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Author Topic: [EDITED AFTER MORE USE] Initial Impressions? Analog Lab is better (? NO)  (Read 1809 times)

artao

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The first thing I noticed with Analog Lab 2, immediately upon opening it, is that the interface looks very washed out. Also that the keyboard and controls look horrible compared to Analog Lab. Chintzy. Not much effort put into them. Lazy.
Also, while that whole "studio view" is cool looking for about 30 seconds, it's essentially useless. Nothing more than window dressing (altho the new popups with a little blurb about each instrument is neat for a second. really only read it once tho, and then it's useless)
The info bar on the bottom has to go. Put that stuff back up in the top bar where it belongs. Also, putting the values for parameters in that bottom bar is really lame. Having that info AT the knob you're tweaking is where that info SHOULD be. Put it back where it belongs. (this is true of ALL the updates. that bottom bar crap has to go, and the parameter info should go back by the knobs where it belongs)
Beyond that, getting into the preset browsing ...
The presets definitely load faster than in AL1, which is nice.
The new browsing system is .... okay. I wouldn't really say it's an improvement over Analog Lab, but I wouldn't really say it's worse either. However, I think Analog Lab feels ... "cleaner" interface-wise.
Why do we only have 2 columns of info for presets now? What was wrong with having ALL the columns there? Nothing, that's what. You've taken simplifying too far, perhaps to the point of dumbing it down.
Regarding the Prophet: I see you've removed the ability to browse only Prophet 5 or Prophet VS patches, they're all just lumped under "Prophet". WTF. Why would you think that's a good idea? o.O ... Who makes these decisions there, Mickey Mouse?
Regarding functionality:
No more rating system? Why? I can't even assign favorites now? I see a circle that intuitively makes me think I click it to make it a favorite, but clicking it does nothing.
Where/how to we change LFO Sync, polyphony, key mode, pitchbend range, and seq/arp step size? None of that appears to be there. LAME!! Again, WTF!!
I see you've removed the "Live" section as well. No big deal to me there, but I'm sure some folks liked it and will miss it. Again, why? WTF? It's not like it's too hard to implement.
Making multis. Yeah. It's there, okay, good. But it's MUCH better laid out in Analog Lab than it is in Analog Lab 2. EVERYTHING is right there. No tabbing. It's clear and straightforward in Analog Lab, immediately apparent without reading the manual. In Analog Lab 2 I had to scratch my head for a few minutes to figure it out.
I see you've also removed several of the available effects. Why?

Finally, TINY text in drop down menus. And this applies to all the updates I've seen. You've gone to all this trouble to make re-sizeable interfaces, yet used miniscule text all over the place. WTF!

Sorry guys, but go back to the drawing board. The only actual improvement here is the loading time for presets. :\
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 10:31:12 pm by artao »
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Koshdukai

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Re: Initial Impressions? Meh. Analog Lab is better, mostly.
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 04:41:24 pm »
Agree with the "TINY text in drop down menus." issue on some lower zoom levels.

But I consider this Analog Lab 2 better than its predecessor. Simply the fact that it can act as a unified front-end for all existing presets (factory or new user made ones) is a blessing, not to mention the embedded instrument GUI editing (for those that own it) that avoids an extra window besides AL2 and all the rest of the browsing, searching and zooming improvements.

Personal tastes I guess :)

artao

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Re: Initial Impressions? Meh. Analog Lab is better, mostly.
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 05:05:05 pm »
Agree with the "TINY text in drop down menus." issue on some lower zoom levels.

But I consider this Analog Lab 2 better than its predecessor. Simply the fact that it can act as a unified front-end for all existing presets (factory or new user made ones) is a blessing, not to mention the embedded instrument GUI editing (for those that own it) that avoids an extra window besides AL2 and all the rest of the browsing, searching and zooming improvements.

Personal tastes I guess :)
AH! Yes, that is true; being a unified front-end for all presets. Very useful, and something I was disappointed Analog Lab didn't do.
I was unaware that it has embedded instrument GUI editing, as I have not yet pulled the trigger on updating my V4 instruments. That is indeed cool beans. :)
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artao

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Okay, well .. those initial impressions were upon simply sitting down with Analog Lab 2 and having at it, without any manual reading. I feel that's important, because it shows how intuitive a piece of software is. :)

Now that I've read the manual while sitting here for a couple hours with Analog Lab 2, I've grown to appreciate it a bit more. I was also using it side-by-side with Analog Lab 1 while doing this.
I do very much like the new Multi-mode features: the macro assignments and such-not.
I like that we can add comments, AND add our own tags. I really wanted to be able to add my own tags in Analog Lab 1 (is that what we call it now? o.O)
I'm still not a fan of the new graphics for the keyboard and knobs, but I WILL say that the new knobs make it easier to see exactly where the knob is positioned to. So that's nice. I guess I'm really just not a big fan of this whole "flat interface graphics" thing. (I've demoed Ableton, and I don't like it there either .. tho it is easy to read, I'll grant that)
Overall, it works just fine and I'll likely use it. It's nice to be able to mess with the Synclavier in particular, and just kinda audition the new piano and organs -- tho I'm not particularly interested in having them.

