Ardour 3 Lite?

How crazy is the idea of releasing some day an Ardour 3 Lite or Mixbus Lite version for Android Tablets and/or Ipad?
seems theres a growing interest of using these devices as on the go DAW, not only for midi control.

android has terrible audio performance when it comes to latency.

ios is a totally different animal from osx and its far from clear how easy porting to that platform would be.


Ignoring Ardour on Android, I know the latest version or two of Android supposedly improved latency significantly for audio apps, does your statement still hold true for the latest releases?


@paul: What are the implications for putting GPL’d code in an iOS app (is this something that apple allow? or am I getting confused with the long list of things that Microsoft prohibits in their app store…?)
(personally I see the idea of mobile content creation as something which looks like a great idea, until you actually try it… For most situations I suspect these devices work well as a ‘note pad’ in the same way that a 4-track tape machine was good for capturing / sketching musical ideas - but can never be a substitue for a proper studio / DAW with (one or two) big screens)

@fernesto: long before the current fashion for mobile everything… There was Indamixx - which was a mobile linux powered device, specifically designed for mobile music / content creation, even including a custom version of A2.

@linuxdsp: i didn’t want to get involved in that discussion as well, but yes, there do appear to be problems with GPL apps on the apple app store, though some do already exist there.

@Gmaq: good point, although i’ve been thinking that an app that just records on Ardours session would be useful since there are times you just don’t want or have space for a laptop or desktop to carry on, i have to work sometimes at live shows where the less equipment the better, so i end recording on a MiniDisc and then open Windows to export the audio tracks from the MD… and then taking them back to Linux/Ardour… and put the files together again and then start working, therefore the idea of an app that just records already in the session.

Now about actually editing or mixin in an ipad… that totally ends in what you say about it, would be just crazy to spend time or effort on it.

@fernesto: thumbjam, which was developed by early Ardour developer Jesse Chappell, can export an Ardour session via builtin http (web) server. So you can fool around on the touch surface, and when/if you have something you want to work with in a more expansive environment, just grab it. At least a couple of other apps have done similar things for other formats.

@Paul: I was thinking about trying my hand at android app development by making this very sort of thing: a 4-track app with simple controls (basically just four volume sliders) that would save sessions in ardour format for easy transfer to a desktop later. How hard would it be to do so - not necessarily to make the app itself, I realize that’s something I’ll have to learn elsewhwere, but to write the ardour session itself. Is the ardour format documented or would I have to reverse engineer it?


Ronald Stewart the Indamixx developer has been caring for his mother who is stricken with Alzheimers disease and in addition to an Indiegogo campaign sold off much of his Indamixx stuff including the remaining hardware units last year, I know they were on eBay but I’m not 100% sure if they had reserved bids on them, obviously they had a lot of R&D money invested and the units themselves were quite expensive and unfortunately they appeared pretty dated in the current tablet age. If I remember correctly Ron was working on a much newer tablet running a Meego-based OS about the time his Mother fell ill.

Ron also did a great Ubuntu-based OS called ‘TransmissionOS’ but it stopped development a couple of years ago. A talented guy for sure and a trailblazer in his brave attempt to market a Commercial Linux Desktop DAW, Unfortunately his concept was a bit ahead of it’s time, I think the current hardware (tablet) market and the vast improvements in Apps like Ardour would make a standalone Linux based tablet DAW a more attractive proposition.

As far as Ardour Lite…

I have about 3 IOS DAW Apps on my iPod touch for fun, after about 5 minutes the fun stops and I go back to my laptop/desktop so I can actually get something done, I beg Paul to not engage in the development brain drain that would divert time from Ardour proper simply to produce yet another distracting toy that users will bore of in 5 minutes…Just my opinion :slight_smile:

@seablade: Ok. I guess I was asking whether I’d have to create (or use) an ardour file that had all possible functions implemented (volume, pan, effects, automation, arming, mute, solo, editing regions, etc.) in order to read it, or whether there was a guide to all the above. Now that I think about it though, if I’m only trying to make this work one way (demo on android -> finish on ardour), I just need a session with four tracks, volume, mute/solo, and arm. Thanks!

@gmaq: have no fear. my interests on the ipad (such as they are - i don’t have one) concern control surfaces and incredible synthesis tools like Samplr and the Korg stuff.

@gmaq: have no fear. my interests on the ipad (such as they are - i don’t have one) concern control surfaces and incredible synthesis tools like Samplr and the Korg stuff.


I have about 3 IOS DAW Apps on my iPod touch for fun, after about 5 minutes the fun stops and I go back to my laptop/desktop so I can actually get something done

I couldn’t agree more - my (limited) experience of DAW software on small mobile devices (including netbooks etc) is very similar. Clearly it must be useful for some workflows, but I think the future of a lot of serious (digital) audio production / mixing / engineering will be linked to that of the PC (or Mac) for a while yet.

Slightly off topic, I recently stumbled upon an interesting article claiming that half of all App store revenue is distributed amongst just 25 developers, which is something to think about for anyone considering the financial / commercial incentives (or lack of) for App development (especially given that there are apparently around 700,000 Apps currently…)

@fernesto: no, thumbjam is not a tool for that kind of thing. it is a performance tool involving looping.

Well it isn’t exactly reverse engineering if it is in plain text:)

The documentation to my knowledge is the file itself and the source code. Honestly the vast majority of it you can figure out just by reading the file, it is fairly obvious.


@Paul: Thank you very much Paul, that app could actually completely solve my issue, if it can record a stereo track for an hour or two that´ll be it, i see they have their own forum so i will be asking these questions to them soon.

@LeatusPenguin: I don’t know too much about the custom A2 build, I think the most significant changes were around making it fit the display resolution, although there were a lot of general tweaks (not just to Ardour) to make the whole application ‘stack’ work more smoothly than it would otherwise have done - I imagine that because they were targetting a relatively small subset of ‘known’ hardware they were also able to integrate things more tightly than other (even audio specific) distros can.

Also, is Indamixx still going or do they have any future plans?

I’m not really able to comment on that - it was / is a good product - and some of my (early) software was included with Indamixx, but that was / is the limit of my involvement with the product at the present time.