Can I get my money back?

Discussion forum for Amadeus users

Moderator: Martin Hairer

Should Amadeus ask you to confirm preset changes?

Yes
4
57%
No
1
14%
This should be an option in Preferences
2
29%
 
Total votes: 7

RobLewis
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:28 pm

Can I get my money back?

Post by RobLewis »

Yesterday, for the umpteenth time, I wiped out a painstakingly-constructed 10-band EQ curve in an instant by clicking the "Flat" button. I just wanted to compare the sound pre- and post-EQ.

This is the most screamingly counter-intuitive design I have ever seen! You come back to Amadeus after a few weeks and you forget about this crazy behavior, and poof, your work disappears irretrievably in an instant.

Amadeus should behave like every other Mac program in the world and not let you modify presets without having to OK the operation. And every effect should have a "Bypass" button that doesn't affect the settings but merely switches the effect in or out. You should not have to select a "Default" preset to switch out the effect. Check virtually any other audio editor to see what I mean.

With some effects, it's not even clear what "Default" means. A poor choice of terminology IMO.

I also object to the extremly sketchy documentation of the various effects. At the very least, couldn't you point users to some place on the web where the effect settings and behaviors are documented?

0db
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: San Francisco

"Amadeus should behave like every other Mac program&quo

Post by 0db »

Well, I share your opinions as to the stupidity of the unrecoverable "Flat" button, and the extremely poor documentation of the various effect settings.

However, it's a little unfair to pin the blame totally on Amadeus. As a matter of fact, the Apple-supplied AU 10/31 band graphic equalizer acts exactly the same way, in other applications as well. So that is more a matter of Apple's design, rather than Amadeus.

As I understand it, all of these effects are "plug-ins", meaning that Martin had nothing to do with their design or documentation.

They are free, so maybe you are getting what you paid for. I use other plug-ins that are not free, and the documentation leaves much to be desired there also.

0db

RobLewis
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:28 pm

Post by RobLewis »

Well, I wasn't actually blaming Hairersoft--just sounding a cry of existential anguish to the cosmos ;-)

And Martin has been very responsive on fixing the plug-in preset behavior. He is apparently redoing the whole scheme in a way that makes much more sense.

Here's a specific bit of anguish I'd really like to get resolved: Apple's AU compressors have a "headroom" control that must somehow be related to compression ratio. Every other compressor this audio graybeard has ever seen has a ratio control, but Apple's don't (I guess they really do "Think Different"). Anybody care to hazard a guess about how to convert Apple's "headroom" into an equivalent compression ratio? I'm stumped.

0db
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: San Francisco

Regading "Headroom"...

Post by 0db »

Hi Rob-

Well, I'm probably not the best guy to comment on this, not having any professional music recording experience, but I am a retired radio technician, having well and truly served on the front lines of San Francisco's 911 Public Safety communications system.

Our situation there was a bit different: Frequency response approx 300-3000 hz, limited dynamic range, generally about 20db. One of the problems in that arena is the significant difference in audio levels received at dispatch from mobile and footpatrol units. If you just crank up the gain to improve the legibility of weak signals, the strong ones overload into distortion.

So we limit, or compress, the louder signals to a certain level, allowing us to increase the level for the weaker audio. This improves things a lot, but you can also have too much of a good thing: if you set the compression threshold too low while increasing the gain, at some point everything sounds loud, "flat", and generally pretty poor. That is because there is no longer sufficient "headroom" to allow for a normal dynamic range in the speech patterns.

So I guess that you could roughly define "headroom" as that area of the dynamic range which is available for audio to retain it's normal level patterns without going into compression. In music audio work of course the ranges are a lot wider, but I imagine the concept is similiar.

Hope this helps a little.

0db

0db
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: San Francisco

A little info, anyhow...

Post by 0db »

Rob: The following info is taken from the "Help" files of the Audio HiJack Pro application. The definitions are short, but better than nothing!

0db

AudioUnit Plugins

The Audio Units you see are actually built in to the operating system by Apple. The following basic overviews should help you get started.

