[ardour-dev] use of TOC & CUE export

nick mainsbridge beatroot at optushome.com.au
Mon Apr 18 12:29:01 PDT 2005

i've been asked to supply some instructions on the use of the TOC and
CUE file export feature in Ardour. This is what i ended up with after a
while. hope it helps someone.

At the moment, Ardour can export TOC and CUE files containing the
red-book related fields Track, Index, ISRC, SCMS and Preemphasis. 
The CD-TEXT fields TITLE, COMPOSER, PERFORMER and disc title are also

Range markers in Ardour can be 'promoted' to become CD tracks in the
locations window. Marks (point markers) can be promoted to be CD Indexes
in the same window. All TOC/CUE export operations hinge on this.

Assuming you have several songs on your timeline laid out so that their
spacing and level is 'correct' as you hear it, you should then set
ranges that represent the start and end points of each track, These will
become the start and end points on your CD.
The start times are all rounded down to the previous CD frame (Of which
there are 75/second) on export, so if you want to hear the exact point
that your CD player will start from, select 'CD frames' as your snap
setting while you do this.
If you want track indexes (nobody does, but they're there), set a
location marker for each desired index.

The locations dialog is useful here, as you can just 'go' to a point to
audition the exact position of a marker/range.

A word about pregap:

A 'normal' redbook CD should have a blank (digital black) space of 2
seconds before the first modulation called the pregap. Ideally, your
first song will have been placed at 2 seconds when you began, but you
can always drag the whole collection of songs to the right position
fairly easily at this point.
Also, note that this 2 second rule can be fun to break. you can make the
pregap as long as you like.. even hide whole songs in there. The player
will still play track one when the disc is inserted. Only those
listeners with the urge to rewind beyond the beginning will find your
hidden song/dog bark.
Also keep in mind that there is a pregap for each song. It starts where
the previous song ends.
In other words, if you leave a gap in the ranges between songs 2 & 3,
that gap will only play for those listening through the entire CD.
Anyone skipping directly to 3 will miss your secret 'long' intro.
After setting a non-overlapping range for each track (overlapping CD
tracks are removed on export, from left to right, as are indexes that
aren't inside a track), open the locations window and make your ranges
into track markers by clicking the CD button.
Fill in whatever information you feel is necessary in the boxes below.
unused fields will be ignored as far as the exported TOC/CUE file is
CD-TEXT track titles are taken from the range's name.
The CD-TEXT title of the CD is taken from the session name (i should
have told you that first, right?).

Pre-emphasis is there for those strange types that use it (they also use
track indexes). You almost certainly don't want pre-emphasis.
A valid ISRC is all capitals, 12 characters.

CUE files.
Cue files have no notion of 'the end'. Its a drag. They think the end of
the file is the end of the last track.
If you want to use CUE files, you have to make sure that the session end
marker is snapped to CD frames (before you export, of course), or else
use the -pad option when you burn.

Now export the session to a file (16bit 44.1kHz for CD), selecting your
preferred cuefile type (TOC or CUE).
The TOC/CUE file is written to the same directory as your audio file,
and has the same name, only with '.toc' or '.cue' appended.

to check out the details without burning,

cdrdao show-toc blah.wav.cue

to correct a problem, make your changes, then use the 'export toc file
only' option. If you have to change the end marker, you'll have to
re-export your audio file.

to burn,

cdrdao write /home/britney/globalsmash.wav.toc

One last thing:

If you don't make any CD Track ranges and export a TOC/CUE file, the
entire session is treated as one track with no pregap. Indexes, if
present, will be honoured.

Why no DDP? ( http://www.dcainc.com/products/ddp/ )

A: I don't know. i emailed them, but i think they think i'm a lunatic.

What about catalog numbers for the CD?

A: coming eventually.. we need a tab for session-wide variables like
these. where to put it? in the export dialog or the options menu?

nick mainsbridge <beatroot at optushome.com.au>
Beat-Route Media

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