Old 02-28-2009, 07:11 AM   #1
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Default FR: Advanced track management (incl. mockup images)

...
I love the SWS color management extension,
but this is my ultimate wet dream of color management in reaper.



I want to be able to just ctrl+shift+click or alt+click and have this drop down. And of course you could select multiple tracks and just click any of them to get the menu. I'm not sure if an extension can do this much, but I think it's possible. Otherwise why not just make something like this part of reaper? for making themes it could just utilize the corners and color of the track (like I did in photoshop) so you wouldn't need to theme anything extra. the drop shadow wouldn't have to be there I guess, but I do think it adds a nice touch. I'm a visual person to the point of being disgusting though so I might be way out in outer space compared to what the rest of the reaper community wants. tell me what you think though. I'd like to hear opinions on it.



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Old 02-28-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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I think it's a great and neat idea - would be nice and fast and intuitive. Looks good.

Only caveat is you wouldn't be able to use CTRL+click as that selects/deselects a track but I'm sure some other combo is do-able

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Old 02-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #3
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I think it's a great and neat idea - would be nice and fast and intuitive. Looks good.

Only caveat is you wouldn't be able to use CTRL+click as that selects/deselects a track but I'm sure some other combo is do-able

Ben
hmm... perhaps ctrl+shift+click
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:00 AM   #4
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+1

Maybe a special region on a track?
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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Great idea. If we could have this and a feature to automatically color new tracks, I'd be in heaven.
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Incredible idea! +1, improves workflow and keep us focused
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:51 PM   #7
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+1 but with 24 "swatches"
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:28 PM   #8
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++1 Would be much more efficient than the current way to do this

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Old 02-28-2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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I'm not saying this idea doesn't have its appeal, but I would like to give it a little more thought, for several reasons.

At present, control click on track numbers builds up a selection of tracks. It's not a good paradigm for software design to change an existing implementation without very good reason - it confuses users.

You could of course instead add another icon to the tcp for each track for colour management. The danger there is that there's also a heap of other things you could add icons for - and then you end up with a cluttered and confusing array of icons like you have with Sonar.

Or .. you could do what you can do now ... assign a simple keyboard shortcut to Track: Set track colors ... Select any track, press the key and this pops up:

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Old 02-28-2009, 02:46 PM   #10
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Great idea. If we could have this and a feature to automatically color new tracks, I'd be in heaven.
yeah you could put that in the "preferences" window. also I think it would be cool to color tracks based on what you name them. like if you want all your guitar tracks tracks to be an orange color it could automatically do it when you name a track gtr, guitar, fender, etc. it would have to be in the color perfs window and you would have to populate the text list yourself because we all name things differently. here's another example:





"exact" means it has to be just that word and nothing else. "anywhere" means as long as it's somewhere in the track name it will get colored. I think I'd also put a "random color" button and "first swatch in group" options. also I think it would be set up so you can put [S1] anywhere in the name and it will look at swatch 1 and color the track accordingly. same for swatch two [s2] and so on...

all that remains is preference settings that determine how it colors the tracks. Like when it does a gradient, when it just uses random colors, and when it uses the first color in the pallet.

it would be cool to try and make a system that the user can set up that makes reaper color things appropriate to their work flow.

can anyone think of some ways that you'd want things automatically colored?



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Last edited by pixeltarian; 02-28-2009 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:55 PM   #11
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I'm not saying this idea doesn't have its appeal, but I would like to give it a little more thought, for several reasons.

At present, control click on track numbers builds up a selection of tracks. It's not a good paradigm for software design to change an existing implementation without very good reason - it confuses users.

You could of course instead add another icon to the tcp for each track for colour management. The danger there is that there's also a heap of other things you could add icons for - and then you end up with a cluttered and confusing array of icons like you have with Sonar.

Or .. you could do what you can do now ... assign a simple keyboard shortcut to Track: Set track colors ... Select any track, press the key and this pops up:
Ok folks, I changed it from ctrl+click. it was just representative on button+click. so let's stay away from that criticism ok? we'll find a button that works. I think alt+click isn't mapped to anything anyone uses.

@nickolas:
I think the alt+click to instant swatches would be so much quicker. I know it doesn't seem like it would be, but it would be. if I have a 40 track session one extra step doubles the amount of time it takes to color everything. and besides that auto color based on names would be wonderful especially if you could set it to add an icon as well. Labeling and coloring is that annoying step no one wants to do. I think the faster, easier and prettier it can be the better.

