My request and why GNU/Linux are still losers in the audio game

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Sad Person
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My request and why GNU/Linux are still losers in the audio game

What I would like is for the Ardour team to halt all GNU/Linux coding for the moment and throw all resources into making a working bug free native Mac version.

Why?

Ardour is intended to be an audio manipulation program that will conquer the world and surpass Pro Tools as the top application. The advantage Ardour have over the competition is that it is FOSS and wee all need to be free of vendor lock in. We need tools that serves our needs and not the profit demands of the vendor.

In order to finance the Ardour project it needs users who make a living manipulating audio and as it stands GNU/Linux is in the dark ages when it comes to multimedia work. Jack has got to win the price as the most user unfriendly audio interface of all times, the simple thing that you cannot get Ardour to make a pip without extensive Linux knowledge and mastery of the thousands of combinations of Jack before you can get creative is a show stopper.

Digital Audio Workstations are complex and there is absolutely NO value in diverting time and effort to learning to navigate Gnu/Linux audio interface complexities as they are going to designed out of existence eventually.

One day you will be able to install Ubuntu Studio and Ardour will make a sound as soon as you launch the program but it is some years away. If Ardour fails and it needs revenue to survive, the transition to FOSS for audio work will take 10 years. If you get a Mac following it will help the GNU/Linux version progress. Time is of the essence and Audio Professionals have none to spare, they need to survive as well and those who could save cost by ditching Pro Tools will have the advantage. Ardour do not keep us waiting any longer, you promise so much now let us get on with learning the damn thing, on our Macs we do not have time to CLI.

Harry Haste

thorgal
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????

hmmmm, the jack audio server is fine. And learning ardour does not require learning the guts of linux. What's your problem ?

Dazgard
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sorry, i am not a regular poster but this is real shit, what you are talking about.
the only true problem with ardour is problably the money.

linux is the more evolving, creative, inovative system on the computer scene. 10 years to succeed as a really pro music production plateform ? just get our hands dirty to get things going faster. manual, code, promotion,... are areas where you can certainly help.
go 5years in the past, and tell me where linux were (or 10years is you are brave).

you don't like the CLI ? to run ardour and jack who tells you will need CLI ?? the CLI is a really powerfull tool, you are free to use it or not. for the story take a peek on qjackctrl or patchage (there's a mac GUI for jack too)

one more time man, sorry but you sound to egoist for my own taste. i am sure you are a mac user,... don't know why :).

im using gnome a i don't like qt software (look & feel) and when i run ardour, i dont pay attention to jack at all; so no qjackctrl on my system. that's true i am only recording vocals and doing the mixing.

you are talking about freedom, why not feeling yourself free to let the others be free and use the tools they want/like the way they want it ??

paul
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You seem to under the mistaken belief that "GNU/Linux" coding is distinct from "OS X coding". The same codebase is used on both platforms, with very little platform-specific code (AudioUnit support is one obvious exception). Most (not all, but most) of the problems with Ardour on OS X are issues with the GUI toolkit that we use, and its native OS X implementation. We have done substantive work to fix that, but some issues there are too big for us to tackle alone.

98% or more of the "GNU/Linux" coding benefits the OS X version as well, and the problems that are seen on OS X and not Linux generally point to real problems whose fixes benefit both platforms.

It seems that you, like so many OS X users, do not understand what JACK is for or why its so useful. Sorry about that.

rozea
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Unless your hardware isn't supported, there is no excuse for most people these days to be not able to work with Linux and Audio on Linux.

First, you've some good pre-configured multimedia distro's like ubuntu studio, jacklab or 64studio.

Second, An distro like Ubuntu works almost out of the box.

Third, there is many support also for linux audio, jack, ardour etc. Like this forum, the IRC channel and also linuxmusicians.com wiki.linuxmusicians.com the linux audio user mailinglist (lau) and wiki etc.

Many people who wants to help you!

harold
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Sound like a certain sad person had bought some Apple stock and tries to damage all other OS suppliers/supporters...

If such a person has the guts to demand such a thing, I demand you all to donate this month's paycheck to my bank account. You never know if someone honors such a request ;)

I always try to respect everyone's opinion, but I find it hard to respect this sad one...

