[Ardour-Users] Ardour 5.1/7.1 mixinig

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Wed Nov 18 06:36:09 PST 2009

Giorgio - Audiophilo wrote:
> Hi i'm new in this mailing list. Can anybody tell me a good howto for
> Ardour 5.1/7.1 mixing?

at this point, ardour has 2 shortcomings that you need to work around to
avoid frustration when doing surround:

1. the multichannel panner is completely broken. the only usable setting
is "bypass" (right click on panner).

2. sends cannot be automated, so whenever you need that, you must pipe
the send into a bus and automate that.

depends on what you want to do. for a cinema mix, you will probably use
discrete panning most of the time, i.e. dialog goes to center plus a
little bit of L/R, ambience goes to L/R/SL/SR, and so on.

the easiest approach might be to create a number of mono and stereo busses:
then you connect your track to wherever you want it and pan it using a
plain stereo panner. moving sources are really tedious, though.

it might be worth throwing a bit of money into the ardour bounty system
for a good 5.1 panner or even a decent LCR one. another option is to
bypass the panner altogether and use a LADSPA or LV2 plugin to do the
panning, which works well. writing an LCR panner is trivial.
afaik ardour3 has greatly improved panners (haven't worked with them,
though), but it is just entering alpha testing stage, so you may want to
wait a bit.

that said, real men use ambisonics for their panning needs:

Jörn Nettingsmeier

Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik

Audio and event engineer
Ambisonic surround recordings

+49 177 7937487

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