Set of basic effects

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waxcylinder
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by waxcylinder » Mon May 18, 2015 4:03 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:I think it is a principle - naive users should not by default have to go through a very confusing dialogue to enable effects that we ship in the first place. How many posts do you imagine we are going to see:
LOTS and I'm not looking forward to that :roll: :o :(

I'm minded to think that rather than have a Register Effects we should ship the lot and have an Unregister Effects so the users can knock off the ones they don't want (they can always add them back later if they find they need them). 8-)

I thought from discussions we had with James back at AU14 that we'd be getting a proper Effects Manager - this Register Effects seesm to me to be a half-baked approach that's been foisted on us. It will make the documentation of the effects more complex too, if it stays in (and since it's James' baby I'm pretty sure it will) we will need to consider carefully how we approach that.

It means we now have two half-baked approaches to effects management, independent of and orthogonal too each other, at the same time: Effects sorting/grouping and this new effects registration - it's getting a bit like Topsy who "just growed up" methinks.

Peter
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Robert J. H.
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by Robert J. H. » Mon May 18, 2015 6:58 pm

In principle, I share Gale' and Peter's opinion.

Those that I would hide were all spectral effects because they take away three "Valuable" places starting with "s".
The main reason is that they do not fit in the concept and are 90 % of the time not useable.
Furthermore, they could be simplified by e.g. pressing ctrl-l = silencing the selected spectrum and not the whole audio, same with amplify.
They should at least be hidden if no spectral view and selection is present, making them dynamically appearing like menu items in e.g. MS Word 2013.

On the other hand, the download of plug-ins provided by Audacity (mainly Nyquist) should be made easier and full automatically.
For instance:
A "Get more from the Web..." button in the More menu item.
A secondary dialog would allow to choose an effect from the list (as presented on the download page), read its description beneath it and then to click "Download and Install". Additional resources could be given as well as ordinary links).
Thus, the shipped (Nyquist) effects could be reduced further.

Of course, we could as well include all effects on the web and hide them under More--Nyquist effects are so tiny that you can easily pack 200 into one megabyte and ship them.

Removing should be quite as easy, context/right click on an effect in the menus themselves and choosing "Disable".
In any case, a virgin instalment of Audacity should keep its grown up appearance as an Audio editor with a variety of plug-ins for the take off.
Bye the way, other programs put a primary decision for "Extras" right into the installation manager.

I don't see the need for removing an arbitrary number of shipped effects at the current time; not until the final concepts manifest themselves.

Robert

Gale Andrews
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue May 19, 2015 12:00 pm

waxcylinder wrote:I'm minded to think that rather than have a Register Effects we should ship the lot and have an Unregister Effects so the users can knock off the ones they don't want (they can always add them back later if they find they need them). 8-)
Users will still need to register non-shipped plugins.

Register Effects can, if the user can figure it out, unregister all the shipped effects (except confusingly, Contrast and Plot Spectrum which the user is forced to have).


Gale
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue May 19, 2015 12:38 pm

Robert J. H. wrote:Those that I would hide were all spectral effects because they take away three "Valuable" places starting with "s".
The main reason is that they do not fit in the concept and are 90 % of the time not useable.
Furthermore, they could be simplified by e.g. pressing ctrl-l = silencing the selected spectrum and not the whole audio, same with amplify.
They should at least be hidden if no spectral view and selection is present, making them dynamically appearing like menu items in e.g. MS Word 2013.
On the other hand, enabling them when there is no spectral selection does enable the feature to be discovered.
Robert J. H. wrote:On the other hand, the download of plug-ins provided by Audacity (mainly Nyquist) should be made easier and full automatically.
For instance:
A "Get more from the Web..." button in the More menu item.
A secondary dialog would allow to choose an effect from the list (as presented on the download page), read its description beneath it and then to click "Download and Install".
That's quite advanced and may have security issues, but certainly pressing a menu item or button could access http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Downl ... t_Plug-ins.
Robert J. H. wrote:Bye the way, other programs put a primary decision for "Extras" right into the installation manager.
True but that could never replace the need for "Register Effects" because some users download ZIP versions of Audacity.
Robert J. H. wrote:I don't see the need for removing an arbitrary number of shipped effects at the current time; not until the final concepts manifest themselves.
+1


Gale
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue May 19, 2015 1:58 pm

steve wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:IMO there is no need to do make choices at all with the number we currently ship
But THAT is a choice the we make.

