Thoughts on UX in MG3

hey there.

here are two ideas to improve the current UI. I will use this thread to add more ideas when they arise.

is there any reason why the MG3-module and the mix/master section have to be modules?

i like the “chains” idea from a funcional point of view, but for visual clarity i would separate the chains from the MG3 module and the mixing/master/reverb section. I think having the latter visible at all times, maybe the MG3 module on top and the mix/master section on the bottom right, would make a lot more sense, since those will be present in every patch.
as for the chains, i think it would make sense to have the amount of rows determined by the amount of chains you have in a given patch. this “one row per chain” look would greatly declutter the whole UI, especially since the chains are already sorted by color. on the other hand, having multiple colors in the same row, like it is currently, makes for a confusing appearance IMO.
btw: is there a way to add/remove chains?

swapping plugins per drag&drop

simple: changing the order of plugins in a chain via d&d would save a lot of clicking and loading times when organizing patches.

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Thank you so much for this feedback. Very good thoughts! I’ll get back to you here.

had some time today and threw together a quick and dirty mockup for a reworked UI.
i hope it provides inspiration!

the chains on the bottom only represent the order of modules and display their names.
when clicking on a module slot, the module shows up in the module inspector and can be manipulated and mapped from there. connections are saved per module and displayed always for the currently inspected module only.

below the inspector, there are four parameters which are taken from the guitar input (strike, pressure, brightness and pitchbend). they show real time values like in the “modulators” module, but are always visible and can be mapped quickly to any module parameter.

to the left of the inspector, you can find the MIDI controller interface which is currently located on the bottom left, also allowing for quick mapping.inside the inspector.

to the right is the mixer and master section.

here are some more things I thought of while working on this:

  • because the chains are clearly seprated visually already, I would omit using colors for chains alltogeher and instead use colors to distinguish between AUDIO and MIDI modules. doing so would make for an easy understanding of the signal flow at a quick glance.

  • i would love to see a separate chain reserved for guitar input processing. probably in a different
    location.

  • I excluded the “wobble” parameter, because it is not part of the actual guitar input and most synths have an internal random lfo generator. However, I think one or more LFOs with different waveforms would be a great tool to have in MG3.

I’ll keep you posted when the muse strikes again :slight_smile:
all the best and thank you for your work!

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I immediately see where you are going! Thank you for this mockup, very inspirational.

Btw, there are more LFOs built in. Just click the labels in the MODUALTORS module.

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cool thanks, didn’t realize that! good to know!

hello again.

here is another quick&dirty one. a bit more of a modular approach.

the four main parameters (velocity, pressure, brightness, pitch) still remain on top, visible at all times showing real time data. they now also have an outer ring, which indicates the modulation strength on the parameter that is currently selected (white glow). the same would apply for the MIDI controller interface.

instead of having three separate chains, this version only has three separate outputs to the mixer, while the signal flow can be routed freely. modules have audio and MIDI in/output and connections are colored by function.
this would allow for things that are impossible with a fixed chain. say for example, one MIDI note input from MG3 is routed to two different midi modules (i.e. a chord generator and a sequencer), and then forwarded to a single synth engine.
the inspector is still there to show relevant information that can’t be packed into a module widget, like for example notes in a sequencer.

by the way, Just to be clear: I don’t want to have this thread come across as if I am trying to diminish your work in any way shape or form. I am simply enthusiastic about this project and I like to think about user interfaces. I also dont expect any of these to be executed, I am just challenging myself to find different angles here and maybe contribute to improving this product. cheers!

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Thank you for all the this and your enthusiasm! Please dont hold back or worry about diminishing anything. I’m following this with interest and just need some time to think it through when I get time for it. Maybe other will chime in too. The whole UI layer of MG3 was made to be hackable/modifiable, but that’s another story for later :slight_smile:

I would tend to agree with prehm here. While the concept behind the MG3 UX is straightforward, In practice, I also find it somewhat confusing/distracting to use. The design in either of the mockups is more reflective of how I’d prefer to see the interface laid out.

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Module idea: Euclidian/polyrhythmic repeater - takes input notes and repeats them in a euclidian or polyrhythmic fashion. repetition rates can be set per string/order of pitches. with a modular interface, each string could have a separate MIDI output.

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Hey there,
I just wondered if MG3 is capable of actually detecting the played string by analyzing the overtone structure?
Cheers

IMHO there are at least two categories of Guitarists. Live on Stage and Studio / Bedroom. I am Bedroom :innocent: mainly.
I think the current GUI is very good for both. A good compromise between Live and Studio.
In the Studio you have your desk space with a mouse and very comfortable about drawing/dragging objects in the GUI. On Stage usually you lack the bonus space and maybe a touchscreen would be better (imagine an IPad Pro, a Windows PC with Touchscreen) so you need big objects (larger than your fingers) that you can manipulate with easy to carry out operations, especially when you have your guitar hanging on your belly :blush:
I like the new design proposals even if they are going towards more complicated GUI, not sure how they can work on stage but it’s the beauty of inspiration that counts! Thanks prehm!

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hey, i agree about this categorization! an interesting vector to think about when putting together a UI, because there would certainly be a difference in the type of actions that a user carries out, depending on the context.
for live use, i would imagine that preparation went into designing patches beforehand, which allow for a limited - but focussed - amount of manipulation. I could imagine a “live-view”, which serves mainly for monitoring the signal flow and has some core functionalities like a mixer and an EQ for quick adjustments. A visually prominent list of presets could also be handy. when cycling through patches in a setlist, MG3 could preload plugins for the next preset in a buffer to allow for quick switching (just brainstorming again, can’t switch it off… :).
the “bedroom” situation on the other hand would call for a more detailed layout, where as many functions as possible are laid out in a structured, intuitive and visually pleasing way.

despite my UI propositions here are aimed to be rounded in and of themselves, my only goal is to spark ideas for how to arrange elements and what functions the UI could or should encompass. I think the technology behind this program if phenomenal and the ease of use is something very special, and with a well thought out UI, it would easily play in a “triple A” arena and serve many guitarists in studios and on stages alike.

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okay this concept is a little more out there lol, but has an interesting look imo (I didnt spend much time on details but i hope the idea comes across.)

effect units are managed via one or more fx send busses.

in the mixer, you can load up to six audio sources like synths or samplers.

all the midi stuff is handled in the hexagon. in the center is the MG3 module, which sends out midi notes to connected modules. modules can be chained together by enabling one or more outputs (top/left/bottom/right) in the inspector. a midi signal has to be forwarded to one of the six mixer slots in order to affect the respective audio source. modules can also have multiple inputs and inputs can be routed to specific outputs without affecting the module itself.

visually I’d imagine the MG3 module to be pulsating like a beating heart in sync with the bpm. modules flash when they produce a midi on event. would make for a futuristic and organic look.

my main device for making music is the ipad, which has tons of apps with playful and fun interfaces like this one. maybe some people think this is distracting, but in my experience, the interest that such interfaces create has a very positive effect on my creativity.

I have some more ideas cooking :slight_smile: later

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another idea.
midi and audio related processing is once again separated and audio FX units are handled via fx bus sends.
Midi signals from MG3 are sent through “lanes” (rows) and processed from left to right through “stages” (columns). The mixer can host up to six audio sources, which can receive output from one or more lanes.

A Midi module can take up multiple slots in a given stage, which allows for parallel processing like in last two mockups. This approch however but keeps a more organized look and stays more true to the original “chains” implementation, while imposing some limitations on the user (which can be a good thing for creatvity).

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