"Why all propriety software suppliers are to become the big losers in the audio game" - an eye-opener for the closed world...

hg87
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it was really not worth to read the starting post in this thread,
and it's not worth to invest time to comment that any more.

thorgal
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the guy has a good point about ardour aiming at becoming a FOSS app that rules over proprietary apps in the same category in terms of quality for production softwares but his perception of linux (linux in the dark ages of multimedia, jack being the worst interface ever, etc) is totally wrong, but he's a mac user so it is understandable I guess.

joegiampaoli
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When you don't use linux you gotta be sad........

To tell you the truth, I'd be f****** depressed! o.O

joegiampaoli
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Oh btw, you might like to check this out Sad Person.....

This is linux based......

http://www.indamixx.com/

Dan Weatherill
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I think there a several massive problems with your attitude

1) you are just plain wrong: Having worked for quite a few years with ASIO drivers and Cubase before coming to GNU/Linux for my audio work, I found JACK a breath of fresh air. The fact that every application can be connected and synchronised together without supporting some stupid "rewire" or something like that is amazing. I also managed lower latencies on the same hardware with it. I have a feeling that you are also a bit off the mark with the "time to produce a sound" thing. Maybe if you buy a Pro Tools system it comes preconfigured (I have worked on a few Pro Tools rigs, and it didn't seem much simpler to use to me). However, if you are using a system like Nuendo, you still have to install the audio drivers, tweak Windows to get best performance (ok you're talking about OSX so it's not quite so relevant I suppose) etc etc. On Linux you have to edit one text file (/etc/security/limits.conf) and restart the computer. OK, the documentation does need to be better.

2)People using software like Pro Tools or Nuendo for purely recording, mixing and engineering applications IME generally do tend to have a very good working knowledge of the "plumbing" of their systems. For songwriters and guitarists making demos, ok they generally do not. But, incidentally, this is not the type of workflow ardour is most useful for. Also, neither is Pro Tools or Nuendo.

3) If I understand it correctly, the Ardour project's purpose is to have an application for GNU/Linux that can match/beat the proprietary software. IMHO, in some ways it has already succeeded. The OSX support is a useful by-product, because of OSX's UNIX base etc etc which makes it similar in a lot of ways to GNU/Linux. "Suspending development for Linux" not only flies in the face of it, but also ignores the ardour user base. Ardour at present, IS the pro audio multitracker to use on Linux.

4) You are assuming that all audio professionals are somehow inherantly "familiar" with OSX and Pro Tools or whatever. This is just not the case. Even if you're already very very familiar with, say, cubase, the Pro Tools learning curve is quite steep. And most people going into audio engineering have been using Windows most of the time anyway, which means they have to learn OSX. It's unfortunate I know, but you ALREADY have to be pretty good at computers and learning new software to make your way in the pro audio world anyway.

5) as has been mentioned before, there isn't a separate codebase for GNU/Linux anyway. So, in that case, are you suggesting that all the developers who are on GNU/Linux just stop developing? Ummm......

That is all.

yervah
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That why I wish that Linux developers stick with Linux only and not support other OS's as this is not the first I've read this. I've read the same thing at the Hydrogen forum and a few others.
At least, linux developers are willing to share what they've developed but you get some of these developers of vst software out there that laughs at Linux.
I've begged a bunch of them who offer their vst free if they would port to linux and some answers are unbelievable. I get answers like 'yes it can be port but linux is the last thing on our minds!' or 'I will not make the code open source,' or most just don't reply to my request yet they reply to other request on their forums.
Ardour and Jack are the best IMHO.

rozea
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Nice writing Dan.

There is maybe one difference (which is getting smaller) between Linux and the other OS (windows, mac).

The latter says:
'how can we make our OS as user friendly as possible, so that people will use our OS'...

In the world of linux it is sometimes like:
'users who wants more user friendly stuff, they must be dump or noobs'...

As being said, it's getting better (I think Ubuntu has a great influence on it) but it still is somewhat of a weak point on Linux. Also the documentation is not optimal for many apps...which is a pity cause Linux is a great platform with great quality (audio) software, as Dan nicely wrote down!

... and I think we can use some more people who are going to use linux for music production (better for the development of apps, support and donations)... so be user friendly...

