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Topic: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

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  1. #1

    Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    etLux just posted a note about his problems using the Kontakt interface at: http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?p=274352#post274352
    Quote Originally Posted by etLux
    Slightly off topic; do forgive (though I do have the horns clicking, too) -- but -- is there an interface guide anywhere for the GPO.Kontakt player? Darned if I can find it...

    For instance, I have a devil of a time fine-tuning the volume pot with the mouse; and though I know there must be some way to do that more easily, I'll be darned if I can figure it out... lol.
    So, I thought I'd be very vocal and add my $.02

    I LOVE gpo, but I HATE the Kontakt GUI. Having used computers and hundreds of interfaces, it is the most UNreadable, difficult-to-use interface I've ever come across.

    Gary - although the garritan.com web site could use some minor touchups here and there, the Kontakt player is the one that needs a TOTAL makeover. (I realize that you don't make the player, but I'm sure you carry enough influence to suggest such a major overhaul!).

    It seems that the basic principles of any decent GUI (let alone the outstanding ones) would include:

    * users should NOT have to squint or move 3" from their monitors to see numbers and letters because the font is absurdly small. Teensy-weensy, white type against a black background is a sure-fire way to make anything unreadable.

    * users should NOT have to fiddle and fiddle and fiddle and mouse-click five times just to set a value or turn a knob

    * pull-down menus should 'stick' with a single click anywhere on a line item, not just on one end of the line

    * PROPER documentation that details the operation and every single parameter, knob, button, menu, light, etc. should be available. If any preference, knob, etc. would benefit by examples, then the company should write them.

    These are just a few of my major gripes about the Kontakt player.

    Again, I absolutely love GPO and admire Gary and his work. The GPO manual and the update (pdf) manual are excellent. The online GPO tutorials are amazing. I'll be one of the first customers when GPO Advanced is released. But I just couldn't hold back my frustration any longer about the Kontakt interface.

    I'm sure there are other users who like (or even love?) this interface, so of course this is only my humble (ok, not so humble) opinion.

    David

  2. #2

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    I think the best way critique something is to not just say what's wrong with it, but to offer advice as to how "it" could be better, and I think you've done a good job of that. I agree that the GUI could be improved, and only time will tell. At least you made your valid points clear. I feel that since Gary is so loyal to his customers, he will take these ideas to Native Instruments and see what they can do. My guess is he has already done that.

    dpDan

  3. #3

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    Hi, Dan.

    Of course, like the clothes or hairstyles we wear, the "goodness" of a GUI is a personal choice. Some like the GUI large, some like it colored blue with glass-like, cool buttons.

    Personally, although I like a "neato-spiffy-looking" interface as much as the next person, I really don't care what size or what color it is as long as it meets two very simple, necessary requirements:

    1. I can easily see all the type
    2. I can easily adjust every parameter (this includes the menu items).

    Kontakt player, IMVHO, gets a D- on both counts.

    -----

    Tangentially related to this, I was very, VERY impressed with several recent posts by Gary:

    1. He asked us what we would really like him to record at his upcoming orchestral session.
    2. He asked for our opinions about how he could modify the garritan.com web site
    3. He asked us whether we would like the orchestra/audience "noises" included in GPO Advanced.

    I wish that more companies (including NI) were this interested about meeting their user's needs and desires. Thanks, Gary.

    David

  4. #4

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    Oh, and I should have also lavished praise on Overture for these same reasons.

    I don't own the full version yet, but I plan on purchasing v4 when it is released. And the key reason I decided to go with Overture instead of any other notation editor was the incredible willingness of Don (and others) to listen to users' needs and (usually instantly!) implement them into the next release.

    (I'm not familiar enough with Overture yet to even know all the people involved, but I know that Don, Joseph, snorfax, and many others have really listened to the users on the forum, and it seems that nearly all their requests are met, or will be.)

    So, thanks again to all the people directly or indirectly involved with GPO and Overture for really giving users what they need and want!

    There! I'm done with my ranting and praising. I'm ready for another bout with my Kontakt knob.

    David

  5. #5

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    David,

    I am in agreement with you about this interface of the Kontakt player. I think that in order to achieve a small footprint on the screen, NI has sacrificed a lot. The engine that lies behind Kontakt is great and I suppose that this is the most important part of a program's design, but having dabbled in database programming a few years back, and having to please customers, I found that the functionality of the interface seemed to be very important to them.

    The ease of use was the prime factor for my choosing Mach Five over the full version for my regular sample libraries. I would rather have a larger player, with all the functionality out in the open than one that is difficult to tweak and hard to read. After working on a project for hours, and developing sandpaper eyes from staring at a computer screen, the last thing you want is for the program you use to have a poor interface.

    We have complained about font size since GPO's release. I don't remember for sure, but it seems like with the last release of the player, there were some minor improvements with its design. I believe the menu fonts are a tiny bit larger and there were some other improvements. Perhaps NI has taken notice. It takes quite a while to implement changes to a product, and maybe good things lie ahead for us.

    Karl

  6. #6

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Collett
    etLux just posted a note about his

    I LOVE gpo, but I HATE the Kontakt GUI. Having used computers and hundreds of interfaces, it is the most UNreadable, difficult-to-use interface I've ever come across.
    David,

    I fully agree with you on this but you forgot to mention that the keyboard area is much larger than it needs to be.

    For examples of a really nice user interface NI should look at (and blatantly copy if necessary) the GUI of Sonic Synth 2 Free and the Halion Player.

  7. #7

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    Quote Originally Posted by Looper
    the keyboard area is much larger than it needs to be.
    It would be nice to have the keyboard dockable (floating).
    sfiks

  8. #8

    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    David's analysis is right on the money. For me the Kontak interface would be much more usable if it was readable and explained.

    I've actually had to use a magnifying glass to peer at the Kontak gui. And it is much too easy to inadvertantly make selection errors. Both problems would be fixed by larger, easier to read fonts.

    Once the interface is readable and there is some explanation of the parameters it will be possible for me to form some sort of opinion regarding the elegance and usability of the feature set.

    With respect to readable usable interfaces, I think the ProAudio 9 vintage Cakewalk gui is an example of excellent readability.

    In short, I am another person to whom the readability of the interface matters and who would like to see some improvement.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    I have good eyes...so the tiny text isnt a problem at all. I just wish the interface was more versatile and LESS BORING...looking at that thing for hours is awful.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Re: Kontak interface - THIS is what needs the major facelift!

    Have a look at the new Kontakt 2 interface which is due out shortly which overcomes a lot of the shortcomings being discussed. I'm sure the player version will, similarly, be improved. A lot of the new sample players from various manufacturers are awaiting this release as they need to make use of the new MIDI features as far as I can tell.

    I see there's a Halion Player coming out too.

    Frank

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