Before You Start (macOS Edition)
Thanks for deciding to try Ardour on your macOS system. Please read EVERYTHING on this page before proceeding to use Ardour. Every single sentence here contains vitally important information.
My download is damaged???
On macOS Big Sur and later, after downloading you may see a dialog like this:
This message is misleading. All it means is that Ardour is not "signed" using Apple's non-gratis process, and that they are attempting to dissuade you from using it.
To deal with this, two steps are critically important. First, after downloading the DMG file DO NOT DOUBLE-CLICK IT OR ATTEMPT TO MOUNT IT IN ANYWAY. If you accidentally do this, unmount it by either clicking on the eject icon next to where the DMG name shows up in Finder, or drag the DMG icon to the trash. The DMG must not be mounted by your system before taking the next step.
Next, after download the application has to be released from quarantine. To do this, open Finder, navigate to Applications > Utilities and then double-click on Terminal. This will open a window with a prompt where you can type commands. Type this command, then press the enter key:
xattr -rd com.apple.quarantine ~/Downloads/Ardour-*.dmgYou can now close the Terminal window. Then, right-click (or control + click) on the Ardour download/DMG icon, and select either "Open" or "Open the first time" to launch it.
For further information, see also to this document on how to disable the gatekeeper.
- How To Install
If you downloaded source code, these instructions are not for you. See the building instructions instead.
You should have been able to download the .dmg file, and your browser should have opened it up in a Finder window that contains the striking red Ardour logo on your desktop.
You can now drag the icon to somewhere on your hard drive, and then click that location to start Ardour.
- How To Uninstall
To uninstall Ardour, just drag the icon/folder to the trash. For a complete uninstall, also remove the folder
$HOME/Library/Preferences/Ardourwhich contains your preferences and settings for the program.
- Your Mouse/Trackpad
Ardour has been written with the assumption that you have (at least) a 2 button mouse available. There is a lot of useful functionality built into context menus that appear when you right-click on most objects.
If you are using an Apple laptop that appears to have only a single button, you should use
Apple icon → System Preferences → Keyboard & Mouse →Trackpadto set the touchpad into "two-finger tap = right click" mode. Then you can get access to the context menus and more by just tapping with two fingers instead of one.
Note that you will find Ardour (and other digital audio workstations) even easier to use if you spend a little money on a full 3 button USB mouse with a mousewheel. They are cheap, easy to use and will all work with your MacBook.
Background: lots of people think that ctrl-click is always the way to get right-click operation on macOS. Its not. This is simply a per-application convention that many apps (but not all) have used. ctrl-click does not send the program something that looks like a right-click, it sends it a normal click with the additional information that the ctrl key is pressed. Some apps have used this as the signal to do some of the same things that right-click is associated with. Ardour has its own independent uses for ctrl-click, so we require to you configure your system to send a genuine right-click in order to see context menus and more.
- Consider Cmd-Scroll
you may want to visit the System Preferences dialog, and choose Keyboard/Mouse to disable the default mapping of cmd-Scroll. OS X ships with this bound to "zoom screen", which might be useful for some users, but probably not audio-focused ones. Ardour uses cmd-Scroll for zooming itself, and you may find it very useful to have this available.
- What To Do When It Doesn't Work!
Please see our page on how to report a bug.
Finally, please do come and talk to us on our IRC channel. You may be used to online forums as a place to get help, but in our world, we prefer to do things in real time rather than go back and forth on a very delayed communication channel. It is harder for us to support our OS X users because they generally do not build Ardour from source, but we can still talk you through many common problems in a few minutes online. This is preferable for us, and we think its probably better for you too.