I would like to try using a volume-rider plug in to see if it would smooth out my podcast editing cycle, but obviously I don’t want to spend money on something that I can’t use on Linux.
What I want to achieve is levelling out the volume of long spoken word tracks which are typically a little inconsistent over an hour or more of recording.
From what I can tell Waves Vocal Rider is the best known tool for this, but it looks like HoRNet Autogain does something similar. Are either of these able to work with a Linux installation of Ardour? If not, is there an alternative that does?
Short version is I wouldn’t expect them to.
You can get similar (But not the same) out of compression utilized appropriately, I prefer to pair this with a downwards expander as well before the compressor.
Personally, when mixing vocals I use the “split” function on vocal tracks after each groups of sentences/words (with the help of the waveform) and use the “normalize” function across all the resulting segments, so that they all attain the same maximum volume.
Then I go through a quick listen in order to notice the remaining volume gaps or background noises that could have been amplified by the process.
Then I apply a gentle leveler, which can be an overtoneDSP plugin or Mixbus’ own levler (if working with Mixbus), depending on the task, to smoothen the final result. Other more general use compression plugins can also do the trick with the good settings, it’s just less straight forward (but more tweakable).
Granted, it’s longer than using a “volume rider” plugin, but it provides more control over the end result.
You could also ride the volume yourself (like people did on analogue hardware) using the “Write” mode with volume automation (something I am still not comfortable with.)