2019 Scrubbing the timeline in Ardour

Hey guys,

I’m an animation an animation guy

Q. Can Ardour scrub the timeline similar to a video editor and how do do it (midi and audio)?

Q.If can’t how should I be thinking about this?

If I can’t in any way what so ever what software can people recommend

Thanks Ad

Hi, man!
I don’t really know is it the feature you’re looking for…:slight_smile: . I’ve just tried something. This is called “Audition mode” for mouse. When you’re in this mode you can click than drag the mouse to the left/right in the editor area and it will play the session slowly or fast. But I don’t understand this function, perhaps when it’s needed to play a session slow in some areas to hear quick parts clearly…

If you’re an animator, may be you’d like to synchronize the cursor to the Jack (to play with Blender simultaneously) - this mode doesn’t work as I’ve tried.

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WOW! okayeeeeeeeeee!

So I have caught the music bug and i am super new to all of this. I can see that you are doing it, but i don’t quite get it.

So sorry could you explain a bit more?

Thanx Ad

Hello again! Sorry for delayed answer…

So sorry could you explain a bit more?

To explain about the scrubbing or about the Jack synchronization? The important thing I must mention - I work in Linux. So my explanations will bee about using Ardour in Linux… Simply I don’t know how the jack connections are working in Win/MacOs. Also perhaps I could explain more clearly, if I could know your practical aim? Maybe some link to example video…

Hey mate thank you for your patients. I’m actually super new to all of this.

So I actually I have a lot of questions to be honest, but I will leave those for another post. So what I am trying to do is record a voice and process it through a filter of some kind. ie zyn-fusion (i just bought and then sync between animation and audio and get a nice little workflow happening.

If I can get something solid than I would like to do a solid 15 seconds of a fantasia kinda of thing with animation (I man animator).

After jack I would love to sync Adore up to:

  1. Blender
  2. Kdenlive
  3. Natron
  4. Krita
  5. OpenToonz.

I have a little bit of a voice here with devs in some other communities and I know that alot of people would love to take advantage of adour and zyn-fusion.

Then there are all the import and misc details like drivers, vst etc, sounds fonts, plugins and musical terms (I’m not musical I just see sound as something you put together like colour form and shape to create mode and tell a story)

The list I have is huge and since I am honestly very new to this I am learning a lot taking a lot of notes as well. I’m sure a lot of people would benefit from the notes. I want to pass the notes on as well if can get something concise and well order and clear for people who are like myself.

Share, share, share so we can all find a little more of that creative spark.

Thanks again for your patients.

Ad :star_struck::star_struck::star_struck:

here is the link for scrubing. When i scrub in ardour it feels really heavy and lags like crazy

While this is not your particular issue, one MAJOR difference here is the processing.

A proxy clip workflow like you posted is about pre-rendering effects on a out to a lower resolution proxy clip to allow for faster playback. This is especially important for video as the processing poer needed to work on video is much larger in most cases which is why even basic realtime processing of full size video, particularly HD and above is a struggle still on many computers, and often Proxy workflow is required so that there is no realtime processing.

However this is antithetical to how Ardour works, where there is no equivalent to proxy encoding, but instead all processing is done in realtime. That means to jump around you have to process enough to fill whatever size buffer you have set up in Ardour (By default 5 seconds) and Ardour puts emphasis on smooth playback instead with realtime processing, instead of quick response with offline processing. You could try lowering your buffer size for instance to speed up the responsiveness of jumping around, but then it is more likely you will not get smooth playback, which most people would say is far more important.

By the way, ZynFusion (And ZynAddSubFX on which it is based) is a synth last I checked, and not intended for processing existing audio, so not real sure what your workflow here is?

Hey mate thanks

so I can get video in Ardour no problem (I have been reading the manual)
And Zyn, other VSTs and sound fonts working now (Yeah)

Scrubbing i realize Adour is just a hopeless mess

Ardour can’t scub like a video editor. Though if you right click on this guy

and switch it it the wheel at least you can gain some kind of sainty trying to do audio in here and work with animation at the same time.

If you turn on smart


you dont need to use this tool


While i am at it. This tool is so handy for when you want to drawong and editing midi at the same time.
Holding down the Control (Ctrl) key + Left click bouces you to draw mode


So what’s left for my endeavor this week is sinking animation apps with Ardour.

