[Ardour-Users] One piano roll to edit them all

Tobiasz Karoń unfa00 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 16 15:38:38 PDT 2016


I've finally decided to shout about what has been a big problem for me in

Any DAW I have worked in: Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, Reaper, LMMS - has one
main piano roll for editing all MIDI data in the project. I have sequenced
and published several hours music in LMMS over the last few years, but I am
pulling my hair put trying to finish one single  track in Ardour - just
doing the same thing I've been doing for years. Suddenly it feels like I'm
moving backwards.

Working with MIDI notes in Ardour is far from convenient.

Being a trulrly excellent and (I'd even dare to say) a visionary DAW when
it comes to capturing, editing and mixing audio data - it gets deeply
frustrating to work with when software synthesizers kick in.

Why? Because in Ardour - every track is special.

As I said in the preface - most DAWs have a dedicated window or panel for
shuffling notes, while in Ardour - every MIDI track has it's own tiny piano

At first it seemed innovative and cool - however the longer I am trying to
keep my musicianship alive while using it - the more I see it's simply a
wrong idea, as I struggle to dial in a simple chord progression, not to
mention an epic synth solo. Just forget it.

Having 20 piano rolls in my session, each showing a different note range,
different vertical scale might sound cool, but it is completely
counterproductive, as I spend most of my time trying to get around the
clutter, resizing tracks, painstakingly changing the displayed note ranges,
asking myself why can't I see shit, and trying to figure out what track am
I looking at now. And where are the fucking notes too. There's no room for
art here, for all I do is struggling against the GUI.

Dear Ardour users and developers - let's face it. Ardour desperately needs
a solid and separate piano roll editor. Please take a look at LMMS -
there's some good design there. And I'm sure you can do even better

Let's stop the new Ardour users flee after they see how MIDI data is edited
here - because it can be much simpler and smoother to work with - just push
it all to another window. All MIDI related automation would nicely fit
there too on lanes below the main piano roll. Oh, and please drop the
mousewheel volume editing thing - it's way faster and easier with this
good-old "lollypop field" below like in LMMS or Seq24 while knowing for
sure that the scroll wheel will always do what it does best - scrolling,
regardless if I have a note selected or not.

In the past I managed to make some freaking huge projects in LMMS on a
single 1366x768 laptop screen having 50 synth and 20 automation tracks or
so in there. Today in Ardour 5 I can't finish a relatively simple
composition with just 15 MIDI and 5 automation tracks having two screens:
1920x1080 and 1024x768.
I'm sure there's room for improvement.

I really love your work. Thank you!

- unfa

Tobiasz Karoń
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