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Efrem C.'79

Little suggestions for Cakewalk

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I tried to write some small suggestions for Cakewalk based on little experiences with other audio & Midi workstations. Of course these are personal suggestions, in my point of view. Surely you have other points of view, but I believe that sharing opinions and opinions is the strength of the Internet, even if the Web has finally become the opposite place, or rather that of individualism conformed to mass homologation ... Also here there is a notable failure of the Internet project by human nature ... But these are other speeches ... You can read some suggestions about the blog I created ... here: https://efremc79.blogspot.com/2019/09/cakewalk-bandlab-suggestion-i.html (In the other links there are other suggestions)

 

Edited by Efrem C.'79
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The video is silent and it just says " Suggestions For Cakewalk" through it's entire length. 

My suggestion is you simply list each suggestion here maybe with bullets points for simple and easy reading.

Normally that is the way to propose things here. If, however, a video will explain things better by all means provide one. 

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1 minute ago, John said:

My suggestion is you simply list each suggestion here maybe with bullets points for simple and easy reading.

I was going to suggest the same thing.

Trying to route users to your private blog to give feedback wont solve any of these issues, it only displaces them to another site not affiliated with Cakewalk.

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I'm sorry, you're right. In fact I tried to delete the video link with the "Edit" function, but I couldn't and I don't know why ... I'm not interested in addressing or having feedback, I use the blog that I created exclusively as a "notebook" ...

- The first suggestion that i like to give Cakewalk of BandLab is to delete the theme editor and create, for this DAW, a resizable vector graphic interface to 40 - 60 - 80 - 100 - 120 - 140 - 160 - 180 - 200 - 220%

- Second suggestion is to make the entire graphic interface much simpler and easier to understand, including all the commands and functions of Cakewalk by BandLab.

- A duplicate and multiple view of the mixer is very wrong. A single section must be dedicated to the mixer (calling it with a specific command or function or key on the keyboard). Viewing the mixer in several places (making it multiple) and in more areas, more sections (and more areas of the screen) does nothing but create more confusion, multiply the same channels, making us believe that then there are more mixer channels to manage, yes it weighs down the graphics (also in terms of CPU consumption), and redefines the complicated software to understand.

- The toolbar is confusing. The commands and functions are arranged in a confused manner, without a precise logic. Symbols (and icons) are very difficult to understand and interpret. I see a mountain with a flag, well, what does it mean? How can I interpret a mountain with a flag in an audio / Midi software workstation? Absurd. It takes a few simple but essential commands, the rest can be called, in an orderly manner, from the function bar at the top, or with the right mouse button. Much better. Very messy graphics. Then insert a mode of "advanced", "basic" or other functions, constantly changing the layout of the controls, does nothing but complicate and confuse the ideas even more to people. Very wrong design !!

- Not all commands and functions are translated correctly, some writings have remained in English, making the understanding of the functions difficult and confusing.

- The ruler of time is confusing. There are too many superimposed writings and it is always very difficult to manage and set the loop line, as the writings cover the view.

- The processing of audio files in Cakewalk by BandLab should be improved. The quality of time-stretching, in Cakewalk, is rather low. By dilating or shrinking an audio file of about 30%, the file loses quality, assuming the tones as if applying a flanger or phaser effect. In Time-stretching it must be made available, in addition to the file movement percentage, also the time in bpm (how many bpm I am otherwise the file) and how many BPM the file takes. In addition to this, it also takes the possibility of modifying the file in tones and semitones. Then right-click -> Change speed in percentage ratio and BPM speed. Right click of the mouse ---> change the tone of the file: lower or raise by + 36 semitones or -36 semitones. Right mouse button ---> Invert audio track. Invert passing the right channel to the left channel and vice versa. Right mouse button ---> Contrary reproduction of the file, ie reverse playback, always with good audio quality.

Edited by Efrem C.'79

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"- The first suggestion that i like to give Cakewalk of BandLab is to delete the theme editor and create, for this DAW, a resizable vector graphic interface to 40 - 60 - 80 - 100 - 120 - 140 - 160 - 180 - 200 - 220%"

I like this idea and its not really new but its still a good one. 

The others I'm not too sure about. 

One thing that was done to help with simplification was the new GUI that came to be in Sonar X1.  I can't fully understand the multiple mixer point. To me there is only  one.   

 

 

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I also like the idea of your vector graphic sizes.

The mixer views you speak of I believe is the  Skylight interface. Its meant for multi configurations using multiple monitors.

