Many 3rd party plugins have a lot of depth to them, there can be countless tricks and details worth remembering, while others just have nondescript parameter names. Whatever the case is, it’s great to have a conveniently accessible way of adding documentation/notes right in the DAW.
What problem(s) would this feature resolve?
As of now, Bitwig doesn’t have any way of adding notes/descriptions/documentation for devices/plugins. This feature would allow for that.
How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?
Bitwig already has a great “Show Help” button in the Inspector Panel for every built-in device, alternatively accessed by pressing F1. A text editor could be integrated in that window for devices/plugins that don’t already have a built-in help page.
Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?
Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?
Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?
Are there other products that offer this feature?
Not that i know of.
Relevant links (optional)
Its a nice idea. I imagine a simple notes field in the inspector that will be always there. Should be easy to implement. It would be saved with the Bitwig preset. Any VST and device should have a default preset, even if you never saved an individual one.
It might need an additional entry in the context menu: save as default preset…
For what is worth, I have suggested an annotations textarea in the inspector in the context of Text annotations
This would be a great addition if we get containers in The Grid, so we could have help hints available for custom Grid devices, like you get for all other devices when you press F1.
I think there is value in having separate fields for devices and presets. That way you could have your own notes for the device in itself AND also have notes for a specific (complex) preset shared by someone else.
There are many concepts mixed in this conversation and it would be useful to separate them and agree on what specifically is being requested:
- Bitwig native devices vs plugins.
- Annotations in a broad sense vs editing Bitwig’s Help interface (F1)
The Help interface is only available for native devices. They can do this because they can render the help page in the same way that they are rendering the devices themselves, resulting in the amazing interactive help where you can read documentation and play with the device at the same time.
The Help interface is not available for plugins (or at least I never came across a plugin that would offer a help page in the same way that Bitwig devices do. This makes sense because (please correct me if I’m wrong) the plugin is running in a virtual environment and Bitwig has little to no control over it. It cannot reproduce the UI on a Help page.
Even for Bitwig devices, allowing users to edit the Help page of a device feels like opening a can of worms unless you just give them a static scrollable window somewhere with a fixed position.
For these reasons I still think that Text annotations would solve this problem. A textarea in the Inspector Panel that all native devices and plugins have would provide you the place you need to write your documentation.
@holar the idea of having separate fields for devices and presets makes sense and it could be integrated to Text annotations.
@here And replies to my last comment. Is there interest to keep pushing for this request?
If we get Containers in The Grid, then this would be very useful for sharing custom Grid Containers.
@holar created this request focusing on VST plugins. As I tried to explain above, I don’t think it is really feasible to combine Bitwig’s Help interface (F1) with VSTs.
When it comes to native devices, Text annotations is being suggested as a complement to the hlp docs in F1.
When it comes to The Grid, there are two modules that can be used to add comments on the patch itself.
@andrei_olenev points out that, if we have Containers within the Grid, then it would be useful to have a way to create help docs like with the rest of modules and devices (F1). Ok, this makes sense. I have no idea how complex or easy it would be for the devs to open this, but it would be clearly cool.
Now the question is, do we recycle this request to go from VSTs to Grid containers or do we do something else?
It would be awesome to simply have all the docs on github, so that the community could contribute to the docs.
Hi @ensonic ! It’s an interesting idea, but it would be a different feature request, don’t you think?
I’d say the goal is somewhat similar. In the end Bitwig needs to decide how much community involvement they want. .
But you are also right, this feature request might be more an ask to save personal notes per device.
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