Questions & Answers

Used color indicators + named colors + other color picker improvements

+163 votes
asked Jan 3, 2016 in Studio One Feature Requests by Scoox (8,520 points)
edited Sep 11, 2017 by Scoox

I often find myself struggling with quickly finding identical colors for different tracks/channels/events. It would be quite helpful to be able to easily see which colors have already been used. How about displaying a small indicator on colors that are currently in use in the active song? Here's a mock-up of what this might look like:

This way it would be very easy to locate "that yellow I just used on Track 2" rather than having think "the 4th from the top and 3rd from the left". The indicators would take into account all areas of the song, so for example if all tracks are blue and there is a red media clip, then both blue and red would have the small indicator on them. In the above mock-up the indicator is either black or white depending on the background color so as to maximize visibility.

Also useful would be the addition of named colors, so you could just pick "Drums" from a list and have the track automatically be set to the color that, to your taste, best represents "Drums" (I always use a dark shade of brown for drums, for example), rather than having to manually hunt for the color ("was it that brown or was it that other brown next to it?").

This could be implemented as follows:

Left-click on the color button to bring up the normal color picker as currently implemented

Right-click on the color button to bring up a context menu showing all the available user-defined named colors, listing the actual colors and their respective names. At the bottom of the list there is an "Edit list..." option which brings up a small window where users can re-order (move up/down), add, remove and rename their named colors.

This is what I mean by "color button":

Named colors would be globally available across different projects.

Finally, it would be nice if the automation curve color picker was exactly the same as the normal color picker. As you can see, the automation color picker only presents a subset of the main color picker:

Furthermore, some colors which appear to be the same are actually not:

13 Answers

0 votes
answered Jan 7, 2016 by Rico Sergeant (750 points)
I think this would be useful
+3 votes
answered Jan 10, 2016 by niles (49,620 points)

It would also be nice to see a color ID/Name/value when hovering (not needing to LMB/RMB click) a color in the color map. Additionally it would be nice if we could use that same box for entering/pasting a value. It could be something simple like this:

+5 votes
answered Jan 10, 2016 by Scoox (8,520 points)
edited Sep 11, 2017 by Scoox

Can you elaborate what you mean by "color name" and "color #" ? Do you mean standard color names such as "Green" or user defined color names such as "Drums"? Do you mean RGB color code or a numerical ID relative to the color position in the picker?

Other things I have noticed:

1) Some colors are too similar, and in my opinion not very useful. For example:

2) The small 3x6 color picker looks, at first sight, like a subset of the big 8x11 picker, but when you look closely the colors are not the same:

3) In the big picker, colors are arranged in some sort of semi-random fashion. For example, reds are scattered up and down and left and right. This makes it very difficult to tell apart similar colors that really should be together. The order used in the small picker makes more sense, because each column contains different shades of the same color.


1) User-defined picker: The current picker gives us 88 colors to choose from, but most users probably don't need more than 20 colors in any given project. So, allow users to customize the color picker, including number of rows & columns, and which color goes in which cell. Any RGB color should be allowed, ideally allowing users to manually supply RGB values to define colors. This solves problems 1), 2) and 3) above.

2) Single color picker: Use the same color picker everywhere, not a big one and a small one.

3) Store color picker as part of the song file: Users can then create song templates that use their custom color palette. This ensures portability when opening old projects or opening projects on different computers.

4) Use RGB: The color palette can change at any time. A given project may use colors that are no longer part of the palette (e.g. the user has modified the palette), and that's fine if colors are referenced by their RGB value. In addition, users should be able to click a "..." button, maybe at the bottom of the picker, to manually select colors that are not in the palette, like in Excel:

5) Allow color palette import/export: This would be useful for exchanging palette presets, and for backup.file.

NOTE: If this FR is too much hassle to code, initially you could just provide an import/export palette function, so that at least power users would be able to create their palette using a text editor and import it afterwards, and share it with the community.

+4 votes
answered Jan 11, 2016 by niles (49,620 points)
edited Jan 12, 2016 by niles

answer by Scoox By color name or number I mean anything that is unique for that color. I don't really care if it's a HEX/RGB/HSL or (random) name or number. As long as I can see it when hovering the color (in the color map). So when I have a track that is a certain color, I can open the color map for that track to identify the used color after which I can pick/type it on another track that I want to color the same.

Edit: Below is the default color picker from Cubase, as you can see I can quickly identify the green color as #10 (or any name I give it) to use on the other track. That's so much easier than needing to compare colors.

+1 vote
answered Jan 11, 2016 by Scoox (8,520 points)

@niles I don't see anything wrong with that and I suspect users who use Photoshop (etc) would feel right at home seeing some RGB codes or whatnot when hovering over the colors. Having said that, there might not even be any need for text cues if we had customizable color palettes, as I described in my earlier post, because finding your way around a reduced color palette is usually easy enough.

0 votes
answered Feb 5, 2016 by Scoox (8,520 points)
a little bump
0 votes
answered Aug 22, 2016 by chrisdepalma (550 points)
What about being able to set up color favorites by instrument type? Say drums = brown, bass = green, guitar elec = blue, etc... maybe show these favorites beneath the color picker palette?
0 votes
answered Aug 22, 2016 by Scoox (8,520 points)
@chrisdepalma Please read the whole original FR. This was already proposed as "named colors" which is exactly what you are saying :)
+1 vote
answered Apr 10, 2017 by AlexTinsley (696,550 points)

Thank you for the feature request. 

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+2 votes
answered Sep 21, 2017 by kirkwhetton (510 points)
The studio one colour palette is awful, I support all of those ideas. They would make a welcome addition to colouring and arrangement purposes.
0 votes
answered Oct 8, 2017 by stephenmizer (450 points)

While my idea from LMike's suggestion thread uses the existing color grid, these are some excellent ideas too.  Surely SOMETHING from these two threads would be far more useful than this murky paisley mess we have to use now.

0 votes
answered Dec 20, 2017 by joeljossie (3,660 points)
BUMP because it's been almost 2 years and nothing has changed. Love Studio One, but these colors need some work! I love all of the ideas in this thread.
0 votes
answered May 22 by Scoox (8,520 points)

So.... Studio One 4 has arrived. It really worries me that the color palette HAS seen changes in this update, BUT yet it is still an absolute nonsensical chaotic mess, a random array of colors that follow no logical order. Duh. Sorry but the v4 update has disappointed in too many ways for me. It seems the focus is on 'cool' features that make good marketing while the core workflow features which matter in the long term are being ignored. I have little reason to upgrade to v4.