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I know you said you are " . . . not interested in addressing or having feedback . . . ." However, you do not seem to be just writing notes for yourself, you are proclaiming what you think is wrong with Cakewalk in a public forum. 

Perhaps I am the only one customizing Cakewalk's visual elements to accommodate a vision impairment, but for me the Theme Editor is a  blessing. Likewise, I have found the customizing abilities of Lenses very helpful in organizing Cakewalk workspaces--from very easy to see what's there (simple/basic) to cluttered, but I know where everything is (advanced).

I have only recently started using the Theme Editor, but even with lowering my monitor's resolution (i.e., making everything bigger thereby taking up more space), I have found I can change the control bar to make it work for me. See examples below.

For some people, tweaking track icons might be helpful. For others, different customizations might be helpful. For my eyes having the names of tracks based on type (MIDI, Audio, etc.) in different colors is more efficient. 

 

53034793_Cakewalk-VisionExampleNumber1.png.e69f6f7c197573d4f15396ead7dfd909.png

Cakewalk - Vision Example Number 2a.png

Cakewalk - Vision Example Number 3.png

Cakewalk - Vision Example Number 4.png

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I am not sure how to interpret your statement about not being interested in addressing or having feedback. Do you not want to have these issues corrected?

Cakewalk is very deep, and configurable. Some of the things that bother you may be addressed by settings that already exist in the program. Sometimes these settings are hard to find, which is itself an issue, but they are there.

I agree that a scalable interface would be great. My eyesight is not 20-20 and even with eyeglasses I sometimes can't read small text in CbB.

The issue with "multiple mixers" is that you have multiple projects open at one time. There should be no reason to do this unless you are copying clips or tracks between projects. To prevent this happening by accident, open Preferences, go to File/Advanced, and make sure that Allow Only One Open Project at a Time is checked. I ran into this myself and messed up a mix or two before I figured out what was happening. I agree it is confusing as HECK.

I hope you have explored the options for configuring the Control Bar. You can drag the modules into any order you wish and then lock them, delete or add whatever you want, etc. With the latest release there are more options for configuring the Control Bar. The "mountain with a flag" icon signifies snapping to "landmarks" like a zero crossing point, the edge of a clip, a marker. I guess a mountain with a flag on it looked like a "landmark" to whoever designed it.😀

The Time Ruler, I think I know what you mean if what you are having trouble with is the readout box at the top of the Aim Assist Line. I also have trouble with this. The only options are to turn off the Aim Assist Line (Edit/Aim Assist) or to try to adjust the color of it so that it doesn't cover up the color of the Ruler markings (which you can do in Preferences). I have submitted a feature request to allow toggling off the information box at the top of the Aim Assist Line for just the reason you are talking about. There is room for it to be moved out of the way, too, which would help.

Where there are problems with localization strings, I'm sure the developers would like to be informed. If there is a problem, help them out by letting them know. Submit the problem to support staff.

Having said all of this, in cases where a new user has gotten into trouble or is confused, I agree that a program should help keep the novice out of trouble as much as practical. Defaults should be as benign as practical. Documentation should  explain the results and dangers of changing various settings.

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11 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I have submitted a feature request to allow toggling off the information box at the top of the Aim Assist Line

@Starship Krupa  This is a great idea!  Thanks for bringing it up. I vote for an Aim Assist info toggle as well!

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How about removing all registration and the demo mode for cakewalk Sonar,

and instead, whenever Sonar is launched,  present a useful usage tip popup,

along with a link to a quality project (possibly tip related)

that could be imported whenever desired.

New product announcements could also appear at startup etc etc

Also, a menu item for tips, ads, and projects could be added somewhere handy

 

This could help a wide range of users, while not being a major annoyance,

if a mouseclick can dismiss the popup...

Cheers

 

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Unless they turn BandLab into a collaboration platform similar to VST Transit (instead of a really poor man's Avid Link), I'd prefer they decouple it from Cakewalk by BandLab.  Just allow us to log into our BandLab accounts in Preferences, instead.  I don't understand why this bloatware is forced anyone.  It doesn't even allow you to set an installation location, or where it puts its data/folders.  All of the paths are literally hard-coded into the application.  Terrible.  I tried changing them in the registry, and it didn't seem to do anything at all...

(Yes, I know how to use Directory Junctions, but I should not have to. If you're going to bundle this junk, then at least don't disrespect users with it.)

Additionally, some UI elements are not well done, or intuitive at all.  The plug-in strip for clips come to mind.

