Cool Edit Pro UI in Ardour ???

Hi everyone.

First a huge thank to Paul and all the Ardour team to bring us an amazing DAW. I’m a french sound engineering student, in my last year of studies, and I would have a suggestion to make to the community, users and developers.

I’m still a student but I can say that I have feet into the professional world. I have made several musical, documentary and short movie projects, I mean editing, mixing and mastering. I use Adobe Audition (which was Cool Edit Pro) since 6 years and ProTools since 3 years and I’ve already worked on Nuendo and Sonar.
I use Ardour since October 2006 (the 0.99.3 release) and I really like the interface of ardour 2, I found it nice, very clear and intuitive.
But there is a very powerful concept in Adobe Audition (in fact it’s one of the Cool Edit’s concept that have made it famous), that I’ve never find in another DAW, and with which we can save lots of time for an audio work. For me, Cool Edit Pro, so now Audition, has found how to be the most effective in audio production. I think it’s the most powerful way to mix and edit ever imagined.

Also it’s very simple, it’s the concept of two modes, EDIT and MULTITRACK SESSION windows.

In fact, like most of DAW, there is a basic “session mix window”, with different tracks on the timeline, and some waveforms onto tracks, but there is too an “edit waveform window”.

For example, in a mix session, like in ardour, you can do all the basic stuffs on waveform blocks, like cut, copy/paste, etc… But now if I want to look deeper in a waveform, in order to edit it (to normalize or apply any effect on the waveform, or remove crack, noise, etc…) I just click on the waveform so I pass in the edit mode. And there, it’s so much intuitive, quick and easy to edit like we want to do (for example to make a loop, with clean end and start)!!! I find it great !!!

Please take a look on those videos, especially in “Quick Tour of the Audition Interface” :

  • Audition Work Areas & Windows pt. 1 and pt. 2
  • Edit View
  • Multitrack View


So my idea is “why not integrate an EDIT mode, with a dedicated EDIT window in Ardour 3.0 !!!”
In my opinion it could be a fantastic improvement, not only for my little person, but because it will be a good innovation for all users.

So that’s some ideas to improve ergonomics side of Ardour, and I’m aware with the fact that Ardour is at a point where the source code of the UI is maybe not as much easy to change or implement. In any case, I hope I’ve explained myself enough clearly.

Thanks for reactions or suggestions.

Cool Edit started life as a destructive sound file editor. Ardour started life as a multitrack, multichannel hard disk recorder, that later added a nonlinear, non-destructive session editor. Cool Edit later added multitrack capabilities of various kinds.

In the meantime, there are at least a dozen destructive sound file editors available in the open source world, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. We would far rather find a standard way to allow you to edit audio data from ardour in a standalone editor and then reintegrate the result back into the session than to try to replicate the many amazing facilities of (for example) snd or rezound.

You need to remember that with almost no exceptions, Ardour’s current model is “always non-destructive”. We never modify data on disk for any reason. In addition, the chunks of audio that you see in the editor window are merely parts of files - maybe the whole file, maybe not. Integrating this model with a destructive editing facility and doing it correctly is non-trivial. This is why Cool Edit is still a much better sound file editor than it is an HDR/nonlinear editor, and why Ardour is much better at the latter tasks but doesn’t attempt the former.

We have some ideas about integration. We might make some forward progress with them this year.

If an edit mode was ever built into Ardour, what if it dumped the results of each “editing session” into a new region in order to remain non-destructive?

Not a big fan of Cool Edit BTW. Great editor, but the tracking left much to be desired.

Not a big fan of Cool Edit BTW. Great editor, but the tracking left much to be desired.

Haven’t used AUdition 2.0, but the reason for using Cool Edit up through Audition 1.5 was because it was(And likely still is) one of thebest single file destructive editors around. I especially liked to work in the spectrograph mode myself, especially in the later version of Audition where you could do editing by frequency range in the spectrograph as well as time range. VERY useful on occasion.

Rezound had a lot of capability in this regard(Destructive single file editing), but wasn’t quite there and unfortunatly I think Davy is a bit busy to continue working non-stop on this and I haven’t had time to go digging through it either unfortuantly. Maybe sometime Davy will pick it back up though.