Track management in Ardour...

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dednikko
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Track management in Ardour...

Postby dednikko » Wed May 14, 2014 6:41 pm

Hey all,

I can't find a way to do two VERY common things I need done in Ardour, and I hope I'm simply missing it.

1) Clone an existing track.How do I completely clone a track without having to first insert a new track, then copy the audio or MIDI, then copy the plugins, then correct the routing? Shouldn't there be another option to simply "Clone track "x""?

2)Bounce a track, including all audio processing to a new track. This would allow me to disable the original track and its processing, while editing the new one, and keep the original still available so I can make tweaks to the source sounds as needed.
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lazyklimm
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby lazyklimm » Wed May 14, 2014 7:04 pm

>Clone an existing track.

why should one need that?

>This would allow me to disable the original track and its processing, while editing the new one, and keep the original still available so I can make tweaks to the source sounds as needed.

use buses

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dednikko
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby dednikko » Wed May 14, 2014 9:19 pm

lazyklimm wrote:>Clone an existing track.

why should one need that?



Because there are editing and production tricks that would be orders of magnitude simpler with this. Sometimes automating wet/dry controls doesn't cut it.

lazyklimm wrote:>

>This would allow me to disable the original track and its processing, while editing the new one, and keep the original still available so I can make tweaks to the source sounds as needed.

use buses


Same as above. The amount of extra work attempting to draw automation for the many things that could be achieved would be made far simpler. Not to mention that using buses does nothing to help the massive overhead having an electronic project automating everything and playing synths back live. Consider it a hardware preservation issue if you must, but running all eight cores above 50% is not deisreable for hardware or my electric bill.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby tatch » Thu May 15, 2014 4:18 am

lazyklimm wrote:>Clone an existing track.

why should one need that?


also doubling parts but with different instruments/synths/inputs, testing out alternate configurations for a track, parallel processing, using similar track properties for another part.

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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby lazyklimm » Thu May 15, 2014 6:00 am

>also doubling parts but with different instruments/synths/inputs

use the bus, Luke

>testing out alternate configurations for a track

bus, also ardour can do snapshots - store, change, test, revert

>parallel processing

bus

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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby lazyklimm » Thu May 15, 2014 6:09 am

Some years ago, when I started using linux for audio recording etc, I faced with same question (many-many years ago I used primitive windows multitracker on very slow PC, so to duplicate track was the only way to do misc tricks). Google brought me to ardour forum, where one of the devs (maybe PD himself, can't remember exactly) say "Do you really need to duplicate your tracks? Maybe buses should help?". And they helped!

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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby dednikko » Thu May 15, 2014 7:45 am

I appreciate the enthusiasm, lazyklimm, and a lot of the items can be addressed this way, other than the fact that the cpu overhead still becomes an issue. I don't really like having to break my workflow up with exporting tracks, then importing them and resetting routing. It kills workflow. I know that many DAWs have overkill on features, but there are some things that could be so much easier, and that is why all the other major DAWs have them. This is one of them.

Let's discuss a use fairly simple case that has presented problems for me. I have a song that has one main verse melody that flips back and forth between 4 different heavily processed versions of itself. My options with bussing are to send the source audio to four different buses. Since I cannot freeze buses or bounce cleanly to a new track, I must leave every effect processor live and automated. This adds overhead.

I then need to route all those buses to another bus for side chaining compression, as well as standard compression and reverb to tie them into the same audio space.

On top of that, when I do end up bouncing buses down to an external track, they take a lot longer since I can't freeze the tracks beforehand. Then I still have to import them again and set up routing, grouping, and then I can finally manually edit them.Finally, due to the nature of automation drawing, it does and will probably always take a lot longer than chopping something up with the mouse, selecting the parts I want to process, and copying them into a new track.

It just isn't very user friendly in that regard. I love so much about this program, that this is my one annoyance.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby ssj71 » Thu May 15, 2014 7:09 pm

dednikko wrote:4 different heavily processed versions of itself.

If they are just processed differently I make a new track, split the region and "mult" it (in Lock Edit mode slide the section of the region you want differently processed down to the new track). You can copy and paste plugin instances and they maintain settings between tracks. Maybe thats not going to work for you, but its how I do it. I've never really had a big CPU bottle neck problem with the plugins. I have my latencies very large while mixing.

dednikko wrote:Since I cannot freeze buses or bounce cleanly to a new track

I frequently attach the output of a track to a new track and record it (and disable the "source" tracks). Will that work for your clean bouncing?

I think these things can be done but it will likely require some small changes in workflow. If I'm misunderstanding what you want, please, help me understand. I'd love for you to love using Ardour the way I do :)
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby emarsk » Sat May 24, 2014 10:44 pm

ssj71, if you read the first post, you find
dednikko wrote:How do I completely clone a track without having to first insert a new track, then copy the audio or MIDI, then copy the plugins, then correct the routing [...] ?

It's exactly what you are suggesting…

Anyway,

1. No, there's no "clone track" available that I'm aware of (and alas no "split into mono", either).

2. There's a "bounce with processing" in the region menu, but it's completely worthless, because it creates new regions (one for each selected region) and it puts them into that mess of a region list, so you should find them and put them into the timeline by hand again, one by one, in a new track that you need to add by hand anyway. So it's just much easier to route the output into a new track and record there.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby ssj71 » Tue May 27, 2014 6:35 pm

emarsk wrote:ssj71, if you read the first post, you find
dednikko wrote:How do I completely clone a track without having to first insert a new track, then copy the audio or MIDI, then copy the plugins, then correct the routing [...] ?

It's exactly what you are suggesting…


I guess you're right. For me the overhead has always been negligible. If they are going to be processed differently I don't have the same plugins on it anyway. Perhaps a personal workflow preference thing. Track clone is probably a useful feature for others. Search the bugtracker and if there's not one already fill out a feature request.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby bazsound » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:19 pm

This should be a feature that would hopefuly be added in the future.

I can think of one good reason for having this is when doing sidechain processing. for instance

You have a vocal track, with gain automation and with several different compressors doing different jobs.

But 1 of your compressors you dont wont being to aggresively triggered, so you clone the track and route it into the sidechain input of a compressor, on the cloned track you would say use a low pas and high pass filter so that only the midd range is triggering the compressor, you would also use a limiter on the cloned track.

That way the original track is not triggering the compressor and you can do more precise eq and compressing.

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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby hellalive » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:34 pm

you can do this with a bus once again..and I suggest to consider using track templates.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby dednikko » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:39 pm

hellalive wrote:you can do this with a bus once again..and I suggest to consider using track templates.


Let's say that another reason not to use busses is that when I bounce a processed track to a new track, I can then chop up the track, reversing sections.I can't do that with a bus.

Also, automating loads of gain and pitch changes to a single track is a nightmare. When you are intentionally going to a non-natural sound, having a track to manipulate is a huge workflow enhanvement.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby hellalive » Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:45 pm

Why not simply record a bus to a track if you have to bounce? Export just the bus output to one file? Then you can do whatever you want to it. Also, you can do automation on a bus..i can't really see the problem here.
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Re: Track management in Ardour...

Postby dednikko » Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:47 pm

I suppose a lot of people don't understand what it is like to desire over 30variations on effects for a single lead line. Just imagine the amount of time it takes to add individual tracks for all f those, get them routed right, add and effects. Even using track templates and any batch operations, it takes many more hours per song.

Hell, even forgoing the ability to bounce directly to a new track, how about effects being added to clips? This would also reduce production time greatly.
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