[Ardour-Users] a few thoughts

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Dec 3 16:31:09 PST 2012

On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM, Adriano Petrosillo
<ampetrosillo at gmail.com>wrote:

> > The theme manager already makes a lot of this possible. Looking at recent
> > changes in Ardour3 I expect it won't be too long before custom theme
> files
> > will be available.
> I have a feeling that it is very difficult to depart from the boxy,
> unappealing look of Ardour because it looks like it uses standard GTK
> elements,

false, at least as an absolute rule.

Mixbus is based on Ardour 2, so no MIDI, but anyway, I find Mixbus limited
> and limiting, I don't know about regular channel-strips, but there are only
> 4 group buses,

mixbus2 has 8 mix busses.

> and I don't really get the reason to "port" the limitations of hardware
> mixers in the digital domain, as there is no real "need" and it's most
> probably a deliberate desire to limit the application's functionality (for
> marketing purposes, maybe?).

one person's limitation is another person's rapid workflow, based on 30
years of actual experience of how to mix many different styles of music.

> Anyway, Mixbus is not what I had in mind, since it isn't really
> user-tweakable, I was thinking more along the lines of "I have a track
> template editor, I can "build" my channel strip according to my needs". A
> truly modular (since you talk about modularity) approach.
> For example, let's say you want to make a track template which features
> three sections (ie. comp, eq - which both use a specific, user-defined
> plugin - and send, with a track menu to choose where to), and each section
> has pots for fast tweaking of so and so parameters (for example, in the
> comp section, you might want to feature only an attack pot, a release pot
> and a threshold pot, setting all the other parameters, such as ratio or
> knee, to a fixed value, while on EQ you might want to feature three pots,
> one for bass - a shelving filter set to 80Hz - one for mid - a peaking
> filter set to 1kHz where Q gradually decreases from 5 to 10, and gradually
> increases from 5 to 0, so that, at high boost settings it becomes a wide
> peak and at high cut settings it becomes a narrow notch - and one for
> treble - a shelving filter preset to 12kHz).

other than the fact that there is no control over the GUI elements used
(which appears to be your major issue) all of this can be done in ardour3

> This way, it would be very close to building your own mixer, combining
> different channel strips for your needs... but in software, and you don't
> even have to mess with plugins directly, but you have everything routed to
> direct controls which can be more easily MIDI assigned, for example (I
> admit taking inspiration from the modulation routing capabilities featured
> in many modern synths, ie. Waldorf Blofeld or Yamaha An1x). I don't think
> there is anything in the DAW world which allows this, and I think this
> would be a killer feature. Of course, this approach is even more useful
> with a diverse set of internal FXs, because that way, you could even
> include some preset track templates in the package to have an easy and
> quick way to start working (and, as time goes by, maybe think of making
> your own track templates with your favourite plugins).

you seem to making a huge assumption about the types of controls that exist
on a given "type" of plugin. an assumption that (a) isn't really true and
(b) isn't very useful even if it is true, because you cannot interrogate a
plugin to find out the level of detail about its parameters that would be
needed to support a mapping from "generic controls" to the specifics of the

> I'll repeat myself, Reaper already does this, you can choose to have a
> full-fledged UI or a simple, no-nonsense one, it's totally up to you.
> There's nothing you can really lose by taking this approach, it's a win-win
> situation, you keep everyone happy, and Ardour gets more donations too ;)
> Of course, it needs some investment, but most things do.

work like this is never going to happen unless someone steps up to do it.
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