[Ardour-Users] Hm...

Paul Winkler slinkp at gmail.com
Tue Aug 31 08:40:17 PDT 2010

On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 11:49:51AM +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
> Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu> writes:
> > On Monday, August 30, 2010 02:59:23 pm David Kastrup wrote:
> >> Lamar Owen <lowen at pari.edu> writes:
> >> > depending upon the size of the file and how fast your computer is.
> >> > You need to drag the start marker
> >> What start marker?
> >
> > See http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/ExportSession (it's yellow,
> > labeled start, and is on the Location Markers ruler.)
> Once you export. 

Eh?  The session start and end markers are always there.

> The natural workflow is to first create your work, then export it, not
> create it as a consequence of the export.

I'd argue that defining the start and end of the session is part of
"create your work".  That the FLOSS manual only (?) mentions those
markers in the context of session export is a valid documentation
issue.  Those markers are also useful for at least two other things I
do a lot:

* quickly jumping the playhead to beginning or end (using the buttons
  at top left of the edit window)

* zooming the display to the whole session (zoom buttons are at lower
  left of edit window, or the view -> zoom menu)

So I tend to set those markers pretty early in my process and adjust
as needed.

> I'll readily admit that it is nice to create snapshots (with fadeouts)
> of extracts from a complete work as an option.  But paring down some
> input to the actually used parts should be able similarly easy without
> exporting it first.

If you're just talking about trimming one region (or multiple selected
regions in parallel tracks at once), you can do that in "select/move
objects" mode by dragging near the bottom left or bottom right of the
region.  That's how I normally do "paring down". See "Trimming
Regions" on http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/WorkingWithRegions.  
If you're talking about "paring down" everything in your edit window
at once, the session start/end markers are probably the way to go.

To get the result saved with fades into a single file though, you will
alway have to do a session export.  (Or bounce and export the bounced
region, but that amounts to much the same thing). Much the same is
true in Protools and other DAWs as far as I know, because it matches
the workflow model they're based on. To draw an analogy from analog
hardware: first you get your multitrack right, and then once you're
happy with the performance and the comps and the mix levels and
whatnot, you "export" to 2-track tape.  If you didn't want to deal
with multiple tracks and bouncing and comps and multichannel mixing
and needing a separate 2-track machine and so forth, then maybe you
didn't need the multitrack recorder and mixing desk in the first

So far, after much prompting, you still haven't said anything that
indicates that ardour, or any nondestructive multitrack DAW, really is
the tool you need, rather than eg. Audacity or Rezound or similar
soundfile editors .... which is why people keep suggesting those. So,
what are your goals once you move beyond "toy" problems?  Lacking that
context, we have to keep guessing what mental model your assumptions
are based in, and that seems to be causing some frustration on both

> You give me a reasonably workable way of solving my current toy problem.
> Thanks for that, it will help me.  But it does not scale well to non-toy
> problems, and it is not particularly discoverable if you don't know the
> solution yet, because you will not tend to try exporting until you have
> the feeling you have reached your target.

It's true that ardour does not have the most discoverable UI in the
world.  I don't know of any software of this complexity that does.
And that hasn't been the focus.  As Paul D. has said, there are
competing demands on the user interface, and it would be very hard to
satisfy all of them even if there was unlimited developer time
available, which is far from the case.

> >> What fadeout handle?
> >
> > Please see the section headed "Creating Fades in Regions" at
> > http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/WorkingWithRegions (it's square,
> > filled in, and located in the upper right hand corner of every region;
> > the fade in is in the upper left hand corner)
> When I drag that, it fades from the start of the recording/region,
> judging from the display.  I found no obvious way to limit the fade to
> just a limited amount of time.  I am sure I will eventually, but the
> "obvious" GUI elements give no clue.

Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying at all.  I'm trying to
imagine what you've done that would give you that impression, and I'm
failing.  You can drag the fade-out marker from the end of the region
to anywhere you like within the region.  Does what you see not match
the screenshots in the section of the manual that Lamar suggested?

Maybe the "Creating Fades in Regions" section of
http://en.flossmanuals.net/Ardour/WorkingWithRegions doesn't make this
obvious, but the mouse needs to be in "select/move objects" mode
(pointer looks like a little hand), or you can't grab the fade handles
at all.

You do have some good points. I agree that a manual that doesn't
require online access would be preferable. I'm not sure it should be
built in though.  Maybe a good compromise would be bundling the FLOSS
manual with the download and just linking to the local file. And maybe
a button to check for / download manual updates.

As long as it's online though, I also wish the manual was searchable;
google can fill in the gap,
eg. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fen.flossmanuals.net%2Fardour
but that's a minor inconvenience.


Paul Winkler

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