noobee seeks advice

Hi forum, I wonder if anyone can help me:

I intend to use Audour (under Linux) simply to make Avante Guard or Sound montages. I take short .wav recordings from sundry sources, and after some editing - processing and cleaning up - the samples are patched together, then bounced down to form a new track. Up to now I have been doing this with Audacity.

I am only interested in audio tracks, not MIDI.

Is Ardour a reasonable option for my purposes? Or is it perhaps too advanced?

Thanks in advance for any advice in this matter.


I would never recommend Audacity for serious multitrack work. The fact that what is being discussed can easily fall into that category, I would say would disqualify it. Basic Editing and Effect Creation possibly, destructive editors do have their point, but for anything that works better in a non-destructive editor it is just out.


IN short yes. A couple of shortcomings of Ardour to note, it is NOT a loop based composer, so depending on exactly what you are doing, this may be an issue. That isn’t to say you can’t set up a grid and loop material in it, in fact Dave Phillips has an article doing just this from many years back. However it won’t get you a workflow similar to Live for example.

It is however very powerful, and that can mean a rather steep learning curve. Expect to spend some time on it before you really get used to it and get good. This is true of any DAW, but switching to Ardour from Audacity can mean quite a bit more complexity as Ardour demands certain things from your hardware that Audacity does not since Ardour does all it’s processing in realtime. This means not only learning new software but possibly adjusting your system configuration as well. But in the end it is much more powerful way to work, I couldn’t even dream about doing 90-95% of what I do in Audacity, but in Ardour it is great.


To answer your question it would be helpful to know, what’s wrong with Audacity. For sure Ardour is much more powerful than Audacity but you need a more complicated setup to use it. So if you’re happy with Audacity, stay with Audacity.

I myself use Ardour for my music projects but I recommend Audacity to friends to render podcast programs and stuff like that.

So is there anything you want to do, that you can’t do with Audacity? If so, what is that?

One advantage of Ardour over Audacity which might not be that obvious is that Ardour is rendering all the effects in real time in a non-destructive way. If you want to apply some effect, say equalization, in Audacity, you can apply it once and it will actually change the audio data on your disc. Ardour does not do that, it only keeps track of which effects you want to apply and it applies them only on playing the audio to you. Therefore you have much more flexible workflows than in Audacity.

In short: for music projects with lots of effects and mixing of several voices and instruments and lots of finetuning use Ardour. To paste several sounds together one after another, which can be cleaned and edited independently use Audacity.

I used to edit my podcast in an older version of Sony Soundforge, and I thought I had power… and it did a great job, because I knew the program inside out. But it’s not even close to the power of a DAW like Ardour.

Thanks everyone for the useful advice. I think I will give Ardour a fair try. Will let you know how I get on.


Since you are new to Ardour be sure to read the Floss manual:

I’ve also found the Floss manual extremely useful.

Maybe for some questions the old manual might be helpful too: (though it’s old).
If you should use Ardour 3 - I just learned that Paul together with Carl Hetherington has started to write a manual about Ardour 3 (almost 100 pages already) :
@ Paul: Thank you :slight_smile: I’m looking forward to read it.


a substantial part of Carl’s work has been merged into the official new Ardour3 manual: (though this is still unfinished).