Ripple mode very inconsistent

Hello all! I’m new to the Ardour community and on a quest to find a suitable replacement for Pro Tools in my Voice Over studio. After a few hours of poking arouind Ardour looks great! I’ve come across only 1 stumbling block so far and I’m hoping it’s operator error on my part. I’m finding that the Ripple edit mode is very vexing. The results I get from dragging and dropping regions in and among existing regions is totally inconsistent. Sometimes it works as expected and other times it just makes a mess by moving regions in an illogical way or creating unintended overlaps. Am I alone in this or are other more experienced users having better luck? Any hints or tips you could pass along? I’d love to become a productive member of this community. Thanks!


Hi Howard,

You might be expecting Ripple to work like PT’s “Shuffle” mode. But that’s not the case.

If I recall correctly, Ripple only does 4 things:

  1. if you delete a Range, then all the regions that start(*) to the right of the range will be moved left to ‘close the gap’
  2. if you delete a region, then all the regions that start(*) to the right of the region will moved left, for the same length as that of the removed region.
  3. if you move a region, then then all the regions that start(*) to the right of the region will be moved along with the region.
  4. if you drag a region into a track (or paste into a track) then all the regions that start(*) to the right of the new region will be moved to the right.

(*) note that Ripple doesn’t split regions. So if you paste a region on top of another region (for example), the lower region won’t move. But any regions that start to the right will move.

I hope this helps!

Thank you Ben for those helpful hints! I’ve pretty much observed the behavior you described and you are correct in that I was hoping Ripple to behave much like Shuffle in Pro Tools. And as you say - it doesn’t. I think I could adapt to the way Ripple works in Ardour but what I’m finding is that the results I get from identical actions can be different each time and I’m struggling to understand what is going on.

For instance, I can sometimes drag and drop a region from one track onto another track and “in-between” some regions and it is pasted at the drop point while all the regions to the right move appropriately to make room for it (just as expected). In testing, I can do that several times in a row and then suddenly, instead of the regions after the drop point just moving to make room for the new region, they move further than they need to and leave a second or two of empty space which I have to go back to and close up. So these are identical actions one after the other that will work as expected several times in a row and then suddenly result in a different result.

Another example is sometimes instead of regions moving to the right after dropping in a region, the dropped region will overlap the existing region at the drop point and cause audio data to “overlap”. So it’s this unpredictability that is confusing me.

I’ll keep working with it to see if there’s a pattern that I’m missing. I hope it’s not random!

Thanks for the help and any additional thoughts.


One more comment about my experience with Ripple editing: often, after experimenting with several drag and drop operations, the undo command does not get me back to the layout of regions from which I started. Instead there is quite a mess.

More specifically: I start out with 2 tracks. Each one has a series of regions (typically 10 or so) all butted up one immediately after another. I get that by starting with a 10 second recording of audio and then using the split command to create the 10 individual regions. Then I begin to drag a region from the 2nd track and drop it between the first and second region of the first track. After that (which is usually successful on first try) and do it again with another region from the 2nd track and dropping it between two regions on the first track. Again, this is usually successful. At some point, as I continue, the process results in a different behavior. Instead of the regions on the first track that are to the right of the drop point moving to the right precisely the amount of time needed to make room for the dropped region, they move a little extra and now there is empty space, perhaps a second or two, between the end of the newly dropped region and the beginning of the following region. So I can get the expected action a few times in a row and then an unintended result.

But here’s the kicker. If I then back out with the undo command, the regions don’t return to the condition in which I started. Instead they end up in a messy order on both tracks. And no further attempt at UNDO changes the end result. Not sure what to make of that.

Hi Howard, that sounds like a bug.

One of the items on the Ardour roadmap is to improve 3- and 4-point editing as you’ve described. The error in the paste operation will likely get resolved when we do those improvements.

If you’d like to take part in the process, you might consider creating a login to, and report your paste bug as a new issue. If you can attach a video, that would be even better.

The UNDO issue has already been reported here:
…but it was assigned a “minor” severity. I consider any error in Undo to be of major severity. I’ll change the bug report.


Hi Ben,

Thanks for that very quick response! A very positive thing when joining a new community. I’ll definitely create a Tracker login and report. I’ll also make a video. Thanks!