You are here

Welcome to song 2

Yo hi everybody, new song : [Kleb Station] entirely made "within the Q". One day of takes, one day of mix ; It was a wild ride, but I finally got it home safe and sound.

Good things first
I got no hangup at all. QTractor did not crash a single time.
No matter the settings and the latency, I did not had to offset any audio clip to "sync" it with the rest of the timeline. And that's a *very*
good thing because every time I do that, baby Jesus cries.

Questions (not really)
I got lags. Some. Not a lot of it, but still. It's weird to see QTractor stop everything for as long as half a second (w/o any xruns getting registered) but then again it must be some mechanism to cope with serious RAM limitations without crashing... Well if that's it, it works.
Nothing that can't be worked around. Most of the time when xruns kick in a full restart&reload resets everything. Everything : Plugin settings are correctly saved, soundfonts are loaded (not the sub-part for big SFs, but it's fluidsynth's job, and you can always extract the part of the SF you need with Swami - thanks for the tip BTW), automation curves don't move, everything is really freezed, this I really like. But :
I'm still to understand exactly how a *project* works, conceptually. What really is a "project" ? A container for "songs" that would contain "clips" ? Why do I feel that "clips" have a somehow "transcendental" existence between those planes ? Don't answer that. Don't try to answer any of the questions in this post, this is just me thinking out loud, after all most of the time I manage to figure it out myself. And I know you're on holidays. Don't ruin it on my pointless bickering ;) Now for your beach reading pleasure :) :

Suggestions (for what it's worth)

  • When you double-clic a midi clip to edit it, do your thing and close
    it, some sort of mark could remain, distincting this very clip from the others, and that could
    be easier for tedious same-edit-in-many-clips operations
  • A command to "play that clip I'm editing, and place timeline loop
    start marker at the beginning of it". Maybe it's there (as a
    combination of keys maybe ?) and I overlooked it. Also :
  • my commands ("h" to get back to the start mark,
    and ";" to get forward to it) do not work in midi clip edit mode..?
  • If MIDI notes could use the same color scheme that
    tracks use, with different shades for each note, that would allow to
    tell them apart from each other : When you only have a cymbal and a
    snare in many clips, and you edit out say the cymbal. Now you go
    back to this clip to be double-sure you did edit that damn cymbal
    out : How do you tell, looking at a single, alone square unit, to what note/instrument it
    belongs ? I know. From the keyboard on the left. But still. There it would only be "kill all the greens".
  • When you edit a clip in a track, that was copy and pasted from
    another track, the name of the clip (SongName-TrackName-ClipNumber) is
    not refreshed before you save it with the mouse. But you know
    that. Read on :
  • When I'm working with QTractor, I find myself talking to it, a
    lot. "come on, this is going to rock". "Yeah, play that bitch". "Give
    me a compressor now and after that bring some more tea". That sort
    of things, you know what I mean. And many many times a day is spent
    responding "yes" to the same question "do you want to save that MIDI
    clip ?" "Well yes sir, this proposition is cogent and reasonable, and really
    kind of you, thank you very much" :) I mean, why would I not want to save this
    MIDI clip ? Is'nt that what undos are for ? Is there a checkbox somewhere that I missed that says "treat MIDI clip edit like the rest
    of the elements" ? Hey this is not that disruptive, it appears only at the first clip edit.
  • There is something with the plugins "thingie" at the top of the channel strip that bugs me out. - It seems to slow the whole thing down. - It's too small. - Overall the ergonomics of it does'nt do justice to the really powerful function it hosts, like copy/paste plugins with setting (boy that is precious) and all those goodies. I cannot put my finger on it. I just don't like to click on it.
    • Because I want to tell you, apart from this
      nitpicking, It's aaaaall gewd. I love the way MIDI clips are handled. Do they have their
      own undo/redo buffer ? Looks like they have. this is great. I love QTractor. Period.

