Ardour (software)

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Ardour 3 running under Linux
Ardour 3 running under Linux
Original author(s)Paul Davis
Developer(s)David Robillard, Robin Gareus, Nick Mainsbridge, Colin Fletcher, Ben Loftis, Tim Mayberry.
Initial release23 September 2005 (2005-09-23)
Stable release5.12 (September 15, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-09-15)) [±]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++ (GTK+)
Operating systemFreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Available inEnglish
TypeDigital audio workstation
LicenseGPLv2+ Edit this at Wikidata

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 is also responsible for the JACK Audio Connection Kit. Ardour is intended to be digital audio workstation software suitable for professional use.[citation needed]

Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version two or any later version), Ardour is free software.[1]

Ardour major version 5.0, with improvements including support for a new tabbed interface, Lua scripting, VCAs, plugin pin management and many other new features, was released in August 2016.



Ardour's recording abilities are limited by only the hardware it is run on; there are no built-in limits in the software. When recording on top of existing material, Ardour can do latency compensation, positioning the recorded material where it was intended to be when recording it. Monitoring options include self-monitoring, use of external hardware (a feature dependent on sound card support) or specialised product; e.g. JACK Audio Connection Kit. Self-monitoring makes it possible to apply plug-in effects to the signal while recording in real-time. Using the audio server JACK, Ardour can record both from the audio card and compatible software concurrently.[citation needed]


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.[2]


Ardour supports dragging, trimming, splitting and time-stretching recorded regions with sample-level resolution and has a possibility to layer regions. It includes a crossfade editor and beat detection. Ardour has unlimited undo/redo and a snapshot feature for storing the current state of a session to a file for future reference.[citation needed]


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 to process the audio data. The output of Ardour's mixer can be sent to JAMin and/or other audio-processing software to be processed and/or recorded. It can also export TOC and CUE files, which allows for the creation of audio CDs.[citation needed]


Ardour attempts to adhere to industry standards, such as SMPTE/MTC, Broadcast Wave Format, MIDI Machine Control and XML.[citation needed]

Ardour has been tested on GNU/Linux, on the 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 multiprocessor and multicore SMP and real-time features of these operating systems. Support is limited on operating systems other than Linux and macOS, however.[citation needed]

Ardour 4.0 was made compatible with Windows XP and above, but without official support. As of August 2016, Ardour 5.0 was released with official Windows support.[3]


Ardour relies on plug-ins to enable many features, from audio effects processing to dynamic control. It supports the LADSPA and LV2 plug-in architectures on Linux and additionally Audio Units on macOS. Calf Studio Gear can be used through LV2.[4] Using Steinberg's VST plug-ins with Ardour on Linux and FreeBSD is possible if Ardour is compiled by the user or packager/distributor to include VST support. As of version 2.8, VST support no longer requires use of the VST SDK from Steinberg.[citation needed]

Import and export[edit]

Ardour supports exporting whole sessions or parts of sessions and importing audio clips into sessions from more than 30 different audio file formats.[citation needed] This can be done using Ardour's built-in audio file database manager or directly from an ordinary file browser.[citation needed]

Supporting companies and future[edit]

SAE Institute provided corporate support for Ardour up until February 2009. The aim of the initiative was to provide a more integrated experience on Mac OS X and the development of a version tailored towards beginner students.[citation needed]

Solid State Logic employed Paul Davis to work full-time on Ardour during the development of version 2. This support lasted through to the end of 2006.[citation needed]

Harrison Audio Consoles has been a supporter of the Ardour project since early 2005. Harrison's destructive film dubber, the Xdubber, is based on Ardour. The Xdubber also serves as a customizable platform for enterprise-class digital audio workstation (DAW) users.[citation needed]

As of July 2014, the Ardour project is almost fully reliant on donations and contributions from users while those from companies are only a small portion.[citation needed]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Ardour is licensed under the GNU Public License v2".
  2. ^ "Ardour review".
  3. ^ "ardour - the digital audio workstation". Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  4. ^ "Calf Studio Gear supports LV2".


External links[edit]