Ardour 3.0 alpha 10 released

The final alpha of the Ardour 3 release plans is now available. The list of changes is long, but it is dominated by bug fixes (some rather significant) and cosmetics, with no new features except for the ability to rename sessions. The full list is available below, as always.

Ready-to-run binary packages can be found here:

Changes since alpha 9

  • Session -> Rename now available to rename the current session.
  • fix crash during muted playback
  • fix playback of filtered-by-channel MIDI data
  • fix playback when a "generator" plugin is used
  • new track/bus list icons (from Thorsten Wilms)
  • fix crashes after deleting a track
  • fix crashes when using SLV2 support for LV2 GUIs
  • correct display of channel numbers in automation tracks
  • fix restore of Send states when loading a session
  • heuristic grouping of plugin controls in generic plugin GUIs (Colin Fletcher)
  • shift-tab and shift-ctrl-tab in MIDI note edit mode move to the next note but leave existing note selection selected
  • accept .MID (or .mid) as a MIDI file extension
  • fix crash when displaying automation menu
  • maintain track/bus ordering even when some are hidden
  • fix crash with certain panning and I/O configuration combinations
  • set up default, upper and lower limit values correctly on LV2 ports (parameters) whose values are expressed as fractions of the sample rate
  • setup latency GUI to display user-modified latency correctly
  • remove OK/Apply buttons from latency GUI, which are unnecessary since it uses an "instant apply" mechanism
  • move "Active" button for track/bus group edit dialog out of the shared feature section
  • Fix erroneous placement of new MIDI automation points in regions with non-zero start
  • Make MIDI automation tracks behave the same as MIDI tracks when they are clicked in an area with no region
  • Fix non visibility of previously-visible MIDI automation tracks on session reload.
  • Fix crash when selecting automation points in MIDI regions with non-zero starts
  • Fix restoration of panner state from session file (not complete)
  • Move panner bypass state up to the PannerShell so that it is preserved even when new Panners are dropped in
  • Save and restore Latent's _user_latency for IOs
  • Save / restore processor _user_latency
  • Fix crash when loading empty MIDI files
  • Fix missing display of master bus mixer strip
  • Tie note y to mouse pointer position when dragging MIDI notes
  • Fix vertical pane resizing during fullscreen/unfullscreen
  • Add context menu for control points.
  • Fix bugs with channel counts for sends
  • Fix incorrect behaviour of Stretch/Shrink
  • Ensure a 1:1 copy to outputs in tracks with no panner
  • Fix output in tracks with mixed audio and MIDI output (no known test case so far)
  • Set up advanced session options from the RCConfiguration so that the RCConfiguration values don't get ignored on startup
  • Fix data loss at the end of a MIDI recording take
  • Fix "color bug" that occured as soon any route with >1 types of data was created
  • in exclusive solo mode, allow full-group solo
  • Use Cairo to draw meters
  • when tabbing between track/bus name entries, attempt to scroll appropriately
  • fix up colons in track names before they are used for JACK port names; catch most (not all) attempted renames and ask the user about colons
  • allow import to selected MIDI tracks (note that this gets confused if the MIDI file contains multiple MetaTracks - each track ends up in the same track, which may or may not be the right thing)
  • Primary-(scroll|up|down) on patch/bank change event changes bank number
  • change format of verbose cursor when inside patch/bank change
  • always display channel in patch change dialog
  • Make sure we have a user config directory before trying to create a .a3 file in it
  • Get correct folder from the default session folder chooser
  • Option to number MIDI banks from zero or one
  • Use route group solo property for AFL/PFL as well as solo-in-place
  • Polarity control value can now go negative, as required
  • When renaming a track to the name of an existing one, use the same behaviour in both the editor and mixer windows (add a number to the requested name
  • Use correct default value for MIDI faders, and put the unity mark in the correct position for those faders.
  • Prevent crash on de-selecting all tracks from a stem export
  • fix button label in new session dialog when backing up (from david halter)
  • Prevent record enable (at transport level) from being engaged if not stopped or moving forward at normal speed
  • Don't allow varispeed while recording
  • Make handling of sends-only feed-based solo propagation symmetrical upstream and downstream
  • If a binding map specifies controllables that don't exist in the session, drop those bindings so that we don't crash from having bindings without controllables
  • don't use MIDI tracks when adding internal sends to auxes
  • internal sends correctly configure their panner for the number of outputs on the target rather than the output of the internal send processor within the route. fixes a crash when adding internal sends
  • do not assert/abort out of data errors that may originate with external user-supplied MIDI data, and use PBD::error instead
  • prevent illegal data being used to set MIDI note values, velocities and channels
  • when showing a note value during a drag, clamp first to the actual range. note that the canvas object can still be dragged out of the region (above/below)
  • track changes to config parameters for MMC device id's correctly (from roy vegard)
  • Stop bundles disappearing from the port matrix when they have no channels
  • fix the remove all channels menu option.
  • Don't auto-connect bus inputs
  • add new editor actions for solo, mute, solo-isolate toggle (of selected tracks) for use by MIDI bindings
  • make control protocol's SelectByRID signal work, thus enabling MIDI binding maps to use function="select" with an argument
  • Save position of MIDI scroomers
  • updated French translation
  • Group tab drag fix (from David Halter)
  • Delete key can now be used to remove tempo/meter markers
  • attempt to fix deep confusion in GUI code about converting between musical and audio time
  • Change packing of mixer window to prevent dragging the left hand side section so that it overlaps with the bus section
  • Fix issues with MIDI note editing preventing use of certain key bindings, even after leaving note edit mode
  • Fix issues with MIDI note selection management, including making shift-drag add newly selected notes to the selection rather than replacing it


