Free Linux DAW, Ardour, Updated To Version 3


Ardour, the free and open source DAW for Linux, has been updated to version 3.0. A Mac version is also available, but has not been updated to V3 yet.

Here’s what’s new in Ardour 3.0:

  • MIDI recording, playback and editing, including plugin instrument support for LV2, VST and AudioUnits
  • Parallelization of DSP operations to use any number of processors
  • Matrix-style patching/routing
  • Overhauled export system (multiple formats at once, stem exports, multichannel exports)

Details below. 

New & Improved Audio Signal Handling

  • Monitor section
  • Solo operation redesigned, includes Solo Isolate and correct AFL/PFL modes
  • Per-channel visible phase invert buttons
  • Internal aux sends and explicit aux busses
  • Improved send control
  • Stereo panning via width+position
  • Track/Bus groups extended

Audio Editing

  • Option for Automation moves with Regions
  • Rhythm Ferret improvements
  • Vertical stacking of overlapping regions in tracks
  • Non-destructive, non-overlapping recording mode
  • New region editing features
  • Strip Silence
  • Media search path

New & Improved GUI details

  • Session overview pane
  • Unified processor list (plugins, sends, returns etc)
  • Extended Region list
  • Extended Track/Bus list
  • Improved and expanded editor cursor set
  • Dynamically resizable big clock window
  • New and improved preferences dialog(s)
  • New editing implementation for clocks

External Control

  • MIDI binding maps
  • Dramatically improved Mackie Control support
  • Linear Timecode support
  • Improved MTC chase

MIDI Clock chase

  • Miscellaneous
  • 64 bit timeline
  • Dynamically resizable disk buffers
  • JACK Session support
  • Undo system internals use less memory and improve speed

See the Ardour site for details.

If you’ve used Ardour – let us know what you think of it!

23 thoughts on “Free Linux DAW, Ardour, Updated To Version 3

  1. Why are these comments getting down voted? Is the software bad? I haven’t used it, but it looks interesting. Anyone a user?

    1. No it’s because Ardour is free software and mainly linux based. So comments about it get downvoted automatically. Lately it seems that in any post that contains OS specific news (even if it’s nothing to do with actual OSes like here) comments get downvoted massively. Just check the last Windows 8 post.

      1. Wow that is lame. Is that really what is going on? I’m a mac user so maybe I’ve just never noticed before. Don’t people want to know what developers for other OS’s are doing?

      2. So hold on! if my comment is about how amazing Linux is and I have zero care for Mac OSX and I find win 8 Pro easilly the best from Microsoft thus far, cool and stable and I love my iPad 3 but if I was rich I would buy a Google Chromebook Pixel just to reply to comments on synthopia and NOTHING ELSE, not even to check out my emails, my comments would be downvoted?
        No way José! A la Mort Alligator! 🙂

        This news makes me want to save my old 6 year laptop with a copy of ubuntu and ardour. With a good linux compatible audio card you can have a very good recording studio for less than 400 bux. What an amazing time we live in,

    2. It’s because there’s a douchebag with an axe to grind down voting comments en masse.

      Luckily, losers like that usually go away when they realize that everybody just ignores them.

  2. I’d like to hear about Ardour’s performance from actual users and how it stacks up against its obvious “competitor,” Reaper. I’m impressed, but I also think it will gradually undermine commercial DAWs’ market standing to some extent. If its stable and less prone to demand upgrading every other OS cycle, it deserves its place.

    Now we have an interesting curve to observe: a capable FREE sequencer versus one that’s $60 for a single-user license versus the $500 DAWs. I like Logic for several good reasons, but its not lost on me that I could break that cycle for peanuts and in the case of Reaper, have the entire thing on a flash drive. What’s next, actual MoogBorg™ implants?

