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View Full Version : PT 5 new features & Pro Control??


11-25-1999, 05:19 AM
Copy from Tips section, no responce there from digi, trying here now......

Author Topic: Will 5.0 inlcude a new ProControl profile?
John McDaniel
posted 11-18-99 07:16 PM

At AES, the new features of PT 5.0 were not implemented on the ProControl and there was little that was encouraging from the
likes
of Wendy Abowd and Mike Rockwell, et al on the prospect a new profile making it into the inital release of 5.0. Any news about this
from the Digi reps here on the DUC?

thanks, jrm
Julian Standen
posted 11-18-99 08:36 PM

Yes, I too heard disturbing reports of 'half baked'or non Pro Control operation of PT 5 at the NYC AES as well as shoulder shrugging
as to the future operation of PT 5 on a Pro Control surface from the reps there. (In particular, about how the new key presses were to
be implemented).
Perhaps AES was 'too early' or 'everyone was busy getting 5 out', perhaps the reports were false, whatever. Time marches on.
Can digi now throw some light on this important issue for Pro Control owners please?

How will the new key presses and other new options be incorperated?

TIA

Owner

Julian Standen

[This message has been edited by Julian Standen (edited 11-30-99).]

AvidCS
11-30-1999, 04:32 PM
Hi Folks,

We'd like to respond to some of your inquiries regarding ProControl and Pro Tools v5.0 support/features. Firstoff, we want to let you know that we're certainly not ignoring your comments about ProControl on the DUC (or any user feedback on ProControl). Your input is *very* valuable to us. It's just that we've had some recent personnel changeovers, and didn't have the bandwidth to answer these questions in as timely a manner as we'd like... Keep in mind that this hasn't affected whether or not we develop features for ProControl, just the bandwidth to answer your questions. So, please bear with us, and we'll try to get you info more quickly! Now on to your comments...

As was mentioned in this thread by Matthew Saccucci Morano, ProControl is completely compatible with the Pro Tools 5.0 release and the system works great. In fact, ProControl is now also supported on Windows NT Pro Tools TDM systems in this release. There are, however, some 5.0 features that have not yet been directly implemented in the 5.0 ProControl Personality file. These include:

1. the ability to TRIM With Scrub using the SCRUB wheel
2. the ability to toggle through the new EDIT TOOL subtypes (TRIM, GRAB and PENCIL)
3. Key Command focus (where you replace QWERTY functionality with single-key “macro” commands for editing)
4. direct access to the 5 Zoom Presets
5. the ability to toggle on and off "link/unlink timeline"

We have not "forgotten to implement" these features for ProControl nor did we think that you folks wouldn’t want them. The reason these items have not yet made it into the ProControl Personality is directly related to the engineering and testing requirements which were required for this release cycle.

It’s important to note that ProControl *does support* features in 5.0 such as the different numeric keypad functions and also the ability to bring up windows from Pro Tools menus that have keyboard accelerators assigned to them. An example of the latter would be many of the MIDI menu functions. This would be accomplished by pressing and holding the relevant modifier switch, the ALPHA switch (to the left of the CHANNEL MATRIX) and then the corresponding accelerator key via the CHANNEL MATRIX.

The Pro Tools 5.0 release is the largest software development and system testing effort undertaken in Digidesign’s history. While it would have been ideal to include features for every customer of every Digidesign system component in this release, (in this case, ProControl) we would not have been able to supply the level of quality we (and you) demand and still meet a reasonable release schedule. The testing and development efforts associated with ProControl were quite extensive as this release included support of Windows NT systems, as was mentioned earlier.

Going forward, we have already implemented items #2, #4 and #5, from the list above, and we’ll include these items in the next Pro Tools release. This release is expected to be available in the first part of next year. Supporting TRIM With Scrub on ProControl (item #1 from above) is something we’d like to provide to all of you as well but it represents a substantial amount of engineering effort. We’re currently investigating this effort and hope to support it in the future. We know it’s important to all of you.

Item #3, Key Command Focus, is a Pro Tools 5.0 feature that maps edit functions directly to a QWERTY keyboard, allowing single key access to the supported functions. ProControl, of course, has a 32 switch CHANNEL MATRIX but is not configured in a QWERTY layout. As all of you are no doubt fluent with the numerous operations of the CHANNEL MATRIX, we’re sure you know why this is configured the way it is. Based on ProControl customer feedback from tradeshows where we demonstrated early versions of 5.0, the overwhelming response was that attempting to map these key commands on the CHANNEL MATRIX would be less than desirable and that folks would rather user their keyboards for these features. We’d be interested in your feedback on the subject.

Finally, we want all of you to know that Digidesign is firmly committed to supporting, and continuing to develop, the ProControl system. We always welcome your feedback on ways you think ProControl (or any Digidesign product, for that matter) can be improved and we’ll continue to do our best to provide you with the features and functionality you need to best do your work.