AUAudioFilePlayer - This plugin plays back audio files, including MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless and AIFF files. This plugin is a great addition for both broadcaster and podcaster, as it allows for audio such as intro music, outro music and sound clips in it to be queued up. With one click, the audio can then be played. It also has "region" support, a small part of a larger file can be set to play.(OS X 10.4 and up only)

AUBandPass - "Band Pass" refers to frequencies within a certain band (or range) being passed through, while others are blocked or de-emphasized. This allows an emphasis on high, mid or low range frequencies, for different sounds. The center frequency control adjusts the center point of the band of emphasized frequencies, while the bandwidth control adjusts the size of the band.

AUDelay - This will add repeats to audio, creating an echo. The mix of original source to echo can be adjusted with the dry/wet control, the delay control sets the gap between repeats, feedback controls the number of repetitions, and the lowpass cutoff frequency does just that, cutting out certain frequencies.

AUDynamicsProcessor - A dynamics processor alters an audio signal based on its frequency content and amplitude level. This includes compressors and expanders. The factory presets for this plugin will work well, and as will experimentation with the more complicated settings.

AUFilter - AUFilter is a combination of a Low Shelf/High Pass filter and a High Shelf/Low Pass filter. See AUHiPass and AULowpass(OS X 10.4 and up only)

AUGraphicEQ - This is a standard EQ, with a range from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, allowing the center frequency for each band to be set. However, this EQ divides that frequency range into 31 different bands, allowing for more precise the adjustments.

AUHighShelfFilter - This plugin works much like the AUBandpass filter. However, it allows low frequencies to pass, and drastically cuts off high frequencies ("shelving" them). The cutoff frequency sets where the shelf is, and the gain setting adjusts the boosting or cutting of the frequency's upper end volume.

AUHiPass - This filter reduces low frequencies and passes high frequencies through. It will reduce low rumbles in audio, for example from engines or air conditioner units. The settings allow for adjusting where exactly the cutoff occurs.

AULowPass - This is the opposite of the AUHiPass filter, reducing high frequencies and passing through low ones. This too can eliminate undesired noise, specifically high-pitched noises such as tape hiss and machine noise. It can also improve the quality on low-end microphones. Again, the settings allow for adjusting where exactly the cutoff occurs.

AULowShelfFilter - This plugin is the opposite of the AUHighShelfFilter, but again works much like AUBandPass. It allows high frequencies to pass, and drastically cuts off low frequencies. It can be used, like the AUHiPass, for dealing with low frequency rumbles. The cutoff frequency again sets where the shelf is, and the gain setting adjusts the boosting or cutting of the frequency's upper end volume.

AUMatrixReverb - This plugin can create a wide range of reverb effects. The best bet with this is to experiment, as there are many controls, and many different reverbs can be obtained. One tip to note, to obtain more pronounced reverb effects, set control sliders higher.

AUMultibandCompressor - A compressor will reduce the range of your audio signal, compressing the high and low ends towards the middle. This particular compressor allows compression on multiple bands, through complicated controls. Again, experimentation will help here, as well as using the preset controls for this plugin.

AUNetReceive - AUNetReceive works in a pair with AUNetSend to receive audio from one location to another. AUNetReceive finds AUNetSend transmissions over Bonjour and inserts the audio into the stream.(OS X 10.4 and up only)

AUNetSend - AUNetSend works in a pair with AUNetReceive to send audio from one location to another. AUNetSend can send this audio in a variety of formats: uncompressed AIFF, Apple Lossless, compressed AIFF, and AAC. On a fast network or between two applications, sending via Apple Lossless is your best bet. Otherwise you can drop down to a high-bitate AAC to save on bandwidth (but with a CPU hit). (OS X 10.4 and up only)

AUParametricEQ - The parametric EQ simply allows a signal's amplitude to be boosted or dropped in a given frequency range. It works like a one band EQ, with an adjustable Quality Of Filter (Q).

AUPeakLimiter - The peak limiter smoothes the volume on all frequencies, compressing the volume and reducing the dynamic range to prevent volume increases. The attack and decay settings specify how quick the volume level is adjusted following a change in levels.

AUPitch - AUPitch is a "Pitch And Speed" plugin (pictured right), with 24 different parameters. The first setting, Pitch, is the most important and will enable the adjustment of the pitch of incoming audio. (OS X 10.4 and up only)

AUSampleDelay - AUSampleDelay is similar to AUDelay, in that it buffers audio to add a delay. The difference between the two is that with AUDelay, the delay time is set as a number of seconds, while AUSampleDelay sets the delay time as a count of audio samples. Most people will want AUDelay, as AUSampleDelay is really only useful when doing sample-accurate audio work. (OS X 10.4 and up only)

JEGG
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:33 pm

Re: Can I get my money back?

