[LAD] Half-OT: Fader mapping - was - Ardour MIDI tracer

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Sat Aug 23 05:53:45 UTC 2014

On Fri, 22 Aug 2014, Fons Adriaensen wrote:

> A DAW such as Ardour has remnants of the in-line structure.
> Logically there are still two signal paths in each track strip.
> But the 'pre-tape' part, instead of being a mixer, has been
> reduced to the mininum: no gain controls and fixed one-to-one
> connections from inputs to tracks. The only thing that remains
> is that you can measure the input signal, and use it as input
> to the main path while transport is stopped or the track is

Partly also for historical reasons, I think. In many ways digital 
recording started as the "poor man's tape". Direct to disk recording with 
no effects was at first all that could be handled and most peole using it 
were replacing 8 track tape with it. They already had a mixer. As the DAW 
developed, mix down on the computer has been next. But for many people the 
recording part of the strip has been outside of the DAW, on an analog 
mixer. This is changing as a new batch of people are going mic-> 
interface. Their input strip is whatever the interface provides... often 
only trim (either as a pot on the pre or in ALSA). So digital recording is 
also going through a two mixer to inline transition. From hybrid to 
digital only. The trim controls are there, where they should be, as close 
to incoming signal as possible. I don't suppose it would be too hard to 
add alsa trim for a card like the d1010 to ardour, but many USB IFs (even 
PCIe) have no controls in alsa. It is a physical pot somewhere. So rather 
than being in front of the engineer, it is hidden and easily missed by the 
newby... or even not so new. So much is done digitally, that the remaining 
analog items are forgotten. This is a real problem with a two input IF, 
The trim needs to be set every time and the variety of signals through one 
channel is huge. Everything from a ribbon to line level. Having a set of 
good pre amps could be worth while, this is probably the biggest hole in 
the hobby studio. I have two, tube and solid state. (plus line)

> recording. With unlimited tracks available, this makes sense

unlimited? CPU speed does that even if sw doesn't. As in days of old, 
buget determines tracks and effects available, though the price per track 
has dropped dramatically.

Mixbus (Ardour with input strips) is known as cpu heavy, because of where 
the average home/small studio budget is. I have a 4 core i5... about $500. 
The next step up is a xeon 8 core... two of them on the same board with 
separate memory. multi hard drives.... 6x the cost pretty easy, but not 
bad in a paying studio. The reality is, a better interface comes first... 
and mics... the dual xeon starts to look cheap by comparison.

> of course, though it encourages postponing everything to the
> mixing stage. I'm not convinced that is always a good idea,
> you can easily end up with 'too much to handle' there.

grouping and subs.

Len Ovens

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