why does NI implement absolute NONE of the requested features in the updates?

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by Frank P., Jun 27, 2019.

  1. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    Have you tried Massive X on it yet? I'm hoping that going forward, most of NI's flagship software gets a scalable UI. Makes such a massive difference to usability and enjoyment. :- )
     
  2. CakeAlexS

    CakeAlexS NI Product Owner

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    Basically NI needs to redo the UI's for all their plugins (scalable with touchscreen support), go VST3 (or even 4!), sprinkle some ARA and optimise performance and go mad on bug fixing everywhere. I don't care about extra frills. That would be enough for me to upgrade Komplete otherwise I'm holding off.
     
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  3. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    Seconding this. UX is key. Display tech has absolutely leapt forward with pixel density.
     
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  4. certifiedbeatz

    certifiedbeatz NI Product Owner

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    Asking for a lot i would rather see the software developed with the basics..
     
  5. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    This arguably is the basics for 2019 considering newly developed plugins have this advantage on NI's existing codebase. UX is very important.
     
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  6. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, looks great! Still learning it, a tad disappointed with lack of visual feedback for some stuff but no other complaints so far.
    I am not expecting the whole software lineup to be Hi-Res but at least Maschine, KK, Kontakt, and anything released from now on (after Massive X since it opened a precedent.)

    I'm considering getting an iPad as a secondary screen with touch, when you say "touch support" what do you mean? Optimized UI/GUI stuff like button sizes and whatnot or does it take some form of more advanced deep level support for touch to work correctly?
     
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  7. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    Back To The Future :D
     
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  8. certifiedbeatz

    certifiedbeatz NI Product Owner

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  9. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    It's a huge job to redo the interface of plugins. You can see Apple has been slowly working their way through the huge library of plugins in Logic. For the really basic ones, they managed to come up with a re-usable kit that made them all look a lot nicer. But anything with custom controls and layout is going to be a tougher job.

    In some cases (especially with a lot of the old Logic plugins) I don't mind if they totally redesign the UI rather than going to the trouble of redrawing the old one at higher resolution. It's not always worth preserving the original design (no offense to eMagic, but graphic design was never their strong suit). But I also think some UIs are classics that just need to be made sharper and scalable.

    I got a little carried away here (like I said, I'm a UI designer/developer…this is what I do), and maybe this should have been a new thread or even a blog post. But anyway, let's look at a few examples in Logic.

    Stereo Delay
    Here's one of the simple plugins that used eMagic's "stock" UI. I think these were probably fairly easy to redesign by just introducing a new UI kit. In this case they also added independent filtering for each side (which can simply both be set the same for legacy patches). I actually kind of liked the mirrored layout where the left and right delays were actually on the left and right edges, and the crossfeed knobs were closer to the center, but it was easy enough to get used to the new layout.
    Fig_4.png
    Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.18.55 .png

    Space Designer
    The new version has a little less "personality", but it's much easier to understand and use, which makes it look a lot less like a toy, and much more like a professional tool. The filter controls are now visible only when Filter Env is selected, which makes it much clearer that the two are related, and the "Filter" isn't a separate function that's always present (I always found that confusing). Despite the redesign, the new version is 100% backwards compatible with old patches. All the existing features are still present.
    the-logic-pros-space-designer-03.png
    Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 10.03.35 .png
    ES2
    This synth is an absolute beast. It sounds amazing, and I think it's extremely underrated…probably because the UI is an unapproachable mess. The filter circle in the middle rotates when you switch between parallel and series, and all 6 of the rotary controls rotate in the opposite direction so they still point "up". It has a triangle mixer and XY pad. The central "display" can show the routing matrix or the very complicated vector interface for automating the XY pad. It has weird split sliders for velocity sensitivity in the attack stage of the envelopes. This is a fantastic synth that is largely undiscovered and ignored because the UI is a dumpster fire.
    Screen Shot 2019-07-03 at 09.37.47 .png
    My points being…
    • UI matters very much. If it's too hard to understand, or too small and hard to interact with, people won't use it.
    • It's an enormous amount of work to redesign the UI for complex plugins, and there's no one right way to do it.
    • In some cases you can just give it a fresh coat of paint, but many older plugins now look extremely dated and ugly (honestly eMagic's UIs were never attractive, even when they were new), and it would be a big mistake to just draw a higher resolution of the old dumpster fire.
    • If you're going to go to the trouble of rebuilding the UI, you generally want to take that opportunity to improve the usability, either with new features (like the VU meter and graph in Logic's compressors), or by reorganizing the controls to make the whole thing easier to understand (like Space Designer).
    • You have to balance this with the fact that people have been using the old version for years, and a totally new UI is not always called for. I think the original Massive UI is still very clean and usable, and I'd even say it's iconic. I don't know whether NI would consider it worth the effort to redraw it exactly the same as before, but if they do update the UI, I hope it doesn't change too much. I just want it to be sharper and scalable.
     

