Multiple instances / missing files?

Hi all - when I opened my project this morning, I was greeted by a complaint that it “cannot find the audio file Bass-7.wav in any of these folders”. And a similar message about Vox-4.wav. It’s looking in the right folder. When I scan the filesystem, I can’t find them elsewhere. If I just close the project and reopen, I’m greeted by the same errors again.

I’m a bit gun shy now. Would anyone advise me on how to best restore this project to a good state? Once the project is opened, I can see ghosted regions that look to be the missing files. I don’t believe these files/regions were anything important, thankfully.

My suspicion is that this has something to do with the fact that yesterday I had inadvertently started two instances of Ardour. If that is the case (i.e. my problem is due to pilot error), then I wonder if there is (or could be) a config option that prevents Ardour from opening multiple instances?


I still have this problem with these files, every time I open the project I’m asked about Bass-7 and Vox-4 which don’t exist. So in order to open the project I have to choose “skip this file” to each prompt.

I can find the missing files as entries in the region list, they both show up in a striking bold red font unlike the rest. If I right click on one of them and select , “remove unused” this does nothing.

I used the context menu’s “cut” operation on the ghosted regions, and saved the project. This has removed the ghosted regions. Yet I still keep being prompted for the two files when I open the project.

Is there no way I can tell Ardour to stop asking me about these two files?


Just for the record, I believe (But could be wrong as I am going off memory) that this will remove the audio file only if it is not anywhere in your session, or any of the snapshots of your session. So from your post it seems like it may still have been in your session as you mentioned cutting it out afterwards, but even though you cut it out I believe that if it is in one of the snapshots of the session it will remain as well.

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Thank you for your response @Seablade. I don’t believe I have made use of snapshots at all.
(When I look at the snapshot list on the far right of the editor window I believe I see only one item: my main project, with a time and date and some selection and punch information.)

Can you advise any other practical steps to telling Ardour to stop asking about these obsolete files?

By the way, just for fun I grepped for “Vox-4” in my project file and found this:

 <Source name="Vox-4.wav" type="audio" flags="" id="82325" captured-for="Vox" channel="0" origin="" gain="1"/>
    <Region name="Vox-4" muted="0" opaque="1" locked="0" video-locked="0" automatic="1" whole-file="1" import="0" external="0" sync-marked="0" left-of-split="0" right-of-split="0" hidden="0" position-locked="0" valid-transients="0" start="0" length="15977984" position="0" beat="0" sync-position="0" ancestral-start="0" ancestral-length="0" stretch="1" shift="1" positional-lock-style="AudioTime" layering-index="0" envelope-active="0" default-fade-in="0" default-fade-out="0" fade-in-active="1" fade-out-active="1" scale-amplitude="1" id="83188" type="audio" first-edit="nothing" source-0="82325" master-source-0="82325" channels="1"/>

Can we learn anything from the values of any of the parameters we see?

Can you or anyone else comment on how risky would it be to remove these lines with a text editor, after making a back up copy? This project means a lot to me; my problem is only a nuisance at the moment so I certainly don’t want to risk making things worse. But maybe this would be not a risky thing to do (if I was sure to make a back up copy of the file before making any changes).


Attempted Recreation of your scenario :
I created a TEST session with 2 audio tracks, save the session, and closed Ardour. In my file manager, I see 2 .wav files in my Ardour session folder - TEST/interchange/TEST/audiofiles/

I delete one .wav file. I open the session with Ardour, and see the missing file dialog, and skip the missing file.

My solution :

Backup entire session folder.

I open a new session and record a 1 second long audio region of silence and export it to foo.wav, using the menu feature Session -> Export -> Export to Audio File, and specifying an easy to find export folder on my drive - such as MY_FILES.
I copy foo.wav file to TEST/interchange/TEST/audiofiles/ and renamed it as the missing file.
The Ardour session now opens normally and the formerly missing region is now present.
I can now delete the “formerly missing region” if I want it permanently eliminated from my session.

Also there is a menu option that may be worth exploring Session -> Clean-up -> Clean-up Unused Sources
I know nothing about this, but wondered if it could be useful.

As for starting 2 copies of Ardour… I don’t think that’s a problem with the software. IMHO
I hope this helps.


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