Carl Hetherington again took the bug tracker as his muse with incredible results, fixing dozens of bugs in many different parts of Ardour. David Halter, Roy Vegard and Colin Fletcher all contributed a patch or two. Thorsten Wilms contributed new icons and Romain Arnaud updated the french translation once again. Paul Davis did what he always does.

Yes! They've chosen my

Yes! They've chosen my svn10000 built-suggestion :D Awesome! Best alpha release ever made of a program ;)

Congrats on 10k commits and

Congrats on 10k commits and on fixing more bugs than ever in the FINAL alpha release- that was the real exciting news for me with alpha 10- A3 beta/ OSX is just round the corner! The release of a beta for OSX is when I expect interest in A3 to really explode!

Ardour 3 is showing all the signs of not only being the greatest piece of free audio software but also ousting GIMP and Blender as the ultimate FOSS media production tool - yeah I know they're graphics apps but you see what I'm getting at!

Thanks again Paul, Carl and all involved!

What a massive update! Great

What a massive update! Great work! Looking forward to betas :D

I hope i'm usin properly the

I hope i'm usin properly the next term: i'm waiting "anxiously" for the betas xD excellent work Devs, Paul i'm very grateful of all that work you put into this, i imagine you see A3 as somewhat "your baby" or another one if you already have kids heh.... i wish i could get a better subscription but i can't (although it does not appear on my profile yet) god bless you man sincerely!

fernesto: as a child, ardour3

fernesto: as a child, ardour3 is behaves worse, requires constant attention, and is less rewarding to play with than any of my actual children. it is, at least, properly toilet trained. i hope that when it grows up it will all be worth it!

One question ... what does

One question ...
what does "Use correct default value for MIDI faders, and put the unity mark in the correct position for those faders." mean?

allank: that was the fix for

allank: that was the fix for, "Shift-click on MIDI faders doesn't reset them to unity".

Thanks Colin.

Thanks Colin.

VERY cool. Too bad we can't

VERY cool.
Too bad we can't record in a different speed than normal, though.
In the sixties it was very common to record slowing down the tape, then speeding it up to normal speed for special effects or textures.
It's a trick I use all the time with backup voices.

@psst: in the sixties, time

@psst: in the sixties, time stretching FX didn't exist. everything you can describe can be done (and a lot more) without varispeed recording. it is true that at present ardour does not offer the option of "change speed and pitch" (rather than "change speed without changing pitch" or "change pitch without changing speed") but it will (its a very simple GUI change - the backend can already do this).

Excellent work! I found this

Excellent work!

I found this issue:

When I enable external positional sync with jack, make ardour master and loop a range, it loops 1 time and than it disables play loop range and enables play from playhead. Is this a bug in A3 or is it something in jack? With A2 I do'nt have that problem.

I use jackd 0.121.2+svn4476-0tstudio1

Thnx Berry

This is already filed in the

This is already filed in the bug tracker. But in addition, the first rule of testing ardour3 is: don't report issues on the forums. It is totally the wrong place for this sort of thing. The startup window shows this request every time you try it. Thanks for giving it a spin.

Great! I can't wait.

Great! I can't wait. Screenshots?

@bennyp: no real changes to

@bennyp: no real changes to appearance from existing screenshots in

@davidbrain you have

you have obviously flushed your brains in your own product ...

Will the Loomer plugs work as

Will the Loomer plugs work as VST within AD3? My big hold back for Linux audio as been MIDI and software instrument selection. I have tried all the usual synths with poor results in my opinion. Almost to the point of letting AD3 release, and just using hardware for sound creation source.