You appear to be concerned that we should not decide on the user's behalf which effects to include by default in the menus, but seem quite happy to decide which effects to ship and which not to ship. Can you not see the contradiction?
Because we must decide which effects to ship and not ship. Naive users do not need to be concerned about that decision.

We do not need to decide which effects to hide and not hide, because all effects that we ship are listed in the Manual and I believe users have the right not to have to go through a complex dialogue to ensure all listed effects are available to them.

Users with no system plugins having to click OK to register hard limiter and SC4 was a small problem that could not be avoided given that dialogue listed all DLL or SO files. The current Register Effects dialogue is far more complex and intimidating than that.

It would be OK if users could click More... to show the hidden effects in a cascade, or if an additional menu item said "Register All" and did it without user interaction. That item could have a dialogue that confirmed success and a button to open Register Effects if the user wanted.

But my point remains, I don't think we have so many shipped effects right now that we need to hide any of them. If we do need to hide them, there are far more user-friendly ways to enable or see them than what we have now.
steve wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:. How many plugins are waiting in the wings that we would all agree should be shipped
But that is the point that you are arguing against.
On the one hand you are saying that we should only ship effects that we "all agree should be shipped", and on the other hand you say that we should not make choices for the user.
Please see above.
steve wrote:I'm suggesting that we give users MORE choice, but this appears to be a discussion that you are intent on stifling.
Putting users through hoops to completely install the shipped effects is not a good choice in my opinion.

I would like to see more shipped effects. I do not like long menus (Edit menu comes to mind). I want the ability to shorten a long list of enabled effects, and to categorize/group and favouritize them. More... does not do that. More... does not have download links to plugins, as Robert said. What it does do is hide some of the shipped effects behind a complex dialogue which disadvantages the many who never install plugins.
steve wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:I have already proposed a viable full-featured alternative. James's menu-munger or something like it.
Great, terrific, but that is NOT a viable alternative because it has not been written yet.
As I said, advanced users can shorten the effect menus now with some not-very-customisable choices in Effects Preferences.

Otherwise we can wait, or we can make a more user-friendly way to shorten the list without having to reinstall shipped effects that were already installed. I could make more suggestions how to do that (I made several already) but it is probably too late now. At least Peter and I have been warning about the problems with More... for several weeks now.

If the objective is to have the Effect Menu in newly installed Audacity not scroll nor cascade, then by definition we'll be hiding effects that many people will want, given the size of our user base.
steve wrote:Of all the GPL plug-ins that are compatible with Audacity, which effects do you think we should ship, and which effects should we not ship?
Which, for example, should we ship of these:
http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyqui ... t_Plug-ins
https://github.com/swh/ladspa
http://calf.sourceforge.net/
http://mda.smartelectronix.com/
http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Inde ... rs#effects
We do not have time to make far-reching decisions like that for 2.1.1, IMHO.

I strongly agree the currently shipped effects are sub-optimal. There could arguably be more effects. There could arguably be some that should be replaced (like the Hard Limiter being replaced with your Limiter, and Leveller being replaced with a simpler compressor/expander and a distortion effect).

I have some idea which effects will cause the most issue if we choose to hide them, but any hidden ones will cause issues. There is no compelling need to cause such issues, IMHO.

