Why You Should Support Ardour Even If You Don’t Use It


For those of you not familiar Ardour is an open source DAW available for OSX and Linux (though Ardour admits the Linux version is uselesssee comments). It boasts a handful of extraordinary features for a DAW that you choose your own price for, including:

  • Unlimited audio tracks and buses
  • Non-destructive, non-linear editing with unlimited undo
  • Anything-to-anywhere signal routing
  • Unlimited pre- and post-fader plugins
  • 32 bit floating point audio path
  • Automatic track delay compensation
  • Sample accurate automation
  • Standard file formats (BWF, WAV, WAV64, AIFF, CAF & more …)
  • Full AudioUnit plugin support on OS X
  • More than 200 LADSPA & LV2 plugins freely available
  • Support for Windows VST plugins available

So why should you support Ardour if you already have a great DAW? What makes Ardour a great cause to support is if it begins to get popular, the DAW you use will have to start paying attention to what it’s users want. Many people complain of Pro Tools “pyramid scheme” that tries to get everyone to buy a HD system. If Ardour is to become a full developed piece of software that is competing with the majors, all the other software companies will be forced to make more competitive features. What will this mean? No more track limited in PT LE, Logic Express being more full featured, all of the major companies listening to their users and possibly opening their software to user developments.

So how do you support Ardour? The software is available through donation, you pay simply by what it is worth to you. You can make a donation and put it on a computer where you don’t have a DAW and use it for ideas. Recommend it to a friend who is using GarageBand as a way to step up their game. Give it as a gift to a musician you are friends with who isn’t doing computer demos. You can even donate to support the open source movement. No matter what DAW you use it will help our community.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • http://ardour.org/ Paul Davis

    though the Ardour admits the Linux version is useless … this is presumably based on a sardonic remark I made on CreateDigitalMusic.com. Thankfully many people understood it to be a sarcastic response to the endless complaining about Linux by people who don’t really understand how much they have accidentally learned about Windows (or OS X) just by using it for a while.

    I actually find Linux to be a better platform for audio work than OS X in every way except 2: we have no suite of deeply polished plugins available, and support for some interesting audio interfaces is absent. But latency, startup time, overall performance, GUI response time and other stuff all feels much better to me. However, Ardour runs on both so that you make your own choices there.

    Thanks for your support of Ardour! Much appreciated.

  • http://www.harleystudio.co.za Quentin Harley

    I use Ardour on linux to do professional audio recording. Not useless to any degree, and especially if you have a bunch of high quality outboard equipment I prefer the linux version.
    Nothing wrong with the OSX sister though… Personal preference.

  • Sam

    Two strange things about this article:
    1. I’ve no idea why it states that either Linux or Ardour on Linux is “useless” – this is a pretty bizarre assumption
    2. The article has no interest in the features or successes of ardour it seems – it appears to argue that Ardour’s only value is to improve commercal DAWs.
    Both these ideas are sadly misguided. Its great that you’ve found ardour, but why don’t you use it in its native environment and evaluate it on its own merit rather than only using it to prop up its proprietary competitors.
    You’d get a lot more out of the application if you used it in this way.

  • Jesse Cannon

    Hey Sam, if you read one of the above comments you will see why we said Ardour is useless for Linux. I have since revised the post to reflect these comments. Secondly, this article was not written to be our be all end all review and explanation of Ardour and it’s features. We are a blog, an ongoing never ending stream of information and in time we will be showing the greatness of Ardour. I agree that it is a fantastic idea and piece of software and wrote this article as an introduction to my readers who are owners of other DAWs. In time you will see us show some of the reasons they may want to reconsider paying the high prices for upgrades of some other software and go the Ardour way. You are exactly right that this entry has little interest in Ardour’s features (though some of them are listed in it) the purpose of this particular entry was not that, but look for one in the future that will show the power of Ardour.