[Ardour-Users] Ardour 4.0 released

Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Sat Apr 18 14:23:23 PDT 2015

 Ardour 4.0 released

The Ardour project is pleased to announce the release of Ardour 4.0
<http://ardour.org/download>. This release brings many technical
improvements, as well as new features and over a thousand bug fixes.

The biggest changes in this release:

   - Better cross platform support. Ardour now runs on GNU/Linux, OS X and
   for the first time, Windows
   - JACK is no longer required, making it easier than ever for new users
   to get Ardour up and running (though JACK is still usable with Ardour).
   - The user interface has seen a thorough overhaul, leading to a more
   modern and polished experience.

 [image: ardour 4.0]

Read more below for a more detailed summary of the changes ...
Additions and Changes Important Whole-Program Improvements

   - the operating system's upper limit on the number of open files is now
   correctly used, avoiding issues with saving large sessions
   - vastly reduced memory consumption. For an empty session Ardour now
   uses 80% less memory.

User Interface

   - The graphics technology used for the editing area of Ardour, and
   increasingly for many other parts of the user interface, has been
   completely reimplemented from scratch, using powerful, modern and
   cross-platform systems such as Cairo <http://cairographics.org>.
   - the entire theming process has been redesigned to make it easier to
   alter the color palette used by the program. Any existing customized themes
   for Ardour 3 are no longer usable, so you will see the new defaults when
   running Ardour 4
   - Most icons have been replaced with vector graphics and font-scaling
   has been overhauled
   - Error window popup has been replaced with indicator button

Audio and MIDI I/O

   - Ardour 4 has completely abstracted all audio and MIDI I/O, and is no
   longer reliant on JACK for this function
   - Ardour now comes with multiple "backends" that provide audio and MIDI
   I/O. These backends allow Ardour to use:
      - JACK (available on all platforms if JACK is installed)
      - ALSA (for use on Linux only)
      - ASIO (for use on Windows only)
      - CoreAudio (for use on OS X only)
   - For developers and testers, there is also a "Dummy" backend which can
   be used to generate test signals and does not require an actual audio
   - Backends can be changed within a running instance of Ardour (e.g. from
   JACK to ALSA back to JACK)


   - MIDI latency measurement
   - Many, many improvements to MIDI editing and data handling
   - Handle plugins with MIDI output
   - Allow mixed data flow (MIDI+Audio) through an entire track or bus
   - MIDI bounce is now functional
   - New modeless editing model, with specific mouse tools/modes for
   drawing note and controller data as well as editing existing material.
   - Transform dialog allows time-based transformation of note properies
   (like time, length, and velocity), such as velocity crescendos or chromatic
   scale runs
   - New note velocity when adding with the mouse is based on surrounding
   - Better handling of issues when importing various SMF (Standard MIDI
   Format) files
   - Sub-bar level grid lines reflect grid unit choice
   - 14 bit MIDI controller values correctly handled


   - New option to control which region(s) are selected after a split
   - Axis limited dragging (Using the shift key during a region limits
   motion to initial direction (up/down or left/right) only
   - Automation line editing notably improved
   - Maximum zoom limited to 3 days @ 48kHz a 1600 pixel wide screen
   - Ripple mode: this new editing mode can dramatically speed up your
   edits. In Ripple mode, audio regions after a move or delete operation will
   move to accommodate the edit.
   - Cut (split) mouse tool (supplements the faster but more obscure use of
   the "s" (split) keybinding for users too stuck in the ways of legacy DAWs).
   - Zoom mode removed (Select ranges/objects, then zoom)
   - Drop zone: regions, selections and file drag-and-dropped to this area
   below all other tracks will create new tracks
   - Track + region selection now mutually exclusive
   - Remove all group active button (To operate on all tracks, use
   select-all-tracks (ctrl-t))
   - Region name highlights removed (available as user-controlled option)
   - Mute automation
   - Vertical scrolling moves in units of whole tracks
   - New "sequence regions" operation removes blank space between regions

