Playlist enhancements (scrollbar, zoom, and grouping)

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straylight
Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:13 am

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Playlist enhancements (scrollbar, zoom, and grouping)

Here a few ideas I've had for improving the playlist:

1)
Scrollbar improvements - when you're zoomed in really far, and want to scroll left and right you've got two ways of doing it. One of them is to hold SHIFT and roll the mouse wheel up and down, but that doesn't offer much precision. You can also use the scrollbar at the top. However if you use the scrollbar when zoomed, the playlist flicks left and right way too quickly, making it very difficult to scroll slowly. I would suggest having it so that when you hold down CTRL and drag the scrollbar box at the top, the scrolling occurs more slowly - i.e. relative to the amount of zoom that you are at. CTRL is good, because it has the same kind of effect when tweaking knobs. Holding down CTRL would slow down the mouse pointer, allowing slowing and more accurate scrolling.

2)
Zoom precision - I feel that the level of zoom isn't always detailed enough. It would be nice to have it so that you could zoom in about twice as much (The same could be said for the Piano Roll, as the zoom precision for this is equal to that of the Playlist). This would allow you to program more accurate and more detailed stutters for example, without having to double/quadruple the BPM.

3)
Grouping. In vector based graphics design tools, you can select and group various shapes together, and then move them around as if they were a single object. I think it would be fantastic if this feature was added to FL. Basically, you'd select a block of patterns, right click on them and select "group" from a drop down menu. Some kind of visual indication of grouping would then appear (e.g. a thin lined box around the grouped patterns). When clicked and dragged to move, the grouped patterns would then move as if they were a single pattern. This feature would make it much easier to clone repetitive arrangements of patterns across the playlist when writing dance music.

I suspect that these improvements would be relatively straightforward to implement. Although grouping may require a bit more effort, I think it would be a really useful feature and therefore worth the time.

edit: Implementing grouping for the piano roll would also be nice. That way, you could write a note in with a load of slides on it to modify certain properties (e.g. cutoff). You could then group this note and slide medley together, allowing you to easily select it and copy/paste it around the piano roll as if it were a just a single note. This would also be useful for copying and pasting chords.

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