Why choose Ardour

It’s not a flame, mind you, and by the way, I’m new :slight_smile:

So, I’m a novice to DAWs. I have some limited experience on Nuendo, but I’d like to take further steps and learn to use DAWs in a more advanced way. So, I was looking for a nice platform, which I’d learn to use, maybe eventually actually recording and mixing something serious.
Now, I’m a Linux enthusiast. I perfectly know, though, that Linux is quite behind, in terms of productivity, in the sphere of multimedia, compared to Windows and Mac OS X (for various reasons: lack of software, lack of hardware support, etc.). Anyway, since I have a very “dry” approach to mixing and recording (that is, using as fewer plugins and effects as possible, achieving good results from the start), I could be able to live without all the “cool” plugins and just using those freely available on Linux.

So, why choose Ardour?

Keep in mind that I also have Windows installed on my PC, and that I really am not a “free software at all cost” kind of person (although I prefer using free software when possible). I know that, as a cheap alternative, there may be Reaper, which would be well within my budget. I know that Reaper works flawlessly under Wine as well, some saying even faster than under Vista (which may well be possible, although it seems a bit far-fetched to me). Reaper would seem a “saner” choice :smiley: but there is something in Ardour that fascinates me. You might say, download it and see, but I don’t really want to potentially waste time on a platform that may cause me problems here and there (although Reaper isn’t perfect, or so it seems, but it looks like it has more features and it’s better tested).

So, now it’s your turn :smiley:


You need to choose Ardour because it a great working model of the possibilities of Linux, Firstly it is not as you say “free at all cost”, if you look to the right hand side of this page you will see that people actually like it enough to pay for it even though it costs nothing. The developer is not some shadowy figure of mythical proportions, he can be easily reached most days on IRC or here and although he can have crabby days like all of us he (and co-developers) generally seem to care about what suggestions we the users have no matter how ignorant they may seem to a team of proficient coders. If you are a Linux enthusiast I would guess you don’t mind and may even be interested in what goes on behind the X Windows enough to find the process of collaborating and testing with the actual people who write the code to be a worthwhile pursuit as well as music creation. Lastly as far as Reaper goes it is a fine piece of software, no ifs ands or buts about it however Wine is a moving target that is not really concerned in a major way with Audio specific Applications, Even Ardours flirtation with Wine and VST Plugins has done it no great service in the stability department. Reaper conveniently works with Wine for now but in my opinion that is a shifting sand foundation to build a DAW on.

I have been a Linux user for about 2 years, when I started the Audio Applications were a mere shadow of what they are now, you need to choose Ardour because more of us who truly find the computer to be more than an appliance can have our cake and eat it too by participating in both the cause and effect of the potential of Linux and more specifically Ardour. Last year I got really pissed off at Linux Audio and ventured back to my dusty and neglected XP Partition and a fresh install of Reaper, Oh yeah I even downloaded several themes and everything. It worked fantastic and I was bored as hell. Within a week I was back to Linux and Ardour…I’m here to stay.

Try Ardour…I guarantee it’ll get under your skin in a good way!

Hi Boneless

As a pure audio-recording/editing software you can`t get it much better than Ardour.

Look here : http://www.harrisonconsoles.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=57

It is a big pleasure for the workflow and very “eyecandy”.



You know to work with Linux, that’s a big plus and I think it help you get the maximum out of Ardour and linux audio in general. With Jack you can also connect a midi seq to Ardour, for example Rosegarden or Qtractor and evt. Energyxt (commercial).

also see www.linuxmusicians.com if you want to know more about what’s possible.

You should do some tweaking to get Jack running fine. Or use an multimedia distro like 64studio or planet ccrma for fedora

I think the original poster is asking “what’s better about Ardour besides the fact that it is linux and open-source?”.

If you’re looking for specific features, there are many nuances that I could argue are “better” than other DAWs. Proponent of other systems could probably argue the opposite. But here are some “big picture” items that are pretty squarely in Ardour’s favor:

Ardour is a complete inexpensive DAW: mix groups, edit groups, playlists, crossfades, region gain envelopes, track bouncing, mixer automation, timecode, machine control, hardware controllers, hardware inserts, time-alignment, custom keybindings, multi-language support, metadata tags, plugins, note onset detection, tab-to-transient, per-region fade in/out, transparent regions, destructive recording, snap modes, timestretch, track templates, RAID paths … Sometimes these features aren’t as refined as those of a specific competitor, but the completeness of Ardour makes it a better choice overall. I don’t think any other workstation (regardless of price) has the completeness of features that Ardour has ( ProTools has no region gain envelopes, Sonar has no playlists, etc etc )

Unlike many brand-new, inexpensive DAWS that are popping up, the Ardour 2.0 series is extremely stable, after many years and thousands of users. However it does not feel as “old” as the other stable workstations, because the open-source community is more open to changing their workflow mid-stream when something new comes along.

Learning the Ardour “platform” is a smart move as organizations begine to realize the benefit of a shared, open platform. There are several Ardour-based products to meet specific needs (Harrison Xdubber, Indamixx, SAE) and more are coming. You can run a free version on your laptop, or run a very expensive version in a world-class film production facility. This is one reason so many people choose ProTools… they know they can grow with the system from their laptop, all the way to a large professional facility. Ardour is developing the same kind of range.

I hope this helps…