[ardour-users] Newbie help with dynamics in Ardour...

Justin M. Streiner streiner at cluebyfour.org
Sun Jun 25 19:11:26 PDT 2006

On Sun, 25 Jun 2006, kannoll wrote:

> I have been using Ardour for a while now just to record simple
> spoken voice tracks (lectures and the like). I am comfortable
> doing this, but now I have been asked to make some of my
> recordings available on CD.
> It's pretty easy to export ardour sessions and burn them to CD.
> I've done this and the results aren't all that bad (to my ears
> at least).
> The problem that I have is adjusting the dynamics of the recording
> and the subsequent export for CD. Generally the tracks are too low,
> so that once burned to CD, I have to crank the volume up higher
> than I would for most other CDs (typical music CDs).
> Then there's the range of dynamics. Sometimes the speaker is loud
> and sometimes soft, so I end up adjusting the CD player volume
> while listening, and there's the occasional pop when the speaker
> bumps the mic or speaks a p or t works really loud.
> So I'm trying to figure out a good way to produce a final "mix"
> that eliminates the pops, brings the general volume up, but
> still preserve some of the dynamic range.
> I've tried some combinations of compressors and limiters (and
> the various settings on them), but just can't seem to get it right,
> and I'm a little frustrated because there doesn't seem to be a way
> to visualize the signal level in the track displays (I think this
> would help me figure out how to adjust some of the compressor
> and limiter settings).
> Can someone give me some advice or pointers on how best to handle
> this?

I'm also interested in this.  What I've done to date is export the 
sessions from ardour into WAV format, then did the gain adjustment in 
another program like Audacity, which will show you the session as a 
waveform.  Things like plosives (the 'p's you mentioned) and feedback 
are usually pretty clearly visible as spikes in the waveform.

I've used Audacity extensively when I was digitizing old rehearsal and 
session tapes from my band in ardour and it works well.

If there's a better or more efficient way to do it, I'm interested :-)


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