In-App User-Created Module Library

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module-library

#1

@Taylor and I were discussing how to manage the module library in Audulus 4. We’d love some feedback on these ideas:

Include Unedited User Modules

The way I approached the module library when creating it and adding modules to it was to have a unifying design principle so that modules look similar and have predictably labeled controls and I/O. The idea is that once people learn what individual icons mean, they can apply those to any module. The inputs and outputs are all at the top of the module except in certain cases like envelope inputs on filters or VCAs, etc.

There are lots of little design rules I follow to do this including spacing of UI elements and naming modules, all of which are pretty onerous to spell out and expect users to follow if they want their modules included in the library.

The solution to this was for me to just rearrange modules and add them as I had time, but as the community and number of modules grows, this task has become too large.

This would make it easy to continuously update Audulus without requiring a lot of extra work from me.

With the added tooltip help function described in this thread, it would also obviate the need to have to merge and edit module descriptions on the website.

The overall “help” function that pops up when you select a module could also direct people to the module’s entry in the forum.

Proposal

Instead of mixing the default Audulus library with user modules, we have a separate user-created library that includes the unedited versions.

There would still be an official library, but it would be pared down to really easy to use high quality modules that would be more inviting to new users and have a standardized UI created by a professional graphic designer.

This way we get the best of both worlds in the released version: A slick, uniform default library alongside an eclectic user-created module library that shows off all the variation you can have in creating a module.

Feedback

Would it be best to organize it by user then module type, or have just one big user library by module type and mix individual users together? I lean more towards highlighting the users’ forum names, like @RobertSyrett’s collection vs. @Stschoen’s. It would add to menu tree complexity, but with the iOS search function and eventual computer search function for modules, it might be just as easy to type in “VCA” and get every VCA module.

I lean towards highlighting individual users as this showcases their work in a nice way and presents their library of created modules as an individual offering rather than mixing them all together.

What do you think? Any and all ideas for this are welcome!


#3

That is an interesting thought! Would this be in the frame work of a slightly more sophisticated organization of “personal” modules? I am thinking here of the modules folder on the mac system.


#4

Yeah so for your collection, you could just send me a .zip of your folders with your own heirarchy and I’d drop that directly into the default modules folder under “User Libraries” or something


#5

Could be pretty cool. I think some meta tags would be pretty useful so you could search “sts” and all the @stschoen modules would pop up. I know that you and @taylor just kind of dumped tags on the iOS, but it helps greatly in other applications to reduce the amount of time looking for something 5 folders deep


#6

You wouldn’t need a meta tag for that - if you started searching rob it would show the folder with your modules in it. The “tags” would be the folders themselves.

Can you think of another situation where we might need them though?


#7

But then none of the modules would show up if you searched “oscillator,” right?


#8

Not oscillator, but it would if you searches VCO like it does now


#9

I guess it would depend on what you name it?


#10

Then naming conventions are something to formalize? It’s worth thinking about…


#11

I saw your post yesterday and I’ve been giving it some thought. I think we should definitely have a curated set of “factory” modules, and I see a lot of benefit in having a consistent approach to design, labeling and appearance. Good internal commenting and documentation is also a must. For factory modules originally created by users, it would be nice if you credited the original designer inside the module, but I see no problem with modifying them for a consistent “look and feel”. There should also be some mechanism for submitting modules for potential addition to the official library. I’m not so sure that we need to distribute user libraries with the base product. I think the module library that is developing on the new forum will be an excellent alternative. I see a couple of issues with adding a user library to the distribution. Firstly there is the issue of exclusion. Unless you add everybody’s contributed patch, some people will feel left out. The forum is open to all users that wish to contribute. Secondly there is the problem of overwhelming new users with too much choice. I think a tightly focused collection of basic modules would be of more use to people just getting in to Audulus. Adding user libraries will also add to the size of the distribution. Having the user libraries resident on the forum, gives people a reason to visit, and encourages participation by all. I think we should perhaps add an Author field to the module template on the forum and provide some additional guidelines on suggested layouts, labeling, signal conventions etc. so that the user libraries might have some consistancy. It would be possible to post collections of modules by individual users with a folder structure by simply zipping them and posting in the collections category. A folder template might be of some use. The macOS version already has a method to add user libraries to the context menu, and we definitely need something similar on iOS. Once this is in place, users would have the ability to include whichever libraries they choose.


#12

Maybe a new module subcategory for collections?


#13

I think there’s one already. :cowboy_hat_face:


#14

Yeah that one’s for bringing out all modules of a type at once. I haven’t added them all yet though.

To be clear the idea would be to have a folder at top level that says “User Modules” or something like that, then you go into that folder and see robertsyrett, stschoen, etc, then in those folders they’d be organized however the user has organized their folders (hopefully somewhat similar to top level organization but wouldn’t be a hard rule).

I understand some people might be disappointed if theirs weren’t included but I don’t know many patches I’ve seen that would truly not be welcome in the forum collection. I could also always advise someone who wants their collection to be included on what they’d need to do to get them added?


#15

Not sure I understood everything or what you’re trying to do exactly. What I can say about the present situation is this:

  • official modules that comply to the very strict rules defined by the Audulus team get an immediate access, an official documentation and a full visibility
  • « unapproved » patches get nothing and a weak visibility (limited to this new forum and its search option)

#16

Exactly - this is what I’m trying to solve. It’s a pretty simple proposal: let certain users with valuable collections of modules just send me a folder and I dump it into the released version of Audulus. The official collection would become more curated and focused and have a unifying principle but the user patches would go in unedited, showing people the variety of module looks you can have. Make sense?


#17

Makes sense. Thanks for taking care of this.


#18

Thank YOU for your great contributions to Audulus!


#19

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about - we could keep the user library under the official library on the Mac version’s right click menu, but then place it inside the module library directory in the iOS version (to minimize menu drilling for both options)

What I could do is place my more weird/complex sequencer modules and such in this folder and keep the standard module library more focused on straight-ahead traditional, recognizeable modules.

What do y’all think?


#20

Yes looks good!


#21

I like the idea of keeping the standard library pretty clean. A good selection of basic envelopes, filters, oscillators, sequencers, percussion, etc. The kind of things that anyone wanting to experiment with synthesis might find useful. It should probably have some representative modules from both the East and West Coast approaches, as well as a few complete synth packages. The complete synths, especially if well documented, would be a great place for a new user to start. Someone new to Audulus should be able to make some cool sounds without a lot of effort. Organizing the User Libraries by user rather than module type at the top level makes sense to me. As I pointed out before, I’m not convinced that it’s really necessary given the forum, but if you want to distribute selected user modules, I think this is the most logical way to do it.