Ardour 2.8.8 released

Finally, its June and Ardour 2.8.8 is finally here. Time for everyone to upgrade!

Although this is primarily a bug-fix release, some of the "bugs" fixed are so pervasive and significant that they could almost count as new features. In particular, automation editing has finally arrived at a place that people with experience on other DAWs may consider actually usable. Issues with alignment of new and existing recorded material are addressed too, and there are lots of other bug fixes for issues small and large (including 3 or 4 crashing bugs). Thanks to motivation provided by the Mixbus project, there are also yet more improvements to AudioUnit plugin handling on OS X. Anybody using Ardour 2.8.7 or earlier should upgrade to enjoy increased stability and better functionality.

This is the last feature-adding release of the 2.8 series. The next release of Ardour will be version 3.0-alpha1 (unless notable regressions are discovered in 2.8.8).


  • Dramatic improvements to automation editing so that it more or less works as anyone might expect. DOWNSIDE: for this release, the display of automation data is not updated in realtime while in write/touch mode. This will be fixed in a future release.
  • Correct very strange and erratic punch recording behaviour that would create regions on tracks that were not record enabled
  • Fix crash when zooming canvas repeatedly
  • Fix handling of files larger than 2GB that could cause very slow reload of existing sessions (speedup was from 9 minutes to 30 seconds)
  • Subtle but important change that may fix issues with recording not placing material in the correct location on the timeline
  • Correctly order signal processing after adding a send (fixes issues with placement of recorded material)
  • Regions overlapped by 2 other regions will now no longer semi-randomly fail to be audible during playback
  • Region exports and bounces now use region fade in and fade out curves.


  • Save & recall port insert latency values
  • JACK Latency = 256 menu option now works
  • Importing files with the "Sequence files" option now works
  • Cleanup LV2 "external gui" extension support
  • Clear solo state when deleting a route that is soloed
  • Notify user that deleting a route will save the session state
  • Ellipsize long names in the track/bus inspector
  • Force exported AIFF files to be big-endian
  • Anchor the crossfade start and end points so that they cannot be edited
  • Correctly retain MIDI bindings for global transport controls
  • Do not burn 100% of a CPU's available cycles if disconnected from JACK
  • Put the fixed size columns (check marks) on the left side of the mixer's track and group lists for easier access to their functionality
  • Fix strange behaviour when dragging region(s) towards time zero
  • Rationalize track selection and range selection
  • Make selecting a range in mouse range mode work even if there is already a time selection
  • When splitting N-channel regions to mono regions, each new region shows up as its own region, not a child of the original
  • Clearing an automation track of data no longer generates an error when next loading the session ("Cannot reconstitute XML history node ...")


  • Include links in Help menu to the tutorial and reference manuals
  • switch from ctrl-drag to alt-drag for "drag-selection-as-region"
  • change automation track selection model slightly so that auto tracks are highlighted as expected. only show range boxes when the automation will actually get edited. clicking an automation track should show the editor-mixer for the parent track
  • Configurable behaviour when an N channel track plays a region that has less than N channels (silence or replicate the last channel). Default is silence.


  • Significantly updated version of the GTK GUI toolkit in use, which fixes a number of issues including...
  • Multiple monitors now supported correctly
  • Various fixes for handling AudioUnits, particularly UAD
  • Use Apple's ExtAudioFile API for file types not otherwise handled on OS X (MP3, AAC and others)
  • Use libsndfile to try to get timestamp info because Apple has no API for this
  • Do not categorize AU plugins using the "subtype" property because its meaningless. Use "type" instead which is coarser but has a clear meaning.
  • Added a shortcut to Volumes (external disk drives) when opening a session
  • Add option to enable/disable translation on OS X
  • Remove automation mode selector from AU plugin view window, since it doesn't do anything useful
  • Correctly handle AU parameter types, so that more parameters are available for automation
  • If a plugin has a Carbon-based editor, properly close that window when deleting the plugin (e.g. when closing the session)


  • Spanish (Pablo Fernández)
  • French (Raphaël Doursenaud)


Carl Hetherington, Lucus, DHess, Ben Loftis and Old Man Davis

@paul: thanks for answering.

I had posted in the Ubuntu bug report about the effects of moderating the local ardour.rc file, which contrasts existing tracks vs. new tracks in existing project and new projects:

Currently Ubuntu Studio uses Ardour 2.8.6 which continues to see the mute issue even if the local ardour.rc file is deleted.
However, 2.8.7 has been loaded in the Maverick archives. The Maverick alpha should be available soon for testing. I will test it and report back.

