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News - July 2012

Ardour 3 Beta 5 Released                                          24th July 2012

Beta 5 of Ardour3 is now available for Linux and Mac OS X.

Its been two months and more than 600 source code changes since beta4. I had announced no more betas for Ardour 3, but we've accumulated a prodigious set of changes, fixes, new functionality that it seems silly to try to hold back. Without further ado, here is Ardour 3 beta 5, absolute the last beta release:

New Functionality/Changes:

  • Visualization of automation while recording it has returned (this was removed during the development of Ardour3 as we merged some improvements in data handling from Ardour2/Mixbus). Several other less notable changes to the way automation data is handled add up to a vastly improved system, with more to come. One important missing piece right now: undo/redo for automation capture does not work.
  • Handle AudioUnit plugin GUIs that want to resize themselves.
  • Working handling of LV2 plugin presets.
  • Touch automation now works for AudioUnit plugins, at least those whose GUIs do the right thing.
  • Provide an easier way to add mixed (audio+MIDI) tracks to a session, to facilitate the use of plugins like Reaktor which accept both audio & MIDI data.
  • Name insert and send ports as "return" and "send" rather than "in" and "out". It is possible that this might break some connections in some existing sessions.
  • Allow alt-drag on stereo panner to move just one side of the stereo field. this wiggles a bit, possibly because of rounding, and that probably needs to be addressed.
  • Send automation now works.
  • Smooth 0.5 second fade out during quit, plus MIDI panic to turn everything off.

MIDI Fixes:

  • Fix issues with MIDI note selection when entering and leaving leaving internal ("note") edit mode, starting rubber-band note selection drags, and when changing region selections.
  • Fix crash when quitting with MIDI notes selected.
  • Add "v" as a new MIDI editing key for velocity, add a velocity editing dialog, and allow all selected MIDI notes to have their velocity set to the same adjusted value.
  • Remove extra .mid suffix added to cloned MIDI region names.
  • Properly handle zero-length MIDI files during import.
  • Improve vertical positioning of MIDI notes during drags.
  • Disallow import-without-copy for MIDI files.
  • Prevent exit from note edit mode on double-click with a modifier held down - prevents creation of malformed notes.
  • Do not mark imported MIDI files as un-writable - all MIDI files are subject to rewriting at any time.
  • Rename MIDI "Fork" operation to "Unlink from other copies".
  • Make a few more MIDI track menu options apply to the current selection.
  • Remove believed-unnecessary and broken MIDI thru option.
  • Extend a previous region if we click in a MIDI automation lane where there is no region.

Generic MIDI Control Surface Support

  • Fix generic MIDI bindings that use note on/off commands.
  • Add BCF2000 device info file for Mackie Control.
  • Alternate Korg nanoCONTROL MIDI binding map.
  • New Korg nanoControl2 MIDI binding map.
  • Allows definitions in a binding map that refer to elements that have not yet been (and might never be) created in a session. When those elements are created (e.g a send, or a plugin) the binding will start to work.
  • Add a set-bank function to MIDI binding map support.
  • Add optional threshold for catch-up with non motorised controls in generic MIDI surfaces. This is very useful when working with devices that vary in the "gaps" they may generate when sending a continuous fader motion (i.e. sending non-contiguous controller values). The default value, for example, does NOT work well with a Peavey PC1600X controller, but when tweaked, the faders work very well.
  • bindings to MIDI note on/off messages that involve non-toggle controls (e.g. transport) now do something sensible.
  • bindings to transport controls for "goto start", "goto end" and "play selection" now work).

Mackie Control Support:

  • Quite a lot of work was done to polish up the revised Mackie Control support that surfaced in Beta4. The code has now been tested on the SSL Nucleus, Mackie Control and Mackie Control Pro, Steinberg CMC and Behringer BC* devices, and all work well modulo issues with the ALSA/JACK MIDI bridge. Specific details that were addressed included:
    • metering now works on MC Pro.
    • fix V-Pot displays for Mackie Control.
    • fix 100% CPU use when using Mackie Control other than SSL Nucleus.
    • timecode display works.

MIDNAM, Plugin preset & Program Changes:

  • Some major reworking was done to integrate the handling of patch/instrument data, regardless of whether a MIDI track is being used to drive external synthesizers or plugin instruments. This is not complete, and may never be because the two concepts do not really fully align (plugin presets are NOT program changes). As part of that work, some other details of handling MIDNAM files (used to define programs for external synthesizers) were addressed:
  • fix search path for MIDNAM files.
  • add MIDNAM data into patch change dialogs.
  • fix lookup of MIDNAM patch data.
  • save MIDNAM settings for each track.
  • Stop s with unresolved s to stop errors on startup.
  • add a General MIDI MIDNAM file.

Ardour is a free (open source) digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. Produce your own CDs. Mix video soundtracks. Experiment with new ideas about music and sound. Generate sound installations for 12 speaker gallery shows. Have Fun.


Visit: ardour.org




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