First impressions

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First impressions
  • Hi,



    I launched Ohm Studio yesterday for the first time and wanted to give you my impressions about my first contact with the software.




    Feel


    The interface, the fonts, the graphic aspect of the soft, placement of menus, etc. is beautiful. Not only on par with other DAW's out there, it blows many of them. Especially as a Mac user, used to "graphically better" things.




    First contact and a little confusion


    Although I've been following Ohm Studio for a while without trying it since I've seen a video last year on YouTube and therefore knew what it is about, I've felt that going in after watching the Get Started video was leaving a little too much out of the picture. I had to search, ask and figure out too much by myself to have a project open for collaboration. What of my own plug-ins, what the freeze exactly means and what does it do, how to make it open and searchable, etc. In the end, I could figure it out and have a pet project here: http://www.ohmstudio.com/node/7020 but even though, I'm not sure I set things correctly.




    Search and browse


    That is the main confusion and for which I couldn't find doc (at least, none that would come out with a regular search on the site). At first, and if a user didn't tell me, I didn't understand that browsing was done outside of Ohm Studio, on the website. Which come to the 2nd point: the search engine and display of results is simply too light. What if I want to browse open projects, in a rock genre, where the owner is looking for a solo guitar?




    Quirks


    It's a beta and being in software development for the past 15 years, I know what it means. I'll do my best to submit bug reports as I encounter them. For example, the pre-count on recording is not working every time. Sometimes, it just starts recording without the count-in.




    Suggestions


    - More docs!


    - A more comprehensive video starter tutorial when it comes to collaboration. Maybe you can leave out some standard DAW features to show what is really different from other DAW's.


    - A better projects filtering, searching and browsing experience.


    - Why leave the software to browse the website? If that level of integration is too much work right now, at least add a simple browser control within Ohm Studio interface.


    - Add "blues" as a possible music style in your tags!




    Conclusion


    If the community builds around Ohm Studio (and my take is that it will), I see it becoming one of my first go-to music tools. Why? Because it allows me to collaborate with people having skill sets I don't have such as vocals. I wouldn't mind doing some things outside of OS (in Logic, for example) as long as I can place my existing tracks in a OS project (and that's what I did with my test project). The main reason I'd use OS is collaboration and therefore, in my opinion, more effort should be put into facilitating this by offering more ways to browse, sort, discuss, etc. existing projects.




    I'm really new and have many things to discover yet but my feel after 2 hours playing with Ohm Studio is that it is a fantastic and innovative product. Long live Ohm Studio!


  • i started a topic on the browser issues:
    https://forum.ohmstudio.com/discussion/263/project-and-memberuserprofile-listingssearch-questions-and-suggestions#Item_7

    they are working on improvments.. but the more ideas and coments the better...

    as for the docs/vids i also think they'll be updated asap - as it seems they are about to launch the open beta.. (this have been mentioned in chat sessions but ofcourse you would not know as a new user...)


  • Hi akarin and welcome.

    First of all, thank you for your detailed feedback. Those are highly valuable informations.
    A software that gives you a bad first impression is a software that you won't ever try again.
    For exemple I know I won't ever launch itunes again, even though everybody seems to be using it  :)

    About the website.
    Yes it is an important aspect of Ohm Studio.
    Because the software itself cannot really compete (yet) with other major DAWs that have been under development for many years (like Cubase/Live/Logic etc...) we hope that the cohmunity aspect of Ohm Studio will compensate for it.
    We're almost done with the site's new design and it should be online next Wednesday. After that we'll start working on a "small adds" system which will let project owner ask for specific skills needed in a project ... and other users that have the required skills will be able to browse.

    And then we'll improve the search options!
    As remex suggested, feel free to add your comments and ideas


    About the video.
    Its purpose was to introduce the Ohm Studio's interface. It was inspired by the 1st video here:
    http://www.propellerheads.se/support_area/tutorials/reason/

    We wanted to make a 2nd video that focused only on collaboration but did not have the time. Making videos is time consuming and keeping them up to date with a software that changes every month is very hard. But we'll try to make new ones soon.

    When some important aspects are not well documented, it usually means that we're not happy with it and want to change it as soon as we have the time ... for exemple the "collaborative freeze" function.

