The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is everything you see on the screen, that is all the windows, editors, buttons, sliders, scrollbars, etc..., which are called the GUI components (aka widgets, controls).
The GUI is the interface by which you tell the app what you want to do.
Most GUI components work as you're used to from other applications, but some components have more specific behaviours, which are described as follows.
|Important Note To OSX Users|
These docs are written from a Windows user view. Not because MuTools prefers Windows, no, it's just that repeating the platform-specific differences all the time would be boring for you as well for me. So that's why the following is mentioned only here and on the User Interface page:
Whenever this user guide mentions right-click, do [Ctrl]+click.
Note that a right-click might work too, it depends on your OSX setup.
Whenever this user guide mentions [Ctrl]+click, do [Apple]+click.
Whenever this user guide mentions [Ctrl]+key, do [Apple]+key.
MuTools apps use customized windows because we found shortcomings in the standard platform windows, both on OSX and on Windows.
Here you see the anatomy of a MuTools window:
- Note that on OSX, the title is in the middle, and the window buttons are at the left, as is the OSX tradition.
- You can move the window around by dragging its title bar. Alternatively you can also move a window by [Alt]+click-dragging its borders. This may be handy when the title bar is off screen.
- You can resize a window by pulling its borders or its corners. Not all windows are resizable though.
- Right-click a window's title bar or borders to popup its context menu. That context menu also contains a "Move To Top-Left" function in case you can't reach the title bar anymore.
- Minimize = is is the standard OS minimize function.
- Hide = When a floating window is hidden, it appears as a button in the window dock at the bottom of the main window.
- Most floating windows can also be closed by pressing [Esc] when the window is focused.
- You can press [Ctrl]+[Tab] to focus the next window. On OSX, this is also done by [Ctrl]+[Tab] as [Apple]+[Tab] is already used by the system.
When you press a key on your computer, then the question is: what part of the GUI will process that key? Imagine, you press [Delete], then should the app delete the selected parts or a track or a rack or...
So it's important to have a certain focused component that will process the keys you press. This is applies to all software applications. Normally this is the last component that you clicked in, or mouse-wheeled in.
The app can clearly indicate the focused GUI component by drawing a colored rectangle around that component cfr this picture:
But by default this focus box is not drawn as it can be distracting for some users. That's why this is a user preference that can be set via "Edit Preferences" -> "Draw GUI Focus Box".
Whenever an alert box pops up, you can choose one of the button options by clicking on it (of course), but also by pressing the first character of that option. And when there is a "Cancel" option, you can press [Esc] to cancel.
So for example for this question alert:
Pressing [Y] = Yes
Pressing [N] = No
In Yes-No question alerts, [Enter] and [Return] also mean "Yes" and [Escape] means "No".
Above are examples of a knob and a slider. Knobs and sliders almost work in the same way:
- Clicking on it and dragging it up-down OR left-right will tweak the knob/slider. For a vertical slider you can only drag up-down of course.
- When you hold [Ctrl] while dragging, the changes are much finer.
- When you hold [Shift] while dragging, the changes are more extreme.
- When you hold [Shift] when you click a slider, the handle immediately jumps to that position.
- When you hang over a knob/slider with the mouse (even no focus required!), you can also use the mouse wheel to tweak the knob/slider.
And again [Ctrl] and [Shift] give you more control, cfr above, thus hold [Ctrl] while scrolling the mouse wheel for scrolling values in smaller steps.
- When the knob/slider has the focus (=colored box around it), you can also press the +, - for tweaking. Pressing [Ctrl] and [Shift] works similar as above, thus [Ctrl][+] increase the value in small steps.
- Pressing the Home key sets the knob/slider to its default value. This can also be done via a [Alt]+click on the knob/slider.
- You can double-click the value of a module parameter to set that value via an input dialog.
|File Browser / Tree Lists|
- The Desktop button brings you to the Desktop.
- The Favorite Folders button allows you to quickly go to one of your favorite folders, or manage them.
- The File Name Filter button allows you to set the name filter to e.g. "B*.Mux" which means that the browser will list all files starting with B and having a 'Mux' extension.
- When also a new file can be chosen, [Alt]+N corresponds to the "New File" button.
- When browsing for an audio file, then when you click the file name, the audio file plays one-shot AND it is active on your MIDI keyboard so you can instantly play some notes with the preview.
- You can also drag-drop a file from OSX' finder/Windows' explorer on the file browser so to sync it to that file/folder.
- In all tree lists you can type in characters to search for an item. Press [Ctrl]+G to search for the next item.
Context menus are hidden menus that are only relevant to a specific context/object.
Context menus are opened by right-clicking on the relevant object.
On OSX that is [Ctrl]+click. Note that a right-click might work too, it depends on your OSX setup.
Within these context menus, you can press the first character(s) of an option to choose that option. Sometimes this might be quicker than selecting the option with the mouse.
|Musical Position/Length Editors|
Musical positions and lengths, e.g. of notes in a sequence, are formatted as Bars.Beats.Ticks.
For example, position 17.3.8000 means the 17th bar, the 3rd beat within that bar, 8000 ticks from the start from that beat.
A length of 0.2.6000 means a length of 2 beats and 6000 ticks.
There are 12000 ticks per beat (aka quarter-note). A 16th is 1/4th of a beat so it's 3000 ticks.
If you have a composition with tempo 120 BPM, then every tick corresponds to 0.04166667 ms.
The time signature is defined by the composition and can be edited via the composition's context menu -> Edit Properties. By default, there are 4 beats in a bar.
You can edit a position or length by dragging the values up/down, by using the mouse wheel, by clicking the previous/next grid position buttons, or by double-clicking the value to enter a numeric value in the above mentioned Bars.Beats.Ticks format.
The points to separate Bars-Beats-Ticks are not necessary. The first point, if any, is for separating Bars<->Beats, the second point, if any, is for separating Beats<->Ticks.
So when you type 45 it will be interpreted as bar 45. When you type 23.3 it's bar 23, 3rd beat. When you type 105.2.6000 it's bar 105, 2nd beat, 6000 ticks.