GMaq
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While the original poster in this thread has much to learn about table manners, his points are not without some merit,

When ever Linux audio is criticized there is an immediate defensive response of "Oh Yeah we can do audio stuff too". That is rarely the point of the critics, I can do audio stuff on my old Akai reel to reel as well but that is meaningless in a Pro Audio world where 90% or more of it's inhabitants utilize proprietary software. And to call it bad just because it's proprietary is short-sighted beyond all reason.

It is a real shame for Ardour because if it is the "cake" that all the real work has gone into... very few people are going to want to eat it unless they can have it with the icing of their choice. VST and AU already are icing that comes in almost every flavour imaginable. LADSPA LV2 and the rest are like tofu, not without their benefits...but certainly not appealing for mass consumption.

It would be very interesting to know how much Ardour for Mac downloads increased after the adoption of AU support, My guess would be that if the team can get their Mac OS native issues straightened out and a stable 2.5+ release with AU support Mac users will outnumber Linux users on this forum in a very short time. (I say that as a Linux/XP user)

Regardless of how fantastic Ardour is or isn't and whether proprietary plugins are good or evil. It is almost guaranteed that Ardour's financial success and popularity in it's rightful place in the Pro Audio world will be due to the "icing on the cake"

Proprietary dominance is a fact that will not go away...I don't envy the task of Paul and team to navigate through the OS politics of it all.

thorgal
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It really depends on what the end goals are. On the one hand, you have users, on the other the developers. They may have different perspectives. So before lamenting about this or that, it is necessary to understand what the expectations are.

Example : in my case, I want to be able to produce my music (and I have a lot in mind that needs to come out) with the tools a I feel comfortable with. If these tools are "free", even better. It happens that linux is what I know. So I chose it for my DAW, and the cool thing is that a project like ardour was available and usable when I did that choice. I learned it and got very comfortable with it. And I could get it for free! Now comes the plugins. I don't care too much about them, I prefer hardware (not free but my DAW does not have to work hard since I don't use tons of plugins). If linux native plugins sound like crap, well, then there are alternatives or different ways of working. So it's not so much a native plugin issue but how you want to get from your idea to the final product. It is not always a straight line ...

Now, let's take the developers : what are their goals ? the ardour dev team is very committed and is doing its best to release a bug free ardour to the world. They would like money for it but they release it for free, so I believe that they meet some of their goals by doing so. Otherwise, they would start up a small company and try to make tons of money out of ardour. Other companies (not supporting linux by default) choose to make tons of money out of their products and impose themselves as leaders in this market segment. It becomes "mass culture". OK, we all know how it works (advertisement, mouth-to-ear, big shot from the music industry endorsing this or that brand, etc, and voila, every body wants the same). That's fine with me, I feel independent enough to be able to make my own choices without being influenced by this mass culture. And by doing so, I discover a team like ardour devs, whose software I enjoy using every day, and I find the team very sympathetic so I support them.

I am not expecting great stuff from sofware, it is by default unreliable, whatever degree of confidence you have in your code (your code has to run within someone else's code, never forget that ;) So WTF ? Sorry for the lengthy msg :D

DavePhillips
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"LADSPA LV2 and the rest are like tofu, not without their benefits…but certainly not appealing for mass consumption."

Two billion Chinese might disagree with that assessment.

And of course the flavor depends on who's cooking, yes ?

I can actually sing and play musical instruments, real ones, so the whole plugins love-in doesn't really reach me. I need some reverb, a little compression and EQ, sure, but what I need first is a good song or composition. Gotta have a cake before the icing's really functional. Frankly I've found a handful of LADSPA plugins that work beautifully for my purposes, and that's all I need.

The synth picture is a little different. Many VSTi plugins fascinate me, but I've kept only a very few to work with on a regular basis.

GMaq
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Dave

LOL. In the heat of typing I unfortunately let my North American bias slip in...I'd better avoid food analogies from now on!

I do however totally agree with your assessment on having to have songs and facility with your instrument first and foremost, Next the appropriate hardware and mics for the task, but even EQ, Compression and Reverb are plugins, many of the complaints leveled at LADSPA and LV2 are a lack of Equivalent Reverbs and EQ's to the "others". I am a total old-schooler too, I was recording on tape for many years before PC's arrived, Plugins are not a crutch to me either, just an embellishment. I also have found some of the LADSPA plugs to truly be excellent as well...Satan Maximizer is one of the best mastering tools ever IMO. If you can work around with hardware etc like Thorgal has mentioned, then of course it's not an issue on a personal level.

