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 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 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 ./
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.

Ardour in 2012: what to look forward to

As 2011 draws to a close, I wanted to point people toward the future with a brief summary of what to expect from Ardour in 2012.

Ardour3 Beta 1a released

After a furious 3 months (more than 600 code commits), the Ardour team is pleased to announce the release of Ardour 3.0 Beta 1. This is the first version of Ardour 3 that has support for OS X (Intel only for now, sorry PPC users), where you will find fully functional AudioUnit instrument support among all the other goodies that Ardour 3 brings. The (very long) list below documents the other many changes, including support for Linux native VSTs, an initial new version of Freesound browsing, some shinier (and perhaps out of place) new buttons, and a metric ton of bug fixes and improvements.
This is an update of the beta1 release from earlier today. It corrects several packaging errors in beta1, and by coincidence contains a couple of new features and bug fixes. If you downloaded beta1, please upgrade to this version.
Read more below for full details, including some notes on the OSX release.

Ardour 2.8.12 released (with support for OS X Lion)

After a year in which Ardour 2 has seen little focused development due to the work on Ardour 3, the release of OS X Lion finally created the motivation to consolidate the accumulation of patches and improvements and release 2.8.12. The list of changes is suprisingly long for something supposedly in maintainance-only mode, and its a good list. The most important changes are probably Lion support, the arrival of binary packages for Linux (these should run on any Linux system, with no dependencies on your existing system libraries), and major fixes to the way Ardour handles latency and the alignment of newly recorded material.

Please note that Ardour now requires the latest JACK latency API which can be found in JACK1 0.120.2 or JACK2 1.9.7 (on OS X, JackOSX 0.88) or any later versions. Using Ardour 2.8.12 with older versions of JACK will lead to random crashes and generally bad behaviour. There's no reason not to upgrade JACK if you haven't already done so.

Full details on the changes and fixes can be found below...

Issues with Subscriptions (Fixed)

There have been issues in recent months with people subscribing (providing a monthly payment of US$1, US$4 or US$10 to help support continued development of Ardour). The problem was discovered today - the module we use to track subscription payments assumes the use of a single PayPal account, but in order to utilize PayPal's micropayments option, uses two different accounts with PayPal. It didn't prevent subscriptions from working, but did not know about them. This has affected all new subscriptions since I started using the micropayments system a few months ago.

The issue is now fixed, and I'm working with everyone affected by it to get them correctly registered on