Modernize the user interface

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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daveiv
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by daveiv » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:37 am

I prefer the development efforts should be spent on bug fixing and adding new features.

But good UI/UX means more sales, therefore more money to invest on developing the product.

However, UX part of Mixcraft is already done very well. For me, Mixcraft is significantly easier than the DAW I have used for more than a decade, FL Studio, and the ones I have tried briefly, GarageBand and Reaper.

It's just visual elements that should be updated. Colors and a few icons.

I don't know how the themes are implemented in Mixcraft, but if it's similar to how it's done in popular GUI toolkits like WPF, Qt, JavaFX, etc., it's literally one-day job.

Mixcraft is a hidden gem. Maybe it's time to unhide it. :)

bigaquarium
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by bigaquarium » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:37 am

Afternoon,

Making the interface scalable seems like a reasonable, practical request. Otherwise the appearance seems fine from here.

It’s worth noting that one of the advantages of MC is that it is very backwards compatible with older computer hardware and operating systems; best not to mess with the product positioning too much.

-N

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grumpysnake
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by grumpysnake » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:30 pm

Hi,
+1 Nathan, Totally agree with your post as I myself would much rather save money for more gear than have to splash out on an entire new PC to make Mixcraft run properly again due to the fact that my PC is slightly to old to run a modern UI. Not only that part of the reason I bought Mixcraft in the first place is because of the older more simplistic style of theme, as looking at other DAWs like Logic and ProTools make me less productive in the studio (trust me on this I use them both as often as MX). Just out of curiosity is it even worth implementing a whole new UI if only a few people have high dpi 4K monitors, because it wouldn't make a difference for me as for a few others by the looks of things.
-J
Windows 7 x64, AMD A10-7700K
MX7, MX8, Waves Mercury Bundle, Melodyne Assistant
Behringer X-Touch
Yamaha MOTIF-RACK
M-Audio MTrack Eight
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squeakie
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by squeakie » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:25 pm

I get that some people stick with MC because of older computers, and like the older look of the program. You have to keep in mind that Acoustica needs to not only cater to the needs of their existing fan base, but realistically they also have to stay relevant to attract new buyers as well.

Not sure if Acoustica has the resources for this, but perhaps they could add another edition above Pro. Cater to those who favor the more traditional MC from Pro down, and add a new version, maybe call it MixCraft(?) Producers Edition.

Sqk
Yamaha MOXF6, Roland Juno-Di, Casio MZX-500, Roland RS-70, M-Audio Venom, M-Audio Hammer-88, Casio PX-330, Behringer Studio Monitors, Mixcraft 8 Pro, Fujitsu T901 (i5, 8GB Ram, 64-bit, SSD), Lots of VST’s :-)

bigaquarium
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by bigaquarium » Fri Jan 18, 2019 4:22 pm

Evening,

It’s more than likely that Mixcraft would be more expensive across the board if Acoustica were to develop two parallel products. Note how they have pretty much combined the functionality of their various legacy products into Mixcraft.

Because they are offering essentially one product over several packages the development costs are significantly reduced so they can in turn let us upgrade at insanely low prices. Mixcraft has developed a broad niche that it serves well and at a huge value.

Mixcraft is already about the new buyer because it is affordable to buy and upgrade, and runs on more PC hardware/OS configurations than just about anything else. It is perfect for people who have never used a DAW too.

Besides, if we’re on here making suggestions for Mixcraft then we aren’t new users anymore. :)

-N
Last edited by bigaquarium on Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jlouvar
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by jlouvar » Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:17 pm

FWIW: I'm finely getting a grip on MC8 Pro, so the last thing I want right now is a bunch of changes (a new strange layout that forces me to relearn where everything is again).
- Joe -
MX 9.0 Pro, Build 436, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

sixstorm1
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by sixstorm1 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:15 pm

People here seem to misunderstand me totally. As I said before, I am NOT requesting a layout change, at all. I am asking for a refining of the UI, which is like someone said above practically a one-day job. The goal is to make the interface less clunky and more readable. Also, it will NOT make Mixcraft heavier to run, will NOT require a more powerful GPU, in fact it's quite the opposite. Since my previous examples of iOS and Traktor seemed to confuse everyone here, please instead take a look at screenshots of Studio One and Cubase, two very similar products to Mixcraft with a nice, clean and modern interface. Here is a practical example of what I mean by a flattening of the visual elements:

Image

The clock on the left has too many unnecessary visual effects (rounded border, multi-step vertical gradient, 2 horizontal gradients, text drop shadow, clock-imitating text) and is much more difficult to read than the one on the right (very light vertical gradient, simple text, simple border). I want Mixcraft to get rid of the 2006-era 3D effects which were cool at the time (but are no more) and use a cleaner theme. Also, using the style on the left requires a PNG, which is not scalable. The style on the right can be rendered programatically, so its scalable. But you have to be a software dev to understand this.

Anyway, I'm giving up on this.

