[ardour-users] Apogee Symphony support and other questions

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Mon Oct 23 07:44:02 PDT 2006

On Mon, 2006-10-23 at 14:12 +0000, beyaRecords.com wrote:
> Hi,
> I have just been to the Ardour website to see whether the above
> mentioned PCIe device is supported under OS X? Would I be correct in
> thinking that as the Univesal Binary driver for this device is
> targeted at 'Core Audio' level that it should show up in Ardour with
> no issues?

Basically, any device with a functional CoreAudio driver will work with
JACK. Ardour doesn't interact with your audio h/w at all, only with JACK
(which makes it possible to run Ardour on machines with only netjack
running, for example). So, yes, the Apogee Symphony will work under OS X
with Ardour.

> Is there a limit to the number of processors that Ardour can support
> in a MacPro machine, in light of the new, soon to be released, Quad
> Quad Core Intel processors?

Ardour was designed on an SMP (dual processor) from the beginning, even
when such machines were considered a bit exotic. Its design is a little
different from many other DAWs - it does not seek to maximise DSP power
by fully loading both processors, but instead does all DSP work on one
processor leaving the other one to ensure that the GUI stays responsive,
disk and MIDI i/o is still fast and so forth.

With 4-way systems now on the verge of becoming common, Ardour will need
a little re-engineering to take full advantage of all 4 processors. 

> Also, as Ardour is now affiliated with SSL will we be seeing any
> products like Waves SSL 400/ Duende anytime soon for this platform.

This has not been discussed. SSL is currently committed to the Duende as
a hardware platform since it creates a viable business model for
proprietary plugins/processing algorithms. We do hope that you will be
able to run Duende inside Ardour as a VST plugin, just as happens with
other DAWs.

> And finally, apart from being an Open Source application what are the
> major benefits of Ardour i comparison to Sequoia, Nuendo or Protools
> in terms of quality of plugins and overall functionality?

For simultaneous multitrack recording, Ardour is probably at least as
good as these systems, if not better (according to reports from the

For editing. Ardour's current workflow is a bit cranky and awkward. We
hope to fix this in the not too distant future as part of a slow
evolution. Some users say that for basic editing
(cut/copy/paste/trim/extend), Ardour is faster and more productive than
ProTools and several other systems. We do not have some of the cleverer
tools other DAWs have (e.g. Beat Detective, or beat slicing in general),
and our current timestretching support is rather poor (though acceptable
for many users).

Plugin quality on Linux is generally not really comparable, not so much
because Linux plugins are poor, but because they typically target lower
levels of functionality. In other words, to get the behaviour of many
proprietary plugins you would need to use 2 or 5 of the typical linux
plugins since the linux ones are simpler in terms of what they do. This
is not universally true, and some plugins (I love to mention Barry's
Satan Maximiser by Steve Harris) are really superb. Also, the LADSPA
plugins are all free of charge, there are lots of them, and its entirely
possible to do great things with them.

On Linux, you can run many VST plugins within Ardour, and their
operation in this situation is 100% identical to the way the same
plugins run inside DAWs on Windows.


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