[Ardour-Dev] let's talk about MIDI regions

Ed Ward edwsaintesprit at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 5 15:03:32 PST 2017


I (respectfully !) disagree with using a separate context for MIDI editing for numerous reasons :

- it disrupts the workflow and decontextualizes the editing (i.e. how to align with an audio segment ?)

- the space has to be found in Ardour's window, replacing something (obviously) probably useful

As is, the midi system is a sequencer that can turn into an editor at the click of a button, which is particularly powerfull. I agree there are some oddities, but a disruptive modification would (imho, again) simply dumb down the system to achieve an uncertain result, based on what's done in other editors.

I think the main oddity is the constant switch between the editor and sequencer modes with the edit tool. Maybe that could be solved as:

- clicking on an empty zone of the canvas creates a region

- double clicking on a region allows to edit it (instead of showing the region properties)

- clicking anywhere outside the region (be it on the same track or not) switches back to grab mode.

This workflow is close to what's used in e.g. graphic design programs (vector or raster), see text in Inkscape as an exemple. It would retain what we love in Ardour (linked regions) but make inputung MIDI feel more natural.

As a side note, maybe each region in a track could have a different color if they are not linked, so that we could immediately see which regions are linked and which are not. Or if it's too much color, maybe a floating "chain" icon in the top left near the name of the region, that could be clicked to unlink it ?



De : Ardour-Dev <ardour-dev-bounces at lists.ardour.org> de la part de Lorenzo Sutton <lorenzofsutton at gmail.com>
Envoyé : dimanche 5 mars 2017 21:45
À : ardour-dev at lists.ardour.org
Objet : Re: [Ardour-Dev] let's talk about MIDI regions

Hi all,

My take. Disclaimer: while I use Ardour quite a lot for audio-only, I
hardly use MIDI for various reasons; so my point of view might be
strongly biased by using other software.

On 03/03/17 16:03, Brett McCoy wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 5:02 AM, Paul Davis <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
> <mailto:paul at linuxaudiosystems.com>> wrote:
>     one idea that is in the air for Ardour 6.0 is to move away from the
>     idea of MIDI regions entirely.

I think one of the problems with current *MIDI* regions in Ardour is
that they are a bit confusing from an UI point of view when the MIDI
notes grid is also visible (i.e. vertical zoom is enough to trigger the
notes grid with the 'piano roll' like view).
With the default theme and the Draw tool it is very confusing if you are
going to input a note or create a new region by clicking on an empty
note space. When I tried *composing* (i.e. not recording from a MIDI
instrument) in Ardour I easily found myself accidentally creating
multiple empty MIDI regions ending up with not knowing where I could
actually input notes in.
The fact is that audio regions as much as you can split them and
theoretically arrive at sample granularity are unique events containing
materials, while midi regions contain other discrete events which are
essentially notes and other MIDI events (controllers, wheel, ..).

One idea would be to have the main window as an "arranger" only for
MIDI, where regions become big 'blobs' which one just arranges like
audio ones. Then actual editing of the events happens in a separate
context (different window or space, e.g. down below on the bottom of the

I am aware that Ardour developers have strong feelings *against* a
separate MIDI editing window (piano roll, aka matrix), but the fact is
that midi is completely different from audio, and there is a very good
reason for having the option for several midi editing windows for a
region, potentially many in parallel.

Now, personally I think that if Ardour stands still in not wanting to
provide a dedicated MIDI editing environment like many sequencers do,
and stick to only 'inline' editing, it *shouòd* indeed remove MIDI
regions, just for the sake of making MIDI editing a bit more sane.

Overall I think it all depends on what the aimed target (use case) for
supporting MIDI in Ardour is:
- quick adding of a bass-line or drum track in a still strongly
audio-centric software?
- full blown midi sequencer support enabling composition?
- MIDI 'recording' with some editing and arranging feature?
- mix of the above?

My longish two cents :)

ardour-dev mailing list
ardour-dev at lists.ardour.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.ardour.org/pipermail/ardour-dev-ardour.org/attachments/20170305/cf8ac604/attachment-0002.htm>

More information about the Ardour-Dev mailing list