Ardour 4 Questions

Hi Folks,

Just a couple of quick questions about Ardour 4 on OSX. Firstly, will this version support the saving of plugins? Secondly, if I pay for a version of Ardour now in order to test the Ardour 4 RCs, does that entitle me to the full version of Ardour 4?

If you subscribe to Ardour, you will have access to every version of Ardour currently available for as long as your subscription is valid. This includes official releases and the nightly builds for every platform and architecture. I am not involved with the development of Ardour, but I am a satisfied subscriber who feels the monthly payment is a tremendous value when considering what you get in return, namely unlimited access to an excellent program. In regards to the ability to save plugin settings on the OSX release of Ardour 4, I’ll let one of the developers answer that question.

The limitation of the free/demo version on ALL platforms was recently changed. We no longer do anything to change plugin save/restore, but instead the program will simply go silent after 10 minutes. You can request another 5 minutes to finish your work, then another 2, then 1 ad infinitum. That’s the only limitation now. This currently applies ONLY to the versions available on - once we release 4.0, it will apply to the download page as well.

As GuntherT noted, paying a single amount for any version of Ardour will not entitle you to download different versions. That is true right now and has been for several years. However, after we release 4.0 (or strictly speaking, as part of the release), anyone who paid $45 or more for any of the last 2 versions of Ardour will get access to whatever the current version is. So if you pay $45 for for Ardour 3.5.X, then after the release of Ardour 4, you will get free access to Ardour 4 (and will also get you later free access to Ardour 5, whenever it comes out).

However access to the non-free/non-demo versions on will continue to be limited to subscribers. This is partly because this is really just a service that we provide for our subscribers, and also partly for technical reasons.

I hope this is clear enough. The situation is a bit more confusing since we are in a transition period. In a day or two, it should all be more clear and simple.

Thanks for the info. I’ll have a look at the nightly and wait for the release of Ardour 4. One thing I’m not clear about is whether there was ever a version of Ardour 3.x for OSX that allowed plugin saving?

There were nightly builds that did, but never any version from Ardour 5, whenever it comes out...
A few weeks after Ardour4?

I’m still not clear about why the name change to 4.0 - Ardour2 -> Ardour3 was a major feature upgrade, and a significantly different / better look and feel, and even Ardour (0.99 if memory serves) to Ardour2 was a similar major change. Calling it Ardour4 has created a lot of fuss on various forums, with people expecting almost a completely new product - is that the case? Or is it just re-arranging the bugs in 3.5?

Isn’t there a major internal change in the graphics engine for V4, with a thing called Cairo Canvas?
Differences from the user’s point of view may be less obvious e.g. many cosmetic changes and bug fixes. I’ve used a recent nightly build a little and if does look better.
Also it seems V4 is the one which is potentially being taken seriously as a Windows product - that could turn out to be a massive change, in a different way.

@LinuxDSP: if you check the commit log, the amount of changes 3.0 -> 4.0 is larger than 2.0 -> 3.0.

While there’s still a lot to come (see, with Audio, Midi and Video tracks in place, it’s not so much about “big new major features” anymore. Over 2000 bugs have been squashed since 3.5 and there are lots of seemingly small new (but complex) new features and optimizations (stay tuned, paul is compiling a changelog).

The big things that stick out is hardware accelerated drawing (cairocanvas) as well as portability (finally an OSX and Windows version).

FWIW, we considered to do away with version numbers completely: All releases are now named after Eno albums. But sorting releases via discography lookup is not practical (particularly for distributions, but also for the current download system) hence a version number is still present. The general idea is to continue with minor releases on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.