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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0008022ardourfeaturespublic2022-08-11 20:00
Reportersonnie Assigned Topaul  
Status feedbackResolutionopen 
PlatformSome Other LinuxOSSome Other LinuxOS Versionunknown
Product Version6.0-pre1 
Summary0008022: Tint background color of Mixer- and Editor-Channel (Header)
DescriptionI love to have a fast overview. For years other DAWs can optinally tint background color of the mixer strips for faster overview. I'd love to see this in Ardour.
Steps To Reproduce-
Additional Information-
Tagscolor, mixer



2020-04-19 13:47

administrator   ~0021397

Please explain more clearly what you mean by this. Do you mean "use the track color as the background of the mixer strip for that track" ?


2020-04-21 07:16

reporter   ~0023838

use the track color as the background of the mixer strip for that track. I use pretty big screens and its hard go get an overview without the "coloured backgrounds" in mixer (or editor in track headers - where solo/mute and volume is located) just with the group bars above.

Maybe its more reasonable with some pics.


2020-04-21 07:39


ardour editor.jpg (89,762 bytes)   
ardour editor.jpg (89,762 bytes)   
reaper editor mixer.jpg (212,734 bytes)   
reaper editor mixer.jpg (212,734 bytes)   
ardour mixer.jpg (266,377 bytes)


2020-04-21 23:34

reporter   ~0023848

This is really a much needed feature IMHO. I tend to scroll in larger project while trying to read the labels of the tracks.. If there are 19 vocal tracks in a row it is hard to find what I am looking for. It really doesn't help to use a small screen for that matter.. Having Colors like above would make things quite convenient.

Or in a shorter form:


2020-04-22 16:45

administrator   ~0023862

@sonnie: those are not track colors at all, but group colors.


2020-04-22 17:11



2020-04-22 17:11

reporter   ~0023863

@paul: Yes. Is there a different way to color the tracks (not the audio/MIDI items). These are way better for my eyes for a fast overview than these small track color bubbles. (see pic attached)
I run sessions with 50-100 tracks+ and its very, very hard to see fast, what track is what type.


2020-04-22 17:11



2020-04-22 17:45

reporter   ~0023866

Plain old Protools has this appearance which is quite handy if you are looking for one of the two dark green tracks and are in a hurry.
ProotoolsMixer.jpg (322,299 bytes)


2020-04-22 18:22

reporter   ~0023867

Ok this make some sence


2020-04-22 19:48

administrator   ~0023868

I should be clear here: I welcome an option to color mixer strip backgrounds.

But there's a lot of language appearing here about "track colors", whereas what is shown in the screenshots from other DAWs are not individual track colors, but group colors.


2020-04-23 07:22

reporter   ~0023871

"whereas what is shown in the screenshots from other DAWs are not individual track colors, but group colors. "

No, in Reaper and Pro Tools it's called "Track Colors". But nevermind, we now know, what I initially meant. Thanks for your help. :)


2021-10-06 09:18

reporter   ~0026176

Will this be a feature of Ardour 7? :)


2022-07-19 18:11

reporter   ~0026517

I also vote for this feature.

In Ardour, each track in the mixer has a little color bubble on the top. It would be great if that color was more appearent on the whole mixer strip. I gimped an example of how it might look like :)

I'm well aware that implementing this is harder than using Gimp.
ardour-mixer-colored.png (222,630 bytes)   
ardour-mixer-colored.png (222,630 bytes)   


2022-08-09 22:20

administrator   ~0026539

Now in git master via commit bfedf7168e


2022-08-10 01:27

administrator   ~0026543

I do like at @tanjeffmoos mockup, but the current state of coloring the whole strip incl faceplace of the fader and meter is not helpful and introduces visual clutter in my opinion.
Also the master-bus be exempt but VCAs should also have an outline (like tracks). The faders should not default to blue but the fader/meter area get colored depending on track type (again).

For those who cannot compile from git, the current state looks like :
colored_mixer.png (115,964 bytes)   
colored_mixer.png (115,964 bytes)   


2022-08-10 06:00

reporter   ~0026544

I agree with x42 that the current version looks distracting, because there is too much color in the fader/meter area. Or maybe it is just too much contrast between the bright background color and the dark fader/meter.

Coloring the fader and meter (as x42 proposed) would reduce contrast. But I think that recoloring the meter is non-trivial, because it uses multiple colors (white and red ticks, green/yellow/red bars) which need to work with any background color the user chooses. Also, there are other meters with other tick colors (e.g. K20).

I suppose that you mainly colored the background of the strip. Are fader and meter grouped using a box widget? If so, it might help to change the background of that box back to gray (this would look more like my mockup). It might be simpler to implement.


2022-08-10 12:15

administrator   ~0026545

> Coloring the fader and meter (as x42 proposed) would reduce contrast.

I proposed to revert that that area to how it was before. The box with the fader and meter should just be boring gray (for busses), boring blue-gray (for Audio tracks), and green-gray (for MIDI tracks), like it is when not using track-color. Like in your screenshot above (

More nitpicking: Currently the brightness of the track color is increased. IMHO, that is also not the correct approach. The color should be used as is.
If this is an issue with the "flat & boxy" theme (the track header button is not distinguishable), increasing saturation would be my choice. Alternatively make it darker with a dark theme and brighter with a bright theme.


