[ardour-dev] The new pan paradigm

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Wed Aug 25 17:31:31 PDT 2004

>Jeez, it wasn't my intention to start a 'pedant-fest', but I suppose I walked 
>into it. 

You did indeed :) 

	  My point was, with the old setup I could kinda model what I had with 
>my analog 8 track, Mackie 8*bus, and outboard reverb. Can I hook a PLUGIN to 
>a SEND without a JACK routing spaghetti bowl? 

Well, right now, ardour has no concept of an FX rack internally. So
there is no way to wire something directly to a plugin - a plugin has
to exist inside a track or bus. one day, we may support a kind of
global FX system, where you can directly send a signal to a plugin,
with no track or bus involved.

But this is really no different than PT or other DAWs, where the exact
same issue would arise, AFAIU. they too do not have a global FX rack,

So, you as mentioned you just stick the reverb as a plugin in a bus
(remember, there is no theoretical limit to the number of busses you
can use), and route the 2 outputs of the track to that bus. When a bus
is used this way, it functions as both the "send" and "return" of what
PT would call an "Aux Input" (i think)

For a slightly more complex setup, put a send into the track, and
route it to the bus. This leaves the track outputs free to go
elsewhere (although technically, this is true of the first option
too). The main difference is that you can position the send in
different locations along the track's signal processing pathway -
before or after specific plugins, pre- or post-fader.

>the "outboard gear" your box can handle if you have to drag out the real 
>thing just to work in the traditional way. This stuff was supposed to make 
>life EASIER, not harder. 

the problem is that there are some things that ardour cannot
automatically deduce. when you put a 2-out plugin into a track, from
that point on in its signal pathway, there are 2 active streams.
ardour can't know that with one plugin (the reverb), post-plugin
panning makes no sense, and in the other (e.g. a simple stereo amp or
delay), its perfectly sensible. ardour can't know this about a plugin,
so you have to take some steps to set up a signal topology that uses
the special knowledge you have (i.e. i don't want to pan the outputs
of a stereo reverb unit).

>BTW, is the Ardour interface so close to current PT that buying a PT book 
>would be more enlightening than confusing? I don't mind doing it, I'm just 
>afraid (having never used PT) that it would be like using a 3 versions old 
>users manual.

no, our audio capabilities are similar to PT6. and yes, its worth it,
but rather than buy it, just download the ref. manual for PT6 from
digidesign, its free. our interface is not identical - we have taken
some excellent ideas from other DAWs, but the PT manual will fill you
in on concepts and basic ideas that ardour uses.


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