This may be a silly question, but why not make the system ardour.rc file use “1” and “0” instead of “yes” and “no”?

Thanks for this amzing release, wow… The automation copy/paste is now working beautifully (on single tracks). Already I have to say that Ardour is certainly my favourite DAW, up there with protools (which I don’t use any more due to digidesign’s evil!). For me there are only two things missing and one issue that needs fixing.

(1) being able to copy/paste multiple selected ranges including both audio and automation - e.g. If I select the content of 8 audio and automation tracks I would like to be able to copy/cut and paste the whole lot. Instead of copy/pasting the regions together and the automations separately.

(2) moving automations with regions (I know it’s coming in Ardour 3)

The one thing that slows the work-flow considerably on OSX is the zoom command that is so CPU hungry. If this one is fixed Ardour will feel as stable and smooth as any DAW out there (but with a better GUI!).

Ah and I would love the AMB plug-ins compiled for OSX too!

@scott lavender: please see the canonical ardour bug report and my most recent comment:

Any of the linuxDSP plugins currently on the website should work equally well in either ardour 2.8.8 or earlier versions (if you use the plugins from the folder called ‘universal’ in the .zip package). However the ones in the folder called ‘ardour 2.8.8 and later’ are better designed to work with 2.8.8 and will not work with earlier ardour versions. Essentially the changes are as follows:

In earlier versions of ardour, when an LV2 plugin that used the external_UI extension was deleted from a channel, ardour did not explicitly remove the instance of the UI that was associated with it so this would have left ‘orphaned’ UIs if a plugin was deleted when the UI was still open (visible). The workaround employed in the linuxDSP plugins to stop this happening, was that if the UI did not get the regular update calls from ardour, then it had to assume the plugin that it was controlling had been removed, and it would automatically close. In most cases this worked without a problem - but if some other types of plugins caused ardour to hang for long periods of time (especially when they were first opened) then the UI might assume it had been ‘orphaned’ and close and therefore have to be re-opened again.

In ardour 2.8.8 the mechanism to properly remove the UI instance when the plugin is deleted has been added, so while the original method will still function, the new plugins designed for 2.8.8 do not need to rely on it and therefore should not mistakenly close their UI if the UI update calls from ardour don’t happen when expected.

For anyone who has the paid for plugins that were released prior to the ardour 2.8.8 versions being added, they can be found here (now with 2.8.8 compatible versions included) :

These also pre-date the current activation key system and should be useable with any existing keys that were purchased prior to the move to our secure online store.

Hey, great stuff!
Could LinuxDSP give an official update here about his plugins, as there has changed something to the LV2 extension and there are “Ardour 2.8.8”-versions of his plugins. So I’m not sure if one has to upgrade or what the downside/improvement with old/new LinuxDSP plugins will be with Ardour 2.8.8.


Does this update possibly fix the “mute bug” ?

Or will this be rolled out with Ardour 3?

@scott lavender: that bug was fixed 2 or 3 versions ago. It has continued to exist in packaged versions of Ardour for reasons that we do not entirely understand. You will likely need to remove or edit your own ~/.ardour2/ardour.rc file for such fixes to be apparent.

hi Paul, congrats for the 2.8.9 release :slight_smile:

I agree with 1- and 2- in the post above. But A3 will bring all this and more, or will it :wink:

Thank you for this!

I been able able to copy and paste automation in Ardour since long time ago so I was wondering what are the dramatic automation editing improvements. I thought that maybe now it would be possible to select groups of automation nodes and move them all together but that’s still not possible.

I was one of the financial contributors for implementing the “automation follows region” feature hoping it would be included in Ardour 2.x and instead it was implemented on Ardour 3. This is one of the lacking features that keeps me from using Ardour over other Mac apps.



Hi Hector,

One very nice change is that now automation tracks get highlighted when selected so you can actually know which one is selected (before they remained indifferent)! Also I believe before there were some inconsistent behaviours with regard to copy/pasting automation data and now it works perfectly on single tracks.

However, we are all eagerly waiting for Ardour 3 and I’m sure it won’t be disappointing :slight_smile: And hopefully it will be soon enough too…



PS Paul when are you going to start selling Ardour T-shirts? I want one!!!

haha I spoke too soon!!!