[Ardour-Dev] Ardour 2.3 released

Sampo Savolainen v2 at iki.fi
Mon Feb 11 03:35:36 PST 2008

Quoting Fons Adriaensen <fons at kokkinizita.net>:

> What saddens me is that the new features make it
> plain clear what has been in the air for some time:
> that Ardour is moving away from being a DAW to being
> a WPMPW - a Western Pop Music Production Workstation.

I disagree with this generalization. "Western pop music" is hardly one
thing, nor is it based on only one set of aesthetics, or based on a single
process of making music. WPM has a lot more depth than just Britney & Justin
and the field contains a huge variety of different music.

> Features such as tempo analysis, editing while
> preserving beat alignment etc. are very centric to
> one particular type of music and make absolutely no
> sense outside that area of interest. Add things like
> time strectching or even just midi and the picture
> is complete.

Ardour has been great for western pop music for quite a long time. I for one
 do "WPM" but I don't track sessions with the correct tempo or use a click.
The fact that I am now able map regions to tempo etc. does not make me run
to those features to complete my work, but they don't make me scream in
agony either.

Ardour gives a way to split regions based on transients within the source
material. That sort of operation can be used for much, much more than "just"
beat slicing, time correction and tempo shifting. You can use those features
to splice up spoken word or an environmental recording and do wonderful
collages using timestretch. It's not just for WPM.

MIDI you can use for controlling external gear and software in sync with the
session. How's that for a non-WPM use?

And yeah, some people like those features and want to do WPM and can't wait
for someone to put together a RubberBand autotune plugin. Still, nothing has
been taken away from you to provide those features.

> And it certainly gets in the way by increasing complexity
> and consequently degrading stability and reliability.
> I'm seasoned enough in software engineering - and so all
> the Ardour developers I imagine - to know this is really
> unavoidable. And none of these features are optional -
> you can't build Ardour without them unless you really
> love a major headache.

99% of the degradation in stability or reliablity of such features affects
only those features. If you don't use the, you don't run into their bugs either.

And that remaining 1%? Yes, it's unavoidable that bugs will get written. But
there is an upside: Completing features like this often brings up existing
issues to attention. The end result is that you get new buggy features, but
more issues in the "mainline" are fixed.

  Sampo "WPM" Savolainen

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