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  10. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    What I'm really hoping is for an update to the NKS standard; as it stands, all of the graphics are pre-rendered PNGs. It would be a real boon to future-proofing it if they supported SVG. It seems silly that devs are forced to release new software in 2019 that has PNG based graphics. I'm all for NKS though, especially if it becomes more open, it has a lot of promise and a surprising amount of high-profile devs supporting it.
     
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  11. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    I wish it had been implemented at the plugin API level (AU & VST) so I don't have to insert a wrapper plugin in every channel, but given the pace of AU/VST development that was never going to happen.

    I do worry about these middleman plugins, and what happens to all my existing projects if there's a bug that breaks all instances of KK, or even worse, NI eventually abandons it. I can't even find out what plugin was loaded inside it, much less which patch was selected or any tweaks I made. A couple years ago I was able to resurrect and finish an old track from 2006 by opening the Logic file in a hex editor and looking for strings to find out what patch was loaded in FM7 (which is long gone and doesn't work anymore) so I could load it in FM8. When I look at a newer project, I can find Komplete Kontrol instances, but their state is represented as a big blob of (possibly base-64?) data. I have no idea what was going on inside them.

    Meanwhile I can still open Reason 1.0 tracks from 2001 and they work perfectly (it even preserves the original mixer EQ behavior with a "legacy" switch on the back). I might have to update the references to samples but that's usually a one-click operation if they're somewhere within the folders I've added to Reason's sidebar.
     
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  12. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    Bringing the whole of KU into anything like 'now' or in some cases even the noughties is one hell of a task and I'm sure it's not going to happen for at least some of it sadly.
     
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  13. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    Yeah…it's probably not worth it in some cases. The other problem NI (and most software companies) has to deal with is the perception that any time they spent updating the UI of existing plugins was at the expense of adding requested improvements to other software (even though this assumption is usually incorrect).
     
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  14. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    Okay, I have some good news. Turns out I was right…the data is base-64, so it's trivial to decode it (there are websites that will do this). I just copied the data, removed linebreaks, and pasted it into that site.

    The plugin name is just "u-he:VST:INSTR:1749636677", but I can also see the patch name "#pgm=ARK Digitizer", which should be enough to figure out which plugin it was (Hive, in this case). I also see "#AM=Hive" and "#Vers=200", but I'm not sure if those are present for all patches. After that there's a ton of sections with key-value pairs that represent the plugin state, such as:

    #cm=Comp
    Amount=51.50
    Attack=8.77
    Release=117.00
    Mix=100.00
    Output=-6.60

    Not that it would be a huge amount of fun to dig through all this, but at least the data is salvageable if it becomes necessary.
     
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  15. m-chop

    m-chop NI Product Owner

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    437
    Image Line FL Studio redid the entire UI making it vector base and scalable
     
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  16. CakeAlexS

    CakeAlexS NI Product Owner

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    People say it's too much work etc.
    Yes it's a lot of work.
    They just need to hire more UX Devs etc, and actually once they've got the widget/controls design sorted they basically can copy/paste/abstract/template the code for other plugins. Again not easy and time consuming, as I doubt all plugins are developed the same, but it's not like moving the Titanic either. It's doable.

    The reality is that they need to update and make their range shiney and marketable again (rather than look like fossils from a decade ago), or die as other third parties are taking over.

    Sticking with the status quo is fine for a while but things will gradually erode. Right now NI is behind. Anybody who doubt this should see the comments on that Komplete YouTube video I posted.
     
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  17. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    You cannot in all seriousness have your slogan being 'The Future Of Sound' and be so massively (geddit) behind not only your promises but what the competition is doing without facing ridicule and quite rightly
     
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  18. Slappz

    Slappz NI Product Owner

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    Does that mean SBDs become illegal and will be punishable by up to $25, 000 (AU) for each incidence, thus you being labeled a pirate?
     
  19. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    ????? What are SBDs??????
     
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  20. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    I imagine adding fully scalable (vector as people call it) capabilities is quite a big task since it involves redesigning and just making a new UI/GUI from scratch but in your professional opinion is adding hi-res support at fixed resolutions, such as 200%, 150%, etc without redesigning that much of an endeavor? For an ignorant like me it kind of sounds like just exporting all the images at different sizes and adding the software support to pick from those.

    FL just released an update, I scrolled endlessly on the YT video trying to find hate comments, I failed, I am jealous.
    It might not be fair to compare but as consumers, it's also natural.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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