Performance regression with big sessions ?

Ardour 3 worked well on this machine. I’ve hit some bugs when I’ve tried the Midi function, but the performance was very well.

When I’ve updated to Ardour 4 (first I’ve built it directly from git) everything worked fine, but when I’ve tried to open a big session (7 songs with 16 tracks) it took forever (5 minutes ?) to open. When zooming or moving the window position it took a long time to update.

Then I’ve upgraded to the version from arch repositories (4.0-2 it say) and now the performance is better, but when I’m zooming in and zooming out the whole session it takes some time to catch up. The audio in the background keeps playing, but the screen doesn’t update. Like in the old Windows programs you can clear the content of the window with a dialog (e.g. plugin window).

I’ve got a pretty beefy machine (I7 with Intel 4000 graphics, 8 GB RAM, SSD running LXQT and Arch linux). So far I hadn’t any performance problems with Ardour or other programs.

Is it just my or did the graphical performance regress with this release ?

I haven’t tried a session quite that big, although I have a 5-minute song with 17 tracks open now and it’s running fine on the core i3 laptop I’ve been using since 2012… intel hd 3000 graphics. I’m running Ardour 4.0.0 over jackd1 on a preempt-rt kernel I compiled specifically for low-latency audio on this machine, Debian repo’s.

Have you updated your Mesa drivers lately/ever? This could make a big, big difference (it sounds a lot like your machine is using software rendering instead of your HD4000, especially considering that my machine runs without trouble)

I am updating Arch linux every week - and it should be pretty quick to upstream changes. I’ll check the mesa drivers the next time I’m booting this partition.

just letting you know I have had no graphical issues with a large session (5+ mins, over 20 tracks, lots of plugins) in Ardour 4 on fully updated Arch. I have an i5 (4200U) with HD 4400 graphics, other specs similar to yours.

where is the settings directory for ardour ?

Maybe I’ll try deleting this directory. Maybe it didn’t transfer some settings from Ardour3, which was previously installed.

that is platform dependent. ~/config/ardour4 on Linux , ~/Library/Preferences/Ardour4 on OS X and I don’t know what on Windows. But note that not transferring settings from A3 will have absolutely no effect on this issue.

We’ve already stated elsewhere that the graphics performance problems are caused by video hardware and/or video drivers that do not efficiently implement the 2-dimensional drawing operations used in Ardour4. We have recently added code to Ardour to allow dedicated users to verify this by changing all/most of the drawing operations to use the CPU and not the video card. We hope to get further understanding of which video cards and which drivers are the problem.