[linux-audio-user] DAW Dillema -- Seeking Advice

Peter Lutek plutek at infinity.net
Wed Sep 29 20:33:03 EDT 2004

On Wed, 2004-09-29 at 18:38, Eric Dantan Rzewnicki wrote:
> (disclaimer: take this all with a grain of salt. I've been a bit giddy
> all week. 8) -edrz)
> On Wed, Sep 29, 2004 at 06:02:34PM -0400, Peter Lutek wrote:
> > thanks for your thoughts, greg!
> > i am in a very similar position to you, and agree with most of what you
> > have to say. irrespective of ardour's current status, it IS a shame that
> > there is not at least one other viable professional
> > multitracking/editing package nearing completion. 
> Am I just a complete nut? (which I'm ready to admit is entirely
> possible ;) ) or does no one else see ecasound as an alternative for 
> getting work done? it is stable and fairly complete, reasonably well
> documented ... it's just different ... Why is it that having a "viable
> professional <foo> package" means having a GUI that looks like something
> from the commercial world? Just because it's the dominant paradigm for 
> 96, or whatever, % of computer users doesn't have to mean it has to be a 
> requirement for "professional" use. I much prefer mutt to any lookout 
> clone, for example.

i am not for a minute suggesting that a commercial-look-alike GUI is
important, and i assure you that i do appreciate the value of a text
interface for many, many things -- that is a huge part of why i am
almost entirely "linuxized" at this point. 

i've spent some time with ecasound (no, not enough to be called fluent,
but still...) and love the flexible manner in which it operates and the
efficiency with which you can do many things. however, i found myself
constantly running up against one big problem (and perhaps you can offer
a solution?): accurate location of edit points is nearly impossible
without seeing a waveform display. yes, i know one can edit analog tape
by "rock-n-rolling" the reels to find edit points, but we can't even do
that, and we demand finer control in the digital environment. the other
issue is still that of being able to roll back changes or modify
settings in a multi-layered task like audio editing. more on that later,
re SND...

> ... it is
> > near-impossible to step back and tweak an EQ you adjusted a few days ago
> > on a particular component of your mix.

> can't one simply back up a file and work on a copy? ... 

well, yes, but......say, for example, you have three tracks, each of
which you're modifying in three ways (i.e. amplitude, EQ, compression).
if you wish to retain the ability to undo any one of those three
changes, you must maintain three backups of each track (each with only
two of the changes applied). so, nine backups for EACH change of all
three characteristics on all three tracks (retaining detailed records of
what changes were applied at each pass). then, if you mix it all down,
and decide you then want to change the EQ on track two, you must dig up
the track-2 backup with only amplitude and compression applied, apply a
different EQ, and re-write the mix. and this is a VERY simple example.
surely it is more efficient to have an environment (and, yes, i would be
much happier with a text UI with a bunch of cells of values -- a mix
spreadsheet, if you will) in which all of these changes to all of the
tracks are applied non-destructively in realtime. that way you can
change any given parameter on any given track at will.

on another front, say you make a track by taking bit of takes and
editing them together. surely it is a lot more efficient and flexible
(in terms of editability) to have that track exist as a bunch of
adjustable regions which refer, on the fly, to base takes, rather than
as a single, written composite which must be re-assembled and re-written
for any change. 

again, please let me know if there are ways of approaching these issues
which i have overlooked! i would love to be using SND and/or ecasound


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