Support for linuxVSTs in

Support for linuxVSTs in ardour would be very useful - I know there are issues with the Steinberg license which can cause problems for open source projects, but my own experience has been that the Vestige headers work fine for most linuxVSTs (for example, my linux VST plugins worked fine last time I tried them in Qtractor compiled against the vestige headers)

as i've noted in a variety of

as i've noted in a variety of different places before, i have absolutely zero intent of implementing "native linux VST support" in ardour (any version), but i will happily accept a patch that provides it. there are no license problems anymore (or at least, no license problems not also shared with a number of other projects that also use Vestige).

Paul I can respect that. I

Paul I can respect that. I would just like to be able to run Linux completely without Wine. I will email the dev for Loomer, see if I can get anything going. Would be great to load plugs like other DAW's. Either way, thank you for what you've done for the community. I may just be better off with hardware sequenced through Ardour. I know sound quality wise.

@ThePrep Do you understand


Do you understand fully what is being said here ? Native Linux VST support does not mean you can run any VST you like on Linux without WINE. It means that plugins have to be built specifically for Linux but make use of the VST standard (as implemented using the vestige headers). If you want to use Windows VSTs you will be using WINE, end of story.

Completely, I want it all or

Completely, I want it all or nothing. I want to use Linux Native VST's only, like Loomer and linuxDSP. I do not want to rely on Wine at all. This in my opinion is the only way Linux audio will grow is to have our own plug ins in whatever format that can be agreed upon. I just want the ability to have quality plugs to match the quality of Ardour, and stay in Linux 100%.

In short, I wish a plug standard would be adopted like the Mac/Windows platforms, and rolled out across the board instead of all the scattered formats currently. Linux never grew as big and fast as they said it would, why not our community focus on our standards, see if it grabs hold to the other task, spreads like wildfire. Set an example, standards.

LV2 is supposed to be the new

LV2 is supposed to be the new linux standard for plugins . like vst on windows and au on mac .

@ThePrep .. linuxDSP is on

@ThePrep .. linuxDSP is on LV2 and I think the majority of plugins released in the last couple of years have been lv2. The standard is there and there are quite a number of plugins.. What will bring the masses is if more commercial developers get on board, unfortunately this is a catch 22, the commercial developers don't want to go where there aren't lots of customers...... OTOH.. for synth plugins arent' the only solution in a jack environment.. and things like Bristol, yoshimi and even good old xsynth can provide some good sounds ..

@ThePrep: There are a lot of

@ThePrep: There are a lot of very visual very useful, handful and great quality LV2 plugins available, i use Ardour and Mixbus only in my studio, check out LinuxDSP Plugins, CALF Plugins, Invada Plugins, i use mostly those packs, if you NEED more quality, i recommend going ANALOG, there are no AMP sims that can sound like a real tube amp, even a bad tube amp with a Shure SM58 I.E. will sound better than any AMP Sim. now about Synth plugins "Allank" noted a couple of plugins that im shure work pretty well.

I have used the Calf synth,

I have used the Calf synth, decent bread/butter. But I own a good amount of commercial software, so I am a bit spoiled with GUI's, features etc. Loomer looked liked a great option, but no native VST support for Ardour 3. How can I run the standalone VST's and VST's, have Ardour trigger the MIDI notes? I know I can route audio back in to Ardour with JACK. I produce mostly electronic music, so I am all MIDI.

JACK routing works the same

JACK routing works the same for audio and MIDI and Ardour is all JACK, so yes, you can route MIDI into and out of Ardour just like you would audio. (Sorry if I misunderstood the question)

I'd also like to echo LV2. LV2 is still in it's infancy, give it time man! There will be far more and far better! I see no long term reason to support VST, and short term reasons are always the wrong reasons.

I think my best option will

I think my best option will be hardware for synthesis and Ardour to trigger/record.

By the way, how do I build

By the way, how do I build the Alpha package? I'd like to see all the new changes in Ardour. I'm new to command line, GUI's have ruined me.

@ThePrep: if you're new to

@ThePrep: if you're new to the command line, there's really no point in getting into building Ardour. If you really want to, information is available at but I release a new alpha/beta of Ardour 3 at appropriate points (i.e. where things are reasonable stable and/or significant new functionality has appeared). You can just download and try that.

@ThePrep: as I've stated on

@ThePrep: as I've stated on numerous occasions (even further up in this thread), I am not personally interested in Linux "native" VST (I think its a mistake for developers on Linux to be supporting the VST "standard" in this way), so I'm not going to put work into supporting it. I have put a significant amount of work into support Windows/x86 VST on Linux (along with some other brilliant people), but the result is a program that is almost impossible to debug and whose usability depends on the state of Wine which we have no control over. It also tends to lead to unrealistic expectations - "I have all these plugins that I got for Windows, I should just be able to run them on Linux" - which in turn ends up causing frustration and headaches for users.

That said, as Xperienced noted, you can use JACK to route audio and MIDI to/from other JACK clients that do support these things (including FST as a standalone Windows/x86 VST instrument host), and thus keep the mess out of Ardour.