newbie question about ardour

hi everyone, im really sorry to ask but im very new to ardour, ive installed it on my ubuntu box along with the ubuntu suite my main aim is i have a mp3 that i have made using quebase at a friends house but its missing a drum track, is there any way using ardour i can get the mp3 to play and then write a drum track over the top of it? if so can someone give me some hints as to how to do this im very confused im a guitarist fo 17 years and can play and have others record me but finding the process to slow to write songs with so am now dabbling by recording guitar and basse parts sequencing in qbase but drums take me longert so wanted to play away from the studio on my linux box

thanks to any one who can help me

oh by the way! it is time to “show off” my super lame video on youtube regarding the matter we are disucssing here … ok, it’s a bit embarassing to point you to this video but it shows what I described above :

I am not saying anything in the video, I had to move things around in one screen only (I have a dual monitor setup) and my digital camera did not stand the volume level that came out of the speakers … maybe I’ll do something better one of these days (with an app called ‘recordmydesktop’).

Hi Ben,
For that kind of small project, I would use Audacity instead of ardour. Audacity can import mp3 and is multitrack capable, very easy to use and does not necessarily require jackd to run behind the stage.
So your best bet is using it instead of ardour. But of course, if you plan to have more complex audio sessions in the future, your actual task would be a good start to get your hands on with ardour. But then, know that at the moment, ardour 2.x does not import mp3. You will have to convert it to WAV before that.

Good luck :slight_smile:

thank you very much i will look into this at some point i will be wanting to record directly into ardour so it might be worth doing it in ardour to once ive worked it out


hi had a look at audacity and dont think it really is what i want to be able to do i dont really understand how i would be able to track accuratly a drum part over the mp3 however cannot find a forum for audacity so think ardour probs would be better also might give me better scope for future projects using it,
can any one help me work out how to track a drum part over a wav, im going to have to convert the file which is no bother

ah, you are talking about sequencing a drum part (aka MIDI). If so, you need rosegarden for the time being or other apps like LMMS. If you just want to sequence the drum, Hydrogen is good for that. You can still play the music part from another app that understands the jack transport protocol. You should really read some documentation and tutorials. Ardour3 will come with MIDI but it is not recommended for a newbie since you have to compile it yourself and it is not ready for production.

im confused i have rosegarden however all i want to do is play the track back and tap in the drum parts i want. however some places i dont want drums so im unsure how im supposed to do this. i opened hydrogen and can play beats in there and worked out how to use it so i can write the track in there i just dont know how to then pull this out however i want to lay what ever i do in hydrogen (or if theres better i dont know) so a drum part over the top then ave the file complete with the new drum track

am i confusing you?

… mmmmm … scratching my head …
I am not sure I fully understand your post but I can describe briefly how I do things :

  • open rosegarden

  • open drum sampler (hydrogen or something else, I use a VSTi through wine for the drum sampler)

  • open ardour with my current project : it does not contain any drumming so far

  • in rosegarden, if it’s a new session I am dealing with, I remove all the bunch of tracks it creates by default and only keep one MIDI track

  • I open the Manage MIDI Device window (click on small icon showing what looks like a PCI card with a tiny keyboard on it)

  • I pick one the MIDI Output devices and connect it to the VSTi, rename it to the name of my VSTi (Addictive Drums)

  • I come back to rosegarden’s editing window and create segments that I edit on the fly (I know the key mapping of the VSTi and edit my drumming in the piano roll editor)

(I also make sure rosegarden is a jack transport slave - it is by default I think)

  • In ardour, where I had already recorded some bass, guitar, etc, I make sure it is a jack transport slave (change Internal to JACK in the little transport mode button at the top of the editor window)

When I have enough drumming edited in rosegarden, I click the play button and everything plays in sync. I of course made sure tempos and measures are matching in rosegarden and ardour (although it is not critical, it is convenient if you have a steady tempo and measure but you can also ramp tempo up and down in rosegarden).

