Ardour 5.6 released

Another two months of development has rolled by, involving more than 600 commits by developers, and it's time for us to release Ardour 5.6.  Although there are no major new features in this release, there is the usual list of dozens of bug fixes major and minor, plus some workflow and GUI enhancements. There has been a significant rearrangement of the transport bar to try to use space more efficiently and effectively. The new design also permits session navigation while using the Mixer tab, and there are numerous optionally visible elements. Similarly, the Preferences dialog was rearranged to try to make it easier to find and browse the many, many available options. Other interesting new features: session archiving, a new General MIDI default synth for MIDI tracks, and direct and immediate control of routing for heavily multichannel (typically multitimbral) synth plugins.


  <h2>General Changes and Improvements</h2>

<li>Speed up unloading large Sessions</li>
<li>Speed up recent Session display, with many large Sessions and or snapshots.</li>
<li>Transport control area layout changes.</li>
<li>Add a mini-timeline to the Toolbar.</li>
<li>Follow Edits has been renamed Follow Range and has changed behaviour.</li>
<li>Allow customization of Toolbar via Preferences -> Appearance -> Toolbar</li>
<li>Add ability to archive Session.</li>
<li>Normalize audio when archiving to a fixed point format.</li>
<li>Add more precise localization options to Preferences -> General -> Translation.</li>
<li>Enable all types of Range locations (loop, start, end) to be glued to BBT.</li>
<li>Allow preference for tempo to be expressed in divisions per minute or quarter notes per minute (General -> Tempo). </li>
<li>Preference layout, grouping, wording/naming and tooltip changes.</li>
<li>Add button to reset keyboard modifiers to recommended defaults in preferences (Editor -> Modifiers).</li>
<li>Minor updates to Blueberry Milk, Caineville, Clear Gray and Cubasish Themes.</li>
<li>Support added to compile on macOS 10.12 (Sierra).</li>
<li>Modify playlist option labels in Duplicate Track/Bus dialog. [#7149]</li>
<li>Support import of Tempo maps during MIDI import at selected position.</li>
<li>Show context menu on right click on VCA track header.</li>
<li>Support all drive letters on windows (with harvid version >= 0.8.2).</li>
<li>Rename Bindings Window to Keyboard Shortcuts.</li>
<li>Display name of conflicting keyboard shortcut.</li>
<li>Allow automation line fill opacity themable.</li>
<li>Add global monitoring controls to toolbar, enable visibility via Preferences -> Appearance -> Toolbar.</li>
<li>Implement count-in before recording with fixed BPM, enable via Session -> Properties -> Misc.</li>
<li>Implement record with pre-roll, accessible via Transport menu.</li>
<li>Allow Editor toolbar and background to be themable.</li>
<li>Allow changing Metronome level via Mouse Wheel on Metronome button in Toolbar.</li>
<li>Display application version Session was last modified/saved with tooltip in recent session list. </li>
<li>Scale Gain automation by masters current value if slaved.</li>
<li>Add scripts to run Ardour under rr debugging tool.</li>
<li>Disable VST scan in safe mode.</li>
<li>Mark Session dirty when moving range/tempo markers. [#7217]</li>
<li>Add undo/redo for changing marker lock style.</li>
<li>Mark Loop button insensitive when no loop range is defined. [#7195]</li>
<li>Name VCA's by number and user defined name if set. </li>
<li>Add two export format specifications for stems.</li>
<li>Include gmsynth.lv2 in application bundles/installers.</li>
<li>Add option to use snapshot name instead of Session name when exporting.</li>
<li>Save-As now working again as intended (no  longer incorrectly asks about saving  and does not incorrectly switch to new version unless asked)</li>

  <h2>Actions/Binding Changes</h2>

  <div class="alert alert-warning">
  This release changes the name of several Ardour actions that may be used by OSC &amp; MIDI bindings and by customized key bindings. The affected action names are listed below. The old full action names began with "Editor/" - this has been changed to they all begin with "Common/".
  <strong>You can ignore this change unless you use OSC, or MIDI binding maps or customized key bindings.</strong>
  If you do use any of these features, you will need to either/or modify your OSC or MIDI bindings and redefine your key bindings after removing or renaming the customized ones. Failure to do this will mean that existing bindings to these actions will not function as intended.
  These changes were made in order to make these actions available from within the Mixer tab, rather than just the Editor.

