[Ardour-Users] a few thoughts

Adriano Petrosillo ampetrosillo at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 13:16:24 PST 2012

> You missed Albini's most important pieces of equipment: his ears and his
> experience. I bet you could take raw tracks by anyone at a similar level,
> recorded on any level of microphones and equipment, and make a usable
> mix just by balancing levels and adding little or no EQ or FX. I think
> you're over-emphasising the important of post-tracking processing.

Actually, no. I know I haven't got Albini's experience, or his ears, and
mine was a simple "experiment", to see if recording the same source (for
example, a guitar amp) with different microphones with different
characteristics could actually be useful, and I found that I prefer a good
old SM57 or a MD421 or whatever in front of the amp (and possibly something
else at the back).

And I actually use relatively little processing, if the project suits it.
When I used to play post-rock (think Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky) I would
only apply some reverb, veeeeery slight EQ, some compression here and there
and a bit of tape saturation on the drum bus. On my band's latest album, we
departed a bit from that style of music, moving towards a more electronic
kind of rock, with drum machines, synths, the lot, and heavy processing
suited our new style more (for example, we recorded lots of guitars
straight into the preamp with a distortion pedal, to have harsher,
compressed trashy fuzz guitars, I used a bit of sidechaining here and
there, lots of smashing and EQ, a bit of drive here and there... the end
result is absolutely not natural sounding, on the contrary, it is very
artificial and synthetic, but that's what we wanted from the start).

I never wanted to say that I could replicate Albini by copying his methods,
I just wanted to try it myself.

You guys assume too many things...

...for example my idea of a track template with a 3-band EQ keeps coming up
as a sign of a HORRIBLE idea... it was a F***ING EXAMPLE :D I never even
use 3-band EQs as they are basically useless for mixing IMO - although they
may find a place on group buses, of course, nothing you can't replicate
with a more capable EQ - I generally use at least 4 band fully parametric
EQs (for example the PSP ClassicQ, but another one I really like, were it
more stable, is the electri-Q plugin, which features as many EQ filters as
you wish, and of many different types), but if you have to dismiss my idea
just because I said "3-band EQ", this shows me you're either not paying
attention to what I say, or you are simply willing to bash my idea "a

> This sort of "training wheel" seems more suited to GarageBand, which is
> a good tool a lot of people use to create good music, but its limitations
> will make some people use a different tool, like ProTools, for their
> work.  Almost anyone can start recording in GarageBand within 5 minutes,
> but ProTools has a much steeper learning curve.  So it is with Ardour -
> it's a tool that requires more up front from the user than other tools,
> because it is so highly flexible.

I think I know my way around DAWs, I'm not an expert but I'm not a total
novice either, but I'd STILL like to have a way of building my own
interface. Bear in mind that I don't have a "Mackie Control" unit, or
similar, and I mix with mouse and keyboard, but even if I had one... if I
want to tweak EQ on a track, why should I have to open its GUI every time?
Why can't I conjure up a custom interface, with standard widgets and
elements, in an internal "Track Editor", where each pot refers to a
particular parameter in a particular plugin... so that I can simply tweak
it from the main panel? It's basically the difference, on hardware, between
having a pot and an internal trimmer: sure, both things work - they
basically do the same thing - but why do I have to open it up in order to
tweak settings?
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