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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0007505ardourfeaturespublic2017-11-12 08:482017-11-12 09:32
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PrioritynormalSeverityminorReproducibilityhave not tried
PlatformOSOS Version
Product Version 
Target VersionFixed in Version 
Summary0007505: Allow mixing signals in the Pinout Configuration, just like JACK does
DescriptionThe Pin Connections dialog is a fantastic tool.
it has one limitation that I recently found problematic: it only allows one input to be fed to any output port. It allows splitting the signal, but doesn't allow mixing them back.

In JACK the user can split the signals (connect one output to multiple input ports) or mix them (connect multiple output to a single input port). Pin connections doesn't allow the latter, so if a user wants to create a parallel processing setup, he needs to use a mixer plugin to merge multiple signal paths back into one for output in the end of the track's processing stack.

I recently experimented with doing multiband processing using Calf X-Over plugins and then using the Pinout configuration to make some plugins operate only on a selected frequency band. I manged to make a setup with different processing applied to each of three frequency bands - I had trouble mixing that back to stereo in the end of the processing chain so the track can have a stereo output. I used an AMS mixer plugin, but it's a bit tedious, as one has to manually configure panning in that plugin, otherwise it'll monofonize the signal . panning all sources in the middle by default.

It'd be great if Pin Connections would allow to mix signals - I'd make achieving such effects much easier - also for doing parallel processing with plugins that don't support that - without the need for using additional buses (which make the session bloated and harder to navigate, not mentioning that managing connections this way is much slower).

Maybe a special Lua plugin with in-line interface could do a great job here?
If it'd have 4 stereo inputs and a single stereo output + some basic mixing controls - could that work?

What do you think?
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x42 (administrator)
2017-11-12 09:31
edited on: 2017-11-12 09:32

This won't happen for conceptual reasons:

Pin connections just "points". There is no processing at all. It's just a "map" (or lookup table) for connecting plugin I/Os.

Pins are not ports which hold actual data. Pin connection are just buffer-pointers: Zero-copy. Summing is not possible. -- Connecting one to many works, because plugins do allow that: The same source buffer can be connected to many plugin inputs. The same does obviously not work for outputs (many to one).

You really want to use a modular synth for that kinda stuff.

PS. I'll never say never.
There is the idea to use plugins for allowing to sum/combine ports first. The user-interface could make it look like you can combine ports, while under the hood Ardour uses a dedicated DSP processor to sum the signals.
Then again allowing to turn a narrow tiny channelstrip of a DAW into a modular environment is questionable.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2017-11-12 08:48 unfa New Issue
2017-11-12 09:31 x42 Note Added: 0020088
2017-11-12 09:32 x42 Note Edited: 0020088 View Revisions

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