  <h3>Affected Actions</h3>

Editor Improvements

<li>Duplicate action now works in Range Selection mode.</li>
<li>Multi-Duplicate now works for Range Selections.</li>
<li>Zoom to selection (z key) now zooms on both axes.</li>
<li>Add zoom to selection (horizontal) action.</li>
<li>Add preference (editor -> general) to zoom to selection in object mode.</li>
<li>Left and right arrow keys move playhead to next/previous grid point instead of region boundary (old behaviour can be accessed with modifiers)</li>
<li>Speed up patch change redisplay.</li>
<li>Don't locate when clicking on region fade handles in smart mode with follow edits enabled.</li>
<li>Add actions to set current meter/tempo.</li>
<li>Display boost/cut gain after audio region name.</li>

  <h2>Mixer Improvements</h2>

<li>Display vca's at the end of track/bus list.</li>
<li>Show isolate solo and lock solo status buttons in master mixer strip but keep de-sensitized to preserve mixer strip layout between track/bus types.</li>
<li>Fix update of group color in mixer strip header.</li>
<li>Show vca color on number label and top of the mixer strip.</li>
<li>Fixes to visual alignment of gui elements in the mixer.</li>
<li>Use a popup menu to select meter point instead of cycling through modes.</li>
<li>Fix assign record enabled/soloed to control master. [#7204]</li>
<li>Assign/unassign selected mixer strips to vca using right click/context menu.</li>

  <h2>MIDI Improvements</h2>

<li>Increase midi related test coverage and refactoring.</li>
<li>Add midnam support for a-fluid synth.</li>
<li>Allow sending immediate patch changes via midi track context menu. [#6830]</li>
<li>Speed up midi ghost note redisplay.</li>
<li>Save and restore midi automation controls.</li>
<li>Add option to use track numbers, track names or instrument names from smf files when importing.</li>
<li>Add track and instrument names to smf files.</li>
<li>Add option to use tempo map from smf file on import.</li>
<li>Access to midi track channel settings now only via context menu.</li>
<li>Improved canvas redraw performance with many midi notes.</li>
<li>Add the midi channel number to controller names.</li>
<li>Implement copy drag for midi notes. [#5570]</li>
<li>Prefer general midi synth (gmsynth) as the default instrument.</li>
<li>Performance improvements related to display of sysex data.</li>

  <h2>Plugins Improvements</h2>

<li>Add support for mac vst hidden/favorites.</li>
<li>Show plugin format (lv2/ladspa/vst/etc) in menus to differentiate between the same plugin with several formats installed (e.g au/vst).</li>
<li>Allow to directly fan-out when adding multichannel instruments.</li>

  <h2>Scripting Improvements</h2>

<li>Add bindings for track/bus groups, miditrack::midicontrol, timecode conversion and audioregion rms/peak.</li>
<li>Extend bindings for plugininsert. </li>
<li>Add fader to trims script.</li>
<li>Add script to add a-high/low pass filter to all tracks.</li>
<li>Add create drum tracks script.</li>
<li>Add example script to start recording on a midi event.</li>
<li>Add script to delete x-run markers.</li>
<li>Allow lua bindings up to 10 arguments.</li>
<li>Add example script/snippet for importing file/s.</li>
<li>Add script to save snapshot after exporting.</li>

  <h2>Control Surfaces</h2>

<li>Remove unused feedback option from osc surface controls.</li>
<li>Add talent individual monitor controls to osc surface.</li>
<li>Make surface numbering the same as port numbering in mackie gui. [#7219]</li>


  • Fix update of Track/Bus color in the Summary and Connection Manager.
  • Fix loading of Blueberry Milk and Clear Grey themes. [#7155]
  • Fix issues in Export with trim enabled. [#6412]
  • Fix crash when creating track via region drag when exceeding JACK connection limit. [#6496]
  • Fix crash at stop when recording in non-layered mode.
  • Fix parsing export trim threshold config variable.
  • Fixes for MSVC compiler
  • Fix video-monitor "sync-source" changes
  • Fix a source of hangs when closing Session with ALSA backend.
  • Fix possible crash when naming tracks with reserved I/O names. [#7171]
  • Fix flickering in tempo curve when Markers are reordered.
  • Fixes for sample locked Meter and Tempo sections?
  • Fix crash when dragging sample locked tempo over a music locked Tempo while snapped to grid.
  • Fix potential crash in peak file building.
  • Fix possible crash when removing ports with JACK1.
  • Fix layered record undo to include changes to existing regions.
  • Fixes to ensure Command key generates MOD2 on OS X.
  • Fix region position when dragging multiple regions to respect time base/lock style.
  • Fix thread safety issues with invalidation requests in event loops.
  • Fix inaccessible controls in Pin Connections window. [#7177]
  • Fix crash when resetting with VCA peak-meters.
  • Fix patch changes appearing outside of Region bounds.
  • Fix toggling between Editor and Mixer using Korg nanoKontrol2.
  • Fix Solo button on Faderport.
  • Fix management/ownership of shared playlists. [#7150]
  • Fixes to inactive Tempo sections.
  • Fix possibly incorrect start position of MIDI regions after split.
  • Fix crash when changing Pane widgets. [#7198]
  • Fix MTC slave implicit return on transport stop.
  • Fix some memory leaks in libpbd, libardour and GUI code.
  • Fix undo/redo for Regions -> Edit -> Close Gaps.
  • Fix continuous multi-selection in the Mixer.
  • Fix a-fluidsynth bank select.
  • Fix Generic MIDI controls so changes are propagated to the group (if in one).
  • Fix a number of issues related snap with music locked regions.
  • Fix a few issues with dragging MIDI notes including across tempo changes.
  • Fix state restoration of VCA slaves.
  • Fix saving state of Solo and Mute controls when slaved.
  <h2>updated translations</h2>
<li>Italian translation. [#7180]</li>
<li>German translation by Edgar Aichinger.</li>
<li>French translation by Olivier Humbert.</li>
<li>Japanese translation by Hiroki Inagaki.</li>
<li>Russian translation by Alexandre Prokoudine</li>