    1. Yeah, but dude Logic is $200 bucks and a new version comes out like once every 5 years, it’s hardly an active upgrade cycle. Now Cubase on the other hand…

      but as for Ardour driving down DAW prices I doubt it since Blender has been adding a lot of great “pro” features and none of the commercial 3d packages have moved from their stratospheric pricing.

      If anything Apple selling stuff like Garage Band for $15 and Logic for $200 is what pushes down prices…I mean Logic Pro for $200 bucks? Hell, there are VSTs that almost cost that much!

      1. Mat,
        Don’t even get me started on Logic – it’s a great DAW, but I got screwed by Apple when OSX 10.7 came out and they artificially made it incompatible with Logic 8 – a piece of software that at the time was merely 4 years old (!) and which had cost me 500$.
        On that day, they lost a costumer (and since I mostly use Live nowadays, I will soon make the switch back to Windows).

        You’re right in saying that Logic’s current price (200$) drives market prices down, but I don’t trust Apple anymore. In any case, Live is my main tool, and I agree with you on Cubase – if I need a DAW for mixing and mastering, I’m better off with that.

        I do think that Ardour will also drive prices down, and this new version with (finally) MIDI might be a game-changer, even if, performance-wise, it might not be be on the same level as Cubase, DP, Logic or Reaper (I will have to test drive Ardour and see what happens).

    2. rosegarden is a great free sequencer if that’s all you need (and if youre on linx that is all you need. use jack to route midi data where you want it between apps). really pretty sheet music layout too if you export through lilypond. its cool to see a cellist get a chubby over rest spacing.

      its weird how linuxy the ios workflow is. routing data and audio between apps without relying on one foundation piece of software like a daw reminds me of ’08

  3. If only audio wasn’t such a cluster on Linux…Once you get spoiled by OS X even dealing ASIO on Windows seems like a chore never mind that byzantine mess that is Linux audio. If you want a unix desktop just get a Mac…that said there are some great open source apps and whenever they release OS X packages of this version I’ll probably try it out.

  4. Finally MIDI support! I’ve been playing with Ardour 2 on OSX, and before that on Ubuntu, and it’s a very powerful program. My only gripe is that to use it on Linux you have to do the technological equivelant of riding a unicycle over a tightrope while rubbing your belly, patting your head and singing Gangnam Style in perfect korean just to get firewire interfaces working at low latencies

  5. juse a heads up, ardour has been able to deal with midi data for a ton of years now, but you had to use a different sequencer or patch it in through the (amazing for its time) jack interface. this isn’t adding the ability to send or recieve midi data, just i guess integrating sequences into teh daw.

    do you still have to use the RT flag to do good linux work? i havent in a while.

  6. I know people totally obsessed with sound quality (you know the audiophile kind of person) who totally swear on Ardour for sound quality. I think they could need a good usability guy in the team, since the interface looks like it needs a bit of work, but then most pro-level software packages have a complex interface… if they don’t get dumbed down that is…

  7. how does it deal with the backend audio? does it produce sounds out of the box? what prevented me from using linux DAWs is the complexity of getting sound editing programs make sound in the first place, usually through jackd routing. it just kills my creative drive. it may probably pay off in the long run, for users with special hardware, or for advanced users but unfortunately daunting to newcomers. are there any distros or apps that solve these?

  8. I’m impressed. most people are worried about what OS your using instead of the practicality of the application your using. Pay real money, ( a few of grand) produce your tracks at high quality on windows or MAC mix down your tracks, then use a free customizable OS that can be jacked down to basics so you can dedicate you resources for live shows. Why? you ask . Oh, I don’t know. Do you eat on toilet? Only full blown retard uses the one computer for for both live sets and production and I’ve seen plenty of those, in the middle of a set and BAM! Windows crashes or the MAC locks up because it is an all-in-1 computer. If you push your tracks out as 24 bit wav files its not like anyone can tell if your using a MAC, Linux, or Windows. So free advice, get over your who’s dick is bigger contest and realize you hung like a mouse and move on, your welcome!

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