How to configure video export to use original video?

Ubuntu 20.04 lts
KDE Plasma 5.18.5
Ardour 6
ffmpeg 4.2.4

Me: a bit of a newbie to a/v editing though I’ve been doing it (off and on) since VHS.

When I export a short 30 second test clip as video it seems to degrade the video. Is there a way to set it to just use the original video somehow? I’m working with web clips and they quality is already low to begin with. I would like to not degrade the video further as it leaves Ardour.

My gut is telling me that maybe I should just export the audio and try to line them back up in a video editor. But, Ardour has this new video thing and I still hope maybe I just have it set up wrong.

Thank you!

Ardour should do that by default. When the video is imported the original path is saved and it’s later used in the “Export Video” dialog. You can manually select a file there, as well:


New? It’s been around since Ardour 3.2, around 8 years ago. :slight_smile:
In any case exporting the audio and muxing it using a dedicated video tool is indeed the preferable. See “Exporting” at

Thank you, Robin. This is weird. Maybe Ardour is perhaps processing the video when it imports it? It seems to be a much grainier quality afterwards.

I think you just helped me most of all with your last statement though. I’ll just stick to using Ardour for the audio stuff alone.

(I’m new to Ardour since v5. I thought they said the video thing was new in v6. Maybe it was some improvement.)

Yes when importing a proxy video is created for the video-timeline. There are two reasons for it: lower the CPU usage: spend less time to decode the video (allow more for audio DSP), and allow instant frame-accurate seeking, without decoding B-frames.

However that is irrelevant for export.

Export uses the original file as-is (ffmpeg -vcodec copy), you can confirm that using option “Debug Mode: Print ffmpeg command and output to stdout.” in the video-export dialog.

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