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The Orchestra Pit is the docked panel on the left of the Composer window. There are multiple tabs, each one for a different function, set of functions, or OOM feature.
Note. If you close the Orchestra Pit, you can open it again by rightclicking on a blank area on OOM, and selecting Orchestra Pit.
This page contains the following sections:
- Views Tab
- Mixer Tab
- Conductor Tab
- Comments Tab
- Routes Tab
The Views tab is the face of our powerful in-house built Views engine. Views are split into two sections, System Views, and Custom Views. System Views are fixed, but users can build and shape their own views using the Custom Views panel.
As the Views Tab deserves a more thorough explanation, it has its own wiki page:
The mixer tab shows a mixer style strip for a highlighted track. You can edit mixer settings for the strip the same as you can in the dedicated mixer, or the mixer dock, and for those who want to write automation in an audio track, it's in this tab, at the bottom of the strip, where you can set your automation state.
This is the standard or default state of the track mixer strip.
Here's the track mixer strip in an open or wide view, showing the FX tab for the strip.
This is the track mixer strip in an open state, with the Aux tab in view
This is the track mixer strip for a midi track
The Conductor Tab is active when you've selected a midi track. This Tab shows the patch list and patch sequencer, giving you an instant view of which patches you've loaded for the selected track.
At the bottom of the tab is a checkbox, called Advanced. When the box is checked and the Advanced section opens into view, you'll see a set of controls, values, and setting options for the selected track.
In the picture above, the output port is shown as port 5:combined-1VL, and below that is the output midi channel you select for this track. In OOM, each track equals a single midi channel, so you'll need to select a channel for each track. With this setup, you can build multiple tracks for the same midi port, each with a different channel, and manage them effectively with the Views feature, hiding and showing the tracks you want in the Composer according to your own requirements.
Below that is the In button. When you press this, it shows a list of ports you can choose from, to input into OOM (usually your midi keyboard input). Select one, and in our case it will be the midi keyboard.
This picture has been condensed from a large menu for an orchestral template. But it shows the input port as an ALSA usb midi keyboard "MK-249 USB keyboard MIDI 1", and to the right of that the channel selected as input to the track in OOM, as channel 1.
Note: Be sure to set your midi keyboard to the same input channel.
In the right hand list, there is also an entry called Set Global Channel 1 . This entry is based on the assumption that the user will likely input to OOM for all tracks from a single keyboard, on channel 1, so when this entry is checked, it will set all midi tracks as input Midi Channel 1 for all the tracks that currently exist. This means you can set up your entire template first, then go into any track, and set the Global channel 1 which will apply to all tracks. An OOM time saver feature.
In the event that users have 2 midi keyboards, for example, 1 for inputting notes and recording midi, and the other to control CC parameters, or keyswitches to select patches, then each input device should be set to Global channel 1. The same is true for any combination or number of midi hardware or software devices that the user wants to use for input. Set each device in turn to input, and use the Global Channel 1 entry to have them transmit into OOM, all on channel 1. (for existing tracks.)
The Comments tab is for your project admin. It's split into 2 sections, Global at the top, and per track below that. You simply click in the panel you want and add text to your requirements. Global comments will show in every Comments Tab for every track.
The addition of this tab is the direct result of long experience working with large projects, where during the creation of the project, the user makes notes to remind him or herself of particular things to note, like for example, "Mirror Viola harmony in the clarinets", and "Don't forget to further edit this track for volume", etc.
We've also built a Comments view for you in the System View panel, which you can check to only view tracks that have comments attached.
In the track headers, we've including 3 buttons of different colours, that don't do anything but show or hide. These are for project admin, and we envisaged this feature as a means of visually identifying what state a track is in. Examples are, recorded, but not edited yet, Recorded, and partially edited, Needs more work, Editing completed, and so on. (If you're working in a large project, sometimes it's a little easy to get lost, and forget where you are with the state of a particular track, or you've done a good days editing, but you've only got halfway, and will need to continue the next day.)
In the global track comments, you can add a Legend, which identifies which colour represents which state the track is in. So for an example, Blue=finished track, Pink=recorded only, needs editing, and Purple=Recorded and partially edited, but still more to do.
These are only suggestions, you can of course decide for yourself what you want those 3 buttons to represent, but the Comments Tab, in our experience, is a good place to keep a record of what you decide for this feature.
The Routes Tab could be considered as a backup feature, and it's one we built as a result of working with very large projects. Linux and JACK users will know that when something quits unexpectedly, in particular a project you've spent a lot of time setting up ports for, then if you have no recovery mechanism, you may have to do it again. The user can build a Route map for his project, and save it in the Routes Tab, as a snapshot of his current port connections, both Audio and Midi, giving it a name to suit. Assuming for a moment we have a project called Sonatina that we use as a template from which we create projects. When the Sonatina template is complete, and we've assigned all our ports and connections, we save Sonatina as a route map. We can then re-instigate all those connections using our saved Route map. As a further refinement of this feature, the user can also link a Route map to a project, so if you've created a new project from your oomidi-template using Sonatina, and something goes wrong with JACK, you can activate the linked map, and connections will be restored.
Building a Route map.
At the very bottom of the Routes Tab are 4 icons.
From left to right:
Pencil The pencil icon opens the selected route, and the user can add comments if required.
Plus The plus sign icon reads the current port configuration, and creates a new map, which you name, then add to the list.
Note: For common sense project admin, and in our experience, naming the map the same as the project will help you more easily identify and manage maps if you have quite a few.
Clone the double note, or clone icon when pressed will clone the current route map and the user then gives the newly created a clone a name and it's then added to the routs list, as a new map.
Cross The cross icon on the right deletes the currently selected Route map.
Above these icons is a panel called Song Actions .
This is your live route function, where you carry out project actions with the selected route.
The icons are, from left to right:
L The L icon loads the currently selected route map into the current song.
Cross The cross icon unlinks the route map associated with the current project.
Chain The chain icon links the currently selected route map with the current project.
We all make the odd mistake, and if you save a project in which there's been a port problem with JACK, then you're saving a problem. Route maps can restore your original pristine port set, which you can then save with your project, and not have to manually make all those connections again.
Route maps are excellent for static project templates, but they're also highly useful when building up a project using external instrument ports. Update the map as you add an external instrument or app, and you'll have a current snapshot of all your connections.