Replace/swap audio media

how hard would it be to implement audio/media replacement? select file in media browser > right click > replace.

It’s very useful feature when you have edited a lot some tracks (slice, gain change for slices, re-arrange etc), and, someone who made that tune changed some stuff… maybe melody line… maybe it’s just another version of same track with different processing, but the edits that were made in ardour are precious and re-doing them would take a lot of time?

This is possible in Bitwig (a DAW that i use often, and i’m aware of), and can be seen here:

The main point for my question is:
I import 1 audio file, do a lot of editing (copy/slice/stretch/pitch shift/ re-arranging), and someone decides that this initial audio file should be changed… maybe some chords, or notes, or some minor things - which would not impact edits on the original file… Now, i need to swap audio file…

Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

The initial change is simple, but handling edge cases will be nightmarish.
eg. the replacement source may be shorter. Or the region you want replace could be a nested region of multiple sources, or a region compound,…

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well, i agree that edge cases would be practically unable to solve - but i was thinking on the simple concept just to be able to replace audio file… Namely, i assume that the original audio will be replaced with the audio which will match all aspects as the original… i think this should be fairly easy… but what do i know… i’m not a programmer, just sysadmin :stuck_out_tongue:

You can do this manually at your own risk :slight_smile: close the session and then replace the file on disk in ardour’s session-folder (or edit the .ardour XML session file and change the <Source name="..." .../> to the new file).

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i’m aware of that workaround - but i was referring to be able to do it within the sources list… like right-click action…? I meant to implement that manual step of editing session file within right-click action on the sources list… nothing fancy at this point… :slight_smile: just sort of to replicate those steps within-the-ardour(mixbus)

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Perhaps I’m overthinking this and there should be a way to just replace the source and let the user deal with the fallout.

Currently Ardour can not deal with cases where a region is longer than the source though.
So a replacement needs to be at least as long as the previous source.

Anyway it’s worth a feature request as

Where would you initiate this action from? The Editor sidebar’s source-list?
Do you first have to import the replacement source, or will “replace this source” open a file-dialog?

Ideally the original source won’t go away, only all (?) regions using the given source will use a different one, right?

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My suggestion would be that there be two locations I think (Having thought about it a bit now)…

You could start it from the source list, or from the region itself on the timeline. From the source list would modify the original file, as Ardour attempts to be non-destructive, this could mean that it creates a copy of the original source, and then sends it to the external editor.

From the region on the timeline, it would bounce the region out without processing to create a new file, maybe even with ‘handles’ to both give a little on either side for the editor to work with (Useful for instance when doing noise reduction to sample noise, also helps ensure the region is in fact shorter that the source if no trimming is done in the editor), and send the bounced region to the editor.

Ardour would automatically replace the source with the bounced/exported source from the moment the command is chosen. It would be great if Ardour kept a history of the original source as well so that you could switch between ‘revisions’ of the source material, but that could be to much. This way the external editor works directly on the file, and Ardour is automatically updated on it’s timeline with the correct new file. The trick of course is letting Ardour know to update the peak file preview, etc. when it is edited externally somehow, maybe using filesystem timestamps to compare the peak file and the source of the region?

Correct to my opinion. Though I can imagine others might want it to go away, I would prefer it stayed.


bounce and edit soundfile is different.

I expect “replace media” to be used to e.g. “use a different kick-drum sample”.
Or when exchanging stems with remote collaborators: replace previous media with new one.

The new media is not necessarily derived on the current one, and no soundfile editor is involved.

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well, my idea is - if you are going to replace audio - you are going to have same duration… that was my original point. I can see option if someone might wanna swap kick - which will have different aspects… but this is not my concern now. I would only like to swap audio file which has same lenght, but has some minor changed stuff within the audio file… boundaries would stay the same…

Well, in Bitwig it works like this: on the source list sidebar - you have button ‘replace file’ which opens finder/explorer to open a replacement file… this would be great for starters!

yes, exactly!
this is my main concern… if i slice (the original audio file which i want to replace) and edit/trim it a lot (due to nature of file, maybe it’s audio podcast or movie scores or whatever really…) i would like to replace that edited audio file with audio from other file… i mean… region edits would stay the same after the audio file replacement…

and i know that I’m not very good at explaining things so… :slight_smile:

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