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Biamp Systems

daVinci

daVinci is a software program designed to allow the creation and use of customized computer control screens withAudia® and Nexia® digital audio systems. The function and appearance of the graphic control interface can be tailored to the exact needs of the user.

This article will familiarize you with a few simple GUI design concepts, while the following articles go into more detail on daVinci:

Background

Why use daVinci and not Audia/nexia Software?

The answer is simple. Once a system is installed and properly configured, Audia and Nexia platforms may be controlled by the end user. As a designer, contractor or consultant, you would rather not give the end user access to parameters and settings which could damage equipment, change fine tuned settings or even make the system unusable. 

With great tools such as user accounts, password protected sections of the GUI and the Auto-connect feature, daVinci is an idea platform for control and monitoring of our DSP units. 

daVinci also allows insertion of pictures and textures, on multiple pages: features which are not available in Audia/Nexia. An array of drawing tools is provided for extensive graphic manipulation of controls, backgrounds, and labeling

daVinci Nexia TC default surface

Example of a daVinci surface for Nexia TC

Good Vs Bad GUI design

As much as possible, stay away from:

  • Forgetting how much the user knows: An inutuitive and simple interface is paramount.
  • Giving too much control to the user: This is usually confusing and not required.
  • Too many features at the wrong level: i.e. Ensuring that controls used frequently are readily available (e.g. Volume Control)

As for a good GUI, "A user interface is well-designed when the program behaves exactly how the user thought it would."

For more information on fundamental GUI design guidelines, check the Infocomm Dashboard project available on their website. (http://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/35324.htm)

Things to remember about daVinci

  • daVinci is a user interface software only, i.e. it does not allow programming of the DSP platform.
  • A single daVinci software instance can only connect to one system at a time. However multiple instances of daVinci could connect to multiple systems at a time. 
  • daVinci allows multiple user sessions to connect to a single system (same behaviour as Audia/Nexia software)
  • A daVinci panel can easily be retrieved from a unit the same way Audia or Nexia software operates. Simply connect to the unit and upload the daVinci file to your computer. 
  • System control may be provided using a combination of daVinci software, hardware control panels and third party RS-232/Ethernet controls, simultaneously. 
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