Sketching a new UI

After having worked out most of the lower level audio processing components in rogue I started to improve the GUI.

I wanted to customize the appearance of the Gtk GUI, but had some problems to apply theming so I considered looking at Qt as an alternative. I was quickly convinced by Qt and converted the full GUI to Qt.

All in all the advantages of Qt over Gtk are

  • easier theming, at least compared to Gtk 2.*
  • better designer tools
  • a dial widget to start from
  • C++ based programming model

Some disadvantages are

  • integer range for dial widget
  • build time metamodel and C++ syntax extensions

For the UI the main inspirations are ElectraX and Curve.

The UI is quite flat and I tried to make it usable and informative. Here is a sketch of the current state


I might still slim it down to something like this


The modulation part is not yet very usable and there is lots of empty space, but otherwise I am quite content with the current state.


7 thoughts on “Sketching a new UI

    • Thanks. Qt has a low learning curve. It was really easy to pick up. It’s a bit confusing though that docs are spread over Trolltech, Nokia and Digia sites 😉

  1. This looks like a wonderful project and I hope to try it out soon! I was wondering why you decided to use Qt4 and not Qt5 (note: I haven’t used any of both, but might in the future).

    As a general observation, with Canonical going on about their convergence goal and Ubuntu Touch and, more to the point, touchscreens likely becoming ubiquitous in the near future (maybe one to two years?), I am a bit suprised that few people in the linux audio realm seem to thinking about makeing guis work on touchscreens. Am I mistaken? Any thoughts on the topic?

    • Thanks. Qt5 isn’t yet directly supported as a LV2 UI, that’s why I picked Qt4.

      I haven’t yet thought much about touchscreen usage for linux audio guis. It might be interesting for two dimensional controlling of parameters. Also touchscreen without velocity sensitivity might not be optimal for volume control.

      • For the touchscreen usage, I was thinking more along the lines of: If I pick up a touchscreen laptop today, will I be able to use the touch interface with some of the audio applications I use? In the past couple of weeks I experimented with controlling e.g. SooperLooper and Ardour with a custom Gui from a small tablet device (via the TouchOSC app). Once my laptop had touch capabilities, would the approach still be to build custom control Guis? That’s one of the questions that I find fascinating, related to the advent of touch interfaces; sorry for rambling on about this here, it’s only very indirectly related to your project.

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