Change parameters using the mouse wheel

Possibility to hover the mouse above any parameter and then use the mouse wheel to change that parameter. Pressing i.e. Shift would allow for finer control. This mouse wheel behavior could be optionally remapped to a knob or a fader.

Users could enable and disable this behavior in their settings. Testing should be done to avoid collision with mouse wheel scrolling (see how Cakewalk addressed this problem).

What problem(s) would this feature resolve?

On a hardware mouse you have to click a parameter and then move the mouse. Changing parameters with precision involves several muscles and some skill. In comparison, the mouse wheel doesn’t require to reposition the mouse, and precision can be achieve moving just one finger. The optional use of one knob or one fader offers simiilar advantages.

How does this feature fit in Bitwig as a product?

It’s a workflow improvement.

Is there already an alternative way to achieve this on Bitwig?

The official click and drag behavior. Or mapping every parameter to controllers.

Could it be implemented using Bitwig components or APIs, without Bitwig team’s support?

No

Could it be provided by a VST or something else reasonably integrated with Bitwig?

Only within the VST UI, if they bring this feature.

Are there other products that offer this feature?

Among DAWs, Cubase, Studio One, Cakewalk.

Among VSTs, VCV Rack, Kazrog KClip 3 (screenshot below) and Quanta

3 Likes

As an option, I’m all for it (though I want it as an option to make sure I could switch it off).

As the default, I hate it when plugins do that.

3 Likes

as a option is cool with me…
but why you hate it on plugins? iam working at this moment with the Kazrog Clippa and i really enjoy it.

like i sayed, absoluty ok if its a option to set

When I scroll, I want to scroll :grin: when I’m scrolling and the screen suddenly stops scrolling because some plugin (or the sample player in the Grid) decided to capture my mouse, I have to a) undo whatever I did without wanting to, and b) find a place where I can actually scroll without being caught in any mouse trap anywhere.

With all the things to scroll in the device bar, that would be a horrible spot to place mouse traps into.

6 posts were split to a new topic: [Draft discussion] Change parameters using the mouse wheel

It would be very cool if one could simply hover the mouse above any parameter and then use the mouse wheel to change that parameter. It would also be very cool if it was possible to remap this to a knob. Of course this should be possible to turn off. Perhaps modifier keys could change the speed.

This would allow for a very thin UX when designing sounds using a pointer device - especially with a trackpad but also with a regular mouse, when simultaneously designing and composing, the click-and-drag - while ok - can seem superfluous. It would also be closer to the touch experience where you basically point your finger at the thing you wanna change and then move your finger to change it, no muscling involved. The remapping would allow it to be mapped to another single knob or fader that would be potentially even more precise and satisfying to use.

To go into a bit more detail, on a hardware mouse you have to click a parameter and then move the mouse (unless of course you use a midi controller). You have to click and then move your entire arm to move the mouse. If you have e.g. increment several parameters next to each other, you have to reposition your mouse eventually. This is cumbersome. If you could use your mouse wheel instead, you wouldn’t have to reposition your mouse as often and wouldn’t have to click as often.

On a trackpad, scrolling is usually done with two-finger vertical movement - so instead of having to click and drag, you could just lay down your second finger and drag (arguably up to taste i guess but I am definitely more precise without the pressure from click-and-drag)

The Quanta VST already does this, weirdly enough the implementation works better for me on some knobs than others but I rly like it.

2 Likes

As a default: No please no. I hate S1 for this
As an option: Works but we might need a way to quickly switch it on and off.
With modifier:

  • Ctrl + Wheel or Alt + Wheel would work. Extra Shift for finer control.
  • Maybe we can extend this behaviour with piano roll notes or clips?
    • ex) FL Studio allows nudging notes with shift+wheel, adjusting velocity with alt+wheel
1 Like

Quite often I am catching myself that I am trying to “scroll” the knob. Vote from me.
For the backwards compatibility I would support some kind of switch though.

1 Like

hold shift while adjusting parameter with mouse for fine adjustment, and then also hold right mouse button for even finer adjustment. you can also hold just right mouse button when adjusting as alternative to Shift, it’s just that they do stack if you want.

1 Like

As an option, I’m all for it (though I want it as an option to make sure I could switch it off).
As the default, I hate it when plugins do that.

Exactly, it is the worst user experience you can imagine.
It really reminds me of those GUI in Linux where you want to scroll a page but when you do so and some slider appear under your mouse you’re starting to modifying that slider.
It’s just a source of unnecessary and accidentally value changes.

1 Like

I think this is all preference, so the interaction should be selectable, but generally I would say click drag release is cumbersome and straining.

Several options are imaginable:

hover - scrollwheel
left click - scrollwheel - left click
left click - release - mouse move - left click release

OR

Assign a midi controller knob as default modifier for knobs, so you can change its value either after a left click - release or by just hovering

I really became sold on this way of changing parameters with the release of VCV Rack 2!

At first I thought it was just a “minor” additional feature, but the more I used it, the more I realized it was my Favorite feature! The act of changing a parameter with the scroll wheel feels so much more natural to me than holding down a mouse button and “pushing” or “pulling” the mouse (click and drag).

It is especially noticeable when affecting a delicate parameter like a filter cutoff, or something where you are in a sense “adjusting a value” with your ears. The act of scrolling a wheel feels much more similar to turning a physical knob, or even sliding a slider. The amount of travel of a scroll wheel is Not at all dependent on how big the (relative) size of the control is (How far do you have to Push the mouse to Rotate the knob?") and It feels like It’s easier… and more accurate… to control. In the Real world… of REAL knobs and sliders… you don’t “Click and drag”. You TURN them or move them… A wheel is the simplest and most efficient action on a mouse.! …The other method used of course is MIDI assigning a Control surface knob, slider or button to a virtual knob. But that still is an abstraction… your brain still has to remember the association of physical vs. virtual! …and both objects (the physical and virtual) do NOT occupy the same physical space! It’s very intuitive to just point to a scroll and scroll to change it.

Now I see people complain that it interrupts their ability to scroll in Bitwig… but I think the success of this feature would hinge on how well Bitwig is able to detect WHAT exactly a mouse cursor is hovering over. If its right over a control… focus on that control! if you want to scroll… a window or a frame … its intuitive enough to just move the mouse Off of a control . We do that intuitively in a LOT of other software UI’s. I would argue that it’s so intuitive, most People don’t even think about it!

2 Likes