    The preroll is buggy indeed because the playhead cannot be moved before 1.1.1.0.
    Actually, there are several other things that we're really not happy with but hope to fix/improve by the end of this year:
    - the freeze function
    - recording options (overdubbing of audio/midi etc...)
    - the modular view which is ... not quite finished yet
    - automations don't work well either
    - editing of MIDI events (CC, pitch bend etc...)
    - and many workflow improvements
    We also hope to develop a basic reverb plug-in and a simple rompler plug-in.

    I'm not sure what you mean by a simple browser control within Ohm Studio interface, but being able to do almost everything from the application itself  is of course something that we want to do.
    But to be honest it won't before at least a year because of all the aforementioned issues and "Quirks" that need to be solved first

    And yes we'll add blues to our list of tags ;)

    Thanks again for your support.

    If anyone else want to give their first impressions, you're more than welcome to
  • Even though i'm not the most experienced producer around ( 3 years ) i thought i'd live my first impression as wel.

    Startup Screen

    The startup screen was a pure dream. You are really able to define your tracks,by choosing amongst a wide range of genres,and also several suboptions like Dreamy and Melancholic. It's perfect to find a mate that intends to make a similar track. Also i like the possibly most hyped feature,the chat. Everything is very convient so far.

    Project View

    The project view looks pretty much like Cubase or Logic (i have tried to learn both,but they are simply too much trouble). And i really like how you have simplified that,so you allow a wider range of people to use the program. Intense FL Studio users like myself for example. The initial tutorial is really helpful. The piano roll as i call it,i think it's called the edit view in OS,is very neat and easy to use. It is perfect in every sense EXCEPT that it doesn't use right click as a delete button. This is a feature i really love about FL Studio since you can continuesly work on the melody without pushing any buttons. This is a small note but still. 
    Just overall how you handle VST's and FX is very good and simple. Connecting midi controllers: no problem. Audio: no unnecessary trouble with thousands of options to get sound out of ONE speaker (like Cubase). It's there right from the start.

    Design

    As a graphical designer i rejoice in the fact that you actually have cared about the looks of the program. It looks very proffesional as well as pleasing to the eye. Subtle colors with a beautiful contrast from the yellow. Attention to small details like soft scrolling is a big thumbs up! I think i would be able to use it without any skin. First sequencer that doesn't need graphic editing to look good,nice work!

    Suggestions

    Add Hardstyle as one of the genres :)

    As mentioned,include as much as you can in the program itself. 

    I don't know if this is too much trouble with programming,but it would be great if you could be able to move the mixer rack outside that box. I have one 23'' screen and one 15'' screen to the right,and in FL Studio i use the small one for the mixer. This allows me to have more workspace on the big screen.

    Also...the forum keeps freezing. You might want to look into that :)

    Sorry if my little review is confusing and amateurish. But i hope my opinions count as well. 

    Cheers
  • Hi deltawave.

    Thank you for the mostly positive remarks and feedback.

    We're glad that you like the interface and its simplicity.
    Since we don't expect people to immediatly "switch" from their favorite DAW to Ohm Studio, the program has to be easy to use and understand. There are however still several problems, but we're working on it.

    The piano roll does need some improvments, and I know many people like the one in FL studio. We'll have a look at it and see if some of its great features could fit into ohm studio although I can't promise anything.
    On mac there's a trick to make the mixer appear on your 2nd screen but it doesn't work yet on windows.

    Thanks again and feel free to share your thoughts again when you're more comfortable with the software.

  • Orange,

    Thanks for the long answer.

    First of all, be sure Ohm Studio didn't give me a bad first impression. Far from that. But I understand this is beta work and many things need tweaking.

    In my point of view, competing with other DAW's is not important in terms of features. One can (and will) continue to use his DAW of choice when producing solo. The real value, I see it in the collaboration aspect of OS. For the first time in my life, I don't have to go out (whether physically out or out on forums) to find somebody in order to do music together.

    As I continue to use OS, I found two more collaborative aspects missing (or not obvious and didn't see them):

    - somebody added a track on my project Little Voodoo. This track is truly excellent. Unfortunately, out of all the members who joined, I don't know which user added it and therefore, cannot propose him a collaboration.

    - some others added tracks or made changes to the project but as the owner of the project, I couldn't find a "undo" feature to come back to the project before people modified some tracks. A "per track" group history is essential.

