Memory management

My situation is as follows:

I’m creating music with ardour (2.4.1 svn currently), it’s actually kind of loop based music, with a lot of breakbeats (drum and bass) with sliced beats. So all sample based.

  1. When I copy and paste large collections of samples memory gets filled like crazy, leading to full use of swap file and eventually my Ubuntu system getting unresponsive.

What I noticed is since from every slice you can adjust the beginning and the end, it probably stores the whole original sample in memory. And ardour does that for every slice.
I’m not sure about this, but since all my slices originate from like 10 loops of beats of a few MB’s, I can’t think of any other reason why my 1.25GB ram + 2GB swap gets used on full load by cutting and pasting 2-4 bars of samples.
With this effect occuring a lot it’s just not possible for me to make music like that.

So I would like to propose instead is in place, non destructive editing of files.
If you load a sample and splice it, that the original doesn’t get cut up (maybe an option to store the slices) and solely references the original by start and stop regions.
If a method like that is used it doesn’t matter if you copy the same slice like a hundred of times, ardour still stores just the original sample in memory.

I hope my point is clear enough

  1. Another issue is that I want plugins to be able to be turned of during a track. And I don’t see how I can do it. Maybe automation of the activate/disable button?

  2. I miss pitch shift possibilities (like per cents or notes). I know there are a few plugins which handle pitchshifting (quite badly to my knowledge), but they all work in percentage afaik.

  3. I lack also a decent equaliser. The 10-band eq just colour the sound to much if one wants to augment certain frequencies. And you can’t change the frequencies they operate on.
    A grafical equaliser with some peaks and bandwith choses should do the trick normally.
    Is such a thing possible with LV2? 'cause I think Ladspa wasn’t up for something like that.
    If LV2 is good enough for it, maybe I’ll do the job myself once I have the time. But I’m lousy when it comes to GUI’s so I could use some help.

Thanks for reading so far

Hopefully my 2c are taken into account.


4: you might try the ‘4-band parametric filter’ made by fons adriaensen. works very good for me.


  1. select a region then press the F5 key. You will have a comprehensive pitch shifter.

PS: are you french ? :slight_smile:

Hi Border, streange the F5 key did not pop up the builtin pitch shifter. It does in my system and I did not configure it manually to do so. I thought you were french-speaking because of some expressions you use, but I see you talk flamish, from Antwerpen ? I used to hitchike in Belgium and visited quite a lot of the country. The highways are lit all the time there! :wink:

The parametric filter is like exactly what I need :slight_smile:

The pitchshifter on the other hand I can’t seem to be able to get it to work.
F5 does nothing and I’ve looked through all the possible key bindings and didn’t find any reference for pitchshifter nor for a preset which uses the F5 key

PS: I’m belgian, dutch talking part (flanders), why you thinking french? just curious…

Your conclusions about memory management are wrong.

The problems with memory use come from Ardour’s undo history, not from the actual audio you are working with. Its not wise to guess about how complex software works. Specifically, Ardour does not keep samples in memory in the way you guessed.

To alleviate your problems (long term fixes are some distance off right now), goto the Preferences window, select the Misc tab and:

1) click on "Limit undo history"
2) set the history size rather small (10 or so)

You should see some improvements in memory use this way.

To see the pitchshifter, select a region then click on the toplevel “Region” menu, and select “Transpose”.

I’m sorry about the false conclusions about memory usage. It didn’t seem like a logical way of managing memory, and I know for sure you thought out everything very well beforehand, so that was not a logical conclusion.
Maybe it would’ve been better if I just told me experiences and not trying to analyse why it happened. I’ll keep that in mind. But it’s kind of the way I am, always trying to find out why, even if I fail miserably sometimes (like this one).
Thanks for clearing that up, will try to adjust the history size and report afterwards.

The transpose function seems exactly what I need :slight_smile:
Think I was looking too much for something called pitchshifter.

thanks a lot

I have to say that ardour is a lot more stable when I tweak the undo history settings.
I don’t get the system freeses caused by full memory anymore :slight_smile:
Right now the only crashes occuring are when I split or rename regions.
The 4 band parametric plugin is nice too, but it’s not really what I need. But I’ve found the 3 band with shelves by Steve Harris. Only it seems to me that the filters are not very stable at times. But I guess this is not the place to complain about that problem.
Transpose does it’s job well too, only I would’ve liked to be able to add any keyboard shortcuts to it (since F5 doesn’t work with me). But I don’t see anything related in the keyboard shortcut settings. Maybe it is a good idea to add it there?

@ thorgal, I’m from near Brussels, guess those expressions reside in the Flemish language too then :). About the highways, that’s not always true anymore, at least at certain places they’ve learned to darken them at night :slight_smile: