Another month, another Ardour update release. 3.5 doesn't include any major new features, but does come with a major architectural change and improvements in two significant aspects of workflow. As usual you can download it from the usual place, and as usual subscribers get this update without cost.
Ardour is now (theoretically) no longer dependent on JACK. The functionality provided by JACK has been abstracted to allow 3rd parties to provide implementations that directly use various platform native audio and MIDI APIs (such as CoreAudio on OS X or ASIO on Windows).
Of course, Ardour can still be run with JACK, and this option is not going away. We hope to see these other "backends" emerge over the next few months. For now, users should not experience any functional changes when using Ardour.
This has led to many improvements in the Ardour source code and some visible changes as the program starts up. Read more below for some details.
Is Ardour3 released for OS X yet?
As usual, OS X users are stuck with a beta demo release though unlike previous releases this is for 64 bit OS X 10.7 and later only. It will not run on early systems. We hope to have some resources to put into OS X after 3.7 is released.
What's up next?
The next major release 3.6 will feature an entirely new "canvas" for drawing and managing the editor window's main track display. Release 3.7 will be focused on significant fixes and improvements for MIDI workflows.
- audio and midi I/O has been moved out of the core of Ardour into module(s) that are
- the JACK menu item in the main menu bar has been removed
<li> a new window, the audio/MIDI Setup dialog can be accessed from the Windows menu</li> <li>the audio/MIDI setup dialog allows precise calibration of I/O latency. It does the same job as <code>jack_iodelay</code>, but is fully integrated into Ardour itself. </li> <li>the audio/MIDI setup dialog can also be used to change everything about JACK's configuration IF it used to start JACK. This means that if you do use it to start JACK, you can dynamically change sample rate, the device in use, etc.</li> <li>possible to specify the use of the new-ish JACK2 "alsarawmidi" slave driver, and the not-yet-released JACK1 "alsa_midi" slave driver. These both provide better timing and lower latency for MIDI routing to/from hardware than either of the two legacy options. Similar options exist for OS X (or will when we do an official release).</li> <li>if you start JACK outside of Ardour (e.g. via qjackctl or JackPilot) than the audio/MIDI setup dialog can still be used to dynamically change the buffer size and reconnect to JACK if necessary (this replaces the old menu functionality).</li> </ul> </li> <li> startup, session loading <ul> <li> there is a new session loading dialog. Choose whether to create a new session, open a recent session or browse for less-recent sessions, all in the same window/page.</li> <li> see the sample rate and audio data format of a session before opening it.</li> <li>internal code design has been radically overhauled to make reasoning about session loading possible.</li> <li>if you allow Ardour to start JACK, and the session sample rate does not match the current JACK sample rate, it will be changed dynamically to match.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Video range export. It is now possible to export (to video) just a given range within the session. Accessible from both the range context menu and the main Export menu.</li>
Fixes and Improvements
- improvements in performance of MTC and MIDI Clock sync (it was already good, now it is even better)
- don't display metrics for invisible tracks in meterbridge
- make narrow mixer meters slightly wider, hide metrics instead
- new MIDI binding map for Novation Impulse 61
- fix compilation for ARM systems
- fix crash loading 2.x sessions with incorrect options in ardour.rc or session file
- plugin GUIs made visible via the editor mixer strip remain visible when the currently selected track(s) change
- The Mackie Control editor/GUI now has a sane height and width
- Updates to the software libraries used by Ardour,
- GTK+ (used for the GUI of Ardour, now at version 2.24.23 with patches)
- Pango (used for drawing text, now at version 1.36.0)
- Cairo (used for drawing everything, now at version 1.12.16)
- Fontconfig (used for managing fonts on Linux, now at version 2.11.0)
Paul Davis, Tim Mayberry, Robin Gareus, Alexandre Prokoudine, Nils Philippsen
Thanks as usual to all the Ardour users on the #ardour IRC channel and elsewhere who have been testing the substantial changes that led to 3.5 as they happened. Particular thanks to Chris Goddard, Axel Müller for their intensive involvement in this process.
- Russian translation updated (Alexandre Prokoudine)
- German translation updated (Edgar Aichinger)