Improvements to the mixer GUI
S5 - Suggestion
The mixer interface has a substantially different aesthetic than the rest of MuseScore, particularly due to its use of svg files for the icons. I have a couple of suggestions for improvements which would make the mixer not only look better but also be more intuitive to use:
- exchange the solo and mute svg buttons per track for regular QT Push Button, similarly to the ones used to Mute Voices
- it's very difficult to tell whether a voice is muted or not given that pressing a button colours it with the voice colour. A better approach is to make those buttons darker when the voice is muted.
- when an instrument is collapsed into all of its sub-tracks (e.g. arco, pizzicato, and tremolo for violin), the subtracks could use a better visual indication of belonging to an instrument. The audio software REAPER uses a neat visual indication for subtracks: they have a kind of 'indentation', making the size of the tracks a bit smaller (see images below and this will be clearer). This also avoids the unnecessary instrument name on top of these sub tracks
- currently, the Solo, and Mute buttons and the Pan knob are positioned slightly lower for sub-tracks of an instrument. This is because the instrument name on the top forces them to be a bit lower. They would look better if the position did not change.
- finally, there is no need for the centre tick on the panning knob, that adds no useful information.
Below are some before and after images. The after images are mock ups I made to show how the mixer could look after these improvements:
I'm surprised nobody has commented here yet. I indeed find your mockups more pleasing than the current GUI.
A new mixer design is currently being discussed here: https://musescore.org/en/node/289790 Feel free to comment on the proposed design. :-)
In reply to I'm surprised nobody has… by RobFog
@RobFog Thanks! Concerning the new mixer design, some of my proposed changes here would still apply (using QT push buttons instead of those svg files, displaying the voice mute buttons only as either depressed or default grey colour instead of being the same as the voice colour, etc.). I am also not too convinced about the proposed mixer. The main advantage of seeing several faders side by side is that it's intuitive to change panning and volume in a sensible way. For instance, say you have 10 instruments, it's very easy to see if their pan is distributed in the way you wish just by glancing a single screen as opposed to having to memorise 10 pan values since you can't see them side by side. My 2 cents, of course.
It's probably best to comment at the proposal itself. @shoogle, the proposal's author, has been very responsive so I'm sure he will be listen to any feedback you have. :-)
In reply to You're welcome. It's… by RobFog
I will do so.
> Concerning the new mixer design, some of my proposed changes here would still apply (using QT push buttons instead of those svg files, displaying the voice mute buttons only as either depressed or default grey colour instead of being the same as the voice colour, etc.).
My image was simply a mock-up created in GIMP from screenshots of the existing Mixer and the instrument list in the Edit Instruments dialog. The mock-up is only there to show functionality, so I wouldn't use it to draw any conclusions about style. If it happens to include an old style mute button, that's because I needed to show a mute button and the old style is what was available in the screenshot.
Having said that, if I were to implement the new functionality, I might end up keeping the old styles simply because they are there and I don't care enough to change them. I would never have overidden the Qt styles in the first place, but again, that's not because I like the Qt styles; it's simply because I don't care about style as much as I care about functionality.
> The main advantage of seeing several faders side by side is that it's intuitive to change panning and volume in a sensible way.
I've addressed this in a reply to your comment in the other thread. My design actually keeps the side-by-side controls.
I do like your designs though. They look much nicer than the current Mixer, it's just I think that the issues with the current Mixer's design run deeper than just how it looks. I will be more open to changes in style once the usability has been fixed.
also relates to #292477: [EPIC] issue with dark theme