Application needs a Preference Category where you can set up external editing applications (i.e. Sound Forge Pro as Wave Editor),  with accompanying entry in context menu when right clicking on audio clips (i.e. "Edit in Sound Forge Pro").  Should not have to edit registry to add this, and this has been an issue since ever.  Even if you add it via the Registry, the user experience is still terrible due to the lack of a context menu entry.

Installer doesn't respect Content Directory settings.  It still dumps tons of Samples for Studio Instruments, among other things, on the system drive (or where you installed Cakewalk by BandLab).  1.5GB of wasted storage on system SSD.  Need more granular install options, like skipping Sonitus:FX.  They are bad and show up in other applications that support DX Plug-Ins, but may not give options to blacklist, littering the Plug-In List and Plug-In Search Results there.

Support for decoding ProRes would be nice, for film scoring.

MusicXML Import would be nice.

Edited by SomeGuy

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9 hours ago, Frank Cheney said:

and instead, whenever Sonar is launched,  present a useful usage tip popup,

Seriously?

You want to trade a biannual log in for a pop-up every time you open CbB?

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Not everyone is a  longterm pro Sonar user who might be annoyed by a dismissal mouseclick.

Lots of users are new to Sonar, and presumably, many more are hoped for,

and as a new Sonar user, tips and example projects utilizing them, would be welcome.

Dealing with registrations and coding a demo mode diverts coders from bug fixing

and implementing new features, and diverts users from making music.

Music makers that may use Bandlabs content and services in the future.

Cheers

 

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If one is going to post in a thread one should keep things as much on topic as is possible. If one has other things to fix or add to the program a new thread is the proper way to propose them.  

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Thread title 'Little suggestions for cakewalk'

So I suggested some things. The option to enable/disable popups makes sense,

but my suggestion acknowledges that Sonar was recued by Bandlab,

and that they have a right to link their business and content

to the Sonar daw which they provide without demanding our $$$$$.

Including a variety of informative startuppopups, easily dismissed, in trade for removing

the registration scheme and demo mode, seems a good compromise,

especially for a high quality free product getting significant updates.

Cheers

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On 9/5/2019 at 10:21 PM, Frank Cheney said:

Lots of users are new to Sonar, and presumably, many more are hoped for,

Um, no, there are no  new users to Sonar, and certainly none are hoped for. The product is dead and gone.

On 9/5/2019 at 10:21 PM, Frank Cheney said:

Dealing with registrations and coding a demo mode diverts coders from bug fixing

Just because some users decide to do the computer equivalent of tying their shoelaces together and going out running instead of just following instructions and letting the installer program do its job doesn't mean that the free subscription licensing model is a bad idea. It just means that there's no such thing as "idiot-proof." Also, the fact that someone else decided that he needed to outsmart the installation program and hunt down setup files on one of  his computers and copy them around to his different systems and then run them and thereby hosed everything up instead of simply  getting in touch with support when he had an issue doesn't divert me from making music at all.

19 hours ago, Frank Cheney said:

Sonar was recued by Bandlab,

and that they have a right to link their business and content

to the Sonar daw which they provide without demanding our $$$$$.

Including a variety of informative startuppopups, easily dismissed, in trade for removing

the registration scheme and demo mode

If they wanted to, they could have popups on startup now. There is no "trade" in removing registration and activation because for more than 99 users in 100, the current way of handling it works  smoothly. Infrequently, as with all computer programs, there is a glitch, and as long as the user doesn't make things worse, BandLab's support staff is able to straighten it out. BandLab doesn't make direct money from registration now, all it lets them do is track how many copies are installed and in use.

People that moan about demo mode?? Really? You had to contact support to get your freeware DAW out of "demo mode," and because of that, you want the company who issues it to change the way they do their licensing activation so that you nor anyone else need ever, ever have to re-live the horror of that experience.

My gawd, the inconvenience of it all!

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2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

My gawd, the inconvenience of it all!

You seem to have the same issue as I do sometimes with the feedback section of this forum. you tend to not totally grip a users requests for what we deem to be absurdities.

Im trying to get better at it, so I can absolutely understand where your coming from.

im not knocking you bud, your just like me. I want to like your last comment, I just find its the same thing im trying to improve on xD.

But I guess what we sometimes see (as pro users) is the beginners sometimes see things differently, but I whole heartily believe the beginners can see things we don't. 

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FYI @Starship Krupa I think you are awesome  :) Hope that didn't sound like I was making you out to be unreasonable. Your last comment was the exact same thing I was thinking. I just didn't write it.

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