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Ardour v2.3 released

Version 2.3 of Ardour is now available. This new release includes major new features in the area of tempo management and feature analysis, a dozen or so important-to-useful bug fixes, another dozen or so improvements, and also provisional LV2 support. Binary releases for Mac OS X Intel and PPC will be announced on Ardour's IRC channel (a more public release for OS X will be available once they have AudioUnit GUIs working acceptably).

Feature Analysis

Ardour now has a framework for performing various kinds of "feature analysis" on the audio that you record or import in a session. It can use those features during editing. In 2.3, we have added a percussive onset analysis that can now be used to split regions automatically, move the playhead around and more.

There's more though. In this release, Ardour's new Rhythm Ferret can be used to do dynamic analysis of regions in a manner similar to the shady private eye seen in some proprietary systems. This is an unfinished feature in 2.3, but it does have some uses already and will improve before 2.4.

Tempo Management

Possibly the most useful new feature in Ardour for a long time, at least for those working with musical time while editing, is the ability to define the length of a bar (and thus the tempo) from a region or the current edit range. It sounds a bit esoteric until you try it - this feature is the key to working with BBT (bars|beats|ticks) structured sessions where the tempo is not fixed in advance (i.e. almost all recording sessions). Select a region, press "9" and the new tempo is set up. Place the playhead/marker and the mouse at the appropriate locations, press "0", and similarly, the new tempo is set up. Didn't get it quite right? Move the mouse and press "0" again.

In addition, you can now "glue" regions to their current musical time position, measured in bars|beats|ticks. This means that if you then change the tempo, regions glued in this way will stay in the same position relative to musical time. If the region is at 4|1|0 and you change the tempo, it will still be at 4|1|0 even though that may be earlier or later according to an absolute time.

Changes since 2.2

Significant New Features:

  • Audio analysis framework.
  • Rhythm ferret.
  • Tab-to-transient.
  • New glue-region-to-musical-time option.
  • Set-tempo-from-region and set-tempo-from-edit-range.
  • New boost-region-gain and cut-region-gain operations.
  • LV2 support.


  • Waveforms are outlined.
  • A real splash screen.
  • Keybinding changes.
  • CTRL-click on nudge buttons moves playhead.
  • Add a Restore Defaults button to the theme manager.
  • Beautification of multi-duplicate dialog, tempo dialog, meter dialog.
  • Keep verbose canvas cursor within the editor canvas visible area.
  • Provide instructional hint for the shortcut editor.
  • Fix keybindings on OS X to allow use of arrow keys with modifiers.
  • OS X native version now finds control surface support modules.
  • Moving fade in/out points makes the fade in/out active.
  • Font size changes throughout.
  • Show loop & punch locations properly in Locations dialog.
  • Use a separate drag rect for cd marker bar, show cd marker details on load in location ui.
  • Rationalize all region selection for editor operations.
  • Sessions now have their "nominal sample rate" stored; if you load a session while JACK is running at the wrong rate, there will be a warning dialog.
  • Changing track heights now applies to all selected tracks.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fix misdisplay of track control headers.
  • Don't crash if history refers to a location that no longer exists.
  • Prevent errors when reactivating deactivated tracks.
  • Prevent excessively long track names from conflicting with JACK port name restrictions.
  • Fix missing static mutex initialization that causes 100% CPU use on Leopard.
  • Fix use of template selection from new session dialog.
  • Fix up JACK discovery on systems (OS X) with an inadequate PATH setting.
  • Fix invisible cursor in selected track name entry box.
  • Fix reversed bounds check in Region::adjust_to_sync (), regions with a sync point snap to the sync point again.
  • Workaround for gui hang when adding gain points (#2048).
  • Recognize ambisonic files (.amb) as candidates for import.
  • Fix loading of VST plugins in older (2.1 and earlier) sessions.
  • Fix align_selection_relative() to use regions once only, and in the correct order.
  • "Set Range Selection" in per-region context (sub)menu now uses all selected regions, not just the first one.
  • Fix OS X native crashes with gain points, canvas updating and more.
  • Fix crash when closing a session that had a selected marker.

New Library Required For Source Builders

Linux users building from source should note that this release sees a new library requirement. Ardour now requires your system to have the FFT library FFTW3 ("Fastest Fourier Transform in the West") library installed. You will need both the double precision and single precision versions (typically called fftw3 and fftw3f). Remember that you will need the development versions of these libraries. Some linux distributions put both fftw3 and fftw3f inside the same package, so get the fftw3 first and don't worry if there doesn't seem to be an fftw3f equivalent.

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