An option to disable "Regions"

I don’t know how complicated it would be make “regions” optional, but I find it a real big waste of time and frustration for me.

I don’t work that way and the added layers of complexity always seems to get in the way of me getting stuff done.

I’m sure I don’t need to list all the problems with the current implementation. So it would be nice to be able to disable it.

Some of us would prefer not to be beta testers of a tool that we do not want wish to use.

I am hoping this is a joke? Otherwise it seems like you are trying to use the wrong tool for whatever you are doing.

But to answer the question, no they are not optional. Regions are a fundamental part of the model of working in a DAW, not sure I could name one non-destructive DAW that doesn’t use them.


@mclstr: what are you referring to when you use the term “Regions” ?

I guess what I’m referring to is “Region” not “Regions”. And I guess when I say turn off regions I mean to have more options in how they work.
I have worked many many years in programs like Logic Audio, Studio Vision, ProTools, Qbase,… , but some of the behavior in Ardour is way too complex and weird.

Just two examples,

  1. if I copy a midi phrase from one track into another, I have now created a new region in the new track and this region is now linked to the notes in the original track. If I edit the notes in the new track, they will also be affected in the original track where the notes were copied from, making a big mess of the original track.

  2. it is too easy to accidentally overlap regions. Just copying a phrase to another track now creates overlapping regions in the new track. This wastes time when you have to reorder layers to edit the underlying region. I didn’t want layers and it shouldn’t be automatic.

It would be nice to have the option to not allow regions to be copied with the notes and audio or to somehow remove this reference without also removing the data.

There are other “Region” features that get in my way and wish I could turn off.

It initially scared me away when I first started using Ardour, but I am developing workarounds. I just wonder how many users won’t use Ardour because of the complexity.

I use other DAW’s and often combine them. I also read similar complaints on forums when people compare Ardour to others.

I personally do prefer Ardour for most of my work and only use others for features that I like for a particular style of composition.

You can unlink midi regions (right click > MIDI > Unlink from other regions) or do that by default in Session > Properties > Misc > Midi region copies are independent. There’s also a setting for overlapping notes there.

Ardour’s handling of MIDI editing differs from most other DAWs and MIDI sequencers. The general concept is described at

(1) x42 already covered this in his reply. Note that some people love the “link-by-default” option, some people hate it - that’s why it is an option.

(2) Ardour’s handling of overlapping regions comes from our audio editing workflow, which I firmly behave is MUCH better than most DAWs (once you get used to it). There is a strong argument to be made that the same thing shouldn’t necessarily be the default for MIDI, but at present and for the time being it is.

In general, arguments or discussions about workflow are much more productive when they start after all parties have stopped and asked “There must be a reason why they (want/implemented) it this way”. There are some mistakes, even some gross errors in our current MIDI workflow. Even so, it is wortth starting from the assumption that we did, in fact, think about the design, decided to do things this way and had solid reasons for doing so. Likewise, although many users are unnecessarily bound to habits and workflow that just happens to be present in some other DAWs, we also need to be willing to listen to arguments about why that workflow works, which are best presented along the lines of “Currently in Ardour when I do X, Y and Z in order get things to state A, I typically end up in state B, which is not what I wanted or expected to happen”.

Also, worth noting as a corollary to the above: we did consider, when we first added MIDI data handling, having MIDI tracks be “regionless”. For lots of reasons, we decided that would be a mistake. We could have been wrong, but at the moment, we still think it is the best approach to replicate a lot of the workflow styles and tools for both audio and MIDI.

Thanks all. I guess I need to go over the manual a couple more times and get down and dirty with the concept before I make judgments about the features before I fully understand why or how they work.

I probably shouldn’t have posted to this particular forum and instead posted to the beginner forum.