Here is Roland_SC88.idf and a rant about work flow

MusE is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities, aiming to be a complete multitrack virtual studio for Linux.

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Here is Roland_SC88.idf and a rant about work flow

Postby windowsrefund » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:36 pm

I had to cobble this together and figured I'd make it available. Maybe I'm not the only poor soul still working with this hardware :)

While I'm here, I want to take a moment to make a feature request. I'm running 3.0.2 and am still learning my way around. Things look great and I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy the work flow. However, it's become clear to me that selecting instruments is going to suck. I really try and avoid the mouse (or rodent as I like to call it) at all costs. It's just slow and clunky and after a few hours, it just leads to that cramped feeling etc... it's just not an effective or efficient way to interact with a computer. OK, now that we're clear on that, I see how one can navigate through an instrument map once it's been assigned to a midi track. Click on the menu underneath the assigned instrument and a hierarchical menu pops out. This is (obviously) where people are probably expected to use the rodent but I did notice that the menu can be navigated with the keyboard by using the arrow keys. OK, not bad but here's where it starts to suck: The only way to actually send the corresponding Program Change event to the hardware is to hit the Enter key (or click using the mouse). At that point, the menu goes away. Now imagine you're trying to "browse" for just the right patch. You're forced to begin and endure this process over and over again as long as you feel the need to keep looking. What really would make this less "painful" is if the menu remained available until some action was taken to dismiss it. In other words, a good patch selector should hang out and allow the user to easily navigate through the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of patches related to the instrument. Just highlighting or focusing on the patch should send the PC event to the hardware since many times your right hand is on the keyboard (scrolling) and your other hand is hitting keys on a midi controller. In other words, you're "browsing". That entire work-flow just becomes a chore when you have to start from scratch every time. Are people really working like this when attempting to browse patches or am I missing something? Granted, I know most people are using software synths and I get how that could be a very different work flow based on the plugin. That said, I'm really limiting these comments to navigating instrument maps which are meant for interacting with hardware.

Here's the IDF mentioned in the topic:
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Tim E. Real
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Re: Here is Roland_SC88.idf and a rant about work flow

Postby Tim E. Real » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:35 pm

Hello. Workflow in MusE is rather geared towards making songs, in a traditional sort of piano-roll sequencer way.
Some years ago the Open Octave Midi team incorporated MusE in their app, and their goal was a much grander
workflow geared towards complex orchestration and composing. MusE meanwhile stayed with the more basic goal
of creating and recording audio and midi songs.

About .idf files: There is a README.instruments file which provides some help.
As documentation tends to lag actual features, I recommend looking at some of our more complex .idf files such as
GM2 or XG to get some ideas of what is possible. Ultimately though, MusE's Midi Instrument Editor, which is available
through the main menu, is the FINAL authority on what are the very latest current features. Look there to see what can be done.
Try to use the editor to create .idf files until becoming familiar with the actual underlying XML structure in the .idf files
that the editor produces. The supplied .idf files do actually change form time to time as features are added and bugs fixed.

Now to answer your question: You are in luck. Apologies, this feature is not well documented up-front:
Simply hold the Ctrl key when pressing Enter or clicking the left mouse button. The menu will STAY OPEN.
This allows for much greater ease in 'auditioning' instruments.
In fact, several such important menus, such as the routing or instrument pop-ups, will stay open like this.
You can even make the Ctrl thing permanent so that menus stay open by default:
Go to MusE Settings > Global Settings > Gui Behaviour tab, click the checkbox "Some popup menus stay open (else hold Ctrl)".

Great care was taken when programming the mixer and the mixer strips.
Virtually everything should be accessible and adjustable via keyboard Tab, Space, arrows, and various
combinations of Enter, Ctrl, Shift, Alt Etc.

[EDIT:] If you feel adventurous try compiling the very latest MusE git master.
There are important fixes since the last release. We should put out another release...
In general we're very careful about stuff in the git master, it is usually quite a safe way to go
to get the very latest important fixes before a release. See the ChangeLog.


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Re: Here is Roland_SC88.idf and a rant about work flow

Postby windowsrefund » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:29 pm


Pretty sure you just made my day with that "Ctrl" tip. Yep, you did! Also, I should have mentioned I did compile from git as the latest Ubuntu Studio is lagging with their MusE package. Or maybe I should blame that on KXStudio as I do have their repo(s) enabled........ can't remember. Either way, I'm running the latest. Can't wait to go home tonight and "audition" using this tip.

About the .idf, all good. Not sure if you noticed but I did supply the file in the original post. Feel free to distribute it. Actually, I'll submit a PR :)

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