[Ardour-Users] bus strain on computer resources

will cunningham willpanther at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 13:01:46 PST 2012

You've answered my question; thank you.  I didn't mean to start a
thing about bus usage in the recording process, but here is what I'm
doing for your curiosity:

First, I have no background in the major proprietary DAWS.  I've used
Ecasound and Audacity for a decade, and my only point of reference is
from old school analog live and studio mixing standards; therefore, I
could easily be missing something fundamental.

I'm excited that I CAN do what I mapped out to try, whether it's the
best way to do it or not.  Ardour has shown itself to be more flexible
than I once thought it to be; it's wonderful when you can take an open
source app and not say 'what can it do,' but instead I can answer yes
to 'can it do this.' I'm happy-:)

I don't know if I'd end up with three busses per track, and it would
depend on finding other features in Ardour I haven't yet, or the
decisions of the the musicians/engineers I'm setting this up for.  I
know my general idea of this adopting of the analog methods my peops
use to digital is cherry because I started it with one of the top
engineers here in Austin and he took my plan, found a boutique
proprietary app that had all the features I was poking at in open
source, and moved his entire live set-up from analog to digital.  He
is getting raves from everyone for his clean sound in live mixing
after the move.

The busses are not so much for effects, except as mentioned here and
in the docs when you want to apply an effect to a group of tracks
efficiently.  The busses are for fading groups of tracks that may get
piped into something else before the resulting group track is mixed
into the stereo main, and monitoring the sound at different points in
its path in the booth(seperate from the final out).

As in a live mixing board, you have the sound come in through a
pre-amp that you can listen at that point; then you can listen to it
pre-fade,  post-fade, if it's grouped you can listen to the group
pre-fade or post fade, and you can listen to any set of tracks solo or
muted without affecting what goes on with the track.

When I tried this without buses, Muting a track stops data from coming
in a track, and the pre-fade buttons seem to be more for adding
effects at that point in the chain then listening to them at that

Also, what is called grouping tracks in Ardour is a group of tracks
where the source level for each is raised and lowered where to change
the level of one track you have to ungroup it until you've changed it
and then regroup it, as opposed to the classic model where the group
has it's own fader, so classic groups in Ardour are a set of tracks
mixed to another track.  So if you have say four mics on a drum and
you create busses to listen to all the pre, post-fade, pre effects,
post effects etc it COULD add up.  Note here that I could be missing
some REALLY basic things as it took a while for me to sort through
this kind of nomenclature between what I'm familiar with and what you
all seem to take for granted.  Also, I'm doing this incrementally, and
will depend on the whining of my endusers, so they might not demand
all this.

Regardless, the doc of how this works will be on the web and I'll send
a link when I know it works for my peops and you can tell me what a
pathetic job I've done at missing obvious ways to do this any of you
DAW experts know, and I'll change it.  It just has to be transparent
to my enduser who will be mixing from a midi mixing console-:)

I'm just happy I FINALLY have the full design working, and it'll work
on a fairly standard computer I can set up for my peops.

thanks again,


On 12/12/12, Jörn Nettingsmeier <nettings at stackingdwarves.net> wrote:
> On 12/12/2012 08:00 PM, Paul Davis wrote:
>> 3 busses (or even 4) for 1 track ... this i can fathom
>> but 3 busses per track ... this i cannot ..
> well, it's one way of working, but certainly not the most efficient one.
> for instance, the standard way of applying reverb is to create a global
> reverb bus and feed it via post fader auxes, rather than plugging a
> reverb into every single channel. people usually do that because they
> can, but i don't find much to enjoy in mixes with five different rooms
> for five different instruments.
> parallel compression currently requires a double-bus hack with most
> implementations (i know sampo has great-sounding one in the pipeline
> that doesn't need it, but i think has been suffering from
> real-life-related release slippage for several years now). but you could
> also add a pre-compressor send to the next upstream bus if you want to
> conserve screen space.
> i doubt that "parallel eqing" as a technique makes sense. if this way of
> working inspires you (i can see how the two faders provide a very direct
> means of shaping the sound) _and_ you find musical use for the heavy
> coloration that results from combining a zero phase signal path with a
> non-linear phase one (the eq), then fine, but this is a rather
> idiosyncratic way of working, and the results won't be entirely
> predictable. i would venture than most engineers wouldn't be happy with
> such an arrangement.
> anyway, the great thing about ardour (and open source tools in general)
> is that you can experiment with workflows that most people consider
> quite weird, if you find that it works well for you.
> --
> Jörn Nettingsmeier
> Lortzingstr. 11, 45128 Essen, Tel. +49 177 7937487
> Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik (Bühne/Studio)
> Tonmeister VDT
> http://stackingdwarves.net
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