I recently switched my video editing software from Windows based Sony Vegas to Linux based Blender. I had also used Vegas as my digital audio workstation for audio projects. Wanting to do both on Linux I started researching Linux based DAW systems and found Ardour. After testing Ardour I quickly realized that I found my solution. Ardour was very intuitive to learn and had all of the features that I required for my audio mixing projects. Good news for you OSx and Windows user, there are versions available for both of you. Linux VST support provides access to high quality proprietary plugins on Linux from Loomer, Pianoteq/Modartt. Excellent open source plugins from Distrho and others. It’s also a free under GNU Public License v2 but if you end up using do as I do and make a donation to help keep the project going.
Ardour is a multichannel hard disk recorder (HDR) and digital audio workstation (DAW). It can be used to control, record, edit and run complex audio setups.
Ardour supports pro-audio interfaces through the ALSA project, which provides high quality, well designed device drivers and API’s for audio I/O under Linux. Any interface supported by ALSA can be used with Ardour. This includes the all-digital 26 channel RME Hammerfall, the Midiman Delta 1010 and many others.
Ardour has support for 24 bit samples using floating point internally, non-linear editing with unlimited undo, a user-configurable mixer, MTC master/slave capabilities, MIDI hardware control surface compatibility.
It supports MIDI Machine Control, and so can be controlled from any MMC controller and many modern digital mixers.
Ardour contains a powerful multitrack audio editor/arranger that is completely non-destructive and capable of all standard non-linear editing operations (insert, replace, delete, move, trim, select, cut/copy/paste). The editor has unlimited undo/redo capabilities and can save independent “versions” of a track or an entire piece.
Ardour’s editor supports the community-developed LADSPA plugin standard. Arbitrary chains of plugins can be attached to any portion of a track. Every mixer strip can have any number of inputs and outputs, not just mono, stereo or 5.1. An N-way panner is included, with support for various panning models. Pre- and post-fader sends exist, each with their own gain and pan controls. Every mixer strip acts as its own bus, and thus the bus count in Ardour is unlimited. You can submix any number of strips into another strip.
Ardour’s channel capacity is limited only by the number on your audio interface and the ability of your disk subsystem to stream the data back and forth.
JACK (the JACK Audio Connection Kit) is used for all audio I/O, permitting data to be exchanged in perfect samplesync with other applications and/or hardware audio interfaces.
Ardour is sample rate and size neutral – any hardware formats from 8 to 32 bits, and rates from 8kHz to 192kHz. Internal processing in 32/64 bit IEEE floating point format.
Further information can be found at http://ardour.org/.