Ardour Development Update

I write that because Ardour is so important to some of us and that updated version of FFMPEG would be useful, among other things. As more use the software, some come to rely on it. That is the consequence of making something useful and important.

After 5.12 came out, we decided to embark on several “architectural” or “deep” changes that would support future functionality that everyone wants to see. We did not anticipate that it would take as long as it has to get these changes done. This is as frustrating for us (as developers) as it is for users. I would much rather be working on new features, workflow improvements and bug fixes that people can actually see and use than internal design stuff, but unfortunately one can’t happen without the other one happening first.

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You discover how important something is, when it is away. We miss Ardour.

With all due respect, I can’t see how anyone uses 5.12 for any serious MIDI work. There are so many bugs and features that are missing. I’m guessing things are much better if you’re strictly working with audio. In the meantime, I’m forcing myself to get my MIDI work done using MuSE (which has it’s own issues). I’m not going to go through all the issues as I have to believe they are known. Just asking us to be honest here when we say things like “Ardour 5.12 is quite robust and there should be no need to update…”

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Does it crash by itself?

given that OP mentioned FFMPEG, I assume he’s working on soundtracks, not doing MIDI composition.
Ardour MIDI works lacks significantly, but that’s a different story.

Seriously? When does “not crashing” == “robust”?

Why is MIDI treated like a 2nd hand citizen? Seriously, it’s unbelievable to me that Ardour 5.12 in (almost) 2019 can’t hold a candle to Cakewalk 5 in 2000 as far as MIDI is concerned. I probably wouldn’t have even chimed in at all but it’s a bit obnoxious to call Ardour “robust” when the original poster was simply wondering why there have been no enhancements and/or fixes released in a year.

A system or program is robust if you cannot easily break it and when it offers fault tolerance to some extent. Also if you rely on a tool for crucial work, I highly recommend to not touch a running system.

Cakewalk started out as sequencer, while Ardour’s background is hard-disk-recording.

I’m made my points and will continue using MusE (like so many other people) when I need to work with MIDI. Maybe one day, Ardour will deliver on its touted features and really turn into something “robust”.

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@ windowsrefund don´t really understand this imo unproductive picking on adjectives, Ardour and Mixbus is very robust and i do almost all my work with it with no complains. But yes midi is an issue. That doesnt mean the whole DAW is not robust. As robin pointed out midi is pretty new in the evolution of ardour and for me also very promising . As for example: video editing is new to reaper and it s far from complete. this doesnt mean the whole program is “not robust”. In your specific case I would just stick with MusE and or use bitwig for midi or one of the thousand other options for midi workflows.

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calimerox, I agree completely and again, wouldn’t have even chimed in on this thread had the developers not responded in the way they did to a very reasonable question.

I know the Ardour team originally went to work with the music-time and transport-logic as major reasons for this v6 rewrite. Personally, as a Mixbus user, I think you should wait until it’s fully ready instead of releasing a interim release. Mixbus 5.x has some great new features, as does Ardour 5.12. However, Mixbus 5.x seems more like a release to just appease folks wanting a feature update, which we did get some clever new features such as saving out mix presets.

I use Ardour for Midi stuff. Yes, it’s a pain in the arse, but that is literally one of the things being worked on right now by the dev team. Once all this internal stuff is out of the way, getting midi working a lot better will be a lot easier. Did Midi stuff get worse since you started using Ardour? If not, why did you settle on Ardour if it doesn’t fit your needs in the first place? There’s a million alternatives out there.

Just be patient. A year is nothing, you can already make music as it is. (use other software if you need to, the point is there’s no reason to put pressure on the dev team, they’re making a major overhaul, and it’s only been a year since the last major release).

If this all about the use of the word “robust”, well, maybe there are better things to argue about?


I think till the overhaul is finished we just want some entertainment, but without distracting the devs from their work. I would suggest the implementation of some kind of a progress bar as in the example with infos about the estimated time alternating all couple of days, and some buttons below to click on. meanwhile the devs can concentrate on coding , adjusting daily coffee dosis and whatever else is important to enjoy life and get things done.



Hi @ all … are there any news regarding the development status ?

Kind Regards, Sebastian

“Work continues” :slight_smile:

The last big piece is a new state machine to manage the transport mechanism. Progress there looks good but involves some new technology, and has been slowed/interrupted by some changes in my life (moving 1800 miles from Philadelphia to Santa Fe). Without the personal life changes, I would have predicted an alpha release in another month or so. With the changes, it’s harder to say.


Good to hear that work is ongoing, I’d just like to see a blog post like this, describing which parts of the plan have been achieved so far. I know that writing down such a blog post eats up precious development time, and with the task to move to another place it is not the most fun thing to do. But it would really help to keep up a sense of progress for the subscribers and donators. Since actual, tangible updates might still be months ahead, just doing some communication can do wonders. It’s not like I’d ask for weekly updates or so, but after a quarter or even just half a year, there should be some update on the blog.

Edit: Since you now have an official Youtube channel in place, you could as well just record a few words as a status update and post it in a video format. A smartphone camera would do. That might be quicker than writing a blog post and would utilize the new channel. :slight_smile:


It’s a huge waste of time and it’s a really unpleasant work.

It’s up to you devs. :slight_smile:

The development goals and priorities as outlined here really make sense, and as someone who uses Ardour in a way that is in accordance with what the software intends to provide, I have little to object to.

We ought to keep in mind that Ardour’s primary mission is to be a hard-disk recorder. Developers may correct me if I’m mistaken, but it would be futile to set for a piece of free software a goal mimicking the impregnable world of “features” and “standards” which sprout up every 6 months thanks to the efforts of companies whose mission is to make money. In the world of free software, the idea was always to do one thing, do it right, and leave space for others to contribute.

I take risk of undue philosophizing here, but I really appreciate software designed with informed intelligence. I do not see why Ardour’s attention should ever switch to gimmicks and being “awesome” when there is always something to improve regarding its primary function. I’m rather happy that Ardour does not have new “features” every now and then, and that the software is not being turned upside down every new point release. This kind of philosophy is inherent to commercial software because it needs an excuse to charge people their upgrade fee. It also reflects the growing need for distractions and entertainment.

Regarding stability, if one picks a system with stability in mind (Debian), Ardour, when drawn from official repositories, is remarkably stable.

Nope. It started out as HDR, but the goal is to become a fully fledged feature complete DAW, for a wide audience, amonst others intended for authors, composers, musicians as well as FOH, studio, mixing and mastering engineers.

Ardour is being used in all those contexts already.

Yep, but keep in mind that music production is a very wide field and there’s no right way to do this.

The modular approach to combine multiple independent apps in unix style that you may be looking for is non-daw. Apart from some technical issues, most musicians and engineers that I’ve talked to, myself included, find this a approach a bit too fiddly while producing music. YMMV


All understood. I disagree only with the second part, since I am skeptical about the belief that there is a dozen ways to structure the workflow of any application on PC. Usually trial-and-error pursuit of efficiency narrows everything down to 2-3 styles max, which seems to be true with proprietary programs as well, and not just in DAWS. Just my 2 cents. Regards.