Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live
Post Reply
Angstrom
Posts: 14672
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Angstrom » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:32 pm

Nevertheless such "concrete suggestions" (strikingly often really being "ripped out ideas by someone that typically seldom understand how software works in general, and even less so when it comes to functional and graphical user interface design on 2 very different platforms, attempting to prescribe a solution to a problem space that is typically not fully understood when the suggestion is given").
Of course there's no way to simply graft the leg of an Octopus onto a Bear. It makes no sense at all and will not be functionally "good"
But my reason for proposing such things is not to actually get that outcome I don't really want AE in Live. That would be daft.

In fact there is method to my madness.
I have specified a few projects, and although my Job title for the last 20 years is the disdained (in software development) "Web Development Project Manager", or "Full Stack Developer" if I have to do it all myself. My job is usually specification, coding (or scripting if you like) and a lot of political manoeuvring.

So, why the hell would I point at a completely unrelated app, with no practical way of cloning X feature off and pasting it to the body of the Bear?
Well... Have you ever been tricked by somebody making a terrible cup of coffee and its driven you to say ... "Uh, lemme just do that for you" ?

Have you ever seen a band which was disapointingly bad, and their awfulness then spurred you on to make good music, the way they ought to have?

that is my Project management method when I have no path to the actual decision making process.
Yes, some of my nonsense falls far outside "Prince2"

common things in my work life.
  1. when I'm not authorised to draw up use-cases then nobody within the process will want (or accept) them off me. (I have no pathway into that spec process)
  2. If I did deliver a preconceived "solution" as an indication of a Story it will be wrong, because of the hidden variables, stakeholders, and actors, and it makes the actual spec team grumpy, and they say "fuck this guy"
  3. programmers are problem solvers, give them a conundrum and it's like crack to solve it in the most elegant way
  4. If I deliver a metaphor and a poorly drawn comparison it is often more effective at spurring on the problem solving competitive nature (considering I have no actual legitimate input)
  5. It is a kind of Machiavellian delegation strategy to get people to say "that's bollocks what that guy said - the better way to solve that would be XYZ which would also "
So, while it might seem ridiculous to suggest the UI model of AfterEffects encapsulation of elements, I'm really saying "here's an illustrative example, it's bad, but I bet you can become engaged and come up with a better way"

I used to draw up complex explanations, but nobody wanted those either. So silly bad examples actually have a better success rate! I find that it at least triggers the urge to solve the problem correctly by engaging the stakeholders themselves to take ownership of a solution and integrate that into a valid process.

BTW - yes I have mixed Agile/Scrum terminology with Use Case terms. So sue me, it's fucking Sunday and I'm drinking.

Tl;dr I'm just shooting the shit, waggling the levers, to see what happens

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Aug 08, 2016 1:08 pm

Angstrom wrote: But my reason for proposing such things is not to actually get that outcome I don't really want AE in Live. That would be daft.

In fact there is method to my madness.
Yes, actually I wasn't referring mostly to your AE analogy but to people looking at other DAWs and their solutions in detail.

I'd much rather clean the slate and imagine what could be and base that on my take — or someone else's if I can grasp it — on what Live is and isn't. I don't want feature "X" from DAW "C", I want solutions for our use cases that are in line with how DAW "A" is structured, or its soul if you will.

But all discussions must start somewhere. I just ask that we on the whole don't get stuck on the notions of how other DAWs have solved things.
Make some music!

bwax
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:43 pm

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by bwax » Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:28 pm

Stefan Jantschek wrote:
bwax wrote: Dude you are just way too logical and reasonable for the internetz
Possible.
bwax wrote: does not compute...
Disagree.

He is one of the few guys here worth to listen.
And i recommend that explicitly for the devs as well... :)

Greets
*S.
Sure. I was being sarcastic. I guess my point is I have noticed he is very logical and reasonable in his criticisms and suggestions for improvements but that usually just brings out the fanboys and self-appointed censors who want to think everything is fine and nothing should change. In my opinion critical thinkers are the ones who usually care most about seeing a product succeed because they want to point out the weaknesses as well as improve upon the strengths.

