Is the "link selection of regions and tracks" gone for good ?

I used to use this feature when I needed to copy and paste regions from multiple tracks to the same tracks at a later time on the timeline. This no longer works if there are tracks with no regions in between the tracks you are copying from.

Now when you paste the selected regions they collapse to adjacent tracks meaning some clips are pasted to wrong tracks.

You could copy regions by dragging while holding the control - key, and this works fine when the distance to copy is short. But if you need to move regions to say 60 minutes later and to the exact beat of a bar then the “link selection of regions and tracks” helped a lot and made this a one step process.

You could also select the target tracks before pasting and this works if you only copy and paste from a couple of tracks, but not if there are for example 24 tracks in a session and you need to copy from 16.

You typically use this workflow when writing a song and you have the basic drums and rhythm guitars and bass in place and you try to come up with different ideas on top of that. Then you copy and paste the audio of the base tracks over and over and record different ideas on top of each copy.

Am I missing something ? Perhaps the option is just moved to a new place I haven’t yet found or is there a new and better way of doing this ?

By the way the manual still claims it’s there, but it’s not (Ardour 5.0.5 :slight_smile:

We removed it over a year ago, before 4.0 came out. The selection model has evolved incrementally, with a lot of feedback from Mixbus users. It is true that the particular workflow you’re describing is hampered by the decisions that have been made, but our general experience has been that selection is a MASSIVELY more complex issue than anyone really appreciates (including us developers), and any change that one might make to improve one workflow seems to invariably negatively impact a different one. Many times, we would experiment with what seemed like an obvious improvement, only to find out months later that it broke some way of working in a way that we had never anticipated. Your post is another example of that. We could try restoring the option, but I guarantee you that it would break some other flow, somehow.

I certainly see the utility.

Ok, thanks for the info. I hope the option to use it returns some time in the future. It can always default to off, so users who don’t need it won’t get tangled up in their workflows because of it.

To me the useful part of this feature is that the copy / paste process kind of “remembers” from what tracks the regions originate from. Perhaps this could be implemented as a special paste option: “Paste regions to orginal tracks”. This would remove the automatic track selection feature that might bring trouble to some people in their special workflows.

Yes I can see that linking region and track selection can bring tricky problems. Some multitrack editors have it, but I don’t really need that for anything. However I hope that someday we could have a “Paste Special” command in Ardour that would let you paste selected regions back to original tracks, say for example with a keyboard modifier :slight_smile:

There is another problem that copying and pasting regions causes now: if you have 3 tracks:

  • Track 1, Mono with audio regions
  • Track 2, Mono empty track
  • Track 3, Stereo with audio regions

If you now select regions from tracks 1 and 3 and paste them later in the session, then stereo regions from track 3 gets pasted to mono track 2 so you lose one channel. You can drag clips from track 2 back to track 3 and they will become stereo again.

Ben @ Harrison reminded me of why we got rid of it: we made the rule that you can only have tracks(+ranges), regions, or control-points selected, not combinations. If you allow more than one thing to be selected, it can be ambiguous what a “Delete” operation is going to do, for example.