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EDT

More outcome based menus/options?

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I have been trying to get to grips with more advanced audio editing functions but ultimately I often find myself not knowing what function it is I need and then have to search through quite traditional menus.

It would be interested to know if there could be some more user friendly outcome based rather than process based pop up menus.

e.g. if I want to match tempos/line up two tracks (I am struggling with this!) I select both tracks could it not just ask me in simpleton terms whether  I want to do that, or x, y or z and then the software does the job behind the scenes (as it has all the tools to do it). Or rather than all the menus at the top and then the separate menus in the project itself.

Could it be configured to have a simple "Timing" button and then it does the trick?

This is just one example. Just an idea...I'm not a computer person really just a musician.

EDT

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Depending on what you want to do, there's two tools that come to mind:

1. VocalSync - this will sync up two more or less identical tracks timing wise (e.g. main vocals & backing vocals), but isn't limited to vocals. You could use it for harmony guitars for example.

2. If you're wanting to match the timing of two different tracks, take a look at AudioSnap... I think this is what you need.

Here's a 2 min introduction:

and here's a more comprehensive guide:

 

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Thank you again Mark! The second video is certainly in depth but then still doesn't explain the jargon and there are still interminable menus and options which use further jargon which I get the feeling I would need to have a two day course on to learn what they mean. Conversely, I don't need to know what they mean if the software would simply ask me a question or two about what it is I want to achieve rather than giving me menus of options which mean nothing to the untrained eye.

Some of the points touched on in the second video make this apparent - the nomenclature is esoteric. I almost already feel like I will never understand Audiosnap. 

There must be a better way of presenting Audiosnap to idiots like me - maybe even splitting it into different functions - use easier to understand workflows, set out into steps 1 -3 for instance, then "Finished?" rather than "Render".

However, I also appreciate that those trained in how this all works would probably want to retain the menus, jargon and interfaces they are familiar with. Maybe the programmers could add a new form of project lens which would have simpleton buttons and pop up boxes to ask the user what they want to achieve when they select two tracks out of the six tracks in the project for example.

By the way thank you for your tip on Vocal Sync and possibly using that with guitars. I have a project which that may well come in very useful on.

 

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@EDT, I think like your idea a lot but I want to make sure I understand your idea.

Am I correct that what you're suggesting is task wizards?  I'm defining a task wizard as a pop-up window with step-by-step instructions describing how to perform a task.  Ideally there should be one pop-up window for each task step.  Each pop-up window should also include a hyperlink that opens another pop-up window that details how to perform the step.

Let's say you want to perform a specific task like copy midi between tracks.  You would navigate to the task wizard menu and select "copy midi".  A pop-up window would state:  "highlight the midi in a track to be copied."  If you don't know how to highlight then you can click on the word highlight and a new pop-up window opens that describes how to highlight.  There will be a pop-up window to guide you through each step needed to copy midi between tracks.

Does that describe and give an example of your suggestion?

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On 7/16/2019 at 4:33 AM, fogle622 said:

@EDT, I think like your idea a lot but I want to make sure I understand your idea.

Am I correct that what you're suggesting is task wizards?  I'm defining a task wizard as a pop-up window with step-by-step instructions describing how to perform a task.  Ideally there should be one pop-up window for each task step.  Each pop-up window should also include a hyperlink that opens another pop-up window that details how to perform the step.

Let's say you want to perform a specific task like copy midi between tracks.  You would navigate to the task wizard menu and select "copy midi".  A pop-up window would state:  "highlight the midi in a track to be copied."  If you don't know how to highlight then you can click on the word highlight and a new pop-up window opens that describes how to highlight.  There will be a pop-up window to guide you through each step needed to copy midi between tracks.

Does that describe and give an example of your suggestion?

Yes basicaly it does. But also just to simplify the options and jargon too. There are menus all over the place in Cakewalk some of which purport to do the same things but come up with different things, which could conceivably be replaced with task wizards (as I now know they are called!)

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I like this idea(s).

First do in background and ask if it was satisfactory.

If not you get a wizard to help.

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Or even have a set up button so you can choose to have task wizards by default instead of menus and have all the menus discretely hidden under one menu button just in case.

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I am also of the opinion that there are many processes in Cakewalk that involve the user way more than they need to.

One of them, for instance, is assigning a Drum Map to the Piano Roll View for drum editing.

Cakewalk essentially forces the user to create a list of drum maps they want to use in the project, then choose which one they want to use for each MIDI drum track, and the nomenclature is confusing. What's more, the user gets at the interface for this not from the Piano Roll View but from either the Output selector on a MIDI track or in Preferences.