I like the AE nesting idea! I work in AE and Premiere Pro. I get it. I also would equate it to something like Reason's Blocks feature. I would looooove to see things like that in Live's Arrangement view. Would make composition and trying out different arrangement ideas very quick and easy.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:37 pm

bwax wrote:I would looooove to see things like that in Live's Arrangement view. Would make composition and trying out different arrangement ideas very quick and easy.
Me too. I don't understand why Arrangement view get such a second-class treatment. No real Push support for instance. Of course third party developers can fill in some of the gaps for the MFL users. Not everyone has that though.
Make some music!

Stefan Jantschek
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:59 pm

bwax wrote:
Sure. I was being sarcastic. I guess my point is I have noticed he is very logical and reasonable in his criticisms and suggestions for improvements but that usually just brings out the fanboys and self-appointed censors who want to think everything is fine and nothing should change. In my opinion critical thinkers are the ones who usually care most about seeing a product succeed because they want to point out the weaknesses as well as improve upon the strengths.

I like the AE nesting idea! I work in AE and Premiere Pro. I get it. I also would equate it to something like Reason's Blocks feature. I would looooove to see things like that in Live's Arrangement view. Would make composition and trying out different arrangement ideas very quick and easy.
...worth to listen doesn´t mean any suggestion how to deal with it :P
(just kiddin´)

I had a similar idea about 8 years ago, called it "Folder Clips".

But the more i think about it, the more i get in doubt how to handle that in AL.
You can simulate something like that if you drag whole arrangements into the existing one.
Group all that new tracks and do it again.
So you can have many different arrangements in one session.
Every Track Group could be one.
But even one arrangement can easily reach system limits.
How could it be ever possible to calculate a stable performance?
There must be a kind of temporary "freeze" to audio.
So how to store all possible arrangement-parameters for further editing?
IMO that´s really hard do achieve...

So my feature visions bekame smaller these days.
I would be happy if i could just link session clips for some common functions... :roll:

Greets,
*S.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:05 pm

Stefan Jantschek wrote:
So my feature visions bekame smaller these days.
There's no need for that. Think about what you'd want to see and what'd feel natural and let the developer teams worry about the hows.
Make some music!

Stefan Jantschek
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:16 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
Stefan Jantschek wrote:
So my feature visions bekame smaller these days.
There's no need for that. Think about what you'd want to see and what'd feel natural and let the developer teams worry about the hows.

...doesn´t work for me...

I think we can call it expierience to get a feeling for what you can expect from systems and where the limits are...

*S.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:28 pm

Stefan Jantschek wrote: ...doesn´t work for me...

I think we can call it expierience to get a feeling for what you can expect from systems and where the limits are...
Suit yourself. You can put limitations on yourself all you want. :mrgreen: Doesn't matter though, as it's not your job. If you feel it indeed is, you should apply to Ableton right now. Why not?
Make some music!

studiojohnny
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by studiojohnny » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:00 am

I wish that Ableton would simply listen to their users to learn what their "pain points" are when using Live and then address those problems first.

For example, vocal comping is just excruciatingly tedious in Live. And recording vocals is not some obscure activity! Come on. It is a vital part of music making. This is something nearly every music producer will do at some point, especially on a professional level. Having to leave Live just to record vocals well is a major pain. Staying in the program to record vocals is also a major pain. There is no solution. And this is just an example. There are many other things that are basic, core activities to the craft of music making.

