Stem export with processing

Hello everyone. I want to mix and process all the sounds effects and music of a video game I’m making.

I have ardour with 31 tracks, each track contains music or sound effect.
I have buses to group effects, one EQ to my “voices” bus, another for my “music” bus another for my “sfx” bus and so on.

What I want is to export each track as a separate file with the effects included.

When I do that with stem export I can export each track individually with the length needed but with no processing.

I’m aware of a button called “Apply track/bus procesing” but that seems to not do what I want. I have busses with effects but I’m not exporting those busses. I’m exporting the tracks. I don’t need the bus as a mixdown of tracks, I just need to apply the same effect to a group of audio tracks.

Any idea on how can I achieve this?

thanks in advance

If I’ve understood correctly, you should be able to do this by a series of normal (master bus) exports, each one with all tracks muted except the one you want.

It’s very likely that someone who knows Ardour better than I do will come up with a better answer…

Yes, that’s correct. I could do that and it will work, however I was looking for a workaround to avoid doing that 31 times. What I’m looking for is a way of exporting each track through the master bus but individually.

Maybe a script, or applying changes to the tracks itself and then copying the track from ardours folder or something like that?

You can do a “normal” export.
In the export dialog, go to the “Channels” Tab. select “Split to mono” and set the channel-count to the number of busses that you want to export. then assign the busses to those channels.

mmm I llike that. it took me a while to grasp the concept. But now I get it. I need to make, let’s say, a bus with 20 channels, route my sounds to that bus but only one track per bus channel, then export the bus with it’s 20 channels splitted to mono. The only problem I see is that stereo plugins don’t work with a 20 channel bus :\ so I have to mulitplicate my fx for each track I want it to have it.

There’s a way to “bounce” a track with all it’s processing to a new track inside ardour? I’m not talking about routing it to a new track and recording it in real time. I’m thinking on a magic button that will do that so then I could export all sounds with stem export.

It’s going to be an obvious thing maybe, but… how about freezing a track? It creates a, let’s say, semi-export of the single track and the file goes to (by default) /home/user/ardour/session_name/audiofiles/n_n%L.wav and ./m_n%R.wav, where m is a number of the track and n is a number of freezes (i.e. 1_2%L - first track, second freezing, left channel) - or, anyone, please correct me, but it seems so. BUT! But. But: freezing only takes into account every plugin before ANY send or an insert, and, hail to Ardour crew, the program warns you about it. Freezeing can’t be undone by ctrl+z, but the track can be unfreezed - rightclick and ‘unfreeze’. And the files stay in the folder.
Hope it helps a bit.

I’m still open to suggestions on how to do this with Ardour, but I made a workarround.

This is what I ended up doing:
All my sound files are in one single folder. Drag & drop into ardour, it gets imported sorted alphabetically (that’s great).
Then I made 4 buses with the outputs of 4 different groups which I use to categorize all the audio tracks.
Made all the audio processing needed.
Then I arranged the tracks sequentially, leaving 1 bar of silence between tracks. (I set the tempo at 60bpm)
Then export only the master bus.
And then what I did was run this SOX command:

sox -v3 sesión.ogg 0.ogg silence 1 0.2 0.1% 1 0.2 0.1% : newfile : restart
that basically splits the exported session file taking silence as the separator. It generates files 0001.ogg 0002.ogg ... etc

Then I made a simple python program with a list containing the output of “ls -1 | sort” on my audio directory and iterate over the sox output files renaming the files.
That’s why it’s great that Ardour imports the files in alphabetical order :smiley:

I did that process like 10 times until I was happy with the result of the mix.

@ototto I didn’t see your post before posting my workarround. I’ll try that to see if it fits what I’m looking for. Thanks for the tip!

You don’t need to make a 20 channel bus, you can use 10 stereo busses. only on export you need to say 20 channels, split to mono.
The channel assignment during export is flexible. One can assign e.g bus1 L/R to channel 1+2, bus 2 L/R to 3 + 4 … bus 10 L/R to 19+20

@x42 I see, but that way I cannot use one bus to apply the processing. I’ll have to replicate the same in every stereo bus.

Has there been any development on this end?

I’m not sure I understand the @x42 workaround, but as @rombus mentions, that still doesn’t allow us to export multiple tracks separately with the processing applied to them in common through one bus. The two brute force workarounds would obviously be manually exporting each track (soloing or muting others), or applying processing separately to each track. But both of these are terribly time-consuming… I’m working on a 50-track project and couldn’t be bothered to manually reprocess each track or manually export them one-by-one! Any updates that might help me here? Thanks ~

What happens if you solo the effects bus and the track you want? Your routing is EachTrack->Some%ToEffectsBus>BackToEachTrack, right? Then just do an export of that one track or the master bus.

@drsaamah I’m not sure I follow — wouldn’t that also require one-by-one exports of each processed / solo track? My routing is EachTrack>ProcessingBus>Master. Apologies if I’m misunderstanding your suggestion!

No, my apologies. I misunderstood the problem. I have no solution.

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