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.

@ThePrep: After reading your

@ThePrep: After reading your posts, I suggest you check out LMMS.

Personally, I don't like it very much (wine is one of its dependencies), but I think it might just be your cup of tea.
There's always something for everyone out there. :)

And if you miss some functionality you can certainly run it in pair with Ardour..

There are probably tons of more options out there.
Google linux audio, and see what comes up.
Also you can check your distro's repos for easy installations.
You can browse different categories in your package manager's GUI (synaptic, software center, PackageKit, Yumex, etc).
Or you could search from command line, to quicken up things (apt-cache search daw for debian-based and yum search daw for fedora-based).

Another option is to do a fresh install of Ubuntu studio or Fedora with the CCRMA repos (or the likes of them)
That way you will have loads of stuff pre-installed, so that you can try things out and make your picks.

Well, got carried away.
Just start by installing LMMS (which is probably in your repos) and see if it fits your needs.

Hi people, been a while since

Hi people, been a while since I had time to experiment with Ardour, but I tried the 3.0 branch long ago, when there was just a proof of concept MIDI implementation.

To night I curiously downloaded this snapshot, and got really impressed.
I laid down two very loose tracks in the sofa with a nylon string guitar via my internal laptop mic, and proceeded to fool around with the new gui.

I added a CMT highpass on the rhythm track, and went hmm what does that "Plugin Analysis" thingy do? When i saw the waveform being manipulated in real time I just sat there with a big grin on my face. Thank you all so much for your hard work!

I've been using Ardour2 now and then for some years,and will use it a lot more when i get my new sapphire pro 24 to behave properly, and don't just refuse to start randomly.

Next step will definitely be to upgrade to Ardour 3. But first ill have to play some music!
Developers! don't forget to have fun some times, you really deserve it.

@Paul Until now i wasnt


Until now i wasnt interested enough to worry about this next question but as i was talking to a friend of mine i was sure i could "mix a low cost movie in dolby" with ardour or mixbus but as i come back to the software and the forum i can't seem to find documentation that indicates how can it be done and how well woud the result be....

so... Paul ... my question is quite short and quite annoying i supose: will A3 allow us to mix in dolby or export to a format that could be easily transported to dolby? see... in my country it seems there are no dolby mixing studios, so movie makers here end up sending their projects to Argentina or somewhere else to be mixed and brought back arising a lot the cost for movie making, but could all that be done in Linux? could I do it? what would i need? (aside from the room - monitors etc) - pardon my bad english and thanks in advance for your patience!

@fernesto: dolby is a

@fernesto: dolby is a proprietary format and it is not possible to provide an open source implementation of it. it will not be provided in a3 or in any future version of ardour. there are ways to use an external dolby encoder on a mix created in ardour (or some other app), but the devices that do this are fairly expensive.

@fernesto: also, possibly you

@fernesto: also, possibly you meant something more generic like "5.1" or "7.1" or "10.2". if so, it is possible or likely that some future version of ardour will provide panning for this "format", but again, we cannot encode it as a dolby-encoded signal.

@paul: thanks a lot for your

@paul: thanks a lot for your answer, that actually answers a lot, as you say, future versions of Ardour or Mixbus with multichannel panning support (sort of a XY axis) would be great, after all, even when you would finally have to end with a propietary software on Mac or Win, being able to mix in Ardour or Mixbus would be always appreciated by already users of Ardour/Mixbus interested in this matter. thanks a lot a gain man, great work with ardour.

How can I run the standalone

How can I run the standalone VST's and VST's, have Ardour trigger the MIDI notes?

There is a program called "vsthost" you can install that will allow this. It builds on Wine as far as I know, and integrates with JACK - and thus with Ardour. Like anything Wine it is a bit hit-or-miss. I have had a few VST synths freeze up, but most of them work fine.

So far I Alpha 10 is my

So far I Alpha 10 is my favorite. I use Ardour + Bristol + Hydrogen and this is the only version that doesnt click when playing Bristol.
The other versions ( 2.12 alpha9, Mixbus 2.03) would make a clicking sound when playing a Synth chord progression.
After I updated Ardour to alpha 10 the sound was gone. Thank you Paul et al. I think the whole interface is easier to use than 2.12.

Really excellent! I'm looking

Really excellent! I'm looking forward to the stable version. But it's still much fun fun playiing with the alpha. Just one question. How can I create a loop or punch range? In Ardour2 I used to draw the range with the right mouse button.

@Scary-Hallo: It's Ctrl +

@Scary-Hallo: It's Ctrl + left mouse now.

@the C.L.A.: Thank you.

@the C.L.A.: Thank you.

Im really looking forward to

Im really looking forward to test it on my PPC. .. When is the beta to be expected?

@LaKing: if you mean OS X on

@LaKing: if you mean OS X on PPC: i do not plan to release Ardour 3.X for OS X on PPC at all during the beta cycle. Its simply too much work to build and test each beta on another (slow) system. Once we do an official release, I'll bring out a PPC build as well.

@the prep you may appreciate

@the prep
you may appreciate A2jmidid -e ...

Just tested this version of

Just tested this version of Ardour. I was using Ardour 2 on a Debian PIV 3.0 GHz system. I intend to use Ardour mainly for audio tracking so few plugs. Nearly all my processing is external analog hardware. Problem is that Ardour 2 works fine on a PIV but Ardour 3 uses several times the amount of DSP. The UI is very jumpy. I do have a quad core i7 system. It has a QuadroFX graphics card. This system is for graphics i.e. I don't care if it's noisy. The PIV is totally silent. I want to stick with that for simple audio tracking. Is this not powerful enough for Ardour 3? If so I'm sticking with Ardour 2. I do MIDI in Rosegarden anyway.

@efflux: please join us on

@efflux: please join us on IRC to discuss this issue. See for information on how to do that if you do not already know.

OK. I will do so. It's just I

OK. I will do so. It's just I spend so much time on this kind of thing - fixing things reporting bugs etc for other software as well. I end up totally losing patience. I'm actually ready to do some serious music making now and I just want things working.

Just to add here, it turns out my problem is not the PIV, it's my graphics card. I've installed an old Quadro FX 3000 from another old PIV used for graphics. No sluggishness in Ardour 3 UI at all. All desktop stuff flies. I may add a new cooler to the Quadro to silence it although if I can install an Nvidia driver, it will step the fan down.

So Ardour 3 is fine on PIV as long as your graphics card is reasonable. Radeon 9200 doesn't cut it.

@efflux A couple of comments,


A couple of comments, first and foremost it likely isn't your graphics card, but rather the driver for it.

Second, if you are in need of a stable platform to do music making on, using alpha or beta software, both of which mean it hasn't been released yet, is not a good idea. The point of alpha and beta testing is specifically to find the bugs to make it stable, and if you aren't willing to spend time doing that and reporting them, then chances are you probably shouldn't be using it yet as it is doubtful it is going to be the stability and quality needed until it is released that most people need out of a DAW.