We used to have it

… and now someone else has it (while we don’t have it anymore):

Freesound in Ableton Live

I know the issue is with the new authorization method requested by the Freesound API
(see Paul’s comment ).
If I’d be able to code to a decent level I’d try to do it but unfortunately this is not the case.

Sad. :frowning:


If I remember correctly it was less a technical issue but a policy one.

At the time when freesound changed the API to OAuth2, it also became illegal to anonymously download and a personal user login was required.

Hi Robin, thanks for your answer. But if this is the case, what about implementing a
“login window” as part of the ardour interface so that any user can put his own password and then get access to the freesound database? In this way we do not have anymore a anonyous login access but a “personal” one (anyone interested can easily get one). Do you think this could be technically possible?

Thanks again,


OAuth requires a web-browser and user interaction. You have to grant a given app permission on the freesound website. It also wasn’t a one-time setup, but per session.

The debug version of Ardour has a half baked attempt at scraping the html to automate this, but that failed more often than it works (similar for Ardour’s built-in soundcloud upload).

In any case, freesound apparently reversed their policy and allows apps to download, and only upload needs authentication. So it may be possible for this feature to get a revival.

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On the non-technical front…

Have you ever used that feature back when Ardour supported it?

When doing sound-design I tried it various times, and more than often it was was a waste of time and not helpful. The vast majority of samples are are qualitatively unusable, except perhaps as a placeholder. But the bigger issue is licensing. Many files on freesound.org are CC, which in turn requires the result to be licensed in terms of the creative-commons. Also some files from freesound with different conflicting licenses cannot be combined in the same soundtrack.

I found that freesound support in a DAW is just a gimmick. YMMV.

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Yes, but my experience is not far off yours. It says more about the Freesound site than anything, but that being said it is still somewhat useful. I wouldn’t be against it being implemented in some way, though I wonder if it could be implemented via Lua instead of in C/C++. I certainly am personally not dying for it, but I also am better off than many in terms of the library of SFX I have access to as well. My students use Freesound much more often, though how much they follow the CC rules is another topic.

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I found the best dog barks and howls ever on Freesound!

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You can make HTTP requests from Lua scripts, so it is possible.

But you also want to preview samples, audition them and eventually import them. Ardour’s import dialog has all the relevant infrastructure already. Replicating that is not feasible, particularly since you cannot script custom GUIs.

c.f #ifdef FREESOUND_GOT_FIXED in the source code.

I made a small attempt a while back to update the freesound import to the “new” API: I have a local branch here with my work-in-progress, I have no idea whether it still works: I just rebased it onto git master and it at least compiles, but I haven’t had the time to test it at all. If anyone’s interested, I can push it when I get a moment, though it is still in quite a mess…

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The freesound-apiv2 branch works here! Well done!

Only one minor hiccup. When selecting a file the first time, the freesound website is opened in a browser… login, authorize, copy + paste token … All fine.
Then file needs to be re-selected in order to be downloaded or auditioned.

Also some encoding issues, probably needs Gtkmm2ext::markup_escape_text

Failed to set text from markup due to error parsing markup: Error on line 1: Entity did not end with a semicolon; most likely you used an ampersand character without intending to start an entity — escape ampersand as &

I’ll open a ticket on the tracker and/or discuss this on IRC. The forum is not really suitable…

That’s really good news!!! You guys rock :smiley:
I think that having it back, even with minor hiccups is a (small?) asset for the whole project.

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