And... do you agree that More... should be at the top and should be called "Manage..." or "Add/Remove..." or similar? Imagine any user coming from 2.1.0, whether they installed extra plugins or not. Click on the Effect Menu. Do you see More...? Look in Effects Preferences. The options to rescan for plugins and check for new plugins have gone. Do you see the problem?


Gale
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steve
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by steve » Tue May 19, 2015 11:10 pm

Gale Andrews wrote:I don't think we have so many shipped effects right now that we need to hide any of them.
I think that we were a bit at cross-purposes, but if I now understand you correctly I can appreciate your point.

In terms of the question that I posed at the start of this topic, "your list" is this one: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Inde ... rs#effects , that is, for 2.1.1, ALL of the shipped effects are essential for inclusion in Audacity by default.

You also have many misgivings about the current implementation for effects implementation. I agree with several of those points, though I think that is a discussion best conducted elsewhere - certainly not within the intended scope of this forum topic.

I was however hoping that we could extend the question, not in scope, but in time-frame.

For 2.1.1, I agree that it is perfectly feasible to install ALL shipped plugins by default. Given the current state of documentation, and of the plug-in registering mechanism, I am inclined to agree. The decision of which to be installed by default in 2.1.1 needs to be finalised soon, so best that we can speak with one voice and give the QA view on that clearly.

Moving beyond the current time-frame, I think that Robert made a good point that we could feasibly include all known Nyquist plug-in in the standard shipped version. Doing so would probably add less than 0.5 MB to the download. Personally I don't think that we should blindly add all and everything, though it would certainly be feasible to do so.
Gale Andrews wrote:I strongly agree the currently shipped effects are sub-optimal.
That is really what I was hoping to discuss in this topic.
Gale Andrews wrote:There could arguably be some that should be replaced (like the Hard Limiter being replaced with your Limiter, and Leveller being replaced with a simpler compressor/expander and a distortion effect).
Regarding "Hard Limiter" and the Nyquist Limiter - any reason why we can't do that now in time for 2.1.1?
The Nyquist Limiter has had several years of testing in the wild, and I updated it a few days ago with the current release format headers (the version in this post: http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic ... 24#p275924), and we already have basic documentation on the wiki. In my opinion this is ready to go, but given the imminent "feature freeze" we will need to move on this quickly.
Gale Andrews wrote:Click on the Effect Menu. Do you see More...?
With the current default settings, yes I see "More" at the bottom of the list.

If I install of the shipped plug-ins, then yes I can still see "More.." at the bottom. Nyquist plug-ins have always required scrolling down the list, and if I scroll down the list looking for a Nyquist plug-in then I can't help but notice that it says "More..." at the bottom.
EffectMenu.png
Effect menu 2.1.1 with additional plug-ins installed and all shipped effects
EffectMenu.png (196.36 KiB) Viewed 378 times
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by Gale Andrews » Wed May 20, 2015 2:27 pm

steve wrote:In terms of the question that I posed at the start of this topic, "your list" is this one: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Inde ... rs#effects , that is, for 2.1.1, ALL of the shipped effects are essential for inclusion in Audacity by default.
IMO, essential not to hide them so that they have to be specially installed.

I would regard most of the shipped plugins as core effects (meaning don't make the user reinstall them), except the Spectral ones (but that is a "flagship feature").

I'd think most of the built-in ones are core. If I had to hide built-in effects I would only hide Paulstretch and Classic Filters (AutoDuck is mentioned in http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tu ... music.html and we have increasing numbers of podcasters).

So on that defintion of "core", the Effect menu would have to scroll and we may as well list all shipped effects as hide a few.
steve wrote:I was however hoping that we could extend the question, not in scope, but in time-frame.
OK, but personally I would like to have that larger discussion early in 2.1.2-alpha rather than now.

