Better workflow with external synths?

Total noob here. I’ve got an ultranova that I sequence with Ardour. My process for working with it is a bit laborious and I wanted to see if there’s a better way to do what I’m doing.

In Ardour, my ultranova has a midi track for the composition and an armed audio track for mixing and effects, like ya do. This is totally fine until I want to use a second ultranova patch in the song. To do that I have to record the original ultranova track, then mute its midi track, disarm its audio counterpart, add a new pair of ultranova tracks, dial the ultranova to the new patch, record the new part. The worst part is that I have to remember that if I ever change the composition for either ultranova track I’ll have to re-record it. I’ve done lots of audio exports that are lacking bits because I’ve screwed up this fiddling, and all the track jockeying slows experimentation.

Are these just the fortunes of war working with a daw and a monotimbral synth like the ultranova? Or is there a better way that I’m missing? You cannot underestimate how little I know about this stuff so I am open to any input for working smoother.

A few things come to mind if I understand what you are looking to do correctly:

You could duplicate the existing two track (audio and midi) combo to save some time. You could also use the track templates feature and save your two tracks a templates. Looks like I need to restart Ardour (5.12) to get the track templates to show up. This should save a bunch of clicking around time.

I imagine one could write a Lua script to help with some of what you are working on.

Additionally, you could also look into track playlists and track all your parts on the MIDI and audio tracks. For each new take, you would switch to a new playlist on the MIDI track and create a new audio track and move the audio region from the audio track down to the new track. This way your MIDI track and main audio track (for recording) stay static in terms of routing/record arming etc. You could then break out the effect workflow into a separate process after you have tracked all the parts you want by applying the effects directly to the tracks that need them. If you are using the same effects on all tracks, you could send all your audio tracks through one “ALL SYNTH” bus or something similar. Lots of options.

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