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Thomas
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by Thomas » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:42 pm

Well, this has already been logged in the Mixcraft suggestions thread. The one possible benefit of the dumbed down graphics scheme that I see is for the benefit of the scaling issue. And if reskinning is only a one day job as someone mentioned, it should be feasible to have more than one skin available in the future?
-Tom
Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio 64-Bit
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sixstorm1
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by sixstorm1 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:33 pm

Exactly. Well for the theme change, it should be a one-day job. Making the interface scalable is another thing, and won't be a one-day job, since it requires the transitioning from raster PNG files to a programmatically rendered user interface. The time to make the transition to the latter really depends on what technology Mixcraft is using for the user interface, which I don't know. If it's old Win32 API, it's going to be really hard. If it's QT, it will be easier since QT has integrated CSS styling. And yes skins are possible to implement. In fact, skins are very easy to do when using a modern user interface engine, because it's just changing the stylesheet instead of changing all the PNGs.

mick
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by mick » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:05 pm

This theme took me all of 20 minuets, its all in the mixrez file and its just a matter of changing a few RGB numbers. I find the submix tracks are a bit too green so I'll be tweaking that, should only take 3 minuets or so. I also changed the piano roll and find it less confusing and cluttered, took me an hour of experimenting. Some of the text change colour when hovered with the mouse, submix tracks go green (from black) the stark white transport display is mild yellow and I find easier on the eye. Performance panel changed from black on black. It's not going to suit everybody of course.
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mixyguy2
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by mixyguy2 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:58 pm

sixstorm1 wrote:Here is a practical example of what I mean by a flattening of the visual elements:

Image

The clock on the left has too many unnecessary visual effects (rounded border, multi-step vertical gradient, 2 horizontal gradients, text drop shadow, clock-imitating text) and is much more difficult to read than the one on the right (very light vertical gradient, simple text, simple border).
No it's really not. Although in fairness I don't find the one on the right any harder to read either; I could live with either one. Maybe the boring flat version wouldn't be as bad as I assumed. :) But I see no advantage. Not all of us have these 4k monitors, in fact I suspect very few do. It might be a worthwhile consideration if they become commonplace though.
I want Mixcraft to get rid of the 2006-era 3D effects which were cool at the time (but are no more)
I suspect extremely few people care about what is "cool" looking in a DAW (if such a thing is even possible). Basically I think that this should be at the bottom of the pile, at best. But to each their own.

sixstorm1
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by sixstorm1 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:03 am

I've switched to Studio One. I do not care about what happens to the UI of Mixcraft from now on. The interface is an important aspect I look at when choosing a software, and Mixcraft looks to me like it's still 2006. People in this thread do not seem to agree or understand why, but it's fine if you're happy with it. Mixcraft was the only remaining app on my PC that did not properly support DPI scaling (4K monitors support) and looking at a blurry app all day long is painful. So let's end the debacle here, you will not hear from me anymore on this thread.

skarabee
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by skarabee » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:23 am

rescalable flat design?
this is sooo 2018 ...

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by Mark Bliss » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:00 pm

I see no need to taunt the OP. The suggestion isn't bad, and unlike the many previous suggestions about "updating" the UI, the case made in this instance is well placed and intended.
Scalability may only benefit a very small minority of users at this point in time, but going forward it may become an important and attractive feature. The OP is clearly knowledgeable about graphic design and has good reason to use high def video monitoring. I suspect that currently, this would only matter to a very small percentage of users.
My own opinion, for what little its worth, is that a higher priority currently needs to be placed on functions and features that would make Mixcraft a better and more flexible tool for mixing and composition. There are several areas, also thoroughly discussed, (mostly in the features suggestion thread) that are really important for the software to become (or remain) competitive against an ever improving market, thus effecting a larger and broader user base, present and future.
If MX 9 were to have some of those improvements and additions, AND become scalable, that would probably be a great direction I reckon.
Stay in tune, Mark

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TonyRapa
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Re: Modernize the user interface

Post by TonyRapa » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:07 am

I'm new to MixCraft, and I'm really loving it! But I'll be honest, I almost didn't buy it. Why? Because it doesn't look great. Now, I know I shouldn't be all style over content, but let's be honest: looks matter. Obviously, I did get over it and bought MixCraft 8. That said, each time I fire it up I do sink a little. I now know that MC 8 is a good product, but you can imagine how many people may be being put off from buying it because they think it looks cheap so it must be crap.

Please, please, please, in the interests of all current users and future users alike: please modernize the GUI...

Thanks :D

PS - some of the things I'd like to see updated GUI wise:

-more colours for the tracks (I mean way more).
-better iconography.
-stop using gradients everywhere!
-the piano roll (midi editor) needs a lot of love and attention.
-pan needs to be a knob not a slider, which will mean there's more room.
-mute and solo buttons: just use M and S and voila, smaller buttons means more room.
-make the transport bar slicker and smaller.
-no need for bold fonts everywhere.

There is other stuff, but I think the above is enough to be getting on with. Obviously, I could say why not take a look at xxx DAW, but that's not fair. MC is its own entity and should evolve as per users' demands/suggestions.

Otherwise, I'm loving MC 8.... can't wait to see what MC 9 will look like. :D

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