PS. Harrison Mixbus has an entirely different approach to this: the mixer-strip itself is not colored, the background remains unchanged, only the Fader itself is colored.


2022-08-11 04:19

administrator   ~0026546

new approach underway. feedback welcomed.
aug10.png (167,158 bytes)   
aug10.png (167,158 bytes)   


2022-08-11 05:56

reporter   ~0026547

I like the approach, it looks very clean.

But there is a corner case: It a fader is all the way down, almost no color will be visible. My suggestions are:
- Colorize the "comment" button. Its color does not indicate any status, hence a new color won't do any harm.
- Add a colored horizontal ruler below the fader/meter and above the "group" button, just do indicate the strips color.
- Colorize the fader background with a darker (or brighter?) version of the strip color.

Here are two examples of how a ruler could look like.
grafik.png (26,633 bytes)   
grafik.png (26,633 bytes)   


2022-08-11 06:27

administrator   ~0026548

the name button at the *top* is already colored


2022-08-11 06:28

administrator   ~0026549

here's a corresponding view of the editor view
aug10-2.png (173,815 bytes)   
aug10-2.png (173,815 bytes)   


2022-08-11 14:47

administrator   ~0026550

OK, here are two screenshots of the current state of play (similar to above but master bus is uncolored, and fader bgs are correct)

Again, any feedback is welcome
aug-11-m.png (167,571 bytes)   
aug-11-m.png (167,571 bytes)   
aug-11-e.png (163,956 bytes)   
aug-11-e.png (163,956 bytes)   


2022-08-11 18:53

reporter   ~0026551

> the name button at the *top* is already colored
Yes, but it is far away from the bottom :-)

The current approach looks professional. Even the 0,0-markers are colored, I love such details!


2022-08-11 19:26

administrator   ~0026552

"0,0-markers" ??


2022-08-11 19:49

reporter   ~0026554

This line. How it is named correctly?
grafik-2.png (14,374 bytes)   
grafik-2.png (14,374 bytes)   


2022-08-11 20:00

administrator   ~0026555

I think "unity position marker" -- although in different contexts (faders for plugin automation) it's the "default value marker"

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2020-04-19 10:16 sonnie New Issue
2020-04-19 10:16 sonnie Tag Attached: color
2020-04-19 10:16 sonnie Tag Attached: mixer
2020-04-19 13:47 paul Note Added: 0021397
2020-04-21 07:16 sonnie Note Added: 0023838
2020-04-21 07:39 sonnie File Added: ardour editor.jpg
2020-04-21 07:39 sonnie File Added: reaper editor mixer.jpg
2020-04-21 07:39 sonnie File Added: ardour mixer.jpg
2020-04-21 23:34 ahellquist Note Added: 0023848
2020-04-22 16:45 paul Note Added: 0023862
2020-04-22 17:11 sonnie File Added: ardour mixer track color.jpg
2020-04-22 17:11 sonnie Note Added: 0023863
2020-04-22 17:11 sonnie File Added: ardour mixer track color-2.jpg
2020-04-22 17:45 ahellquist File Added: ProotoolsMixer.jpg
2020-04-22 17:45 ahellquist Note Added: 0023866
2020-04-22 18:22 itsmonika Note Added: 0023867
2020-04-22 19:48 paul Note Added: 0023868
2020-04-23 07:22 sonnie Note Added: 0023871
2021-10-06 09:18 sonnie Note Added: 0026176
2022-07-19 18:11 tanjeffmoos Note Added: 0026517
2022-07-19 18:11 tanjeffmoos File Added: ardour-mixer-colored.png
2022-08-09 22:20 paul Assigned To => paul
2022-08-09 22:20 paul Status new => feedback
2022-08-09 22:20 paul Note Added: 0026539
2022-08-10 01:27 x42 Note Added: 0026543
2022-08-10 01:27 x42 File Added: colored_mixer.png
2022-08-10 06:00 tanjeffmoos Note Added: 0026544
2022-08-10 12:15 x42 Note Added: 0026545
2022-08-11 04:19 paul Note Added: 0026546
2022-08-11 04:19 paul File Added: aug10.png
2022-08-11 05:56 tanjeffmoos Note Added: 0026547
2022-08-11 05:56 tanjeffmoos File Added: grafik.png
2022-08-11 06:27 paul Note Added: 0026548
2022-08-11 06:28 paul Note Added: 0026549
2022-08-11 06:28 paul File Added: aug10-2.png
2022-08-11 14:47 paul Note Added: 0026550
2022-08-11 14:47 paul File Added: aug-11-m.png
2022-08-11 14:47 paul File Added: aug-11-e.png
2022-08-11 18:53 tanjeffmoos Note Added: 0026551
2022-08-11 19:26 paul Note Added: 0026552
2022-08-11 19:49 tanjeffmoos Note Added: 0026554
2022-08-11 19:49 tanjeffmoos File Added: grafik-2.png
2022-08-11 20:00 x42 Note Added: 0026555