Audio Tools (and Resource Management)

jersmi's picture

Having spent a bit more time with Vuo's audio tools, I see some real potential. This is a two-part feature request in the spirit of "more better audio".

First request: take a second look at how Vuo manages computer resources regarding audio. For example, dropping frames in video can go unnoticed, whereas when audio hits the limit with distortion, drop-outs, etc., it is immediately disruptive. Right now Vuo feels a little fragile/volatile when pushing these limits. (There is also no current way to monitor when Vuo is getting close to resource limits).

Is there a way to optimize resource management to stabilize audio? Could Vuo, for example, take better advantage of multicore processing for audio (and perhaps even get better performance with audio + visuals)? (To be fair, my experiments have been with Vuo's audio synthesis tools -- these by nature are more resource heavy for real-time processing. Audio-file or sample-based approaches would perform better.)

Audio Units? I don't know if this would even be possible -- what about internal access to Apple's built-in audio units? That would cover a lot of ground with the basics. Do these translate at all to Vuo? Audio units of course would open the door to MIDI instruments, but that really takes it another direction, and the issues with resource management become even more important. But it would be cool.

If not, I'd vote for a couple built-in basic audio effects:

Spatial tools -- Reverb and delay. First choice. Besides making musical sounds more pleasing, consider interactivity -- for example, in game engines like Unreal Engine or Unity one can assign reverb to some sound element to make it seem far or close.

Second on the list of priorities, more EQ (filtering) and tools for dynamics (compressor/limiter).

More -- saturation/distortion, chorus/flanger/phaser.

Component: 

Be able to display ("expand") a subcomposition within its parent composition

Currently, when you double-click on a subcomposition node, the subcomposition opens in a new window. This feature request would add an alternative way of opening the subcomposition. When opened this way, the subcomposition would be embedded within the original composition. You would still see the subcomposition node in the context of the original composition, but it would be enlarged / X-rayed so you could also see the contents of the subcomposition.

Unlike Open subcomposition in same window as composition, the original composition surrounding the subcomposition would still be visible, all on one canvas.

Component: 

Notes from Team Vuo

Vuo Pro: 

No — available with both Vuo CE and Vuo Pro

Complexity: 

●●○○ — A few weeks of work

Potential: 

●○○ — Appeals to current community

Double-clicking on an unspecialized generic port brings up a context menu with a short list of data types

Something that's not uncommon is to double-click on an input port for a node in order to set a value.

If this Node is something that can accept images, and other types, then double-clicking does nothing at the moment.

Proposal: double-clicking a port that has no type set, would automatically set the type to Real, and show the input field.

Just a convenience feature, but I bet lots of new users don't understand that they need to set the Type—it's a rather 'developer-y' way of thinking, in order to assign some numbers.

Component: 

Notes from Team Vuo

Vuo Pro: 

No — available with both Vuo CE and Vuo Pro

Complexity: 

●●○○ — A few weeks of work

Potential: 

●○○ — Appeals to current community

We've renamed this, and plan to implement:

When you double-click on an unspecialized generic port, it brings up a context menu with a short list of data types (the commonly-used data types that currently appear at the top of the Set Data Type menu) and a "More…" button to reveal the full list of data types.

Execution time

Not sure if this belongs in the Vuo SDK category, but a node that records/displays the execution time of a node/nodes could come in handy. This to check own custom code nodes, subcompositions or part of a composition. Maybe something like this:

Component: 

Calcuate patch accept text input for expression or at least use larger text field like the Shared Value node

With nested if-then-else expressions and the like the Calculate node expression text quickly overflows beyond the field of view. Either allow the input to accept string expressions (from say the Shared Value node which has a slightly large field for text entry) or just make the field expand when more text is added.

Screenshots, Mockups, and Videos: 

Calculate node expression text field is too small for nested if-then-else conditionals.
Shared Value has a larger two line text field that Calculate node

Component: 

Notes from Team Vuo

Vuo Pro: 

No — available with both Vuo CE and Vuo Pro

Complexity: 

●○○○ — Up to a few days of work

Potential: 

●○○ — Appeals to current community

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