Ardour 6.5 released

Ardour 6.5 is now available. The main change in this release is support for plugins in Steinberg's VST3 plugin format, across all platforms. There are also numerous bug fixes and improvements, as usual.

Release notes for other older versions are linked in the list below. For the attentive, there was an Ardour 6.4 release but it turned out to have an important fatal flaw, and was immediately superceded by this release, 6.5.

New Features

  • Support for plugins in VST3 format (for Linux, Windows and macOS)
    • Visit Preferences->Plugins and click "Scan Now" to find your installed VST3 plugins.
    • There is no need to set search paths for VST3's though you can specify additional folders to search if you do not install them in the VST3 standard location).
    • By default, if a plugin is available in both VST3 and VST2 then only the VST3 will show up in your plugin list.
    • VST3 support includes support for the Presonus VST3 extensions, as use by (for example) Softube Console1 plugins and control surfaces.


  • On Windows build, support launching both JACK1 and JACK2.
  • Prevent Session range markers from being hidden.
  • Reduce the amount of work done when multiple locate commands are all issued in a very short time.
  • Significantly speed up displaying of all MIDI automation lanes.
  • Ask before showing 2000 automation lanes (can occur with certain plugins present on a track).
  • Mark sessions as dirty if a meter type is changed.
  • Improve various details of signal path latency computations.
  • Use linear fades when crossfading loop end/start.
  • Slightly speed up stem and direct-out export.
  • WAV and AIFF files may now include session meta data tags (using id3v2 tags and WAV Info).
  • Fix crash during startup on macOS Big Sur (Intel 64bit).

Bug Fixes

  • Correctly sort concurrent MIDI events.
  • Check for MIDI buffer overflow when merging into an empty buffer.
  • Complain when MidiBuffer::merge_from fails due to buffer full.
  • Fix a rare but important race condition bug in the code used to manage several critical real-time data structures.
  • Fix handling of musical times between 0 and -1 beats.
  • Fix handling of transport manager ports when switching session.
  • Fix external/sidechain send solo propagation.
  • Cursor position and text color when editing clocks fixed.
  • Fix restoring implicit solo on session load.
  • Fix the window a plugin GUI/editor floats over when using a detached mixer window.
  • Fix AudioUnit window size for some non-resizable plugins.
  • Fix various issues when using MIDI on ARM (Raspberry Pi).
  • Fix bounce & freeze operations:
    • Include main-out channel-count when bouncing the output
    • Do not de-activate disk-reader and mains-out when freezing a track
    • Ignore meter when counting channels

Control Surfaces

  • Handling of MIDI encoders in "Generic MIDI" support is fixed.
  • Websocket/JS support now properly supports MIDI strips.

Lua Scripts

  • Fix for a bug in the "Tom's Loop" script.
  • MIDI rewriting example script has been made more elaborate.

Included Plugins

  • Plugins previously in the "a-*" family are now consistently referred to as "ACE" (Ardour Community Effects).

Theme Updates

  • A few tweaks in the "dark colors" theme.

Translation Updates

  • Basque
  • German
  • French
  • Russian


Robin Gareus, Hector Martin, Ayan Shafqat, Len Ovens, Luciano Iam, Nikolaus Gullotta, cooltehno, Thomas Brand, John Emmas, Paul Davis


Edgar Aichinger (German), Olivier Humbert (French), Enara Larraitz & Porrumentzio (Basque), Alexandre Prokoudine (Russian)