Some intermediate questions related to post-processing

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zhyla
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So I'm at the point where I can record from my audio interfaces and from Hydrogen, jack those into jack-rack to do some real-time LADSPA effects (er... just realized Ardour has this built into the mixer, doh), and move things around in Ardour. All that pretty much works flawlessly (now that jackd is running in realtime mode). I have a few questions...

Ok, so I've recorded a bunch of audio. Aside from cutting/deleting sections of tracks and repeating them, it doesn't seem like there's much in the way of audio editing (despite the blurb on the website).

I don't have a VST-enabled build of Ardour, is this the way to go for editing? Or is there some way to say record a track in Ardour, then pipe it thru an effects program using jack (like jack-rack), and then back into Ardour. I'm not real hung up on the effects, just want to be able to add a little reverb or compression after the fact.

Ok, in the process of writing this email and making sure I had my **** together I found out I could jack one track into another track, put a LAPSDA plugin effect on that new track, and then record onto it. This achieves what I want but seems clunky.. and what's this Send effect thing?

Anyways, I'm not completely lost but any pointers would really be appreciated.

philicorda
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What kind of recording are you doing?
Ardour is best at real time multitracking and mixing.

Generally this means doing non destructive edits and using real time effects, as this leaves you free to keep tweaking and mixing as long as you like, rather than actually altering the original audio, which can make further mixing difficult.

If you wish to make permanent changes to stereo or mono files and are not multitracking then a wave editor like Rezound/Sweep/Audacity is better.

Put your compression plugin as an insert effect on the mixer channel of the track that needs compression. Create a stereo bus and put a reverb plugin as an insert effect on it.
Create a send after the compressor on the first track and route it to the bus .
This should give you compression and reverb on your track.

As far as editing audio goes (rather than effect apply), what would you like to do that you cannot at the moment?

As an aside, I think non destructive 'process-apply' style use of LADSPA effects on regions would be useful in Ardour, but I don't want to confuse this particular reply too much. :)

zhyla
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Thanks for your reply philli,

I tried the insert/send thing you described but I don't see an option in either of them to select an effect plugin. Only the "add plugin" option for the pre- and post-fader has that.

Things I'd like to do but can't/don't know how: adjust amplitude of a selection (region/part of region), fade a region in or out, etc. I get what you're saying about the non-destructive mindset and how other programs should be used for that kind of editing, but Ardour has things broken into regions, it'd be nice to be able to edit them without exporting to another program.

If I did go the export route, like I said it needs to export the tracks as separate waves or as an N-track wave file. If I spend the time getting set up to compile I guess I could add that functionality myself.

As far as what I want to do... just screw around with recording stuff I guess. I got into Ardour because my uncle wants to start doing some recording. He's got Cubase but I was trying to avoid using Windows for audio stuff. Our basic needs are to lay down tracks one at a time while playing along with the previous track(s) and then to be able to repeat regions. Which Ardour can easily handle.

philicorda
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"Things I’d like to do but can’t/don’t know how: adjust amplitude of a selection (region/part of region), fade a region in or out, etc."

To create fades, click-drag the blue little boxes that are at the top left and top right of a region.
To adjust the amplitude of a region, use the gain tool to create points and thus a gain envelope.

"I tried the insert/send thing you described but I don’t see an option in either of them to select an effect plugin. Only the “add plugin” option for the pre- and post-fader has that."

Sends are not effects in themselves, but are a way to redirect some of a signal to a bus which does have an effect plugin on it. You are correct in that the "add plugin" option is the only way to add effects to a mixer channel.

Just to clarify, when I talked of an 'insert effect' I mean just a normal plugin really, not the redirect insert.

"If I did go the export route, like I said it needs to export the tracks as separate waves or as an N-track wave file."
I find I only ever export once per song, a stereo mixdown when the track is finished.
Tracks are cheap in Ardour, so don't be afraid to spread your audio over lots of them, each with different mixer settings, rather than trying to do everything through automation/editing etc on the same track.
For example if there is a guitar part you want to sound different in the chorus as opposed to verse, cutting the choruses out and putting them on a new track is often easier than using automation etc.

"As far as what I want to do… just screw around with recording stuff I guess. I got into Ardour because my uncle wants to start doing some recording. He’s got Cubase but I was trying to avoid using Windows for audio stuff. Our basic needs are to lay down tracks one at a time while playing along with the previous track(s) and then to be able to repeat regions. Which Ardour can easily handle."

You will have lots of fun with this. Some stuff probably seems weird to start with, but it will make sense in the end. Personally I think Ardour is more straight forward for some things than Cubase, but I don't know if that's just because I'm used to it.

zhyla
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I think Ardour is more straight forward than Cubase too, especially the mixer. My only "n00b" complaint is that you can't just start it up and push record... have to set up tracks first, and the record, then play thing was strange at first. I got Hydrogen hooked up very quickly and was recording drums + guitar in no time, whereas I think my uncle is still struggling to get the Cubase MIDI stuff working.

One thing I really like about the linux audio stuff in general is the idea of using JACK to connect a bunch of programs that do one thing well.

Thanks for all the help... I assume I'll be able to get that bus/effect thing working now that I understand what you're saying.