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Discover Ardour

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Ardour is an excellent open-source digital audio workstation available for Linux and Mac OSX suitable for professional use. Although it can be obtained free of charge, it's a great idea to support the author and ensure the ongoing development of software you depend on.

This article was previously published on the AudioJungle blog. We'll be bringing you an article from the archives from time to time.

This is our nineteenth (and final) article in the series “Exploring Digital Audio Workstations”. If you’ve missed the earlier articles, you can find them here:

  1. Exploring Digital Audio Workstations
  2. Discover Pro Tools LE
  3. 11 Essential Pro Tools Tutorials
  4. Discover Logic Pro
  5. 11 of the Best Tutorials for Logic Pro
  6. Discover Propellerhead's Reason
  7. 18 Reason Tutorials That Cover All the Bases
  8. Discover Steinberg’s Cubase 5
  9. 20 Instructive Cubase Tutorials
  10. Discover Cakewalk’s SONAR
  11. 14 Tutorials that Make Using SONAR a Piece of Cake
  12. Discover Ableton Live
  13. 17 Amazing Ableton Live Tutorials
  14. Discover FL Studio 9
  15. 21 Fruitful FL Studio Tutorials
  16. Discover Cockos REAPER
  17. Discover Music with Garage Band
  18. Discover Audacity

About Ardour


Ardour is a professional multi-track digital audio workstation with a strong emphasis on audio, and so far little support for MIDI. It supports LADSPA and VST plug-ins.

Here are some of Ardour's features:

  • Unlimited audio tracks and buses
  • Non-destructive, non-linear editing with unlimited undo
  • Anything-to-anywhere signal routing
  • Unlimited pre- and post-fader plugins
  • 32 bit floating point audio path
  • Automatic track delay compensation
  • Sample accurate automation
  • Standard file formats (BWF, WAV, WAV64, AIFF, CAF & more ...)
  • Full AudioUnit plugin support on OS X
  • More than 200 LADSPA & LV2 plugins freely available
  • Support for Windows VST plugins available
  • MIDI CC control with 1 click
  • Level 2 MIDI Machine Control
  • MIDI Timecode (MTC) Master or Slave
  • Full integration with all JACK applications
  • Video-synced playback, pull up/pull down
  • No copy-protection
  • Distributed, world-wide development
  • Released under the GPL
  • Source code for everyone
  • Open XML session file format
  • On OS X, works with any CoreAudio supported audio hardware
  • On Linux, works with any ALSA/FFADO-supported audio hardware
  • Network audio (full fidelity over local network or long haul with CELT) via NetJack

Ardour relies on JACK, and audio connection kit that allows you to plug the output of one audio application (like the Hydrogen drum machine) into another (like Ardour) - like ReWire on steroids. On Mac OSX you'll also have to install X11 from your installation DVD. So far I have only used Ardour on Linux - setting it up on Mac OSX will be one of my jobs over the holiday season.

9 Ardour Tutorials

1. Ardour Tutorial

"First attempt to explain Ardour with a midi keyboard set-up. Turn on Jack,then Qsynth and Ardour.Connect them up and make some music. I use the one control keyboard for three tracks. Play this video a few times then experiment with the software which is free!"

2. Ardour - Music Editing in Linux - Part #1

"Record and Mix Instrument tracks for FREE in Linux with Open-Source Ardour."

3. Ardour - Music Editing in Linux - Part #2

"Record and Mix Instrument tracks for FREE in Linux with Open-Source Ardour."

4. Ardour - Music Editing in Linux - Part #3

"Record and Mix Instrument tracks for FREE in Linux with Open-Source Ardour."

5. Ardour extra tutorial

6. Ardour Wiimote Support

"This video shows you the current wiimote functions in Ardour ( No commands bound to the accelerometer yet."

7. Ubuntu Linux Home Recording Studio Setup (Part 1)

"Here is how how I've connected the microkorgxl with the kp3 and kaossilator through the oland microcube into my acer travelmate 6292 laptop running ubuntu linux. in part 2 i will show you how to record using audacity and ardour (ardour2) with a simple line in 1/8 th inch jack cable interface. no need for an external firewire or usb sound card audio interface."

8. Ubuntu Linux Home Recording Studio Setup (Part 2)

"here i show you how to record something in audacity and ardour2 played using the korg microkorg xl, the korg kaoss pad kp3 and a kaossilator. one vital difference between audacity and ardour is that when you use ardour to record you need to turn down the Recording Capture volume in Ubuntu's Volume Control window by about 20% otherwise the audio in will be garbled and faint. this is not a problem in audacity, it can be at 100% and the recording will be completely fine, other than the fact that it will be faint (low, quiet volume), so you need to turn up the Gain slider on the track to somewhere between +20 dB and +30 dB."

9. Latin Groove

Song played using my Yamaha S-90 keyboard and recorded using Linux software. Drumming is Hydrogen drum-machine for Linux, exported in a MIDI track into Rosegarden MIDI sequencer. Sounds come from S-90. Recorded with Ardour for Linux, equalization and "boost" with wonderful toy "Jamin" for linux (mastering software) Enjoy!

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