector and Console View closed. I also prefer it because it means the fader/pan/mute/etc for a given set of clips is always directly to the left of those clips. No need to hunt for the faders for tracks you've been editing or automating. They are always visually in-line with the data.

Edited by sreams

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58 minutes ago, sreams said:

One thing I've always thought makes Cakewalk more difficult to use out of the box for some is the default preference where the Track View shows only some controls. The first thing I do with any system I setup is save the normal template with Track Controls set to "All". I then move the MSR/Volume/Pan controls to the top of each type of track so that they are all accessible even when tracks are minimized.

Once you do that, almost everything is right there in front of you to edit and mix, even with the Track Inspector and Console View closed. I also prefer it because it means the fader/pan/mute/etc for a given set of clips is always directly to the left of those clips. No need to hunt for the faders for tracks you've been editing or automating. They are always visually in-line with the data.

This used to annoy me when I first moved from SONAR 8.5 to X1... I was always wondering where half the controls were.

I'm so used to using the track inspector nowadays (which shows all of the controls), I just go with the default layout in the Track View.

It does depend on your workflow though. I use a control surface, so it doesn't bother me that I can't access those controls within the Track View. For those that don't have a control surface, and want to quickly adjust volume/pan though... I can definitely see that having the volume/pan widgets there makes sense.

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I just want to say here that this is one of the things I love about this forum: despite the unhelpful troll-y nature of the OP, the discussion mutated into this helpful, long,  thought-provoking thread that's now gone on for 6 months.

It's like going to a wrestling match where one guy pins the other one and instead of going on and beating on each other, they start talking with about the difficulties of being pro wrestlers and reminiscing about how things were back in the day when they were getting started, how the rules have changed, etc. 😂

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16 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

I can definitely see that having the volume/pan widgets there makes sense.

Yes, a custom "Lens," when it was called that, is a good thing to do. The thing about lenses/workspaces is that every time I've tried to make one and use it, at some point I wind up looking for a feature, not being able to find it, forgetting I'm using my custom workspace, and getting ready to submit a bug report. 😄

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Agree Krupa. We haven't lost a thing in the transition from Sonar to Cakewalk in the forum or the program. We still have the very best members. 

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I too struggled for a spell when I first looked at CbB. I think the main reason was that I had preconceptions of how things ought to work, and consequently CbB didn't seem intuitive. Preconceptions and intuitions are the Kane and Abel of UI design, of course. The acid test is whether now, after a few months of use, I have a list of things I would like to see changed (I normally do compile such lists). The telling fact is that I don't, and this is chiefly because I am still finding good reasons for things being the way they are.

If there is a piece of software that has a great multitude of complex functions and at the same time presents a welcoming intuitive face to the new user without hiding most of those functions, I am yet to see it.

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3 hours ago, msmcleod said:

This used to annoy me when I first moved from SONAR 8.5 to X1... I was always wondering where half the controls were.

I'm so used to using the track inspector nowadays (which shows all of the controls), I just go with the default layout in the Track View.

It does depend on your workflow though. I use a control surface, so it doesn't bother me that I can't access those controls within the Track View. For those that don't have a control surface, and want to quickly adjust volume/pan though... I can definitely see that having the volume/pan widgets there makes sense.

Yeah... for me, the issue with the Track Inspector is that I can only see one track's fader at a time. No relative fader positions are shown. I will often select three or four tracks at a time and use Ctrl to move their faders together. Not having visual feedback on all of the faders that are being moved is not good.  The Inspector also requires an extra click while mixing (must select the track before moving its fader). When adjusting the mix for a drum kit with 10-12 tracks, this is a big slowdown. Select track... move fader... select track... move fader... etc.

I think the Track Inspector and Console View are invaluable tools, but not at the expense of what I find to be the most fluid and intuitive way to edit/mix: the Track View.

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Plus you can't see the Pro Channel tab at the same time as the Track Inspector controls (or, say, the Arranger tab).  Oh for seperately moveable tabs...

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In any discussion about usability you have to look at different user personas. Power users or experienced DAW users are always going to want more visible and newcomers who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience will get overwhelmed with showing all controls. Both types of users will get confused by different things so its not a simple solution. 
The general guidelines for modern UX is to show context specific or workflow specific controls to reduce visual overload. 
There is no perfect solution but our defaults try to provide a balance to allow people to get started quickly without getting overwhelmed. 

This is why workspaces were invented. If you are the sort of user who wants to see the kitchen sink its not for you. This is why our onboarding process asks you upfront to choose a workspace. I personally find keeping the interface focused on workflow more streamlined (tracking vs mixing particularly)

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Posted (edited)

This might be an issue for all DAWs, not just Cakewalk! 😉

Not  intending to be harsh here, and no offense intended, but there may really not be an easy way to distill a high tech recording studio into a "For Dummies" version.

Years ago, in a real professional  recording studio, you likely would have had to sweep floors and make coffee for several years before you could touch a knob or slider.

So Cakewalk (a very good emulation of a real recording studio), and really any other leading DAW, will have a learning curve. This will require an investment of your time to understand the technology. Read the manual, watch some tutorials, and be patient. Those expecting instant gratification are sure to be frustrated. Those who stick with it will be rewarded.

Yet @Noel Borthwickand team have managed to provide a very customizable UI that can be applied to your needs, once you learn what to show and hide. :)

 

Edited by abacab
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