[Ardour-Users] a few thoughts

Adriano Petrosillo ampetrosillo at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 15:03:25 PST 2012

OK, then, in which ways does my idea depart from "the console design we
have been using for the last 40 years"? Where have I ever said we shouldn't
use channel strips, or whatever?

Please, I really want to know where I sounded like I wanted to suggest
anything similar, and I don't really want to sound confrontational, but I'm
actually curious, because, if you read my proposal more closely, you'll see
I'm really trying to propose implementing user-defined channel strips (and
relative workflow) in the software mixer, as I think that the "traditional"
DAW way of handling post-processing is cumbersome and distracting.

User-defined channel strips, as in "you decide what to put in it", meaning
there is NO DIFFERENCE to normal Ardour operation, you still load plugins
the normal way, you still get to choose which plugins to use, you still
have your say on EVERYTHING, you just have the OPTION (which you may want
to use or not) to have some parameters ready on a channel strip on the
mixer, just like a "custom" version of Mixbus, with your favourite plugins
and a layout YOU choose to make.

What's the difference in tweaking a EQ from its dedicated GUI and from a
knob on a channel strip which you could liken to, say, a symbolic link in
the Linux filesystem? (Or maybe a hard link is more appropriate?)

It's like making your own interface to your own mixer, you keep on doing
exactly the same things as before, with the difference you can conjure up a
custom interface which better reflects your usage patterns and workflow.
Ardour, at this point, becomes completely neutral and does exactly what you
want it to do, I'm about giving MORE power to the user, not less.

Anyway, the discussion on instruments beloved for their shortcomings and
their "better" iterations being actually lifeless and boring are true for
instruments and creative devices, but don't really apply to a DAW which
doesn't have, by definition, to impart its own character to your mixes and
simply has to be (or should be) a completely neutral interface which does
exactly what you want it to do. Otherwise let's go back to talking about
DAWs having their own "sound" and that mumbo-jumbo (no, actually, let's
call a spade a spade: "bullshit") about ProTools having a clearer sound
than Logic, but darker than Samplitude which is somewhat thin and lacking
in bass but still warmer than Cubase which is downright cold and industrial.

The most a DAW can have is a "philosophy", a design paradigm, meaning the
way you have to do things, but making the paradigm more flexible,
especially as Ardour is geared towards flexibility, in my view can only
make Ardour's vision of a DAW more complete. Plus, there really isn't a
"custom mixer" on the market, you only have fixed versions of my idea
(PreSonus Studio One, Mixbus), or traditional DAWs (ProTools, Nuendo).
Ableton Live, though garish and confusing, at least has a "new" approach to
DAWs which allows proficient users to be inspired and to do what they want
easily (as long as they stay ITB, which is Ableton's greatest limitation).
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