> make music now / 250 daw power tips
Let’s stick together! Use Ardour’s Combine Regions command to glue together the chopped up bits of your tracks
01Edited audio tracks can look a mess, chocked full of micro-edited snippets that have been chopped, moved, copied, and pasted into place. Use Ardour’s Combine Regions function to merge them into a single, cohesive audio file wherever possible.
02Are you spending too much time scrolling through the innumerable channels of an epic arrangement? If so, you might want to make use of Ardour’s Strips List, where you can view, hide, add, remove, and otherwise reorganise channels in an instant.
03Ardour’s Editor List likewise makes it easy to take in all of the various bits and pieces, actions and edits that make up your project. Once enabled, it provides a view of your tracks, regions, busses, bus groups, snapshots, and marks.
04Ardour’s playhead is very flexible, allowing you to decide how you want it to align itself within the project. You can jump to the mouse cursor position, marker positions, system clock time, grid sections or even transients, among many other things. Knowledge of the options will speed up your workflow considerably.
06If you’re into micro-edits, you owe it to yourself to have a play with Ardour’s Nudge functions. You can nudge selected regions or the playhead by a selected time division, and you can change the time representation using right-click.
07Plugin pinouts are one of Ardour’s niftiest features. Every plugin header offers a Pinout button that allows access to the Pin Configuration, where you can see and alter that plugin’s I/O routing.
08Ardour comes in two flavours: a ready-to-install binary, and source code that you’ll have to build yourself. The latter might seem daunting, but it’s fully customisable – you only need include the bits you want to include.
09Because Ardour is open-source, it can have any feature you want – if you have the programming skills to put it in. You’re even free to redistribute it with your changes, providing you adhere to its license.
10Ardour’s Group functions are as slick as they come, and if you’re not using them already, you should be. Groups can put a selected number of tracks under unified control, and you decide which parameters should be affected.
11Be sure to use Ardour’s custom track colour options to help distinguish tracks, groups and VCA assignments. When a project’s getting complicated, anything like this can help bring sense to matters.
12Ardour’s Help menu offers a neat Chat option. With it, you can open a chat window and ask a question and get a direct answer from actual people. It can take anywhere from a few minutes to many hours, but it’s a great tool nonetheless.
13If you use Linux, Jack is old news. However, Mac and Windows users now also have access to this powerful audio and MIDI application interconnection API. As a program that got its start on Linux, Ardour is, natch, Jack-compatible.
14Ardour allows you to denote which plugins are your favourites so that they are all easily and quickly within reach to the left of the Mixer section. Just grab the ones you want and drag ’em in!
15You can have a hand in deciding what features Ardour’s developers include in future updates. Go to ardour.org and check out the Future Development page to see what the developers are planning. If what you want isn’t there, speak up!
16…likewise, if you have a problem, be assured that you have a voice.
ardour.org hosts a bustling forum full of users just like you, who are more than willing to lend a hand if you can’t figure something out.
17ardour.org is also the place to file a bug report if you run into any pesky gremlins. That’s assuming you don’t have the programming chops to squash them yourself – after all, the source code is available to any and all!
19Linux Ardour users might be surprised (and pleased!) to learn that the master analogue craftsmen at u-he have made a huge selection of their plugins available for Linux. Likewise, Togu Audio Line and discoDSP.
20Finally, the single most important thing you must know to get the most out of Ardour is how to support its developers. Developing a DAW is a full time job, and yet Ardour is made available for free. This is only possible if its users support it. So get over to ardour.org and sling ’em a few bucks. Better yet, sign up for a donation subscription.
Ardour’s Pinout Configuration puts virtual patch cables in the palms of your hands