Ardour vs. Audacity?

Darrin Goodman darrin.goodman at
Thu Jan 3 17:13:08 GMT 2008

As a bluegrass musician, most all of the music that I am recording is
acoustic.  Sometimes I might have a simple microphone plugged into the
sound card on my laptop, and other times I might be using high quality
condenser microphones which are powered by my mixer (the mixer would
then feed to my sound card).

My needs for audio recording are fairly simple and can be broken into
two categories:  (1) I might be recording the band in a live setting
and will use the mixer as my input, and will record a single track
while playing live.  (2) I would also like to have the ability to
record multiple tracks (private recording scenario, not a live
performance).  For instance, if I am making music by myself, I would
like to record the mandolin, then record the banjo, then record the
guitar, vocals, etc..., and then be able to mix the tracks so that it
sounds like a full band is playing.  At most, I would probably only
have 6 or 7 tracks (bass, banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, vocals).

What I would like to know are these two things:
- is Ardour really all that better (over Audacity) when it comes to
this sort of multi-tracking, or is there another tool that I should
look at?
- is Ardour better for just recording a single live track with a full
band (or would Audacity be a better tool for this use)?  So far, I've
had good results with Audacity when recording a single live track, but
have not had that great of results with trying to mix multiple tracks.

I have looked at Rosegarden and some other tools, but it seems (and
please correct me if I am wrong) that many of the other tools are for
recording midi devices.  Jokosher also looks interesting as an audio
recording tool, but I'm not sure if it's there yet.  Any thoughts?

Thank you for your input.

- Darrin

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