What to expect in Ardour2
The Ardour team has made many changes beyond just the switch from gtk1 to gtk2. Here is an incomplete feature list:
- Control Surface Architecture The guys have cooked up a plugin architecture for supporting control surfaces. It started with the tranzport, but who knows what will be controlling Ardour next.
- OSC Support One of the first plugins written using the COSA was basic support for OSC transport control. It's not possible to control a lot of Ardour functionality using OSC, but you can run the transport and control track record-enable states with it. Tested over a transatlantic link, this functionality will grow rapidly.
- Redone Soundfile Browser/Importer We've done away with the seperate hierarchy Ardour maintained for soundfiles. Now, it just uses the filesystem. As part of the gtk2 port, it uses the new file dialog, and it looks great. The new Sfdb dialog has more options on how to import/embed the soundfile. It still has custom metadata fields for adding your own info to each file, of course.
- Saved Undo This was a Google Summer of Code project that made the cut to be in the Ardour2.0 release. (Don't worry, the other two projects, midi and win32 will be released eventually.) Saved undo lets you quit or close a session, and when you reopen the session, you can still undo actions you had made. This is a cool feature that most software doesn't have.
- UI revamped to better expose functionality: new toolbar, better menus This happened naturally during the gtk2 port as we were cleaning up code. More actions are in the menus so you don't have to remember obscure key commands. The toolbar has also been redesigned so that it presents more information and is more usable.
- Destructive Recording Older versions of Ardour and almost all other DAWs focus on the non-destructive aspects of using computers for recording. But sometimes, you want to use your hard drive the way you might have used a tape if you had been recording 10 years ago. Ardour now has optional tracks that work this way - every overdub overwrites any existing material, destroying it but also not using more disk space. This isn't likely to be much use to musicians, but the feature was specifically targetted at film post-production audio engineers.
- 64-bit soundformats: WAV64, CAF Ardour now allows its native audio files (the ones created when you record stuff with ardour) to be in any of several different formats, including two 64-bit ones (wav64 and CAF). By selecting a 64-bit format, you can record continuously for 29 billion hours if you have big enough disks. Support for traditional formats like WAV and BWF continues, of course.
- A Logo! Many thanks to Thorsten Wilms for designing our new logo and putting up with us through its many iterations. It's great.
- Subversion Not a change to Ardour, but Subversion's easy branching made Google's Summer of Code possible. We now have more developers with commit access than ever.
- New Website Also not a change to Ardour, but I thought it was big enough to impact the Ardour community. Forums have been a big boost to sharing music, tips, and support. Thanks to all the people who have taken a minute to answer someone's question.