j0, all you engineers and producers – you been holdin’ out on me. How come never any of you felt it appropriate to explain to me exactly how goddamn useful automation is? Huh? ‘Cause damn.

And Ardour’s automation tools are both effective and easy to use! It’s freakishly unlike Ardour to be this way, so I’m appreciative. Even if it did assplode my machine today for a while, about which I will now rant.

Because srsly, it was like some sort of goddamn movieOS crash. Windows popping up everywhere scrolling errors at machine rate? Persisting across reboots and hardware resets?That was neat. I figured either something very obscure but trivial had happened and I’d lose a few hours to figuring it out, or I’d just lost weeks of work, ’cause I couldn’t even get Ardour stable enough to export individual tracks – no audio sources or sinks would stay online. I mean nothing worked.

So I started googling and eventually I found a French webaite talking avout something similar in another JackAudio-enabled app environment and ended up reading up on PulseAudio, which Ubuntu Studio won’t let you not install and which plays very badly with JackAudio. So I spent a few hours in the guts of the install making it not launch PulseAudio. (You can’t just uninstall it. APT also tries to uninstall the desktop manager as a dependancy. NOT FUNNY!)

And that’s something I’d been wanting to do eventually, because it’s been problematic for me and causing performance problems, but I had it reasonably working some months ago – they’re supposed to work together – and left it alone after that while I tried to get actual work done. But I guess the Time had Come, so I read up on how to force Ubuntu Studio not to launch pulseaudio (nontrivial) and hid all its utilities (srsly it launches this shit like five different places) and reconfigured Jack and, as I put on moo:

You say, “realtime kernel active… pulseaudio confirmed nonstarting… JackAudio running…”
You say, “outputs ACTIVATED”
You say, “automation engaging… engaged!”
You say, “running… FUCK.”
You say, “wait I think I see it”
You say, “fuck. restarting”
You say, “godDAMMIT that was behaving SO much better.”
Anna aw
You say, “it _is_ behaving better tho – enough to show me something…”
You say, “I think I have a corrupt automation event… <deletes> <restarts>”
You say, “…and outputs up… ”
You say, “…dsp at 29% and stable…”
You say, “about to start automation…”
You say, “automation running…”
You say, “so far so good…”
You say, “Jack and ALSA reporting no errors yet…”
You say, “approaching fail point… still running!”
You say, “past crash point…”
You say, “end of song!”
Solarbird collapses. “Automation shutdown orderly, transport stop normal, JACK and ALSA report all is well. It’s fixed. That was scary and unpleasant! But at least repairable.”

An hour and a half actually working on stuff, three-odd hours of fixing the world, really, that’s about what I expect. I go back and forth on all this – I mean, in the middle of All That, if somebody had squawked “OPEN SOURCE IS THE FUTURE!” at me I’d have punched them right in the face. But once it’s working again, well, at least I have tools.

Even if they explode sometimes at random, like people on LOST.