I was talking about the larger picture of Ardour's appeal to the Mac crowd and people migrating from Windows. It is no longer the province of Linux users only. I fully realize within itself and the Linux Community it's already a success on it's own merits.

DavePhillips
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Thanks for taking my reply easily, G. I thought I was coming at it a little too harshly. Yes, you're right re: the larger picture, and I'm glad to think that Ardour will have greater appeal beyond its original platform.

bong rouge
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A little bit of necro maybe, but the reason I don't use GNU/Linux for audio is because of a) the lack of documentation (I haven't managed to get Jack working), b) the lack of hardware support (which is not entirely the developers' fault), and c) the lack of plugins. Plugins may not be the most important thing in the world, but to make anything that sounds professional, I need to be able to choose between at least three or four compressors in every situation I need one, and I need a good drum plugin, etc. I still don't know if you can automate tempo in Ardour, can you?

thorgal
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Bong rouge, what do you mean by "sounds professional" ? :)
Either what you produce sounds good to you or the ppl you work for, or it does not. But I am not aware of a special "professional sound" ... I'm teasing a bit :)

About the 3 or 4 comp, before you can choose between many plugins, are you sure you went through the whole range of possibilities of one plugin ? OK, a comp is not rocket science when it comes to using it, but it seems like having to choose between 3 or 4 reveals a bit of uncertainty regarding what you're doing. Is it the case ?

A good drum plugin : have a look at xlnaudio.com
I use Addictive Drums with dssi-vst, it works so nicely that I don't even think about it as a VSTi or windows app.

Automating tempo in ardour : what is it you want to achieve here ? you can always submit a feature request in the issue tracker. That's not about linux any longer, it's about ardour.

bong rouge
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Well, you can replace "professional" with "the power to make it sound exactly the way I want it to". The Mac platform has lots of plugins, both commersial and otherwise, and I have yet to run into something I just can't do with Logic.

Perhaps I was exaggerating a bit about the compressors, but the point is that (correct me if I'm wrong), there just isn't as much of a variety of plugins available for Linux apps as there are for Mac apps. The SC4, for example, may sound great (I haven't heard it), but I want to be able to choose between different plugins to find the one that best suits my needs in a specific situation. For example, I find the builtin Logic compressor to sound OK on vocals, but on drums I use another one because I want another sound. The same goes for anything, there just isn't enough to choose from on the Linux platform. But I'm sure that will change as audio on Linux gets bigger.

I've heard a lot of good things said about AD, but do you know a plugin that's free (as in freedom) and isn't Hydrogen (because Hydrogen is an external app and based on patterns, which is tedious to work with)?

I know my tempo automation comment was a bit off topic... I should get around to submitting that feature request.

GMaq
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bong rouge said:

"But I'm sure that will change as audio on Linux gets bigger"

That is the real conundrum here isn't it?

As far as current development in "Linux plugins" encompassing LADSPA, LV2, and VST Linux, there is very little to none, many of the LADSPA sets cannot go any further due to the LADSPA sdk limitations, some LADSPA developers have either ceased development at all or have said "look I know it's broken but I really don't have time to fix it."

To be fair there are some small, hard to find projects like CALF and LEET still working and improving.

I have repeatedly visited the LV2 homepage and there has been little to no change and no new plugins added for more than 6 months.

JOST and LinuxVST continues development but much of the offerings are reheated Windows/Mac VST's and a few native ones with only 1 sequencer (EnergyXT) that supports them natively that I know of, without an external host like JOST...(hey that rhymes)

So...Linux has a stagnant and aging native set of plug-in platforms to offer people from the "outside" who already enjoy at least 2 "Industry Standard" platforms which are continuously developed, improved and added to by both F/OSS (or very similar) and commercial developers.

Linux audio's only real chance of growth outside it own "congregation" will be embracing existing plugin technologies, one of which Ardour has already turned it's back on.

Growth in this scenario becomes a real "Catch-22".

