Fall In Love With Ardour's Digital Audio Workstation

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 07, 2009

For many people, a simple audio editor like Audacity is fine for recording, splitting, converting and manipulating audio files. Some folks, though, need an app that can handle more involved projects. Ardour is a digital audio workstation that's designed for musicians, podcasters, voice actors, editors, and anyone who needs full-blown professional software with all the bells and whistles.

Ardour has a ton of tools for recording, mixing, editing, and collaborating on audio files. Despite features like, "one-click MIDI CC control" and more than "More than 200 LADSPA & LV2 available plugins", this app is surprisingly approachable -- even for a newbie like me that knows next to nothing about audio editing. Ardour works on any Linux-based computer system that has ALSA/FFADO-supported audio hardware but to get it up and running on a Mac you'll also need the JACK audio connection kit to allow apps to send audio back and forth to each other. Then simply fire up both apps and start setting up your first session.

Don't let the editing desktop fool you. It may look complicated but it's really not. Once you've selected your input method, simply click the play button and start recording. Use the primary and secondary clocks to keep track of elapsed time or bars and beats, while other markers track tempo, meter, and more.

After you've stopped recording, use Ardour's handy tools to mix, edit, and adjust the audio in a multitude of ways. While I used the app simply to crop the ends of a podcast, the desktop of a power user might look more like this screenshot displayed on the project's Web site.

Importing existing audio files is a snap. Ardour lets you search by file name or tags, and make configuration adjustments ahead of the import. You can even choose conversion quality and timestamp files as you go.

If you're looking for a small audio editor for quick and dirty editing jobs, Ardour might be a little more app than you need. However, anyone who works in-depth with audio files will definitely want to take a look at this full-featured editing tool.