Here’s a list of things I wish grandMA3 would do, as we transition to it from MA2.
- Better macro editing. This is probably the biggest one. Currently, there are two ways to edit macros: in the software of the console, or directly editing the XMLs in a text editor. I have a powerful editor, Sublime Text 3, that works very well for this sort of this, especially with add-ons like Text Pastry. But it’s less than ideal for working with very large macros like my color generation macros. I had to make some major changes to one of those macros recently, and this was very painful because I had initially written everything as single lines (each color was generated by a single line of code, but each command was separated by a semicolon, to keep the line count down.) Unfortunately, if the fixtures didn’t have the attribute called by the macro, the whole line would fail, instead of just that one command. I ended up having to separate out the individual attributes into individual lines. This is a pain, because the code for macros looks like this:
<Macroline index="000"> <text>AddUserVar $FirstPreset = 1; Attribute "COLORRGB1" At 20; Attribute "COLORRGB2" At 0; Attribute "COLORRGB3" At 100; Attribute "COLORRGB4" At 0; Attribute "COLORRGB5" At 0; Store Preset 4.$FirstPreset "Lime" /g /m</text> <info>Lime</info> </Macroline>
- (Continued) I thought about trying to pull this into Excel / an Excel-like-program, with each cell a clipping of the macro line, but it proved to be too difficult to get the import and export correct. I still think some sort of plugin (or macro, ha!) for Excel could parse these files more effectively than I can make it do, and make editing easier. I’d love to be able to handle everything between the semicolons as “snippets” that I could drag around, copy / paste, etc, along with powerful enumerating features for renumbering (or even automatically keeping track of) macro line numbers, something I wish the console would do automatically anyway. For repetitive macros like this, that just do a thing over and over again, it would be a godsend. Or make them more human-readable, or something: seeing ” is like my bezerk button. It’s so unnecessary. There’s no reason that we must use XML.
- A GUI for the search / replace function. Search and replace is incredibly useful, though with the new recast preset function in MA3 its utility is probably somewhat lessened. It could still be useful for “replace all instances of preset x with preset y” which is a thing I frequently use it for. Having it in GUI form, with all the objects listed in two panes would be great.
- Waveform viewing on those panoramic screens. For timecode shows. That would be incredible! Drop a WAV or MP3 or AIF into the console, with a timecode track, and do all your timecode stuff in the desk without the need for an external laptop. Move TC events around based on the waveform, which would reduce the need for constant rewind / play / move event forward or back a few frames / repeat process that we’re all so familiar with. Bonus points if MA allows changing the waveform to a spectrogram view so that if you have a very “busy” song, sonically speaking, you could switch to that to see the events you wanted, separated by frequency.
I’m sure I’ll think of more, which I’ll put here.