Ardour 3

Ardour 3 – Linux DAW Adds MIDI & More

Ardour isn’t just a Linux DAW, it gets Mac OS X versions too. Linux is the first OS to get an Ardour release, though, and it’s hot off the presses. Read on for what’s new…

Ardour 3 – What’s New?

Most of the more mature DAWs on the market have pretty much covered all the basics, and have to find ever more wacky ways to update. Not so for Ardour, which until now has had a pretty small feature set. Some key updates are:

  • MIDI track implementation. This is the big one! Ardour’s always been audio only, but Ardour 3 brings MIDI recording, editing, and plugin instrument support (for AU, VST, and LV2).
  • MIDI control presets. MIDI learn still exists, but now there’s the ability to distribute MIDI device presets – this should have a really beneficial impact on the ‘just jump in’ effect.
  • Reworked mixer section. Improved monitoring with PFL/AFL cue and soloing, aux direct sends and bus sends with improvements to send/return behaviour, phase inversion, and stereo panning.
  • 64 bit, multi processor support. Ardour is now a ‘true’ 64 bit DAW, and has multi processor support through and through.

Ardour 3 Mixer

There’s plenty more to read about over at the Ardour site, though, including improved audio handling, MIDI sync, GUI tightening, and a more. Take a look for the full lowdown!

Ardour is a free DAW, but, to borrow their phrase, it’s:

free as in free speech, not free as in free beer

In practice this means that whilst you can get it completely free of charge, a non-crippled version of Ardour 3 will set you back a minimum of $1 if you download it from Ardour’s site.

Head to the Ardour 3 download site!


We’re thinking about getting down and dirty with Linux based music production this year, because with the leaps that Ubuntu is making in both GUI and interoperability between desktop, notebook, tablet, and mobile, Bitwig Studio’s imminent Linux release, and now Ardour 3, it seems like the entry barrier is lower than ever and maybe we can do something cool. What do you think?

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