[LAD] Ardour "sampler" feature?

Thorsten Wilms self at thorstenwilms.com
Wed Aug 27 08:15:47 UTC 2014

On 26.08.2014 19:39, Devin Venable wrote:
> My dream feature?  Click on segment, select "convert to sample" and a
> new midi track appears linked to a plugin sampler, ready to play.

I could have used something like that a few times.

Being an architecture astronaut by hobby, I've been wondering about the 
differences and commonalities between (audio-)sequencers and samplers. 
In both cases you have an abstraction on top of actual audio-files and 
playback start/stop. But playback is parameterized differently. The 
sequencer has a timeline position and transport state, while the sampler 
takes notes (and potentially a bunch of control events).

Lets think of a track in a sequencer to actually be a mapping of a 
playlist to a playback graph. The playlist can be reduced to a sequence 
of events. The playback graph consists of at least a playback engine and 
may contain an effect chain.

In typical sequencer use, for pure audio tracks, a playlist will contain 
regions that map to audio-files. That part of it can be reduced to a 
sequence of audio-sample-values, as main input to the playback engine. 
There may be other events/automation, all being inputs to the playback 
graph. The general idea is that you always deal with sequences of events 
as inputs to a playback graph.

Now all of that is coupled to a single, global playback control, 
consisting of transport state and timeline position. What if you could 
choose to decouple tracks from global control and make them take 
note-events for playback control instead? If the playback engine can 
variate playback speed in relation to note-value, you have a basic 
sampler. If the playback engine also offers realtime 
pitch-shifting/time-stretching and formant control, you have wonderland.

Note that you would not be limited to control a decoupled track's 
position and state by notes. There could also be direct control with 
start/stop/speed (including negative) and locate/go-to events. Tracks 
that play tracks ... Mmwuhahahaha!

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list