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petemus

Fix request: Increase control size of the default plugin UI

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I'm using some of the Airwindows plugins and find it very hard to set the controls because of the minuscule font size and slider area used for the default plugin UI in CbB. At my age and with these monitor resolutions it's getting a bit too hard to be nice.

I'd much appreciate someone of the dev team dedicating a half hour to up the sizes of things in the drawing logic there. A bit of modernization on the styling front wouldn't hurt either. 🙂   The style of the default plugin UI is way different from the other parts of Cakewalk UI.

Thanks,

      -Pete

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I believe all 3rd party plugins fonts sizes are written within the code of the plug in, just as pixel size is as well

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Most of Airwindows' plug-ins don't have UI's, they rely on the hosts' "default UI," which is usually just some sliders and at best resembles the UI's for say, ReaComp from the ReaPlugs suite minus the meters.

Pretty sure that's what petemus is talking about.

Cakewalk offers an excellent way around that in the form of Effect Preset Chains.  The person who dedicates the time to making up a nice little UI with knobs and buttons and legible text is the user. You just make an Effect Preset Chain with only the UI-less plug-in.

I did one for Airwindows' DeEss and it works great.

Any parameter that the plug-in allows the host to automate (which is usually all of them) is yours to access via a knob or button.

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6 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Most of Airwindows' plug-ins don't have UI's, they rely on the hosts' "default UI," which is usually just some sliders and at best resembles the UI's for say, ReaComp from the ReaPlugs suite minus the meters.

Pretty sure that's what petemus is talking about.

Cakewalk offers an excellent way around that in the form of Effect Preset Chains.  The person who dedicates the time to making up a nice little UI with knobs and buttons and legible text is the user. You just make an Effect Preset Chain with only the UI-less plug-in.

I did one for Airwindows' DeEss and it works great.

Any parameter that the plug-in allows the host to automate (which is usually all of them) is yours to access via a knob or button.

Yes, I'm talking about the "default UI" which some plugins rely on to have a UI in the DAW. I know of the Effect Preset chain thingy, which is kinda neat, but it's sort of one more layer to deal with.

If the default UI just was updated to a bigger size, I'd be a happy camper. I don't think the default UI contains many controls whose drawing logic should be updated - but, then again, being a software developer myself I know implementing UI takes surprisingly much time and effort to first get right and then nice...

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, petemus said:

If the default UI just was updated to a bigger size, I'd be a happy camper.

Forgot to say +1. I was "that forum geek" who reads a good feature request and then offers a workaround. 🤡

Thing is, of course, I wouldn't have had to come up with all that if the default UI were not so microscopic. Scalable would even be nice.

And you are so right about inability to guess at the complexity of the task. Opening the most likely ancient section of code that pertains to that UI could have unforeseen consequences. I think the only thing I'm willing to say "probably wouldn't be that tough" regarding is changing menu text or art with the same number of pixels.

Edited by Starship Krupa

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1 hour ago, Starship Krupa said:

Forgot to say +1. I was "that forum geek" who reads a good feature request and then offers a workaround. 🤡

Thing is, of course, I wouldn't have had to come up with all that if the default UI were not so microscopic. Scalable would even be nice.

And you are so right about inability to guess at the complexity of the task. Opening the most likely ancient section of code that pertains to that UI could have unforeseen consequences. I think the only thing I'm willing to say "probably wouldn't be that tough" regarding is changing menu text or art with the same number of pixels.

😊

"Should not be a biggie" is a sentence  you really learn to avoid during the course of the years as a software developer...

Since Cakewalk even uses a slider to present value list selection (Airwindows videos show Logic UI, which even seems to have dropdowns fot these), one would imagine it's just to update the slider drawing logic to use a truly scalable font and some nicer colors and bigger numbers. If we only could see the code... I would guess changing that wouldn't change other parts of the app, since I'm not aware of any screen that would have the same look.

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Former software industry pro here, most recognizable gig was probably Macromedia/Adobe as QA engineer, so I know that it's one of the most efficient ways to get someone involved in the dev process to roll their eyes.

