"Simple Record" mode with automatic export to WAV

Sometimes people just want to record with one start/stop button. People also want to easily and immediately have the audio files available in a folder so they can quickly share the recordings via CD, email, website, blog, etc.

Ardour can indeed record and export to audio file; however, the process of exporting and naming individual “takes” within a session is not easy enough! Even if you are an Ardour expert, you sometimes just want start/stop recording, and you want each take to be it’s own WAV file–and you want it FAST. I can’t count how many times I have recorded a practice or jam session with a group of people, only to have them ask me for a copy to take home. I’m lazy, and I don’t like to click around a computer when I should be making music with my friends, so I usually either dump the whole thing to a single WAV and burn it to CD as one track or tell them I’ll get it to them later. But I don’t get it to them later, because I don’t ever seem to feel like exporting and naming each and every take to separate WAV files, so the whole thing remains on my computer and my fellow musicians give up on me and never get to hear the recording.

Ever use Apple’s PhotoBooth to snap video? That’s how I want Ardour “Simple Record” mode to work: you hit record, do your take, hit stop, and your take is automatically named and saved to your Home folder as a .mov file. Instant files of your recordings! Now you can burn them or upload them or whatever . . . no fiddling with finding the takes, exporting each one, naming the files, etc.

Can we make a special mode in Ardour so that recording can behave like this? I’m thinking the process could be something like this:

  1. You get your tracks set up and your input levels and effects adjusted
  2. You hit a big red RECORD button and start jamming the tune
  3. You finish your tune and hit a big red STOP button
  4. Ardour automatically names the file and saves it as a WAV in a default folder for the session

You can push RECORD as many times as you want within a session, and any audio recorded between each RECORD and STOP action is immediately and automatically exported to chronologically named WAV files in a default folder. Should probably have the option for Ardour to ask you where to save each file, in case you want to name them as you go.

If this functionality is already in place or planned, let me know. If you think this is a stupid idea, tell me why. If you want to see it in Ardour, chip in some code or some cash! Donations can be made at the box on your right.


What you are asking for, Ardour already does (almost). It just doesn’t brag about it. Every time you record, the data for each track ends up in a sequentially numbered file stored within the session folder. This is a perfectly usable, legal audio file. The format of this file is free for you to choose via the Options menu.

You seem to want something slightly more: you want a mixdown of the multitrack recording. If you really want this without any editing or mixing, and you want the recipients to not be able to edit or mix the result, then I’d probably suggest that Ardour is not the right tool for you. The idea that you are going to record into a multitrack format but then instantly want an unedited, non-mixed-down mixdown just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Otherwise, just give your fellow musicians/friends/whoever a copy of
/path/to/your/session-name/interchange/session-name, and they will have all the files you recorded, ready to import into whatever tool they want.


Look at Jack timemachine. It’s simpy and great application for one-click recording.

Here is link: http://plugin.org.uk/timemachine/.

Main advantage of this utility: This program saves sound from time before you click on record button. This is good solution for saving mood of the moment.

Sometimes musicians improvising and not recording this. If they trying to repeat improvisation when recording is active, then mood of the previous improvisation moment can get lost. Its very frustrating. Timemachine prevent this.

I’m not a developer of timemachine and this is not a advertising :slight_smile: I simply know aforesaid situations empirical.

Thanks irok84. I have always wanted to try Time Machine. I will have to do that.

You seem to want something slightly more: you want a mixdown of the multitrack recording.

This is true; I forgot to explain that. I want a mixdown of the multitrack recording from each take, and I want it in a single WAV file.

If you really want this without any editing or mixing, and you want the recipients to not be able to edit or mix the result, then I'd probably suggest that Ardour is not the right tool for you.

Yeah, as I was writing out the first post I had a feeling that I was just wanting some other tool and that this need not be done with Ardour. I realize that Ardour–and the whole concept of a DAW–is meant for editing and mixing. But I think a lot of people sometimes just use it for a “scratchpad” when they are jamming with friends, and in my experience it would be nice to have a single mixdown of the entire take dumped out s soon as you hit stop. Nobody cares if it sounds raw, or if it could sound better–as long as they can hear it. They just want to go home with a copy of the day’s recordings to review and reflect on.

I’d love to hear more thoughts.

It seems that what you want is Ardour in combination with Time Machine; set all the levels/panning (and plugins if that’s what you want) for a rough mix in Ardour, then route the outputs to the inputs of Time Machine for simple recording. If you leave Ardour in record mode too, then you get the raw multitracks for later use in case too that’s what you want.

IMHO using two different applications for recording the same thing would be to bothersome.

But assuming the single takes are lined up one after each other on the timeline, exporting a rawmix shoudn’t be too timeconsuming…

In one track with regions covering all of the takes: Select from region context menu ‘Select -> Select All in track’, again from region context menu ‘Selected Regions -> Add Range Markers’ and then from main menu ‘Session -> Export -> Export range markers to audio file…’ wich exports every range to its own audio file in a given folder.

Other tips:

  • Shift+Space starts recording immediately
  • Maybe you also want to enable ‘Options -> Misc Options -> Rec-enable stays engaged at stop’, so you only have to hit the space bar to stop and restart recording on successive takes. (Don’t forget check that ‘Auto Return’ is disabled. :wink: )

Could always route straight to another track or tape track even and record that for a basic mixdown if that is what you really want. You can use this in combination with tracks to get a basic mixdown along with a tracked recording, or if you just want the mixdown, use busses in Ardour instead of tracks for the inputs, and route the busses to a track to record the mixdown.


Yeah I think Seablade is right. Here’s how I would do it:

Create a new stereo TAPE track. Connect the inputs of the track to Ardour’s master out. (make sure the output is disconnected so you avoid a feedback loop)

Record-arm the track. Enable the option “rec-enable stays engaged on stop”. Now this track will always be recording.

Now you can jam and work as normal. But at the end of the day there will be a stereo mixdown of all your preceding work. Using a Tape (destructive) track means that you will only have_one_ wave file on the track, you won’t be eating up disk space every time you roll.

You may have to make some slight variation to make this fit your workflow (maybe you don’t want recording on all the time). But all the tools are definitely there to get what you want.


Thanks guys. Your tips showed me that Ardour can already simplify “scratchpad” type recording, which is exactly what I wanted.