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thatoneXman

this program is NOT User Friendly.

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13 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

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...

If you have a duel display you can.  You put the Console View on one and the Track View on the other.  

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No you can't view different tabs in the Track Inspector simultaneously (I know you can move Console View, but i) that wasn't what was being discussed and ii) it eats a lot of screen space to do this).

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Posted (edited)

I have always used 2 monitors and keep the multi dock there as I will use the PVR a lot while recording and then the Console view for mixing. 

I made a Workspace that most times will set all this up for me nicely. Workspaces are your friend. One click and what used to take 30+ moves is there. 

What I always tell newbies is to open the Help module and cruise around the workspace. The help module will tell you what everything is. Which brings me to this: 

Here is a solution to 99% of the dumb question we get from newcomers: 

Don't know how hard this is to produce,, But example I'm new to the world of Video.     The first time you open  Movie Studio ( Vegas) there's a short on screen animated navigation tutorial you can go though. Talk about a time saver for me. Movie Studio is equally as complicated as Cakewalk. I had the software figured out in a very short time because of that tutorial. And there is a legacy of help Tutorials on any given task. Most are well done. 

But the---  I was told to not waste my money on Movie studio and try the Free Resolve video editor. I spent a good 3 hours before finally giving up. I couldn't get anywhere and I watched tutorials which were not ever about what I wanted to do.. and tried the help files. I could not  add new tracks , add texts edit anything. All things I did in Movie Studio right away or easily found info about. 

That experience might be the same experience a newbie would find with Cakewalk. Complicated Software and scattered information. Including a lot of very outdated stuff. 

We can't tell everyone to RTFM and most even need help finding the correct version--  and pointing people at tutorials is almost as complicated because most of them look to me to be like the ones I found for Resolve. Over my head, outdated  and assuming I know the language. 

Probably because Cakewalk is free it has changed the dynamics of who the new users are. You can tell most have no money to spend on proper studio gear.   SO it's all USB mikes and On board sound now.   Its a big reason I thought I'd give a shot at making some simple tutorials as I get pretty tired of trying to solve the same issue over and over.  # 1 Question " I can't hear any sound from Cakewalk" There are actually very few people helping answer question and it most likely because it's pretty boring stuff for experienced users. 

 

Edited by John Vere
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Resolve started out life as a $20,000 color grading suite aimed at Hollywood professionals working on multi million dollar productions, so not really a good comparison.

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John your points are excellent. I use Vegas Video Pro. I have been using Vegas  for a long time. However I do know how foreign it is to DAW users even though it is based on a DAW. That sort of caught me off guard.  But after reading the manual (back then most programs had a printed manual) things began to make since. Because I started with Pro Audio 9 which was the precursor to Sonar I had no trouble with Sonar or Sonar X1 when it came out. I am a believer in reading the manual. I enjoy doing so. I know many don't and want to jump into the deep end before they have learned how to swim. By reading the manual one is not just learning how to use the program but finding out some things they may never have thought about.  This is one reason I advise people to learn the language used by the developers in describing what they have created.  This give an insight into all DAWs.  Back in the day when Emagic owned Logic I decided to try it. In those days there was no internet to download or find out about products. I went to a music store to buy it and all I got was the dongle and a few CDs. No manual. This was Logic 4. No hle file was included and it took a month before the manual arrived .  Logic was not your Farther DAW. Nothing I had used before worked like it. I did figure out some very basic things but I wasn't until I got the manual did I any idea how to do simple things in it.  Also it was one of the poorer manuals due to it being translated from the German one, badly.   

I really liked Logic once I understood it.  I never left Sonar though because I new it so well. When Apple bought Emagic and stopped all PC development I was very angry.  I went to Cubase. Eventually I came back to Sonar because it just did what I want to do with it with ease. Certain things in Sonar now Cakewalk are just easier to do than in any other DAW.  The power is there but for the most part it does not interfere with making music. 

 

  

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I used Resolve as an example of software that is complicated and has no built in tutorials. I guess it is not what you call user friendly. As a result I moved on.
I’m sure there are long time Cakewalk users who if given Cubase would not make much progress in a day as it too is not what you call user friendly   Actually I think it’s pretty rare for powerful software to be user friendly.

My first Daw was Cakewalk Guitar Studio. Before that I was Atari and DrT KCS  which was only midi. It didn’t take long for me to find my way around Cakewalk and yes I had a manual. The piano roll midi was my steepest learning curve for me. I continued to use my hardware synth rack because I had no clue what a VST was for probably 4 year went by before I figured that out . And because I had a crummy Creative sound card, audio took a long time to get working . That’s the day I joined the old forum in 2004 . 
I did all the wrong things for a long time and this is why to this day I sympathize with new comers 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Actually, now that I think about it, Resolve is a perfect example.  It and SONAR Producer/ Platinum (now CbB) are both complex, feature-rich, high-end products developed initially with the advanced, professional user in mind.