With your concept, if the user wants to do some drum editing, it would be right there in the PRV. "Use Drum Map." And then the user would be presented with a wizard or dialog allowing them to choose which mapping they wanted. For the past 20 years, that's been General MIDI, with manufacturer variations like XG, GS, Band-In-A-Box, etc. Or they could choose "New" to create a new one.

This is a good idea. I think I'll submit it as a feature request.

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11 hours ago, Chuck E Baby said:

I know it’s not exactly what you want but have you tried the Custom module?

Thanks for mentioning the Custom module.  I have been wondering if there was a way to put a personalized list of preferred tasks in a single collapsed Control Bar module. After seeing your post, I found it in the Reference Guide:

"The Custom module lets you assign various Cakewalk commands and actions to buttons. You can assign up to 9 buttons depending on the module size: small shows 3 buttons, medium shows 6 buttons, and large shows all 9 buttons." [Version 25.05.00, p. 607 of 2188]

Steve

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 1:06 AM, Chuck E Baby said:

I know it’s not exactly what you want but have you tried the Custom module?

Hi Chuck. Forgive my idiocy(!) but what is the custom module? The only place I can see "Custom" is on the top right hand side where it comes up with a few things (Save, Import, Preferences etc). Or do I need to set Cakewalk up or open it up in a different way?

Thanks for your help.

E

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Sorry, I just saw the reply from Dr Steve..

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 12:41 PM, Starship Krupa said:

I am also of the opinion that there are many processes in Cakewalk that involve the user way more than they need to.

One of them, for instance, is assigning a Drum Map to the Piano Roll View for drum editing.

Cakewalk essentially forces the user to create a list of drum maps they want to use in the project, then choose which one they want to use for each MIDI drum track, and the nomenclature is confusing. What's more, the user gets at the interface for this not from the Piano Roll View but from either the Output selector on a MIDI track or in Preferences.

With your concept, if the user wants to do some drum editing, it would be right there in the PRV. "Use Drum Map." And then the user would be presented with a wizard or dialog allowing them to choose which mapping they wanted. For the past 20 years, that's been General MIDI, with manufacturer variations like XG, GS, Band-In-A-Box, etc. Or they could choose "New" to create a new one.

This is a good idea. I think I'll submit it as a feature request.

It's certainly something I would like to see for timing, marrying up audio drum loops with new midi drums which I overdub.

I'll give an example:

1. I use old (yes, I know my issue...!) hardware drum machines and sometimes record the audio from them as I love the samples in them. I generally don't use the midi outputs from them as they are early midi and not very friendly.

2. I then wish to add a track 2, with some midi drums, fills, percussion (for example) or beef up the kick drum by creating a short clip which I can then expand as a groove clip.

3. However they rarely play in time. I often have some dead audio space at the start of track one from the drum machine, so that won't line up automatically with the "grid".

4. I am sure the old hardware drum machine may lose/gain time or simply as a factor in how I have programmed it - usually a four bar segment which loops - it does not match with how the midi drums are timed.

I am sure Cakewalk has all the features to identify the 'transients' (think that's the right word) in the audio drum track and then line them up with the midi drums but I rarely seem to get it right.

It would be nice to be able to select two tracks, hit a "Timing" button, task wizard comes up with option to marry up either audio with midi or vice versa, click and done.

I know a lot of people will say it already is that easy, but I'm not finding it necessarily works that easily for me and it's something I want to do quickly on almost every project I work on. 

Anyway, it's just an idea as I believe Cakewalk is certainly sophisticated enough to do this, it's just getting to it which I am having some trouble with.

Cheers

EDT

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure what you're talking about is right there already. I know there's something called a Tempo Map, but I don't know if it applies.

I think some of the tempo correction stuff hides out under menus that refer to vocal correction, but it just as readily works for other material. I've yet to use it, so if you ask about this in the larger forum, I bet you'll get the recipe straightaway. Or recipes. It seems like there's usually more than one way to accomplish a given task with this great beast.

HR-16 for life!

Edited by Starship Krupa

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4 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Yeah, I'm pretty sure what you're talking about is right there already. I know there's something called a Tempo Map, but I don't know if it applies.

I think some of the tempo correction stuff hides out under menus that refer to vocal correction, but it just as readily works for other material. I've yet to use it, so if you ask about this in the larger forum, I bet you'll get the recipe straightaway. Or recipes. It seems like there's usually more than one way to accomplish a given task with this great beast.

HR-16 for life!

