Ardour 6.5 is released

Ardour 6.5 is released. The primary change in this release is support for plugins in Steinberg’s VST3 format, on Linux, Windows and macOS. As usual, there’s a good selection of bug fixes and improvements ranging from the minor to the extremely useful.

For more details, please read the whole release announcement .

Download as usual from

(This updates version 6.4, which was available for a few hours but had a critical bug related to export).


Great that VST3 support is in, but can I request that the ‘hide VST2’ feature is OFF by default. I actually lost a few hours because of this during VST3 testing with the ardour nightly builds, because I had installed a VST3 of one of my own plug-ins, then had to go back and use / tweak the VST2 and it had ‘disappeared’ - my assumption was it had now failed to scan for some reason, and I was then chasing phantom bugs for a while. This was made more difficult because the option is hidden away in one of Ardour’s many configuration menus and not very discoverable. If a user installs the VST3 and then wishes to revert to VST2 I can imagine I will get some support requests. Its not a bad feature, its just, if you have to actually dig into the config menu(s), and enable it, then you are at least aware that you have done it - I think I mentioned this to @x42 during testing.

Hey congratulations, and thanks for supporting VST3 Linux. Also i recognize that plugin on your release notes screen :slight_smile: Thanks for highlighting surge!


We discussed this and opted to follow steinberg’s lead trying to undo VST2’s existence.
Sessions with existing VST2 will load fine, but when possible nudge users to use the newer standard instead.

This is also partially motivated since Ardour now uses the official VST3 interface, instead of some half-baked clean-room reverse engineered VeSTige.

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Kudos for getting this out so quickly!


That’s the beauty of open source community! Thanks, Robin.
Awesome work by the Ardour team.

Ah - I didn’t realise it was a plot to airbrush VST2 from history :slight_smile: I just thought it was a bug. (I guess that means VST2 has been ‘cancelled’ - to use the language of our time…).

Joking aside - to expand on the issue a little - the problem with this as I see it, is that you’ve done something which fundamentally changes the configuration - from a user perspective - e.g. something they added / installed (and possibly paid for) now appears to have been removed without them doing anything. Worse, from the point of view of third-party developers like myself, e.g. if a user installs a VST3 of one of my plug-ins, and their VST2 is then no longer available, it appears to them that I did something, or that by installing my software something has happened as a consequence, and I get unpleasant emails (it happens… and I’d prefer not to waste my time dealing with it) about what my software has allegedly done. I just thought it would be insightful to point out that some of these benign changes from a developer perspective have potential unintended consequences outside, or to others within the Ardour ecosystem. Other DAWs have similar ‘hide equivalent VST2’ options but its usually an obvious filter you can choose to switch on in the plugin selector.
Perhaps some kind of user notification is necessary - its clearly mentioned in this thread in the release headline, but someone installing / updating to Ardour 6 from a distribution will almost certainly not be aware of it
[EDIT] Actually the obvious (and more elegant solution) would be to add the checkbox to the plug-in manager instead (or you could just add the ‘hide equivalent VST2…’ option to the list of filters already available. That way, the option is presented to the user in exactly the place where its effect will be noticed. It could even be enabled by default in this instance. As it is at the moment, you simply wouldn’t know to even look for it if you didn’t already know such a thing existed (I was caught by it, with one of my own plugins…)

I would argue the better option isn’t to focus on VST but to hide ALL duplicate plugins (As I and I would imagine many others end up with versions of VST, AU, etc. all duplicated), but that brings up a few questions:

  1. How do you tell they are duplicated? Is it a simple name match? And if so do you hide those with Stereo/Mono in the name and only show the appropriate one most commonly used on that style of track (Stereo for stereo tracks, mono for mono tracks)

  2. What format gets priority there? VST, AU, LV2, etc.? What will be shown in the end of the day if hiding duplicates?

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Oh no, please don’t go down that road :slight_smile: - then it isn’t just about hiding plug-ins, its actually that in some formats you might not be able to offer all the features that others can provide - do you design plug-ins to the lowest common denominator, or do you provide the feature set an API enables… I think ultimately the user should be able to make choices, those choices are available already as filters in the plug-in manager, and that would be the logical place to just add another filter (if the ardour devs want to enable it by default, or add whatever rules they want, fine, but at least the option is present in the place where its effect is noticed - which is I think what this boils down to more than anything)


Oh completely agree on all counts actually. And yes making additional filters available would be nice, actually I haven’t looked into what would be required to add additional filters or even to make a specific filter the default, that could have some interesting possibilities on this discussion and others.


I test now Melodyne 5 and run it under wine in ubuntu. It’s possible to run this Vst3 in ardour as a plugin? I added in ardour the path but ardour didn’t find the plugin.

VST3 support does not change anything about the question of running plugins made for Windows on another operating system:

Ok then the vst3 plugin is more for Windows than for Linux, right? Is there a converter like linvst that converts vst3 plugins for ardour in linux?

Thank you so much for continuously improving Ardour. :smile:

Keep up the great work!

It works equally well on all platforms.
Also as opposed to VST2, Linux is officially supported by Steinberg’s VST3 Plugin SDK. Some vendors do provide Linux VST3s.

Ok. Thank you. It’s than maybe possible to get it to work melodyne 5 vst3 in ardour?

Yes, it works on platforms supported by Melodyne (macOS, Windows).

Ok thank you. I thought maybe i can run it under linux.

When I go to the download page there is no record of my previous purchase. I think I made a payment around September 9 but I used a credit card and I think Paypal was used as a kind of go between but there is no record on Paypal or the card. I suppose I am out of luck and will need to make another payment but I would like to know that I’m not imagining this. I do have the 6.3 binary.