Ardour Interface slow after a while

I’m using Kubuntu Lucid Lynx (with KDE 4). I’m working on a full free software feature animation film using blender, gimp, and ardour.

Right now I’m making some animatics working with Blender 2.5 for displaying the video and Ardour for soundtrack editing, all synchronized with Jack.

The thing is that after a couple of minutes of working with both programs, Ardour’s interface becomes slow somehow. More precisely, zooming and scrolling through the timeline is slow, like chopy.

I don’t know if this is because of blender, of Kde4 or if it is a known issue with ardour.

If I close and reopen Ardour everything is normal again.

Thanks for the help!

Hmm have you tried using Jadeo to display the video once it is rendered in Blender instead? Does the problem still exist?

Never had this problem while using Jadeo myself, and have done a fair amount of work with people on Blender projects in exactly how you described, except I had them render the animatics(Quick preview renders most of the time for the sake of time) and displayed them in Jadeo.


Hi seablade!

I understand what you say, but using jadeo is not exactly what I need. I’m using Blender and Ardour like one single application, like one whole video editing software.
I’ll make some more tests and see if I can isolate the cause of the slowdown.

Anyway, the slowdown is not such that i can’t work anymore, so it is not such a big problem. It’s really strange tough, cause the only things that get a little choppy are scrolling and zooming the timeline. The playhead moves smoothly, moving regions also works well, and the interface in general keeps on behaving as it should… I don’t know what can be causing this actually…

jpbouza: how much memory do you allow for locking in your audio group (if you haven’t set it manually in /etc/security/limits.conf, then you’ll see this in /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf - look for the line that says “memlock”). I’ve personally found that if your memlock setting is too high, ie: too much of your memory is locked for audio, then anything to do with a gui or window manager will get kind of choppy. When I used my ardour rig for a live show not long ago, the entire graphical interface froze up, and it wasn’t until I rebooted the computer during a set break that I realized it had been recording just fine the whole time, but the fact that memlock was set to “unlimited” made everything graphical freeze. After that, I took a look at how much memory the system uses while idle, before jack is started, and set the memlock setting to the difference (for instance, that particular system uses ~90MB RAM while idle, and has 768MB RAM total, so I set memlock to 668MB). This made everything work just great. Also, keep in mind that the kind of processing you’re doing (both video and audio editing) is really system intensive no matter what you do, so depending on the system you’re running, you may be stuck with your current scenario (although I’m certainly no expert ;-).

As a sidenote, I've had varying versions of this problem in the past with different systems: for a while all my computers had memlock set to "unlimited", and although jack gave me a warning on starting up, I refused to acknowledge it. During this period ( I always set memlock manually now, with the exception of the aforementioned system, which I had recently upgraded to Lucid which handles RT permissions on its own as opposed to having to be set manually via command line ), I would always have issues with something on my system responding slowly, although it was always different: sometimes hydrogen would respond slowly, sometimes my window manager, and when I went to fluxbox for a minimal WM, sometimes the ardour interface itself, if not the entire gui. In all these cases, the problem was solved by changing the memlock setting. Sometimes I might find that audio performance would suffer slightly, but with some of the crappy old hardware I've used over time, I can hardly complain, as no other OS/software combo could come close to the performance I get with a finely tuned linux/ardour system ( and yes, that includes OSX/Ardour, which I run on a G4 iBook, but only when I absolutely have to ;-).


I understand what you are saying, however if you are trying to determine if your particular combination of tools is somehow causing a problem, try to eliminate one or the other, in this case it is much easier to eliminate Blender as you are testing the UI responsiveness of Ardour. Thus my suggestion to try Jadeo to see if that problem still exists with it. If it does the problem does not appear to be in Blender, and is more likely to be with Ardour somehow.

In as far as memlock, honestly shouldn’t be to much of an issue I don’t think, but I haven’t ever tested it to be sure myself so I suppose I will stay outta that one for the moment;)


Similar issues have been reported before, we might all be running into the same thing: