MIDI Scene Automation

Ardour is capable of being used to both record and deliver MIDI "scene" automation. These are MIDI messages typically used to switch presets or "scenes" on a variety of external equipment (or software), including lighting and other audio/video tools. A common use case is to automatically change presets between songs or to change lighting conditions based on a specific position on the timeline.

Each change from one scene to another is represented by a marker in the "Marker" bar.

Technically, scene changes are delivered as a combination of bank and program change MIDI messages. MIDI allows for 16384 banks, each with 128 programs.

Recording Scene Changes

Ardour has a dedicated MIDI port named "Scene In". Connect this port to whatever source(s) of MIDI scene (bank/program change) messages you wish to record.

Whenever the global record enable button is engaged and Ardour's transport is rolling, a new marker will be created for each scene change message received via the "Scene In" port.

If 2 different scene changes are received within a certain time period, only the later one will be recorded as a new marker. The default threshold for this is 1 millisecond.

If a scene change message is received while the playhead is close to an existing marker with an associated scene change, the recording process will alter the scene change in the existing marker rather than adding a new one. The default threshold for this "proximity" test is 1 millisecond.

Manually Creating Scene Changes

This feature is not currently implemented.

Playing back Scene Changes

Ardour has a dedicated MIDI port named "Scene Out". Connect this port to wherever you wish to send MIDI scene (bank/program change) messages.

When the global record enable button is not enabled, the relevant message(s) will be sent via the "Scene Out" port as the playhead rolls past each marker with a scene change associated with it.

Editing Scene Changes

This feature is not currently implemented.

Disabling Scene Changes

This feature is not currently implemented.