Why Open Source? Why Free (as in speech) Software?

Some people who come across Ardour and start reading about its "odd" license (the GPL, used by thousands or tens of thousands of software applications and libraries around the world) end up asking "what is with this whole open source/free software thing anyway?" or "why don't the Ardour developers just release Ardour like a normal commercial, proprietary program?".

It isn't a complete answer to this kind of question, but as exhibit 13.1(a) part 8, I offer you:


Ardour 3 Beta 5 Released

Its been two months and more than 600 source code changes since beta4. I had announced no more betas for Ardour 3, but we've accumulated a prodigious set of changes, fixes, new functionality that it seems silly to try to hold back. Without further ado, here is Ardour 3 beta 5, absolute the last beta release:

(the files have been removed because beta5 is now too old to be useful for testing. beta3 will be out shortly. - paul, march 1st 2013)

Ardour 2.8.14 released

Coming rapidly after our last release, Ardour 2.8.14 includes just a couple of fixes:

  • packaging changes that make various plugin GUIs work correctly (notably the DISTRHO LV2 ports of TAL plugins)
  • Generic MIDI bindings to non-toggle controls using note on/off messages now work in a sane way. Previously, Ardour did something quite odd in this scenario. This enables several generic MIDI controllers to be used much more easily to control the transport state, and several other things too.
  • Bindings to the transport control buttons for return-to-start, goto-end and play-selection now work correctly.
The release can be downloaded in the usual place.

Slow GUI issues with ardour.org binaries: resolved

Several people have reported "slow GUI" issues with prebuilt versions of Ardour from ardour.org when used on Linux systems with Nvidia video interfaces.

Ardour 2.8.13 is released (Updated)

Although most development work on Ardour is focused on Ardour 3.0 these days, there are still ongoing maintainance changes (many driven by the continuing development of Harrison's Mixbus). Enough of these changes, fixes, improvements have accumulated that it seems appropriate to get a new Ardour 2.X release out, and so without further ado, Ardour 2.8.13 is now available to download.

Source Tarball Update July 2nd 2012, 20:00 UTC

Something was wrong with the source tarball available on ardour.org/download. It has been updated. The new file size is 2169762 bytes and the MD5 hash is cf1ddcb5f46847abca6ee0cb5bd4bd5b. Apologies for any confusion and problems that this caused.

Read the full list of changes below....

Ardour 3 Beta 4a Released

Ardour 3 beta 4 arrived after more than 3 months of development activity, and more than 1000 commits to the source code repository. Beta 4a followed rapidly after a deadlock was discovered when pasting regions, and incidentally gained support for MIDI region export along the way.

This is the last beta release before 3.0 is actually released. As of this release, 3.0 is now in "feature freeze". There are many bugs to fix and UI details to fix/improve, but there will be no new functionality added before the release. We know that there are many things about 3.0 that need to be improved, and they will be, but the big push is now to get to a release that we can stand behind and get more users switched over to, thus allowing us to move to post-3.0 development.

As usual, there are a gaggle of new features, as detailed below.

Ardour and MP3

I had written an article here about using MP3 files with Ardour. Our Linux users often ask why they can't import MP3 files. The article explained the licensing issues that make that tricky, and then went on to explain why using MP3 (or other lossy compression format) files as source material in a project is a bad idea. I am still very strongly convinced that it continues to be a bad idea, but it seems counter-productive to have that debate in this context. I have left everyone's comments in place for those who want to read them.

Ardour3 Beta 3 released

Another month, another beta release. The original plan was to defer beta3 until the last new functionality was in place, but there are just two items remaining, and meanwhile some really great stuff has been done that deserves wider testing. Beta4 will finalize the functionality for 3.0 and then Beta5 will be about a big bug-squashing and polishing effort. Please keep in mind that after 3.0 is released, you can expect the same rolling release pattern - development doesn't stop just because we hit 3.0!


Please read more below for the details on new features, GUI improvements, bug fixes and contributors.

linuxDSP PEQ-2A V1.01 Now Available.

linuxDSP PEQ-2A V1.01 is now available. This update adds 32 and 64Bit linuxVST versions, and Physical Control Weighting, which adds a small amount of 'weight' to the GUI controls in order to replicate the 'feel' of high quality rotary controls. In addition, this enables greater precision for small control moves while still enabling wide ranging control changes when required. This is a free update for anyone who has already purchased the original version.

See http://linuxdsp.co.uk/ for more details and downloads.

Ardour3 Beta 2 released

Another month, another Ardour3 beta! More than 130 fixes and changes since beta1, all documented below. Download at:

(A problem with the 32 bit package was noted - it has been rebuilt and the new version is now at the link shown above)

Installing (Linux Only)

To install, untar the tar file you download, then in a Terminal window, run

cd .../where/you/put/the/unpacked/tarball
sh ./install.sh
Ardour is self-contained - it installs into /opt and will not touch any other files on your system except for adding itself to the desktop menu. An uninstall script is included (and will be used when you upgrade to beta3.

Important notes for any OS X beta testers

  1. You must be using JackOSX 0.89 (the latest release). Earlier versions of JackOSX will cause strange behaviour and/or crashes. Upgrading from existing JackOSX versions is recommended anyway, even if you are using it with Ardour2 or other software.
  2. If you want access to any hardware MIDI ports and/or other MIDI software on your OS X system, you need to start JACK with JackPilot and ensure that the CoreMIDI bridge is enabled in its preferences settings.
  3. As with beta1 and the zero-cost prebuilt versions of Ardour, plugin preset saving is disabled.

My hope is that there will be two more betas before Ardour 3.0. Beta 3 will concentrate on remaining matters of functionality that must work, and Beta 4 will focus mostly on polish and the first time user experience. I doubt that these boundaries will be strictly adhered to, tough.