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Old 02-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
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let's stay away from the criticism ok?
Nay, nay, critical comment has a positive part to play in the development and improvement of ideas. Please take it as such!
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:29 PM   #13
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Nay, nay, critical comment has a positive part to play in the development and improvement of ideas. Please take it as such!
ooops! I meant to say "that" - as in the key/click combo to use to get the menu.

criticism is great otherwise. it makes ideas better.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:35 PM   #14
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+1 Automatically colourizing tracks and adding a track symbol with text trigger would be a good feature.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:47 PM   #15
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This is taking on the appearance of something that could be quite powerful ... especially (imo obviously) the idea of being able to link colour to text strings.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:57 PM   #16
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I very much like this idea of bringing these track identifying tools together.

Maybe include renaming options as well?

Maybe also link swatches to whether a track is a folder track or not?

Just thinking aloud.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by nicholas View Post
This is taking on the appearance of something that could be quite powerful ... especially (imo obviously) the idea of being able to link colour to text strings.
Just what I thought... I'm beginning to really like this idea.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:22 PM   #18
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Default button

and we "could" put a button on the track itself...



I didn't color the track to match the palette button, but you get the idea. not the most stunning implimentation of a track color button, but you get the picture. I wonder what white tie would do...

new slogan:WWWTD?
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:29 PM   #19
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At present Alt+right-click on tracks' number does nothing...

hmmm... WWTWD or WWWTWD
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:24 PM   #20
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and we "could" put a button on the track itself...
If it ends up being just the one button, perhaps, but I live with this fear of precedent.

This make me uneasy about adding more buttons to the tcp ... the thin end of the wedge syndrome... there are so many things you could add buttons for (send to/bypass master, grouping/ungrouping, enable/disable free item positioning, allow/prevent media buffering, allow/prevent anticipative processing, etc.) My fear is that you end up like Sonar with a bewildering clutter and so many buttons that you then need another completely separate window to decide which buttons you do and don't want to show/hide on your tracks.

As a rule, the REAPER paradigm is that TCP buttons are for features that you need to be able to change frequently - e.g. toggle mute/solo, add FX - these are things you could be using over and over on the same track. On the other hand, track appearance (colour, icon, etc) tends to be something that usually you need to do only once or maybe a couple of times per track. You certainly don't need to change a track's colour with anything like the same frequency that you may need to toggle mute or solo on and off, or access its FX chain.

I'd say the overall direction this "Advanced Color Management" thing - or, to be more precise, "Track Appearance Management" - is taking is really good, but I'd still suggest that to place this on the right-click menu and make it an assignable action seems more REAPER-like. This keeps things nice and simple ...
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Old 02-28-2009, 11:13 PM   #21
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If it ends up being just the one button, perhaps, but I live with this fear of precedent.

This make me uneasy about adding more buttons to the tcp ... the thin end of the wedge syndrome... there are so many things you could add buttons for (send to/bypass master, grouping/ungrouping, enable/disable free item positioning, allow/prevent media buffering, allow/prevent anticipative processing, etc.) My fear is that you end up like Sonar with a bewildering clutter and so many buttons that you then need another completely separate window to decide which buttons you do and don't want to show/hide on your tracks.

As a rule, the REAPER paradigm is that TCP buttons are for features that you need to be able to change frequently - e.g. toggle mute/solo, add FX - these are things you could be using over and over on the same track. On the other hand, track appearance (colour, icon, etc) tends to be something that usually you need to do only once or maybe a couple of times per track. You certainly don't need to change a track's colour with anything like the same frequency that you may need to toggle mute or solo on and off, or access its FX chain.

I'd say the overall direction this "Advanced Color Management" thing - or, to be more precise, "Track Appearance Management" - is taking is really good, but I'd still suggest that to place this on the right-click menu and make it an assignable action seems more REAPER-like. This keeps things nice and simple ...
well what's wrong with alt+ctrl+click? or some combo of shift, control, and alt + click that is unmapped? my biggest hope for this idea is for it to be a visually pleasing top level menu. I'll do my best when I have time to write about it why I want this. I do think things that aren't directly related to tracking should be as quick and pretty as they can be because it takes a crappy, but necessary activity and makes it more tolerable or (dare I say it) enjoyable. I am and will always be an advocate of aesthetics, and I hope I can eventually convince people that it does improve the user experience (and work speed, when done well) greatly. reaper has taken a huge step to accommodate this with it's theme support, and it's wonderful. nickolas - I wish I could put it into words better and persuade you that a top level menu is something that would improve reaper. I shall think about it more and try to articulate it better when I get some time.

thanks for your criticisms. I have a notebook for this idea now and I will try to refine it and keep posting mock screen shots as the ideas develop. another recent idea is, instead of a button, a thin strip that runs the length of the left side of the track that is colored without overlays that you can click for the palette menu. I know that's still pretty much a button, but it would function as a pure color reference and it would only take up something like 4 pixels on the very edge of the track.