Or another example: latency issues and CPU usage management. Wouldn't it be great if there were easier ways to lower CPU usage? For example, one click (total) disabling of a track? (Instead of having to mute the track, disable the clips, AND turn off all of the FX - 3 steps!) Freezing kind of works in a clunky sort of way. But not really when you want to stay fluid and moving quickly. Imagine if you could destructively apply effects and bounce in place. So if you wanted to make just one snare hit a bit more chunky, you could just right-click on it, add some EQ and viola. All done. No more CPU being used. Why make a whole new track, bounce it, bring it back, etc. So cumbersome. Yuck. Pain! I could do destructive editing and bounce-in-place in Cakewalk Sonar in 2003 and still can't do it in Live in 2016. I mean come on. The ability to save/manage our CPU usage more easily would benefit all of us.

But hey, there may be other missing features that are even greater pain points. If so, then I am all for fixing those first! This isn't about me and my needs; it's just about being logical. Let's just work from the greatest pain points to the smallest pain points.

First, get all the DAW basics out of the way, then add the fancy stuff. The car needs wheels before it needs a racing stripe.

Again, to do this all Ableton needs to do is listen to their users. It's not hard. Every time Live is updated I read the new feature list and just facepalm. The company seems completely tone deaf. Like why - whyyyyy - are they redesigning Simpler, which already worked totally fine, when other way more important fixes are needed?

We all want the same goal: for Ableton Live to succeed so we can enjoy making music. Can't we just work together? Can we discuss this, Ableton? Is anybody listening? *taps mic* Is this thing on?
Last edited by studiojohnny on Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

[jur]
Site Admin
Posts: 1740
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:04 pm
Location: Ableton

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by [jur] » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:37 am

studiojohnny wrote: Again, to do this all Ableton needs to do is listen to their users. It's not hard. Every time Live is updated I read the new feature list and just facepalm. The company seems completely tone deaf. Like why - whyyyyy - are they redesigning Simpler, which already worked totally fine, when other way more important fixes are needed?
I can assure you that Ableton is seriously listening to its user base!
When Live 1 was presented back in early 2000', nobody really understood why they had designed this strange Session View... I think that, as musicians, we should simply trust instruments makers. They are the one who generally think forward for us, right?
Ableton Forum Moderator

sana48
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:16 am

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by sana48 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:12 am

I found an ingenious way to fix everything---


never mind, its a secret actually.


I like secrets


I'd like my Push v1 to pour milk on my head when I hit a C# note...


ok, I'm off to make music.....great talk.

kitekrazy
Posts: 731
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:16 pm

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by kitekrazy » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:17 am

studiojohnny wrote:Why does Ableton keep adding stupid, obscure features (enough with stupid f*cking Push already) while neglecting to add really basic features that other DAWs can do just fine?

Like, if they were building a car, they'd be adding custom rims and keyless entry but forgetting that - hello - the car is missing a wheel and a door. Maybe add the basics first then the fancy stuff.

Next time Ableton has a team meeting and sits down to discuss what to upgrade next, could someone *please* prioritize the list with important features (e.g. Vocal comping, MIDI lanes, etc.) at the top and stupid features at the bottom? And please fire whoever has the final decision currently on what to upgrade next. Clearly they never use their own product.
This is quite common when software companies start adding hardware. Presonus does this. Most of the NI updates for Komplete were like this.

Stromkraft
Posts: 7033
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:34 am

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stromkraft » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:56 am

studiojohnny wrote: Like why - whyyyyy - are they redesigning Simpler, which already worked totally fine, when other way more important fixes are needed?
One reason may be that some users asked for a change along those lines since quite a long time. Also Ableton may have felt it was time for an update.

As much I'm pretty much with you the "DAW basics" you put forward — while certainly needed in some cases — is a little stuck on how we imagine how live could be like other DAWs. Instead of talking about comping and how that could be implemented in practice (Not our job really, but we're free to post about it) we could simply say we need solutions for the problem of handling and fusing different recording takes.

