A faster UI for FM editing

Steinberg didn’t lie when they said the FM Zone is developed in collaboration with Yamaha.

The GUI and the workflow feel very much as directly ported from the Montage/MODX touchscreen UI, with separate “Pages” for Level and Freq and each OP modified individually.

It works well on a touchscreen synth UI but on a computer it means a lot of clicking around just to change basic values like Level or Ratio and most importantly, it doesn’t offer a a bird’s eye view to directly compare values (like ratios for example) for multiple OPs.

Most Montage/MODX users are familiar with the John Melas tools, which are computer editors for the contents of the synths. There’s the Performance Editor that let’s you edit Montage/MODX patches and I feel it has a great approach in translating the FM-X engine layout and parameters for efficient editing on a computer screen.

Here’s a screenshot:

The tabs at the bottom let’s one focus on more specific views:

If one presses the Env button, a window will popup with the Envelope editor and a selector for OPs, so you can edit the Envs of all OPs in the same window.

The main point of this type of UI is thatit doesn’t focus on each OP, it shows all of them at once and let’s you edit most of their details on one page.

You can even select multiple OPs in that list and set some param like Level for all those at once.

Of course, in HALion each row would be the colour of the corresponding OP.

It is, IMO, a better and faster approach. Right now, I can make an FM-X patch faster with the Performance Editor than with HALion, strictly because of UI.

You quite easily can throw all that on a Macro page and have list out the OP controls in a list if you wanted. i.e. these are available to place on a Macro Page for each OP:

The multi-selects and envelope controls would take more work - but just as Melas’s tools was a project from the community, HALion is also supports that option too. They are specific interfaces for specific parts of the engine, basically.

Whereas HALion’s core is more modular so you are focusing on individual elements in the building stage. Macro adds the performance/overview layer on top of that.

For some reason though, HALion doesn’t seem to get community additions as you’d expect - The scope is massive really, as you can distribute a lot for even Sonic users who’d get free presets too.

Heck, I may even create something like this myself just as a good excuse to learn macros in HALion better as i’ve been looking for an idea to do something.

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FM Lab is a step in the right direction.
Even if there’s a separate page for each OP, at least there are no separate sub-pages for Level and Pitch.
All relevant parms are on one Page, should be the same for the FM Zone IMO.

I just threw this together in 20 mins, it’s easy to create any interface that you want using the macro designer.

Just used some standard controls from the browser and dragged across the operators:

I’ll get something more substantial and clean up and share it on here if anyone’s interested. …I’m really quite scared about the potential rabbits hole i’m about to fall into though! When you consider what can be done via scripting too… lol