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Navigating Regions and/or Parts with Drum Editor

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:02 pm
by windowsrefund
Before I begin, I should admit I'm confused about the meaning between the words "part" and "region". I'm assuming they mean the same thing; a defined block of time on a track containing notes that can be double clicked on or right clicked on.

I'm not getting something here and figure there must be an easy way. If I want to drill into a region on a drum track, I can double click on it to bring up the editor. At that point, I see the musical data in that region displayed. How can I quickly navigate to the next region without having to close the Drum Editor, go back to Arranger, and double click on the next region? According to Drum Editor's Edit menu, I should be able to use Alt + Right to Select Next Part and Alt + Left to Select Previous Part. These keybindings aren't doing anything. Perhaps I'm also confusing "Select" with what I actually want to do which would be more along the lines of "Jump To"?


Re: Navigating Regions and/or Parts with Drum Editor

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:29 pm
by Tim E. Real
Hi, each of the editors (piano roll, drum, event list etc.) supports opening multiple parts at once.

Simply select multiple parts in the arranger and right-click on any of them and click 'piano roll' or 'drum edit',
or select the appropriate editor from the 'Edit' menu.

Once the editor has opened, all the notes from each of the parts are displayed.

Only one of the parts is said to be 'current'. The others will display grayed notes.
Use Alt + left or right to switch among the parts and bring another part into the foreground.

Notes and controller graphs can be edited this way, from multiple parts.

There is no way to load different parts into the editor once is has opened.
That is something I am considering. There may be caveats...

Re: Navigating Regions and/or Parts with Drum Editor

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:12 pm
by Tim E. Real
One of the problems with the idea of loading arbitrary different parts into an editor after the editor has opened
is how to show the user a list of available parts to select from.

It's a big problem and likely a showstopper for this idea.

For example, suppose in the editors we show a drop-down list of all parts to choose from.
What text shall be displayed in each list item, to identify each part?
It's not as easy as it sounds:
Notice that Arranger parts can all have the same name, position, length, and be on the same track.
In that worst-case scenario, that makes differentiating them textually impossible.

Notice that with the Alt + left/right part selection feature, the text in the editor's title bar changes to show
the current part name, position, and track name the part is from.
But since all of that info can be identical in more than one part, it makes identifying which part
you are working on difficult - the title bar text remains the same in this case for the different parts.

Thus if we provided a drop-down list of parts in each editor, the list might be full of identical text such as
"Part 1, Track 1, Bar 2" even though each one does in fact point to a different part.

One possibility which I just tested to see if we support (we don't), is dragging and dropping parts
from the Arranger into an editor window such as the piano roll.
This would be really the only way to guarantee the user knows exactly which part he wants.
Selecting from some drop-down list seems an impossibility due to these textual part identification issues.

Re: Navigating Regions and/or Parts with Drum Editor

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:48 pm
by windowsrefund
Hi Tim,

Thank you for explaining. I did know about the ability to select multiple parts prior to opening the editor but got stumped with the whole "grey note" thing. Now I understand the connection between them and the ability to "select prior or next part". Cool.

As to the issue of loading arbitrary parts, I'll just offer you my $0.02 from a complete "end user" perspective. Honestly, my brain really doesn't ever think "I want to edit this part". Instead, my brain really thinks more along the line of "I want to edit THESE notes". In other words, selecting the part is more about a means to an end. I really believe the concept of the editor having to be "part-aware" is a downfall and instead, the editor should just access the entire track with the focus (or at the location if you will) that's specified by the end user selecting the part. The whole "part" thing, as it relates to MIDI, really strikes me as as dead weight that is carried over from the audio side of things. In other words, when audio is being recorded, it's perfectly understandable to expect to end up with a "clip" (what we call part). That's really nothing more than a quick and easy way to see where the audio starts and ends; it offers value. MIDI data on the other hand, seems like a different animal to me but probably in a way I'm not explaining very well. This actually comes up when we remember the need to have to draw a part on a MIDI track before we can start recording or entering data via editor. I know we all pretty much tolerate it now but if we stop and think about it, it really doesn't make sense. We should be able to just open an editor against a MIDI track, navigate to wherever we want and start entering data (or record).

So in a nutshell, I just think the whole notion of a "part", when it comes to MIDI, is getting in the way. However, I'm happy to better understand things now thanks to your response. Good stuff.

Re: Navigating Regions and/or Parts with Drum Editor

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:45 pm
by windowsrefund
Also totally worth mentioning is that the editor doesn't automatically shift over when multiple "select next part" are used. In other words, after a few of these, the "active part" is focused outside of what is visible on the screen so I have to go grab the mouse and start messing with a scrollbar in order to find the active part. It's stuff like this that I find so annoying....... like I ask myself, are people actually working like this? They're just wasting all this time fighting with the software in order to manipulate their data?

Another classic example here is the little "piano" icon that is used to isolate single notes (show velocity, etc). There is so much "grunt work" here it's unimaginable that people actually work like this. For example, let's say I've got a little 4 measure drum groove and I'm working on velocities (so important when it comes to drums). Here's a complete breakdown of all the steps needed in order to just comb through 4 little bars..

1. Open the "part" in Drum Editor (this assumes these 4 bars are actually defined in a part which is.... another conversation)

2. Click on the little piano icon (simply just to active a "mode" of sorts)

3. Click on the instrument

4. Work (set velocities, etc)

5. Click on another instrument and work

6. Repeat

This doesn't seem like much when we're talking about this tiny little scope of work but those steps add up to miles of mouse traction (there is no way to assign a key sequence to "click on little piano thing" when you consider all the pointy-clicky stuff that's required just to work. You start trying to do that on an entire track consisting of multiple parts and having to redraw the screen every time another part is selected and it just kinda makes me want to smash my computer.

That little piano thing just needs to die. Honestly, it's so retarded. Yes, I know I'm venting but I want to be very clear on how annoying all this gruntwork is. The correct way to show a specific note's velocities is to draw only that data when the note is selected from the menu on the left. In other words, if I highlight a kick drum (on the left) in Drum Editor, show me only data related to the kick drum. Why else would a person ever highlight it on the left side if not for the purpose of wanting to see exclusive data? So realizing that, that's the opportunity to provide the information and functionality that is currently associated with that little piano widget... That thing just sucks and really needs to done away with.

OK, my rant is done. Need a cig.....

Re: Navigating Regions and/or Parts with Drum Editor

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:05 pm
by windowsrefund
Actually, I found a work-around to all of these issues as it relates to the Drum Editor. As of now, I'm just gluing all of my parts into a single part. That way, I shouldn't have to deal with the navigation issues. That move alone will save me tons of key strokes and mouse usage. Still hating on the piano icon but maybe that will die at some point :)