Noob question about cd authoring

Hey everybody. I’m new to Ardour5, but not new to daws. Studio One has been my workhorse for years, many others for many years before that.

So far, Ardour feels really awesome. Second only to Studio One for intuitiveness for me, and way ahead of any others, which is why I want to dig in and get good at it.

My first project to get my feet wet is a cd authoring thing. I have an hour long concert that I’d like to put track markers/IDs in place, and then export the songs as individual aiffs, so I can burn the cd in Toast or itunes.

Are there any tutorials bouncing around for this specific thing? Couldn’t find any on YT.

Playing around with the software, I sorta figured out location markers and range markers. Well, I know how to create them. I don’t know exactly what they do quite yet. But there’s no menu item for cd markers, even though there’s a lane for them up top. Maybe there’s some way to convert location or range markers to cd markers? Range markers sort of suggests that maybe I’ll need to dictate that certain songs are ranges to be exported, as is somewhat standard operation in many daws.

Anybody care to point me in the right direction or give me some tips?

All the rest I’ll figure out later. I just wanna get this first thing first.


Hi Bruce,


I mainly do classical and often need to do exactly what you are asking. Here are the ways I work:

  1. Right click in the CD Markers lane and select “New CD track marker”. You can move these around easily by left-clicking and dragging. From here you can add ranges by right-clicking on the CD marker and selecting “create range to next marker”. This is my preferred method.

  2. You can use TAB shortcut to create any number of location markers by positioning the playhead. You can also use TAB while listening back if you prefer to set markers by using your ears. Then, go to Window>Locations and click the “CD” checkbox to turn each of the ordinary markers into CD ones.

  3. You can create CD markers from ranges in the same “Locations” window (this creates both CD start and pause/pregap which I don’t really need for my classical needs).

  4. You can add markers and ranges directly in the Locations window but I don’t ever use this option.

  5. You could slice up your concert using the “S” shortcut then select all regions, right-click, go to selected regions, ranges, “add range marker per region”. Optionally you could convert those to CD markers in the Locations window. They still seem to show up in the export window.

So, for my purposes I create CD markers and then add ranges in addition based on these CD markers and export to wav+cue (or toc, whichever you prefer) and also individual ranges as I need. You can make Ardour add a cue/toc file when exporting the whole session and it will use the CD markers as cue points.

If you don’t want to create additional ranges, you could then use an external program on MacOS to split into your wav+cue files into separate AIFF files.

I thought there was a way to add ranges from all available CD markers but I can’t find it right now. Perhaps someone can jump in with that.

Super cool. Thanks for the help bachstudies.

Using your instructions, I made some progress last night. Although I’m already running into a bunch of stuff that needs to be sorted for me to do this how I want to do this.-

(Questions not directed specifically to you, bachstudies. General questions, hopefully somebody can help me out)

Can I not zoom to sample level as in Ocenaudio or Soundforge or Audition or a thousand others?

There are a whole boatload of snapping preferences, but not the only one I need, ‘snap to playhead’?

Can I set it to slice at the playhead, not at the cursor?

Why can I not convert the first range markers (the first song) to cd markers?

When I put in the range markers, why does it not assign them sequentially? I put in four and it labels them 2, 4, 7, and 7. Why not 1, 2, 3, 4? If I have a 99 track cd, I’d have to go in and manually re-label every one of them?

Sorry if I’m missing obvious stuff, but as in the title, I’m a noob. Maybe I’m so accustomed to Studio One or others, that I’m not looking in the right places in Ardour.

So here are some links for you:

Yep change the edit point:

Since you now know about the edit point, next:

Check out the ‘Align’ commands found in the edit menu:

This is easiest done through the Locations Panel, where you can just add markers and use existing markers to jump the playhead, while using the playhead position to set the position of new CD markers. Not difficult once you get used to it.

Not sure on that one, haven’t run into it.


Many thanks, Seablade. I’ll try them out tonight.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Edit Point Behavior

@Bruce_Burbank, I noticed this myself. As you probably know, to adher to red-book standard there should be at least a 2-second pregap between the “start” marker and first CD marker. That being said if you don’t include it, tools like HOFA, cue2ddp, cdrdao etc will definitely add it automatically. I checked a previous project and I found that I had simply aligned the start and first CD markers and exported. The “bug” occurs if you open the location window because it flips the first CD marker to being a standard “location marker”. In your particular case, Ardour will not let you convert any ranges that begin at the same time as the start marker.

If you want to adher to the 2-second standard within Ardour, you can select the track and in the menu go to Track>Insert Time and add 2 seconds of time at the beginning of the track (you can enable “move markers” option to keep your existing markers/ranges aligned with the waveforms!). Also, enabling snap (to CD frames) is useful for CD creation.

As I say, this behavior is probably related to the necessary pre-gap but given all the DDP creation tools add it if missing I feel that Ardour could allow the location window to accept this positioning choice (perhaps with a gentle warning or option in export dialog to pad the pre-gap to 150 CD frames if under).