Copy tracks between sessions

Hi there

I am developing a large-scale sound-work and worked on a small chunk of it away from my main session, thinking I could still copy and paste in to the main session the tracks for this little section.

I’ve found that I can’t seem to do that. I’d like them to still be edit-able, rather than exporting to an audio file which is fixed.

Is it possible or am I trying to do something silly?


@Beakerthon: i can’t seem to find a feature in Ardour 3.4 that can “import tracks or properties from another session”, that would be a great add-on to Ardour 3 in the next releases and i hope the devs take that into account but in the mean time i think you could work around that by two methods:

Stem Export (which will export the different tracks in time so you can continue editing them in your main session)
Region Export (which will export only the regions and you have to align them later)

These are workarounds, not really solutions since none of them will allow you to review your previous editing, but they will allow you to mix them back in your main session and continue your work, i hope this helps.

This feature was partially (mostly) implemented during the development of ardour3. We hid it because changes in session file format made it difficult to keep it functioning correctly. It will be restored at some point (might be a good task for a programmer to get their hands dirty with ardour, actually)

Hi guys - thanks a lot for this. I was beginning to think I’d missed something! Will try out the suggestions and await it being restored in ardour3.


would be handy - was this further developed in the end?

I’ve been wondering the same thing. I recently found a DrumGizmo template for Ardour, but I can’t find a way to copy a track generated from the template there to an existing session. From what I’ve understood, the only way to get this working would be to manually copy parts of the XML file from one session file to another, but I don’t know which parts, and if there are properties in the existing session file that need to be then updated/modified to recognize the new tracks. Is there any documentation on the format itself?

More likely you’ll destroy the session.

Every item in the session file has a numeric ID, which is also cross-referenced in various places (regions, tracks, sources, UI item visibility, etc,). You cannot copy parts from one session to another. Most likely there will be ID conflicts.

At this point in time the only way would be to use the Drumgizmo session-template as basis for a new session. …or alternatively use track-templates (they show up in Session > Add Track or Bus). However track-templates don’t include media.

I just copied the Routes and Playlists from the template in an existing session, and it worked. I had to “merge” the “Master/audio_in 1” configuration, as both had one and there were different tracks in it, but apart from that it went fine. I did notice the ID properties for all those nodes, guess I was just lucky I didn’t run in any conflict…

Any way, I know I can create a new session from the template. The issue is I had a complex session already working, and wanted to replace the drums part with drumgizmo: redoing every track in a new session from scratch as out of the question. I didn’t want to work on drumgizmo separately in a different session and then render to a wav I could import in the main session either, as I would have lost the ability to work on mixing for the separate channels independently. That’s why I was looking for a way to copy/move tracks between sessions.

From a dumb user’s perspective, it feels weird such a feature is missing in Ardour, but as a newbie I have no idea if it is actually common in DAWs in general at all. I’ll probably work on a simple script to do the work in an automated way, possibly rewriting IDs when they collide.

Oh, track templates might actually be very interesting here. The drumgizmo template itself doesn’t contain any media, just the track+busses configuration. I’ll have to check if that can be templated as well.

Hi Paul,
Any chance of implementing this in 2020? Sorry, I am not a programmer, just a user. Can’t get my hands dirty :wink:

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