Live video recordings done with Ardour


This past week I did a couple of videos for the band my son drums in, as an experiment we did the multitrack Audio in Ardour3 (a nightly build BTW) using my oldie-but-goodie Mackie Onyx 1640 with FireWire instead of using the camera mics, the camera itself is a Zoom Q4HD which does have great audio capture but is unfortunately quite mediocre as an HD video camera… As you can see the room is very small and bleed is a real problem so I had one guitarist use a lined-in Line6 POD and set up my Axetrak (a speaker coffin) for the other guitarist to run his tube amp into, I then grabbed the bass amp line out and ran everything other than the drums through some small foldback monitor speakers on the floor and tried to keep the volume as low as possible so they could hear their vocals and instruments just enough to play and keep bleed through the drum mics down to a manageable level. Whether I was successful is up to the listener but I was very happy with the finished sound for a live performance…

I used a lot of linuxDSP stuff (DYN500, EQ500, BlackEQ-2, PEQ-1A) for post processing and the OvertoneDSP RVB500 Plate Reverb with a touch of Calf Vintage Delay as well as the Barry’s Satan Maximizer and the Calf Limiter for mastering…

The video was dumped from the camera into Kdenlive and then I dumped the multitrack audio stereo mixdown from Ardour on to an audio track and used Kdenlive’s audio alignment feature to sync the Ardour mix to the captured camera audio which worked perfectly… Anyway sorry if I’ve bored anyone with the workflow I just thought I’d share it in case anyone here recording bands live was trying to achieve something similar in a confined space…

Here’s the video links:

Where you using the Mackie Onyx with a Mac or Linux setup?


I used the Onyx with Linux (specifically AV Linux 6.0.4) it’s basically plug and play… It’s an older model (not the ‘i’ series) but AFAIK the Onyx ‘i’ series is also supported.


Yes it is though there is one user on this forum that is having some timing issues that may or may not be related to it. I still haven’t had time to set mine up under Linux again to test.


thanks for the vid and the workflow , always good to see how others work! and good to see the egg boxes on the walls, lot of memories from the teenager times haha :slight_smile: I DID NOT KNOW that kdenlive has an audio alignment tool, this is amazing and could have saved me so much time in the past… thanks for the info’!!



Yes that is a great feature in Kdenlive, in my experience choosing the imported Audio mix and setting it as the reference (right click on the audio in the timeline) and then setting the camera audio to ‘align to reference’ seems to work better than the other way around…

Hehe and yes the egg flats are extremely low rent, the problem is they work so damn well, I actually went to the trouble to paint them the same color as the wall with an electric paint gun which helped make them look a little better…

I didn’t know that about KDEnlive either, though it seems to be quite good at aligning audio anyway.
Also I thought the conventional wisdom about egg trays was that they are useless for sound absorption. Maybe the paint improved their performance…

Also I thought the conventional wisdom about egg trays was that they are useless for sound absorption. Maybe the paint improved their performance...

Not useless, but certainly not as useful as some people may think, though they do act to break up the sound a bit as well as absorb slightly, so I suspect that may be part of why they have gotten their reputation. Paint definitely wouldn’t help, it probably just hurt actually, closing up the porous material even more.


Egg flats. Hmmm…
Egg flats (“cartons”) work as diffusers to break up and scatter sound in the studio. The result is a non-echoic but lively sound.
What concerns me is flammability. Those trays are typically cardboard or a plastic foam and can ignite and spread very quickly if exposed to any heat source. The wall behind the drummer is immediately suspect.
Maybe a flameproof moving blanket when the budget allows it?

Wow, who knew the egg flats would be such a discussion point :slight_smile:

All I can say is the room was sonically unusable before they were put up and now it has a warm sound for both recording and rehearsing plus they work effectively as bass traps in the corners. As AP_in_DC pointed out they effectively diffuse and kill echo more than actually absorb sound and yes indeed the paint would diminish that somewhat although the exposed surface is still quite rough (the flats have 2 sides 1 smooth and one rough). I certainly wouldn’t hold them up as anything compared to professional acoustic treatments but I had plenty of them readily available and between gear and actually contructing the building myself my budget was beyond gone. :slight_smile: Now that we have a second generation and a total of 4 bands using the space planning has begun to build a larger and more proper studio hopefully with some occasional paying recording work as a side-venture, the first comment I heard was “no egg flats this time OK Dad?!”…all I can say is they worked as well as required in my case YMMV :slight_smile:

I have my eye out for a Mackie Onyx 1640 with firewire for use with my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS workstation, which is why I ask.
I was also checking into MOTU 896HD for their insane bit depth and frequency but my FFADO post about them and Linux has pretty much discouraged me from getting it; my idea was to create DVD-Audio discs…mostly just because I have a DVD-Audio player and I think it would be pretty cool.

Great work. Getting something usuable out of a small space like that can be quite challanging especially with more lively/louder bands.

Definatly doing something about cutting back on the reflections from the walls is going to make a noticable difference. ive looked into getting acoustic foam specifically for this purpose and its NOT CHEAP.

I feel like carving out a bit more space form somewhere may help the guitars fit a bit better. the cymbals are a bit harsh but then the space is so small there could be alot of bleed into other microphones. (ist track)

2nd track though is much better :slight_smile:

I think i hear a monitor on the verge of feedback being kicked off now and then by the hats. somewhere in the region of 3-5 k ( my frequency memory isnt pretty good but i think its there somewhere) get an eq on it if you can and notch it out will really help if you have an eq to spare even if its just a parametric and not a graphic.

Again great work its really challanging when working with drums so close to a drumkit in a small room, even when the mics are not pointed at the kit.

The only other suggestion i would make is maybe a little tunning on the kick drum with less dampening.

Or you could use an oscilator somewhere between 50-80hz with a gate on it triggered by the kick to give it a bit more low end if its a mic limitation (if you dont have a mic more suited specifically for bass instruments)

ive used the mackie onyx 1640 for doing live gigs aswell as recording the gigs, great little desk. Also my local rehersal/recording studio has just replaced its old anologue board with this for using with protools.

On a note obout sample rates 48khz is plenty heck even 44.1 is good enough as long as the ad/da’s are good quality. anything higher just uses up so much space and when you get up to 192khz well as far as i understand it ad/da technology is just not good enough to be accurate triggering that fast ie you can end up with distortion. 96khz is probably the highest id go for processing reasons for some plugins.


Thanks for listening and commenting, I agree there are still some rough edges and where I was standing with the camera I couldn’t hear that the vocal mic had let out a couple of squeals… actually in the context of the songs I think the squeals kind of work as bit of an effect, but it was definitely not intended. And yes I agree the second song is better mixed because I spent more time on it as the first video was uploading (I have very slow rural internet and uploading takes a long time). All in all a good learning experience to build on in the future…


I never use anything other than 44.1khz so to be honest I’m not sure how well the1640 will handle 192khz under Linux, theoretically it should…

Hey GMaq. Just checked out the videos. I liked the sound you got and liked the band, too!