Feature Request -- darker bright / lighter dark skin

I noticed that a new major update of ANA 2 is comming. A little feature request: please include an alternative to the eye blindingly bright white default and the pitch back hole optional skin. I had to tinker around with the included black skin to come up with my own dark grey colour skin. Better readable font would be much appriciated too.

Here is what I did to make the black skin usable:

  • XNView: bightness plus 27, contrast plus 20 – export back to PNG (using batch processing)
    – on all background graphics and all single screens (there are a lot of them: multiple FX screens, multiple popup windows, file browsers, G-Env-Screen, etc.)
  • adjusted the colours of EQ curve, G-Env (small + big), sample waveform, LFO waveform, OSC waveform to 0xfff5f5f5 to better fit the softer background colour
  • overall much better readability. No long a black nothing where a GUI is supposed be
  • only thing missing: the about screen seems to be coded inside the plugin. As Slate skins show: you can get it to work but that would need making a custom about screen background, I suppose. Not worth the time and effort. When do you really need the about screen? For now the colour difference of the about screen is tolerable

Using ANA2 to this day. Aside form the GUI and some small bugs and glitches: still a great sounding synth!

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Thank you for your feedback :wink:

Also agree that it would be nice to get some alternative GUI skins for ANA 2 in the future :thumbsup:

For SA team → @phil_johnston +1 for this, would be cool to have a few more skins :sunglasses:

Here we are again. ANA v2.5 is out but still no usable skin. ANA 2 is such a nice synth. Great VA sound, nicely done WT features, now even with pretty decent multisample playback. (FX are not it’s strongest point tho) I’d like to know how much more licenses SA would sell if ANA had a factory skin that would allow you to look at it.

So I had to invest time in doing the colour correction based of the dark skin. Again.

What sort of skins do you like? Any references I could look at… I’m up for doing other skins if the are functionally and aesthetically better than the standard ones.

What particularly don’t you like about the standard ones?

Hi phil

Thanks for chiming in.

Let me explain. Most of us are producing in a dimly lit room, I suppose. If you are using the factory default bright white skin it burns your eyes. You might say, “alright, lower the brightness of your display!”, but of course then you would loose the brightness / contrast levels of your DAW graphics and that of the other plugins.

So using the dark skin is the solution then. Nope: It is too dark. It is almost black with a few bright spots dotted around (bright white or blue GUI elements). The contrast is too high. That is to say: don’t use (almost) black as a background colour in GUI design. Never. Ever. At least make it optional. (Technically the dark skin is optional but the white default skin is equally unsuable, so …)

For an example look at the kilohearts plugins: their phaseplant / multipass / snapheap. That GUI has a nice brightness / contrast balance. (No, I don’t want to point out that ANA needs a more modern elaborate GUI with lots of visual feedback. I like that old-fashioned approach of the ANA GUI. Nice snappy GUI without unnecessary bling-bling).

The icing on the cake would be changing the font on the GUI to something more readable. But I suppose that font is kind of a SA trademark design choise, am I right? I mean, who would voluntarily choose that font if he doesn’t have to, right?

edit: dimmly > dimly – sorry, english issn’t my mother tongue

The font on the non retina screen we are kind of stuck with as it’s a pure pixel font to make such small fonts legible.

For the retina size we have been looking at better fonts.

I will have a go at making a mid contrast skin with new fonts. We certainly aren’t tied to any legacy concepts, our only concern is to make the most useful synth for our users. Our goal has always been to make as versatile a synth as possible so we can use it in tutorials and create all the sounds an artist could ever want.

We are all totally open to users giving feedback and suggestions… we built the synth for you and will try to keep improving it as much as we can.

I reckon ANA was at least partially created to provide you with a software synthesizer that newcommers could follow along with your courses. I get that. I also get that it needs to look cool in a way so that new producers would think that this synth is something they’ve nerver seen before. So it has to be good. (And it is!) But there’s a reason why most other GUI have a softer colour scheme compared to that of ANA. It’s called usability. But I’m repeating myself.

Thanks phil for having a look at it. Much appreciated.

edit: look different > have a softer colour scheme compared