Ardour (software)

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Original author(s)Paul Davis
Developer(s)David Robillard, Robin Gareus, Nick Mainsbridge, Colin Fletcher, Ben Loftis, Tim Mayberry.
Initial release23 September 2005; 18 years ago (2005-09-23)
Stable release
8.6[1] / 13 April 2024; 42 days ago (13 April 2024)
Written inC++ (GTK 2)
Operating systemFreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Available inEnglish
TypeDigital audio workstation
LicenseGPL-2.0-or-later 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 was also responsible for the JACK Audio Connection Kit. It is intended as a digital audio workstation suitable for professional use.[citation needed]

It is free software, released under the terms of the GPL-2.0-or-later.[2]



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.[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.[3]


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.[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. 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.[citation needed]


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

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. [citation needed]

Pre-built binaries of Ardour are available for purchase for Linux, macOS and Windows.[4] It is also possible to build Ardour yourself for free from the freely available source code.[5]


Ardour relies on plug-ins for many features, from audio effects processing to dynamic control. It supports the following plugin format and platform combinations:[6] LV2 on Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Windows; Audio Units 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.[7] Since version 6.5, it also supports VST3 plugins on all supported platforms.[8] Unlike most modern 64-bit DAW's, Ardour does not run 32bit VST's natively.[9]

Import and export[edit]

Ardour can import audio clips into sessions from many common audio file formats, including WAV, FLAC, Ogg/Vorbis, Ogg/Opus, AIFF, AIFC, CAF, W64, BWF and MP3; SMF files are supported for MIDI import.[10]

Ardour can export whole sessions or parts of sessions, and import audio clips into sessions,[citation needed] using its built-in audio file database manager, or directly from an ordinary file browser.[citation needed]

Supporting companies and future[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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

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.[citation needed]

Waves Audio privately supported Ardour development in 2009.[citation needed] It also developed the Waves Track Live software[11] in collaboration with Ardour developers,[12] with most of the source code changes becoming part of Ardour's codebase.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ardour 8.6 released". Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  2. ^ "Ardour is licensed under the GNU Public License v2".
  3. ^ "Ardour review".
  4. ^ "Ardour Downloads". 3 November 2023.
  5. ^ "Ardour Downloads". 3 November 2023.
  6. ^ "plugin_types.h". GitHub.
  7. ^ "Using Windows VST Plugins on Linux".
  8. ^ "Ardour 6.5 release notes". 23 November 2020.
  9. ^ "32 bit VST plugins are not recognised on a 64 bit Windows build of Ardour 6.2". 25 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Ardour Manual - Importing - Supported File Formats". 3 November 2023.
  11. ^ "Introducing Waves Tracks Live".
  12. ^ "Waves Tracks Live Review". 15 March 2015.


External links[edit]