Slim down the Click Track interface

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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:47 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:With Nyquist, we can't do "bicycle in an aeroplane" - they have to be separate. Nor do I see how we can link from the simple one to the advanced one without using a significant number of words in the interface to do so.

I agree that until there is substantial development of the Audacity/Nyquist GUI, those options are not on the cards.
Similarly I don't anticipate seeing this as a built-in C++ effect any time soon.

I think waxcylinder's post nicely demonstrates a line of progression. Taking it a little further we could view the lineage in this fashion:

Metronome ---> Click Track ----> ???? ----> Drum Machine.

I like koz's suggestion "Rhythm Track", which suggests to me, something between "Click Track" and "Drum Machine". More options and more "advanced" than one would normally expect of a "click track", but not a full featured drum machine.

Metronome ---> Click Track ----> Rhythm Track ----> Drum Machine

There is clearly still a need / demand for a simple effect - something toward the left end of the scale, but with demand for features that would be found at the right end of the scale. If we want to continue adding features, then I think at some stage it becomes inevitable that we have two effects. From what everyone has been saying, I think we've reached that point.

Gale Andrews wrote:If we call the advanced one "Rhythm Track" it sounds a bit like a Drum Machine - but I thought we agreed we don't have a good enough Nyquist interface for that.

Yes it does sound "drum machine like", but not quite a full featured drum machine. If ever we do have a "real" drum machine, I think we should call it "drum machine", but I don't think that the Audacity/Nyquist GUI is up to that job, at least not yet.

Gale Andrews wrote:I would be a bit worried about users of the existing Click Track opening the new Click Track, finding it "denuded", then not exploring to find the bells and whistles version they'll be more familiar with.

I don't think that would be a major problem, given that the Generate menu is quite sparse. However we're running out of time to do anything for 2.1.3, so how about if we leave the slimmed down click track for 2.1.4, and prepare the way now by renaming "Click Track" as "Rhythm Track"? Given the small number of effects in the Generate menu it should be easy enough for everyone to find. To "justify" the name change, we could perhaps make a few minor enhancements to the current effect, such as adding some new sounds.

For the benefit of those that want a slimmed down click track now (and don't want to wait for 2.1.4), we could make such a version available as an optional download. This would have the added benefit that we could spend time refining the new "slimmer" Click Track so that when it is released in 2.1.4 it has been tried, tested and polished.
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:25 pm

steve wrote:I like koz's suggestion "Rhythm Track", which suggests to me, something between "Click Track" and "Drum Machine". More options and more "advanced" than one would normally expect of a "click track", but not a full featured drum machine.

It does kind of suggest that, but is it really going to generate "rhythms"? A rhythm in 4/4 might have a crotchet, two quavers, crotchet and another crotchet. If it only does four crotchets for 4/4 then it is still a "Click Track".

steve wrote:how about if we leave the slimmed down click track for 2.1.4, and prepare the way now by renaming "Click Track" as "Rhythm Track"? Given the small number of effects in the Generate menu it should be easy enough for everyone to find. To "justify" the name change, we could perhaps make a few minor enhancements to the current effect, such as adding some new sounds.

Yes we'd have to add some enhancements to justify that. By new sounds, do you mean sounds that are like certain percussion instruments? I still have the slight misgiving above about "rhythm", which makes me think of a sequencer.

I think we still agree "resonance" in the current Click Track is not effective and could be removed, right?

steve wrote:For the benefit of those that want a slimmed down click track now (and don't want to wait for 2.1.4), we could make such a version available as an optional download. This would have the added benefit that we could spend time refining the new "slimmer" Click Track so that when it is released in 2.1.4 it has been tried, tested and polished.

That sounds fine to me, unless you want to make it a shipped but disabled effect, which would mean it would have to be documented but more people would find it.


Gale
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:55 am

I don't know it's worth a crunch to meet 2.1.4. I think Click Track as is with a simple metronome download is good until the final design.


I might have Click Track actually be a metronome and you only get the fancy options if you select [options]. Then you get the leading beat and have to select where to put it.

Does anybody really object to calling it 3/4 time? Do you have to know musical notation to set this variable?

I'm lost on the original tool last variable. Number of measures?? Does that mean if I use two measures of lead-in instead of one I have to scrap the song and start over? Alternately, since you are also replacing the drummer leading into the song with rim shots, shouldn't the default be 1 or 2.

Tock, tock, tock, tock.
Up the lazy river by the old mill run.
The lazy lazy river in the noonday sun.

That also coincidentally keeps the click track out of the performance should you be using microphones...or even overdubbing.

Koz
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:01 am

Gale Andrews wrote:It does kind of suggest that, but is it really going to generate "rhythms"? A rhythm in 4/4 might have a crotchet, two quavers, crotchet and another crotchet. If it only does four crotchets for 4/4 then it is still a "Click Track".

Certainly we could add more rhythm options in due course, but as doing so now would be the opposite of what koz and others want I think better that we leave that until there is a simple click track.

kozikowski wrote:Does anybody really object to calling it 3/4 time? Do you have to know musical notation to set this variable?

How would we decide which time signatures to include and which to miss out?

kozikowski wrote:I'm lost on the original tool last variable. Number of measures?? Does that mean if I use two measures of lead-in instead of one I have to scrap the song and start over? Alternately, since you are also replacing the drummer leading into the song with rim shots, shouldn't the default be 1 or 2.

