ARDOUR FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Download Issues

I paid for a download but can't see a download link anywhere

You probably have page forwarding disabled in your web browser. Point it at, enter your invoice ID (not transaction ID) from the your payment confirmation email, and your download will start.

The download site appears insecure

Its not. However, the security certificate we use was issued by a certificate provider not recognized by many older browsers, and so you may get a warning about the site being insecure. It really isn't and besides, you won't be asked to any information at except the amount you want to pay.

I gave a donation to Ardour but I'm still asked to pay

The donation system is entirely separate from the download system, and exists for a couple of reasons:

  • our Linux users generally get Ardour without payment via their distributions' repositories.
  • some people just feel like being generous
Either way, it allows people to make a simple one-time payment. It is not part of the download system, and any payment you make via the donation system does not apply to the download system. Remember that you choose to pay as little as US$1 for a download.

Basic Audio I/O problems

What audio interfaces should I use with Ardour?

You can use any interface supported on your platform (Linux or OS X).

For PCI /PCIe/etc. cards to install inside a computer, we recommend:

more than 26 channels
more than 12 channels
2-12 channels
M-Audio Delta 1010
2-4 channels
M-Audio Delta 44, 66 or 2496

For portable devices to use with laptops and other portable computing devices, we recommend:

All RME Hammerfall IO Boxes (Multiface, Digiface, RPM) work with either the Cardbus or ExpressCard interface, but please check with your Cardbus chipset driver first. There's also the RME MADIface, a mobile MADI interface for the ExpressCard slot (up to 64 channels).
Firewire devices
Please visit FFADO to see what Firewire devices are currently supported on Linux.
USB devices
You'll be using a nasty little USB thing with support for just a couple of channels. Check the ALSA soundcard matrix to verify that specific devices are supported. Note that almost all USB1 audio interface are supported and that almost no USB2 audio interfaces are. You can thank the brain dead morons in the audio technology industry for this situation.

Please note that MOTU have consistently been aggressively anti-Linux when asked about the information needed to support their devices. Those MOTU devices that actually work on Linux do so only because of pain-staking reverse engineering, and most do not work. We recommend that you avoid this company's products, not because of their engineering quality, but because of their stubborn refusal to help us create drivers for their product. This stands in marked contrast to the cooperation offered by RME, M-Audio and many other companies.

Audio Playback is "clicky"/"noisy"/"bad"

The first thing to is a bit of diagnosis:

Are you running in realtime mode?
If not, do so. Its the -R command flag, which can alternatively and easily be set in the Setup dialog of QJackctl.
That didn't work - Ardour wouldn't start!
See the next question.
What type of audio interface do you have?
If its a USB interface, make sure you run JACK with 3 periods, not the default 2.

I cannot start JACK in realtime mode!

Sad. Quaint, even.

Release Questions

When will Ardour 6.0 be released?

Don't ask, don't tell. We release new versions of Ardour when we think they are ready. We're not driven by marketing, by budget requirements - we are guided by the ideas and experiences of people intimately involved in developing & using Ardour. We'll release Ardour 3.0 when its ready.

How can I record/playback/edit MIDI in Ardour

See the answer to the previous question.

Usage Questions

How do I use plugins with Ardour?

Above above and below the fader in each mixer strip is a box. Right click in this box, and you will see a context menu that will (hopefully) make everything clear.

Mixer Strip?

If you can't see anything that you think could be called a mixer strip, press either Alt-m to bring up the entire mixer window, or Shift-e to toggle display of the editor mixer strip (on the left side of the editor window).

Can I move automation data at the same time as moving regions?


How do I import MP3 files to Ardour?

First of all, you should step back and think about why you're actually trying to do that. Assuming that you have a good answer, you should know that at present (November 2008) you can't do this. Why not? MP3 is proprietary lossy compression format, and although there are a number of open source libraries around that can read MP3 files, we do not wish to risk the wrath of the Fraunhofer Institute by using them illegally inside Ardour. When there is a good technical solution for us to legally load MP3 files, we will adopt it ASAP.


Can I make Ardour use my system theme (colors, fonts etc)?

No. Ardour's use of color goes way beyond typical desktop applications and is widely used to help indicate many different states of various controls and alerts. Using the system theme will break this. There are currently two basic Ardour themes available ("Light" and "Dark") that can be chosen from the Windows -> Theme Manager window. It is possible for anyone to create a new theme, but it tends to be a lot of rather monotonous work.

Ardour's window is slightly bigger than my screen

Go to Edit -> Preferences, and on the Misc tab, adjust the font scaling.

If I maximise the window it jumps around when I click things

See the answer to the previous question.