    When I said "add a simple browser control", I think that if you pass on the idea to a programmer, they'll understand what it means. In each language and framework, there's always a way to add a browser (usually a webkit compliant one) without its interface inside a program and then make its features accessible from code. iOS has that, Android, Windows-based stuff, Mac, etc.

    Have a great day!
  • ohmstudio looks pretty awesome, and i think it has a lot of potential against ableton for laptop producers.

    as for now i miss quite few things.

    -easy automation recording (like in ableton, you click one parameter and the automation curve show up in the sequencer window)

    -detachable midi editing window

    -audio editing function i completly miss (but its hopefully cause of early beta stadium)

    -waves plugins are not shown up, that is mega important to support waveshell on mac.

    but at all very good so far, i really like the interface.
  • Hi,

    J en ai revez...OhmForce l'a fait ! Cela fais 10 ans que j attends un DAW collaboratif online de cette qualité et de la vision de la collaboration. J'ai entendu parler du projet il y a un an mais j'ai pas pu test la beta donc je vous donne mes 1 eres impressions

    J'utilise deja des logiciels comme Fruityloops ou live  depuis longtemps

    Et bien OhmStudio est :

    •  Plutot sobre et joli d' apparence
    •  Tres clair au niveau des racks/pistes ainsi que du mixer
    •  Toutes les fonctions disponible a l'heure actuelle sont facile a utilisé
    •  Fenetre de recherche de plugin juste parfaite. {recherche soustractive qd on commence a  ecrire et bouton Synth/FX ou les 2}, manque juste peut etre un bouton pour caché le panneau qd on veut faire de la place pour le mixer.
    •  Undo incroyablement bon {rappelle de piste suppr pas erreur, vitesse d'execution, etc, } et animation tres sympa dans le mouvement des conteneurs. C'est un détaille mais sa compte.
    •  Les Raccourcis clavier une fois qu' on les a retenus sont efficaces.
    •  J'ai eu un peu de mal a saisir le fonctionnement du freeze collab dans un premier temps, surtout quand l' on rejoins un projet et que les pistes freezer ne sont pas active.
    • Le Soft est relativement stable a ce stade. J'ai eu quelques beau plantage qd meme avec  des versions de plugin trop anciennes, ou bien avec des freeze de piste. [edit] et je viens de m apercevoir que l'interface graphique bug avec Aero Shake de Windows7. :)
    • Tres frustré de ne pas pouvoir utilisé de multichannel sur un instruments VST
    Voila pour les 1eres impressions, c'est mon premier post et je l'ai fait en francais et pas en anglais desoler. Je ne sais pas si il y a une existe une regle sur le forum.
     Dans tous les cas je suis tres enthousiasmé de voir ce soft voir le jour. Apres je ne sais pas dans quelle mesure vous allez vous investir dans ce projet mais sa commence fort. Il y a tellement de chose que j' aimerais y voir. J'souhaite longue vie a OhmStudio.


     
  • Thanks almeida

    It's a pleasure to read someone underlining strengths not often praised ;)
  • akarin said:

    - somebody added a track on my project Little Voodoo. This track is truly excellent. Unfortunately, out of all the members who joined, I don't know which user added it and therefore, cannot propose him a collaboration.


    - some others added tracks or made changes to the project but as the owner of the project, I couldn't find a "undo" feature to come back to the project before people modified some tracks. A "per track" group history is essential.


    That's one of the aspect we may have neglected because many people are asking for a way to tell who did what. Actually we expected people to be much more reluctant to make their project public and choose to work with only 1 or 2 trusted friends instead. We'll have to find a way to "log" people's action without impacting performance and keep the log readable for a human being.
    akarin said:

    When I said "add a simple browser control", I think that if you pass on the idea to a programmer, they'll understand what it means. In each language and framework, there's always a way to add a browser (usually a webkit compliant one) without its interface inside a program and then make its features accessible from code. iOS has that, Android, Windows-based stuff, Mac, etc.



