Ardour and Money, early 2018 edition

As 2018 gets underway, it seems like the right time for an updated report on the financial state of the Ardour project. I still occasionally see people referencing articles from several years that give a misleading idea on how things work these days, and it would be good to put some current and accurate information out there.

Almost Ready to Leave Home

Ardour began its life 18 years ago, in late December 1999. The story has been told many times in many different places, but the gist of it is that I wanted a program something like ProTools that would run on Linux, and none existed. I decided to write one. I had little idea what would be involved, of course. Which was probably for the best, otherwise I would likely not have started.

What's Going On With Ardour?

It's Christmas 2017, and many people in the Ardour community and beyond may be wondering what is happening with Ardour right now. It's been several months since our last release, and there's no word on what is going on.

Between now and the (Gregorian) New Year, I'll be posting 3 articles about where Ardour has been, where we are heading and the financial aspects of the project.

For now, I will just note that we're mostly focused on really substantive (wide-ranging, deep and difficult) internal architectural changes that will (over time) make a lot of other stuff possible. There's absolutely no timeline for the next release at this point, and the work is hard enough that in general we're trying not to get diverted by bug reports and small feature requests.

Stay tuned for a history and a glimpse of where 2018 might take Ardour ...

Ardour 5.12 released

Ardour 5.12 is now available.

Although when Ardour 5.11 was released, we expected a significant gap until 6.0 will be announced, enough notable features and fixes accumulated that it seemed better for us to push out a 5.12 release before we embark on the major code changes that will mark the real start of the development process for 6.0.

Much of the work in this release was sponsored by Harrison Consoles.

Two of the most notable new features are the improvements in functionality to the new session and new track/bus dialogs, which now offer much easier and more powerful ways to use templates. These include dynamic "track wizard" templates that allow you to interactively setup sessions and/or groups of new track/busses very quickly and very easily. This builds on the new template manager dialog introduced in 5.11, and a new less obvious feature: the ability to create dynamic templates with Lua scripts.

Also notable is the new patch selection dialog for MIDI tracks/instruments, which provides an easy and convenient way to preview patches in software and hardware instruments. Naturally, it integrates fully with Ardour's support for MIDNAM (patch definition files), so you will named programs/patches for both General MIDI synths and those with MIDNAM files.


Read full details below ...

Ardour 5.11 released

We are pleased to announce the availability of Ardour 5.11. Like 5.10, this is primarily a bug-fix release, though it also includes VCA automation graphical editing, a new template management dialog and various other useful new features.


Read more below for the full list of features, improvements and fixes.

Ardour 5.10 released

We are pleased to announce the availability of Ardour 5.10. This is primarily a bug-fix release, with several important fixes for recent selection/cut/copy/paste regressions along with fixes for many long standing issues large and small.

This release also sees the arrival of VCA slave automation, along with improvements in overall VCA master/slave behaviour. There are also significant extensions to Ardour's OSC support.

Read more below for the full list of features, improvements and fixes.


Ardour 5.9 released

Ardour 5.9 is now available, representing several months of development that spans some new features and many improvements and fixes.

Among other things, some significant optimizations were made to redraw performance on OS X/macOS that may be apparent if you are using Ardour on that platform. There were further improvements to tempo and MIDI related features and lots of small improvements to state serialization. Support for the Presonus Faderport 8 control surface was added (see the manual for some quite thorough documentation).

As usual, there are also dozens or hundreds of other fixes based on continuing feedback from wonderful Ardour users worldwide.

Read more below for the full list of features, improvements and fixes.


Ardour 5.8 released

Although Ardour 5.6 contained some really great new features and important fixes, it turned out to contain a number of important regressions compared to 5.5. Some were easily noticed and some were more obscure. Nobody is happy when this happens, and we apologize for any frustration or issues that arose from inadequate testing of 5.6.

To address these problems, we are making a quick "hotfix" release of Ardour 5.8, which also brings the usual collection of small features and other bug fixes.

Linux distributions are asked to immediately and promptly replace 5.6 with 5.8 to reduce issues for Ardour users who get the program directly via their software management tools.


Read more below for full details ...

Ardour 5.6 released

Another two months of development has rolled by, involving more than 600 commits by developers, and it's time for us to release Ardour 5.6. Although there are no major new features in this release, there is the usual list of dozens of bug fixes major and minor, plus some workflow and GUI enhancements. There has been a significant rearrangement of the transport bar to try to use space more efficiently and effectively. The new design also permits session navigation while using the Mixer tab, and there are numerous optionally visible elements. Similarly, the Preferences dialog was rearranged to try to make it easier to find and browse the many, many available options. Other interesting new features: session archiving, a new General MIDI default synth for MIDI tracks, and direct and immediate control of routing for heavily multichannel (typically multitimbral) synth plugins.


Read more below for the full details ....

How (not) to provide useful user feedback, Lesson 123a

Finding a piece of software not to your liking or not capable of what you need is just fine (expected, almost).

And then there's this sort of thing.

Can you make it user friendly? Fucking ridiculous. I use Sonar,plug in my dongle/breakout box,and it just works. One setting change for in and out for the duo or quad capture. No one in the business has anything good to say about Ardour,if they've even heard of it. I'm not trying to be rode. It's a suggestion. Make it user friendly.

To our friends at Cakewalk: you're welcome.