State of Scene Management


I was curious as to how high up on the to do list is scene load and save functionality for post 3.0 development. I was curious because I was thinking of taking up a bit of a holiday project and implementing this functionality in an application external to Ardour, likely by simulating a control surface like the Mackie Control Pro in software.

This being said, if it’s likely to be added soon, it’s not exactly relevant to the community, given that a functionality like this would be better in the main application itself.

Any feedback on the relevance of starting a project like this?


@paul and Ricardus

Thanks for pointing that out.

I was exploring a way to be able to switch between mix settings without stopping the playhead or recording. For example if I was recording a multiple act performance and using Ardour as my FOH mixer, I would be able to switch my mix without stopping the recording process or equivalently loading a new session.

I know that also using ardour as a live mixer might not be exactly its intended functionality, but there is nothing really in my mind preventing its use for that sort of thing. A bonus feature like loading and saving scenes in this case would be pretty fantastic!


This has been discussed on IRC, and in fact is on the post-3.0 todo list, so no it is not being done any time soon. HOWEVER, I would STRONGLY encourage you to get on IRC and discuss and plan this before starting the implementation. There are many scene management solutions out there(On live consoles) that seem well thought out at first and then come back to actually being very limiting. To give some examples…

Do you take the yamaha approach where everything is stored in a scene then you you ‘safe’ what you don’t want recalled globally, and focus the scene to not recall other aspects?

Do you take the iLive approach and only store what needs to be changed?

In either case how easy is it to recall scenes out of order, as I might have one scene that repatches inputs in order to accomodate understudies in a theatrical production, or in case I need to swap to a backup mic in either theater or corporate gigs (Happens on concert stage as well but not quite so seemlessly).

Proper scene management can be a very powerful tool, but please make sure it is well planned out before you start implementing. Otherwise you may do much more harm than good. Forcing everyone to always recall fader levels, etc. (The A&H GLD that at firmware v1 had no method of incrementally stepping through scenes comes to mind)


And never… EVER… have it recall the murder scene in Psycho.


Wise Words. Just out of curiosity what did you think of the Yamaha approach?

I was thinking of getting my hands on an 01V to add some inputs to my setup w/ ADAT, and to use it as a control surface.

The yamaha approach isn’t bad for what it is, but a bit limiting in my experience. I haven’t used the largest yammie consoles, but the M7 on down, and you have to think carefully about what you do.

Compared to the iLive approach, I find the iLive approach more logical, but takes more time to build a scene from scratch depending on what contents you want to be in a scene.

I suspect the best answer may end up being between them, in as far as Focus to determine what actually gets recalled and building the scene from the ground up but being able to add larger blocks of contents easily, but this is an awful job explaining it and there is a reason why there are multiple ways to do this, because there is more than one right way, at least as of right now;)


@jamiejessup: I would honestly have to say that Ardour has more or less nothing that I would call “scene management” unless I was trying to be deceptive. What do consider to be a part of “scene management” ?

I would say scene management would be the ability to save your current mix to a “Scene”. Then later if your mix has changed, being able to load that “Scene” and you can restore the mix you saved (i.e. at the most basic level the position of the faders return to where they were when you saved them).

Did that give you a good idea of what I mean by “Scene management”? Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough to begin with.


That already exists with a function called SNAPSHOTS.

snapshots do much of what you describe but switching between them is not a “lightweight” operation - its 100% equivalent to loading a new session. i would consider scene management to be something that is a bit more “instant”.

Roland VS Recorders had scene automation with adjustable crossfades between scenes. I found it extremely useful.