Ardour (software)

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Ardour running under Arch Linux
Developer(s) The Ardour Community
Initial release Template:Start-date[1][nb 1]
Written in C++
Operating system Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD
Available in ?
Type Digital audio workstation
License GPLv2+[3]

Ardour is a hard disk recorder and digital audio workstation application. It runs on Linux, Mac OS X[4] and FreeBSD[5]. Its primary author is Paul Davis, who is also responsible for the JACK Audio Connection Kit. Ardour's intention is to provide digital audio workstation software suitable for professional use.

Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (version two or any later version), Ardour is free software.[3]



The feature list below is an overview of Ardour's features including the most essential features. Covering all features is beyond the scope of this article.


Ardour's recording capabilities are limited only by the hardware it is run on. There are no built in limitations 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 monitoring with external hardware (a feature supported by some sound cards), monitoring with Ardour and monitoring with JACK. Monitoring with Ardour makes it possible to apply plugin effects to the signal while it is recorded in real time. Using the Audioserver JACK Ardour can not only record from the soundcard but from JACK-compatible Software also at the same time. There are hundreds of sound-applications like software-synthesizers or audio-effect-hosts that work with JACK.

New versions of JACK also support transporting audio over a generic IP network.[6] This makes it possible to run Ardour on hardware separate from the hardware that actually contains the audio interface.


Ardour supports an arbitrary number of tracks and busses. It also has a completely flexible "anything to anywhere" routing system. All gain, panning and plugin parameters can be automated. All sample data is mixed and maintained internally in 32-bit floating point format for maximum headroom and fidelity.


Ardour supports dragging, trimming, splitting and timestretching recorded regions with sample-level resolution and has a possibility to layer regions. A versatile crossfade editor and a beat detection tool are also included in Ardour. Ardour has unlimited undo/redo and a snapshot feature for storing the current state of a session to a file for future reference.


Ardour can be used as an audio mastering environment. Its integration with JACK 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 any other JACK-aware audio-processing software and the output processed by these programmes can be recorded using a recording-software. Ardour can also export TOC and CUE files, which allows for the creation of audio CDs.


As Ardour is a free and open source software application anyone can read and modify the source code of the program. This allowed the first port of Ardour to Mac OS X to be carried out by someone previously uninvolved with the Ardour project. Ardour attempts to adhere to industry standards to maximize functionality and ease portability.[7]

Ardour has been tested and runs on the GNU/Linux operating system, on the x86-64, x86, PPC architectures, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X on Intel and PowerPC, and FreeBSD. It takes advantage of multiprocessor and multicore SMP and realtime features of these operating systems. Support is limited on operating systems other than Linux and OS X, however.[8]


Ardour relies on plugins to enable many features from audio effects processing to dynamic control. Ardour supports the LADSPA and LV2 plugin architectures on Linux and additionally Audio Units on OS X. Using Steinberg's VST plugins 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.[9]

Import and Export

Ardour supports exporting whole sessions or parts of sessions, and importing audio clips into session from more than 30 different audio file formats. This can be done using Ardour's builtin audio file database manager or directly from an ordinary file browser.

Supporting companies

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.[10]

Solid State Logic employed Paul Davis to work full time on Ardour during the development of the version 2. This support lasted through to the end of 2006.[11]

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 DAW users.[12]

See also


  1. The first development series of Ardour was finalized with 0.99; there was no 1.0 release, and all features which had been planned for 1.0 were deferred to the 2.0 series.[2]


External links

Template:Audio editorsca:Ardour de:Ardour es:Ardour fr:Ardour it:Ardour ja:Ardour pl:Ardour pt:Ardour sv:Ardour

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