Ardour 4.2 released

The Ardour project is pleased to announce the release of 4.2. This is primarily a bug fix release, but the list of fixes is long, and we've also replaced the audio/MIDI IO backend for Windows with completely new code which we think will address some of the issues faced on that platform. This release also sees the return of downloads for Apple PowerPC platforms.

There are other exciting changes waiting in the wings for 4.3, but we're already slightly off our monthly release schedule, and this long list of fixes merits a release of its own.


General Changes

When describing keybindings below, "2ndary" is used to describe Alt on Linux and Windows, and Control on OS X

  • Fix region brush drag
  • Speed up removal of multiple tracks/busses
  • Speed up solo operations applied to many tracks/busses
  • Fix several bugs with reversible commands
  • Try to avoid coincident tempo/meter markers when removing time
  • Improve window layering relationship between editor & mixerbridge
  • Add keybindings for region layering (2ndary-9 (lower), 2ndary-0 (raise)
  • Adjust some window keybindings. (2ndary-C is now the big clock, 2ndary-B is the meterbridge, 2ndary-V is the video window
  • Fix swing quantization
  • Fix pre-fader send mute-point so that input trim still works when mute is engaged
  • Add configuration variable for maximum shuttle speed
  • Improve size and position of panner value displays
  • Save auto loop range and more markers in session templates
  • Mark session dirty after various region property changes
  • No longer save session after adding tracks/busses
  • Fix cleanup of any temporary files after export
  • Fix looping when using loop-is-mode and seamless looping
  • Add 176.4kHz to export sample rate list
  • Fix unintentional limits on track name length
  • Disk buffering is now defined by presets, with 3 possible settings as well as custom
  • When using loop-is-mode, enabling recording cancels loop
  • Attempt to reconnect LTC ports after a backend change or reset
  • Catch attempt to save a session with its current name as the new name
  • Fix flickering of certain popup windows
  • Indicate port-connections of non-track type on the mixer strip output button.

    (Previously a MIDI track with synth showed "—" for the output even if the audio output ports were connected, because only MIDI connections were displayed on the button).

  • Avoid crashing when cleanup unused sources
  • Fix various issues when deleting midi region during step-edit
  • Stationary playhead implies follow playhead, so make it so.
  • improve performance and reduce visual jitter when using stationary playhead
  • Add new configuration parameter for the default meter type to use with new tracks/busses
  • Add context menu to hide/show Midi-tracks — fixes #6430
  • Use “1” as the small-step size when incrementing/decrementing integer controls/parameters
  • Use power of 2 log-scale for logarithmic controls/parameters.
  • Remove insanely fast meter fall-off (this gave an inaccurate view of meter levels)
  • Fix solo isolate implementation to handle more complex routing pathways
  • Remove “Refresh” button in Plugin manager; use Preferences > Plugins
  • Fix auditioning on systems with larger disk read chunk sizes.
  • Do not crash if taglib cannot open a file
  • Fix state restoration in Audio/MIDI setup
  • Fix auditioning of audio at very different sample rates
  • Fix loss of variable amounts of final audio when importing from files with different sample rate than Ardour is using.


  • For AU and VST plugins, differentiate between "scanning" for plugins (which checks that known plugins are still installed), and "discovery" (which potentially finds new plugins on the computer).
  • Offer to discover (all) plugins at first start
  • Fix LV2 freewheeling support
  • Correctly inform LV2 plugins of entire possible block size range (fixes some LV2 plugins which rely on this being correct)
  • Fix audio buffering for VST plugins (fixes lack of output or phased output from a variety of VST plugins)
  • With AU plugins, ensure that the plugin settings are used during plugin signal processing analysis
  • For AU plugins, when given a choice of picking any channel output count, choose stereo (not the master bus output count)
  • VST cache is now per user and per architecture (no longer system-wide) — this allows parallel installs of 32 & 64bit ardour
  • By some unexplained magic, various AU plugins now load without crashing (notably several from Native Instruments such as Kontakt)
  • Add optional verbose option for VST plugin scanning

Automation Editing

  • Add undo/redo for touch mode and write mode
  • Selection and undo/redo behaviour when choosing control points
  • Display selected control points in region gain lines
  • Display selected points in internal edit mode
  • Allow dragging of region gain lines in internal edit mode
  • Make automation line / gain line cursors consistent.
  • Clicking an automation track line without a move adds a point on the line.
  • Fix line drag crash


