Adjusting volume and outputs for groups in the mixer with keyboard modifiers

Ardour 5.12, Ubuntu Studio 18.10

In the mixer view, I have learned the following:
SHIFT + Click a volume meter = volume goes to 0db.
CTRL + Click a volume meter = volume goes to -inf.

This is intuitive and works well, except when you click on a track which belongs to a group.

  1. When you do the same on a group member, even though the group is inactive, this is applied to ALL tracks in the group. Is this perhaps a bug?

  2. In the mixer: Is there a way to do something to many selected tracks at once, like Solo or Mute them while holding down Shift / Ctrl / Alt ?
    Example: you have 3 unrelated tracks which are not grouped and you want to quickly toggle mute / solo on all 3.

  3. Is there a quick way to assign the output for 10 tracks at once, either a group or just 10 normal tracks? Something like selecting the desired tracks with CTRL + Click (so they have the red outline), and then while still holding CTRL (or adding SHIFT or ALT), clicking the output button at the bottom and selecting your output like “DrumBUS” etc.

  1. Ctrl+<mouse> inverts the group-enable and/or settings for group tracks.

  2. A VCA would work. Also middle-click is momentary for Mute and Solo.

3, When the tracks are grouped, you could use “New Subgroup bus” (group context menu).
Other than that you can draw a line in the Audio connection-manager grid. That is a very convenient way to do many connections at the same time for neighboring tracks.

True, but it shouldn’t be needed if the group is inactive, that part sounds like an issue.


I can assure you that this is intentional… It may not be handy or appropriate, but there is explicit code to invert group behavior. The goal is to enable inactive groups or invert group-settings of active groups.

This is because some users want the former, others want the latter, depending on their workflow:
e.g. some users tend to de/activate groups, but want a quick way to invert that behavior. Others users always keep groups enabled, but want a quick-way to override gain-sharing.

Ahh I see what you mean, sorry got confused on what you are saying. No THAT is correct, having an ability to temporarily remove from group for an operation is a good thing and I would argue is absolutely correct.

Now I need to go back and double check defaults, as the default operations mentioned in the OP the Shift and CTRL shortcuts (Specifically the latter) to unity and -inf respectively sounds like a case of doubled up bindings, and I don’t remember if that is set up that way in the default usage or not, if it is it probably should be looked at for exactly this reason.


The bindings are indeed overloaded and not only ctrl as modifier.

So yes I would argue that the overloading is the issue, as the modifier directly affects the target of the action so that you cannot do one without the other. As much as changing defaults sucks, it probably should be here, but we can pick that conversation up on IRC I suppose.


1. So is it impossible to set a track which belongs to an inactive group to 0db with Shift click?
Setting it to -inf with Ctrl Click actually works!

I suggest you try Shift clicking and Ctrl clicking the volume meter in a session with:

  • 2+ track active group
  • 2+ track inactive group
  • 1 single track (in no groups)

2. Maybe I should explain again:

I am looking for something (or suggesting a feature) like this scenario:

  • Select ~5 tracks with CTRL + Click
  • Hold down ALT + Shift and click Mute or Solo
  • Now the selected tracks are muted.

The same method (key combo) could also be used to fx:

  • add the same plugin or Aux sends to selected tracks
  • adjust the volume or pan the selected tracks etc.

Just as Ctrl + Shift clicking Mute works on ALL tracks I suggest:
Alt + Shift (or other combo) would work on selected track the same way.

I remember I used this in Pro Tools to add the same plugin to many tracks and to assign inputs, sends etc.
I recall if I added the third key combo (Ctrl, Alt, Shift) when assigning inputs, it added the inputs in chronological order to the selected tracks. A huge time saver when recording multiple tracks. Ardour does this for you when you create new tracks, but maybe you might want to record on inputs 4-8, then you would have to create 8 tracks, and delete the first 4 again.

3. Thanks for this! Did not know about this hidden Subgroup bus, I will use this from now on.
I usually group all vocals together AND create a bus manually for them. This will save some time on that!