Ardour 4.1 released

The Ardour project is pleased to announce the release of 4.1 with a great line-up of new features such as input gain control, Save As for projects, click-free changes to processor order and meter position, relative snapping, faster waveform rendering, Hi-DPI/Retina support and more! As usual, quite a few bugs have been mercilessly slayed. Encouragingly, we also have one of our longest ever contributor lists for this release.

We had hoped to be on a roughly monthly release cycle after the release of 4.0, but collaborations with other organizations delayed 4.1 by nearly a month.

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New Functionality

  <dl class="faq">
<dt>Input Gain Control</dt>
  Ardour's mixer now includes an input gain control.
  In tracks, it is positioned after the signal flow to/from
  disk, and so affects the signal heard both when recording
  and during playback. It can be found in the mixer strip,
  near the top (honoring the top-to-bottom visual and signal
<dt>Playback- or Capture-only device support for ALSA &amp; Coreaudio</dt>
  It is now possible to use Ardour's native audio/midi
  backends for Linux and OS X with devices that only provide
  playback or capture, but not both. This can be useful, for
  example, when editing using a pair of USB headphones, where
  recording is not required.
<dt>Save As</dt>
    Ardour finally offers "real Save As", which will allow you to
    save the current session to a new location on disk. Several
    options are available, notably whether or not to copy all the
    audio/MIDI files to the new location or share them with the
    existing session. It is also possible to create an empty
    version of the current session this way. "Rename" now also
    works more reliably.
    The operation named "Save As" in previous versions has
    been retitled "Snapshot (&amp; switch to new
    version)". Regular snapshotting continues to be available
    as "Snapshot (&amp; keep working on current version)"
<dt>Windows assembler metering support.</dt>
  Metering is one of the most CPU-intensive operations done
  by Ardour, second only to running plugins. On Linux and OS X,
  this has been done using hand-written assembler code (more or
  less the lowest level of programming language that
  exists). Ardour 4.1 now has similar code for Windows, thanks
  to Grygorii Zharun of Waves Audio.
<dt>Click-free changes to processor order and meter
<dd>In earlier versions of Ardour, reordering plugins or
changing the metering position would often cause a click in
  the audio. This is no longer the case.

  <h2 class="section-header">User Interface Changes</h2>

  <dl class="faq">
<dt>Waveform rendering</dt>
  Waveform rendering has been dramatically sped up. In
  addition, the user interface no longer waits for the images of
  waveforms to be drawn, but can continue operations while they
  are generated in the background. This dramatically speeds up
  scrolling, both vertically and horizontally, though you may
  see brief intervals of time when specific regions are shown
  without a waveform. It will appear very quickly, normally
  just a fraction of a second.
<dt>Stationary playhead option</dt>
  Activated via the main menu's Transport submenu..
<dt>Layering: later is higher</dt>
  Ardour 2 contained several different models for layering
  overlapping regions, which Ardour 3 simplified down to just
  one, most easily termed "manual layering". Ardour 4.1 sees
  the return of one of the additional layering modes, "later is
  higher", which puts regions with later start positions
  higher. No layering model is perfect for every workflow, but
  we hope that the return of this one will be useful for many
  relatively common ways of working.
<dt>hi-DPI support, part one</dt>
  People on all platforms with high resolution displays
  (e.g. Retina on OS X) will now find far fewer "ugly" icons
  and text in the user interface. The support will scale up to
  any sized display.
<dt>hi-DPI support, part two</dt>
    Linux and Windows users have always been able to use the
    font-scaling control to scale almost a lot of the GUI to
    their own personal preference. This has now been extended
    by making many elements of the GUI size themselves using
    the chosen font size as a reference, rather than absolute
    pixels, allowing it to work as you would expect even on
    hi-DPI displays.
    OS X users with Retina don't have this option, but the GUI
    will still automatically display appropriately for their
    hi-DPI display.

<dt>Relative snap</dt>
  this makes it possible to move objects around without
  changing their relationship to the grid. It is activated by
  using a keyboard modifier while dragging, which defaults to:
  Linux/Windows: <key>Alt-Window</key> OS
  X: <key>Shift-Option</key>. The modifier can be changed in
  the Preferences dialog (User Interaction tab)
<dt>X-run counter in status bar</dt>
  For those who don't know, "x-run" is a term that stands
  for "overrun or underrun", which describes a condition where
  the computer fails to keep up with the flow of information
  required by the audio interface. An overrun is where the
  computer fails to read incoming audio fast enough; an
  underrun is where the computer fails to deliver audio fast
  enough. You should ideally never see any x-runs on a properly
  configured system, but we don't all live in an ideal world.
<dt>Plugin parameter reset button</dt>
  In a generic plugin GUI, Ardour now shows a button
  that will reset all plugin parameters back to their default
  value (as best as the default can be determined).
<dt>Allow deletion of MIDI Program Changes using
the <key>Delete</key> key</dt>
<dt>Peak meters now have sample-accurate fall-off, no visual jitter</dt>
<dt>Automation-lane log-scale parameter support</dt>
<dt>New 0dBFS peak meter</dt>
  The existing default peak meters in Ardour max out at
  +6dBFS. Ardour 4.1 contains an optional new peak meter that
  maxes out at 0dBFS which makes better use of screen real
  estate when recording live material that can never go above
  0dBFS by definition.
<dt>Tap tempo</dt>
  When editing or adding a tempo, the dialog now offers the
  chance to tap the tempo you want to use.
<dt>Remove time</dt>
  This editing operation removes silence and audio from the
  edit point, and then moves later material earlier. It can
  optionally move markers, tempo and meter points etc. as well.

