MIDI improvements

Preface: I’ve read the GUI threads. Paul, you are incredibly patient to put up with people’s projections of their subjective opinions on objective reality. I love Ardour. I pay 4$ a month to support it, and when I can, I will pay more. Please keep up the good work with this awesome DAW, and I’ll keep making music with it.

I have some serious issues with MIDI implementation and the UI around it. Ardour as an audio editor is supreme. I’ve edited podcasts, guitar/bass/vocal tracks, and the workflow in it is superb for audio. For MIDI … it needs some extra things:

  • Please make the MIDI learn key bindable. I’ve searched the keyboard shortcuts high and low, and this is possibly the only thing that cannot be changed.
  • Please add a UI function that allows for mass editing of velocity, using a lollipop setup ala Hydrogen. This would be easy to do if Ardour added a piano roll screen that focused on an individual track, with the lollipop editor on the bottom. I understand, after reading the forums about GUI complaints, that this is a hot topic so I’m trying to be objective - I actually don’t really care what it looks like, so long as we get a piano roll style editor that gives us lollipop-style editing for velocity.
  • Finally. please treat MIDI seriously. Unfa is right - a HUGE amount of music made these days is MIDI, and I’m no different. I use MIDI for all my drums, a huge amount of my instruments, and have had to learn how to use it coming from a jazz and metal background, two genres that use very little to no midi implementation. This treating MIDI seriously means take a look at what it would mean to fix all the midi bugs, and just be honest with the community about what that would look like and its feasability. A ton of us use Ardour for midi and audio mixed because quite frankly, it’s miles ahead of the other DAWs available for Linux (and I include the paid daws like Mixbus and Reaper in this).

To the Ardour team: Thanks for making something awesome that’s dramatically improved my life - really, it has. Being able to make banging tunes, for free, using Ardour as the backbone to lay out my ideas, has in fact helped seriously with coping with serious mental health issues, and at times has restored my faith in myself, humanity as a whole, and my belief that open source projects usually blow doors over their proprietary equivalents.

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Just to be clear and/or as an update.

You won’t see any work on MIDI workflow for some time.

I am very busy with the nutempo v2 branch which is concerned with changing how we represent time inside the program.

Once that is done, and not before, we will be in a position to start thinking about how to address actual workflow issues. Before that is done, it is fundamentally impossible to get MIDI timing right, and I am not going spend time on workflow when something so much more basic cannot work. Afterwards, I look forward to continuing work and starting new work to improve what can be done with MIDI in Ardour, and how it is done.

Two small points: there are actually many bindings that cannot be changed, and you don’t mean “mass editing for velocity”, since thats already possible (and fast). You mean something else, something like “explicit and distinct visual representation of velocity in a form that is interactive and can be used to modify the value”. If you really wanted “just” mass editing, you’d have no interest in lollipops.


Starting with the language clarification, you’re correct - mass editing of velocities is there, but a quick way to edit all the notes in a region individually is not.

Beyond that, thank you for the update. I’m super excited to see what the changes to the method that Ardour is using to keep time enable, beyond the MIDI fixes and changes.

You can easily edit all the notes in a region at once.

What you cannot do is the kind of editing that people want to do with loollipops.

You won’t see any of the time-related changes at all. It is all at the code level, and doesn’t really have any visibility in the GUI.

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