Who Did This?

Paul Davis (Galisteo, NM)

After shuttling back and forth between commercial, academic and research programming jobs (EMBL, Schlumberger, Rabbit Software, ScenicSoft, University of Washington CS&E) for 12 years, being the 2nd employee at Amazon.com (and then quitting) gave me the chance to finally start writing the kind of software I wanted to write in the way I wanted to write it.

I have now spent about 16 years developing audio software for Linux and OS X. In the winter of 2008-2009, I was honored to be the Edgar Varese Guest Professor at the Technical University, Berlin.

You can send me email. If you wish, you can read more about me.

Although Paul was and is the primary author of Ardour, many other people have contributed to it.

Active Developers

These people have all made code contributions to Ardour within the last 12 months, as well as substantive contributions over the life of the program.

Robin Gareus (Berlin, Germany)
Robin set out to make Ardour even more suitable for professional A/V post-production. He single-handedly implemented the video-timeline. By 2021, Robin has become the most prolific and productive Ardour developer, with a list of contributions and accomplishments too long to write out. There's likely no part of Ardour that he has not helped to improve, and many that he was almost solely responsible for. The project would not be where it is today without his participation and skill. He also plays a major role in providing support to users on IRC and in the forums.
Ben Loftis (Nashville, TN)
Ben is a software developer and director at Harrison Consoles; He's the project manager for Harrison's Mixbus DAW and a regular open-source contributor to Ardour. Ben's focus is the user interface, and he's been the primary or sole developer of commercial audio interfaces for products spanning from $39 to $1M which are in use at NASA, Fort Knox, Sony Pictures, and thousands of bedroom studios.


These people are no longer active in Ardour's development but made significant contributions over the life of the program.

Jesse Chappell (Washington, DC)
Jesse is probably Ardour's god-parent, and made many, many major contributions to Ardour. Jesse was responsible for Ardour being able to handle multichannel tracks, a major change in the program's design and capabilities. He also made many additions/improvements to the GTK GUI, including mouse zoom mode and the route params editor. He was the first person to just "walk in" and understand the Ardour codebase, and was also responsible for Paul spending way too much time on IRC. Meanwhile, he also wrote the amazing live looping tool SooperLooper and the incredible frequency-based effects unit FreqTweak. He is also responsible for ThumbJam, an awesome iOS application.
Taybin Rutkin (New York, NY)
Taybin has been involved with Ardour for a long long time. He has contributed lots of code, and was particularly responsible for the use of XML in the state persistence aspect of the program. He also (re)wrote the soundfile library code to use LRDF. In addition he was responsible for the integration of the gettext system and the compose() templates that make Ardour's internationalization possible. He has consistently made suggestions that resulted in significantly more elegant code and design. Taybin also set up and oversees our Drupal CMS and Mantis bug reporting system. Taybin initiated the port to OS X, and started work on the native OS X version. Then he got a more demanding job, and then a girlfriend and then a fiance and then a wife and then a child and then ...
Marcus Andersson (Karlstad, Sweden)
Marcus contributed a number of useful patches and worked on the dB-related issues in the gain stages and metering, other numeric computations, and much useful debugging, bug reporting and analysis.
Jeremy Hall (Sterling, VA)
Jeremy contributed several patches and worked intensively on ksi_ardour, a (sadly historical) keystroke-based-interface to libardour designed for sight-impaired and GUI-averse users.
Steve Harris (Southampton, UK)
Steve contributed code to handle speed-based interpolation, an area I did not want to get my head around, as well as dithering, panning, metering and other DSP-centric issues. He also wrote the LRDF library used by Ardour's soundfile library code, not to mention dozens of LADSPA plugins that make Ardour a truly useful tool.
Colin Law (the Center for Music Technology, Glasgow, Scotland)
Colin wrote the code that supports Ardour's integration with the CMT Animatics engine. He was also very involved in refactoring the GUI code design to support different kinds of tracks.
Gerard van Dongen (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Gerard did a set of scattered but critical work with a vague focus on the mouse, and made some particularly important fixes to the incredibly hairy code that draws automation curves. Gerard also helped out with a workshop on Ardour held at the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Rotterdam, in November 2004. Tragically, he died aged 39 on March 4th 2006, survived by his wife and two young children. His spirit lives on not only in his family but also in his music and his contributions to Ardour and other free software.
Sampo Savolainen (Helsinki, Finland)
Sampo became a major contributor of minor patches as Paul began working full time for a while. He fixed numerous bugs, some on mantis and some not, fairly continuously for several months. He then moved on to write SSE assembler routines to handle the CPU-hungry metering and mixing routines. Somewhere along the way, Sampo wandered off into building actual hardware and Ardour has never been the same since.
Carl Hetherington (Northern UK)
Carl's work on Ardour is substantive and impressive. During the latter half of the Ardour3 development cycle, he became an incredibly productive bug fixer and feature implementor, with work ranging from the implementation of the new I/O matrix dialog and several notable pieces of important editing functionality all the way through to minor GUI prettification and code cleanups. His contribution to Ardour3 cannot be underestimated.
Torben Hohn (Germany)
Torben is a coding master who has contributed huge amounts to many Linux audio projects, including JACK, gAlan, and Ardour. Along with Paul, he was responsible for the hacking on FST that made VST support possible. His contributions to Ardour are too many to list, but among other things he was responsible for parallelizing DSP execution in Ardour3 as well as a whole series of patches to Ardour3 soon after the 2nd GSoC effort that actually got many features working correctly.
Sakari Bergen (Finland)
Sakari, funded by a Google Summer of Code project, was responsible for the entire redesign and major expansion of Ardour's export capabilities. Like our other developers he also lent his expertise to many other small details and bug fixes along the way.
David Robillard (Ottawa, ON)
David is the brains and the fingers behind Ardour's support for MIDI recording, playback and editing. Before, during and after the two Google Summer of Code sponsorships (but mostly before & after), David also ended up making substantial (and great, and deep) design changes to the codebase that is now Ardour 3.X. When he's not keeping fellow Ardour developers company with his curmudgeonly wit on IRC, David is also responsible for Ingen, Patchage and other pieces of linux audio infrastructure such as LV2. Rumor has it that he also is working on some kind of post-graduate degree.
Nick Mainsbridge (Australia)
Nick is responsible for many improvements to the rulers. With financial support from SAE, Nick also made a huge push to get the GUI performance of the native OS X port up to acceptable levels. In later years, Nick has made contributions in many different places, most recently a notable speedup in waveform rendering.
Colin Fletcher (United Kingdom)
Colin is a jack of all trades and master of some ... despite having no particular area that he was personally responsible for, he continues to tweak, cajole and occasionally brute force improvements and new functionality from many different aspects of the code. He was particularly responsible for integration with Freesound.
Tim Mayberry (Brisbane, Australia)
Tim did lots and lots and lots of work on mouse-driven editing. As part of Google's Summer of Code program, he did the initial work of porting Ardour to Windows. Despite several hiatuses from Ardour development, he has been back at work recently, bringing cleaner and more C++ idiomatic code to the program and developing and improving our Windows audio+MIDI I/O handling.

