region playmode

hello ardour community,

i would like to have a “region sequence playmode” in ardour. i mean following:

  1. define key (x) for start of playing regions in key bindings window
  2. place playhead at begin of a region in editor window.
  3. press key (x) to start playing the whole region. this is similar to the Play Range/Selection command but without prior selecting the region nor defining a range.
  4. after stoping at the end of the region jump to begin of next region in the track.

i have tried to find osc commands for doing the steps in 1)-4) but i did not find a possible command for 3) play region from start till end without prior selection.

any help or ideas?
all the best peter

thank you for the reply. i also think that “a perfect theater software” is outside of the scope of ardour. but i did not ask for it. years ago i already have done a osc “trigger” mechanism for ardour with puredata, triggering several instances of ardour on the same computer or networked machines. the ardour instances have different osc-port values (i.e 3819, 3820, 3821 …). from puredata i can start playback of each instance of ardour with first locating and playing from a specific time-code location and then stopping when playback has reached a location by reading the time code of each ardour instance in puredata. to achieve the same goal and to avoid coping with several smpte lists in pd to stop after a region has reached its end i asked if it is possible to have a key command OR osc command in ardour to start playing 1 whole region at the playhead position without prior selecting the region with the mouse. the logic for positoning of the playhead to the beginning of this region i would do outside of ardour. my question is if it is possible to implement this command: “play from current playhead location till the end of region”

all the best peter

I’m already working on it, but there’s no timeline for its completion and it isn’t my top priority at this time.

You can use Bitwig if being on Linux is important.


As someone that teaches theater sound design at a local uni, I believe this is and should be outside the scope of ardour itself. This is really a different tool and workflow than what ardour is intended to address. There are some open source playback tools out there, though the standard for good reason for many theaters is a closed source tool called QLab.

If you needed so.ething you could only do in Ardour you could use QLab to trigger Ardour timecode and via osc but I believe what you are looking for is probably best addressed outside of Ardour and similar tools honestly.

Would type out a longer response but am currently responding on my phone.

hi paul,
thank you for your reply. i am working with linux machines in the theater field using ardour for recording, editing and mixing. but for the performance i switch to win+ableton-live for “manually sequencing regions with the keyboard”. when i talk to colleges in other performance venues they also think that it would be great to have such a “possibility” in ardour. do you see any possibility to implement this in the near future and if yes how could i help?
all the best peter

Almost all operations in Ardour (and most other DAWs and most other software in general) apply to the selection. There is no model of “manually sequencing regions with the keyboard” in Ardour at this time.


Ahh in that case, out of curiosisty would it make more sense to see if you could query region info over OSC, and get the start location in TC returned to you that you can then use in a seek command. I don’t think this is possible yet either, just wondering if it might be a better solution without mixing scopes so much, but then again as paul just mentioned he is obviously working on something else so I will duck out of that one:)


hi seablade and paul,
thank you both for your comments and suggestions. i would very much appreciate to be able to query region info over OSC. @paul i tried to get familiar with bitwig for a while but i love to work with ardour and jack and i am seriously lead by the ideas and work of the open source community. so linux is very important for me.
all the best peter