The State of Ardour3

Quite a few people have been asking about the status of Ardour3. The short story is that we are getting closer to a beta release every day, in large part thanks to the outstanding work of Carl Hetherington and also a small group of very dedicated and helpful testers. Almost of the basic functionality planned an initial release is in place, which means that MIDI recording, playback and editing is in reasonable shape for use and that the audio side has too many improvements to count or even list here in this modest posting.

We maintain a "roadmap" that shows the current bugs slated to be fixed before a beta release - these will not all be fixed, and they vary from the mildly annoying to the absolutely critical. At the moment, the Roadmap-o-meter says we are 80% done. In addition to this list of officially tracked bugs and issues, there are 4 or 5 significant areas that need some attention before we are ready for a beta release.

Finally, there is the biggest issue that blocks a beta test: freezing the format of the ardour3 session file. We are very close to doing this, but there are two areas of concern where we want room for changes for a little while longer. The goal is to ensure that once people start testing Ardour3 beta 1, any sessions they create will continue to be loadable by later versions without us developers having to hack in ugly back-compatibility nonsense.

As usual, we're not going to provide an estimated date for a release of Ardour3 beta1, but it is getting pretty close now. I would even go so far as to say that those who don't mind potentially losing test sessions but are willing to give us feedback on both workflow and outright bugs could consider building from SVN at this point.

thanks for the update, it’s great to hear what you guys are up to!

Yes I mean bank and program change in a midi track.
That should really be a powerful thing in ardour 3!


looking forward to Ardour 3! can’t wait
good luck!

Thanks for addressing the Ardour nation on 3.0 Paul - I know speculation had become rife round these parts recently so that should put some inquiring minds at ease.

Pauls 3.0 update here came just before my posting yesterday when, as those of you who prey on mantis (power pun point-tastic megabonus!) will be aware, I made what felt like to me a personal landmark posting as I requested the final MIDI feature I wanted to see added to 3.0 svn- MIDI export ie I now feel that editing is good enough under A3 that I could well write or record something in it that I may want to export. MIDI still has a few rough edges but recently things have recently come together to reach a state of mostly working and reasonably feature complete, worthy-of-beta goodness.I had to check last night and in a weeks time it will have been 5 months since I dedicated myself to pointing the kinks out in the A3 MIDI support and what a stunningly productive 5 months this has been. Back in May MIDI support, err, wasn’t- now its almost compete and more fully featured than we’ve ever had the pleasure of in the world of free and open music production software.

As Paul has already rightfully highlighted, Carl has put an absolutely phenomenal amount of time and effort into getting A3 into shape- I have witnessed his many late, long nights of coding and debugging and putting up with our nagging and moaning on irc. It has been mindblowing to report 3, 4 or more bugs or suggest as many features in a day then wake up the next morning to find Carl has fixed them all or added the suggested features overnight! This happened numerous times over summer. Everyone here owes the guy a keg or two for his hard work and dedication- a true free software hero par excellence and all round great guy.

A3 has been a long time coming but I think you’ll agree its been worth the wait.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to get it this far.

I just wanted to say thanks to the team for the hard work and the update you gave us!
I`ve got problems using the fresh compiled Ardour with VST-plugins (they are not listed in the plugins tab) is this still an issue with 3.0 or did I’ve done something wrong … configured with ./waf configure --vst --debug

I am going to use it for a fun project, even if I have to endure a bit of crash and burn along the way. Looks so much stabler than just a short while ago, and tremendously more so than A2 was at it’s release time


Thanks for the countless hours.


Will it be possible in Ardour 3 Midi to change the instrument for a seperate note like in openoctave.
For example you play a midi line solo string violins . Then edit the line and change some notes in violin ensemble.

looking forward to Ardour 3


@antonvdh: you’ll need to explain a bit more of what you mean. if you are referring to program and/or bank changes, then yes. however, its a little tricky (at present) to actually insert the PC and BC messages.

Anton, it’s worth noting here that you have another workflow option open to you, while you’re waiting for bank and patch implementation as a user friendly and highly efficient feature.

Wisely, imho, midi in A3 has been implemented as multiple midi channels per track. (all 16 of them) There was a time, and in some cases, it’s still true, when each midi track represented a single midi channel. (Ahh, the good old days, cough)

If you are using a sampler of some sort, like Linuxsampler, and your gig collection can be loaded within the bounds of your available ram and CPU capability (Remembering the pre-sample value LS loads is configurable at compile time, being performance dependent on the speed of your sample HD), then it is possible to load each of your gig files in channels in LS, with 16 channel strips per port. (And of course, you’re using jack midi ports, aren’t you. :slight_smile: )

So, as an example, if you were to use 16 1st violin gigs, loaded into 16 LS channels strips, each one a different articulation and assigned a midi channel number, then when you write midi in A3’s inline midi editor, you can simply change the midi channel for the selected note, and voila, the note will will sound for the corresponding midichannel in LS. If your 1st violin Staccato is on channel 2 for example, in your LS 1st violins port, then you can write your midi, go into midi edit mode in the A3 track, and change the channel for the note from 1 to 2. It will sound staccato.

Banks and patches are undeniably an essential part of midi workflow, and that doesn’t change. (Particularly for big, complex, sample libs, soft synths, and external hardware synths with multiple sound banks)

But if your sample collection is fairly modest, and your audio box can handle your gig collection being loaded all at once (or alternatively load instrument sections, record them to wave, unload them, load the next section, etc…), then you can use mchas to switch articulations quickly, and without too much fuss.

If you’re using sample instruments, or synths, etc, then it might be worth exploring the possibilty of using mchas to switch sounds
there too, as an additional workflow opportunity, or at least an interim measure.