A full list of Ardour code contributors and translators is available in Ardour's "About" dialog.


Implementing support for MIDI recording, playback and editing was (and remains) a massive task. It was initiated by David Robillard, at times with financial support from Google's Summer of Code program. Hans Baier has also provided substantial assistance and Audun Halland helped with some details as well as design and implement the "scroomer" along with Thorsten Wilms.


Thorsten Wilms was reponsible for many icons, graphics and GUI design in Ardour, in particular the Ardour logo.

Financial Contributors

Although Ardour's development (and Paul's life) is collectively funded by everyone who donates, pays to download the program or becomes a subscriber, it is important to specifically recognize (in chronological order):

Frank Carmickle
first financial supporter of Ardour, instigator of ardour/ksi.
Ron Parker/Mirror Image Studios (Minneapolis, MN)
first user of Ardour in a commercial studio, financial contributor, major initiator of MTC and MMC functionality.
Harrison Consoles
Harrison Consoles is a 40-year veteran of the audio industry with an enormous list of technology and artistic credits associated with their products. Harrison contributes significant financial and developer resources to the Ardour project. They use the Ardour platform in 2 products: Mixbus (a low-cost mixing application for OS X, Windows and Linux) and Xdubber (an enterprise-class destructive multitrack recorder).
Solid State Logic
SSL employed Paul to work full time on Ardour during the development of Ardour 2.0. This generous act on the part of SSL helped Ardour moved forward in several significant ways.
SAE provided limited funding that helped push forward the native OS X port. Armand Klenk of SAE Munich was responsible for redesigning Ardour's basic editing model and providing a huge amount of feedback on Ardour's design and the native OS X version.
Waves Audio
Waves used Ardour as the starting point for their Tracks Live product, and have also provided generous funding at various times. The founders of Waves have always been vocal in their support of Ardour's goals, several of their engineers provided useful feedback on Ardour's GUI and workflow and the development of Tracks Live does feedback some useful improvements into Ardour itself.

Testers, Critics, Debuggers, Designers, Engineers

In addition to those listed above, the following people are among those who offered financial support, design insights and ideas, encouragement, feedback, bug reports and much more during Ardour's development. They generally suffered from days of frustration, and withstood hundreds of code revisions without complaint. No thanks or praise is sufficient for their collective contributions to Ardour. In no particular order:

  • Joe Hartley
  • Ryan Gallagher
  • Rob Holland
  • Jan Depner
  • Bryan Koschmann
  • Patrick Shirkey
  • Rob Fell
  • Ant
  • Chris Ross
  • Joshua Pritikin
  • Rohan Drape
  • Johan De Groote
  • Bob Ham
  • Chris Goddard
  • Havoc Pennington & Owen Taylor
  • Tom Pincince
  • Marek Peteraj
  • DuWayne Holsbeck
  • Edgar Aichinger
  • Axel Mueller

Jim Hamilton

I would also like to thank Jim Hamilton of Rittenhouse Recording, Philadelphia, for the partnership, friendship and foresight he has shown me during Ardour's ongoing development.

I met Jim playing a jazz drumkit at a fundraiser in 2000 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our children's nursery school. Since then, he has continued to open my eyes to both music itself, the process of making music, and the life of a working musician.

Jim is the best and most inventive percussionist I have ever seen, and one of the best I've ever heard. He has always believed in the social and philosphical implications of Ardour, and his support and interest have been vital in Ardour's development.