Post by JEGG »

RobLewis wrote:Yesterday, for the umpteenth time, I wiped out a painstakingly-constructed 10-band EQ curve in an instant by clicking the "Flat" button. I just wanted to compare the sound pre- and post-EQ.

This is the most screamingly counter-intuitive design I have ever seen! You come back to Amadeus after a few weeks and you forget about this crazy behavior, and poof, your work disappears irretrievably in an instant.

Amadeus should behave like every other Mac program in the world and not let you modify presets without having to OK the operation.
OK, now, first of all you are *not* altering a preset. You are resetting the EQ to flat, just as it says.

Yes, it would be nice if it had a bypass button, but recognize it as a bypass button and not something that resets the EQ to flat.

I can't agree that it's "screamingly counterintuitive," as that's the way most apps label their buttons, and that's how the Apple modules work.

You're confusing a bypass function with a convenience feature, I'm afraid.

As to your *big* issue, there is a very simple solution that is built right into the app. Simply SAVE your preset under some name, like, say:
EQ1
EQ favorite
EQ even more favorite
EQ joe sometimes likes

Using the *flat* button will certainly not change your presets.

Then you will not have to painstakingly reconstruct anything. That's what the *save* and *load* buttons do (or whatever they're called). :wink:

And that, BTW, is the way most other audio apps work.


Finally, exactly why have you titled this thread with something about getting your money back?

If you don't like the way the features work to such an extent that you want your money back, why did you buy it in the first place? There is a trial period, after all.

The thread name is an homonym attack, and the poll question is irrelevant and misleading, because-again-presets are not being changed.

dave93
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:30 pm
Location: McLean, VA

Post by dave93 »

Lewis has a point. Maybe a few specifics are misplaced. The general thrust of his comments, though, are heartfelt and relevant.

Parenthetically, "ad hominem" is defined in my dictionary as "To the man: appealing to personal interests, prejudices, or emotions rather than to reason." Informally, we take it to mean unfairly using representations or misrepresentations about an individual to avoid or cloud the real issue.

How many of us, as do I, scavenge this forum to attempt to assemble a usable "Users Manual"? And, how many times has Martin stepped in to point to resolutions of problems that were not immediately obvious or present but "hidden" in a place one would not have thought to look?

The blame, I think fairly, lies with the AP manual. Its layout, organization, and detail. Users become frustrated. And, listening to such frustration, in turn, can arouse ire.

I speak from a special vantage point. Early in the development of the User Manual I offered Martin "proofing" and editorial suggestions. All for the purpose of helping to make the manual more comprehensive and user friendly. Typos were corrected; all of the other broader issues were left unattended.

0db
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by 0db »

"I offered Martin "proofing" and editorial suggestions [but] all of the other broader issues were left unattended."

It's my impression that Martin is not too keen on suggestions. Not uncommon in technical types who believe that the user should adjust to the software/equipment, rather than the other way around.


0db

dave93
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:30 pm
Location: McLean, VA

Post by dave93 »

HAH!! You've, no doubt, nailed it.

The one discordant note, though, is that it seems to me Martin willingly steps in to offer "problem" advice. Why so amenable to the time and effort of this personal approach yet skimping on the time/effort to make a more usable manual?


Dave

Bryan Mumford
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:40 pm

Can I get my money back?

Post by Bryan Mumford »

People have different talents and interests. Be glad Martin writes
Amadeus for us at all. I expect he allocates his time the way he
wants to or needs to.

It's only $40. Use it and be happy.

Or feel free to write "The Guide to Using Amadeus" and sell it on the web.





At 1:03 PM -0400 07-25-2007, dave93 wrote:
HAH!! You've, no doubt, nailed it.

The one discordant note, though, is that it seems to me Martin
willingly steps in to offer "problem" advice. Why so amenable to the
time and effort of this personal approach yet skimping on the
time/effort to make a more usable manual?
--

Bryan Mumford
http://www.bmumford.com
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CDJonah_alt
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:57 pm

Can I get my money back?