      Oh, a last one :

    • Is there a way to tell QTractor "Delete mercilessly all audio clips that are not presently used in the timeline (please ?)" (to reduce the size of projects for backups) That can easily wait until september ;)
    • @ Jeremy : Thanks for your 48000Hz tip it really helped - I read it elsewhere before but you found the words to wrap my head around it, thanks ;)
      Now what I do is I get all the audio takes done quickly, with minimum effects, because some sort of entropy kicks in after so many tracks and processes, and I guess it's only logical. So between the creation of the project and, say the 4th track, I can enjoy my 8ms, and that allows for no latency compensation (witch I can't enjoy anyway, because of my jack version, that I can't update because of my glibc, bref) and I'm a happy camper.
      Then after you begin to add heavy sidechain compression and stereo convoluted reverbs and that sort of cycle-expensive gizmos, I'm forced to go from 128 to as high as 512 but it's ok for MIDI tracks w/ quantize.
      And then, for mastering, with everything turned on, it's 1024 and 164ms (something like that) but it's still OK and I have to use LXDE, maybe XFCE, but certainly not KDE4 because it takes the 300Mg RAM I need to run audacity and bounce the track directly from qtractor master bus without xruns. I still only have 2Gb RAM because this friggin' HP tower won't take *any* of the DDR2 modules I shake at it.

      This is really great. QTractor gave me back all the time I invested in it, and then some. Thank you Rui ; I wish you a happy holiday, as far from any computer as possible ;)

rncbc's picture

a big thanks for the feedback. didn't had the chance to hear the song in all its entirety and detail. will try to do that in these coming days. yes, trying to be relaxed on vacation doesn't quite help on a impartial audition as it surely deserves ;) being in the vicinity of noisy summer parties doesn't help either :)

one quick answer though re. midi clip editor note color scheme: there's something like it for years now: just try turning on View/Note Color menu option.


yPhil's picture

> one quick answer though re. midi clip editor note color scheme: there's something like it for years now: just try turning on View/Note Color menu option.

Gasp ! That's *ezzactly* what I'm talkin' 'bout :)

And with values ! Man, that's even better. No what if we could see other track notes by transparency, you now that "layer" thing some other DAWs use ? You would have a "layer" menu on top of the MIDI clip edit, and you could checkbox-select the track(s) that you want to "see through"..?

On the "summer reading" chapter, I'd like to add :

- What happened to the loop start marker, it's no longer visually aligned with the grid when you "snap to the beat" (doobee doo) ? It's just a visual thing, but still, wft ? Or is it me ? Maybe it's me.
- And another thing : What's with the mixer window ? It seems to have it's own ways. I'll try to explain.

I'm using the "show messages" option turned on, only because I need qtractor to show me all my tracks when I'm looking at the mixer, that I maximize horizontally (right-click) to fill the entire bottom of the screen *and* I still see all the track, with a scrollbar. It's a workaroud. It works great. I can even see the timeline scroll in real time to show me on screen the track I select in the mixer.
What I get this way is basically the DAW I dreamed about, no kidding. I want to see my mixer most of the time.
Then for precise clip editing, I get rid of the mixer window, the message window, and then I got my timeline fullscreen and that's great.
It's when I want to flip from one view to another that things get hairy : To go back to the previous "view", I have to go and fetch the mixer window at the top of the screen, where it persist to go like a stubborn goat :) Why can't the mixer window be embedded MDI-style the same way as the message can be ? Or can it ? That would be really great... I noticed that this behaviour is somehow related to the window manager I'm using, what a surprise. Hey, I'm thinking out loud again ;) Let's go swimming.

rncbc's picture

you could get used to the View/Windows/Mixer keyboard shortcut, which default to F9 (it's a toggle:) ...

/me takes another plunge, woohoo!

rncbc's picture

re. command to "play that clip I'm editing, and place timeline loop start marker at the beginning of it"
guess what? svn trunk rev.2324+ (qtractor introduces something like this:

  • New immediate edit/loop-range settings from current clip extents, accessible on the main menu (Clip/Range Set, Loop Set) and from MIDI clip editor menu as well (File/Range Set, Loop Set).

might be just what you're asking ;)

re. my commands ("h" to get back to the start mark, and ";" to get forward to it) do not work in midi clip edit mode..?
that's probably correct: keyboard shortcut configuration settings are kept separate and independent between main application window and all midi clip editor windows. there are some which are equivalent in function like transport-backward and -forward. for those cases you'll have to repeat the shortcut setting on the midi clip editor window too (Help/Shortcuts...) , otherwise it will keep the factory defaults eg. backspace for transport-backward.


Add new comment