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

Joshua Parmenter joshp at u.washington.edu
Sun Jun 25 19:14:04 PDT 2006

Using something like Audacity (which shows the compression functions)  
can be handy... Learn what they do, what the values that control them  
refer to, then go back to Audacity and the LADSPA plugins. There are  
some great compressors in there. But unless you want to go through  
this kind of trial and error, learning how to master (and the tools  
you need to do it) is pretty extensive and there are entire courses  
at universities and tech schools devoted to just his topic. There are  
no hard and fast rules for level adjustment and dynamics  
processing... just lots of experience. Courses would help, but it is  
probably much more then anyone can do in an e-mail.


Joshua Parmenter
joshp at u.washington.edu
Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Center for Digital Arts and  
Experimental Media
Raitt Hall - University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195


On Jun 25, 2006, at 7:11 PM, Justin M. Streiner wrote:

> 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 :-)
> jms
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