Hmmm,

Another more old school way of coming at the drum issue would be to use Rosegarden with DSSI-Fluidsynth hosting a good drum soundfont. I still like to do it this way myself, because I did it similarly for years in Cubase with Wavetable based Turtle Beach Pinnacle and SBLive soundcards.

It's probably not a much better option than Hydrogen since both methods are pattern based.

Radiophonic1937
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Another point with regard to the original poster - and forgive me if I state the bleeding obvious - but if s/he wants this to be FOSS / free from vendor-specific allegiances, then why is s/he also suggesting investing all development funds into a Mac version?

1. Surely this is as vendor specific as the Digidesign/ProTools/M-Audio relationship [whereby ProTools only works with Digidesign-specific non-standard interfaces.

2. Is it not better to abandon MacOS and simply run Linux on the Mac? This can be done! I have a Mac in my teaching lab which will happily run a number of flavours of Linux!

alex stone
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I'm another one who has to take issue with the original poster's perception.

I'm like Dave Phillips, having played in orchestras and various ensembles for quite some time. But writing orchestral music in a box is by its very nature, challenging, without throwing HW and SW limitations in as well.

I used to have a herd of Gigastudio boxes, which i went through various stages of angst with, trying to keep them running. Add to that the limitations inherent in Win (and Mac) related to getting audio and midi in and out of the herd, and the challenge became, regular, the stuff of nightmares.

Jack, even in its earlier incarnations, provided a freedom from many many hours of tweaking, compromising, and well, more compromising.
It's a professional tool of use, that enables me to route anything, anywhere. And like any software 'Ferrari', the user should learn to drive it, and understand what's going on under the hood. With a little time invested, patience from those who suffered my stream of questions, and taking into account my inexperience with linux in general, Jack was relatively easy to setup and use. One only has to apply oneself a little to reap the benefits.

I'll be blunt here.

It's been my experience with Jack, and the wider linux framework, that 99% of the time, the user is at fault. (and i draw on myself as an example of this.) I'm not a lazy person by any means, but i've read a lot of posts from those that are, and time and again, an hour's concentration would put most of them in the driving seat.

I've also used Jack in Mac, and although it was early days in the Jack genetic evolution, it still ran, didn't cough, and enabled me to get a lot more work done for less tweaking. Only a period of concentration at the beginning of that particular journey was needed to reap results.

I'm still a dummy with many things linux, but have enough knowledge now to get myself out of trouble on the few occasions these days that something crops up.

I will refute emphatically the premise that linux isn't ready for realtime, or somehow behind the eight ball. There are things we'd all like to see (more concentration on the wonderful world of Keystrokes and bindings, for example), but that's the same in any app for any distro. Like Dave, i don't use VSTs (hurrah), as i found a wealth of useful tools in the ladspa, and lately, LV2 plugin world. Add to that the might beasts that are Jconv, Aeolus, Linuxsampler, Rosegarden, and a myriad of other apps, and of course, Ardour, and i'll enthusiastically argue the case for a native linux audio/midi workstation, for professional use.

Bleating and moaning about linux audio/midi seems to take a familiar path of "I just wanna press the mouse over the icon, and watch it wiggle", then "But i can't use my 4000 VST plugins with pretty faces, cos linux doesn't like 'em".

Yeah, right.

Paul, my apologies in advance for the rant, but as i get more into writing every day, and notice just how much i get done, WITHOUT compromising, i've learnt to appreciate what we have to use from gifted and generous souls on the linux planet, and conversely, i get more irritated with those who just want to throw rocks and not put in a little elbow grease.

Guess this means i'm gonna be a crusty old fart when that time comes.....

Alex.

Danni
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While I think the original posters tone is greatly disrespectful there are some good points.

Getting a good audio setup on Linux is a lot harder than it ought to be... Particularly if your sound equipment is less than optimal (read onboard sound with no hardware mixing). I just upgraded to Ubuntu 8.10 (Well I installed onto a different hard drive and am in the process of migrating - I never leave myself without a working production ready system) and well this took a lot more time than I anticipated - It turned out that the version of libfreebob that I installed had issues - I took this as an opportunity to try out the latest ffado beta but I would expect this to be a big problem for a newer user.