    Ok I get it. The only issue is that the crazy people at Ohm Force choose to develop their own framework. Actually we had started working on integrating chromium inside our framework but eventually gave up...  we might bring it back but we'll probably focus on developping "integreted" web service instead (things like the project inspector...)
    electrixx said:

    -easy automation recording (like in ableton, you click one parameter and the automation curve show up in the sequencer window)

    We acknowledge recording and editing of automations need serious improvments. Give us time :)
  • Orange... I am now a happy panda as I know the collaboration area of Ohm Studio will become useable. Thanks for your reply.
  • nice

    activity log +100

    thanks for listening ch'all
  • Just one suggestion:
    I hope you can make VST scan faster.
    Now when I have added a new VST plugin, scanning takes VERY long time compared to my other 2 DAWs. So long that I thought the program had crashed.

    At least it would be nice to see some progress info during the scan.
    For example Live shows the name of new plugins it finds.
    So user knows a bit more of what's happening, that something useful is happening. That the program is not stuck.
  • Actually there should be a splash screen with a progress bar and the name of the plug-in being scanned that looks like this.

    image
  • Complete frustration that not only can I not get it to start but I don't get any feedback as to what's going wrong!

    Ok I know a VST has been blacklisted but watching this wheel thing go round and round for ever does become boring even for a drummer !

    I would like to see a comment or two about win7 64 bit so I at least know the developers have heard of it !

    I was more then disappointed to not see any kind of linux version. And please don't tell me no one uses it because they do ! 
    Ask any Android user "do you use Linux" and they would say no ............I rest my case!
  • 1) If your start is always slow there's an issue. Unless there's a change in the VST folder (or it's the first scan) this should go very fast

    2) I have Win7 64 as a workstation. Ohm Studio is running fine here.

    3) Linux is quite frequently demanded. But it's a huge amount of work - we have to prioritize. Consolidation on existing platform comes first.


  • Could you at least "unpack" the installer so it can be tried in Wine ???
  • The windows installer can be unpacked with 7zip.
    http://www.7-zip.org/download.html
  • Please, please, please fix the irritatingly slow rescan of plugins when something's been updated in the VST-folder. I try out a lot of plugins and the 10 minute rescanning of my plugin folder is putting me off to really start OhmStudio, which is not good since all you want now is bug reports...


  • 10 min? maybe you should clean up your plugin folders? do you really use all? specially free ones and demos, etc?
  • mine takes maybe 3 mins and i have a shitload...more likely your connection speed or something else on your comp

  • Thanks for trying to help out guys.

    @remex: I use most of them yes. Especially in other DAWs and older projects. No demos, almost no free one's. Everything else bought.

    @simmerdown: Connection speed isn't relevant here. But, some of my iLok-plugins do take some time, some of the bigger one's with loads of exposed VST-parameters seems to do so too.

    I did reinstall some of them and got down to a few minutes which is well, ok, but it's still not needed really needed when other hosts can manage just adding new plugins to the host and not rescanning everything. 

    It's like having to count all your socks everytime you add a new pair. :-)
  • It isn't great -- I only use three DAWs: Reaper, OhmStudio and MuLab.  Reaper is probably best on this, automatically spotting changes and only scanning the new ones.  MuLab is flexible and scans fast.  OhmStudio... well, some catching up to do.  But not something I'd put at top priority (as I don't add VSTs often).
  • Hi

    There's probably room for improvements but it's not really our top priority to be honest.
    Lot of efforts were put into making the scan "almost" crash free, but not really on making it faster.

    Thanks
  • 82 plugs/vsts = 10secs. Next restart is about 2 seconds.
  • Ok, first impressions. i'm not a professional music producer, the most I've done is use Audacity or Garageband.  I find this really hard to use, everything seems counterintuitive.  Like for example the loop thing came up, and i want to get rid of the loop.  My instinct is to click the loop, try to drag the loop away, press ESC key, drag on the loop.  Nothing gets rid of the loop.  The loop is there, the music is looping.  The intuitive, obvious gestures don't do anything.  To do anything, you have to study and learn some ridiculous key strokes or tiny little icons that you click on.  You really need to just ask some users who haven't read the documentation to try to do something.  Give them a task - cut a section out of a sample of sound and repeat that section.  And they could never figure it out with your interface.  You need to see what people do naturally, then make that the way it works.  

    I dont have time to get a Ph.D in using your tool.  i'm just trying to figure out if I want to use this tool.  I already have many doubts, and the harder it is to get started just doing basic things, the more I doubt.  Because if I learn your tool, then your company just goes away, i'm fucked. its a waste of time.  

