[ardour-dev] Ardour2 wishlist

Kjetil S. Matheussen k.s.matheussen at notam02.no
Fri Mar 2 02:50:42 PST 2007

I have for many years thought of helping with the development of ardour, 
but never had the time. I now start to realize that I probably never will. 
Fortunately though, you are doing a great job without me. :-) (Not a big 

But instead, I post here a long wish-list. Ardour is a really great 
program, and I hope this list can help make it even better. Also note 
that although my writing style isn't always as smooth as it should be, I'm 
not always right (perhaps even ignorant and uninformed here and there), 
and I'm certainly not demanding anything. :-)

Some of the things on this wish/complain-list is probably unnecessarry or 
can be done better in a different way than I propose. So please correct me 
where I'm wrong and help me find better ways to work with ardour.

I'm also sorry for any topic that might have been disussed to death 
already. Please say so, in case.

Please also ask me to describe better in case theres unclarity. I guess 
there is.

* Editing the automation lines are difficult for the following reasons:

   * The connection nodes are too small. I would like to have bigger size
     by default, and an option to change its size. Even when setting the
     tracks to largest size, it takes some time to adjust the mouse pointer
     so that the node is selected. When using "normal" size, or smaller,
     its almost impossible to hit the nodes.

   * The lines are too thin. I would like to have thicker automation lines
     by default, and an option to change their thickness.

   * When creating new nodes, I have to make sure the mouse pointer is
     exactly above the line. It would be better if the threshold was a bit

   * I don't think the "Draw Gain Automation" mode is necessary. As far as
     I can see, the only thing you can do in this mode is creating nodes,
     moving nodes, and probably also deleting nodes. (haven't figured out
     how to delete yet). All these operations are limited to a few specific
     graphical areas in the tracks, and its functionallity could have been
     supplied in all the other modes. Creating new nodes could be made by
     clicking on a line (or perhaps using shift/ctrl or something), which
     would be easy if the lines were a bit thicker.

   * As alternative to removing the "Draw Gain Automation" mode, what about
     a new mode instead which combines Object and Automation mode?

   * It should be possible to edit other automations than gain automation
     when in "Draw Gain Automation" mode.

   * In the effect automation tracks, it is possible to select more than
     one node by drawing an area with the mouse. However, I can't find out
     for what use this is. It could perhaps be useful if selecting more
     nodes made it possible to move all those nodes simultaniously, but I
     can't find out how to do that.

   * When decreasing the size of an object, the gain automation data is
     lost if increasing the size of the object later. I would like ardour
     to remember those gain automation data, although they are invisible
     and not used.

   * I am a little bit disturbed by the sudden graphical change which
     happens when the nodes are turned on and off when a track is selected.
     I would like an option for the nodes to allways be shown.

   * Panning automation goes from 0 to 1. Wouldn't it be better with -1 to
     1? (not important)

   * It would be nice if when pressing a modifier key (for example ctrl)
     made the mouse pointer stick to center position. Especially when
     panning, this would be useful.

* Sometimes the triangles showing fade-ins and fade-outs are colorized,
   sometimes not. This might be a bug, but in case not, why is it so? To
   me, it appears to be a bug...

* I can't add a new meter or tempo, because its impossible to click the
   "apply" button. If this is not a bug, its very unintuitive to understand
   whats wrong.

* I would like to have a graphical function to change the overall volume
   of an object. One way of providing that functionality would be to
   connect the top of the fade in/fade out lines, so that you could move
   that line up or down to select volume.

* When restretching/reshrinking, I have to undo the previous stretch or
   shrink. I doubt its very common that anyone wants to stretch or shrink
   the same object more than one time. Can restretching/reshrinking
   stretch/shrink the original object instead?

* The stretch/shrink is very nice, but I don't like that I have to select
   the "Stretch/Shrink" mode just to stretch or shrink. How about using
   shift+drag as a way to stretch/shrink instead?

* I miss a way to resample an object. How about right shift + drag for
   stretching, and left shift + drag for resampling? This could be combined
   with the way to change the playtime (+ position in case
   using the left size handle) of an object, since stretching and
   resampling also changes the size. I think that
   sounds like a very elegant solution...

* It would be nice if the size/playtime handles for the objects were
   bigger. I would like it to be about 1/3 of the height, not
   about 1/10 - 1/20 like it is now.

* I miss the "Editor Mixer" button in ardour1. I had it selected all the
   time so that I didn't have to switch between
   the editor and the mixer window. Could it be reintroduced?

* I miss a handle on both sides of the time slider to change its size, so
   that you don't have to use the zoom buttons.

* Its inconvenient to have two windows for the mixer and the editor. I
   would like to have an option where the mixer
   is placed in the bottom half, or right half, of the editor window.

* When editing a plug-in, its inconvenient that it pops up in a new
   window. It would be nice if the editor or mixer
   window was automatically split in two vertically whenever a plugin is
   selected, so that it would be possible to
   edit the plugin in the lower part of the window. Or perhaps to the right
   or left instead, I don't know. (not important)

* While dragging files from "Regions" and into a track, it would be nice
   if the length of the file being dragged was
   represented somehow. (not very important)

* I would like to have an option to get rid of the time code window [1],
   and I would like to be able to move the mode selection icons + slide
   edit selector to the top right of the window. This way
   20 vertical pixels or so could be saved. [1] The one that is placed to
   the right of the mode selection icons

* The vertical slider in the editor window should be placed to the right
   of the window. (not very important)

* Its disturbing that the vertical and horizontal sliders change color
   when selected.

* I think it would be better if the horizontal slider was placed in the
   top of the editor window, like in ardour1.
   It makes more sense since the timecode is there as well. This would work
   very well if you used a custom made
   slider instead of the ugly gtk2 slider.

* I would like to have a shortcut to make sure all visible tracks are
   shown at once by adjusting their height automatically,
   so that you don't have to scroll up or down. I want this because I also
   want to be able to set the height by
   dragging some kind of handle, instead clicking the "H" button and so on.

* Its very difficult to see which of Regions / Tracks/Buses / Snapshots /
   etc. are selected. Perhaps using a bit more
   distinguishable colors than white and grey for the text?

* The handle to change the size of the "Regions / Tracks/Buses / etc."
   area is almost invisible and difficult to get
   a grip of. Perhaps its possible to make bigger handle areas at the top
   and bottom of it?

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