But Robert's vocal remover/isolator versus the current vocal remover and your limiter versus Hard Limiter seem to be good discussions to have now.
steve wrote:For 2.1.1, I agree that it is perfectly feasible to install ALL shipped plugins by default. Given the current state of documentation, and of the plug-in registering mechanism, I am inclined to agree. The decision of which to be installed by default in 2.1.1 needs to be finalised soon, so best that we can speak with one voice and give the QA view on that clearly.
OK, thanks for that. I can lobby James on that.
steve wrote:Moving beyond the current time-frame, I think that Robert made a good point that we could feasibly include all known Nyquist plug-in in the standard shipped version. Doing so would probably add less than 0.5 MB to the download. Personally I don't think that we should blindly add all and everything, though it would certainly be feasible to do so.
There are pros and cons. A big con for now is that we don't have a good enough system to manage many dozens of enabled items in Effect Menu. And even when we had that system, not every user would want more than a handful of the extra Nyquist plugins.

I think the main problem is there is no button in Audacity to link to http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Downl ... t_Plug-ins. A user thinking of plugins would probably automatically think of VST's on Windows/Mac or LADSPA/LV2 on Linux, and not consider Nyquist at all unless they read the Manual.

Probably we should automate pulling all the plugins listed on http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Downl ... t_Plug-ins into a single ZIP file. We'd have to do that anyway if we were to ship all of them with Audacity, though I'm not convinced we should ship all of them.
steve wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:There could arguably be some that should be replaced (like the Hard Limiter being replaced with your Limiter, and Leveller being replaced with a simpler compressor/expander and a distortion effect).
Regarding "Hard Limiter" and the Nyquist Limiter - any reason why we can't do that now in time for 2.1.1?
None, in my view - see above. I'll back having your "non-wave-shaping" limiter to replace Hard Limiter even though I use Hard Limiter occasionally (to remove loud vinyl raspberry noises).
steve wrote:
Gale Andrews wrote:Click on the Effect Menu. Do you see More...?
With the current default settings, yes I see "More" at the bottom of the list.

If I install of the shipped plug-ins, then yes I can still see "More.." at the bottom. Nyquist plug-ins have always required scrolling down the list, and if I scroll down the list looking for a Nyquist plug-in then I can't help but notice that it says "More..." at the bottom.
OK but on Windows and Mac the plugins are not grouped into batches of 15, which thereby enables you to see More... .

Here is what I see after deleting all the .cfg files, launching 2.1.0, installing "SC4" and "Hard Limiter" but no VST or other types of plugin, then launching 2.1.1:
2.1.1_Effect_Menu_after_default_install_2.1.0.png
2.1.1_Effect_Menu_after_default_install_2.1.0.png (37.76 KiB) Viewed 354 times
I can't see "More... ". Moreover - I think this has changed recently - I've lost AutoDuck, Leveller, Paulstretch and Sliding Time Scale without any obvious explanation why unless I actually think to try scrolling the menu.

Before, only users of 2.0.6 or earlier would have lost those shipped plugins, unless I was not testing correctly.

I really don't find this acceptable. Even if one were to agree that users should have to reinstall shipped effects on upgrade, surely you've got to be able to see "More..." or whatever we call it without taking any extra action to see it.


Gale
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waxcylinder
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by waxcylinder » Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:18 pm

Can this be archived?

We have what we have in 2.1.1/2.1.2 - is anyone still arguing to change that along these lines.

I think it's fine to have them all enabled except Classic Filters - and I'm happy to disable the ones I don't usually need in order to get a shorter effects menu.

Peter.
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Gale Andrews
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Re: Set of basic effects

Post by Gale Andrews » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:02 pm

waxcylinder wrote:Can this be archived?

We have what we have in 2.1.1/2.1.2 - is anyone still arguing to change that along these lines.

I think it's fine to have them all enabled except Classic Filters - and I'm happy to disable the ones I don't usually need in order to get a shorter effects menu.
I've archived it. My position is as before - significant improvements are needed to the Manage dialogue before we should go disabling large numbers of shipped effects http://bugzilla.audacityteam.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1018.

Gale
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