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Wes Mayhall

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In the UI industry we have saying:

"UI is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it doesn't work"

If reading the manual is necessary to operate a UI, then the UI has failed as an interface between the human user and the software.

I used Zebra for years before consulting the manual and it wasn't to understand how the UI works, but rather obscure stuff like the oscillator effects. I don't think I've ever read (back to back) the manual of any software.
Could not agree more. Reminds me of my last job, where IT had to create a Wiki just to explain how to use our "productivity" suite (Agile), the use of which was not optional.

I'm hoping the ultimate explanation will come down to the sheer flexibility requiring such an opaque interface.

Here's a thought: what Falcon needs is a 'wrapper'. Nah. I'm not holding my breath. :)
 
I'm hoping the ultimate explanation will come down to the sheer flexibility requiring such an opaque interface.
I have a hard time understanding the meaning of "opaque" when it comes to Falcon's GUI, but it's clear to me that in this thread we do have very different opinions on "GUIs that get complex stuff done with reasonable speed and clarity".

Why are you people using Falcon if you don't need/want the complexity?
That's the whole point of Falcon, to be a synth workstation.

The VSTi world sees a huge inflation. It's not like you don't have TONS of options, from Retrologue to Pigments to Zebra to Bazille to some other 10000 VSTis...
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
I am afraid I am on team @digitallysane on this one. The blind faith in “UI” sounds a bit silly to me. I bet I can’t fly an airplane without proper training. So sometimes one has to train oneself. Manuals are an excellent help ;)
 

Wes Mayhall

New Member
I have a hard time understanding the meaning of "opaque" when it comes to Falcon's GUI, but it's clear to me that in this thread we do have very different opinions on "GUIs that get complex stuff done with reasonable speed and clarity".

Why are you people using Falcon if you don't need/want the complexity?
That's the whole point of Falcon, to be a synth workstation.

The VSTi world sees a huge inflation. It's not like you don't have TONS of options, from Retrologue to Pigments to Zebra to Bazille to some other 10000 VSTis...
"opaque ... not able to be seen through; not transparent." says Google.

Why am I using Falcon? Well, Venus Theory and a few others raved about it and I had to see what it was all about, and I was enticed with a $244 special offer. With all those VST options you listed, how else does one learn without trying them? That's what I'm doing.

I have Zebra 2 and HZ and Pigments, and I use their manuals, Zebra's particularly. I use the manual when I get stuck. Perhaps my problem is judging Falcon's interface against theirs, and others.

So, what do you think of my wrapper idea? ;)
 
So, what do you think of my wrapper idea? ;)
Adding another layer of complexity in order to apparently simplify things on a piece of software whose purpose is to do complex things?
No, thanks.
If one doesn't need the stuff that Falcon can do, IMO one should just not use it.

Or, this:
Like Hans said, it's about getting to know a workhorse that suits you, that you can reach for to accomplish everything you need to do.
 
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Pier

Pier

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Could not agree more. Reminds me of my last job, where IT had to create a Wiki just to explain how to use our "productivity" suite (Agile), the use of which was not optional.
Exactly. I've been through that countless of times since I started my career in software in the late 90s.
 
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Pier

Pier

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I am afraid I am on team @digitallysane on this one. The blind faith in “UI” sounds a bit silly to me. I bet I can’t fly an airplane without proper training. So sometimes one has to train oneself. Manuals are an excellent help ;)
With all due respect Doctor, you're mixing two very different matters. I actually pointed this out in a previous comment.

Using your plane analogy, obviously the dials and buttons won't teach you how to fly a plane. Neither will Falcon or Reaktor teach you synthesis. Which is very different from having a UI that assists you in doing the work as easy and efficiently as possible.

Edit:

Thinking a bit more about this. Falcon usability problems is like if the pilot had to get up from his seat, and walk to some other room in the plane to check the altitude.
 
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Pier

Pier

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an almost identical lists is on the kvr thread for falcon that uvi Devs definitely are on and respond to
Exactly.

And Oliver Tristan from UVI (I think he is the dev chief) told me personally he will be looking into implementing a suggestion of mine.
 

Wes Mayhall

New Member
This is the one!

Although you might want to check the last dozen pages instead of the 445... or maybe not LOL
Thanks Pier! Slight tangent, probably has been brought up in that 445 pages lol: why doesn't KVR have a UVI section? Anything that could spawn a 445 page thread surely could use its own page, right? Just a thought.
 
