[Ardour-Users] exporting individual tracks for mixing

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Thu May 22 17:03:30 PDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-05-22 at 20:08 -0300, francis keyes wrote:
> Hi,
>         > I have an Ardour  session with about 30 audio tracks, each
>         of which contains
>         > several regions.   I have done some gain control work with
>         envelops but I'm
>         > not using any plugins.  What is the cleanest (no lost
>         quality) way to export
>         > the tracks individually so that I can give them to a mixing
>         engineer?
>         > I was imagining doing it this way:
>         > -A - join all the regions in a track and fill blank areas
>         with silence
>         > -B - right click on the resulting regions and export them
>         individually
>         >
>         > The problem with this approach is that A does not seem
>         possible in Ardour,
>         > and the method of export in B would not include the envelop
>         work I've done.
>         You can export each track individually by selecting the tracks
>         you
>         want to export in the Export dialog (under File menu). I think
>         there
>         is work being done to have a generic 'session' export so when
>         you
>         export a project to WAV it exports each track individually
>         rather than
>         the full mix, so you can import into other DAWs. I say "I
>         think"
>         because I am pretty sure there was a thread on this very topic
>         last
>         year that resulted in a "feature request" :-)
> I've recorded the project at 32-bit float, 96kHz sample rate.  If I
> export this way to 96kHz  24 bit, am I loosing any quality by
> exporting?  I mean, does any re-encoding or whatever take place?

none at all as long as none of the signals exceed 0dB. this means that
no track nor the summation of any summed tracks (e.g. the master outs)
exceeds 0dB.

its possible to encode any legal 24 bit sample value fully and without
any data loss of any kind within a 32 bit floating point value. 

however, when converting in the other direction, 32 bit floating point
samples louder than 0dB will be converted to 24 bit samples by
truncation, which will not sound good. you shouldn't really have >0dB
signals emerging from any track that you wish to export anyway, and the
signal from your master outs (if you export that) should likewise be
below 0dB (otherwise you'd hear clipping during playback too).


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