Ardour Basic Editing & Recording Howto. Contents Back
Starting up.

1: Using alsamixer or another native ALSA mixer application set soundcard volume levels and verify that input is working by playing a file with aplay. If you have never recorded using ALSA before then you should read The arecord and RTmix toot.

2: If you have a low latency kernel with /proc control, enable low latency: echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/lowlatency

3: There are three ways to start ardour. All of them require that the Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) is installed on your system.

First open two consoles/terminals/shells. One for jackd and one for ardour.

A: You can run ardour as a normal user

	jackd -v -d alsa -d hw:0,0  

B: You can run ardour as root user. This gives better latency because you can take advantage of realtime scheduling.
	jackd -R -v -d alsa -d hw:0,0

C: Use sudo. This allows you to run with root priveledges but not as the root user. (Good for safety conscious System Admins - but you already knew that right?)
	sudo jackd -R -d alsa -d Delta66

(of course, the card name Delta66 is just an example; it should be the name you assign in your ~/.asoundrc.)

	sudo /where/you/built/ardour/gtk_ardour/ardour &

Gui stuff.

Make sure you have a session loaded with active busses and/or tracks. Then go to the mixer window and verify that the input for the track is set to INPUT.

The mixer window The recorder window
In the editor window, choose Windows -> Recorder. The recorder window provides the default (read recommended) way to select an input source for each bus. To change one, click the input button for that track, now you can remove an input source by clicking it in the Input Connections window.

You can add a source by clicking it in the Available Ports box. When you've selected a working audio source, you should see the level meters moving.

The input connections window

To enable recording for a track the recommended way is to click the red button in the recorder window. You can also do this in the mixer or editor, click the rec or r button.

The recording buttons when enabled
You should now hear the input source at the monitors.

In the editor window, click on the transport record button (the transport is at the top of the screen). The record buttons for enabled tracks should blink. If the buttons are greyed out it means you need to check the input button in the editor window is set correctly (see above).

To start recording, click on the transport play button. The cursor should start moving in the editor window. No waveform drawing happens yet.

The transport control buttons
To stop, click the transport stop button. If you have done everything correctly a waveform should be drawn for the take you just recorded.

Manual punch.

Engage the dynamic punch button in the transport controls. Rec-enable the transport. Press play. To punch in click on the rec-enable button of the relevant track in the recorder window at the appropriate moment and again to punch out.

 Auto punch.

The mouse controls menu buttons
Create a location. The simplest way to do this is to put the mouse into select mode, select the desired section, then right-click in the track display, and in the Select submenu, choose New location from selection.

Popup the location window (Alt-l or the windows menu). Click in the punch column. You have just chosen this location to be used for autopunch. You can adjust the start/end from this window, or by dragging the markers that appear in the editor windows ruler area.

The locations window
Engage the autopunch button on the transport controls menu. Rec-enable the desired tracks. Rec-enable the transport. Press play to start rolling. Ardour should now punch in and out at the start and end of the location on all rec-enabled edit strips in the editor window.

A working session

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Original document written by Paul Winkler <>
Punch i/o Additions from Paul Davis <>
Document prepared by Patrick Shirkey <>
Thanks to everyone who contributes, wittingly or not...