I made a new question on the topic here: Ardour for animators ~ 2019

Hi, Adam! In my video I couldn’t convey how the audition tool is comfortable or not, but I think it works not the same as you’ve shown in the Kdenlive video. In your example (Kdeinlive) this works like a real scrubbing, but in Ardour this works like playing with determined speed. The speed depends on the value of mouse moving relatively to the cursor. You’re not scrubbing the cursor - you’re just forcing the playback moving fast or slow. Yes, I think it’s not the tool you need. All the more so you will want to synchronize to external apps - this tool switches off when you synchronize Ardour to Jack. About the sincronization I’ll try to share my experience in your other topic: Ardour for animators ~ 2019

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And yes, )) Sharing is good! :slight_smile: I’ve no experience in animation, but this is interesting topic for me and how this could be used with Ardour. May be you’ll give useful advises later :slight_smile:

Oh mate once I can do this
I intend to be as clear as possible to communicate how to do it and how it can be used in the form of a blog and youtube video.

Though right now just getting this to work is a super pain in my ass.

This doesn’t seem to be very accessible and I am beginning to think that this maaaaaybe what people want?

Ad :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

As the person who wrote Ardour’s “scrubbing” (among other things), (1) it sucks (2) I don’t think that scrubbing fits into a modern digital workflow.

At the risk of lecturing someone who already has what they consider to be a perfectly good workflow … if you need to scrub to find points in time, then your workflow is already suboptimal from a time efficiency perspective. Listen, and drop markers.

It’s unlikely that our scrubbing implementation will get much better any time soon, and when it does, it is likely to evolve in ways you don’t want - it may become more like CD fast-fwd/rewind than tape scrubbing.

I just want to say this

someone said to me that the reason why this scrubbing feature doesn’t exsist is because perhaps audio quality is more important.

For this people that is then this should not be something that ardour needs to worry about right? Because those people will make every effort to make sure in and out is optimal quality.

what i keep thinking is that its not just about sound

isn’t it about timing and spacing as well. Perhaps there needs to be a dirty/proxy mode so scrubbing actually works

just a thought


Hey Paul

That kinda sound like a step backwards. Also not wanting to wage war but i would like to ecourage you to do some lip sync for animation.

i would love to know how you might tackle this kind of workflow between sound and either drawing or sculpting (creating images that sync together).

there are some tools out there kinda do this automatically but these tools become redundant very quickly when you start associating adjectives to what is needing to be communicated.

I’m sure it is the same when it comes to mastering sound to do it personally can often be the best solution instead of leaving up to the bots for now


Doing it “personally” sounds right to me. But doing it via scrubbing is just a hang-over from there really being no alternative (when working with tape).

Also as for most animators when we are taught to do Lip Sync, we’re taught to read the waveforms. What is the constant and what is the vowel (I was taught in English I don’t think it will change much in other languages)

Markers are great and they get used though what is important is hearing and seeing and most importantly feeling if it’s in sync even if the computer tells you it’s not.

This is something that needs to be done by hand.

No offense but I don’t think you’re really offering a solution here except to yourself and those like minded. Though I would love to see you go through the process and come up with a more optimal method I doubt you have the time.

I actually believe this would be a good exercise for you and may help you think of alternate solutions that may not have been done before since you are the person who wrote the scrubbing.

Its alawys good to do something that you have never done before to stretch the way you think? Maybe its time for you to expand. Lord know that’s why I am here.

Just curious on points 1 and 2 can you elaborate?

Again not looking to wage war. Ad :v::v::v:

Given the coding work to be done on Ardour, the chances of me sitting down to learn a lip syncing workflow are essentially zero.

Re: numbered points. (1) “it sucks” - doing realtime scrubbing on an arbitrary number of tracks and following the mouse is insanely hard to make work well. You should try using a Mackie Control device with a job/scrub wheel, because the implementation of that is entirely different and much more pleasant to use (for my taste, anyway). (2) [ changing implementation ] if you use ProTools or Logic and listen and analyse you will find that when they do playback at speeds other than unity, they do not “scrub”, they chop up the audio the way that CD players do. This is much easier for humans to listen to find “features” (assuming the features last long enough to not be excised by the process).

Now lets imagine you have 80 animators working for you, alot of them in different countries. What would your sound solution be?


I’d get them all a cheap HID jog wheel so that they could scrub properly. Compared to the cost of paying them, it’s peanuts.

For that cost I am pretty sure I can find someone in India to code and integrate it. If we went that way what would be the process for dev integration and maintenance once the code is released and made open-source.

Or would this be better as a plugin and then made open source so that the community can expand on it.