Single Layer Mode???

Hello, I’ve been tracking in Ardour/Mixbus and for the past week, I’ve been doing a lot of punch ins and edits. I’m having trouble with the layering features. Essentially, I’m used to working with playlists and having each playlist contain only a single layer.

The functionality im looking for would replace any audio I am punching over in a non-destructive fashion, allowing me to drag the region boundaries back and forth to find the perfect edit point. I find layering confusing primarily because when I punch, the base track that I am punching over remains a single track after I punch. Then, when I make my edits, I attempt to move the edit point, but while some of the region bounds can be adjusted (i.e. the punches), the areas between punches (i.e. the base track) are not actually individual regions. Even though they look like small segments, they are all still connected underneath and therefore are counter-intuitive to edit, at least to me.

I suppose I can select a range, set punch zone, separate around punch zone, then punch, then edit, but if I do 10 punches and then want to audition 3 of them and scrap the rest, they are hard to sort. Then if I have to drag the punch around, I grab it and start to drag, only to leave the other punch layers behind.

Here are a couple of things that could help me work around my problem that I do not know how to do or if they are even possible:

  • Can I set some sort of single layer mode without using tape mode and destructively recording over things? (I guess ‘tape-mode’ is what I’m looking for, but where punches occur, region boundaries would be created and recording would occur non-destructively in a way that the regions only overlap in a crossfade, which can be adjusted.)

  • Can I link regions for editing or otherwise group them into a single container?

  • Are there Key commands like “separate around selected region” or “select all under selected region” etc. that I could use to get where I want to go?

Also, maybe there is a better way. I’d love to hear how other people do punches and deal with layers and base track edits. Id also be interested in hearing from any developers who might be able to lend insight into the punching paradigm and the workflow that it was designed around so as to better understand how to use this programs feature-set to it’s fullest.


I’m having a lot of problems with regions on Mixbus2 also, I’m so used to having crossfades being made automatically between regions when dragging part of one over another and it doesn’t create the crossfade. I have everything checked under options as creating crossfades automatically and all, do you also have this issue?

I also noticed there’s no crossfade editor… :frowning:


Hmm what should be happening is region fades are created at the overlapping boundaries automatically. Not sure exactly why it isn’t in your specific case though sorry.

EDIT: You came back and edited while I was typing;) There are no crossfades as we think of them in Ardour, they are actually region fades on the boundaries, thus no crossfade editor. There is a reasoning behind this, I had a lengthy conversation with Ben at Harrison when I noticed this some time back, and he has said that the crossfades will be retuning, but in a bit more powerful of a form(Which is fairly impressive to me considering how nice the crossfade editor could be:)


Hmm I have to look into that, I know that the new layered editing modes in A3 are probably close to what you want, but I need to look into it to remember if there is anything else that will help you there, for some reason I have in the back of my head that there is I just can’t remember what. It is worth dropping a line to Harrison with a feature request and ensuring that one is in place in Ardour’s Mantis Tracker as well.


@bmdaugherty: Ardour3 has a couple of new features that might help you out. There is a new “overwrite punch” mode which erases whatever is underneath and leaves you with only a single layer (but still leaves you with separate regions). There’s also the ability to easily slide both region ends (the end of the outgoing region and the start of the incoming region) at the same time. I think you will appreciate both of those changes. I’ll investigate whether they can be trivially back-ported to Mixbus while we are waiting for A3 to mature.

The “underlying track stays complete” is actually a pretty nice feature once you get used to it. But I agree it can sometimes cause problems (like if you bring it to the top layer, it obscures all the other overdubs that you’ve assembled…) Currently I find that making a scratch track for overdubs makes the process more manageable. Then I find the best overdub sections (sometimes using right-click “select topmost region”) and drag them onto the first (full length) track. But your mileage may vary.


Not sure what you mean with the crossfades. If you’ve got it set to “automatic” then it should extend the top regions’ fade across the whole overlap. Feel free to send a video or something to demonstrate your problem. Personally I find that a full-overlap crossfade is rarely needed. Instead, the default (very short) crossfade just before a new note or drum transient is a good way to make an edit (I’m talking about studio-recordings here … not noisy dialog, etc)

You might want to check out the free Mixbus2 editing video at: I highly suggest signing up for Kevin’s videos.


Ok, I’ll check what was going on with me at my side, I’ll be leaving to visit my parents at my hometown and will be off for a few weeks, so no music for 2 weeks for me, although I did kind of solved it though (I think), I’m just a little confused with the “use region fades” option, I don’t know if that had anything to do with my issue, if I do pop up with this problem again I’ll make a quick video or snapshot series to illustrate better. Maybe I just have to understand it a bit more, I’ll for sure check out those videos by Kevin.

Thanks again.


EDIT: Just saw it (video) now it’s perfectly clear to me, I was also going nuts with the fades remaining when moving a region and still seeing the fade active, didn’t understand why, this is explained at the very start of the video, “Region Fades are now Cross Fades”, so I’ll just keep my eyes open if the cross fades are not being created automatically, maybe I had disabled it without noticing it (let’s hope), I was maybe just fooling around too much with the crossfade options and the layering mode…

So I just spent some time with Ardour3alpha9 and I gotta say that I would love to see the stacking features of Ardour3 make it into MixBus as soon as it’s feasible. That one feature would solve everything for me. It’s great to see progress like this! I’m really excited. I mess with Ardour3 from time to time, but never investigated this particular feature. I like the stacking. It seems very intuitive and the display is awesome. I can’t lose anything in front of clients because nothing can suddenly cover anything else up!

Thanks for the input and for listening and considering my situation.