[Ardour-Users] Just completed scratch mixes for 11 songs, 4-5 takes each

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Tue Mar 2 02:54:53 PST 2010

So I just completed scratch mixes of 11 songs, 4-5 takes each, 10-12 tracks each, using Ardour. They were recorded on ProTools, then imported into Ardour2.

I solved the import problem by writing that goofy little Python script.

It went pretty well, and I'm learning more of the ins and outs of Ardour. I'm using 2.0-ongoing. A couple things stood out:

1) Sometimes when I have a region overlapping another region just slightly, with no crossfade, the second of the two regions won't play. Occasionally, it'll shut down all audio for that track; it'll just refuse to play from that point on. Odd.

2) Occasionally when opening a session, I'll get a deafening glitch that sounds like SMPTE code turned up to 11. It seems to be coming from a bus that has the Calf Tape Delay plugin and nothing else. Disabling the plugin makes the screech go away, but then re-enabling it just brings it back. The only workaround is to quit Ardour and start it up again.

3) Even odder, from time to time my whole computer will flip out, with the screen going blank and the  X server flashing on and off as if it were trying different screen modes. It's possible that this has nothing to do with Ardour, but unlikely, since I've been using this machine for 3 years and haven't changed anything on it in many months other than adding the latest SVN of Ardour.

4) Ardour will occasionally segfault after closing a session and before it gets a chance to get to the "Session Control" dialog. No big deal, I just restart it anyway.

5) I can sometimes get Ardour to explode in my face and segfault by control-dragging a region from one track to another. I learned to just not do that :-)

6) It was really easy to add a keyboard shorcut for something I needed to do all the time. I really do need to do more of that, and memorize the keyboard commands that are already there.

7) I really wish the difference between the object cursor and the region cursor were more pronounced! The biggest hassles I've had so far are accidentally dragging a region when I meant to select a portion of it. I do like that the different modes are more "deterministic" and I can choose them by where I put the mouse, as opposed to the "smart tool" in ProTools which tries to be smart but ends up just getting in my way instead.

8) There's probably a handy keyboard or menu command to zoom ALL THE WAY in, which'd be really helpful for fixing phase issues on drums (i.e. nudging tracks to get them in phase), but I haven't found that one yet. I found the icon to zoom all the way out; that's a lifesaver.

It's a great, deep package. Fun to right-click on a region, and find a huge scrolling list of useful commands to be done  on it, including stuff like "bounce to regoin list with processing", very cool.

All in all, it's going well. Putting vocals on tomorrow.


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