Crossfades and layers

I have just begun looking through the manual at Ardour’s capabilities and it looks like it could develop into quite a powerful tool. I plan to play with the OSX version over the next while.

Coming from a SADiE Classic (PC) workstation, I have become somewhat spoiled by a number of features, such as exceptionally fast and full-featured editing (no need for a third-party wave editor; SADiE has its own Trim Editor which can do the most exacting edits, totally non-destructively) plus the ability to burn CDs right from the edit window- just group your edits to form a single entity for each eventual CD track (these can be un-grouped later if further editing is required), and one click produces the PQ flags, which can then be adjusted if required, so there is no need for a third-party CD creation programme either.

One thing I just noticed in the Ardour manual is the business of how clips (regions, soundbites, whatever terminology one uses) overlap and how one will be acoustically “opaque” depending which one is on top. Aaarrrgghhhhh! The AudioDesk (simplified Digital Performer) programme that came with my MOTU interface does this and it drives me nuts! In SADiE, the “clips” (as they call them) are acoustically transparent and it is quite possible to overlap one over the other (on the same track) so that both will play at the join/fade point. I cannot tell you how often this has proven invaluable in smoothing over a tricky edit by nudging one clip by a few ms into the other. (I do mostly classical music where edits are often necessary during continuous music.) The work-around of course is to put one clip on a separate track (or pair of tracks in stereo) but this should not be necessary, IMHO.

I am hoping that eventually there will be a “native” Mac-based recorder/editor with the speed and feature set of SADiE (which is hardware-based), but so far I have not found one. I will soon be evaluating another seriously-professional programme (PC only) called Pyramix Native (from which looks to have the same sort of features. (BTW Pyramix provides .pdf manuals fo their v4.2 & v5.0 software on their website.)

Neither SADiE nor Pyramix is particularly well-known outside the pro-audio/mastering fields but both are very highly regarded and worth looking at when developing a new, potentially flagship programme such as Ardour. Of course, they are not inexpensive: the 8-track version of Pyramix Native runs about $1200 US and the big hardware-based ones are really pricey, as is SADiE.

However, it is always interesting to see what is coming down the pipe for the Mac as there are a lot of talented developers out there.

:slight_smile: Stuart

Ardour has crossfades. You can set Ardour to automatically create and unmute full overlap length crossfades on region overlaps. The overlap is also editable, so you can freely change the fade envelopes for both fade in and out. I guess this is what you were looking for?

Also, if you feel adventurous, you can set regions non-opaque, so that regions underneath are also heard. :slight_smile:

I realise this is perhaps not the best place for this – if you’d rather, I’ll re-post in another part of the forum…

I’ve been playing with layers and crossfades the past few days, trying to piece together a decent guitar solo from several takes. (Yeah, I know, I should learn to play better :slight_smile: )

Anyway, I’ve found that at a point of overlap, even when both layers are de-selected opaque, there is no overlap of sound – the lower layer is cut off and all that is heard is the uppermost layer, as if they were both opaque.

I’m still using 0.99beta29 (whichever version ships with DeMuDi 1.2.1) – is there a bug with layer opacity in that version or am I doing something wrong?


I can see we are pilgrims and so must walk this road
Unknown in our purpose, alone but not worthless
And home ever calling us on…

Lets see.

a) CD burning. Unlike windows and OS X, linux has CD burning software available for no cost with a single mouse click to install it (its probably already installed, actually). This software generally has a better interface for control over the burning process than anything built into a DAW, partly because it has people working on it specifically. We may add such a GUI at some point, but our general feeling is that its better to leave this task to standalone software and make sure Ardour interoperates properly with it. Some people want track-at-once burns, others want disk-at-once. Some people want to be able to burn more disks without going back into the DAW, which is impossible if the burner is in the DAW. There are clearly a set of tradeoffs and I think about them a lot.

b) As mentioned by an existing comment, Ardour’s regions (“clips”) are not acoustically transparent by default but we do create crossfades just as you want. Just overlap two regions. You get a choice of two kinds of crossfades: short xfades simply prevent clicks in the transition; long xfades span the entire overlap and can be edited in complex ways in a dedicated xfade editor loosely modelled on samplitude’s. We just happen to offer the possibility of making regions acoustically transparent, although I currently think that this was probably a mistake caused by graphics software envy :slight_smile:

c) At least one high-end console maker has looked at Pyramix and Ardour and has decided to recommend that its current and future customers use Ardour. This is partly for business reasons, but only partly. My impression from talking to people who have used Pyramix suggests that it is not as reliable as Ardour when recording high track counts. Then again, my impression is that nothing is as reliable as Ardour when doing this :slight_smile:

I suspect you have the “short” fades option selected, which does a very short xfade to avoid clicks during the transition. Pop up the options editor, go to the “Fades” tab, and switch to the “full overlap” model.

Hi Paul

Thanks for your help. I had a look in the options editor and it was set on full overlap – I had been playing with quite a few of the options trying to figure things out. I think the problem was caused by having deselected “unmute new crossfades” during my fumbling.

Having re-read the manual after trying to figure things out for myself I find that everything works perfectly – it was just a case of me not understanding how things work. Obviously “learn by doing” doesn’t always work, but the manual did make more sense to me once I’d tried the hands on approach.

I’m left with the feeling that the crossfade and layering functions of Ardour are pretty powerful tools.

Once again, thanks for everything – especially for putting up with dunces like me :wink:


I can see we are pilgrims and so must walk this road
Unknown in our purpose, alone but not worthless
And home ever calling us on…

Hello fellow VdGG fan, and welcome to Ardour =)

Some people want track-at-once burns, others want disk-at-once.

Paul, does it really mean so much? I don’t even remember what type I use in K3B. I just have CDs burnt :slight_smile:

if you were doing progressive rock concept CD’s, then track-at-once would be a horrible choice: you would be forced to have 2 second gaps between every track. for such things, you want disk-at-once where there is no requirement for inter-track gaps. on the other hand, if you just wanted to do a regular multiple-track CD, disk-at-once is a pain since you have to set up the track indexes and spacing yourself rather than have the burner take care of it.

I just read the disc mojo review and got it to burn cd’s it’s pretty fast and easy with good options compared to other burning programs.