Improve display of track number visual aid in ardour interface

Hello, good morning, I am a user of ardour with myopia (8 diopters) and sometimes it is difficult for me to see things easily, things like the track numbers in the mixer.

I often use a novation zero sl mkii midi controller as my adour mixer controller and sometimes it’s not easy to know what track I’m on quickly because I don’t easily see the number at the top of the mixer in ardour. it gets worse when changing from track bank 1 to 8 towards 9-16, because there is no indication of that change that I have assigned in the midi controller.

In any case, use the midi controller or not, it is not easy for me to see the track numbers well and when you have 20 open it is easy to get lost.

Therefore I make a request to the developers or anyone who can help, for example by creating a plugin that shows the track number (with a reasonably large size) in the hole where the plugins are shown.

I know that the interface can be scaled, but still the track numbers are not very readable for me, because of the size and the different contrast colors under the numbers.

I show an image of what I suggest, although if there are better solutions, they are welcome.

Aside from this but related to the ardour interface colors, I use dark colors for the background, but one of those background colors seems to be linked¿hard codec? to the color of the faders, so I can’t make it all darker because then I don’t know. see the faders, is there any way to modify that? maybe in the future?

Finally, what is the best way to save my particular color settings? Copying and renaming the current file once we have prepared it as we like in the color settings in ardour? Or is there another better way? I say this because a minor error and the harlequin effect appears in the ardour interface, and I have to redo the changes again.

Thank you for your work and this wonderful professional sequencer.

While my eyesight is not as difficult as what you have, it is getting harder for me to see things. However, so far as I can see, the mixer strips do not have a number at the top or anywhere that I can see. The strips are named rather than numbered. It would be possible to name each strip as a number rather than a name but that would be something that only a very few people might do and so basing a GUI modification on that would not make sense. To add to that, the mixer strip numbers (as a controller sees them) are not static and may change if the tracks are moved, removed, added or hidden. To add to this confusion, some types of strips are are shown in their own frame in the GUI, like VCA, Master, Monitor and Foldback strips, while on the controller, these may be mixed in with other types of strips. So while it is possible to build a session where everything lines up and numbers actually make sense, it cannot be considered nominal or expected.

Having said that, It is possible to create plugins using the built in scripting language LUA and to have them add a graphics area (like ACE inline spectrogram). I do not think that such a plugin would have access to the SID (Strippable ID), plugins are generally not application specific. However, the strip number could be manually entered as a parameter.

To add the SID to the GUI would require one of:

  • Add it to the plugin box background, this would allow plugins to be added covering the number if there were a lot of them. I don’t know how easy this would be.

  • Add a new frame under the plugin frame for the number but the plugin frame is already “too small” at least in some people’s case. You seem to have a screen with a much higher resolution than my desktop… we won’t even mention my laptop.

  • Force the left most strip shown in the GUI to be the first strip on the controller when the controller is banked. This is not so easy as it seems and there is no way to make sure the screen is big enough to show as many strips as the controller may have as controllers are not limited in strip count and the GUI tool kit generally has a “make this item visible” but not a “put this item at position x” (I think). The other problem with this approach is that there may be more than one controller and each controller may have a different bank showing or even a bank of different strip types (MIDI only, track only, bus only, etc.).

  • Create a “special” plugin that shows in the plugin space that does have access to the SID. This may be the easiest way, if it is possible.

  • One more possibility, assuming you are using a mackie control controller, is to use an external program like mcpdisp that could show the strip name in larger text. That program as it stands may not work on your OS and the text is probably still too small, I show it only as an example of what could be done. This assumes the “scribble strip” on your controller is too small to read.

While I do know the controller code reasonably well, I am much less familiar with the GUI code or the plugin code, so take what I have written as a quick think. Someone else may have a better idea.

You can enable it.

If you chose to include a sequential track number in recorded files, Ardour also shows the number. on strips in the editor and mixer: Session > Properties > Filename > Prefix Track number

This is mainly useful when recording live shows with many mono-tracks where each track corresponds to a given numbered input channel from the stage’s multicore.

I was wondering how that was done. I could not find it in preferences. Using that number would not help with a controller. I have tracks 1 to 5 but the bus is labeled a 2. So there is a track 2 and a bus 2

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