Hive 2.0

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mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:42 am

I know i can build a controller like the sound-force ones, but they are to basic (not mouse free) for my needs. I've started thinking about MIDI controllers and different concepts years ago and know what is currently possible and what not. I want full control, not half control. That's why i'm asking developers to implement everything.

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
19001 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:47 am

Well, be prepared to wait indefinitely then.

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Urs
u-he
24204 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:24 am

Well, there are some concepts which are simply not transferrable to MIDI Controllers. For instance, how would you edit a waveform? How would you select a target parameter in the ModMatrix when there are hundreds of target parameters but MIDI has only such and such resolution? In other words: Who would build a MIDI Controller with built-in touch screen display and a custom software that includes all options available in the software? And how usable would this be compared to mousing?

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:35 am

Urs wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:24 am
Well, there are some concepts which are simply not transferrable to MIDI Controllers. For instance, how would you edit a waveform? How would you select a target parameter in the ModMatrix when there are hundreds of target parameters but MIDI has only such and such resolution? In other words: Who would build a MIDI Controller with built-in touch screen display and a custom software that includes all options available in the software? And how usable would this be compared to mousing?
I'd leave out some complicated stuff like sequencers and would concentrate on the synth engine and FX modules. For mod matrix i'd have a menu system with displays, button and encoders like it's done on most hardware synths. I've considered touchscreens, but would rather do w/o them. I'd find solutions if there are really too much mod destinations. I don't dream of anything other than what's possible on hardware synths.

Howard
KVRAF
3820 posts since 23 May, 2004 from Bad Vilbel, Germany

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:19 pm

mi-os wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:35 am
For mod matrix i'd have a menu system with displays, button and encoders...
Drag & drop assignment is much more comfortable than scrolling through lists.

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:38 pm

Howard wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:19 pm
mi-os wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:35 am
For mod matrix i'd have a menu system with displays, button and encoders...
Drag & drop assignment is much more comfortable than scrolling through lists.
You're right of course. On a hardware interface some compromises must be made. It's even possible to have something similar to drag & drop using touch sensitve pots and/or encoders if you really want it.

A tactile interface is nevertheless much more joy to use in my opinion.

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Urs
u-he
24204 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:54 pm

Thing is though, most of our customers will not have this tactile interface. We can not sell software with a sticker saying "requires such and such a controller to use". It's a software product, not an add on to some kind of dedicated hardware.

Therefore, we must design the software such that it can be used comfortably with the mouse. And we do. But as a side effect, the mouse based interface poses a drawback for hardware designs.

#--------

You can however integrate a touch screen into your controller and show the GUI of the plug-in. The guy from synth-project.de did that for his Diva controller and so did we in our own prototype. Because our stuff is easily skinnable, it's possible to create a dedicated UI much like that of an Andromeda A6 which will only show auxiliary functions. We even built functionality into our UI system that automatically opens the auxiliary pages based on which knob/button has been touched last. This allows for a far better experience than menu diving paradigms.

Considering that iPads can be used as external monitors from Catalina on, this could become an absolutely viable option for controller designers. I think we can even go further and say, put an iPad next to your Soundforce R1/P5 controller, and run a dedicated version of Repro's interface on it, and you're all set. No more mouse required, all functionality available.

We might even build that ourselves and make it available - once we have the time (not before mid of next year).

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:43 am

Urs wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:54 pm
Thing is though, most of our customers will not have this tactile interface. We can not sell software with a sticker saying "requires such and such a controller to use". It's a software product, not an add on to some kind of dedicated hardware.

Therefore, we must design the software such that it can be used comfortably with the mouse. And we do. But as a side effect, the mouse based interface poses a drawback for hardware designs.

#--------

You can however integrate a touch screen into your controller and show the GUI of the plug-in. The guy from synth-project.de did that for his Diva controller and so did we in our own prototype. Because our stuff is easily skinnable, it's possible to create a dedicated UI much like that of an Andromeda A6 which will only show auxiliary functions. We even built functionality into our UI system that automatically opens the auxiliary pages based on which knob/button has been touched last. This allows for a far better experience than menu diving paradigms.