One of my armchair guesses says that it might be boilerplate/library code from an early Steinberg SDK.

There are a few places where I just plain can't read text without squinting, this on my 22" monitors. One is clip headers. The other is the Aim Assist header, which for me, basically serves as a means to obscure the  markings on the ruler.

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@Starship Krupa, your armchair guess could be quite correct there. That VST SDK code could be quite old...

Maybe the Cakewalk installer should ask for your age when installing?  0 - 40 or 40+   😁   Choosing the latter would lead you through an optician's sight test (or whatever it's called) with all the E's. Then, based on the results it would choose the appropriate element sizes for the GUI. For me, currently, that result would probably land in the Lego Duplo side of sizes...

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@pwalpwal, I have used the FX Chain method, but as I said earlier, it's just another layer of stuff to deal with, because you CAN have a default GUI. I guess I need to get me a magnifying glass soon, or get some glasses suitable for use with computer...

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Think of a plug in as a totally separate program running within Bandlab/Sonar. Cakewalk has little control over font sizes, slider sizes, knob sizes, exc.

So unless im missing something, You'll need to contact the developers of said plug ins, not ask Cakewalk to fix it. Or use the work around mentioned above (FX Chains).

Im guessing you didn't reply to my first comment because you know (as a software developer yourself) there's nothing they can do. Waves offers some scaling in some of their plug ins as does a couple other developers.

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@Chuck E Baby, I know plugins usually handle their own graphic output. Surely then all that is on screen is in the plugin library and controlled by the manufacturer. I guess the VST spec doesn't REQUIRE them to provide a GUI, however, and if this is the case the host DAW will query the plugin for the adjustable parameters and provides a generic GUI for adjusting them.

This would explain why e.g. the Airwindows plugins look different in Logic from what they look like in Cakewalk. And they especially are plugins that provide no UI of their own and leave any rendering for the host DAW to take care of. That's why I'm requesting it here, and not from Airwindows or other maker.

I might be all wrong here as well, since albeit being a software developer myself, I've never had a look at he VST API specification. I just understand the "default UI" concept as something the host DAW provides for the plugin if the plugin doesn't implement any itself.

Any VST developer here willing  to shed light on this?  😁

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2 minutes ago, petemus said:

I just understand the "default UI" concept as something the host DAW provides for the plugin if the plugin doesn't implement any itself.

this is correct, @Chuck E Baby i think you are misunderstanding this - if a VST does not supply it's own GUI then the host provides the basic "default UI" (usually just sliders?) and cakewalk's implementation of this hasn't been updated since forever... maybe @Noel Borthwick can chip in

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3 hours ago, petemus said:

guess I need to get me a magnifying glass

Already built into the OS Windows+Plus very useful for failing eyes

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On 8/5/2019 at 2:48 AM, petemus said:

I'm using some of the Airwindows plugins and find it very hard to set the controls because of the minuscule font size and slider area used for the default plugin UI in CbB. At my age and with these monitor resolutions it's getting a bit too hard to be nice.

I'd much appreciate someone of the dev team dedicating a half hour to up the sizes of things in the drawing logic there. A bit of modernization on the styling front wouldn't hurt either. 🙂   The style of the default plugin UI is way different from the other parts of Cakewalk UI.

Thanks,

      -Pete

Hi Pete,

The default ui hasn't been updated in a long time since it's rare that a plugin doesn't have a ui these days. Well look into improving it at some point.

 

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1 hour ago, Noel Borthwick said:

Hi Pete,

The default ui hasn't been updated in a long time since it's rare that a plugin doesn't have a ui these days. Well look into improving it at some point.

 

Thanks @Noel Borthwick! Surely there are more pressing things in the backlog than this; just thought it "shouldn't be a biggie".  😁

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2 hours ago, scook said:

Already built into the OS Windows+Plus very useful for failing eyes

I know, @scook; maybe I have to try that. Until now it's been mainly an accident that I enter that magnified mode. Maybe it's time to admit I really need it. 😐

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21 minutes ago, scook said:

I find the Lens view most useful

Have to try it, seems quite useful! Thanks for the tip, @scook!

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