Menus, icons, buttons and text fields are used throughout Audiotool’s interface to control the state of its various functions. By convention, active interface controls are highlighted in cyan and inactive ones are shown in light gray. They are of the following types:
- Menus: Words, texts and icons that open a list of items when clicked. Items with a ► sign open a sub-menu with additional items. Menu items activate a function when selected. Top bar menus are shown when clicking words on the top bar. An example is the “File” top bar menu. Context menus are shown when right-clicking items that support them. An example is the device context menu.
- Icons: Symbols that activate a function or change the application’s behavior when clicked. You can deactivate icons by clicking them again or by clicking another icon in a group of them. An example is the pointer icon in the desktop tools bar.
- Buttons: Provide the same function as icons but the symbols are rendered inside a rectangular frame. The distinction is purely graphical. An example is the play/pause button in the time-line bar.
- Check-boxes: Boxes that set or unset an option when clicked. An active check-box shows a check mark inside it. An example is the options in the “Publish” dialog box.
- Text fields: Areas that accept textual input from the keyboard when clicked. An example is the “Search” text field in the sample browser panel. You can find text fields in dialog boxes and when double-clicking device controls or text labels.
- Lists: Areas that show an ordered collection of items. Click an item to select it. An example is the history list in the history panel.
Additionally, Audiotool’s devices provide their own interface which allows you to set values for their controls to define their sound. This interface mimics the one found in the real musical devices they simulate and consists of controls of the following types:
- Displays and indicators: A special type of controls that don’t support any interaction and whose function is to show a specific aspect of a device’s state. Examples are the clipping indicators of the master output and the pattern length display of the Beatbox 8.
- Buttons: Trigger an action that changes the state of the device. An example is the pattern clear button of the Beatbox 8. You activate a button by clicking it. Buttons can’t generally be automated.
- Switches: Engage or disengage a function that changes the behavior of the device. An example is the shuffle on/off switch of the Beatbox 8. You change the state of a switch by clicking it. Switches can’t generally be automated.
- Selectors: Choose one of a number of mutually exclusive options, which control a function of the device. An example is the pre-scale selector of the Beatbox 8. You change the state of a selector by dragging it or clicking the desired state or its label. Selectors can’t generally be automated.
- Knobs: Set the value of parameters over a continuous range. An example is the volume knob of the Beatbox 8. You can read a knob’s parameter value by pointing it. You turn a knob by dragging it up and down. You can turn the knob with finer resolution by holding Ctrl and dragging. You can use the finest resolution by holding Ctrl+Shift and dragging. You can type a numeric value by double-clicking the knob. You can reset a knob to its default position by pressing Backspace or Delete. Knobs can generally be automated.
- Sliders: Provide the same function as knobs in a linear fashion. An example is the channel fader of the Centroid. You move a slider by dragging it up and down or sideways, depending on its design. Fine resolution, keyboard entry, reset and automation work identically as with knobs.
- 2D sliders: Provide the same function as sliders on two dimensions to change the values of two related parameters simultaneously. An example is the “Filter” 2D slider of the Heisenberg. You move a 2D slider by dragging the intersection marker around, by clicking the desired position or by dragging each axis up and down or sideways. Fine resolution, keyboard entry and reset work by acting on each axis. Automation works either from the intersection marker, affecting both parameters, or from each axis, affecting only the corresponding parameter.
- Slots: Hold an item to be used by the device and also show its name. An example is the “Sample” slot of the Machiniste. You assign an item to a slot by dragging it from its current location. If the slot already contains an item, the new one replaces it. Slots can’t generally be automated.