[Ardour-Dev] Some thoughts on master waveform display

Pedro Alves alves.ped at gmail.com
Wed Nov 3 03:36:35 PDT 2010

On Wednesday 03 November 2010 03:40:25, Patrick Shirkey wrote:

> While working with the latest a3 I have had some further thoughts on the
> possibility of a master waveform display.
> 1: We already know the peak levels of the master track as they are
> computed for the mixer meters.
> 2: We already know when the peak levels are over 0db as that is also
> computed and displayed in the peak level button for the master track.
> My idea is to draw a simple line with gradiated colors based on the mixer
> level colors for the master track.
> This feature would help to visually isolate sections which peak over 0db.
> This data is already computed during playback so it is only the line that
> needs to be drawn/stored either in memory or on disk. It will not require
> any additional overhead to compute the actual peak values. This operation
> should be inexpensive in terms of cpu and memory resources.

A workaround I tried the other day, (and probably obvious to
you guys) was to simply always have a tape track where the
masters are redirected to.  So, the ranges you'd last
play, would always be represented on that track.

The downsides is that it 1. requires diskspace, though being
a tape track, limited to the necessary for the 
length of the session, and, 2. you need to remember to
record with that track armed, instead of playing.

[ I gave up on getting used to it after a couple minutes, since
the ardour I'm running (2.8.11) messes up the edit window
when I'm recording to tape tracks (as in, it appears some pixel
computations get screwed, and ardour paints random pixels
and lines over the edit window, or something of the sort). ]

So my thought was that the master track could well be
a specialized tape track that does not record to disk
(unless you'd want to) (or records to a null disk), but still
draws the waveform, and, that records _even_ on "play".

(I have no clue how other DAWs present and expose a master
waveform to the user)

Pedro Alves

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