  <h2 class="section-header">Fixes</h2>

  <dl class="faq">
<dt> No more x-runs &amp; noise on session-open/close</dt>
<dd>Note: JACK 1 users may still experience occasional noise
during session open.</dd>
<dt> Fix stuck midi notes during save/auto-save</dt>
<dt> Fix stuck midi notes if loop-range is present</dt>
<dt> Various MCP improvements &amp; tweaks</dt>
    <li>panner width behaviour fixed</li>
    <li>Control key puts v-pot into "fine" mode</li>
    <li>Clean up profile editor to remove things that
      don't/can't work</li>
    <li>Add an option for the MCP .device file to set the
      master position</li>
    <li>Allow the removal of key bindings in the profile
<dt> Properly display JACK buffersize</dt>
  When jackd is already running, the Audio/Midi Setup dialog now displays the current buffersize correctly (previously it always showed 1024).
<dt> Fix importing old A2/A3 automation</dt>
<dt> Fix Non Session Manager support</dt>
<dt> VST plugins are now searched for using a case insensitive
comparison of their filename extension</dt>
<dd>This matters when plugins are on filesystems that are case-sensitive</dd>
<dt> Relax gain/fader LPF to 25Hz (was 10Hz)</dt>
<dd>Gain changes now happen faster. Most people won't hear
the difference, but trained audio engineers will know what to
look for.</dd>
<dt> Fix monitor-section polarity invert</dt>
<dt> Fix crash when switching backends.</dt>

  <h2 class="section-header">Developers</h2>
  <p>Robin Gareus, Paul Davis, Nick Mainsbridge, Colin Fletcher, John Emmas, Ben
Loftis, Len Ovens, Tim Mayberry,  David Robillard, Johannes Mueller, Grygorii
Zharun, Valeriy Kamyshniy, Nils Philippsen, A. Hellquist,
Nimal Ratnayake.
Czech translation update (Pavel Frich). Axiom 61 midi map
(Edgar Aichinger).

Paul: I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with it, I’m just trying to get used to it. It’s rather tedious for me now because I’m still learning its basic operations. When I’m more knowledgable about A4’s MIDI capabilities, I’ll try a comparison composition in BW and in Ardour.


dave - tell us how it SHOULD handle MIDI note entry …

The 4.x series continues to impress. Many thanks to all devs and supportive users ! I’m still trying to get my mind around how it handles MIDI note-entry and editing, but its audio capabilities are simply better than the rest, at least for my purposes. Bravo !



Yes, there are various issues with calf plugins that come with Ubuntu that cause crashes.
use calf-git (or better KXStudio).

hi all, 4.1 is crashing when I try to reload projects in Ubuntu. I can start a new project, but when I attempt to load an existing project, it crashes. Weirdly, this doesn’t happen with all projects. Seems to be ones that use multiple Calf plugins. Any ideas? Thanks!

EDIT: I have Linux Mint 16 installed on the same machine, so just for kicks I installed Ardour 4.1 in Mint as well, and the projects that won’t load in Ubuntu (low latency version), load fine in Mint. So maybe this issue is unique to Ubuntu?

@Paul: Oh I don’t know, I suspected that would be the case, otherwise I imagine stationary playhead would’ve been a higher priority.

I’m very happy to see it now - thank you :slight_smile:

@matthewjohnrussell: Confirmed: set “Follow Playhead” to make “Stationary Playhead” work. Thank you for solving that little mystery! One of those things that’s obvious, but only after careful thought…

expected is hard to define. for now, it is what it is. You will find the extent of the variation depends on zoom level. Future versions may (or may not) fix this behaviour. It is a lot harder than you might expect.

Stationary Playhead selected, didn’t make any difference.
I assume that means the playhead stays put and the region graphics move when playing. Or does it mean something different?
(checked: it was 4.1!)

It works here. And elsewhere. It works when I change it while playing and when stopped.

@anahata I had to also set “Follow Playhead” to make “Stationary Playhead” have any effect

Stationary Playhead is working here, which is really appreciated :slight_smile:

The red line, and its triangle at the top, are jittering around slightly though. Is this expected behaviour?

as always: great!!!

Also works here as well. Looking really good Paul. Thanks for the hard work guys.

Great new features and bug fixes. Thanks to all the devs. Looking forward to 4.2!

Dear Ardour-Developers,
It’s really great to see that Ardour is developing further. It is a wonderful DAW and I’ll stay a subscriber for life if Ardour continues.
Thank you for all the good work,
Kind regards, William Visser


Actually Ardour 4.0 was so good that it didn’t seem like 4.1 was delayed very much at all, so great to see major improvements like ‘Save As’ alongside really great “fit n’ finish” details like the track trim pots and hi-res display improvements. I hope Paul and his fellow developers can pause long enough take a big breath and look back at what has been achieved in the past year and appreciate just how far their tireless work has brought Ardour has come in comparison to commercial DAWs on other platforms… For years Ardour has been a great Audio DAW with great future potential for MIDI users, to me it seems there need no longer be any such prefacing disclaimers, it’s just an amazing DAW bar none!! Sincere thanks for an application that is much a joy to follow and watch develop as it is to produce music with! Kudos and Congrats!!!

Dave - I think you misinterpreted my remark. I really want to hear detailed explanations of alternative workflows.

Hi, it do not want to install on my computer :confused: I have licenced Ardour 4,0 and downloaded installer for 4,1 but installer do not start. The file could not be opened.