Ardour 8.4 released

February 20th 2024

Ardour 8.4 is available now for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Nothing particularly significant in this release, because our two lead developers have been busy with things linked to future releases. (note: there was no 8.3 release due to a critical bug discovered after tagging 8.3).

From a project-level perspective, perhaps the most important change is that we have moved the source code of our GUI toolkit (GTK v2) into the Ardour source tree. This has no impact whatsoever on people using the builds provided at

However, this version of GTK is about to be deprecated by a number of Linux distributions, and without this change it will become more difficult for both individual users and Linux package maintainers to continue building Ardour. This also leaves us free to (slowly) strip down aspects of the toolkit that we do not use, and potentially modify it as needed in the future. It also means that even the distribution builds of Ardour for Linux will contain our patches to GTK, which has historically not been the case.

Meanwhile, we now have beta-level AAF import, some new MIDI device maps, a new color theme, a stack of UX/UI tweaks and several fixes for crashing and workflow bugs.

a screenshot showing Ardour 8.0


Improvements and Bug Fixes

  • Mixer interaction fixes (interaction consistent use of button press and release).
  • Lots of miscellaneous color and drawing tweaks.
  • AAF import now (mostly) functional. This is still somewhat experimental, but we would welcome feedback..
  • Add metadata to session property editor so that search "works" there.
  • Dummy Backend: allow testing with some prime buffersizes.
  • Region groups: do not group multiple takes on a single track.
  • Add a tooltip to describe ops on the pianoroll header, incl note select.
  • Don't show plugin preset UI for plugins without controls.
  • New "adwaita" color theme (based on the GNOME Adwaita desktop theme).
  • Don't show automation of hidden plugins.
  • Set default MIDI CC values to be more in line with MIDI specs.
  • MIDI notes that were already on/down when recording starts are now captured. This change needs a more refined version, particularly to retain the velocity of these "early" notes, but this is a step in the right direction.

Control Surfaces and Devices

  • Allow control surfaces to keep editing plugin parameters when an unrelated plugin is removed.
  • Adjusted Akai MIDIMix mapping to make solo function as described in original user manual provided by manufacturer.
  • Add Lexicon MPX100 midnam file.
  • Add Yamaha SY85 midnam file.
  • Add Donner DMK25 spacline MIDI interface map file.
  • Add a minimalistic Arturia MiniLab 3 map.
  • FaderPort 8: only use visible channelstrip plugins.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix sensitivity of macOS global menu at application start.
  • Fix snap to triplet (still no builtin triplet drawing, sadly).
  • MIDI Legatize operation should now function correctly..
  • Escape cue cd-text like toc.
  • Fix crash when using Ripple with a RegionMoveDrag.
  • Allow to use ardour --gdb on newer Linux distros (fixes an issue with the way these systems build gdb).
  • Update bundled gdb for windows debug builds.
  • Fix gtk-critical message when monitor section is not present.
  • Fix gdk livelock on Windows when compiled with recent mingw/gcc.
  • Explicitly catch some errors when handling illegal file name characters.
  • Do not attempt to save automation data for non-automatable parameters.
  • Fix "Ignored automation data for non-automatable parameter".
  • Fix crash (or stuck solo) when removing tracks.
  • Fix crash when session-load fails while creating Routes.
  • Fix erasing events in MIDIBuffer (removing the last event marked the whole buffer empty).
  • Fix crash when replicating an LV2 plugin with a different I/O configuration.
  • Fix ffmpeg-5+ encoding drop-frame framerates.
  • Fix ACE Compressor inplace processing (when using stereo compressor on mono track)


agfline, Alija Strömkvist, Ben Loftis, Bill Smith, earringsmusic, jean-emmanuel, John Emmas, Nicolas Petton, Nil Geisweiller, Nils Philippsen, Paul Davis, Robin Gareus, The Marlboro Man

Translation Updates

  • Russian (Alexandre Prokoudine)
  • French (Julien Taverna, Olivier Humbert)
  • German (Edgar Aichinger)
  • Czech (Martin Vlk)