Ardour 2.8 released

I am pleased to announce the release of Ardour 2.8. As has been previously announced, the 2.X series is now in a state of “feature freeze” so that we can try to concentrate on Ardour 3.0, but as a gesture of thanks to the community for the support during February, I wanted to release this mostly-bugfix version that also comes with a couple of significant features. These include much more reliable VST support on Linux, track/bus templates and, with some important qualifications, AudioUnit state and preset handling. See the download page for actual download links.

New Features

  • Track/Bus Templates (see below)
  • Distributable VST support (see below)
  • VST preset handling
  • VST chunk handling
  • AudioUnit state & preset handling
  • new playhead-to-{next,previous}-region-boundary variant commands that ignores track selection (on Linux, Windows-LeftArrow or Windows-RightArrow; on OS X, Ctrl-LeftArrow or Ctrl-RightArrow)
  • New, thoroughly edited Spanish translation
  • New "accurate" crossfade icons

Notes on new features

Track/Bus Templates

Track/Bus Templates allow you to save the configuration of a track or bus (input, output, plugins, edit/mixer groups and more). Then re-use that same configuration in the same or other sessions to quickly setup new tracks and busses. Got a preferred way to handle vocal tracks? Click on the track/bus name in a mixer strip, and select "Save as template" from the menu. Enter a name. Done. The next time you create a new track/bus, you will have the option of using any existing templates.

Distributable VST Support (most for packagers)

Ardour now uses the Vestige header file to allow compilation with VST support on Linux. We believe, given the reverse engineering of the Vestige header, that there is no more need to fetch the VST SDK from Steinberg in order to build Ardour with VST support, and it is possible to distribute all source code associated with VST support. This means that distributions are free to compile and release packages of Ardour with VST support. Linux Packagers: please do not call such packages "Ardour". They should always be named in a way to make it clear that they contain VST support - Ardour with VST support is not actually a Linux program at all (its a small Windows executable that is linked against some Linux libraries, run by a shell script that invokes Wine). It is critical that users have the choice to install 1 or the other (or both, if possible). To repeat, Ardour with VST support should not be packaged as "Ardour". I suggest "ArdourVST" (or ardourvst, for the case-insensitive). Please note: VST is a trademark of Steinberg Soft- und Hardware GmbH.

AudioUnit state &amp preset handling

Ardour now saves and restores AudioUnit plugin parameters, and can save/load AU Presets, and share these with other software on OS X. We will get new OS X binaries online very soon, but please note that this functionality will not be available without either being or becoming an existing Ardour financial supporter. An upgrade that includes all other fixes and features mentioned here will be available for free if you insist on not supporting the software. This will all take shape once we switch to the new website which I hope will take place next week (March 30th-April 3rd).


  • Correct handling of Shift- shortcuts on OS X
  • Fix confusion with Ctrl/Cmd/Option on OS X
  • Cmd-, now shows Preferences window on OS X
  • Removing a track/bus that was visible in the editor mixer strip causes the editor mixer strip to move to the next track/bus
  • Default click output is dual mono (2 outs), not mono (1 out)
  • Fix ordering of editor & mixer displays when order in the other window is changed and sync-editor-mixer-order is enabled.
  • If we attempt to move beyond the current limit of the horizontal scrollbar, change its upper limit so that we keep scrolling (fixes a bug with playhead tracking beyond the current session end)
  • Standardize sizing of ComboBoxSelectors throughout the GUI
  • Fix crash when renaming a track after deleting a plugin that had a visible GUI/editor window
  • Make "consolidate range" and "bounce range to region list" not apply processing to the original audio.
  • Added variants of "consolidate range" and "bounce range" which do apply processing.
  • Fix potential for clipping when use Transpose or TimeFX
  • Standardize some menu actions across CD and loop/punch rulers. also allow right-click drag to create ranges, which may be more discoverable than ctrl-click drag because the other rulers already use right-click for creating markers
  • "Mute region" shortcut operates on all selected regions
  • Fixes for crossfade clicks
  • Fixes for gcc 4.4
  • Fix crash when sending MIDI feedback with MTC enabled
  • Allow dragging of automation lines
  • Preserve sufficient significant digits when saving automation events to disk
  • Quantize shuttle speed changes to whole semitones when shuttle in semitone mode
  • Use region sync points correctly for grid and playhead motion
  • Fix subtle bug when playing plugin automation that could sometimes lead to crashes and memory corruption
  • Use Vamp 2.0 and Rubberband 1.3 (includes an important fix for a potential audible issue when stretching)
  • Fix freeze progress bar display
  • Fix potential crash caused by multithreaded execution of plugins while "freezing" a track
  • Make name-click to toggle plugin active state show up via the bypass button state in the GUI
  • be willing to load some additional types of AU plugins, including AUNetSend and AUNetReceive
  • Context menu-driven operations on ruler bars now cause things to be added in the right place (e.g. new markers)
  • Fix a crash that occured while dragging a region after a split
  • Do not cache JACK port buffer addresses, to permit operation with experimental versions of Jack2.


Carl Hetherington, Colin Fletcher, Sampo Savoleinen, Lincoln Spiteri, Dave Robillard, David Taht, Markus Schwarzenberg, Ben Loftis, Martin Profittlich, Stephane Letz, and Head Grunt Paul Davis

This sounds great. No more compiling with the VST-SDK. Thanks a lot. So, I have to record now… I thought sae dropped you, but I read that they are on the MusikMesse in Frankfurt in April doing an Ardour-Presentation: Ardour Präsentation
Exhibitor-Events (5.1 C78), Wednesday, April 1 2009, 13:30 Organizer sae. So, what’s up. Love it or leave it? Great work at all, keep on rockin’ the free world,

Ok, I understand. Do they donate to the project in any other way? For now I’m a student and don’t have much money, but next year I’ll get my diploma and have a job at a german aerospace research institute. I’ll donate to a few projects then. First of all ardour and k3b, because these are “Killer Apps” on the Linux Desktop! As I got VST-support running and could use Guitar Rig 2 and 3 I was amazed…

SAE have stopped paying me, but at this point have not changed their plans regarding actually using Ardour.

How do you get VST support?

Is it in an default build? Do I need to have FST installed? Do I need Wine?

edit: sorry:

all i think that needs to be said here is this:

thank you paul. your work is certainly not unappreciated.


great to have 2.8 on OS X now too!

I just switched to it today, but you said:

Cmd-, now shows Preferences window on OS X
This doesn't seem to work.

Great work - I have ardour running my favourite vst plugins without a single hitch (first time trying it out) :slight_smile:

Love it!