Underrated Ardour featues

What do you think are some of the most underrated features of Ardour? When I say “underrated”, meaning they don’t get talked about enough.

For me, the big one, is loops or in your Ardour terms “clips”. I love the loops that come with the the library downloader, as well as the beats and chord progressions that come with the Ardour bundled content and the big one for me, it’s integration with Freesound. One of the big reasons I love Garageband/Logic Pro is loops and Ardour’s loop availability makes the two DAWs I just mentioned not needed hence avoiding the need to drop money on a mac.

Another one that is kind of obscure but totally awesome is the VAMP Audio to MIDI LUA script that comes with Ardour. I first discovered this script when I asked about how to Implement a Logic/Garageband drummer in Ardour. After playing with it for a while I discovered it’s not just great for drums but has other great uses. You can use to enhance the sound of an existing loop, for example adding a piano part to a guitar loop. Another great way I found for using this script, is converting voice to MIDI. There is this plugin I see always advertised on Facebook called [Dubbler Studio](Dubler Studio Kit 2 that does just that which appears to sell for $199 USD. Why drop money on that thing when I can do it for free in Ardour?

Speaking of LUA scripts, the LUA scripting interface in general is a huge game changer for me. It has allowed me to really extend the functionality of Ardour in ways such as Estimating the tempo of a song or Finding the key of a song or opening a MIDI region in Musescore

So what are everyone else’s thoughts. What is your favorite “not talked about very much” feature of Ardour?


For me it’s all the different keyboard shortcuts, such as:

  • selecting multiple regions (takes) and use ‘j’, ‘k’, and ‘s’ to trim and cut them at the position the mouse is pointing to (having “Edit Point” set to “Mouse”)
  • Alt-6, Alt-7 for region gain (+/- 1dB)
  • Alt-1 for muting/unmuting a region
  • Shift-Space for recording (a while ago I pressed ‘r’ and then ‘Space’)
  • ‘{’ and ‘}’ for switching between layered and stacked view for region overlaps in a track.

There are lots more, but those mentioned really became big time savers for me…


The MIDI transform tool!

THe VAMP audio to MIDI sounds like a great tool.
Please can you tell me in what menu it can be found?
Many thanks

On the ardour menu click Edit > LUA Scripts > Script Manager then, click on one of the actions then click “add/set” then select “Polyphonic Audio to MIDI” from the dropdown menu then click add.

You can then call the script by either clicking on Edit > LUA Scripts >“Polyphonic Audio to MIDI” or by clicking on the button that looks like a musical note, roughly in the area of the screenshot below where I have the arrow pointed

Thanks, that is great!
What a wonderful thing Ardour is :grinning:

For me it’s such simple things like having a send-option anywhere in the chain or being able to switch the fader on and off easily. Copying presets via drag and drop aso.

And most of it all, having a consistent gui so i don’t have to relearn after every update.

1 Like