How do I cut the length of a track in Ardour

For some odd reason, when I record some thing in Ardour I end up with quite a bit of dead space at the end of a track. How do I delete (cut/separate/remove) all the information in a track after the playback head?

Isn’t setting the end marker to the end of your song (eg region) a (or The) solution?

by the way, you can also define a punch range (above the track canvas, where you can define markers, etc). Once you have a punch range defined, activate the big buttons “punch in” and “punch out” in the top of the editor window. This will be useful if you want want to record within this range ONLY. So you can start the record enabled transport way before the start of the range, but the audio will only be recorded inside the range. Very useful isn’t it ? :slight_smile:

I have the feeling that you confuse the concepts of track and region.
If you talk about the object in the track containing the visualization of the audio (wave form), this is a region and you can trim it in many ways. The easiest is to drag one end by dragging the edge of the colored bar at the bottom of the region.

A track is a container of regions. Dead spaces (no audio) is not relevant for the track. What you want (most likely) is to trim regions so these do not contain areas with no audio or audio of very low volume (noise). In a typical track, you can have zillions of regions, some overlapping, but also some that are quite apart in time so that there is nothing in between. So a track is like a big case with discreet objects in it.

I have a comparable problem. I wanted to export a song (of about 4 and a half minutes), but after over an hour (not paying attention) the export was still ongoing, because the “song” didn’t have an end. So, same question for me: is there a way to mark the end of the song the same way as there is a way to mark the start of a song? This is something entirely different than setting a punch in and out range or audio samples with whitespace inbetween them on a track.
Btw, I’m using an older version of Ardour (the one that is RPM’ed for Mandriva 2008.0: Ardour 2.0.5-6). Can’t switch to a more recent version for now (incompatibility problems with Mandriva 2009 and my NAS and no budget for replacing that NAS).

set the playhead to the position you want to be the ‘end’ of your song / session. than go menu->window->locations and click the ‘use PH’ for the ‘end’ location.


so, to mix the final CD what do you do?

Bounce each song into a “final” stereo track, and add them as regions into the “album” snapshot?

I did a short “album” recently and did all the songs in sequence, not using snapshots at all, then bounced the lot to stereo track and re-ordered them for final export, but horizontal scrolling gets a bit painful when the session is really long.


As an utter newbie with Ardour, I tried:

" . . . when you open a new session - do this - use the " - " negative sign thats above your keys not the number pad one - zoom out until you see the - END marker - grab and drag it back to the audio clip and make sure you select the clip you want to crop . . . "

Well, I clicked ‘play’ and the transport sped up so fast that the waveforms are no longer visible. Try as I might, I cannot figure out how to slow this down, nor return to previous settings. (I suppose you really meant ‘a new session’ – I justy opened a saved one).

[Gee! Ardour is almost as fun as getting HylaFax to compile in its early days :slight_smile: I must admit I’m enjoying the learning experience!]

For the record: my present (learning) needs are very simple: a stereo music track (Audio 1) recorded at low volume, accompanied by vocal on Audio 2. Unfortunately, the Audio 1 region is way too long and needs to be cut and attentuated at the end.

So far, I’ve been unsuccessful at trimming the over-length, but I’m trying to learn . . .

Any suggestions how I may reset the trnasport speed ( it’s set at 1.0% normal).

Thanks a bunch!

Alright this post bugged me so much I had to create a user name and explain this one -

This is a Crop operation - and I am not sure but instead of having to go to audacity to cut the clip and bring it back - because just sliding it over - Im not sure if that is an exact method to stop the clip where you want it - audio file on the mixer…

when you open a new session - do this - use the " - " negative sign thats above your keys not the number pad one - zoom out until you see the - END marker - grab and drag it back to the audio clip and make sure you select the clip you want to crop

Now - where it says - “No Grid” clip on that button -then slide the end point to the exact spot you want to Crop - slide it around and use the negative and positive to zoom in and out and look at the time code to make sure you have it where you want it

Go to the Edit button at the top most menu - and go to “Crop”

this will crop the selection from Start to End -

then hit save - I think by default Ardour does not destroy the original audio ? sometimes its a good idea to search the folders for the actual audio it brings up - Ive had sessions fail because it cant find things that were suppose to be there…

hit save after every action - that and sometimes it helps to import the session you are working on into a new session - because there is no save as for a project -? tell me im wrong…

there is no “Save As” as such but feel free to create session snapshots. A snapshot is about the same as a new session, i.e. you can delete everything in the new snapshot, record new material, etc, etc.

