Ardour-ation? Unanswered questions before migration

About me.

I’m student at Full Sail entering the professional recording industry very soon. Kicking and screaming I have resolved to buy Pro Tools 7.1 M-powered because Pro Tools is the “industry standard” for whatever reason. I’m not new to the DAW thing, the Linux environment or programing (but I would rather not do any).

About Ardour.

I am excited to discover this open source DAW which appears to have what I am looking for in a long term solution to my digital recording dramas, but I have a few questions.

#1 Surround Sound: Ardour has a surround mixer right? What file formats does it export eg. does it encode in Dolby? If I exported a surround sound mix in whatever format it does have now, could I create a DVD-Audio that would playback the surround sound encoding? If yes, using what application/package?

#2 Distributed processing: (my favourite possibility). Is it possible for a session’s processing load in Ardour to be distributed over several computers, like in a BEOWOLF cluster, render farm, etc?

Thanks in advance.

No to both questions.

Ardour has a very crude 2D planar panner that is “more flexible” than a standard N.M panner (eg 5.1) but is harder to use and has nothing to do with “surround sound” the way the video industry has defined it. The interface is horrible too. In the future, panners will be dynamically loaded so that people can write their own.

Distributed processing via JACK is possible but not different parts of the same Ardour session (other than sends/inserts that use software running on another system). Distributed processing and low latency don’t really mix terribly well. Distributed processing is great for sound design, or running lots of plugins/instruments at medium latency settings. Check out netjack via google (it hasn’t been fully released yet - it will be merged with JACK itself once its done, but it does work very well already).

Awww. . . =(

Thanks Paul. Since there is no easy road for me to follow, i’ll just have to find my way there.

Music to live by