DAWproject in Ardour?

Hi, is there any plan for Ardour to implement this?



We discussed this last year. It is certainly easier and perhaps more appropriate than than Pixar’s http://opentimeline.io/ which we intend to implement at some point.

Currently there are no active efforts to do either.

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It’s a shame there was already a complete open format that could have been used for this purpose… files end in .ardour.

Yes that is simplifying a bit, and me just tossing strawmen into the conversation for a bit, but some venting useful:)


by reading repo readme, i did not quite understand the goal of this format, can you simplify in 1-2 sentences?
or perhaps rough comparison between DAWproject and opentimeline.io?

OpenTimelineIO (OTIO) is an interchange format for editorial cut information. You can think of it as a modern Edit Decision List (EDL). It also includes a plugin system for translating to/from existing editorial formats as well as a plugin system for linking to proprietary media storage schemas.

OTIO supports clips, timing, tracks, transitions, markers, metadata, etc.

It comes from the Video/Film/Animation industry and amongst other has support to import/export from/to Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and AVID AAF.

It is similar to AAX in that respect.

The main difference OTIO vs DawProject is that the latter offers support for full plug-in state and automation of parameters*. Then again I am curious how that can work, since automation interpolation differs vastly between DAWs.


that looks interesting, integrating video seamless with audio… Thanks for the explanation.

from my understanding, it will work, and it will only vary on the amount of altered sound due to automation handling in different daws (it would require minor/major tweaks i guess)

or if container has set of definitions for handling interpolation… like one project can have ‘linear’ definition of automation interpolation, so on import DAW should convert it appropriately (or notify upon import)… (ofc if plausible at all)…

I can see a use-case to get the “timeline” from another DAW.

e.g. record on one DAW, mix on another ; or get audio clips after a video edit to work on a soundtrack.

But the “whole mix” will likely fail.
In Ardour you can connect anything to anything, use aux-sends to multiple busses, with pre and post fader effects, VCAs to group tracks etc. MIDI has exponential tempo-ramps… Many concepts or features are not found in most other DAWs and have no direct equivalent. – Also vice-versa, converting - say - an Ableton Live session to Ardour will likely fail spectacularly.

Still, I applaud Bitwig to get the ball rolling.

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i understand your point, and i agree… there should be a ‘standard’ set of features in order to be able to translate…
yup, as far as i can tell, render stems and import in other daw is the most painless way to go… but we’ll see what they figure out in the work :slight_smile:

The only way I can imagine this working is that upon trying to export to the shared format, the DAW would have to warn, something like “This session uses the following features that aren’t supported by DAWproject: …”

Anybody who really wants to do cross-DAW collaboration would need to be willing to forego using such features, or at least understand that some of the routing/automation/etc won’t survive the export.

Since both formats are XML-based, can’t the converter be written in XSLT?

Moss already made a converter for Reaper.
The main use case is not collaboration in the sense that you convert back and forth multiple times. Its not a problem if some special feature isn’t converted, you might want to apply that feature to a project done in a different DAW because that DAW has features Ardour doesn’t have. It will simplify the process of moving a project to another DAW. With stems you loose all the flexibility which can be retained with DAWProject. The more DAWs support it, the more likely it will be the standard to move complete projects to a new environment. I bet all those remixers will love it…

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While it would be nice to have a built-in import/export of DAWproject to/from an Ardour session, an external standalone converter is indeed an option.

There is already https://www.aatranslator.com.au/ but it cannot read recent Ardour 7+ sessions (it can produce Ardour 3 sessions that can be opened).

Worth noting that I do have an email in my box saying AATranslator2 is in the works.

Of course that same email mentions it would be out by the end of September:)


Is there a spec for the .ardour format?

No, it closely follows libardour and hence is subject to change. It is more or less just a dump of the internal state for a given version.

If there was a spec, there would be no need for a fixed interchange format like DAWproject.

So “OpenTimelineIO”… :pray: Video cutting capabilities within Ardour (if implemented)… The Ardour “road map’s” main guideline is respectable: however, it would be grand if Ardour could take over, say, AV cutting operations from vid’ editors, as well. The gruntwork is laid, after all (w/ xjadeo).

I took the Linux leap, and have a bunch of Mac projects that have yet to “make it” over. Fingers crossed…

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I believe that personally that is far outside the scope of Ardour or DAWs in general for the record.


At first, I was tempted to disagree, pointing to the usecase of the media composer using a DAW to “score to picture.” However, on further consideration, the last thing said composer wants to do is make any changes to the “frozen for music” video: that would be a FootGun of the first order.

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