May 29, 2024, 03:54:56 am
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Author Topic: Please give Analog Lab V the ability to choose Instruments/Styles like in Analog  (Read 669 times)

Clay Pruitt

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I don't know who thought that the interface of AL5 was an improvement over AL4, but my opinion is that they're mistaken. Just as one example: in Analog Lab 4, and using Encoder #1 on the lowly MiniLab MkII you can scroll through ALL possible Filter Selections-from Instruments, to Type, to Style. In Style, you can even choose multiple tags (as you should) just with the push of the Encoder Button.

In AL5, you can't even get the cursor to move over from Type to Instrument-much less Style-without the use of the hated Mouse. And what's more, once you've chosen Instruments as a Filter, you might make the natural assumption that Encoder #1 can now move throughout the Instrument Filters enabling you to select whichever ones you like. But, as soon as you turn the Encoder, you will find that in AL5 it has now been hard-wired to only navigate the Type Filter, taking you back to make such choices as Bass, Keys, Lead, etc.

This is an enormous omission of what was an easy and logical convenience found in AL4: the ability to move through ALL filter choices existing from Instrument, all the way to Style, just with the twist of one Encoder. What made anyone at Arturia think that taking that away for the sake of hard-wiring Encoder #1 to work only on Type was a good idea?

The inability of AL5 to navigate Instruments/Styles without a mouse has prompted me to explore whether or not there are keyboard shortcuts to replace the lost functions in Encoder #1. Even though there are some keyboard shortcuts, their weirdness undercuts their usefulness, and, at least for me, underscores my theory that the transition from AL4 to AL5 has been a fraught one, one that was not directed with a well-thought out strategy or direction. Here's the shortcuts I have discovered:

For Instruments:
1. First select Instruments with a Mouse click (yuck!!)
2. From that point, assume that the first Instrument up for selection is ARP 2600. It will not, however, be highlighted yet.
3. So in order to select it, press the Enter key.
4. If you want to go to any other Instrument, then press the Right Arrow key whatever number of times that the instrument of choice is downstream from ARP 2600, and THEN press the Enter key.
5. Your instrument of choice will become highlighted.

So, as a for instance: say you open up AL5, and tap Instrument, and you want to select Mellotron. So you'd immediately tap the Right Arrow 16 times, then press Enter, and you'd find that Mellotron has been highlighted.

So, as if this weren't SuperWonky enough, just listen to the train of events necessary to navigate Styles:

1. Tap on Styles.
2. You will be confronted with 3 Columns: Genres, Styles and Characteristics.
3. The program will have automatically started you in Genres, so looking in the possible selections, let's say that you wanted to choose the genre Ambient, and Ambient is 5 genres downstream from the first Genre (which, in my version of AL5 is Cinematic). So you'd press the Right Arrow 5 times, and then press Enter, and you'd choose (highlight) Ambient.
4. If say you also wanted to find a sound that was reminiscent of Game Audio, then, given that in my version of AL5 Game Audio is another two genres downstream from Ambient, you'd press the Right Arrow button two more times, then press Right Arrow, and Game Audio would also be chosen.
5. And so forth.

The worst part about this already pretty bad situation is that: there's NO WAY to move to the columns for Styles or Characteristics without first choosing the columns with a Mouse.

For me, I just reeeeaaallly don't like using a Mouse to make Music, and I know I'm not alone. There should be a way to accomadate the cohort of Musicians/Producers out there like myself who like the Old School way of producing Music: knob turnin' and fader movin'. It is incredibly satisfying.

AL4 had a solution that was not perfect, but as far as I'm concerned was MUCH better than what presently exists in AL5: turn one Encoder, and the Selection field is guaranteed to move through every  possible filter existing between Instruments, all the way through to the end of Styles. Does that mean a lot of twisting? Sure it does. But even that is better to me than having to mix my mixing workflow with grabbing for the lowly Mouse.

An even better solution, I think, would be if Arturia cleaned up their Keyboard Navigation scheme for AL5. Again, it looks really haphazard and slapdash (sometimes the Enter key is used as a selector, sometimes it presses the Preset button, sometimes it moves the screen from the Category page to the Preset page, etc.) If Arturia simply included another set of Keystroke commands for selecting Types, Instruments and Styles, I'd acually be REALLY happy (throwing Banks and in there (as well as one for selecting the Instrument View, in the Right most pane) would increase my happiness even more.) Because this would mean that I could then simply map these keystrokes to buttons on my MIDI Controller via AutoHotKey, and then I'd have an Analog Lab 5 experience that was pretty much Mouse-free. I think such a benefit should not be overlooked: there are many of us out there that want to control our software as much as possible with our Controllers.

I would hope these asks are rather simple to implement, and doable. I'd highly appreciate it if they were implemented. Thank you much.


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