Ardour 3.0 alpha 5 released

Ardour 3.0 alpha 5 is now available:

  • Linux 64 bit:
  • Linux 32 bit:
  • After a longer than expected period (alphas will be rolling out every 24-72 hours from now on, I hope), the Ardour team is glad to bring you Ardour 3.0 Alpha 5. This is still an alpha release, but thanks to the amazing and diligent work of Carl Hetherington, has many, many fixes for bugs that surfaced as people have been testing Alpha 4. Read more below for the full list of fixes.

    There's also a new feature, not finished as of this release, that allows you to "combine" multiple regions in a track into a single region (and, if necessary, later uncombine them with minimal loss of editing decisions). This is part of a rationalization of the options that Ardour offers for "this sort of thing", and will be completed for Alpha 6.

    Alpha 5 is largely the result of work by Carl Hetherington, with contributions from David Robillard, Petter Sundlöf, "Roming-FR22", and Paul Davis.


    • New region "combine" and "uncombine" operations (in progress, currently audio-only)
    • Zoom session when the mouse pointer is moved up and down during a playhead drag.
    • Redesigned shuttle controller
    • Switch to new LV2 stack (Serd, Sord, Lilv2, Suil)
    • Support for LV2 "files" extension
    • New Translator HOWTO document (written by Alexandre Prokoudine)
    • Ardour and other C++ code now compiled with gcc 4.4.6 (previous alphas used gcc 3.x)



    • Alignment of newly recorded material with existing material should be fixed
    • Drop deprecated JACK latency API (note: using Ardour3 with older versions of JACK will not do correct alignment of newly recorded material)
    • Rename only the main outs of a track when it is renamed, not its inserts or sends to avoid name collisions.
    • Tolerate LV2 plugins that call persist/file state functions early.
    • Fix "Make new plugins active" preference setting
    • Fix crash on bouncing a range selection that includes a bus
    • Fix step editor note lengths and default to quarter-note (crotchet) / mf in the dialogue
    • Correct incorrect loading of bank change values
    • Remove extend-range-to-{start,end}-of-region and replace with move-range-{start,end}-to-{previous,next}-region boundary. More intuitive and works without the need for a region selection, which is fiddly to adjust when one is in range mode.
    • Extend range selections using the selected tracks, rather than all tracks.
    • Initialise aux send gain to -inf dB
    • Sort track selections before cut/copying their playlists, so that the list of selected playlists is in the same order as their parent tracks are in the editor. Fixes range copy/paste onto several tracks
    • Save route group reorderings in the session file. Link changes in the mixer and editor group lists
    • Fix for issues with JACK port deletion at session shutdown
    • Fix assertion failure when merging a set of nascent events which start at the same time as the last event in a ControlList.
    • Fix an assertion failure when stopping the transport with an active controllable touch gesture.
    • Prevent note trackers for overlapping MIDI regions inserting events that occur before the requested time range, thereby stopping playback
    • Stop MIDI import generating zero-length regions.
    • Make changes to route processors set the session dirty
    • Set session dirty on plugin parameter changes
    • Don't try to connect monitor bus to (physical) MIDI outputs
    • Ignore stop-at-session-end if there is a punch range and punch-in is enabled
    • Fix problems with sessions being saved as foo.ardour.ardour when loaded using the session file name
    • Fix undo of timestretch
    • Fix undo when notes are changed and then removed by the overlap checker
    • Fix problems with restoration of unused playlists
    • Fix corruption of follow playhead state on quit
    • Fix update of session range location on copy-dragging regions
    • Ensure that empty drag-created MIDI regions get a file on disk so that there aren't missing file errors on reload
    • Fix crash when clicking on a hit
    • Fixes e.g. a crash on track resize after splitting a MIDI region with automation.
    • Re-use locations when setting location list state, so that selected locations are preserved through an undo
    • Fix restoration of connections to control surface ports.