Yes I believe from some very kind in depth replies that there are some hidden/extra features which can be used for this - I did download Melodyne but I see it's only a trial version unless paid for and it seems to need me to be on the internet every time I want to use it, which I am not. I rarely have the internet on when I am using Cakewalk. However, that really gets to the nub of my difficulties and the reason for my suggestion. Why would anyone look at vocal correction when looking to tidy up/match tempos for drum tracks? It's a bit of a stretch (pardon the pun).

Equally, I today worked out how to do some crossfades between tracks which helped to smooth out the transitions between them. Great. But that was only after some searching and reading on here, to find the crossfade option is hidden in a menu under "Process - Apply Effect". I only come at this from a musical point of view but it seems a bit obscure to describe a crossfade as an effect, even if that is from an IT perspective how it operates. 

Coming back to the original suggestion, I think if I were to select/highlight two tracks or clips and then a task wizard box came up offering the 2/3/4 most likely tools a user is likely to want in that situation if would speed things up immensely. If the thing I'm trying to do is more unusual, then fine I'm sure it can be hidden away in a menu somewhere....but preferably one menu, not a range of different ones in different parts of the screen or when right clicking.

It's probably just a question of layout more than anything.

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A well-appointed DAW with 30 years of development behind it is probably among the most complex, powerful and flexible pieces of software you will ever use, and there is no royal road to learning as they say. Combine the massive depth of the software with the huge variety of ways in which different types of users (e.g. songwriters, orchestral composers, performers, studio engineers, live sound engineers, sound designers, etc)  prefer to work, and it should be clear that there aren't just two or three 'most likely' things to be done with two selected clips.  Just look at the options available in the context (right-click) menu for a single clip to get an idea what I'm talking about.

The level of simplicity you're seeking will require software that has a much higher level of intelligence. than anything currently available. In the mean time, you're the brains of the operation, and you'll just have to learn the tools as they're currently presented. Probably the best way to do that aside from doing a lot of reading, video-watching and experimenting is to describe in as much detail as possible what you're trying to accomplish in a given situation, and let the many knowledgeable forum members guide you.

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I see it as a worthy goal to be pursued as development goes forward, as fresh pairs of eyes get to have a look. A thing that happens is that new users see issues like this in the bigger, longer picture, and longtime users have all the shortcuts and workarounds memorized so well that they don't notice how clunky and impenetrable things can seem to a new user.

"Just hit Ctrl-Shit-Z Space-T, then select the audio you want to ZlorpStretch, then paste it, then Alt-0, then Shift-Del-N to ghost flip it into the frequency region non-destructively, then put it back into ripple mode and you're done. Takes longer for me to write it than to do it."

To my mind as a piece of software evolves there can be many objectives, none of them ever "reached."

Adjusting the menu layout to make more logical sense (whatever that is deemed to be) or for greater ease of use (likewise) or to make it easier to learn can be a goal to pursue, to devote resources to. Look at the popularity of the FlexIQtm feature of the Smart Tool. Much of that was, conceptually, allowing the user to turn some of it off.

Same with reducing resource consumption, adding new features, fixing bugs, etc. It's all what ya deem important.

Back on the old forum, I think we lost a lot of users who were torqued because  BandLab wouldn't provide a roadmap, but everyone navigates using their smartphones now, so who's got the last laugh? If you're gonna have to license content from TomTom or Magellan, I'd rather get some loop packs or a phrase sampler or something.

My own current favorite prime example is the  Drum Map, but in another case I'd like to see made easier, I took a look at the Track View's menus.

The Track Control Manager  is something that I wasted a good many hours not being able to remember how to get to  when I first started using CbB.

We could have a right-click context menu entry for it. "Header Layout,"  or "Header Widgets." "Header Controls?" Part of my trouble was that the phrase Track Control implied that  I would be launching something that was controlling tracks. And don't laugh, the reason why I couldn't find what I was looking for right dead center screen in front of me was because when things were screwed up, the button to access it was labeled either "FX," or "I/O" or whatever. Not gonna click there. I'd be poking around, accidentally hit the button, or poke it wondering what it did and not notice right away and be all messed up.

Couple of last things, if you don't always have your Track View docked in the Skylight right under the main program window, you might start to notice that the menu commands for Insert Audio/MIDI/Instrument Track are nowhere to be found under the Tracks menu. Nor is Insert Folder or Template on it. Can't add a Bus from it either. Yeah, I know, just memorize the keystroke. Eventually you won't even need a monitor.

Also: why is the Process menu and every item under it all the way up there on the main menu and not sitting down next to (or even encompassing) the Region FX menu? Most of the things under it seem to have to do with tracks and clips, so why not scoot it down where it can travel with the rest of the Track View menus?

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