About This Manual

This manual provides a beginner's introduction to installing, configuring and using Ardour for basic sound recording and editing tasks. The main body of the manual was written during a Book Sprint led by Derek Holzer in the moddr_lab ( at WORM in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, between 23 and 27 November 2009, with input and support from the international community of Ardour users and developers. 

This FLOSS manual complements the Ardour reference manual currently under development by the Ardour community, which aims to provide an encyclopedic listing of Ardour's features. That reference manual can be previewed at

The Ardour community is invited to contribute content to this manual. The interface to edit or add new chapters is located at

Conventions Used in This Manual

Below are some basic conventions we have adopted in this manual.

Mouse Clicks

Ardour requires a two-button mouse to run (or the emulation of that on your system in some other way). A Click is assumed to be a left button mouse click. A Right Click refers to the right-hand button on the mouse. A "Control", "Cmd" or "Apple" key pressed with a mouse Click is not the same, and may in fact give a different result.

Key Names & Combinations

The names of keys to be pressed are written in quotation marks and italicised, like this:

"Control", "Return", "Backspace", "R"

Key combinations are written like this:

"Control" + "X"


"Apple" + "X"

Menu Navigation

Many functions are accessible in Ardour by clicking on the various menu items. Additionally you may need to access functions through the menus of OS X, Ubuntu, or other Linux distributions. To illustrate this we use two conventions: the first is illustration via screenshots (images), and the second is through a Syntax like this :

System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager

The above example is shorthand for "first click on the System menu, then choose the Administration item of the list, and then click on Synaptic Package Manager".

Glossary Words

FLOSS Manuals does not assume any previous knowledge of computers or audio editing, so terms which might be unfamiliar to the general reader are capitalized throughout this manual, and are listed in Boldface the first time they are used in a chapter. Glossary words are also defined in-line the first time they occur in the manual, and are included in the Glossary at the end of this manual.