[ubuntu-studio-devel] Audio

eylul eylul at ubuntustudio.org
Sun Jan 15 22:37:29 UTC 2017

Ok I think I see better what your objection is. I do fully agree with
keeping the interface as simple as possible.

The main concern i have is that, for the basic user, there is a fine
line between keeping it simple and user getting stuck in presets that
doesn't work for them with no recourse except very advanced solutions
that are not accessible to them. For example the point xruns happen
depends from hardware to hardware (unless I misunderstand). Similarly
the 44.1k vs 48k issue depends on if the user uses more professional
hardware or hobbyist tools to do their work. Then adding cases where
users might have external soundcards (or soundcard like devices) or
those that don't. We simply cannot offer a preset for every possible
case, not without having a giant list, which would be a lot more opaque
and still not cover every case. I mean in an ideal world we would have a
database of devices recognized, and have smart presets that does that,
but we simply do not have resources to do it, not in short term at least.

It is easy for us linux veterans in open source communities to find
writing a startup script from scratch as an easy and straightforward
solution, but believe me that is not the case for a lot of people out
there. :) Allowing the user to tweak the presets with guidance in the UI
is a good solution we can offer. They might not be able to tweak the
settings by themselves and understand but at least when they come to
forums or IRC, there is a place where they can be guided without a lot
of explanation.

What makes it approach useful vs fish and fowl, is in how we execute it.
I do agree that we need to be careful to not overdo with customization
options. I don't think we are there yet with overly complicated. All the
same, I would watch carefully and ask for a lot of feedback from a
variety of users when we put this out in the wild, and what type of
support requests we get, whatever we end up deciding.

I think what you are suggesting is that we are not creating a DAW here
like Cubase or Logic Pro, and I agree, it is not the same approach. I
was curious if there was a commercial software similar to JACK that you
were referring to. The idea here is that jack is part of the audio
setup, rather than something solely used for audio specific software,
which is a different approach.

In terms of Jack MIDI - ALSA MIDI bridges, etc, that is something that
is indispensable for those of us who works regularly with a midi
keyboard regardless of expertise level. It was one of the first things I
had to figure out when creating my own setup. :)

Actually writing this I just realized: The clarification that was
missing until now is that we are not only targeting users who record
audio input in a professional or semi professional studio setup, but
also composers who work with midi (or a mixture of midi and recorded
sound), those who do creative coding with live performances, those who
prepare podcasts. All of which need jack for audio connectivity, but not
necessarily in the same way. :)



On 01/16/2017 12:10 AM, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> On Sun, 15 Jan 2017 22:16:40 +0300, eylul wrote:
>> I'd rather not call inexperienced users, or people who don't have a lot
>> of time to go read "lazy". They are users all the same. Not everybody
>> has to become experts.
> Correct and that's why those users want an easy to use GUI, without
> cryptic options and especially without options that don't make sense at
> all.
>> Anyway the solution for such users is profiles (from your suggestion we
>> will have 2 or 3). Ideally a beginner user will not have to create or
>> modify their setup at all.
>> This next level of complexity is for users who need a little bit more
>> customization due to their specific hardware or simply use cases we
>> haven't thought of, yet doing so without having to go to scripting and
>> still with tools to easily make decision. It is also a good place to
>> start understanding the underlying structure for the user who wants to
>> learn more.
> Wrong! This would be a "neither fish nor fowl" strategy. Provide sane
> defaults without options that actually just cause doubts, by those
> using defaults, because they don't understand the details. The clueless
> user wants the Apple approach, the experienced user wants the Linux
> approach. Both have in common to follow a clear KISS principle. If you
> mix both approaches, the result is crap.
>> In terms of commercial solutions UIs you are referring to, can you
>> clarify which products you are thinking of? or if possible at all
>> screenshots would be helpful. While we don't want to copy verbatim
>> design solutions, it is helpful to know what people switching from
>> industry standard commercial software to ubuntustudio would expect to
>> find.
> In regards to sample rate, latency and parallel accessible audio by all
> desktop apps there is no proprietary concept successful that is similar
> to your concept. They follow a completely different approach. Also
> following a completely different approach is the Linux audio flagship
> app Ardour 5.
> On Linux the GUI of Qjackctl was redesigned, but IMO this is just
> another "neither fish nor fowl" attitude.
> If you take a look at Apple related software, it's similar as
> done by Ardour 5 on Linux. The DAW handles everything. For example,
> Cubasis 2 for iOS allows to connect by Audiobus and directly to the
> audio interface. Ardour 5 for Linux allows to connect by Jack or
> directly by ALSA to the audio interface.
> Ardour 5 does not provide an option to bridge two sound servers, e.g.
> Jack and Pulseaudio. It even doesn't provide a Jack MIDI to ALSA MIDI
> bridge. Both could be useful, but only for a target group, that doesn't
> need this kind of user-friendliness provided by a GUI. For Ardour it
> would be possible to provide both bridges, too. Dunno, perhaps it will
> do some day, OTOH perhaps it will go a completely different way.
> If you do not want the AIO approach, but the Linux approach, then the
> best bet is to do it the Linux way, using scripts, since it's to
> complex to provide a clear GUI outside an audio app, the way you want it
> to do.

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