Two recent Ardour podcasts

FLOSS Weekly and Open Source Musician recently each did a long podcast with Paul about Ardour and all things related. The questions and overall direction of each one are different, so if you have time to spare to listen to them, check both of them out.

Indeed, two very great interviews! The Floss people should have been prepared a bit better though :wink:
Ah, and thanks for the release hint!


When I first starting using ardour many years ago, it seemed incredibly hard to use. The reason? I had never used a DAW before and I didn’t understand what 90% of the features were for. I doubt I would have found Pro Tools or Logic any easier if I had started on them. I just think that a fully-featured DAW is going to have a fairly steep learning curve no matter what…

Hmmm maybe someone should run an ardour training course, teaching basic DAW stuff?

1 Like

very interesting podcasts!

what was surprising for me:

it was mentioned there several times that ardour is ‘complex’, ‘for intelectuals’, ‘focused just on pro/semipro users’ etc. - these comments basically deal with ardour being not user-friendly enough for new users…

i really don’t see where the proclaimed complexity lies. when a new user opens ardour, he or she observes a simple, clean interface with optically dominant clock and transport buttons. as long as he or she is aware of a couple of very basic concepts - knows what ‘a track’, ‘play’, ‘stop’, ‘record’, ‘input’, ‘output’ means (which is something you need to know to make ANY recordings with ANY hw or sw), he or she can peacefully start working. sure, there are some more buttons and menus he or she might not be perfectly sure what are they for, but, at least for the simple beginers’ tasks, you just don’t have to care about them. and the fact that currernt ardour is audio-only based makes it transparrent. for the beginers’s tasks, ardour is the same (or even more) straightforward as say audacity or garageband.

We have to remember that people have a kind of mental block when it comes to an interface that even looks like it could have lots of flexibility.

An example would be people asking me how I manage to control a 32 channel analogue mixer during a live show. There are hundreds of controls, making the thing seem intimidating, while it is actually not. They should see the 64ch mixer at the other venue…

The new Mixbus development will probably introduce the same level of wow factor. It looks very complicated at a first glance, while it would probably not be any harder to control than my large analogue console (except for the real buttons of course :wink:


People do on occasion. I have two schools that faculty have expressed interest in having me out to give some basic workshops, one specifically on Ardour and open source audio options. Now I am not holding my breath for either of those to happen though any time soon. I know Ben Powers has run workshops in the past, and I think a couple of other people as well. Just gotta be around for them;)


Great podcasts, just got a chance to listen!

Some thoughtful stuff in these podcasts, and it was good to hear questions i was interested in hearing answers to.

I’ll do my usual workflow blah blah blah, and say that 2.8.2, and 2.8.3, as well as some testing for 3.0, have been made considerably easier with the addition of new keystrokable actions, menu tidy ups, and of course more practise on my part. (the “user responsibility” plugin)
Great to see the Ardour team thinking about, and working towards, even better workflow, and i wish you all the best of continued success with this fine app.


I’ve hared the Open Source Musician (was on the train had time to spear :slight_smile: Nice one.

I disagree with the statements that ardour (or jack) are particularly complicated… Any pro audio DAW and audio set-up is complicated (think of harware cabling etc.), but I guess as ardour users one is biased.

I particularly agree with Paul’s point of view on MIDI and on how the MIDI lesson hasn’t been learned by most companies: no open standard for music notation, no open standard for sampling, no open standard for audio compression for years, although some things are (slowly) changing and users pay the highest price.

Much expectation of course for the MIDI capabilities.

Kind regards,

I am in the middle of listening to the OSM interview. But I have used ardour a little on and off, my main platform right now is reaper, but I want to be fully linux based soon, without wine or windows, so I really need to get some ardour practice in. From the times I have used it, the one stumbling block for me, and if these are not correct please please correct me, is that the workflow, for what I like to do, is not very fast. It’s all possible, just takes me a while. When I mix in reaper, I like to very quickly insert some EQ and compression where I need, throw a few reverb and delay sends together, and start to work. Grouping too is very important. From what I have found so far in ardour, making sends is a multi step process involving a dialog box, again not impossible but just not as quick as I am used to in reaper (or protools before that). Are there ways to have one key command do multiple things, like in protools the key combos (which I have now forgotten after 3 years away from it) where you can insert the same send on multiple tracks at the same time, or assigning inputs consecutively with a key command? I need to check out templates more, maybe I can get some default things happening. Now sends can copy though, since 2.7.5 I think? That was my feature request. Anyway, the one HUGE thing that I think is missing is the lack of a manual that is easily accesible. Again, maybe I am wrong and that has changed, if so please point me to it. Reaper has a well written and easily accesible, as well as constantly updated manual. If I can get up to speed with ardour, I would definitely be willing to help in the manual department. Sorry for the rambling nature of this post, hopefully the points are semi understood! I am eagerly awaiting mixbus for linux, because that mixing interface looks efficient and very sweet. And if the sound is in fact better then that is a bonus, but same sound and the interface looking like it does for workflow would do it for me.

@mrufino1: just as a FYI: the entire send/bussing architecture has been overhauled in 3.0. subgrouping tracks through a common bus is now a single click on a context menu. and lots more. if you already have a bus, adding a send from all or all selected tracks is similarly just one click from a context menu. you can also assign the faders etc. to control track sends, thus allowing editing of send levels “in place”. and lots more.

Thanks Paul, I just had a chance to listen to the FLOSS podcast today- that was an awesome interview. You had some really interesting statements in that interview. I also didn’t know you were in Pa., I’m in NJ. But anyway, after hearing that, I am very determined to get ardour under my fingers and I was happy to hear that one of your concentrations is going to be workflow issues. Ardour has been very stable and very efficient, and there haven’t been things I can’t do, it just took more clicks to get there than I’d like. Sounds like that’s about to change. I have no programming skills at all, but if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.