Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Programming applications for making music on Linux.

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Basslint
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Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Post by Basslint »

Ardour has great audio capabilities. MusE has great sequencing. Qtractor is very lightweight. Nama is accessible. Rosegarden has a nice score editor. LMMS has a rapid beat editor. Zrythm has cool Scheme scripting, and who doesn't like Gerald Jay Sussman? :D

Each DAW has its own advantages and disadvantages but design and technological issues (not to mention the size of those codebases!) make integration of all features in a single DAW impossible.

But what if the user could switch from one DAW to the other to reach the full potential that no single DAW can reach, working on the same one session file? Being able to import/export a single file format is surely less work-intensive than implementing missing features on every DAW!

Nevermind, this is not about the single user! People often make music together. In order to do so, they need to exchange files. Exchanging .wavs and MIDIs is simple and works but does not include a whole lot of information and plugins. And collaborating can become a very frustrating experience. Why not make it more fun?

We're talking libre software, why does every DAW use its own format? I understand why it is so for proprietary DAWs. They can't really afford to be perfectly interchangeable, they kinda need the lock-in of proprietary formats to prevent their users from migrating to something better. This is especially true for subscription-based DAWs. But why is it the same for FLOSS DAWs?

Now, I am no genius coder or software engineer. I can't invent an open interchange format which works for most DAWs and even if I could, I would have a hard time convincing developers to adopt it. What I can do is make this little campaign for it, spread the awareness and discuss the shortcomings that I am probably not seeing.

My dream is one DAW...day to have a meta-DAW which is actually many DAWs, each doing what it does best on the same project. If anything, so that another futile war (like all wars), the DAW war, is finally over.
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Largos
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Re: Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Post by Largos »

For being able to use the talents of multiple programs simultaneously, Sessions like NSM and LADISH are the best way to go, IMO. They are flexible in that you can set up as many programs as you need. Just for a test, I opened Ardour, MusE and Qtractor empty and they take up about a 3% of my CPU, so it's hardly like just having multiple DAW's open is a power problem.

Collaboration, a single session file/directory would be easy to send. I don't know how well they actually work as I've never actually sent one myself.

The "meta-daw" only really needs to be the operating system itself.
alextee
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Re: Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Post by alextee »

I think something like this would be great, iirc Paul mentioned opentimelineIO in one of his interviews https://github.com/PixarAnimationStudios/OpenTimelineIO
I don't see a C API anywhere though
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marbangens
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Re: Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Post by marbangens »

Cool ide but not really possible. It will be too restricting or general for daws that might want to do things differently. But session management and synchronization is possible.
robbert-vdh
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Re: Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Post by robbert-vdh »

Apparently the Bitwig people are actually working on something like this at the moment: https://github.com/bitwig/dawproject

They're probably using this for the new Ableton Live and FL Studio project file import feature they added in the latest version. I can't find a .dawproject implementation for those though.
Basslint
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Re: Open interchangeable format for DAW sessions? Instawin for FLOSS!

Post by Basslint »

robbert-vdh wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:48 pm Apparently the Bitwig people are actually working on something like this at the moment: https://github.com/bitwig/dawproject

They're probably using this for the new Ableton Live and FL Studio project file import feature they added in the latest version. I can't find a .dawproject implementation for those though.
Wow, this is very cool, especially that they licensed it as MIT! I am usually a copyleft kind of person but for open standards permissive licenses are the way to go, because otherwise no proprietary vendor will touch them!

I hope at the very least the major FLOSS DAWs will get on board with it.
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. [Acts 4:32]

Please donate time (even bug reports) or money to libre software 🎁

Jam on openSUSE + GeekosDAW!
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