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Pier

Pier

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Thanks Pier! Slight tangent, probably has been brought up in that 445 pages lol: why doesn't KVR have a UVI section? Anything that could spawn a 445 page thread surely could use its own page, right? Just a thought.
Long threads are very common in KVR and other forums. I don't like it either... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

AFAIK company subforums are maintained and moderated by the companies themselves. U-He for example is responsible of their own:


I don't know why UVI does not have their forum. My guess is they don't want to spend resources moderating a forum or interacting with the community.

U-He is a very different company than UVI.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
Don't even look at HALion in that case!
I looked. Just bought it this afternoon (crossgrade price for Falcon user with 50% discount). I have to say I am apparently extremely “forgiving” when it comes to usability issues. Must be the fact I used to just sit behind a DX7 mk. 1 and a Kurzweil K2500 and their little LCD screens or something. Anyway - I digress.

Ah yes. Halion. I have to say -and I never knew this- this has got to be the best wavetable implementation ever!?


 
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Pier

Pier

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I have to say I am apparently extremely “forgiving” when it comes to usability issues. Must be the fact I used to just sit behind a DX7 mk. 1 and a Kurzweil K2500 and their little LCD screens or something. Anyway - I digress.
It's probably a generational thing.

Some generations seem to be more sensitive to certain things than others. I see younger people than me on Youtube complaining a lot about aesthetics or animations in the UIs of synths which I don't care much about. I am very sensitive to usability, workflow, and UI performance.

Objectively, I agree these things are not as important as being able to do the thing you want to do. But we're not in the 80s or 90s anymore. The modern expectation is that software should not only do the thing its meant to do, but also be beautiful and as ergonomic as possible.
 

doctoremmet

Senior Member
I happen to perceive all software as fugly. Lol.

A Fender Rhodes is beautiful. An OB-Xa too. And my new Karoryfer Orcophony t-shirt is brilliant. The rest is just tools. But you’re right, it’s a rather personal and ultimately trivial thing. Just use whatever works!
 

Empty Vessel

Minimum Viable Fidelity
It's been interesting reading through this discussion. I have to say that as part of my job I'm presented with new plugins on a regular basis, usually without documentation at the stage I'm given them so judging a plugin's usability, appearance and how intuitive it is is something I give a lot of thought to.

Generally I feel that, with complex tools, the ideal obviously is that I don't need to refer to the manual. Our tools are often complex enough these days that I honestly don't believe this is achievable or at least is incredibly hard to achieve. If I can open a tool and navigate my way through a decent amount of the core tasks one would want to achieve with this tool, without the manual, then they have done a good job. If I then need to refer to the manual to work a few things out or to discover things I may not have stumbled upon - I'm ok with that.
I tried Falcon a few times when UVI initially gave me it and I found I was closing it again quite quickly and going to use something else. After a while I basically spent a few weeks using only Falcon with the manual open on my 2nd screen and after that I was fine with it.
I like that it's quite regimented and I find it suits my way of working in how structured the patches are. I find most tasks to be achieved in acceptable ways but there are definitely still things that I find illogical and frustrating even after using it extensively over the last few years. On balance, I find the positives of the sound and what can be achieved with the instrument outweigh the negatives. ymmv.
I totally agree that there are improvements that could be made and some workflow oddities that could be significantly streamlined.
OMG I want so much to be able to grab the tab at the top of an effect module and drag it to somewhere else in the structure from the Tree view and the main central patch structure pane!! :) I also lost count of the number of times I'm scrolling the central patch structure pane and because it's stopped in just the right spot that the mouse pointer is now over a knob, the next scroll adjusts the knob setting instead of scrolling the view!! (on a mac with Magic mouse btw) If anyone knows a way to prevent this, I'm all ears. :emoji_ear:

I really feel like UVI potentially have a massive hit on their hands with this instrument (I say this without any bias, I dont work with UVI, I just know some of the team). Falcon will continue to evolve and I genuinely don't think it's far from being the sound design nirvana it promises to be. I would continue to use other synths of course, Pigments & Phase Plant offer similar if different possibilities presented in more intuitive, fluid and fun ways and UA Lion although less broadly capable is a great sonic playground IMO, I'm concentrating mainly on commenting on Falcon because it's the subject of the thread. If I don't mention some of the other big-hitter uber synths it's only because I haven't used them, there's only so much time in the day and outside of work my preference for hobby time is to be outdoors, kayaking, rock climbing and hiking.

I'd encourage you to spend more time with it @Pier but I can totally relate to your desire to mark it down as a miss and look elsewhere. We're fortunate these days to have so many options to choose from for relatively small amounts of money it seems silly to persist with something you're finding frustrating. Will be interested if you do persist and feel like coming back to this thread in the future.
 
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