New features coming in Ardour 3.0

Ardour 3.0 is nearing its first alpha release. As usual, it has been available via SVN for those who want to build it from source during the entire development process, but we are now approaching the point where more user feedback will be useful in finalizing 3.0 before an official release. Below is a (growing) list of new features in 3.0, with links to individual pages that discuss them in more detail. Packaging Ardour 3.0 for Linux distributions is still be a very bad idea since the session file format is still not frozen, meaning that a new version next week may not load any existing 3.0 session.

Major New Features

New & Improved Audio Signal Handling Features

Audio Editing Features

New & Improved GUI details

Miscellaneous New Features and Improvements

It cannot be stressed enough how much Ardour 3.0 has been the result of a collaboration between a number of immensely skilled programmers, and knowledgeable, engaged and thoughtful early users/testers. The following people have made huge contributions to Ardour 3.0 (alphabetical order):
  • Hans Baier
  • Sakari Bergen
  • Paul Davis
  • Chris Goddard
  • Audan Halland
  • Carl Hetherington
  • Torben Hohn
  • Nick Mainsbridge
  • David Robillard
  • Lincoln Spiteri
  • Sampo Savolainen
  • Thorsten Wilms

Many thanks are also due to Alex Stone and Dan MacDonald for their beyond-the-call-of-duty help testing MIDI and their numerous suggestions on workflow, UI and more.

A full list of contributors will appear when we do a full release of Ardour 3.0

@bmdaugherty: please note that slide-edit mode (which is different than non-overlap/push-pull editing, but often used for the same thing) is deeply buggy in ardour too.

Ok Guys, all I can say is WOW! I’ve been through the gamut of DAWs, starting with *tools, then Logic7, Logic8, Reaper, and finally Nuendo. Along the way, I found each to have some great features for my workflow. Now for some seemingly serendipitous reason, it seems that all of the features that I considered true gems of each DAW are now being included in Ardour!

For instance I love the control room aspect of Nuendo for the exact functions that you are adding to the monitor section of Ardour. The ability to create unlimited sends and then copy the gain settings from the mix to the send is a great touch, allowing unlimited cue mixes which are stored with the session!

Also the additional editing modes, namely the non-overlapping track mode and push-pull trim mode remind me of what logic 8 was supposed to have, but it constantly bugged out and crashed in this mode…

Lastly, grouping in *tools is a strong point of it’s capabilities. With Nuendo playing catchup in this area and Logic generally bug-ridden, Ardour will now have some of the best grouping facilities around.

Thanks for taking the time to implement such logical features.


Everything above sounds like major improvements. So far I have combined Rosegarden and Ardour through JACK to get MIDI support, and I can’t wait to get rid of Rosegarden. Also, the JACK session support sounds great. But just the new improvements to the bus and editor are staggering. Unfortunately, I have not donated yet (because I couldn’t figure out how), but I am certainly going to donate a nice amount for the project, as this is by far the best and most important open source audio project out there.
Oh, and put my vote in for “polarity switch”. I needed a polarity switch on my recent project and found a plugin to do it. Wasn’t aware of the built-in switch. There is a micro delay plugin for those that need phase shifting.

This looks promising. I’m looking forward to recording my band’s rehearsels using all those new features in Ardour 3. Thanks a lot for the hard work!

The list of features is impressive Paul. You and the others have done a fabulous job, version 3 should increase the number of users substantially! I will post the version 3 information to my company web site as soon as the beta is available!
Busby Electronics Inc

Thanks for the update! This sounds like it’s going to be one hell of a version, great work!

Dramatic and wonderful. All of You: Thanks for your hard work and Merry Christmas.

Wow - just wow. This looks amazing!

Looks great. Thanks everyone for their hard work. Happy Holidays!


Remarkable, great work!
will we find all these improvements in Mixbus?

Looks fantastic :slight_smile:

Very good news. Can’t wait to try Ardour 3

When I first heard of Ardour 3 I was thinking that it is not that important for me, because I’m not using any midi at all. So i thought it would be good for me to skip all the alpha and beta versions and start using Ardour 3 when it has stabilized. But reading all the good news and about the new features and I can hardly wait to compile the version and start using it in my projects. Thank you all for the hard work on this Ardour team !

Per-channel visible polarity invert buttons (not phase!)
See for a very succinct and graphical explanation. Seriously, a lot of pro sound engineers will laugh their asses off if you don’t correct this! (I tried to make a mantis bug report account but the activation email isn’t arriving).

Looking forward to v3 being production-ready!


Hehheh good point of course, for future reference something like that you might want to jump on IRC and tell them about there as well, especially if still waiting on Mantis emails;)

The short version, for people unaware: Polarity is a simple inverting of the signal, while phase is an offset of the signal by a set amount of time. It is a sadly rather common mistake in audio, as with simple sine waves a 180 degree phase offset is effectively the same as a polarity inversion, however in audio we are rarely dealing with simple sine waves, and as such it doesn’t carry through in our world.

I constantly make fun of my wife for teaching people the math terms(She obviously teaches math) and getting the people all screwed up in my world:)


Is the data system stable yet? If so I would start testing it after Christmas. I compiled it successfully and it looks promising.

Thank you.

@markhadman: actually, its the pro-engineers who insist on retaining the phase terminology. ardour2 insisted on calling it polarity, and lots of people too used to the sloppy errors of other digital h/w and s/w kept wondering where the “phase invert” button was :slight_smile: i’ve had exactly the same argument (with me on your side of the terminology) with a handful of engineers, and eventually gave in to “phase invert”. at least there is some agreement on the symbol to use for this. i’ll try to get both terms into the tooltip and docs, at least.

@Paul: as a pro engineer myself I implore you to keep Ardour a cut above the rest and use the correct terminology!

@Paul: as someone who has learned exclusively in the software realm, I second this. Having used phase plugins, I’ve always been confused by the sonic difference between moving a region to invert the phase manually and actually inverting the polarity of a track. Having this option correctly labeled will help those who know enough to want to do this, but who do not know the difference between phase and polarity.