Sincerely,

Digidesign Product Management

11-30-1999, 06:30 PM
It's nice to know someone is listening! http://www.digidesign.com/ubb/images/icons/smile.gif (whoever you are) Thanks for the nice responce.
There are fewer of us Pro Control owners but we have each spent more than most Digi customers and are at the cuting edge of Digi's latest, high profile, technology. It would be nice to think we were not at the bottom of Digi's list of things to 'get round to'.
Thanks,
Jules

Digi Engineering
11-30-1999, 07:33 PM
#5 (Toggle Link Edit and Timeline Selection) on the above list should work with the shipping version of 5.0. Use the same shortcut on the ProControl as in the app: <Shift> </> (forward slash; on the numeric keypad).

As mentioned above by DigiCS, #2 and #4 are coming with the next version, planned for the first part of next year.

Other suggestions for features are always welcome.

-- Marc

John McDaniel
11-30-1999, 07:55 PM
Thank you for your response. I know that Doug Wood, the former ProControl product manager has been gone for some time now. Wendy Abowd introduced me to Jim Callum at AES who was the interim stand in for ProControl product manager. Who has now been named for the product manager position?

Digi writes:

"Supporting TRIM With Scrub on ProControl (item #1 from above) is something we’d like to provide to all of you as well but it represents a substantial amount of engineering effort. We’re currently investigating this effort and hope to support it in the future. We know it’s important to all of you."

Please explain why implementing Trim w/Scrub via the scrub wheel is so difficult compared to Trim w/Scrub via the mouse. One big drag about the Scrub wheel on ProControl is that using it disables all other functions. I'd love to scrub, locate a tick, then zoom in (without leaving scrub mode) and continue to scrub with each zoom and zero in on the problem until I want to get the pencil tool out. Now I just scrub with the track ball and <CONTROL> key. Faster, but less elegant. The scrub wheel is only good for shuttling video via 9-pin. Honestly, "hope to support it in the future does not sound very encouraging."

Digi also writes:

"Item #3, Key Command Focus, is a Pro Tools 5.0 feature that maps edit functions directly to a QWERTY keyboard, allowing single key access to the supported functions. ProControl, of course, has a 32 switch CHANNEL MATRIX but is not configured in a QWERTY layout."

QWERTY doesn't matter! It's all just key mapping. Print up an overlay and get on with it. Really!

"Based on ProControl customer feedback from tradeshows where we demonstrated early versions of 5.0, the overwhelming response was that attempting to map these key commands on the CHANNEL MATRIX would be less than desirable and that folks would rather user their keyboards for these features."

Boy, I didn't see this kind of reaction at AES.

Digi also sez:

"We always welcome your feedback on ways you think ProControl (or any Digidesign product, for that matter) can be improved and we’ll continue to do our best to provide you with the features and functionality you need to best do your work."

With this new forum, you should get some good suggestions for PC.

Makin' my list.

later, jrm

PS: I've got at least $150 for the first guy to put together a kit to turn that ashtray on the lower right side of the ProControl into a trackball setup. My Orbit is like a big wart clinging to the PC with velcro.

PPS: Has anybody figured out how to cover the armrest with a nice looking (and durable) material of some kind? We've now banned all watches in the studio.

11-30-1999, 08:34 PM
My arm rest is pristine as of yet, I might just take the plunge and cover it with black duck tape (gaffa - UK) and be done with it, (rock n roll eh?) I couldn't concentrate when a friend was using mine, I kept staring nevously at his metal bracelett! http://www.digidesign.com/ubb/images/icons/smile.gif
It's more than £150 but Gallery sell a trackball & joystic mouse gizmo called Mission Control, and you can still keep the ashtray!
Has our desks daddy gone? ;( Where to?
Jules

Dave Lebolt
12-01-1999, 07:03 AM
Hi John (and all),
You mentioned that Doug's been "gone a long time now." Actually, this isn't true. Doug and I composed the response you got (he's been doing work for us while we searched for a replacement). Sorry, I can't let you in on who we've gotten yet, (you'll know soon enough). But at long last, we've filled the position. We have an excellent person joining us just after the New Year, and you'll be glad to know that it's someone who's used ProControl every day in his work. In the mean time, Doug and I will be handling things with ProControl (as we have in the past).

You also asked why it's difficult to translate what you can do with the mouse when trim scrubbing to ProControl. One thing I've discovered over my years here is how often something that seems straightforward to code (from our perspective) is far more complex for the developer (and vice-versa; sometimes complex stuff is a lot easier!).

The Pro Tools code that handles trim scrub activity is while trimming is all new. It unfortunately does not just "translate" into the personality file that the control surfaces use. Mouse activity (and its logic) do not generally correspond to what happens on ProControl (or any other surface). DAE is in a special "mode" when scrubbing is enabled (2 tracks only; all other activity locked out), so there's a lot of logic that's involved in getting trim scrubbing to do the right thing. So, please believe us… it's a lot of work. We'll get to that as soon as we possibly can... can't promise it right away.


