Ardour 4.7 released

Ardour 4.7 is now available, including a variety of improvements and minor bug fixes. The two most significant changes are:

  1. A new dialog that shows a detailed and wide-ranging analysis of the audio file(s) generated by export. It shows waveform, spectral and level distribution views as well as peak and true peak level information and allows for previewing of the exported files. The development of this dialog was sponsored by Harrison Consoles, and represents another great example of their collaborative engagement with the Ardour development process.
  2. The greatly improved version of Mackie Control support that we're really excited about. Ardour's support for these devices is now very close to where we want it to be in terms of using the visibly obvious features of most Mackie Control surfaces. We still plan to go deeper into plugin control and more in future releases.

The full list of changes is shown below.

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Additions

  • New Post-Export Analysis window
    the new post-export analysis window
  • Add display of signal level during latency measurement
  • Add support/options for the Presonus FaderPort footswitch
  • OSC: allow logging/debugging of incoming messages
  • OSC: add new messages addresses to allow enhanced control with TouchOSC
  • Add a "zoom-to-10-seconds" action/menu item
  • Add an "record-enable all tracks" action/menu item
  • Add option to always use mouse position for zoom focus, making zoom scroll behaviour consistent across rulers and main track area
  • New MIDI binding map for Akai MPK Mini, and Novation LaunchKey 25
  • Add a button to the Audio/MIDI Setup dialog to choose between the callback and blocking version of the Windows audio/MIDI I/O backend. There still appear to be devices and conditions where one of these choices gives better results than the other, but unfortunately no way to tell without just trying them both.

Improvements

  • Turn out all lights on a Presonus FaderPort when exiting the program
  • Duplicate range can now work with multiple time ranges
  • When using stationary playhead mode, keep the playhead centered
  • Group edit dialog is no longer modal, so you can continue working while it remains visible.
  • Take snap settings into account when stretching regions
  • "Insert Time" now ignores mouse as the edit point, just like "Remove Time"
  • Implement MIDI device enumeration and latency calibration for the Windows audio backend (PortAudio)
  • Allow removing the timespan name from export filenames
  • Subtly improve general scrolling behaviour in editor window
  • Improve import of ProTools 5 sessions
  • Add preliminary support for import of ProTools 10 and 11 sessions
  • Better support for VST plugins with an interest in transport state
  • Make it clear that a missing plugin may have been blacklist
  • Improve the accuracy of the tap-tempo estimator

Fixes

  • Various fixes for incorrect visibility of MIDI ghost notes in the GUI when editing.
  • Toggle transport state (normally bound to the space bar) now works even when using JACK Transport
  • Fix incorrect movement of regions glued to BBT time after a tempo change
  • Improve handling of MIDI note selection in the GUI, dramatically speeding up some operations in larger sessions
  • Generic MIDI: midi controller buttons now trigger only on the push message, not the release
  • Generic MIDI: if a CC message is bound to a toggle control, toggle the control only when the incoming value is greater than 0x40 (64)
  • Force LV2 plugins to save some state when creating track or session templates
  • Fix ipMIDI support on Windows (affects use of SSL Nucleus control surface)
  • Fix behaviour of fader numeric displays when leaving an active automation state
  • Allow use of UTF8 characters in filenames during export
  • Fix an unlikely, subtle bug on OS X when the list of available audio devices is changed by the operating system (e.g. device hotplugging)
  • Fix a crash when an export is cancelled before it finishes
  • Fix display of MIDNAM-provided note names while dragging MIDI notes
  • Fix crash when right (context) clicking in the name box of the selected track
  • Fix inactive MIDI track headers on session reload
  • Fix failure to show text selection in track name entry boxes
  • OS X: Cmd-<key> now works in some situations where it was failing before
  • Avoid generating zero-byte files when exporting using normalize + trim silence at end

Developers

Robin Gareus, Len Ovens, André Nusser, Nick Mainsbridge, Tim Mayberry, Ben Loftis, Julien Roger, Paul Davis, Damien Zammit, Pavel Potocek

Updated Translations

Czech

Great news, thank you! Is

Great news, thank you! Is there any detailed description explaining the various screens/parts of the new export/analysis window please?