I think you misunderstand the intended purpose of a "Click Track". There's some information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_track
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by kozikowski » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:30 am

which time signatures to include

I don't know. I'm modeling Clueless User for whom "Waltz Time" is a thing and 3/4 Time is pushing it. For Beats per Measure, I'd have to call Gregory the Actual Musician to explain it to me.

And anyway, that's in the advanced options at the bottom of the panel. With no options it's just a metronome.

Apparently, mine is a Johann Maelzel. Fancy that.

I understand why Wikipedia didn't think much of the document. No, Click Track was not largely supplanted by SMPTE TimeCode. Here, sync your foxtrot to that:

http://kozco.com/tech/audacity/clips/SM ... oShort.wav

I think I know why there has to be an end setting somewhere. Without it, the logical end would be "when the sun cools off."

But yes, they do describe extensions where musicians put in lead beat emphasis opening up the Pandora's Box of where to put it. And I further recognize the developer's genetic desire to provide unusable User Variables.

Koz
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:04 am

kozikowski wrote:I don't know. I'm modeling Clueless User for whom "Waltz Time" is a thing and 3/4 Time is pushing it. For Beats per Measure, I'd have to call Gregory the Actual Musician to explain it to me.

The basic concept of a "time signature" is pretty straightforward. The top number says how many beats there are in a bar ("measure"), and the bottom number says what kind of beats they are (quaver, crochets minim, etc.).

For the purpose of a click track, the "kind" of beat (quaver, crochets minim, etc.) is irrelevant. The kind of beat not really important unless dealing with written music. So, for a click track, the time signature can be simplified to just say the number of beats in a bar (beats in a measure). Three examples of increasing complexity:

Example 1:

Music notation:
  • crochet = 140 (metronome marking)
  • 4/4 (time signature)
means, 140 beats per minute, 4 beats per bar.


Example 2:

Music notation:
  • minim = 70 (metronome marking)
  • 3/2 (time signature)
means, 70 beats per minute, 3 (minim) beats per bar.


Example 3:

Music notation:
  • dotted crochet = 80 (metronome marking)
  • 6/8 (time signature)
Means, 240 quaver beats per minute, 6 quaver beats per bar, which is equivalent to 80 dotted crochet beats per bar with 2 dotted crochet beats per bar. A musician would often count the beats as "One and a, Two and a, One and a Two and a, ..." and so would probably want a click track with a tempo of 80 bpm and two beats per bar. "One" and "Two" represent the onset of the dotted crochet beats, and is the underlying pulse of the music. The "and a" are sub-divisions of the main pulse of the music, where there are two pulses per bar.
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:26 pm

steve wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:It does kind of suggest that, but is it really going to generate "rhythms"? A rhythm in 4/4 might have a crotchet, two quavers, crotchet and another crotchet. If it only does four crotchets for 4/4 then it is still a "Click Track".

Certainly we could add more rhythm options in due course, but as doing so now would be the opposite of what koz and others want I think better that we leave that until there is a simple click track.

I think it's a naming problem, really. You could argue that rhythm options are better part of a "drum machine" plugin, but putting "rhythm" in the name of the bells and whistles click track half suggests to me that it's something it isn't.

What distinguishes "Rhythm track" from "Click track" is more options e.g. for the first beat and more sounds.


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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:05 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:What distinguishes "Rhythm track" from "Click track" is more options e.g. for the first beat and more sounds.

If we rename "Click Track" as "Rhythm Track" now, then it's just a new name. There is and need be nothing to distinguish the two because there will be just one. It's just a name change so that users may become familiar with the new name of the "feature rich" click/tick/plink generator thing that we currently refer to as "Click Track".
This proposed change is intended to keep you and the users that you represent happy by allowing you and them to become familiar with the new name so as to avoid the possible issue that you described here: viewtopic.php?p=310519#p310519
Gale Andrews wrote:I would be a bit worried about users of the existing Click Track opening the new Click Track, finding it "denuded", then not exploring to find the bells and whistles version they'll be more familiar with.



After 2.1.3 is released, I propose to introduce a new generator with the name "Click Track" which is much like Dominic's (and Koz's and Waxcylinder's and my) idea of a "Click Track" effect. The (by then familiar) "Rhythm Track" effect can then be enhanced in line with the wishes of users that want a more drum-machine-like effect.

As we are running out of time before we hit the 2.1.3 freeze, I shall have to make a decision soon regarding this. I would prefer to go with a solution that we are all reasonably happy with, but given the conflicting interests there will need to be compromise on both sides. I can't change it AND keep it the same, and I'd rather not defer it for another x months/years.
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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:31 pm

As I said, I am already in broad agreement with your plan. Thanks for suggesting it.

If "Rhythm track" will never at some future time let you generate a varying rhythm within the bar, I still argue it is a (slight) misnomer, but no-one seems to have a better idea of a different word than "rhythm" right now. I don't see the name as an obstacle, if it stays as suggested.

I do think it "preferable" the new name should be accompanied by something "new" if possible, and "better" sounds clearly have been requested.

Happy now? :D


Gale

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Re: Slim down the Click Track interface

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:58 am

Gale Andrews wrote:As I said, I am already in broad agreement with your plan. Thanks for suggesting it.

+1 me too

I suggest, Steve, you go for it ...

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