Ardour 5 only working properly without plugins

Hello, a couple of days ago I installed Ardour 5.0.0
When I open a session and hit play it kind of drags and can’t really play back the tracks as if there is not enough “horse power” on my laptop.
It plays them very slow with stutters and glitches.

When I choose to open my session in “safe mode” with all the plug-ins disabled everything is ok. So I thought it might be a hardware limitation but it is a project that I already have been working on with Ardour 2 a couple of days ago and it was working fine. In Ardour 2 I had to do (every time) some workarounds to get a few things working and it was a bit of a hassle so I wanted to try a newer version.

The project I’ve been working on is a 16 track live recording. In almost every track I use the basic plug-ins like EQ, compressors, gate, reverb, saturation. So considering that all of them were working on Ardour 2 I don’t think that I use many.
When I disable them all one by one it begins to play normal. As soon as I enable them on over 2 or 3 tracks it starts to slow down again.

I even uninstalled Ardour and tried to install the old version from the software center but I got the Ardour 5 again installed. Has it something to do with the dependencies and updates that were previously installed for Ardour 5 and now I can’t get an older version on my laptop?

Any ideas of how I can make any version play well with my laptop?
Is there a chance that it has something to do with Jack?
Of course I would prefer the newer version but if it isn’t possible I will use the old one.

Anyway, I don’t know much about computers. I’m a musician who just wants a few programs to be working properly.
I don’t need midi and I don’t need to record anything for the time being. I just want to mix & edit some tracks.
Any help would be much appreciated!

I’m working on an old (upgraded) Lenovo ThinkPad R61i.
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
120GB ssd
Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T9300 @ 2.50GHz x 2
Intel 965GM

Thank you in advance,

I wouldn’t use Reverb on every track, between that and saturation depending on how the saturation is implemented, are both resource hogs.

Also make sure your CPU performance governor is not an issue.


The usual way to use reverb on every track is to have a single reverb bus and a send to it from each track.
The extra routing costs practically nothing in CPU time, and the saving in reverb processing CPU time is enormous. Also if your overall reverb on the mix needs adjusting, it’s a single control (the fader on the reverb bus). That’s how everybody else does it.
Occasionally you might need to have a reverb with different sound on some tracks, but that’s not usual and it’s not likely to make for a natural sound because it will sound like your instruments/voices are in different rooms.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough.
I don’t use reverb on every track. I ment that I use on every track one or some of these effects I listed. Even if I did, I don’t think that this would be the problem because in Ardour 2 I had to use GVerb on EVERY track as a workaround to be able to insert other effects and it was playing well.
In Ardour 5 I don’t need this workaround so actually I use less effects.

Thank you for your replies.

How many processing cores does your CPU have, do you know?

Did you upgrade any of the plugins when you upgraded Ardour’s version?


Try to force to rescan plugins by Ardour. That may help.

A Core 2 Duo processor has two cores.

After trying out different approaches I came to the conclusion that it has something to do with importing a session from an older version.
I’ve imported the same session again in “safe mode” (plugins disabled), “saved as” with a new name and started to add plugins on every track. There seems to be no problem till now.

The bad thing is that I have to do all the work again almost from scratch. Even the volume automation has no effect although I can see the lines in the tracks where I’ve used it. When I pick a point where I have a volume change and drag it up or down it somehow comes to life and works again.

Seablade I have 2 processing cores.
SadKo I’ve rescaned the plugins. I even “ticked” the preferences where it scans them on every start up.

Thanx again to everyone who tried to help.
At least I know that I can use Ardour again although I have to do a lot of work on the same project from the beginning.

Heh missed that Core2Duo was specified sorry about that.

Odd that rebuilding from scratch fixes it, I would submit a bug report and if you can include your session file (No need for the raw audio I don’t think) with a description of the problem.