 

 

But all this has me wondering: do they not teach research skills in school any more?

Edited by bdickens
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Posted (edited)

If it doesn’t work like a video game it’s not user friendly 😬

But I think you just hit the nail on the head. Cakewalk was not designed with amateur engineers in mind. It started with midi sequencing which hasn’t really evolved much since. But then  the audio part was originally designed to replace a multi track recording studio set up. Over time more and more professional features have been added and the GUI has grown into the equivalent of a million dollar studio rig. 
I kept Resolve installed because it looks like it might be worth the effort to learn. As I get more into making videos I’m sure to need some features that Vegas doesn’t have at my versions level. 
 

Oh and talk about not user friendly DAW’s. I just got an offer to update Cubase $440 can. So there you go if you were not a Cakewalk fan you would have to fork over more cash just to get a few updates. I read the update list and some of the stuff Cakewalk had years ago 

Edited by John Vere

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11 hours ago, bdickens said:

Actually, now that I think about it, Resolve is a perfect example.  It and SONAR Producer/ Platinum (now CbB) are both complex, feature-rich, high-end products developed initially with the advanced, professional user in mind.

So true.  If you want a more entry level DAW go try Mixcraft 9  https://acoustica.com/mixcraft

Great program for the price.  I'm not saying ditch CbB as it is great DAW but user friendliness is not its forte. 

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16 hours ago, John Vere said:

Probably because Cakewalk is free it has changed the dynamics of who the new users are. You can tell most have no money to spend on proper studio gear.   SO it's all USB mikes and On board sound now.   Its a big reason I thought I'd give a shot at making some simple tutorials as I get pretty tired of trying to solve the same issue over and over.  # 1 Question " I can't hear any sound from Cakewalk" There are actually very few people helping answer question and it most likely because it's pretty boring stuff for experienced users.

I agree with John's assumption that the program's user profile has changed.  Times change.  For example, at one time, Cakewalk and ProTools were two DAWs the Berklee School of Music featured in their online catalog.  Now, that is no longer true.  Before many could safely assume price kept many beginners and amateurs from using the product.   Now, for many users this is their first experience manipulating digital audio.  They likely do not have a general knowledge of audio to build on.

While I think it is wrong to assume the forum and Cakewalk can educate all users in everything digital audio I do think it is to everyone's benefit to identify resources that are available for self education and provide links to those resources.

I also believe all of us need to remember that (1) not everyone in the forum reads and writes English as their native language and/or (2) may not have the background knowledge needed to ask the question they mean to ask.

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41 minutes ago, Jim Fogle said:

I also believe all of us need to remember that (1) not everyone in the forum reads and writes English as their native language and/or (2) may not have the background knowledge needed to ask the question they mean to ask.

This is exactly it. I'm not sure how many new comers are aware of the tutorial sub forum. And now the problem is a lot of good stuff has fallen off the first page. It's almost like we need a sticky at the top with all available videos listed buy topic with links.  I'm not sure who the moderators are these days it would require a little time to do this,

I'd gladly create the post,  it would be a huge time saver for helping on the forum. 

New releases could be added as time goes by. 

Another thing comes to mind is that the videos are checked for accuracy and quality. I've watched a few that are not exactly correct or just outdated. 

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Blackmagic Design has a bunch of training materials here, including project files. They walk you through putting together a short movie from start to finish.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/training

Resolve is well worth learning, although the curve is steep.

 

3 hours ago, John Vere said:

If it doesn’t work like a video game it’s not user friendly 😬

Interesting you say that. I can't make heads or tails out of video games, but I caught on to both CW and Resolve immediately. The first time I sat down with each, I was able to figure out how to make stuff happen just by poking around on the buttons and menus and applying some basic reasoning.

 

Hint: nearly every Windows app in existence operates in the same basic way.

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18 minutes ago, John Vere said:

a lot of good stuff has fallen off the first page. It's almost like we need a sticky at the top with all available videos listed buy topic with links. 

Morton's pinned link (I think to Cake TV) is a good starting point for Cakewalk.  You have to hope a newcomer is interested enough to find the Tutorials section and scan through all six pages.

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Just now, Jim Fogle said:

Morton's pinned link (I think to Cake TV) is a good starting point for Cakewalk.  You have to hope a newcomer is interested enough to find the Tutorials section and scan through all six pages.

I watched some of those and as I said,  some are outdated, the screen looks totally different in most as I guess they are from Sonar Plat.  They are a good starting point but I also understand by watching some of them why people will say they watched the videos and still don't get it.  Example watch the one on setting up midi and it's real good and too the point but it ends without explaining about how to connect that track to a soft synth.  I then couldn't find the follow up.  I plan on watching all of the videos just to make notes. 