A few observations tho:
I notice that Soft Clip is missing. That's a shame, and I hope you reconsider and put it back. Why was it removed?

I understand about not over-writing factory presets. Totally makes sense. However, it would be nice to add comments and perhaps extra tags to factory presets, without having to save a whole new copy of a preset under a user bank. I'm not sure if or how this could be implemented, but please give it some consideration.

I notice that four effects are missing, in the Multi-mode: Compressor, Limiter, Subgen, and Leslie. Any chance of putting those back please? Again, I don't understand why you'd remove those. Particularly the compressor and limiter.  ???
Also regarding effects: Is there any chance of letting us save presets for them? I know this wasn't in Analog Lab 1, but it sure could be useful.

I notice that you've removed the Chords and Snapshots. I guess removing the Snapshots kinda makes sense, but I really don't understand removing the Chords. Again, please put it back. It's super useful.

Regarding the upper toolbar and saving/loading. Why no icons? Icons are pretty standard interface elements for New, Save, Save As, and Load. That really seems like an odd decision to omit them.

The absence of the synth performance controls: Polyphony, Pitch Bend Range, LFO Sync, Seq/Arp Step Size, and Key Mode. ... HUH???  ???  :o  >:(
Why would you do this? This one TRULY baffles me. WTF. ... Once again, please put those back. Regardless if we actually own the standalone synths or not, those are pretty important performance controls. Removing them makes NO sense, particularly since we already have access to SO MANY of the other controls within each synth, just from Analog Lab 2 without owning the full synth.

Question regarding the Search function: What exactly does it search? Does it search within comments? Names, tags? What does it search?

Question regarding Macro Sub-Controls: The manual says you can assign a -/+ range to a sub-control, but I don't understand how to do that. For intance, making that Sub-Control have a range or -70 to 70.

Thanks much!! :)
I hope all this makes sense.
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jmcecil

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interesting, I see A2 is being a huge step backwards.  They broke compatibility with all of their controllers, ... no snapshots, no multi-mode select etc..
Geez, you listed like 10 things that are horrible omissions.  The browser is now so crippled it might as well just point you to the file system.  The search function is so basic and doesn't search anything useful either.  This is like a pre-alpha prototype thing that needs all the features put back in. 
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artao

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Broke compatibility with their controllers?  ???
My MiniLab works just fine.
Not sure what you mean by "Multi-mode select."
I never used the snapshots feature, but I'm sure some people miss it, such as yourself apparently. :) ... Me? I rue the lack of the chords functions. :(
I don't see the browser as crippled at all. How do you figure? I really like being able to add my own tags, and comments. The "playlists" are nice, but that seems like a weird thing to call that feature; I suppose it's intended to replace the Live mode and Snapshots. Dunno.
But yeah, I'd agree that an update should have ALL the features of the previous versions, plus any bugfixes and refinements needed, in addition to any new features. The feature removal really is disappointing.
Overall tho, I do rather like it tho.  8)
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jmcecil

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Not sure what you mean by "Multi-mode select."
It's a button on the keylabs that now doesn't do anything.  chords being gone is just as bad as snapshots.  I use both. 
Try adding your own tag and then using the browser ...
Close the plugin, reopen and search ... let me know how your tag works out for you.
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craftycurate

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AL2 is a big step forwards for me.

1. The unified Patch database that sits behind all the synths is SO much better than the clunky old system. Before, if you edited an AL1 patch, then the synth e.g. ARP2600 would open up. You had to  save the patch in ARP2600, and then save the AL1 patch separately. If you forgot to save the AL1 patch, it would not connect with the updated ARP2600 patch, which was clunky and awkward. If you created a patch in ARP2600 it would not automatically appear in AL1. The new system is a vast improvement. AL2 and the synths now share a database so everything updates properly. If you open up ARP2600V3 outside AL2 and create or edit a patch, it appears in AL2 because of the unified patch database.

2. Editing the synth patch within the AL2 interface is great too and keeps everything under one roof. There is a small disadvantage to this though if you want AL2 and the synth to be at different zoom levels this isn't possible, and the AL2 window cannot be resized manually to show more of a bigger synth GUI.

There are a few tweaks needed, but a thumbs up from me.

 

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