|Original author(s)||Paul Davis|
|Developer(s)||David Robillard, Robin Gareus, Nick Mainsbridge, Colin Fletcher, Ben Loftis, Tim Mayberry.|
|Initial release||23 September 2005|
|Written in||C++ (GTK+)|
|Operating system||FreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Digital audio workstation|
Ardour is a hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation application that runs on Linux, macOS, FreeBSD and Microsoft Windows. Its primary author is Paul Davis, who was also responsible for the JACK Audio Connection Kit. It is intended as a digital audio workstation suitable for professional use.
Ardour's recording abilities are limited by only the hardware it is run on; there are no built-in limits in its capabilities.[clarification needed] When recording on top of existing media, it can perform latency compensation, positioning recorded material where it was intended to be when recording it. Monitoring options include self-monitoring, external hardware support (dependent on sound card support), and specialized hardware support (e.g. JACK Audio Connection Kit). Self-monitoring makes it possible to apply plug-in effects while recording. Using the JACK audio, Ardour can record concurrently from both the audio card and compatible software.
Ardour supports an arbitrary number of tracks and buses through an "anything to anywhere" routing system. All gain, panning and plug-in parameters can be automated. All sample data is mixed and maintained internally in 32-bit floating point format.
Ardour supports dragging, trimming, splitting and time-stretching recorded regions with sample-level resolution, and supports layer regions. It includes a crossfade editor and beat detection, unlimited undo/redo, and a "snapshot" feature for saving the current state of a session to a file.
Ardour can be used as an audio mastering environment. Its integration with the JACK Audio Connection Kit makes it possible to use mastering tools such as JAMin. Its mixer's output can be sent to third-party audio processing software for processing and/or recording. It can also export TOC and CUE files for creating audio CDs.
It has been tested on Linux, x86-64, x86, PowerPC and ARM (for at least version 3) architectures; Solaris, macOS on Intel and PowerPC, Windows on Intel architectures and FreeBSD. It takes advantage of all of these systems' multiprocessor, multicore SMP and real-time features.
Pre-built binaries of Ardour 6.x are available for Linux, macOS and Windows.
Ardour relies on plug-ins for many features, from audio effects processing to dynamic control. It supports the following plugin format and platform combinations: LV2 on Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Windows; AudioUnits on macOS; Steinberg's VST2 on Linux, macOS and Windows; LADSPA on Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Windows. It is theoretically possible to use plugins created for Windows in the VST2 format on Linux with the help of Wine, but the project team does not recommend it. Since version 6.5, it also supports VST3 plugins on all supported platforms. Unlike most modern 64-bit DAW's, Ardour does not run 32bit VST's natively
Import and export
Ardour can export whole sessions or parts of sessions, and import audio clips into sessions from more than 30 different audio file formats, using its built-in audio file database manager, or directly from an ordinary file browser.
Supporting companies and future
The SAE Institute provided corporate support for Ardour until February 2009, an initiative for providing a more integrated experience on Mac OS X and the development of a simpler version for students and others new to audio processing.
Harrison Audio Consoles has supported the Ardour project since early 2005. Harrison's "Mixbus" DAW and their destructive film dubber, the Xdubber, are based on Ardour. Mixbus extends Ardour to add Harrison's own DSP and a more console-like workflow. The Xdubber is a customizable platform for enterprise-class digital audio workstation (DAW) users.
Waves Audio privately supported Ardour development in 2009. It also developed the Waves Track Live software in collaboration with Ardour developers,  with most of the source code changes becoming part of Ardour's codebase.
- JACK Audio Connection Kit, a real-time low latency audio server.
- Comparison of digital audio editors
- Comparison of free software for audio
- Linux audio software
- List of free and open source digital audio workstation software
- List of music software
- "Ardour 7.5 released". 22 June 2023. Retrieved 2 July 2023.
- "Ardour is licensed under the GNU Public License v2".
- "Ardour review".
- "plugin_types.h". GitHub.
- "Using Windows VST Plugins on Linux".
- "Ardour 6.5 release notes". 23 November 2020.
- "32 bit VST plugins are not recognised on a 64 bit Windows build of Ardour 6.2". 25 July 2020.
- "Introducing Waves Tracks Live".
- "Waves Tracks Live Review".
- Hinkle-Turner, Elizabeth (September 2009). "Ardour et al., or Free and Easy Laptop Pro Audio: An Essay Perspective from a desperate working mother composer". eContact! 11.3 — Open Source for Audio Application. Canadian Electroacoustic Community.
- Nettingsmeier, Jörn (September 2009). "Ardour and Ambisonics: A FLOSS approach to the next generation of sound spatialisation". eContact! 11.3 - Jörn Nettingsmeier - Ardour and Ambisonics. Canadian Electroacoustic Community.
- Gareus, Robin (December 2017). The Ardour DAW - Latency Compensation and Anywhere-to-Anywhere Signal Routing Systems. PhD Thesis (These de doctorat). Université Paris 8.