    • Differentiate between pitch shift (audio) and transpose (MIDI)
    • Prevent dragging regions before frame zero
    • Fix crash with some LV2 plugins signalling changes on controls that are not automatable
    • Fix crash when a regionview disappears
    • Put relief on all toolbar buttons for consistency
    • Suspend update of MIDI regions during scroomer drag to speed things up
    • Extend the y range of the simplerect redraw request in one case to prevent bits being left on the canvas
    • Make a click in the empty space below track controls clear the track selection
    • Update tempo-based rulers on tempo map edit
    • Reverse the scroll wheel behaviour of the scroomer so that it feels the same as scrolling the track view
    • Remove "delete" menu item which does the same as "cut"
    • Show MIDI channel for notes with verbose canvas cursor
    • Reinstate tooltip custom colors (Dark theme only at this time)
    • Prevent snap_frame_to_frame returning a negative offset from the region start
    • When drawing MIDI regions with grid snap enabled, make the region extent 1 frame shy of the next grid boundary. In this way, a duplicate of the new region will land on a grid snap point.
    • Prevent the point selection straying -ve when control points are positioned close to 0
    • Fix default size and title of comment window
    • Speed up marker loading somewhat by only setting up marker labels once after load. (note: the location UI is still extremely slow to build with a couple of thousand markers)
    • Fix verbose canvas cursor display in Bars|Beats|Ticks mode
    • Separate verbose cursor out into its own class and clean up the API.
    • Fix piano roll to use the same octave numbering as the verbose canvas cursor
    • Sort bundle names in mixer strip menus alphabetically to prevent them being re-ordered when the session's route list is sorted for signal flow
    • Don't hide solo/mute/rec enable for the smallest track height
    • Prevent note drags from moving a note before the start of its region.
    • Fix non-appearing track names when opening sessions with minimum track height
    • Don't alter horizontal padding when shrinking tracks to their minimum height
    • Fix offset of verbose cursor when dragging fade-ins
    • Fix display of new tracks.
    • Fix non-appearance of MIDI region names
    • Reset fades on regions copied from time ranges in other regions
    • Make instruments/generators do the right thing when bypassed
    • Return shuttle speed to previous value on release after sprung grab
    • Make sure Edit property of RouteGroup is enabled when doing a few different playlist and other ops and applying them to the gro
    • Make MIDI channel selector button colours more distinct
    • Add 'controls' item to plugin insert context menu to always show Ardour generated controls for plugin, even if the plugin has a GUI. In particular, this gives you UI access to presets and the other handy stuff ardour sticks at the top, for inherently broken external UIs which don't allow Ardour to add such things.
    • Fix packing of scrolled generic plugin UI so the controls expand (rather than leaving a ton of wasted empty space and using unnecessary scroll bars).
    • Fix broken meter style on MIDI tracks.
    • Center fader in its (left hand side) mixer strip column.
    • Make selected region base colour slightly transparent
    • Separate milliseconds from seconds in the clock widget


    • Add small GUI to select Mackie / BCF2000 emulation for the mackie surface.
    • Fix crash on startup when using BCF mode for the mackie surface.
    • Use a timeout to reset faders' in_use flags when in BCF mode (ie with faders that don't support touch).
    • Do log/lin mapping for Mackie faders so that they behave like the on-screen ones.
    • Add a GUI to set the number of active extenders for the Mackie control surface.


    • Fix name of libardour .mo file.
    • French (updated)
    • Swedish (updated)

Fantastic! I for one am very happy indeed to see alpha5 finally arrive! =D

Its now been a full year since I got seriously involved in testing A3 and this release is a turning point in music tech in my eyes - its still very much pre-release and flawed but its leaps and bounds ahead of the previous alpha in stability and completeness- good enough for real usage and now its within easy reach of all or at least anyone with the modest hardware required to run it.

Huge thanks as ever to the team - we’re nearly there now!

Combine/uncombine totally rocks! And works very well!

question regarding this fix:

"Drop deprecated JACK latency API (note: using Ardour3 with older versions of JACK will not do correct alignment of newly recorded material) "

what is the version of JACK that we should be using for Ardour3? and SVN Ardour2 for that matter? multiple Ardour2 projects in the last few days starting sounding “out of sync” with Ardour’s click all of a sudden. might be related to a wrong JACK version.

great work.


Great work many thanks

Thanks Carl!!! Great work guys!

Great Job!

You need JACK1 0.120.1 (preferably 0.120.2 which was just released today) or JACK2 1.9.7.

There appears to be a compatibility issue with the latest ardour3 built against the new LV2 stack and some of the linuxDSP plugins, which causes the plugins to display the ardour generated UI instead of the normal plugin UI. I believe I have identified the cause, and new plugin updates are in the process of being released. At the moment there are new versions of the Pro-EQ, Dynamics and Gate, the MKII-Graph-EQ, the MBC2 and the most recent plugin, the CH-EQ2B - available from the linuxDSP website. These have been tested against A3 alpha5 with the new LV2 stack and appear now to function correctly.

Updates to the remaining pugins are planned very soon - in the meantime all the existing plugins appear to work with A3 built against the original SLV2 based LV2 stack.

EDIT: Updates to all the linuxDSP plugins are now available.

Notes for Ubuntu users:

Installing libjack or qjackctl under Ubuntu 11.04 / Natty will by default install JACK2. I have experienced less problems by replacing JACK with the latest JACK1 ie

sudo apt-get install libjack0

Then say yes to uninstall JACK2 of course - either way A3 will complain about JACK not being new enough but should run nonetheless.

Provided that you’re not already using ~/bin for anything else, the easiest way to get JACK session to work under Ubuntu is to run

ln -s /opt/Ardour-3.0alpha5_9607-dbg/bin/ ~/bin

Do this AFTER having run the A3 install script and chances are you will need to log out and back in at least once too.

At least qjackctl, Yoshimi, Bristol etc. are compiled with JACK session support under Ubuntu now so things are getting easier but if you’ve not installed Linux or you’re looking for a new distro I’d try AV Linux first- version 5 will be released any time now and hopefully OpenDAW won’t be much longer.

When can we expect a new release or alpha release. ?

@luizmartines: within the next 3 hours.