With common consent, Ardor is the flagship DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) on Linux. Its easy to use yet exceptionally powerful. Many of this unusable power comes from the any routing system it uses. Any output from any channel can be rotated by any bus in any combination. You really feel that you plug in equipment in a real studio on the screen. When you understand how equipment works in the real world, its a wonderful feeling that shoots your imagination to build a virtual studio especially for a mix! All channels, samplers, effects etc all plug-in just what you want them for today! And of course, all these configurations can be saved in Ardor should you ever work on a similar project.
Ardor himself is currently a lean / average DAW. It has very effective blends, effects and cutting tools. It does not run synths / samplers or supports any MIDI in addition to transport control / sync (although version 3 has a sophisticated sequencer that I know). In Linux, however, there is no limit, because the default pro audio software software, JACK, allows you to synchronize other apps like MIDI synthesizer, sampler etc to Ardor and rotate them through the effects.
Internal FX processing is done with effects plug-ins. There is a wide range of products including the SC4 compressor, a highly efficient tool and G-Verb, a simulated reverb that, when used with great wisdom in conjunction with a convoluted reverb like JConv, can deliver excellent professional sound results. VST plug-ins? And if Ardors effects are insufficient, you can always use JACK to move signals via other software or even (if you have a multi-input sound card) through an external hardware device.
Mixing features include unlimited buses and audio tracks (it can also make surround sound for ...). Of course, the performance of the computer varies and therefore provides a limit. But my old Packard Bell imedia 1303 (ready to retire if you look up the internet and apparently is one of the worst computers ever made!) Have recently handled a 30 track mix with every possible complicated routing perfect .... .. as well as a convolution application and mastering suite that runs along the side. So you can see if you have a smooth semi-decent computer, performance will not be a problem!
The usual panning, free / postfather sends our available plus you can specify groups of fathers to mix / show together. In addition, your mixer can automate almost any function of the mix / effects and capture real-time data from MIDI controllers for this. (However, I have found the MIDI Controller support a bit unreliable, so you should do some research on the compatibility of your hardware. (Ardor support forum is a very useful community and the author is very accessible.) The automation parameters can also be edited in graphical form via the mouse ( either in real time or not)
I have saved the best to last. Ardors editing facilities are quite amazing. An audio file can be chopped immediately in the playlist. That is, the audio file itself is recorded and the playlist is generated and specifies which pieces of the file to be played and when to play. Even better, like the mixer, you can specify groups of tracks and cut them / then move together. This is very useful for cutting the drum that was recorded with 10 microphones ...
Ardor is a beautifully designed program. You will soon find yourself clicking furious, editing and mixing your tracks. Ardor is very good at getting out of the way so your creativity can speak. Whats even more remarkable is that its essentially a guy (he also wrote Linux Professional Audio Software Architecture JACK). Given that its free, I recommend that any musician / producer with a sense of technologys side of things should give Linux / Ardor a try!