Import/Export Software with Ardour Support

Hopefully this is the right place to post this.

I’m the developer of AATranslator which will convert session files between a heap of DAWS including Audition, Cubase, Samplitude, PT, Vegas, Reaper etc, etc.

I’m looking to provide support for the Ardour XML and was wondering if there iare some sample XMLs available or a document describing the format was available.


Hey everyone!

Ardour export support for AATranslator is finished (for the moment).

Here is what it can convert:

-Tracks and regions, all placed exactly as they were in the original session.
-Envelope Gain automation
-track pan automation
-fades in and out

Here’s what it doesn’t convert:

-track gain automation
-bus/sends (every track gets routed into the Master inputs)
-plugins/plugin settings

We will soon be adding track gain automation, when support for this feature is added for all the other DAW’s that AATranslator supports. Also, I have tested extensively, and this program works perfectly in WINE (crossover pro 9 and WINE 1.2 that is packaged with Ubuntu. I imagine this will run fine on any recent version of WINE for OS X as well.

This is an invaluable tool at a reasonable price that will finally allow Ardour users to have good session cross compatibility with just about any other DAW (Pro tools included).


We released version 3.1 of AATranslator last night.

It contains:-
significantly reduced conversion times
OMF to PT5 export function
Output automatically saved
Improvements to almost all formats eg xfades in Reaper, PT5 session offset, improved PT video handling and much more
Reads Paris & Lightworks omfs

We still had 2 issues prior to the release and these were :-
Certain dialects of Steinberg omfs had missing clip offsets/indents
Certain dialects of Avid omfs had extracted media incorrectly allocated to the wrong clip.

Well since that release we have finally stumbled upon the solution to the Steinberg issue. So be assured that we will have another release out probably within 24 hours.

Steinberg’s Nuendo omfs are just fine - go figure!

We will continue to work on a solution to the Avid problem but this leaves the way clear for me to continue working on the Ardour export function. A significant amount has already been completed so it shouldn’t take too long.

We have also made significant progress with our OMF export function with actual omfs being written - more work to do yet though.

@tbonedude: which version of wine ?

I tested wit Wine 1.2 in the ubuntu lucid repos, as well as Codeweavers Crossover Pro 9. Both worked fine.

@runaway: superb! do let us know when you consider it complete, and as I said previously, we will do our best to publicize AATranslator throughout Ardour-land and beyond. Of course, someone (tbonedude?) needs to confirm which versions of Wine it runs OK under.

I’ll try installing and running in wine and get back to everyone. For the time being I have just been running conversions in a winxp vmM using virtualbox (which has worked well enough).

Good news for everyone: AATranslator works flawlessly with Wine! Just converted and tested a session using it, and the conversion (including media file copying) went at least twice as fast as it natively does in windows!

Version 3.2 is now finally available

Lots of improvements across the board but mainly improved Ardour support.

Already working on our next release.

tbonedude has been most patient & helpful and my thanks also to Paul for his input.

As a result we now have AATranslator converting session files from a range of daws and producing ardour session files which apart from track panning (which I’m about to fix) appear to be converting properly.

Obviously a bit more testing to be done but hopefully won’t be too long before you can confidently convert to & from PT, Samplitude, Reaper, Audition, Vegas, FCP, Cubendo and a wide range of other daws to/from Ardour.


Awesome glad to hear it. Means it should work under Wine on OS X as well I would bet, I should check.


Glad to hear work progressing!


We have resumed work on the Ardour export functionality and tbonedude is once more on the case of testing our Ardour related beta versions. Hopefully we will have some progress to report shortly.

@runaway: there is no written documentation or DTD for our session format, but we can easily provide you with sample XML. any reason to not just install ardour and generate them yourself?

Sometimes the simplest solution is not always the obvious (to some) :slight_smile:

Thanks Paul I will do that

Hmmm - correction

There is no windows version that I can see and I don’t use a mac

install virtualbox for windows, install a linux guest, start jack with a dummy backend, run ardour.

Or even: jack2 for windows, with netjack, windows as the jack master, start netjack backend on the linux guest

Hmm - I’ll check that out - in the meantime I certainly would take up that offer of a couple of xmls just so I can see what i’m up against


Which DAWs does use Open session formats?

The only one I know of is MixBus

But thats the whole point of a session translator to convert from say Open session format to Vegas or Audition or Samplitude etc etc.

There are numerous scenarios where this is important for some users/studios.

Client tracks at your studio or bedroom whatever and you use say Vegas but they want to take all their tracks, drop ins, etc away and mix it at another studio, bedroom etc using their software of choice.

Sure you can render down all the takes but that means you must make irreversible decisions right there and then.

This sort of software is not for everybody but if you have this problem then its a definite must.

In fact I had never heard of mixbus or this particular format before yesterday but if it helps someone bring in sessions from other formats or vice versa then thats a good thing.

Hopefully I’m not far off the mark :slight_smile:

@runaway: how portable is your translator? is the app coded in a way that deeply ties it into Windows? Its not by any chance written in a portable language like Python is it?

Hey Paul,

Unfortunately I’m but a humble PC programmer with zero experience in having to worry about non PC environments. There are pieces of code written in pretty much standard C but they are things like converting SD2 to wav or splitting stereo wavs etc - none of the conversion code is portable without more effort than its worth.

I had planned on converting it to ‘standard’ C once I had everything bedded down but quite frankly the almost non existent profit for this project pails into insignificance against the 9 months of effort by 2.5 people :slight_smile:

So after dealing with PT session files & Cubase xml files I really have to balance time & effort against my sanity :slight_smile: I have a list of potential daws a mile long that someone wants me to try and address so anything that looks like a blocker generally moves to the back of the line. For example I have given up on Sonar for the time being as just too hard at this point, however, I’m still pursuing OMF2 (and that’s hard enough).

What seemed like a simple idea of grabbing a few xmls and some (even scant) doco is turning out to be a little more challenging now that I realise this is essentially a non PC shop :slight_smile:

I may have even missed the mark in thinking that including this format in AATranslator is going to be of any use to this community and if thats the case then I must apologise for wasting everybody’s time.

BTW as you know if someone wants to use this app (or even the demo) under OSX they just have to install Parallels & XP/Vista to get a virtual Win32 environment