Considering that iPads can be used as external monitors from Catalina on, this could become an absolutely viable option for controller designers. I think we can even go further and say, put an iPad next to your Soundforce R1/P5 controller, and run a dedicated version of Repro's interface on it, and you're all set. No more mouse required, all functionality available.

We might even build that ourselves and make it available - once we have the time (not before mid of next year).
I had a 10 inch touch screen here some time ago for tests, but didn't thought about a custom skin at that time. I thought the GUI elements were too tiny for comfortable use and too much stuff on screen which was not needed. Additionally the display itself needed too much physical space on the control panel. Besides that the idea of having a separate data/power connection for the monitor didn't appeal to me though, especially in case you want to build more than one controller. I'd prefer a single data connection (most likely USB).

I never realized it's possible to change the GUI that significantly through the skinning system. It's an interesting idea for sure.

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:16 am

I've tried out many different layout ideas, but came back to the same conclusion every time. In the end you want a single interface/protcol to gain the freedom needed for a near perfect design. Otherwise the cost/benefit ratio would be less than ideal and you could end up with something potentially frankensteinish.

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:27 am

I hope you take all of this as a compliment. I mean if it weren't for the quality of your plugins, i wouldn't bother to do any of this.

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Urs
u-he
24204 posts since 8 Aug, 2002 from Berlin

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:37 am

Unfortunately I don't have a photo at hand from our Diva controller prototype. It had a specialized UI that was very easy to use on a small touch screen.

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:45 am

Urs wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:37 am
Unfortunately I don't have a photo at hand from our Diva controller prototype. It had a specialized UI that was very easy to use on a small touch screen.
I've already seen that DIVA controller some time ago if you haven't built a new one. I didn't pay much attention to the content of the screen though.

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Captain
KVRian
508 posts since 29 Nov, 2002 from Finland

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 am

Urs wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:53 am
Imagine there were buttons on a MIDI control surface which control previous/next preset in our plug-ins. That control surface would also be used for a lot of other devices, both real and virtual.

So while the UI is closed, you could browse presets with absolutely no visual feedback. You could record those preset changes in your projects, and when you loop the region, it would switch to the next preset with each iteration. Any of this could easily happen accidentally without the user's notice.

This sounds like an absolute support nightmare. You'd find threads in this forum by people who set up the functionality and then ending up blaming us for badly coded software. And this is not a hypothetical issue. We have been there with MIDI Learn before.

We would have to restrict this to instances which have the UI open. Like NKS Komplete Kontrol software, preset browsing from hardware would be tied to an on-screen experience. I even think it would need to be tied to clicking some kind of "browse mode" to prevent accidents. Just like, at the moment you have to click into our preset browser once to start navigating with cursor keys.
Sorry for bringing another manufacturer / plugin into the discussion, but: Omnisphere allows you to assign a MIDI key or CC to the next/previous preset buttons, and I use this feature all the time when I start a new project and want to easily go through a lot of presets to collect the basic building blocks for the project. Usually I just assign the two lowest keys of my MIDI keyboard to the buttons, which allows me to browse & play using just the keyboard. Very handy!

I never even thought this could lead to any major problems, and at least I haven't seen anyone ever complaining about it... And now when I checked, it keeps working even when I close the plugin window. But what you said makes a lot of sense, it could be active only with the GUI open (or preset browser / some "browse mode" active).

It's up to you of course, but I definitely wouldn't mind having this feature in u-he synths too, especially since my preset collection for u-he synths is pretty large already, and keeps getting bigger. :)

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:53 am

I've a question regarding skinning. Can one build a fullscreen (fe 1920x1080) skin which is touch screen optimized?

mi-os
KVRist
111 posts since 13 Apr, 2017

Re: Hive 2.0

Post Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:06 am

Is it possible to move all controller related stuff in its own thread? We could call it "External Control Surfaces" or something like that.

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