    So what are "basic things"?  record sound.  manipulate the sound.  input sound.  manipulate the sound, such as move it next to other sound.  record two tracks, one against the other.  Thats the single most basic function of any recording, its all that was needed to make the best music ever made.  simple tape machine that recorded one tracks against another.  i can do that in your tool, but its awkward, its hard, its counterintuitive.  the music doesn't appear as a graph, it appears as points.  now i know that sound is a wave, i know its not points.  i know what sound looks like.  i want to see the sound, i want to see the beats as beats, as wave forms.  i want to be able to manipulate those wave forms.  right? 

    its just very frustrating.  i even watched the video.  the "racks" and "tracks" metaphor is just kind fo dumb, though I assume you are basing that on some physical devices from the 1950's or something.  well, ive never used such devices and anyone born since 1990 will have never used such physical devices or physical recording studios, right?  you need to think how to visual music that isn't based on some old technology interface. 

    its frustrating.  maybe ill try again tomorrow.  if i have time.   a tool like this would be really cool, but i can't see asking my musician friends to use this, they will be lost trying to figure out the interface.  instead of making music they will just give up.  im wondering if it would take a week of study just to learn this well enough to teach my friends how to use it.  but thats a week i don't have.  i don't have even two hours to learn something, im busy.  i want to just create the music. 

    ho would you explain this to an average musician?  this is like a tool for computer geeks.  and so then how can you collaborate with creative people?  they can barely plug in their guitars, they know how to do all those cables and stuff, but they will be totally lost on this i think.

    Think in terms fo how can 3 people just make a song together, create a training video for that.  just 3 people, drums, gutiar, voice - each with a microphone and a ASIO interface.  Now from that, how can they make a song in 10 minutes with no training or advanced learning process? just, here, I'm recording my part.  ok, I'm recording my part while listening to your part. or we are doing it at the same time, fine.  but im not seeing how to do those simple things. 

    several tracks recorded together. its all that music is.  its all.  everything else is annoying masturbation. ok enough for now.  ill try again tomorrow maybe.
  • You should give ohmstudio a new chance, because I don't think that this DAW is so much counterintuitive. It's different as the software you know, but every software has specific handling. Do not forget that your needs and your habits are not the same as those of others: some use a lot of midi instruments, some make simple recording, some build huge project with a lot of tracks, complex routing of fx.
    I used Cubase and Protools and I find ohmstudio far more easy to use as Protools. I am not a developer, but I think the challenge is to create a tool which is powerful but simple and intuitive. For me ohmstudio is on the "simple" side, but enough powerful for many purposes.


    less than 24 hours after entering in ohmstudio, I had this project done with three other musicians I haven't met before:
    http://www.ohmstudio.com/session/23820/topolino-song
  • "My instinct is to click the loop, try to drag the loop away, press ESC key, drag on the loop."

    No main DAW works like that. If we were implementing it this ways, we'd have pages and pages of users complaining that this is not intuitive, counterproductive, etc. Fact is there are plenty different convention running in various DAWs which makes it impossible to land on a safe ground that will please everyone.
    That being said, try simpler stuff: simply click the loop to toggle it on/off. It goes faster, takes less action than all that you had in mind. You can alse desactivate it the menu, which is one of the few convention you can rely on when lost. or Ctrl/Option + L, standard keyboard shortcut for this etc.

    Overall Ohm Studio relies on convention taken by a mix of Logic Audio, Cubase, Live, a few other ones and some of its own when it comes to handle stuff that is unique to Ohm Studio (like edition in context). This has been understood by professionnal reviewer and Ohm Studio UI is generally described as fairly conventional.

    Racks and tracks distinction is actually important because in some daw there is not such a distinction. Racks are element of routing, tracks are elements of context. You can have an unlimited number of tracks per racks.

    "Now from that, how can they make a song in 10 minutes with no training or advanced learning process? "

    They can't. They also can't play guitar in 10 minutes of learning. It would be great, sure, but it's not possible. There is no hidding you need some effort, although it's true Garage Band did the accessibility substantially better than other. But it sacrificed some enssential pro features to do this, which Ohm Studio didn't. 
    They can after say one hour, provided they have a minimal experience with an audio or video sequencer and no tech issues with their audio interface.