Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

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Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:37 pm

Prior to writing a proposal for this I would like to resurrect this issue which now is in the lobg grass of the Pending Feature Requests, where it states:
Lock pan and volume sliders in Track Control Panel: I repeatedly bump pan or volume in my efforts to move tracks around and I usually can't figure out what is wrong for a while. Unless there is already a way to lock them, I think that would be a useful feature. Plus 2 votes.

This archived Forum thread was the original: viewtopic.php?f=56&t=81635

Note that altough there are only two additional votes in Pending Feature Requests for this change, these two votes are both coming from Audacity QA folk (me and Steve).

In addition to the original proposal of lockable pan/gain sliders I would also like to add the ability to hide them from the Track Control Panel. I (and I'm sure many others) usually have no need of them at all.

What makes them more dangerous is that moving them has no visible impact on the waveform, it's only when you Play or Export that these slider values are applied.

I'm resurrecting this due to a personal use case: Mrs WC recently complained to me about one side of a Chopin LP from a for LP set was massively distorted. Playing that LP shows no such distortion. Pllaying the WAV files I created for her show that is clips badly having been massively over amplified. I can only assume that close to the end of the transcription process that I accidentally nudged up the gain control and then effected the Export Multiple :( :oops: :evil:

Which means I've got to re-plumb the TT to my PC/Edirol and redo that transcription :roll: :twisted:

WC
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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:43 pm

And in answer to questions raised on the precious thread:

a) I would make the "Hide Pan & Gain Sliders" a global setting
So this would probably live in Preferences

b) I would make "Lock Pan & Gain Sliders" a per track setting (I think anyway ... )
So this would be a menu item in the TCP dropdown menu

WC
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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:52 pm

The Pending Feature Requests has another entry:
Disable Gain and Pan sliders: A way to delete or disable these controls in the preferences. There has been several times when working with several audio files at once these controls get bumped, so my gain is bad or my balance is out. I will backtrack tying to figure out how I "screwed this up" usually think the filter I applied didn't work right or something. I normally NEVER use them when editing. Typically I minimize the tracks I'm not working on to maximize the workspace which will hide a tweaked gain or balance control. (Plus 1 vote)

This archived thread relates to it: viewtopic.php?f=20&t=90870

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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:19 pm

waxcylinder wrote:What makes them more dangerous is that moving them has no visible impact on the waveform, it's only when you Play or Export that these slider values are applied.

Perhaps we could make Pan and Gain visible when not at zero.

pan-and-gain.png
pan-and-gain.png (45.63 KiB) Viewed 133 times
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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:46 pm

Interesting thought - but you are there occupying the real estate that the Trackname occupies if turned on.

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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:49 pm

waxcylinder wrote:Interesting thought - but you are there occupying the realestate that the Trackname occupies if turned on.


The text is clear, I'm not convinced about the visual cues.

But this doesn't address the problem that the two original posters and myself don't need either of the two sliders for our normal workflows - and having them there means they can be accidentally nudged with injurious results

Peter
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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:40 am

waxcylinder wrote:But this doesn't address the problem that the two original posters and my self don't need either of the two sliders for our normal workflows - and having them there means they can be accidentally nudged with injurious results

The pan and gain lines idea is "as well as" rather than "instead of".
I think it would be useful to be able to "freeze" certain parts of a track, which includes "freezing" ("locking") pan and gain slider.
In addition I think it would be useful to be able to lock a track from all changes - this could prevent expensive mistakes when working with lots of tracks.

I have an ulterior motive for the pan and gain lines, which is as a step toward "effect automation". The red "gain line" could take over from "envelopes", where the gain slider moves the overall envelope up / down. Similarly the "pan line" could become an "envelope control" for panning. Additional "control lines" could control effect settings to provide "effect automation" (which is available in most DAW applications). All that aside, having a line suddenly appear across the waveform would alert the user if they intended to keep pan and gain at defaults. When the pan and gain are at default centre position, the "control lines" would not be shown - only if you move a slider left or right would the control line appear above or below the track centre line.
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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by Gale Andrews » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:38 pm

steve wrote:
waxcylinder wrote:What makes them more dangerous is that moving them has no visible impact on the waveform, it's only when you Play or Export that these slider values are applied.

Perhaps we could make Pan and Gain visible when not at zero.

So the red line would move above the zero line and the orange line below the zero line? I think display of those lines and features associated with them would have to be an option or preference. And perhaps then the knobs of Gain and Pan should be coloured red and orange respectively?

Or the knobs could light up when moved away from centre and short term, we don't need those lines?


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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by steve » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:41 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:So the red line would move above the zero line and the orange line below the zero line?

The lines would move above the zero line when the slider is to the right, and below the zero line when the slider is to the left.
In this image (below):
  • The Gain and Pan sliders in the first track are at their centre (zero) position, so their associated "control lines" are automatically hidden.
  • The Gain slider in the second track is half way between centre and maximum, so the associated red "control line" is at +0.5
  • The Pan slider of the third track is 3/4 of the way between centre and far left, so the associated orange "control line" is at -0.75

Image

Gale Andrews wrote: I think display of those lines and features associated with them would have to be an option or preference.

It should be possible to turn the display of individual "control lines" off - in fact that would be almost essential with the addition of other "control lines" for automating effects.
For users that don't use the Pan or Gain sliders, the control lines would be automatically "off" because the lines are always off when at zero.

We don't currently "need" these lines, but as I wrote previously, the unexpected appearance of a line would immediately alert the user if they inadvertently move one of the sliders. The longer term aim of "control lines" is to provide effect automation - for example, the user would be able to add "control points" to the orange line (much like adding control points to an amplitude envelope) to achieve automated left/right panning.
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Re: Locking or hiding Pan&Gain sliders

Permanent link to this post Posted by waxcylinder » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:07 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:Or the knobs could light up when moved away from centre and short term, we don't need those lines?

Ooh, that's an interesting thought ..

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