[This message has been edited by Dave Lebolt (edited 12-01-99).]

John McDaniel
12-05-1999, 02:54 PM
Dave Lebolt sez:

"Hi John (and all), You mentioned that Doug's been "gone a long time now." Actually, this isn't true. Doug and I composed the response you got (he's been doing work for us while we searched for a replacement)."

Well...not much use in hashing out Doug's transcontinental travels. Wendy A. did say at AES, that Doug was coming back (to the West Coast) to help out with some things at Digi.

Doug and Chris Hammons are a large part of the reason I bought a ProControl a year ago. Doug and I had a vary long and detailed discussion about my topmost concerns about purchasing a ProControl: Longevity and continued development. He was very reassuring about Digi's commitment to the PC and its continued develpment in the PT environment. PC's weaknesses as an editing tool were thoroughly discussed and he said that these would be addressed. We talked about Trim w/Scrub some 14 months ago. Why demand editing capabilities in something that so many see as a _mixing_ tool? Because editing has become such a critical part of both the creative and problem solving aspects of mixing.

The Dave L. writes:

"You also asked why it's difficult to translate what you can do with the mouse when trim scrubbing to ProControl. One thing I've discovered over my years here is how often something that seems straightforward to code (from our perspective) is far more complex for the developer (and vice-versa; sometimes complex stuff is a lot easier!). The Pro Tools code that handles trim scrub activity is while trimming is all new. It unfortunately does not just "translate" into the personality file that the control surfaces use. Mouse activity (and its logic) do not generally correspond to what happens on ProControl (or any other surface)."

If, as you say "The Pro Tools code that handles trim scrub activity [is] (sic) while trimming is all new" does that mean that the decision to implement Trim w/Scrub came before the decision to put a scrub wheel on the ProControl? Or does it mean that someone chose to implement Trim w/Scrub without considering the inclusion the code to make it work with the ProControl? Isn't a ProControl person in the loop? Having to write new code for a feature is precisely the time to make it's use available across board -not the time to leave sibling products in the lurch. Come on, Dave. This line does not wash.

The one problem with the initial develpment of the ProControl, as I see it, is that it is 95%+ designed to mimic on screen capabilities with an alternate interface while failing to provide a large number of features simply not available any other way but via the PC. Make it do some more things you can't do any other way in PT!

Finally, making things second to the release of a new software rev. inevitably forces those concerns even farther down the priority list because software companies are ALWAYS working furiously toward the next release.

We got a 16 channel PC in the plans for Feb 2000. Make me want to invest further.

Long live ProControl (I've got to make the first one pay for itsself!).

regards, j mcd

Digi Engineering
12-08-1999, 04:54 PM
Hi John,

ProControl is very much alive and well. The next Pro Tools release will add support for some new features, including some that are related to editing. Dave and Doug and I have various ideas for longer-term enhancements as well.

As far as trim with scrub, we all want it. However, it's important not to underestimate the work required to develop and test software to the level of quality our users demand. It wouldn't be very interesting or fruitful for me to explain the exact technical reasons why this feature is not quite as trivial to develop as you suggest. Trust me, if it wasn't difficult, we would knock it out and be done with it.

If you have other ideas for features you'd like to see, please mention them.

-- Marc

[This message has been edited by Digi Engineering (edited 12-08-99).]

John McDaniel
12-11-1999, 02:33 PM
Here's a couple of ideas for the ProControl:

1) I'd like to have the ability to assign "Master Status" to any fader or group. That way, I could hit the Master button and call up a specific group of faders (like Master, Auxes, and Returns). An even better alternative might be to combine the Group Select and View buttons to allow a "Group View" mode that would call up specific groups of faders. Or...make memory locations remember track order as well as Show/Hide.

2. I'd like to be able to Lock down a track to a fader and have all other tracks slide past/around it as I bank switch. This would be great for tweaking sends to a Reverb Aux when the sending track is far away from the Aux. I know that I could use the DSP display to view the track's sends, but then you lose other controls over that channel (like volume, pan, and recording automation) that I'd like to easily adjust as part of the process of tweaking.

3. Remove the Bank and Channel designation from the Channel/Group when using View mode. If your using display mode and pressing a button to view/identify the track, you have an indication of this information under you finger! Give me as much of the track name as possible.

4. I wish there was a better scheme to reserve more of the 8 available charaters for names when the display requires data to be shown. Reverse type would be a great way to indicate negative numbers, but it seems the display doesn't have enough pixels. The decimal point could be replaced with a "+" or "-" sign, but that would confuse some folks.

5. I'd like a "use pre-roll only when online" option for playback.

Thanks. More later.

j mcd