A typical use of snapshots would be to create a session called “Album”, set up all tracks and busses in the newly created session, and create as many snapshots as you want from this session “template” (you can even have a session “song” template prior to creating the original session as ardour provides the possibility to save a session into a template). Rename the snapshots with song names (if you already know them, that is :).

Do this before recording anything at all.

Then, you can work on each separate snapshot, each snapshot being a different song. And yet, displaying a familiar setup (tracks / busses / effects). Of course, one can expand from this setup depending on each song’s needs.

So your overall ardour session ends up being a self contained album session. If you are inspired on one song rather than another, just call the snapshot corresponding to that song. It will close down the current snapshot and open the one you just called back.

PS: I wish one could import a different session into a snapshot. I have so many sessions scattered all around my HD, and I am getting to a stage where I finally can build up my album in a more rational way. So this snapshot trick would be handy …


lastly - you can hit the End key to get to the end - or find the end marker - then hit the Rewind to bring everything back -

some other hot keys are

0 takes you to the very start regardless where the start or end markers are

home and end ARE start and end - next to the number pad keys

set loop range from start and end markers - is the " ] " key

L key plays loop range

loop from region - IE selected - alt + ]

the punch set is the reverse key of " [ " and " alt + [ "

The Return key will take you to the End marker - so if you are moving around to grab tacks at the end - it makes it easy to move to them etc

  • amendment

where I say clip - I mean “Click” no grid and change it to grid if you cant move the end to the right position - its a three menu pop out - next to the time stamp and beats - just pop it back when done- this is in Ardour 2.3

A Few Bugs

going back to make sure I was doing it right

after recording a track it does not work immediately -

you have to hit REWIND button for the Crop to work at all

then touch the end marker so you get a thin blue line

if you move the play head position - the red position marker - play position

but default that sets the range to crop - its just tricky …

Also this function only works if the Red marker - play position is set to the start of the

clip - so if the clips selected dont all make it into the range of the cut point it will

only work on the ones that are …

but I also figured out you can just - manually type in to the time stamps

to set the start and end positions - big help with getting the end to where you want it


hope this helps

sure, just export each snapshot and reimport in a final “snapshot”.
Maybe one could think of expanding the snapshot mechanism into useful session management templates.

What implications does this have for startup performance? Does ardour load all files in every snapshot at startup?

ardour is already pretty slow at starting up with big sessions as it seems to load every single wave file in the session. I’ve been thinking there should be an option for lazy loading of files in playlists that aren’t active. I can understand people wanting to switch playlists in realtime but I’d happily trade that feature for faster session startup.

just the kind of information I was looking for!! Thanks. Will try out the suggestions.

What ardour version are you using?. I am not sure of this, but I vaguely remember that previous versions of ardour used [-] to zoom in and [=] to zoom out, by default. Now , it is just the opposite. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the speed of the playhead, you have to zoom out! View menu -> zoom, zoom focus.
Cheers! Pablo

@Pablo Fernández

Thanks for replying.

I’m using Ardour 2.0.5 that shipped with Mandriva 2008.0. I might try building the latest version, but I’m unsure whether I’ll have probs installing the LADSPA plugins again.

I finally figured it out - the Zoom function did the trick.

I also figured how to crop the virtual track (region). I had the dickens of a time - I tried everything, but nothing worked. [ What a great way to find out Ardour’s capabilities, btw :slight_smile: ] When I realized I was trying to crop the Gain field, I switched to the Audio 1 track, and it worked effortlessly.

My question: is it really worth the trouble upgrading to the latest version for my simple needs: (one stereo music track, one mono voice track)?

I’d appreciate your opinion.


Holy crap, 2.0.5 is the latest version in that repo? PLEASE for the love of Ardour find a more recent version. The amount of bugs fixed and new features added since that version is ENORMOUS! I can’t stress this enough, find a newer version.

I doubt you will have to build it yourself, but you will likely need to find it somewhere.



I guess I should upgrade.

I’m not using the latest Mandriva edition, but have been very comfortable with the much older one. I find the distro upgrade cycle a litte too much hassle since most of my needs are adequately covered with my present edition (except for Ardour). However, I will try to build the newest Ardour – if that many bugs were fixed! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info