Not yet, documentation is

Not yet, documentation is still in the making.

The waveform and spectrum should be pretty much self explanatory. "Lg" and "Rf" options allow to change the waveform view to "Logscale", "Rectified" respectively.
The orange lines in the Waveform indicate True-Peak > -1dBTP, red lines indicate digital peak 0 dBFS.

Top left there's the digital peak (after normalization if any), a True Peak readout which is the digital peak after 4 times oversampling (to catch inter-sample peaks),
and in case the export was normalized the gain factor is also displayed.

The histogram in the top-row follows the EBU-R128 standard: How often does a certain loudness occur in the exported audio. It basically visualizes the dynamic range.
The values on the top right shows "average loudness" (LUFS) and "dynamic range" (LU).
some further reading: http://www.tcelectronic.com/loudness/loudness-explained/

If you press "play" you can audition the exported audio, and seek by clicking anywhere in the main area. It's played via standard Ardour Audition ports.

the main case for this is to allow a quick check:
* did it export successfully
* does the signal clip (no more that it should)
* are there odd frequencies (e.g. some bleed from a TV that my old ears don't hear anymore) in the master that should not be there.
* does it match broadcast standards ( < -1dBTB, avg. -23 LUFS)
* is the dynamic range appropriate for the mix in question
* is the timecode (in case of BWF) correct, does the file-type/sample-rate match..

My space bar functionality

My space bar functionality was only fixed after I deleted the ardour config folder, doing "reset to default keybindings" didn't help. Just wanted to say in case anybody else is having a problem with it.

Thanks, makes a lot more

Thanks, makes a lot more sense now. Also for the info on loudness in the provided link, very useful.

Great stuff! I was looking

Great stuff! I was looking for a way to save my session connection state when I upgraded to 4.7. 4.6 did not save my MIDI connections. 4.7 does. I just need to remember to start a2jmidid -e before starting Ardour.

Speaking of improvement and

Speaking of improvement and changes for MIDI, something I used to use, probably Sonar, would start playing a MIDI note if the play head was anywhere on that note. This was very useful to me, as many compositions of mine play extended MIDI notes. This would help with work flow, as I would not need to go back several bars if I just want to focus on stuff being played over an extended note while still hearing that note.

This has been in the

This has been in the requested features list for a long time.

It requires a very complex re-engineering of the design, because to do what Sonar (and Cubase and several other DAWs do), it is necessary to be able to quickly and trivially answer the question "given time T, what notes are on?". The answer to this question is not as simple as it sounds, and potentially involves going all the way back to the start of a session and rolling forward. There is nothing to stop there from being a 1 hour note "drone".

We will get there eventually but don't expect this to show any time soon.

That's cool. I'm not the

That's cool.

I'm not the programmer I once was, long ago, but what about stringing "silent" note-on events every so often, which are ignored if the note is already on? This could come with a settings option as to how far apart these events are placed. This could bypass having to "go back and see what was there." Maybe I'm just blowing smoke, as I don't know the actual Ardour code, but just wanted to toss that in.

I spoke too soon. Ardour 4.7

I spoke too soon. Ardour 4.7 doesn't save my MIDI connection state after a complete shutdown of my studio. (Although it saves the connection state if I close and then immediately restart Ardour.) That's not a big deal, as there are JACK utils that can do this, but it would be nice if Ardour does that automatically.

EDIT: It just occurred to me that you could simply incorporate jack_snapshot into Ardour's startup and shutdown handlers, saving a jack_snapshot file in the Ardour session's working dir.

Ardour 4.7 does save MIDI

Ardour 4.7 does save MIDI connections. You need to be a lot more specific about what is not happening, and preferably on http://tracker.ardour.org/

Ardour seems to be saving

Ardour seems to be saving MIDI connections, after all. Maybe something went wrong the one time I noticed it didn't. In any case, it does work. I'm sorry I wasn't more conscientious when mentioning this.