New Shades Section

The RML Labs Shades Section is now available: [Click_Me]

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a "Shade"?
According to the User Manual, shades are "...graphic libraries...which completely control how the user interface looks."

About the "types" of shades
There are two types of shades - "Main" and "Supporting". The main shades consist of "SAC" and "SawStudio" - the "main" applications...with the supporting shades consisting of the Echo/Delay, the Equalizer, the Frequency Analyzer, the Levelizer, StudioReverb, Midi WorkShop, and the VideoTrackViewer - the "native effects" applications.

  • Note: Two of the supporting shades can only be used within SawStudio - these being Midi WorkShop and the VideoTrackViewer - meaning that the five remaining shades can be used in either SAC or SawStudio namely, the Echo/Delay, the Equalizer, the Frequency Analyzer, the Levelizer, and StudioReverb.

What are the requirements to use a shade?
Shades are both "version-and-architecture" specific, simply meaning that the "version" and the "architecture" of a particular shade will need to be determined beforehand to ensure that a particular shade can be used. For example, a v3.0/32-bit shade may not be compatible with a v4.0/64-bit shade. Though the "architecture" of the shade may be updated - say from 32-bit to 64-bit, the version of the shade may make that shade incompatible.

  • In particular, with regards to SAC, SAC v3.0/32-bit incorporated a total of 173 images, with SAC v4.0/64-bit incorporating 257 images - a difference of 84 images. The latter versions of SAC added various "touch screen views" as well as various minor updates to a number of the default Mixer Views as well. The following texts will be helpful in understanding these "version" and "architecture" differences.
  • Links: Version Bitmap Differences and List of Shade Developers

About StudioReverb
The StudioReverb supporting shade is available in 32-bit only - meaning that shades will made available in 32-bit only as well.

How are shades used?
To use a shade, a shade is first "made available", and then second, that stored shade is then "accessed". The default storage location for shades is C:\[application name]\Shades...for the 32-bit versions, and C:\[application name]\Shades...for the 64-bit versions. The file extension type must be ".shd". Once a shade is "stored", such stored shades can then be "accessed". The User Manual states: "The following sub-menu choices are available Shades options: Open, This option displays the Open Shades File dialog box to the Shades program folder where you may choose from available .shd graphics files listed. This menu option also displays the name of any shades file currently in use within curly brackets."

About storing shade updates
Once a shade update has been completed the "default Preferences file" must be updated. To update the default Preferences file, select File, Preferences File, Save Default.

What is a "default shade"?
A default shade is simply the "look" of a particular user interface when first observed. The default installation of any of the nine aforementioned applications would exhibit the default user interface.

Can a default shade be restored?
In short, "Yes!"...a default shade can be restored.

How is a default shade restored?
To restore the original graphics of a main application, select File, Preferences File, Reset To Original Vintage. The restoration is immediate. The Preferences file must then be updated accordingly. See: "Storing Shade Updates" above. To restore the default shade of a supporting application, a re-installation of that application would be required.

Where can shades be obtained?

Shades can be obtained from one of three main sources, first, the RML Labs Web site, second, the SMS Web site, and third, via an Internet Search.

Can I design my own shade?
In short..."Yes!" However, developing a shade can be "a very time-consuming process" - taking some 40+ hours to complete successfully.

  • For example, SawStudio contains some 261 images. If each image took one minute to design-and-complete, it would take - at minimum, 4.35 hours to complete [261/60=4.35].

What is required to design a shade?
Three things are required to design a shade, 1) a resource hacking application, for example, ResourceHacker, 2) a graphics editing application, for example Adobe Photoshop or MS Paint, and 3) "talent".

Are there costs associated with the downloading of available shades?
In short..."Yes!" However, shades are often provided in one of three ways, 1) for "free", 2) via a donation, or 3) via an outright purchase.