How to Apply effects on small sections of a track.

If for instance, I wanted to add a touch of delay to just one word on a track in an ardour project, is there a native way to do that? Do I have to edit the wave in audacity and then open it back up in ardour?

An excellent way to put delay on a single word is to use an AUX send on the voice track you want to add delay to. The aux send would direct the audio to an AUX track which holds the delay plugin. Ideally you would automate the send to jump in volume over the prefered word to be delayed and then drop back down to “off” or. Then only that word is send to the AUX track and is delayed…

Unfortunately this cannot be done in ardour, yet. But it will.

An alternative…
This might seem kind of janky but it will achieve the the same thing… First make a new track. Copy the VOX from the existing track and put it on the new track. So now you have two tracks with the exact same thing. On the new track, put it on auto read, draw a gain line on there that stretches the entire project both at -infinity or “off” (whatever you want to call it). Now change the output of the new track to connect to the input of a BUS track that holds the delay. Then all you have to do is bring up the gain on that second track where you want a word delayed, bring it back down after the word and wala. A single word is delayed… I’ve done it this way several times


If the delay plugin you use has input gain, you can just use that plugin in the track. Automate the input gain so that it’s “off” everywhere else, except where the word is.

Another way is to create a second track where you copy the word from the vocal track to, put the delay plugin on that track and turn off the “dry” signal (as the “dry” comes from the primary track).

yeah… that would probably be easier. I like it. yes indeed.

Thanks guys. I’ve been doing some looking around, these are all great Ideas. I’m going to try and get used to the plugin automation envelope… That looks like a clean way to do it. I’m comming from adobe audition. I used to just double click on the track I wanted to edit, and it would open in an audacity like editor. Is this sort of application integration possible in later versions of ardour?

Luke MacNeil

I used to use CoolEdit and while that was a great way to do that kind of effect, it is destructive editing. Ardour’s model is to be non-destructive with editing at all costs, so that’s why it is always gonna be a little harder to achieve those sorts of things. Another way you could do it that would mean not using a plugin and hence dsp all the time, is to put the delay plugin on the track, select the area you want to be delayed with the range tool and export the range. You can than import the file back into the project on a new track (or the original one if you really want) and remove the plugin on the original track, and obviously splicing out the range you just imported. Protools has a feature that does this all automatigaclly for you, but hey, protools also costs a lot of money =)
And remember if later on during the project you decide you don’t like the effect…just remove the new region (chunk) and join the old region back up again, that’s the beauty of non-destructive editing!

I used DP (digital performer) for an electronic music class, and the technique of editing regions was very very useful. In this instance I would select the word, break it out into a seperate region (so now you have three). Then select the word region and apply the plugin (more on that later). That’s all there was to it. All of this was nondestructive, btw.

You can separate the region in Ardour, but what you can’t really do is “apply” a bunch of plugins/sends/whatever to a region. You either have to create a gazillion tracks, or use awkward automation. DP would remember which plugins were applied to which regions, and their levels, settings, etc. We used this extensively, and I got the impression that this is the way most electronic musicians do things. (a la the Karlheinz Stockhausen genre) We work with a lot of small pieces and vary which plugins are applied (and their levels, of course). Tracks get unwieldy and automation does too, although you can do it all with ardour it just takes jumping through more hoops.

Also, with plugins at the region level rather than the track level (although you could certainly have both), you get to keep all those carefully crafted effects when you decide to move/copy the region to another location in the track or to another track.

Applying to regions is a feature I would really like to see go into Ardour, but whenever I bring it up with anyone they just give me blank “why would you want to do that” virtual stares. Glad to see someone else sees a use.

After a little pondering and reading I think I see a way that is not too convoluted to do this sort of thing. I’ll call it manual aux bouncing.

Make a region out of the part you want effected, and move it to a track dedicated to applying effects, which I’ll call the delay track for this example. Then get everything sounding just right, and bounce the region, then move it back into place. Only one extra track, but regions with different applied effects.

The drawback is that it’s bounced, so if you change your mind you have to do it all over again, but you can always go back because it’s nondestructive so just consider it a tradeoff for this approach.

Hi, i read your’s comment ya that’ss true. try to edit the wave in audacity and open in it back as ardour.Its very easy work.track is important.

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