Flipped to the Play view and started messing around with the sequencer to edit midi information (note length, expression, and volume) to improve the mockup performance. It feels like it’s a decent start however there are a number of interaction design choices that I find confusing coupled with some bugs making the experience less than ideal. I’ll start with the bugs and then move into the usability issues.
EDIT: Sadly had a very nice post put together and ran into this
3. Scroll wheel scroll value lacks precision of trackpad scrolling
Vertically scrolling the sequencer feels funky and I can never get it in a good position. When I use a trackpad, I can get super precise with exactly how I want to position things.
Here’s a lil comparison
Hmm its a little hard to tell in the gif… anywho please try this comparison for yourself and its obvious which one you would want to use!
4. You can’t edit midi notes length/position and expression/cc data at the same time.
What is going on here?? The expression editing area jumps up in height now making my midi notes impossible to see (the scrolling issues above don’t make this usability problem any easier). Moreover, I can’t quickly move back and forth between these views. It would be great if I could edit these at the same time. Also, don’t have the bottom expression edit area jump up in size. Let me manually control the sizing of this split point.
5. Combine rectangle selection and single selection tool together
Currently, there are three tools: Single selection, box selection, and edit/pencil
In single selection mode you can click on notes and you can click and drag outside of those notes to pan around. In box selection mode when you click and drag it starts drawing a marquee and you can quickly select notes this way.
I find it confusing in the single selection mode that you can both select and pan around the sequencer. There should be three tools with specific function: Selection, Hand, and Edit/Pencil
Selection tool combines the existing single select and the marquee selection. You can click on individual notes or click and drag to select many.
Hand tool is more of a fallback for those that don’t want to scroll to pan.
Edit/Pencil Remains as is.
6. Editing Expression automation curves is really funky
So I like the distinction between the “default” curves produced by the notated score (light gray) and my custom automation points (blue lines with blue dots). Editing currently has some strange destructive behavior.
Let’s say I want two automation curves: one that goes up and then it goes back down.
This behavior just requires wayyy too much precision. There needs to be a better way to handle when a user inputs overlapping curves that isn’t completely destructive and wastes time.
In conclusion, I feel like this part of the app just needs some more love. More specifically, I HIGHLY recommend borrowing a couple hours time of some media composers and ask them to do a quick orchestral mockup. You’ll feel the pain right away. <3
You can see a couple interesting points made in this video too:
You can see that they also struggle with the automation curves and constantly have to redraw things.
Another good point is that you can’t copy/paste automation lines from different instruments
Critically, with the 4.0 update you can no longer see automation lines from multiple instruments at once. This would make copy/pasting automation lines much easier. Often you aren’t working just on one automation for one instrument but rather a set of instruments playing a similar passage.
Thanks for your feedback, Kevin. It will not surprise you to learn that we’re very familiar with almost all of the issues you describe here, and I would recommend taking a moment to search for existing threads on these topics, as it might have saved you a bit of time. But we certainly appreciate our users taking the time to articulate the things that don’t work as well for them as they would like.
We continue to spend a lot of time and effort on the Key Editor, so please stay tuned for future updates.