[ardour-users] Ardour Tips and Tricks

tito at rumford.de tito at rumford.de
Thu Jul 14 06:14:53 PDT 2005

Stephen, I'd make sure to have current JACK (0.99.72 at least which 
brought the systemic latency parameters given to jackd via -I and -O) 
and Ardour out of cvs (0.599.0/0.894.1). It has quirks but is very 
stable and reliable. Been doing lots of recording and editing these 
weeks and this short list comes to my mind:

An important setting in Options -> Sync is the dreaded "Align recorded 
material with: ..." It is one of the cornerstones of Ardour's latency 
compensation system. The shabada is this:

If you record from physical inputs you want "Existing material that was 
listened to while recording" here. If you record a softsynth from the 
host box or if you do constructive editing (like recording couple of 
tracks|edits onto a new track) you want "The exact time it was 
recorded" here.

The mis-alignment you'd get if you failed to set this right is related 
to the buffersize you run JACK with.

If you care for a good laugh you want to ask anyone but the devs what 
means what. It's not complicated really but it is unfortunate that you 
have to think of something like that. The alignment-option is global to 
the session and so you have to change forth and back when 

The template feature is cool. Depends on how you record. If you will use 
a specific setup (drums miking etc.) over and over again then just set 
up a new session with adequate tracks and tracknames, connections to 
your audio interface, settings etc. and say "Session -> Save Template". 
It will show up in the New-session-dialog -> Configuration tab.

"Mix groups" are cool too. Keeps big sessions manageable. A group does 
not follow a member's gain or panning automation though -- worth to be 
kept in mind.

Some VST's crash our beloved host (fst 1.3, wine-20040505) and I keep 
forgetting which because it actually bothers me zero. Playing around 
with VST's at crucial times has just become a don't-do-that here.

Export to 16bit with shaped-noise-dithering introduces an audible noise 
floor which is probably not right. None, Rectangle and Triangular noise 
are ok.

Getting to know the various keyboard shortcuts and mouse-keyboard combos 
is worth every minute you put into it. Lets you move/edit/setup fast. 
My experience with recording a band is that you want to deal as little 
as possible with the DAW because there is so much other important and 
fun stuff going on. They're all in ~/.ardour/.ardour.rc

I'd get the RAM, absolutely. Absolutely.

We, my band, recorded 9 songs last summer on a hot weekend, very 
demo-ish, very not perfect and very dear to us just the same. 
Ardour/JACK proved to be great tools for doing what we wanted. In 
retrospect it is a bit of a miracle that it worked so good. But 
seriously: I wouldn't feel safe recording with any other DAW.

Be good, Wolfgang

"Stephen" <Dr_Steve at aanet.com.au>:
> Hey guys,
> I'm hoping to record a demo for band in the next couple of weeks. We
> are on a tight schedule as I'm going to the US (I'm from Australia)
> for 4 weeks in August/September and would ideally like it done before
> then. I was just wondering if anyone would care to share their
> experinece with me to ensure that the recording process is as smooth
> as possible - specifically in handling Ardour to make sure things
> don't fall appart on me. I'm Running a Planet CCRMA system, with the
> low latency kernal. I have an Athlon 1700XP, a Hoontech C-port (i.e.,
> using the envy24control mixer), at the moment only 256mb of ram
> (which I'm hoping to change to 1 gig before I start). I have a
> separate 80 gig Maxtor (ATA 133 with 8mb buffer) internal hard drive
> for Audio (which is fat32). Looking forward to some comments!
> Thanks heaps,
> Stephen
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