[Ardour-Dev] waveform display for master track

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Mon Nov 17 21:00:27 PST 2008

Jörn Nettingsmeier wrote:
> John Rigg wrote:
>> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 10:00:20AM +0700, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> While working on the LAM mix it has occurred to me that a rather handy 
>>> feature would be if Ardour could generate a waveform display of the 
>>> master out.
>>> I'm not sure if this would need to be possible in realtime but it would 
>>> certainly be handy for getting a quick visual reference of the complete 
>>> session for a long playing DJ mix.
>> If you record the master out to a stereo track you'll have
>> a waveform display and also have an audible reference :-)
> and in fact that's the only sane way to do it. a bus cannot have a
> waveform (that requires a history and stored data). there is no such
> thing as a "realtime waveform". if you just want a few bars of history
> to look at which then are discarded, you could attach a scrolling scope
> via jack (fons did one iirc), or keep a rt spectrum analyser running
> (one with history, such as baudline, which is closed source, though).
There are two benefits from automating peakfile generation for the 
master track.

1:Workflow Efficiency: Automating a master track with waveform display 
will improve the work flow for a "DJ mix". It would also be useful for 
other long sessions like movie/theater soundtracks. In fact it would 
probably be useful for any kind of mix whether it is 1 minute or 24 
hours long.

2: Session Size Reduction: The master track peak file could be generated 
automatically while the session is being mixed and stored in memory or 
to disk. As it would be just the peak file it will cut down on space 
used compared to having to record the track and then generate the peak file.

IIUC, There wouldn't need to be a major change in the system to achieve 
this. In the short term just recording direct to disk would be a good 
start but I think it should be possible to generate the peak file 
dynamically in memory depending on the available resources. Although as 
I said previously it may not be necessary to make it dynamic/realtime.

I have a rather powerful computer that is barely even using 30% of it's 
power. I would be happy to use the extra resources for a master waveform 

In the meantime I will continue to print the master track manually.


* Something like: "Display Master Track Waveform" - Enabling this will 
assist with mixing long sessions as you will be able to quickly see the 
master levels for the entire session. This requires a fairly powerful 
system with approximately x amount of memory used for every 60 minutes.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

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