Intro to Ardour Digital Audio Workstation: Recording Basics

Ardour digital audio workstation for Linux and MacOSX


1) On a Linux machine, start JACK as usual: in a terminal, qjackctl &

2) Start Ardour 2: in a terminal, ardour2 &

3) The Ardour - Session Control window will open; create a New Session in your pd-lab directory; click "Open":

4) The Ardour Editor Space will open, by default it contains a master track at 48kHz sampling rate (see top status bar):

5) If you check JACK Connections, you'll see that ardour outputs are connected to the alsa_pcm inputs:

6) Back in Ardour, go to Windows: Show Mixer:

The Mixer window will appear; it contains the routing view of the master track shown in the above Editor Space:

7) Create a new mono track to record your dialogue track into: by right-clicking on the Mixer window; the add tracks window will appear:

Select Add 1, Tracks, mono, normal, and click "Add".

In the Editor Space and Mixer windows, the new mono track appears as Audio 1:

8) Set audio routing in order to record from channel 1 of the Alsa audio card:

In the Mixer window, under Audio 1, set the input to in 1 and output to master Out.
The master output should be set to out 1 + 2:

Notice the vertical green pan indicators near the bottom of the Mixer channels:
the Audio 1 should be in the center in order to hear audio through both left and right output channels;
the master output shows two panners, the top should be all the way left and the bottom all the way right ("panned hard left and right" in engineer-speak).

9) Now set up the physical recording world:
plug your mono (1 channel) microphone into INPUT 1 on the Omni I/O interface box.
Set the gain knob to the 11:00 position (change this later as needed to avoid clipping indicated by the red LED).
Make sure the PAD (attenuator) button is not depressed.

10) To record into Audio 1 track, go back to the Ardour Editor Space and right of the Audio 1 track label, click the red circle "record" to record-enable the track.

If you put on headphones now, you should be able to hear yourself talking through the microphone; adjust the gain as necessary.

Next click on the Transport Record button (circle symbol under the "Options" menu) -- it will start flashing:

Now click on the Transport Play button (arrow symbol under the "Windows" menu) -- and recording will begin;
start speaking into your mic and watch the waveform display; hit the Transport Stop button (square symbol) to stop recording.

Notice the red Transport which can be moved via the mouse to the start of the waveform display for playback.

If you are done recording, disable the record-enable button on the track.

11) Editing can be done using copy, paste, etc. commands from the Edit menu, and also using editing tools graphically displayed below the Transport Controls.


For more information, see the Ardour online manual.