[ardour-users] bypass/activate plugins with automation?

Sampo Savolainen v2 at iki.fi
Tue Feb 14 01:24:14 PST 2006

Quoting David Slimp <rock808 at gmail.com>:

> Thanks....
> The main reason I did not want to have two tracks for this is because
> I found THIS in the Ardour Manual:
> "[playlists] are not equivalent to tracks, which require extra CPU
> time and significant memory space"

The amount of CPU & memory used by one track is not really relevant for
modern computers.

> I'd prefer to not have an extra track if it's going to consume more CPU
> and
> memory... especially when there is only 15 seconds of audio that needs
> the 2nd plug in ... out of a 6 minute song.

If you really are in dire need of more CPU power, you can freeze tracks. So,
you could make another track of the 15 seconds which needs a different
plugin and 'freeze' it, so that the plugins are applied to the track. (This
is non-destructive, you can always go back to the unfrozen playlist)

You can look at the DSP % in ardour's editor window to see how much of your
computers' resources are being used. Unless you have a very old computer or
a very complicated session, I'm willing to bet it's somewhere around 30% or
less. I.e. a lot of room to do add tracks/effects.. :)

> The track contains audio for a guitar... 5:45 requires one plug-in, the
> last 15 seconds require another.  If I was doing this live, I would
> have'
> 2 stomp-boxes, and would turn the distortion off while turning the reverb
> on.
> Certainly there's a way to handle this on the computer, in a similar
> way?

If i'd be doing this in a DAW, the sound for the distorted guitar would be
substantially different from the non-distorted & reverbed sound. I'd use
more tracks than one.

And your reference to stomp boxes: The bypass switch in the stomp box itself
ss analogous to a plugin parameter making the plugin stop effecting. The
bypass button in ardour (which reroutes around the plugin) is analogous to
unplugging / plugging in the effect to your effect chain.


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