When I have a complete drum line in rosegarden and I know that the rest in ardour will not vary except for mixing fine-tuning, I record the drum elements in ardour by creating tracks and connecting them to the different outputs of the drum sampler. I arm all the tracks for recording and play everything. Because rosegarden and ardour are jack transport slaves, everything is nicely synchronized. Of course, I can always change stuff even after I thought I had finished the main song structure. I just create new sgments in rosegarden, edit them, etc.

So the critical things are :

  • sequencer and ardour synchronized through jack
  • drum sampler that can output each element through a jack port for recording them in ardour.

The drum sampler is a complete slave of rosegarden and will do whatever rosegarden tells it to do.
I hope you’ll find your own way as well. I really like the setup I am using and I guess many ppl out there are using a very similar setup.

Hej Thorgal!
You’re lessons are always welcome!
@Ben: If you want to make music with your Linux box, follow Thorgal tips. I’ve learned a lot from his posts here and at other fora.
However, I’ll tell you how I made things in my beginnings (although I’m a beginner yet) because I think it can help you get going.
I assume:

  1. You know, more or less, how to sequence drums in hydrogen, at least you are able to write some beats and play them back.
  2. You have your wav file (guitar + bass, without drums) on your hard disk.
  3. Ardour starts with no problem.

Start qjackctl, start hydrogen, start ardour.
In ardour, import (menu Session) your wav file as a new track. Enable jack transport in ardour (right of the big clock, not internal but JACK). Add a track and rename it as “drums” (you may want it stereo).
In hydrogen, enable jack transport (right of the BPM display). Write some beats.
In qjackctl, press the connect button. Connect the hydrogen outputs to the ardour’s drums (the track you created) input or inputs.
You can record now by pressing the red button on the drums track and the big red button of the transport. Press play on either of the applications and they’ll start at a time, and the beats will be recorded in the “drums” track.
Check the input levels, you may have to tweak the hydrogen mixer.
As for leaving parts of silence, in ardour you can edit audio, split regions and so on. Also, in hydrogen you can create silenced patterns.
To get your mix in a stereo track, you have to use the mixer window. Then, use export in the Session Menu, to export the mix as an audio file.
Of course, you can also use Rosegarden as your midi sequencer and hydrogen or other drums sampler as the audio source.
There are more things you’ll have to guess or maybe you know already. Maybe, there are things I’ve forgotten to point out. But, as you’ll imagine, there is muuuuuch more to ardour and Linux audio applications than this brief and very basic tutorial.
For a simple and good tutorial on Hydrogen:

Let us know your progress.

Ciao Pablo,
You’re welcome :slight_smile: but I am still learning myself … the advantage I may have over many ppl around here is that I am FULL TIME on it, that’s a rather priviledged position, isn’t it ? :lol:
To talk more serious, it is not a hobby for me, it is a full time job, I am auto-producing my music and I think that the fun and good time I get out of it are not to be categorized as a hobby kind of thing but a real lifestyle. It is tough financially but if I ever get some bucks out of my work, I will be very generous with the ardour main dev :slight_smile:
Since I started last year, I discovered A LOT and I am always amazed by the achievement reached so far by a bunch of guys who thought it cool to develop such softwares during their spare times, they are the true artists in a way :slight_smile:

Now, coming back to this thread, the very first thing Ben has to do is convert the mp3 to WAV and that’s a tiny exercise you can find out yourself Ben :wink:

hi thanks guys for allot of information,
im gonna take some time this weekend to sit down and play with everything you have written i shall post back maybe even with the track im working on or a lin kto it at least, i really appreciate your help and input and im hoping this is the start of somethin beautiful lol

hehe converting the mp3 wont be a problem

thank you very much tho i appreciate the time and effort uve gone thorugh had a qucik look at work and when mygirlfriend is watchign heroes tonight i shall be tinkering

thanks allot