[ardour-users] Thoughts and suggestions please - mono / stereo track mapping

John Emmas johne53 at tiscali.co.uk
Sun May 6 11:54:22 PDT 2007

Hi guys,

I just wondered if you'd give some thought to track mapping when importing
audio via OMF or AAF.  Most video workstations (particularly Avid) allow
stereo material to be placed on any adjacent pair of tracks.  So for
example, a programme might start with a stereo clip on tracks 1&2.  That
clip could be followed by another stereo clip on tracks 2&3, then another
one on tracks 1&2 again.  So obviously, track 2 can sometimes contain the
right-hand side of a stereo pair and sometimes the left-hand side.  Most
audio systems don't support that very well - unless all the tracks are
treated as mono which can be inconvenient for editing.

What I normally do is to allow stereo material to be kept as stereo only
if it's on an odd/even track pair, such as 1&2, 3&4 etc.  But if stereo
material is present on an even/odd pair (such as tracks 2&3) it would
be treated as two mono signals.

Let's suppose that we had one stereo track and one mono track, routed to
outputs 1, 2 and 3.  With most DAW'S my first example would replay a stereo
clip on outputs 1&2, followed by 2 x simultaneous mono clips on outputs 2&3,
then stereo again on 1&2.  If I understand Ardour correctly, it would be
slightly different - namely; stereo on outputs 1&2, 2 x mono's on outputs
1&3 and stereo again on 1&2.

Is it possible to configure Ardour such that a mono clip placed on a stereo
track plays out of the right-hand output?  Or can anyone suggest a different
way of mapping - bearing in mind that video systems are happy to mix
mono & stereo freely on any adjacent pair of tracks?

Or is there a simple way to group the L&R sides of a clip so that stereo can
be edited as stereo, even if it's split across 2 x mono tracks?

Sorry if these seem like dumb questions but I haven't used Ardour much
"in anger".



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