[Ardour-Dev] waveform display for master track

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Mon Nov 17 21:36:30 PST 2008

On Tue, 2008-11-18 at 07:18 +0200, Quentin Harley wrote:
> Patrick Shirkey wrote:
> > 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 display.
> >
> > In the meantime I will continue to print the master track manually.
> This might seem trivial, but it is not.  I use ardour with quite a bit 
> of studio hardware, and these cannot be automatically generated on the 
> master buss.  Any waveforms on the master buss will false.

Make a "Master" Track. Set it to record from master out l/r, rec enable
and press play/record. Wait for session to be recorded. look at master
peak file for level issues, adjust levels, re-record... 

These steps could be automated and made a preference. There is also room
to make this dynamic and less demanding of disk space by only generating
a peak file and not the whole wave file aswell.

> Ardour is not simply a DJ tracking tool (even though it is very useful 
> as one)  Its primary goal of use is as a professional DAW, which it 
> performs very well at the moment. 

It's very useful as a mixing environment. IMO it's the best open source
environment for mixing tracks/sessions/sound tracks.

>  Please do not waste any processing 
> power generating some graphical representation of an output that will 
> most likely be false, and take a lot of resources to generate.

Some time spent on this feature will save a lot of people a lot of time
in the future.

> Hard disk space is cheap, time is not.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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