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11 March 2013, 14:38

The Ardour 3.0 digital audio workstation is ready for the MIDI studio

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Zoom Ardour 3 offers MIDI sequencing functionality.
Ardour chief developer Paul Davis has released version 3.0 of his digital audio workstation. Ardour 3's most important new feature is the multi-track recorder's comprehensive MIDI support and MIDI sequencing functionality. Ardour supports instrument plugins in Steinberg's VST format, the AudioUnit format of Mac OS X, and the LV2 Linux standard, successor to the LADSPA format. The MIDI workflow is modelled after the audio workflow: notes played on a MIDI device can be recorded as separate tracks and then played back via a software synthesizer. An overview of the MIDI-enabled multi-track recorder's capabilities is available on the project's feature page.

The new matrix dialog presents the inputs and outputs of Ardour, of the user's hardware, and of other audio applications that use the JACK daemon. This is designed to simplify the routing of signal pathways; however, the old menu method is still available as well. Ardour 3 can distribute the digital signal processing across multiple processor cores in parallel with users specifying a maximum number of cores that can be used for this purpose. The export feature has become more flexible as Ardour 3 is able to export multiple formats simultaneously and supports file formats with more than two audio channels.

Zoom MIDI is recorded in separate tracks.
The new version also offers a multitude of minor changes and improvements such as those for solo tracks or for the "Rhythm Ferret", the component that analyses the rhythm of a recording. Various graphical interface modifications are designed to make working with Ardour more efficient, for example, the track and bus list now displays more information. Settings have been consistently divided into general settings and settings that only affect the current recording session. The developers have also significantly improved the support for various controllers such as SSL Nucleus, Mackie Control Pro, Behringer BCF and Steinberg CMC.

The source code of Ardour 3 for Linux and Mac OS X is released under the GPLv2 and is available to download free of charge. A one-time donation or subscription is required to obtain the compiled program, but a free demo version of the compiled application is available too. Subscriptions can be for $1, $4, or $10 a month depending on the generosity of the user. There is also a $50/pm subscription for organisations who want to support the development of Ardour. Davis, who earns his living through donations and subscriptions, doesn't offer a Windows version, pointing instead to Harrison Mixbus, a commercial application that is based on Ardour and runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.


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