Revisionist Mystery (2018 Album)

I’ve been using Ardour as my only DAW since at least 2010, producing little albums and EPs in houses, yurts, buses, vans, and wherever else I can fit myself. Here it is.

Every software I used was open source except for Overtone DSP’s FC70, which is awesome, and their PTC-2A and PTM-5A, which I’m still figuring out how to use.

The keyboard instruments are all lv2 plugins; drums are either Hydrogen plus shakers or an actual trapset; all the rest of the instruments are real.


Not really the type of music I usually look for but sounds good, very “spatial”, cool vibe.

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Very nice, Dan! Kinda reminds of of some Peter Gabriel stuff, and someone else that I cannot quite put my finger on. Very creative. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks very much for the kind words!

Amazingly, I’m attending a three-day workshop in Peter Gabriel’s studio, Real World Studios, this May. I’m supposed to bring my own computer with me, so I’m looking forward to showing off Ardour, and the rest of the linux audio ecosystem, to all those folks.

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Well considering back when Peter Gabriel was a majority shareholder of SSL, they helped fund Ardour development for a time, it will be interesting to see how many people there are already familiar, it could be noone is, it could be several are, I will be curious to know personally.

Ha! I thought I remembered SSL sponsoring development for a bit. I strongly doubt I’ll see or talk to Gabriel, and I don’t have any idea what sort of crosstalk there is between different sections of his organization, but I’ll definitely report back to you guys.

I’m just amazed they’re letting me in the door. My music is idiosyncratic at best and my annual streaming/download sales hover around $20. :grinning:

The part of the SSL/Ardour story that hasn’t ever really been told goes like this. Gabriel did indeed approach me 2006, excited about the concept of a “community-owned DAW”. They started paying me a salary and provided enough encouragement to really get the OS X port into a mostly acceptable state. Within a year or so, however, SSL also bought Soundscape, who made (1) hardware audio interfaces compatible with ProTools hardware setups (2) a hardware DSP based DAW called “Soundscape”. So within less than a year, SSL had gone from have no fingers in the DAW world at all to be quite involved in two different ones. At the time, the hardware audio interfaces were more important to SSL than the possibilities offered by DAWs for their business, and when the folks at Soundscape made it clear that they would walk if SSL dropped their DAW, SSL’s choice was clear, which was to drop their involvement with me.

In the end of course, neither Soundscape the DAW nor their hardware really represented much of a major business success story, though the DAW continues on.

I believe that fundamentally the problem was that nobody at SSL really had any clear ideas on what to do with a GPL’ed DAW; contrast this with Harrison Consoles, where Ben Loftis very quickly understood the possibilities and came up with the basic concept of Mixbus.

I appreciated SSL’s interest and support - it really took the concept of Ardour to a new level - but in the end there was no place within the company for Ardour’s development model and goals.

Well, I’m very grateful to them for paying you a salary for a while!

Mostly I’m grateful to you for developing such a wonderful tool. I agree with all of the design philosophy you’ve written about on these forums - it just works wonderfully for me and I haven’t had to think about anything other than composition and performance. Years ago I missed being able to pick presets in various plugins. Now I’ve learned what the knobs on the screens do and I don’t know why I’d ever want a preset for a compressor or anything else. Ardour is my favorite tool. It’s allowed me to make the art I want to make. I owe you far more than my monthly contribution would suggest.

Wow, this turned into a most interesting conversation. I had no idea of the PG history, but quite fascinating to say the least. Peter had a great idea there. Such a shame he did not follow through with it. So happy Harrison dropped in to continue with the love. Wish there was more love. Once I hit the Powerball Lottery (soon hopefully), I will send one million bucks to you guys!! That is a promise!

Just wanted to follow up on this - I did get to spend a weekend at Real World Studios - I’m afraid no one there was familiar with Ardour (and I didn’t get to meet Gabriel, though I much enjoyed talking with the engineers and the gardener!)

I did get to use Ardour for most of the process as I collaborated with another producer they paired me up with to make a song. I ran it on a laptop with a 2-channel USB interface. Other than guitar/bass through a DI all the sounds came through very expensive microphones, an SSL or Neve desk, and perhaps some fancy outboard equipment - I trusted the engineers and focused on composition.

We tracked with Ardour, then I applied a bunch of plugins (nothing like a rule but somewhat typical for me: subtractive EQ10Q > FC70 > additive Luftikus > [Guitarix plugins if it’s a guitar] > Reverbs, Delays, etc. ) I can’t overstate my love of Barry’s Satan Maximizer used at low settings.

Then I exported stems/tracks and we worked with a dance music producer who used Cubase to do a bunch of cleanup: gridding, melodyning, and sample replacement, along with matching EQs to various reference disco / dance music tracks he’s used regularly in his career,

then I put the stems from him back into Ardour and made a final mix.

So… it wasn’t a ‘clean room’ open source software only production like most of the last ten years have been for me, but I still got to use Ardour and a bunch of groovy LV2 plugins to make a song I’m really proud of.

It’s on all the streaming services - “Raining in My Head”, by Kai Orion and Dan Easley. We’re continuing our collaboration online and I’m continuing to love the results I get using Ardour and the small subset of the linux audio ecosystem that I’m familiar with.

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