Post by CDJonah_alt »

Have you ever written a manual -- it is no fun? Making a new program is
fun; adding capabilities is fun, spending time writing a manual is not
fun. I am certain that if we tripled the price of AP so Martin could
hire a documentation person, we could get a good manual. But writing a
manual for the wide range of people that use a program like AP is very
difficult. Making it harder is knowing the program intimately and
having to figure out what the "average" user needs to know.

For example, several years back, someone was having trouble normalizing
sound and having it work correctly. All suggestions from Martin and
others didn't work. I finally asked for a sample file, took one look at
it and realized that the recording had been overdriven in the recording.
Obvious once you see it and something that no one had considered because
"no one would do that". But a trained engineer, but not an audio person
had.

Good manuals are written by professional documentation people who make
multiple passes with many people. Translate -- money.

Chuck

dave93 wrote:
HAH!! You've, no doubt, nailed it.

The one discordant note, though, is that it seems to me Martin willingly steps in to offer "problem" advice. Why so amenable to the time and effort of this personal approach yet skimping on the time/effort to make a more usable manual?


Dave




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Chemistry Division
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dave93
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:30 pm
Location: McLean, VA

Post by dave93 »

There seems to be somewhat of a backlash here. I'm not complaining, just observing.

JEGG asked Rob "why did you buy it in the first place?" Humm. And to me: Bryan says "be happy" and "feel free to write" it myself, and CDJonah says writing a (good) manual "is not fun", is "difficult" and costly. (Some help for the novice manual writer in organizational terms is available, though, by simply consulting other user manuals designed for the same general sort of thing).

Putting aside the tone of some replies (as I said previously, carping is annoying).... and, it's hard to not annoy some folks some of the time....still, you can't go wrong agreeing with some of their content.

The sum of it seems to be that we're all neither happy nor talented at manual writing. And, in such a case, farming out the task can be expensive. There is, seemingly, nothing objectionable here although there may be a quibble over whether whatever modest or immodest monetary return Martin nets completely excuses the state of the manual.

But, of course, that's Martin's business. And, of course, the user is left to make what he can of the manual produced.


Dave

0db
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:26 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by 0db »

"...writing a manual for the wide range of people that use a program like AP is very difficult. Good manuals are written by professional documentation people who make multiple passes with many people." [CDJonah]

Have done quite a bit of this myself, and couldn't agree more. Hard enough to write for an audience of other technicians... even then I would have to revise things numerous times because what was crystal clear to me was confusing to the next guy. Trying to write clearly and concisely, for an audience of greatly varying experience levels, without being pedantic or patronizing is a very difficult thing to accomplish.

Worse yet is finally producing a decent product and then finding out that very few people will take the trouble to read through the thing. I'm often guilty of that myself. An old technician saying: "When all else fails, read the manual!"



"Be glad Martin writes Amadeus for us at all... It's only $40. Use it and be happy." [Bryan Mumford]


Typical attitude, unfortunately, of many technical people. Try using that line with a bunch of San Francisco 911 dispatchers and they would have you for lunch.



"But, of course, that's Martin's business. And, of course, the user is left to make what he can of the manual produced." [Dave93]

And this is, unfortunately, quite true. Hard to deny that at $40.00 there is good value for the money. Maybe with a good manual it would also be a good value at $50.00.

0db

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Martin Hairer
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Can I get my money back?

Post by Martin Hairer »

It's my impression that Martin is not too keen on suggestions.
Hmmm.... I don't think that I would have gone to great lengths to
implement something like 80% of the suggestions arising in this forum
and from user feedback if this was the case...

Now before I get bashed on, I am aware of the fact that there is a
group of users that would like to see back the ability of separately
editing the left and right channel of a stereo track. This will not
be implemented in version 1.1, but it will definitely be back in one
of the next revisions. It's just that due to the way the internals
work it is much less trivial than one may think. Regards,

Martin

HairerSoft
http://www.hairersoft.com/


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pm@philxmilstein.com
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Can I get my money back?

Post by pm@philxmilstein.com »

Martin Hairer wrote:
Now before I get bashed on, I am aware of the fact that there is a
group of users that would like to see back the ability of separately
editing the left and right channel of a stereo track. This will not
be implemented in version 1.1, but it will definitely be back in one
That is great news! That will be my cue to try again with Pro.
of the next revisions. It's just that due to the way the internals
work it is much less trivial than one may think. Regards,
I imagine that explains why it wasn't included in Pro from the beginning.

--Phil M.


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