  • Add AVX-assembler functions on Windows 64bit for metering and other high-performance-requiring tasks
  • Add SSE-assembler functions on Windows 64bit for metering and other high-performance-requiring tasks
  • New PortAudio backend for Windows
  • Fix various issues with non-latin names on Windows
  • Fix file metadata tagging on Windows


  • Fix automatic creation of an aggregate device on OS X 10.5
  • Fix MIDI data parsing in the CoreAudio backend
  • Add Cmd-h keybinding on OS X to hide application
  • Improve enabling/disabling OS X main menu during "Locked" state
  • On OS X, ignore .DS_Store files created by operating system when doing "Save As"
  • Fix export issue on OS X Mavericks
  • PowerPC support returns (ie. Ardour for older Apple machines)
  • Partial workaround for lack of thread-safety in OS X implementation of loadlocale(). This is a serious crashing bug in Apple's code that affects other applications on OS X, but it is unpredictable, both in terms of its effect and when it might occur. This workaround deals with the most common case that we've seen so far.


  • Possible fix for stack overflow when parsing video info
  • Fix ability to connect to Harvid on systems lacking "localhost" (even though this is specified as part of IPv4 and IPv6). Examples: Chromebooks and some OS X systems.
  • Fix video-metadata for Windows.
  • Add in MXF file as a supported video format
  • Allow to select video-files regardless of file ext.

MIDI/Mackie Control Surfaces

  • Move learned midi binding reload after midi map load (fixes #6405)
  • Add a midimap for using a WiiMote via midikb.
  • Fixed generic MIDI program change event size to two bytes (fixes #6426)
  • Fixed pitchbend use in toggle mode so that it switches on/off at half way (fixes #6424)
  • Allow any one midi event to control only one thing.
  • Make program change message turn toggle controls on/off, and set other controls to 1.
  • Add support for 4 common types of encoders. Encoders are devices which use MIDI messages to send incremental rather than absolute position.
  • Make Mackie Control MasterPosition match MIDI port number.


Robin Gareus, Paul Davis, Nick Mainsbridge, Grgyorii Zharun, Yvgeny Pozdnyakov, Valeriy Kamyshniy, Ben Loftis, Len Ovens, Tim Mayberry, John Emmas, Colin Fletcher, Damien Zammit, Thomas Vecchione


Alexander Prokoudine (Russian), Edgar Aichinger (German)

Note to VST plugin users:

Note to VST plugin users: After installing, please open a new session (so you won't lose any plugin settings in your existing session) and then click "Preferences->Plugins->Clear VST Cache" and then re-scan your plugins.

Thanks for the great release.

Thanks for the great release. Ardour didn't crash after doing the update.

But I don't think making "Stationary playhead" imply "Follow Playhead" was a good idea. When I do editing, I have situations where I want to follow the playhead and some where I don't want to do so. I can toggle between these with the "Follow playhead"-menu-item or the keyboard shortcut. "Stationary Playhead" should determine *how* the playhead gets followed.

Stationary Playhead without

Stationary Playhead without Follow playhead makes no sense.
Ideally it'd be tri-state (a radio option) you can pick only one of them: Don't follow, follow-page or stationary-playhead.

the reason for this change was the assumption that a given user only switches don't follow <> follow playhead OR don't follow <> stationary PH
In the latter-case re-assign the keyboard-shortcut and you can toggle with one click (previously it required two clicks).

The old "don't follow" but have stationary PH enabled was inconsistent. A few users on IRC mentioned that "stationary" does not (always) work while the problem in fact was "follow" was disabled.

A few users on IRC mentioned

A few users on IRC mentioned that "stationary" does not (always) work while the problem in fact was "follow" was disabled.

Yes, that happened to me!
And also yes, it should ideally be a tristate thing.

Why 2ndary Key on OSX is

Why 2ndary Key on OSX is Control and not Alt/Opt?

Compare to the common

Compare to the common application save shortcut: "Command+s" (Mac) vs "Ctrl+s" (everyone else)

Alt/Opt is used by OS X for

Alt/Opt is used by OS X for compose key sequences, and is not recommended by Apple for use as a general modifier. Various applications have taken diffferent approaches on what to use as the secondary modifier on that platform. If you can cite any authoritative documentation that recommends Alt as secondary, I'd be interested.

I don't know any

I don't know any documentation. But I know, that Pro Tools, Cubase/Nuendo, Reaper and Studio One are using the Alt/Opt key. More or less excessive. Was just a question...

Very nice Release. Had some

Very nice Release. Had some stability trouble with the previous ones <= 3.5. I think it was mainly the UI. The complete rebuild of it is really nice work and feels great. Thanks