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1 hour ago, bdickens said:

Hint: nearly every Windows app in existence operates in the same basic way.

Lasso-select with right mouse button is not intuitive at all, I've got adapted to it with time (it's extra annoying in the prv) but then it always pays back when I lasso-select with right mouse button in Windows' File Explorer etc. :D:D:D 

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On 4/11/2021 at 6:04 AM, Noel Borthwick said:

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.

As someone who sets up systems for users of varying experience levels... I can't say that I agree. Hiding the mix controls in the Track View means new users are now hunting for the faders that go with the clips they are working with. When the Fader/Pan/Mute/Solo/RecordEnable are right there on the screen next to the data (and not buried in lower control rows so that they disappear when tracks are minimized), it is a lot easier for me to get new users started. With the Track Inspector, I need to teach them to click on a track first in order to make its fader visible. Hiding controls encourages users to open multiple views at once to do basic things like mixing and editing. This can become cumbersome, especially on systems with 1080p displays, and especially when users start getting into things that actually require other views to be opened.

As for me personally... I find that the only time I actually need the Console View (because the Track View is so capable and intuitive once its functionality is enabled) is when I need to copy a track EQ from one track to another. I think that may be the only thing that can't be done without the Console View. Otherwise, I keep it closed so that I have a lot more screen-space for views I really need.

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It is a sign of these times. Many new users come from an app-centric world, where simplification of a complex task can be handled by the software without the need to understand the underlying mechanism. 

I am 58, and got back into playing a few years ago. When I wanted to learn finally how to use a DAW, my only knowledge of what a DAW could accomplish was based on my owning a Fostex 8 track reel to reel, a Tascam 642 cassette recorder, and playing a bit with a friends console thirty years ago.  Having learned and used complex software applications my entire life, I immediately dismissed what I perceived to be "simple" software, and wanted a fully featured (over my head) application that could do more than I would ever need. Of course, all software in this category cost in the $500 and up range. 

I settled on the newly offered Sonar Home Studio for $60 as it offered a not too stripped down feature set, one I could upgrade as needs exceeded it without losing what I learned, offered touch capability to run on my i5 tablet, and most importantly, looked like the recorder/mixers I remembered. 

I read most of the guide, tons of posts on the old forum, and came to realize that I needed an outboard audio device, dual monitors, a keyboard with controller function and a set of monitors to really take advantage of the software. I took the plunge, and have been very happy. 

Was it/is it easy? Not at all. I learn new things here every day. Do I use it to its full potential? No, but I have learned so much to allow me to do so if and when I desire to.  

As a technology store owner for 26 years, I have experienced the change in how many people view and use software. If a quick Google search or two does not provide the immediate, exact answer to their question, they will move on to something else in the hope it is easier, or pay someone like myself to make it work. Gone are the days of investing years of learning to master the equipment and the craft, rather the impetus is on the result created. 

As for the OP's four hour failed investment in learning something new and failing, followed by a quick public whine of their precious time wasted doing so to make it our fault , then moving on by ghosting us, this does not surprise me a bit.

These same individuals complain that the YouTube video teaching how to tigweld could be done in 5 minutes instead of 15. 😂

 

 

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5 hours ago, oneofmany said:

As for the OP's four hour failed investment in learning something new and failing, followed by a quick public whine of their precious time wasted doing so to make it our fault , then moving on by ghosting us, this does not surprise me a bit.

I have spent more time in Affinity software learning how to do stuff and I barely touched the tip of the iceberg as they say.    Will I give up heck no as this software is great. The same way I feel about CbB.  Of course I have been using Sonar and now CbB for a long long time :D

I do think that every Junior High school student should now have to pass a basic course in coding in say Python.  Just so they have an idea of what goes into programming an application. It would be good for them.  I did some programming a long time ago and realized it was not for me but I still learned  a great deal.  I have to deal with the public and you are so right if they don't  get an answer in 2 seconds they get upset 😆

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54 minutes ago, InstrEd said:

I do think that every Junior High school student should now have to pass a basic course in coding in say Python.  Just so they have an idea of what goes into programming an application

I think every Junior High student should have to pass a basic class in research skills and critical thinking....

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1 minute ago, bdickens said:

I think every Junior High student should have to pass a basic class in research skills and critical thinking....

That too would be nice.  My daughters say how many of the kids in High School don't know how to do basic research.  Funny I don't blame the teachers as I blame more of the parents that didn't install learning in their children.  We never gave our daughters the answers but would give little clues at times to lead them.  I remember my younger one would get so pissed at me. My older daughter would tell her I told you dad wasn't going to give you the answer right away. She learned quickly that it was her responsibility to make a valid attempt at the work assigned.  My younger daughter actually thanked me this past January for not giving into her and forcing her to buckle down.    My wife and I told them we don't expect A's but we do expect them to do the best to there abilities.

 

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