[Doggiebox] Frustrated

Mike Carlyle mcarlyle at charter.net
Mon Mar 1 18:42:35 EST 2004

Hello Ben.

What you got with my messages to the list was my unadulterated, 
from-the-hip, unedited, first reaction. I had not used the new beta 
yet, even though I downloaded it the day you posted the link. Having 
read some of the responses to my frustrating experiences, some of the 
dots are starting to become connected. I still plan to use 1.0 for the 
immediate projects at hand, but I promise to explore (as one should 
probably not commit farther than this with beta software) the ins and 
outs of the new version.

On Monday, March 1, 2004, at 05:36  PM, Ben Kennedy wrote:
>> I get the fact that I can choose sections for playback
>> and that is helpful, but it is offset by the fact that I can no longer
>> add sections or insert bars.
> As Charlie forwarded, there is a UI bug in 1B3 which makes it 
> impossible
> to insert bars under particular circumstances.  There is a workaround 
> as
> described, and the bug is fixed in the next build (which hopefully I 
> will
> be able to post later tonight).
> You can add new sections.  I presume that you are alluding to the 1.0-
> style behaviour where "sections" were simply markers around existing
> parts of the song, instead of self-contained units of bars.  This is a
> conceptual change in the new version.

So, when I add a section, what exactly am I doing? This is where the 
insert bar bug is right? Now that I know what is meant by section, I 
think I'll be able to poke around some more to see if I find it useful 
(after the bug fix).
>> Previously, I could highlight some bars, choose "new section" in the
>> section area down on the left, and my selected bars became a new
>> section. Now, when I do this I get a blank new section with no bars.
> Again, this is due to the conceptual shift in what a "section" is.  In
> the 1.1 world, a section is a discrete grouping of bars, a mini-song if
> you like.  Instead of building one giant sequence of bars and then
> "bookmarking" regions within it (1.0-style sections), each section 
> itself
> is a building block which you are now able to easily re-use many times
> within the song.

What about keeping this behavior and just calling it "bookmark" or 
"bookmarking"? That way, a user could choose to build a song with one 
big "section"  (in 1.1 parlance) and bookmark the bits within it. I'm 
not attempting to draw conclusions about the merits of either approach 
to song programming, just wondering aloud if the old style section 
numbering will be gone for good.
>> I can't add a new "layout" either,
>> whatever that is. Is a layout a section? I don't get it. When I add a
>> new "layout", I end up with a duplicate of the one before it.
> The layout list (on the right) is essentially a sequence of "aliases" 
> to
> sections (from the left).  It's a playlist, really, in which you can
> order and organize the various sections (building blocks) of your song.
> This is a new feature designed to let you re-use parts of a song, such 
> as
> verses or choruses, which appear in multiplicity throughout a piece.

This makes sense to me now. It also explains why I was adding and 
deleting fills inadvertently while editing the bars within a layout. I 
should have been editing my section. I didn't know.

> On this note, I am completely open to suggestions for new terminology 
> to
> replace "section", "section marker", "layout", etc.  These were the 
> best
> words I have come up with so far, but perhaps someone can suggest some
> terms which better convey the meanings.

Section might be a good term, now that I understand it. The only reason 
to change that might be to avoid confusion among users transitioning 
from the old section definition. For layout, I like the term "run 
list". There might be better choices, but that one hit me for some 

Thinking outside the box, it might be fun and on-target at the same 
time to borrow terms from outside the musical world. "Ingredients" and 
"Recipe"? "Paint" and "Canvas"?.... you could go on and on like this 
until one struck you that really spelled it out. Maybe a dumb idea.  
<tangent> Ever see the site for Girlbrand guitars?, he uses terms like 
"bite" and "sting", or "fantasy"  and "reality" instead of "rhythm" and 
"lead" for his guitar pickup selectors. </tangent>


The bottom line is documentation, I think, which you mention is to 
follow one day. Once the hierarchy is established from bottom to top 
(beat, pattern, bar, section, layout, song... or whatever) It might be 
much easier to follow.

>> I find this confounding User Interface very frustrating.
>> It's killed my inspiration for today.
> I suspect that you have found this in particular because you have 
> become
> very accustomed to the 1.0 style of doing things, and have jumped right
> in to 1.1 without a full awareness of the design changes.  This is not 
> a
> criticism of you at all.  It is more a testament to the lack of present
> documentation, and the fact that I have thrown out the 1.1 beta series 
> to
> you folks to play with as it develops.

You are likely very correct. In reality, I only lost an hour or so. 
Building the song in 1.0 again was actually a breeze, since I had 
already worked out a lot of the puzzles within the patterns. I've 
thrown a few ideas out up above. I'll mention others as they occur to 

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