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DSP Limit User eXperience improvements
by killergege on 2012-02-21 06:27:28

Hi,

I completely understand the reason of the DSP limit so it won't be discussed here.

But I would like to suggest some improvements that may help the user to easier handle this limit.

The User eXperience (UX) today is pretty bad when it comes to DPS limit :

  • There is no way to anticipate when this message will appear. I have tones where all the slots are used by effects without any DSP limit issue, and some other with 3 effects and BAM, DSP limit reached. This is wrong !
  • This message prevents some actions when using the HD500 Edit app. When you're near the limit and select an effect category, the first effect of the list is always selected by default. The problem is that this effect can trigger the DSP limit message and then the slot is reset (dropdown lists are cleared, effect category & effect name), while another effect down in the list might work. So it is now impossible to select any effect from that list. I didn't check the last version, but the last time I checked, it worked that way.
    I think that this problem doesn't exist when editing directly on the POD, as the screen displays a message but it doesn't reset the selection (I guess that the effect is just disabled and you probably can't save)

My suggestions are :

  • Display the level of DSP used by the current tone. You probably have that information. The POD screen is quite small so maybe this is not a good idea to add information on that one, but there is plenty of space on the HD500 Edit app. So there should be somewhere on the screen the "%" of the max DSP currently used. The users would be less surprised by the message if they see a "load" bar filling while they add effects.
    You may be afraid to recall to the users that this limit exist, but I guess that any POD HD500 user has reached this limit once, at least when they were playing with the effects to see what the POD is capable of.
  • Display the level of DSP used by each effect. When the DSP limit is reached, the user may have to make some sacrifices (remove an effect that needs too much DSP, change an effect to a less needy one, example : I know that there are some reverb that need more DSP than other). But he can't know which one, except by trying things. You probably also have this information. You probably know how much DSP each effect need. Find a way to display that (what's more tricky is to find HOW to display that without filling the screen with too much information).
  • Don't reset the effect selected when the DSP limit is reached ! Just display the message as it is today and let the user change its selection. Prevent the user from saving this state if you want but allow the user to choose another effect in the dropdown list.
    Or, don't select an effect by default when the user selects an effect category : add at the top of the effect list an "--" entry, like on the effect category list. To improve user experience, you could select by default the first effect, only if the DSP limit is not reached, else select "--" and wait for the user input. If the DSP limit is reached reset to that "--" entry without resetting the effect category.
  • What would be great is too visually show that an effect won't be available without hitting the DSP limit. Grey them in the dropdown lists with a tooltip message explaining that adding this effect will hit the DSP limit.
  • Add a way to really ignore an effect instead of having to remove it (not counting in the DSP limit). When trying things (like which effect sound better, or closer to what I want), and the user can't have several effects in the chain because of the DSP limit, it is really frustrating to have to remove an effect that has been perfectly tweaked in order to try something. The user don't want to be able to use both at the same time, he just wants to try and compare sounds. Today I have to write down the settings I chose before removing it to try something else or to have 2 similar tones that only differ on that effect, but I have to reflect any change on one tone on the other.
    What you could do is to add a way to ignore that effect, it would work only on the HD Edit app : just don't send the effect to the POD, but keep it on a slot in the computer memory, and reset that slot on the POD (consider it empty). It would allow the user to quickly switch between effects that may need a lot of DSP without constantly loading and tweaking effects again and again !

These suggestions will also be sent to Line 6 through their feedback form but I post it also here in order to get some feedback from the community and maybe some better ideas to handle that limit.

Remember, the DSP limit is not what we are discussing here, just the way to prevent and handle it ! So please, don't bring it in the discussion.



Re: DSP Limit User eXperience improvements
by silverhead on 2012-02-21 06:43:06

Great post, killergege! And great suggestions.

I especially like your first and fourth suggestions relating to HD Edit (which should not require a firmware update - just an Edit update): an overall indication of current DSP usage, and an indication of which effects would exceed the limit, preventing their selection by greying them out in the drop-down menu.

You've obviously put a lot of good thought into this. Thanks for sharing your ideas.



Re: DSP Limit User eXperience improvements
by meambobbo on 2012-02-21 07:39:19

completely agree.

it would also be nice to have "stripped down" effects, so that you're not wasting DSP on unused parameters.  For instance, I like to use a bunch of Parametric EQ's.  How about a version without the "lows" or "highs"?



Re: DSP Limit User eXperience improvements
by jimsreynolds on 2012-02-21 08:28:16

I can definitely see how better tracking and limiting around DSP could be of huge benefit and the idea of a meter in HD Edit is excellent.


For now:  you can go manual and use the metrics developed here by Fester2000 and associates to help anticipate when the DSP gremlin might pounce ==> http://line6.com/support/thread/50339">http://line6.com/support/thread/50339">http://line6.com/support/thread/50339. Uses an old version of the firmware as the baseline but probably still pretty helpful.



Re: DSP Limit User eXperience improvements
by Rewolf48 on 2012-02-22 05:04:04

I agree.

One workaround suggestion though:

  • Add a way to really ignore an effect instead of having to remove it (not counting in the DSP limit). When trying things (like which effect sound better, or closer to what I want), and the user can't have several effects in the chain because of the DSP limit, it is really frustrating to have to remove an effect that has been perfectly tweaked in order to try something. The user don't want to be able to use both at the same time, he just wants to try and compare sounds. Today I have to write down the settings I chose before removing it to try something else or to have 2 similar tones that only differ on that effect, but I have to reflect any change on one tone on the other.
    What you could do is to add a way to ignore that effect, it would work only on the HD Edit app : just don't send the effect to the POD, but keep it on a slot in the computer memory, and reset that slot on the POD (consider it empty). It would allow the user to quickly switch between effects that may need a lot of DSP without constantly loading and tweaking effects again and again !

Rather than remove the (other) effect you could copy the Patch and experiment with the alternative effects on the copy - that way you don't lose the perfectly tweaked settings.



Re: DSP Limit User eXperience improvements
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2012-02-22 07:39:24

Great suggestions all around.  Line6 should listen.




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