Jack itself is an absolutely wonderful tool once you get your head around how it works - Though persistent and transparent lash support really really needs to happen. I took me a considerable amount of time to get my head around how jack works - it is quite an alien thing to have to start a sound server before you start working (Ardour being able to start jack as needed is a big improvement though) - the other thing is that on most desktop distro's there is a certain amount of tweaking to get jack running just right (for me this went as far as buying a new mainboard with better firewire controller)...

So what can be done to help the situation - In my opinion a few things -- Some nice glossy getting started documentation would help, Certain mainstream distro's taking Jack more seriously would also help (Maybe if somebody would show these developers how to set up jack properly and what jack is capable of on a good system we might see a change in attitude). As it stands I currently have to recompile a whole bunch of stuff with my distro because they have intentionally disabled jack support in so many pieces of software.

Felix
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I do understand the gripe of the OP.
However I feel that it is good for us engineers to fully understand how linux functions at a low level in our systems. I'm still learning, guess I have the benefit of time as a novice recording engineer.
At least when things crash, we will come to understand why and avoid it or even amend it either by ourselves or with the help of this community.

Unlike in protools where things just crash and you can't do squat about it.
Like sometimes I reopen a session and suddenly, I get an error and won't even load till the mix screen, and the only way for me to open the session again was to create a new one and import the session, track by track till the session crashes. Sometimes, I can import all the tracks successfully, save and reopen with no issues... and I never got to understand what exactly was the culprit with the previous session.

zettberlin
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Ok lets have my 5 Cent also

1.) Automating Tempo in Ardour

Really strange question as it comes on a regular basis. Answer: of course you can, I do it whithout thinking about it as a tremendous new feature. Have a look in the timeline above the arranger-window: there is a bar labeled "Tempo" go ahead: click into it on the place in the song you'd like to change the tempo, choose the tempo of your liking, done...

OK I use this for having the click running as I like, dont really know, if synched sequencers follow the changes accordingly: lets try...

Well: Hydrogen does (Rosegarden does not...) so a Drum module can be used in sync at least...

2.)I agree, that documentation is not perfectly effective.
Yes, I know, there are bazillions of tutorials out there but ther must be a reason, that people do not know, that jackd can be either set up easily and runs perfectly stable or cannot run at all because of hardware-issues. And that people do not know, that Ardour offers tempo-automation for some time now...

I have access to a new MacBook and to 2-3 Linux-Boxes the newest a middle class AMD 2 years old. I never touch the MacBook for music-making - because I find it too complicated to make my apps run on it...

bong rouge
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The thing is that you can't automate the tempo to slowly increase or decrease over time, only have it change from one tempo to another in an instant. That's one of the features I use all the time in Logic, because I don't feel that it sounds natural to keep the same tempo throughout the whole song; maybe the chorus is 2 bpm faster, and a bridge is 4 bpm slower, just to keep in with the dynamic of the song.

zettberlin
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In the end temp its allways bpm - so if you want delicate changes to "humanize" the tempo you can always add very small changes to the tempo-line such as having 2 bars running with 124bpm, then one with 125, then one with 124 again then two with 126 and so on.

I doubt, that smaller steps (such as raising the tempo in one bar by 5 steps of 0.2bpm) would really be noticed in an AB-comparision with a "aprupt" change of 1bpm from one bar to the next one.

Plus:

automated tempo in ardour2.5

Ardour offers tempo changes in steps as small as a 1/100 bpm

Having a curve to automate such changes would be quite nice but I do not consider this a must-have...

nostrum fungitur

rafafredd
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I really do not agree, zett...

A tempo track where you can easily draw curves IS A MUST HAVE. One of the most important things Ardour still misses. Developers could check the one in Cubase for a really nice, easy and functional tempo track and tempo line drawing. Doesn't look that hard to do, but then, I'm not a developer myself.

allank
allank's picture
User offline. Last seen 5 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2006-12-07
Posts:
In order to finance the Ardour project it needs users who make a living manipulating audio

This is a stupid notion..

You don't have to make your money from music to financially support Ardour.. while it would be nice .. it's not necessary that the money has to come from music...... Anyone with an income can subscribe...

I make peanuts from my music... it doesn't stop me making it and it doesn't stop me subscribing to Ardour....