VST Plugin Support

   - VST plugins (native Windows VST plugins on Windows, Linux VST plugins
   on Linux) are no longer automatically scanned at first application startup
   (this avoids plugins causing crashes when using Ardour for the first time
   on systems with misbehaving plugins already installed)
   - An external scanning tool is used to identify and test VST plugins at
   user request from within Ardour
   - Plugins which fail testing are placed on a blacklist so that they will
   not be loaded by Ardour unless manually overridden by the user

OS X Platform Support

Unlike Ardour 3.x, Ardour 4.x is being officially released for OS X. Expect
to see continued improvements to our OS X support in upcoming releases.

   - Splash and dialog windows don't interrupt work flow
   - MIDNAM files now included
   - Screen positioning of AudioUnit GUIs is more rational and consistent
   - Many more AudioUnit instrument ("soft synth") plugins can now be
   loaded successfully
   - Prefer stereo variants of AudioUnit instrument plugins if one is
   - Fix AudioUnit Carbon GUI focus issues
   - AudioUnit plugins are no longer automatically scanned at first
   application startup (this avoids plugins causing crashes when using Ardour
   for the first time on systems with misbehaving plugins already installed)
   - Plugins which fail testing are placed on a blacklist so that they will
   not be loaded by Ardour unless manually overridden by the user

Transport and Control

   - Loop can now be a mode instead of an operation; if Loop Mode is
   engaged, then pressing Play (or space) will initiate the loop
   - Tap tempo
   - Q and W jump between markers
   - Update clocks and video frames at the session video frame rate
   - Big clock window now scales smoothly and correctly on all platforms

Mackie Control

   - QCon controller support
   - Original Mackie Control device support
   - Enable correct transmission of UTF-8 text to Mackie Control devices


   - Soundcloud Export
   - Fix recording of files where the sample count exceeds the 32 bit limit
   - Key bindings moved into Preferences
   - Theme editor moved into Preferences
   - Key binding rationalization
   - Build system now works correctly with python3
   - Improved support for LV2 controls and presets
   - Remove several libraries previously maintained as part of the Ardour
   source tree

New MIDI binding maps

   - Akai MPK61

New MIDNAM Support

   - E-Mu XL-1


   - The work on the new graphics engine was started by Carl Hetherington,
   and then later continued by Paul Davis, Robin Gareus, Ben Loftis, Nick
   Mainsbridge, David Robillard
   - Abstracting the audio I/O was initially funded by Waves Audio who also
   provided the ASIO and the initial version of CoreAudio backends. Robin
   Gareus implemented the ALSA, current CoreAudio and Dummy backends.
   - Improvements to MIDI editing were done primarily by David Robillard
   with input from Robin Gareus and Paul Davis
   - The Windows port was originally funded by Google as part of a Summer
   of Code project carried out by Tim Mayberry, and was further developed by
   John Emmas to launch Harrison's Mixbus. Subsequent work on the Windows port
   and cross-platform portability in general has continued in the hands of
   Tim, Robin Gareus, John Emmas, Paul Davis, Grygorii Zharun and Valeriy
   - Other contributors, in addition to those named above: Colin Fletcher,
   Ygvgeny Primakov, Jeremy Carter, George Krause, Todd Naugle, Devin Pohly,
   Guido Aulisi, Julien de Kozak, Michael Fisher, Sakari Bergen, Adrian Knoth,
   Hans Baier, Thomas Brand
   - Paul Davis thanks Waves Audio for financial support during the
   development of Ardour 4, and their use of Ardour as the basis for Tracks
   - The ongoing open-source development of Ardour's Windows and OS X
   releases, UI improvements, and plugin hosting were largely funded by
   Harrison Consoles. Ardour 4 will serve as the platform for Harrison's
   upcoming release of Mixbus v3.
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