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:23 AM   #22
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well what's wrong with alt+ctrl+click? or some combo of shift, control, and alt + click that is unmapped?
Nothing as far as I can see, not a bad idea! Or double-right click. In fact, why not make them all mappable? I just don't want a clutter of icons!
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:52 AM   #23
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Yes, mappable for sure!

Personally I think I'd like middle-click to do the trick here. That seems to be unmapped.

Excellent idea, and well mocked-up!

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:41 AM   #24
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EnergyXT2 has a single button in the toolbar meaning "color last selected item". It doesn't waste guispace, it is consistent and easy to use. just click on the item you want to color, click on the toolbar icon and the palette does appear.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:17 AM   #25
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Yes, mappable for sure!

Personally I think I'd like middle-click to do the trick here. That seems to be unmapped.

Excellent idea, and well mocked-up!

-Pembo.
thanks a lot man. I had a lot of free time today... heh.
and +1 for middle click. It would be nice to not have to hold down a button...
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:40 AM   #26
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and +1 for middle click. It would be nice to not have to hold down a button...
The only thing with middle click is that it obviously doesn't work for mice without the middle button/scrollwheel. So maybe not for the default.

However, other features (scrub/jog) do use the middle button. So I guess if it's not a feature that is used REALLY often then it might be alright.

I'm looking forward to the day when we can customise mouse stuff like we can keyboard shortcuts.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:06 AM   #27
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The only thing with middle click is that it obviously doesn't work for mice without the middle button/scrollwheel. So maybe not for the default.
If various Ctrl/Shift/Alt Click and or Right Click and or Double-Click actions within the TCP/MCP were made mappable, (plus of course an action to open the Track Appearance window), then surely that would be good enough, no?

Wouldn't need a default setting - let people decide for themselves how they want to use it.
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Old 03-01-2009, 05:50 AM   #28
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EnergyXT2 has a single button in the toolbar meaning "color last selected item". It doesn't waste guispace, it is consistent and easy to use. just click on the item you want to color, click on the toolbar icon and the palette does appear.
Reminds me of how it's done in Logic (at least until 5.51PC, can't comment on the MAC versions).

There was just one non- modal color palette window. You'd make it come up with a key command or via the menue. Then you select any object(s) (which would translate to tracks or items in Reaper), click on a color in the palette and it's colored. Since the palette didn't close, you could just continue coloring until you're done. That was fast, simple, intuitive and didn't eat screen estate or mousebutton actions.

Another thought based on a non-modal color palette:
Seeing that I avoid using the track based rightcklick option for track icons in favor of showing them in the media explorer and dragging the icons onto the tracks, I can imagine drag'n'drop as a convenient way to color multiple tracks, too.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:05 AM   #29
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Let people decide for themselves how they want to use it.
Agreed! Mappable mouse actions are the future.

REAPER's already got the best keyboard action customisation I've ever seen. Doing similar with the mouse is the next logical step.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:25 AM   #30
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Agreed! Mappable mouse actions are the future.

REAPER's already got the best keyboard action customisation I've ever seen. Doing similar with the mouse is the next logical step.


agreed. this would solve the problem of the best way to activate it. it would be kind of nice to have it mapped to something by default, but put it in the right click menu and then have a top level menu mouse shortcut option and we would be golden.

Quote:
there are so many things you could add buttons for (send to/bypass master, grouping/ungrouping, enable/disable free item positioning, allow/prevent media buffering, allow/prevent anticipative processing, etc.)
Nicholas:
I was thinking about what you said about having another button how about adding one extra button onto the track, but you can choose what it does? you could have it as an inactive feature by default. I would even say that it wouldn't be something per track but just one "do what you want it to do" button on every track. I'm not sure if I'm saying that right. you couldn't have it do one thing on track 1 and another thing on track 2 is what I mean. just one function. I think putting a different type of button on different tracks might ultimately get pretty confusing. you mentioned a few things that people might want to see, but you can't add a bunch of buttons, well what about one customizable one that is inactive (and not visible) by default? people could then write extensions that interact with this button, no?
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #31
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I think it's starting to look more like "advanced track management" and not just about colors anymore...

