Auto crossfade in Ardour 5


I’m using Ardour 5 for a while and now that I can configure my keyboard shortcuts I can make it to be almost the perfect DAW. But there is something that I hardly miss while doing sound editing for film: auto crossfades.

I’ve read in this article that it looks to be possible, and even more by default:

A crossfade is automatically created within the overlap

But when I import two audio files on the same track, move the right one a little to overlap the left one (not a full overlap) no crossfade is created :frowning:

Did I missed something ? Maybe is there an option in preferences ? I spent time looking in preferences but I didn’t seen any option that looked like “auto crossfades”. Is this implemented in Ardour 5 ?


There is a crossfade. The article that you’re reading, however, is out of date and ought to have been removed.

The default crossfade is “short” - it simply ensures there is no click when transitioning between regions. You can change the default length in Preferences. You can edit the length of any particular crossfade by just dragging the fade handles near the top at each end of the region.

Hi Paul, thanks a lot for your answer. By the way, it’s a great honnor to speak to Paul Davis himself ! The father of the great Jack server ! :astonished:

I’m aware of the micro crossfade to avoid clicks, but for editing audio for video, I’ve a hudge number of regions and I always (I mean, 98% of the time) want crossfades between those regions. Creating crossfades manually for all of those regions overlaps is kind of long and repetitive process.

A video is more clear than 1000 words so here’s the kind of behaviour I really need: (only look to audio track of course).
(Vegas is IMHO a great example of simple, intuitive and powerful UI, for many other little details but this isn’t the subject here)

The bad thing about manually created crossfades is that when I need to move a region that overlap another (with a previously manually created crossfade between the two regions), the crossfade doesn’t dynamically adapts to be exactly the length of the overlap.
Once again, a video is more clear to express this:

Thanks for your time.
(ps: maybe you’re asking why don’t I use Vegas if I seems to be 100% satisfied with it ? Because after years of work in the field of sound I’m now a software developer; and a free software defender since my very young age; and I never used windows since I’m 14. Vegas is / (was ?) the only non-free software I use and the only reason to keep Virtualbox installed on my machine)

Ardour has a much more sophisticated layering model than other DAWs. This means that a simple-minded model of what happens when you put one region over another doesn’t work, because the overlap could actually involve any number of regions.

There is more explanation here:

The key idea is that the fades are not a property of the intersection of two regions, but instead belong to every region and crossfade between anything under the region and the region itself. Once you understand why we have to do this, it will become clear why we can’t (generally, at least) connect the length of a fade to the length of the region overlap.

Ardour used to do what you want, but it doesn’t work correctly in many fairly trivial cases.

Hi brunetto and Paul,

Adding to the question above: Is there a specific single command to create a crossfade for the overlap of two regions (on the same track)? I don’t quite find the right command to make a key-binding and also need crossfades a lot in my workflow…

(For example in Cubase you can place two regions with some overlap and just hit “x” (while one of the regions is selected) to create a crossfade for the entire overlap… I need that all the time…)

Thanks a dozen!