Ben Loftis, cooltehno, Daniel Sheeler, David Robillard, Dobroslav Slavenskoj, Ed Ward, Hanspeter Portner, John Emmas, Julien Roger, Len Ovens, Nick Mainsbridge, Nil Geisweiller, Paul Davis, Paul Tirk, powerpaul17, Robin Gareus, Tim Mayberry, Tobi Stadelmaier

The GUI enhancements are great, now I can fit more audio tracks on my screen. Thanks to all developers for this and all other new features :slight_smile:

great news great soft

Anyone else getting

“This tarball was not created correctly - it is missing libs/ardour/”

when issuing

“./waf configure”

to build from the tarball?

@rhydermike: sorry, I made a small error when creating the tarball. It has now been updated to its correct state. The new md5sum, if you want to verify that you’ve got the right one, is e8678022a0338d5a219d34ee4e81b98c. Sincere apologies for this mistake - let me know if you have any further issues.

@paul Thanks. It’s building now. Well done on the release. Looking forward to getting stuck into it.

Hi All
Trying to run the run file on Ubuntu studio I keep getting:

!!! ERROR !!! - Insufficient disk space in /tmp/selfgz2139
Install requires 582372384 bytes and
there is only 223264768 bytes of free space

Press ENTER to exit installer:

Even after a reboot.
There is 48 gig of ram and 16 gig of room on main drive.
What do I need to change, never come across this before.
Cheers All.

Your entire drive may have space, but that doesn’t mean that /tmp is necessarily big enough. Some systems have /tmp as a separate fileystem. You can check this using df -h or even df /tmp in a terminal window.

see also sh --help or set TMPDIR=/some/place/with/lotsa/space/

Hi Thank you both,
here is the output of DF

Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdd1 10543716 9197236 787840 93% /

I’ll try moving it.

Hi Guys
Thank you this worked:

main:~/Downloads$ sh --target /home/studio/Downloads
Creating directory /home/studio/Downloads


Grazie Paul,vedo il programma essere più reattivo positivamente in linea generale riguardo le funzionalità,ottimo lavoro. Al momento uso il programma su questi due computer : Imac 24 (anno 2007) core duo duo 2,4 ghz - ram 3 giga,hd 1 terabyte + Laptop Asus x54c - i3 processor quad core 2,42 ghz - ram 6 giga,hd 320 gigabyte

As usual, this looks great – thank you Ardour developers!

Could you elaborate on what archiving a session does?

A session-archive is a zip-file (tar.xz to be specific) which contains all the audio, MIDI, plugin-settings,… and the currently active session. Ardour can also extract those bundles (Session > Open).

As opposed to zipping the entire session-folder manually, the session-archive only contains the current session-snapshot and only files with are used. Also externally referenced files are included in the archive. Optionally audio-files can be compressed with FLAC (free lossless audio codec) to further save space which is handy for sharing sessions.

Thanks for the info x42 – that’s a very useful new addition.

Looks awsome, thank you for your formidable work!!!

It’s a great DAW paul, I was quite impressed last night when I was giving it a try. I can see some stability issues, I was on a fresh Ubuntu Studio install and Ardour crashed about 2 or 3 times, once importing a midi file. But my laptop specs sucks HARD. So far, two thumbs up and quite happy to support this wonderful project.

Please see if you can repeat those crashes and if so, file a bug at and attach the MIDI file(s)

Good Release) But i have issue with recording modes. I can’t choose non-layered mode, because there are only two tape modes in menu))) How i can solve this problem?

Sorry for my English)

layered/non-layererd is no longer a per track mode, but a global record-option. There is a toggle button in the Toolbar, right next to the master-record enable (below the Punch-In/Out).

(maybe you’ve hidden it: Preferences > Appearance >Toolbar > Display Record/Punch options)