some other refinements I thought of today:

you could drag and drop things in the advanced color management window. this would be great for naming tracks. I could just drag and drop the word "telecaster" onto my guitar track. same with the icons and palettes. you could select the palette you named "guitar" select 4 guitar tracks and it would apply the gradient when you drag and drop the swatch over the highlighted tracks.

also 3 checkboxes on the saved palettes. R, 1 and G. R would be a random color from the palette, 1 would be the first color in the palette, and G would be the gradient you predetermine by selecting two colors from the palette (and it would save the default gradient colors per palette)

I also thought about carrying that over into the icons. you could arrange them in order and when you apply a gradient to multiple tracks it would either set them all as the first icon or use all the icons in the list. so the checkboxes here would be 1st icon, ordered icons, or random icons.

with the new drag and drop text functionality it could afford to have a "do not use text triggers" option. that way if you want to do something different than what you set up, you don't have to wrestle with it.



The newest (and perhaps best?) idea:
besides coloring the track you could put keywords in a bracket that would set up actions. like so:

track name:
guitar [gvb 1]

"guitar" would make the track orange and give it a guitar icon. [gvb 1] would set up an effects bus with your favorite guitar reverb plugin ready to go.

again you could drag and drop these command names. just pop open the advanced track management window and drag over "guitar" and "[gvb 1]" to the track. so you make a few tracks, and drag over all the functions you'd want applied to them.

I like this idea because I could spend all the time in the world making tons of long and ultra helpful custom macros, but I'm not going to remember all the keyboard shortcuts I mapped them to anyway.

if I get some time this week I'll make another mockup. I hope you can use your imagination + the one I made already for now...
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:20 AM   #32
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Default new mockup image

Newest workup:
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:14 PM   #33
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Cool if it doesn't add to clutter.

(Customizable) Swatches are definitely preferable to the full color spectrum window.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:31 AM   #34
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Cool if it doesn't add to clutter.

(Customizable) Swatches are definitely preferable to the full color spectrum window.
Oh I don't think it will be. the point is to rarely open the color management window once it's set up (unless you want to drag and drop, which might be quicker than typing track names in anyway).
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #35
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I'm just curious, why did this get moved to pre-release discussion? isn't it more of a feature request? I doubt there is any chance of this getting put into 3.0 - I mean that would be sweet, but it seems more like a "this would be a nice feature someday" not "hey put this into your current release."

am I wrong? perhaps someone can explain why it got moved. maybe I'm off and it's an ultra appropriate place for it.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:28 PM   #36
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I'm just curious...
perhaps someone can explain why it got moved. maybe I'm off and it's an ultra appropriate place for it.
lots of images of V3 features and UI?
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:55 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by pixeltarian View Post
Newest workup:
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this is a fantastic idea.
I have been using track icons much of late and I'd love to see them displayed like this.

Colors linked to text strings? get outta here! I'd take that to the bank too, especially if we could attach colors and icons....

I could get carried away with this!

.t
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:02 PM   #38
scottdru
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This stuff is really looking very cool!

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Originally Posted by pixeltarian View Post
Oh I don't think it will be. the point is to rarely open the color management window once it's set up (unless you want to drag and drop, which might be quicker than typing track names in anyway).
Wouldn't it be cool if this could all be linked both ways: (a) drag/drop name and colour/icon settings to track, or (b) start typing text in track name box, "anticipative text" pulls up the option or list of options, select, then matching track colour scheme and icon appears.

I suppose it might be best to have an option to also turn off this feature (or parts of the feature, like icons, etc.)

Heh . . . anything that speeds setup at tracking time is ALWAYS a welcome addition!
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:23 PM   #39
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Really good layout and idea. Keep it simple and keep it focused. Notice how the color selection here goes horizontal across the track keeping the focus on the track you're working on.

And the default colors can be named (like the op example) which helps continuity across projects, allowing you to more easily use the same colors for standard parts. After awhile you know that blue is rhythm guitar or whatever and it speeds editing a little.

I wish the track names took the color names when you changed colors though.

http://screencast.com/t/6tCQa2V5g

I don't use the track icons so... it doesn't matter to me one way or another with those.

P.S. Sequel added a nice touch to track icons, they can be tinted to the track color.

http://screencast.com/t/n30ho4JQ4h

Last edited by Lawrence; 03-12-2009 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:28 PM   #40
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+1 to the idea of having colour palettes linked to text strings. That'd be pretty killer.
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