Why? Because if Ableton just adds comping tools according to how we talk about it we miss out on deeper and revolutionary solutions. For instance to me, clips should always be close to equal whether they are MIDI or audio when it comes to possibilities. So a recording take solution should also handle MIDI clips for instance. And why not make it a creative real time tool as well? And so on.

I think it's dangerous to be too prescriptive as it will hold Ableton to a (lower) standard they shouldn't have to follow. Ableton should be the leader and the visionaries and open for input. They should build the tools we didn't know we wanted.

When I moved to Live after some years with Logic I had no clear idea why I'd want to use it. It's when — after a friend pushed me to explore —  I encountered some core ideas that it won me over. I never wanted it to "be more like Logic". Live should be itself and take care of its users. I think Ableton can pull that off. We should remain vocal about what we need, but we should widen our discussions and not be so prescriptive about it.

Capitalism is not a command economy. Companies that build according to their user's specifications are for the most part lame and those that build according to their vision and maybe what they want to use tend to change the world and build really great tools. I want Ableton to remain a great company. I agree they should address glaring problems, but they should be ahead of us all at the same time.
Make some music!

Stefan Jantschek
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:01 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:38 am

[jur] wrote: I can assure you that Ableton is seriously listening to its user base!
When Live 1 was presented back in early 2000', nobody really understood why they had designed this strange Session View... I think that, as musicians, we should simply trust instruments makers. They are the one who generally think forward for us, right?
Hi Jur,

That is indeed an ambivalent situation.

There´s no doubt Ableton does listen to users.
We all wouldn´t be there where we are now.

But there´s some truth in the opinion of studiojohnny also.
Some basic stuff is overdue indeed.
Blurry fonts on (meanwhile common) high DPI Windows Systems, Pitchbend Bug, Preselections cannot be deactivated, just to name some.
Shure there must be reasons.
But the user is still speculating about them.
Are they on the schedule, are there technical reasons, etc?

I think we can break that down to a different opinion about communication.
My main suggestion nowadays would be:

Just move your communication a bit more from the marketing aspect over to the technical backround area.
Don´t need to be on the official HP.
Just somewhere. The advanced user will find it!
It´s not only about listening, it´s about how to talk.
The advanced user does not want to know what DJ Galactus can do with his gear,
but the technical reasons why it is still not easy to implant clear fonts and that the devs are working on that matter would be great!

I am shure that will make everybody more happy :D

Greets,
Stefan

-

Angstrom
Posts: 14672
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
Contact:

Re: Why does Ableton keep adding new features that no one wants?

Post by Angstrom » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:07 am

[jur] wrote: When Live 1 was presented back in early 2000', nobody really understood why they had designed this strange Session View... I think that, as musicians, we should simply trust instruments makers. They are the one who generally think forward for us, right?
Hmm, I that's a little absolute.
In many cases the instrument makers have listened but still made a mistake and it's been up to the users to point that mistake out. By it's nature the listening process is silent, when Ableton listen to users it's a little bit like talking to Santa. Sure he listens, but I'm not convinced he understood me and he gives no clues .... until one day, for Xmas, I get a PlateStation 3

Santa - I said Playstation.

I remember one time users were asking for a new browser, and you can read about it in my new 955 page novel " The Beast of Badly Handled Metadata". It's a tragicomedy for all ages.

So, when you say to trust the instrument makers ... I would say, yes, I trust them to be doing well about 80% of the time with the information they have available and the goals they have established and the resources assigned. Like I trust all humans.

But things which are outside the defined spec parameters are by definition not included in the goals. So, I make synth patches and want to preview them and find them. Should I trust Santa and the instrument making elves 100% this time? Or will we get another Platestation. Who knows if the message has got through. Do I keep shouting into the listening hole?
[jur] wrote:as musicians, we should simply trust instruments makers. They are the one who generally think forward for us, right?
Not really, I think it should be a two-way conversation between the players and the makers, rather than one of : users shouting into a listening-hole and waiting 4 years to see if their descriptions were understood.

Post Reply