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Blender+Ardour: A truly powerful combination


afrontArdour is an 'Open Source Digital Audio Workstation'. Juan Pablo Bouza explains how to hook it up to Blender.

Juan Pablo writes:

Well, I guess many people out there still don´t know that you can already connect Blender with Ardour through Jack for Video and Audio Editing in Linux. Even before 2.5 comes out!

This connection enables you to work with Blender for video editing and Ardour for Audio editing as if the two programs were a single application, as their cursors are synchronized through Jack.

This is possible thanks to IL'dar AKHmetgaleev, who developed the script. A couple of days ago I decided to put all the info together and make a little tutorial on how to do this. You can find it at my site.

Here is a video from IL'dar showing the script in action:

Now all that would be left would be to have some nice node editing capabilities in a per strip basis in the Sequencer Editor, but that is just for the wishlist!!


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. WOW This could be HUGE for blender! The only problem is that it would only work in Linux. Would there be a way to do a similar thing with Audacity and Blender in windows?

  2. Actually it will work in Linux and OS X.

    Audacity doesn't have Jack Transport support to my memory, so no this wouldn't work with Audacity on any platform.

    Should be noted that if you just need video sync for audio editing, Jadeo is probably a better match. If you need video editing though then yes Blender is useful.


  3. Nice ;-)

    I had a look over the script and it isn't to accurate about time syncronisation, I wouldn't be sattisfied with that for 2.5. However we'll need some animation system changes concerning time, that's still the weak point of blender's animation system, even with animato.

    Nevertheless it seems to be accurate enough to be usable, so it's a good solution for meanwhile ;)

    EagleWing: Jack is also available for Windows, so this should work on windows too. (Not sure about Ardour though, but I'm sure there are other jack capable apps for Windows).


  4. I used this technique about a year and a half ago to edit a moive for a 48 hour short film contest, and it worked great. The only problem was at the time blender didn't support 29.97 frame rate, but it does now..:)... This would be even better if both blenders sounds could play for keeping audio locked to the video tracks and ardour could play to add music, effects, and then be used for the final mixdown. The furture is indead bright for video in blender...

  5. @Jeromew

    If full Jack support is availiable(Haven't looked) then that is more than possible. Just route both Blender and Ardour to the interface, or route blender through a bus in Ardour if you prefer.


  6. That is awesome work! IL’dar AKHmetgaleev had made RIBKit and SLer, which were instrumental for Blender to Renderman in the early days, now he has worked with this, very very cool! This is a bright guy for sure!

  7. Now this is what I need.

    Just got myself a 61 key keyboard and am in the market for a 88 key keyboard.

    Audio is the always the finishing touch.

  8. Very interesting!

    Being a synth- and MIDI- freak, I'll be keeping an eye on this, and Ardour 3.0 (which promises improved MIDI capability), and how this all works out.

    Thanks, IL'Dar and Juan Pablo!

  9. Blender only comunicates with the jack transport through a python script as far as I know. So blender can sync it's transport, but can't send it's audio output back through the jack mixer. Maybe in the future blender will fully support jack. Which would be amazing if any developers are listening. :D

  10. Brian@SMH:
    I disagree with the term "worthless" in this context. While Blender for windows has the majority of the marketshare, Linux has a vast amount of Blender users because (on average) the Linux builds use less resources and come out with a faster end product. This can vary based on workflow and other variables, but it's a good rule of thumb. Additionally, most artist distros of Linux are free (this in terms of cost) and easy to acquire/install/setup so that you can achieve the same as what Juan Pablo Bouza just explained.
    Perhaps "diminished worth" is a better description of the state Windows users experience.

  11. Unsettlingsilence on

    I have both a Windows system and a Linux one so I can use this as is, but I am testing a program called AndLinux to see if I could get this to run in Windows. Alternatively for people who would like to run Both linux and Windows you should try Wubi. It will automatically set up a dual boot system on your computer that is as easy to eliminate as uninstalling a program should you want and requires no partition. Why limit yourself to using only windows when you can run both and at no cost to yourself? Versatility is always a good thing. Here are those links:

  12. Not only does Ardour have no windows build, but (last I checked) It is very difficult to get it running in linux, unless you have a distro bre-built for it like Ubuntu Studio. I think that the main issue holding Ardour back is lack of compatibility.

  13. Yeah, Jack is a pain to get working if you aren't a genius with it. I don't much care for Jack, but after seeing this, I may just give it another go...
    The next thing to do is to start working on maybe integrating Ardour-like audio editing quality into blender's feature-set. Guess I should look into maybe trying to do that...

  14. Brian, it's not going to cost you anything except time to try it. And in the end it might end up saving you the time you would have spent elsewhere without using all your options. Your computer is linux compatible and dual booting is about as hard as installing linux after windows. It's not like getting a linux OS is going to cost you 100-300$, unlike some other OS'es I know.

  15. @prokoudine:
    For some reason, after setting up jack in various distros (ranging from Debian to my own LinuxfromScratch-based custom distro) I ran into major headaches with stability and proper integration with Rosegarden, Ardour, and Blender (Rosegarden sync'd Ardour then sync'd to Blender). Even quality distros like Musix (where JACK is already masterfully configured) were too shakey to really integrate effectively. Maybe its me, my hardware, or a really bad string of luck of many months, but I haven't really been greatly impressed by the JACK framework.

  16. Hmm, editing features aren't working for me right now (blasted javascript)...
    Addendum to my last post:
    I haven't played around with Jack too recently though, so I guess when I get a bit more free time, I'll try again.

  17. @Alex Blank

    Sorry I am late coming back to this. The problem stems not from Jack, and you shouldn't be having stability issues.

    The problem comes from setting up realtime permissions in most distros is still something that has to be done manually, and getting the consumer audio layers to play well with Jack is troublesome at best.


    To be honest this is far from useless. If nothing else it should work fine on OS X for example, where Ardour is perfectly capable as a recording, editing, and up to stereo mixdown tool(Multichannel if you aren't expecting the 'standard' surround configs like 5.1, 7.1, etc.). So both on OS X and Linux this is a great possibility. Of course actual full Jack support in Blender is something I am looking forward to as it will only make this more useful.


    Jack is intended as a professional audio daemon. It isn't intended to replace the point of consumer audio daemons. So really you should only be doing this if you need the features of Jack or are intending to do professional audio. You shouldn't be trying this if that is not your intent, it will only give unecessary headaches. I can probably say that 95% (If not more) of the problems people have with setting up Ardour is in their Jack and Realtime setups.


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