Mixtikl 2: Thoughts and feedback

There’s been a healthy debate on the Mixtikl 2 post about this app and the last comment from Pete at Intermorphic is worth publishing to everyone. Here it is:

Hi All,

Many thanks for taking the time to give me some of your feedback, it is truly appreciated and will be used to help us improve Mixtikl.

Tim and I have been creating our software for many (many) years now, and as what we do really is boutique software (generative art is a small niche, even if fun to use!) we have learned to listen very carefully both to our customers and to those who aren’t yet customers (because they don’t like the way we do X/Y/Z).

The documentation/tutorials are a work-in-progress, and a bit like the hundreds of pages you’ll see for the Noatikl user guide, the Mixtikl user guide will slowly improve by continual plugging away. We generally get there, in the end. 🙂

User-interface responsiveness: yes, we hear you. Where that is right now, is our current “best attempt” which just manages to get the full-on generative content playing even on a 1st gen iPod touch without break-up. I’m sure we’ll be able to improve this in time (and for sure hardware will catch-up!), so I hope you check back from time-to-time to see how we’re getting on there.

Norway: Tim’ll have to check that! Can you please mail Tim at Intermorphic, that way we’ll have a separate thread to track it?

We’ve also had really useful feedback, for example asking us to play through the main speaker, rather than the ear speaker, when the headphones aren’t plugged-in; something neither us nor our beta users had picked-up on. All stuff we can build on!

We also hope to add more capability for doing some in-place editing of the generative rules, as the risk of adding some small complexity for users who might not be interested in such things.

What is interesting for me (as a techie) about Mixtikl is the sheer scale of it; though you might not realise it, as the UI is the tip of the iceberg that we all interact with. All maintained by just the 2 of us – how do we do it?!

Behind the scenes, Mixtikl is made up of around 250,000 lines of code. Might even be some kind of record. 🙂

Around 95% of our code is cross-platform; the rest is platform-specific code for iPhone, Mac, Windows, Windows Mobile. We also do VST/AU plug-ins variants, and web browser plugi-ns for Win/Mac (you can hear these in use in our forums, where you can share mixes online).

Because we want people to be able to share their music, across as many devices as possible, we have a real strong cross-platform focus to what we do. We also hope to support Android at some point! So, the user interfaces we create have to work on both touchable and non-touchable devices (i.e. with keypads only), with and without multi-touch. That leads to make a few compromises in the UI; basically, everything has to be keyboard controllable.

That means we also have to create and maintain skins across a big range of form factors – 10 at last count.

There are 42 “pop-up” dialogs to maintain user interfaces for, and that must work on all screen sizes; ranging from simple message boxes to complex wavetable builders. Each one of which requires documentation. 🙂 Note that not all of these dialogs are in the mobile version; some of them are only in the desktop versions to help reduce complexity.

We even have a MIDI implementation chart hidden within the documentation; there is a full GM wavetable in there (custom, created by friends of Intermorphic…) and of course the modular synth that has to be documented.

Do please keep your comments coming, by any route; whether via Palm Sounds (thanks Ashley for such a great resource!), via our forums, or via mail. We’ll always try to consider your feedback, and try to give a sensible response. 🙂

We’ve been around for years, and will be around for many years more; this is a long journey for us and we hope to share what we create with many of you along the way.

A minor factoid to close with: I’m pretty certain that many of the names in the Tiklpaks were created with Liptikl (our lyric creation tool). 🙂

Best wishes,

Pete

I know that there are a variety of opinions about this app. I think that it has been easier for me to get to grips with the interface in Mixtikl 2 as I was already familiar with Mixtikl 1 which I’ve been using for ages.

I think that the random feature is excellent and gets some great mixes instantly. Really nice feature guys.

I’m hoping that the docs and tutorials will help out with some of the questions that have come up so far.

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