[Ardour-Dev] Ardour 2.3 released

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Feb 11 04:51:55 PST 2008

On Sun, 2008-02-10 at 00:58 +0100, Fons Adriaensen wrote:

> 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.

Fons, for an amazingly smart guy you sometimes make astoundingly large

Ardour's analysis support isn't driven by the conceptions of western
pop, of even western music in general. First of all, it uses a plugin
system (albeit no-so-pluginized in the way that we use it) to determine
what kinds of analysis to perform. The plugin API we use is the very
nice Vamp system from Chris Cannam, which comes out of an academic/audio
theoretic background as much as anything from the auto-tune world.

Second, the *only* analysis we perform right now is *not* tempo analysis
but percussion onset analysis which is, as the results demonstrate very
clearly, completely and utterly different. We will proabably add a tempo
analysis option sometime (maybe even soon), along with a general "energy
transient" option too. Percussion onset analysis actually *fails* to
find the tempo for a lot of material precisely because it is looking for
any broadband noise with rapid energy increases, rather than trying to
find some mystical notion of "tempo".

The idea of "find interesting features in this audio and then,
optionally, based on the location of those features, split the region up
so that i can use the sections between the features in various ways" is
not a working flow that is limited to western pop music. In fact, it
really has absolutely nothing to do with western pop music, except for
the fact that currently, western pop music (at least the more
interesting parts of it) have become punch drunk with their
incorporation of the most vapid elements of music concrete and
minimalism, two styles of music that once were as far from "pop" as you
could get.

> Of course this is 'market driven' - it follows 'the
> competion' and viewed in that context it is only to
> be expected.
> But if you want a DAW that just does 'audio' processing
> - recording, editing and mixing - without in any way
> touching the 'musical' aspect, all these stuff *does*
> get in the way, even if only by complicating the user
> interface.

As the SAE example demonstrates, building an Ardour with an interface
that has the elements you don't like remove is, especially for someone
like yourself, child's play. set ARDOUR_SAE in your environment and run
ardour. You will find a substantially slimmed down user interface (maybe
more, maybe less than you expect). To see what is going is, grep for
"Profile->get_sae" in the GUI source code.

When the user community that wants a DAW with a user interface that
makes composing in 4/4 not just optional but actually hard, and removes
any concept of adjusting the duration or pitch of audio independently
from the other, steps up and makes its development possible (as SAE have
done for "their" version), then you'll see such a DAW. until then, we
continue to try to practice some subset of the best software engineering
practices to keep things modular and flexible, allowing you to do what
you want and dance music producers to consider using ardour for what
they want.


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