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7.4.3. Add Regions to Tracks

The next step is to add the regions into the tracks. It would be faster if we also cropped the regions at this point, but there are many reasons that it can be helpful to have longer regions, or rests (nearly silent space) within a region, so we'll keep them in tact for now.
  1. In the session sidebar (to the right of the canvas area), select the "Regions" tab. This list contains all of the regions in the session. Each region is listed once, regardless of how many times it appears in the timeline, or if it's even used at all.
  2. To add a region to the canvas area, simply click on the region's name, and drag it onto a track. The cursor will change as you do this, so that the vertical line of the cursor shows the point where the region will begin in the timeline.
Adding regions is just that easy!
You guessed it though - there's more to it than that, and it mostly has to do with the setup of this particular file. You will notice that the region list has many similarly-named regions, and that most of the names correspond to particular tracks and a bus. The files are named so that you know what's on them. They are given a number so that you know the sequence in which they're to be added ("Marimba_1" regions before "Marimba_2"), and a letter "L" or "R" at the end to signify whether the region is the left or the right channel. Furthermore, the regions that start with "ens-" belong on the "voice" tracks ("ens" is short for "ensemble," meaning that those regions contain a small vocal ensemble, whereas the "Voice... " regions contain just one singer). The "Here_Is_How" regions belong before the "Create_the_Inconceivable" regions. Remember: there is no technical reason that the regions are named as they are. The names are there to help you edit and mix the song. We don't need to use the "marimba2" tracks or bus yet, so just add all of the "Marimba_" regions to the "marimba1" tracks.
As you add the regions, you will learn a lot about manipulating regions in Ardour. Here are some tips to help:
  • Use the mouse's scrollwheel (if you have one) to scroll vertically, seeing all the tracks.
  • Hold down the 'Ctrl' button on the keyboard and use the mouse's scrollwheel to adjust the amount of time visible in the canvas window.
  • Hold down the 'Alt' button on the keyboard and use the mouse's scrollwheel to scroll horizontally, moving along the timeline.
  • After placing a region, you can move it around anywhere in the canvas area. You'll need to use the "Select/Move Objects" tool: click the pointing hand icon in the toolbar underneath the transport controls.
  • If you are moving a region, be sure to click and drag from the large area above the coloured bar. If you click in the coloured bar at the bottom of the region, you will reduce the region's size.
  • When you're just adding tracks like this, it's not important that they are synchronized perfectly. But you can use the "magnetic" snapping feature to automatically align the beginning of tracks to the second. As you slowly drag a region, when the start nears a second (indicated by vertical lines through the canvas area), the region will seem to "stick" to the second. Later, you may want to turn off this feature.
  • Since we're just adding the regions imprecisely for now, put them into the appropriate track as tightly as possible, without overlapping.