[Ardour-Users] New user and 'large' projects

John Anderson ardour at semiosix.com
Tue Dec 25 23:55:09 PST 2007

On Sun, 2007-12-23 at 16:52 +0000, Paul Campbell wrote:
> * The source audio for the 12+ actors come from a selection of WAVs of
> about an hour per actor.  These source WAVs contain a selection of
> scenes that will be in as many as a half-dozen episodes.

I'd import the audio, and then create regions from each scene selection.

> * Each track for dialogue for a character can easily have over two
> dozen regions, as I select the best take for each line.
> * Source for SFX are picked from a library as needed.  A few are used
> several times in multiple episodes.
> * Soundtrack is primarily from a collection of pre-composed music.
> (mostly from incompetech.com).
> * Each episode consists of nearly a dozen scenes of between 30 seconds
> and seven minutes in length.
> * Each scene can have between two and a dozen or more tracks.
> * I don't always know what order the scenes will be in until nearly
> ready to publish an episode.
> I did consider trying to do all this in a single session per episode,
> but quickly ran out of JACK connections (128) after only a couple of
> scenes.

You can start up jackd with --port-max 512, for example.

But I think you may want to consider layering regions (you can set their
z-order) or playlists.

> I also found that while envelope would allow me to keep gain
> control with the regions, there isn't an equivalent for pan or other
> plugins.  A horizonzal drag for automations would be great.

There is. In the Editor window, click on the "a" button in a track. That
will show a selection of controls that can be automated. You can then
edit the automation curves. Once the automation 'tracks' are shown, you
need to make sure that "Manual" is changed to "Play" for the automation
curve to be used.

> My current plan is to have my source audio (dialogue, SFX, music) all
> be Imported (i.e. linked) into the sessions.

IIUC, what you're talking about is called "Embedded". Imported is when
the audio data is copied into a file in the ardour session directory.

> Have a snapshot per
> scene and per header & footer.  Have a snapshot that pulls in exports
> from each of the other snapshots, and use that for mastering.

Again IIUC, that's not the intended use of a snapshot. Snapshots are
copies of the session at different times in the past. They're not a set
of presets for reuse.

> Does anyone have any observations or suggestions on how to improve on this plan?

Quite a bit of what you're asking seems to be covered in 


> My current new trick that I've just learnt is sending the output from
> all dialogue and SFX in a scene to a Bus with all the ambience and
> reverb setup for the scene's location.  Tried using Sends, but found
> redirecting the Outputs easier to understand.

A Send splits the signal from the track. So if, for example, you did a
reverb, the track would go to a bus (call it Mix) and the send outputs
would got to a reverb bus, which would then go to the Mix bus. The track
output would be dry only, and the reverb output would be  wet only.
You'd adjust the amount of reverb by changing the gain on the reverb


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