[Ardour-Users] bus strain on computer resources

will cunningham willpanther at gmail.com
Thu Dec 13 12:54:39 PST 2012


I started this post, and I'm so sorry to have started a debate about
mixing itself.  It wasn't my intent.  However, to clarify the
'potential three busses per channel' thing I started as an Ardour
topic, and what I've found playing with this for a few days is that
while it's unlikely one would need three bus channels, to accomodate
things asked of me in the 'can it to this' realm three at a time could
easily come up.  Paul, you're way on the top of my 'you go boy,' list,
so I'm not being argumentative but here are scenarios I would need
where bus channels would add up from pro mixers/musicians:

For ten years, of making basic digital recordings from a stereo out
from live recordings(Ecasound/Audacity) from many different live
mixers, all pros with varying level of skill/noteriaty up to top of
the line, and from advice from friends of my family who have recorded
professionally in NY from the late '60s till now, and have followed
the extreme shift in that recording experience,  all of the
functionality below are from their workflows.  That is, I'm a ham n
egger, and have no horse in the race, but have a list of 'can it do
this' functionality given to me that I'm adding busses to create:

First, it's unlikely you'd use three buses at one time as some of
these are things that come up in a live situation vs a recording
session, but starting at the top of the chain.  There are mixers who
want to listen to the pre-fade level coming in.  I learned to not mess
with the settings from the incoming mic after the sound check, but
I've had mixers tell me that as bad as mic technique is these days,
even for pro singers, that they regularly adjust the incoming level
and need to here the pre-fader level for that, or to check if
distortion is from the singer or something he is doing on the board,
or if he is using  a tube preamp for warmth, some like the pre-fade
monitor line.   That's a bus right there per channel.  A post fader
monitor per channel is another if they want one before or after
effects that the solo button won't handle.  That's two.

If they are sending out a musician monitor per channel, or more than
one monitor mix out, that would add more busses.  I had a guy who made
a mix for musician monitor with the track lower for the musician
listening who he knew was always going to want to be louder so he
could raise that player's level for the first few songs.

If one is sending to analog effects(like some overdrive pedals) that
react differently depending on the amount of volume, in, or come out
at a higher/lower volume, one might want a bus to reduce/raise volume
levels before going out/in to/from the track.

Finally, many mixers don't want to group faders that move together,
but do prefer a group where they can reach for a fader for all the
faders in a group, or any of the faders feeding the group, and that
would be another bus per track in that bus.

I have several others that could come up, and I'm REALLY not debating
technique here.  I'm shifting the doc I'm writing to just 'here are
the variety of things you can use the bus to acheive requests by
pros,' and anyone can chose which to use if any.

Ironically, I don't like any of this huey.  I like one mic per
instrument, for harmony singers to rehearse and record standing around
one mic with no or few effects, and one stereo out that I listen to
for my monitor, so I don't know if I'll EVER use busses myself, and
look what I started just trying to make sure I can placate sound
engineers and musicians before going gold, Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.

The confirmation answer to the question, 'can I use a bunch of busses
with less strain than adding a bunch of tracks' has been answered,

thanks again for answering my question,


On 12/13/12, John Rigg <au2 at jrigg.co.uk> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 10:14:51AM -0500, Thomas Vecchione wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 5:58 AM, John Rigg <au2 at jrigg.co.uk> wrote:
>> > I'll also echo some of the comments here about unusual techniques like
>> > parallel compression. I think there's an overemphasis on such things
>> > in magazines and on web sites as it makes an interesting (for some)
>> > article. In reality they are rarely used. I've never used parallel
>> > compression in 25+ years of sound engineering work for example, as
>> > I've never needed it.
>> >
>> Just because you don't use it doesn't mean they are rarely used:)  While
>> I
>> don't use it to often, it is a technique I do use on occasion depending
>> on
>> the material, and does provide an improvement if used correctly.  You
>> also
>> have things like vocoders etc. that also require busses in Ardour to use
>> correctly, and of course lets not forget anything sidechained which is
>> far
>> from uncommon and something I do QUITE often actually for a combination
>> of
>> reasons.
> I'll counter that by saying "rarely used" is not the same as "never used"
> (with apologies for continuing the hijack).  ;-)
> John
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