[Ardour-Dev] Rationalization of track and range selections

Ben Loftis ben at glw.com
Fri Apr 16 15:21:54 PDT 2010

After hearing lots of complaints from new Ardour/Mixbus users, and after
struggling with this for several years, I have decided to rationalize
the track/range selection in a way that makes more sense to me, and I
hope others who are using Ardour.

The changes are in 2.0-ongoing, svn 6919.

Firstly, it is now possible to "unselect" a track by clicking on it.
Previously the only way to unselect a single track was by holding ctrl,
or by pressing "ESC" to clear the entire selection.  I think that,
conventionally, anything that you click to turn "on" you should be able
to click off.

Secondly, sweeping a Range no longer adds to the current track
selection, it replaces it.  If you really wanted to "add" the track you
are sweeping into the current selection, you can hold a modifier while
dragging.  This is more consistent with computer conventions.

Thirdly, range selections are now "group aware", so if you sweep a range
on a track, and the track is in a group, all the tracks in the group
will be auto-selected.  I believe this will accomodate any workflow that
used to depend on the "persistent" nature of track selection + range
selections.  And it is MUCH more user-friendly.

Finally, I have re-instated the "-all-" group, to provide a
clearly-defined way to sweep a range on all tracks simultaneously.  This
replaces the previous convention where an "empty" track selection meant
that you wanted to select a range on all tracks.  The -all- editing
group is automatically shown in the group list and may not be removed;
it is not stored with the session file; it is instantiated by Ardour
internally.  The "Show" checkbox has no effect on the -all- group.

 From the feedback I have gathered, I think this will make a lot of
editors much happier.  Particularly new Ardour users that are coming
from other DAW systems.  And other than the convention of "no track
selection means all tracks are selected for a range", I think this
should not confuse or annoy existing Ardour users too much.


Add a key accelerator to quickly turn the "-all-" group on and off.
Implement in 3.0
Add an "-all-visible-" goup which only includes the VISIBLE tracks?
Add a "group override" modifier that allows selecting individual tracks
in a group?

Given the complexity of an audio editor, it is quite possible that I
have overlooked something blindingly obvious that makes the whole system
unworkable.  I look forward to your thoughts / complaints / bug reports.

Best Regards,
Ben Loftis
Harrison Consoles

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