Is there a difference in how the waveform is modified by simply turning down a track fader as opposed to reducing the track volume (Alt - 7)?
First things first, you aren’t reducing TRACK volume with ALT+7, you are reducing REGION gain. The difference is each region in the track has it’s own gain that can be adjusted like that, and volume changes will obviously follow that region as you drag it around.
Second thing, is it is also a matter of gain structure and signal flow. Adjusting region gain means that you are adjusting gain before any other process on your track. Adjusting fader volume happens AFTER any pre-fader processes on the track (Dynamics processing for instance is often pre-fader), and so will not affect those processes, only the output of them.
I didn’t even consider that region gain would remain set even if moved between tracks and such!
I knew this was all pre=fader, but I confess I’ve not explored pre/post-fader differences - I’ll have to go read up on those.
One more gain staging option: the “Trim” knob (visible on the top of the mixer strip for your track) applies its volume change before any plugins, but to all regions on the track.
I have some memory that there was a script shipped with a previous Ardour (or was that Mixbus?) which I used happily after setting up a “static” mix using the faders: it would copy the fader setting for each track to its trim knob, and then set the fader back to
-0db, to allow automating the fader in its most sensitive range. However, I can’t find that script in my current Ardour or Mixbus installs.
(edit) Hmm, it was present in Mixbus 6 and 7, but not 8: it was a file named
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