Ardour 6.6 for Apple M1 systems available (experimental)

We are happy to make available an experimental build of Ardour 6.6 for Apple M1 systems. Currently, Ardour does not participate in Apple’s paid-for developers program, which means that the download cannot be notarized by Apple. This in turns means that after downloading, it is not possible to install/run the program. However, there is a relatively simple workaround. Assuming you downloaded the file to ~/Downloads, open a Terminal window and run the following command:

xattr -rd ~/Downloads/Ardour-6.6.0-arm64.dmg

You will then be able to install and run Ardour normally.

We have done limited testing for this build, but expect it to be fully functional. If you have an Apple M1 system, we’d appreciate your feedback.

There’s a free/demo version (with our usual free/demo limitation of going silent after 10 minutes, with the ability to ask for more time) available here.

The full build is available to Ardour subscribers (including those who have already paid US$45 or more for version 6.x) from here.

(Please note that we do not currently plan to offer new nightly builds for the M1. This will change in the future, probably with the next major release of Ardour)


Thanks Paul, Robin, and everyone. I installed 6.6 on my M1 Mac mini without issue (using the xattr workaround). I got the system prompt to allow microphone use. Everything seems to work just fine, though I’m hardly exercising all the functionality (and my MOTU 828es interface isn’t fully supported on M1 architecture, although it seems to work fine).

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I did have a hang when trying to save and close a file today. I have a crash dump I could share. I had recorded a session last weekend and left it open all week… tried to save and close and just got the spinning rainbow wheel.


Yes, a crash-report might be useful. Thanks.

We’ve just update the nightly builds, so the direct download links to 6.6.0 are no longer valid.

Updated versions are available from Ardour - Nightly Builds Scroll down to “macOS ARM64”.

PS. Don’t forget to clear the quarantine flag, otherwise macOS will show “corrupted app” popup since the application is not notarized:

xattr -rd ~/Downloads/Ardour-6.6.183-arm64.dmg
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Hi Ardour-Team,
I just got my Mac (M1) and tested the latest build of ardour for the arm setup (6.8.0). My first impression is that everything works fine with one major exception: my Presonus Faderport 8 is not usable at all! The device connects and adjusts itself according to the state of the tracks but any interaction with the device is ignored/does not set anything.
Another thing is that I get log-messages that Ardour could not set realtime priority for my audio device (MOTU 8A AVB, currently via USB) but I’m new to the Mac and CoreAudio stuff, so I just might miss some settings.

Thanks for your work. I hope I’ll be able to run Ardour (and maybe even Mixbus 32C :wink:) on this nice really machine…

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Maybe the issue is that Ardour fails to ask/get permissions to received data from MIDI devices.

Could you try with the Intel binary has the same issue (demo from should even run from the .dmg) ? If so we can rule out ARM CPU specific issues.

So far Ardour only explicitly asks for microphone access, perhaps that’s insufficient and real-time priority and MIDI device now also need explicit permissions.

Which macOS version are you running?

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I just tested the Intel binary which works great in terms of the Faderport functionality. So I guess this is an issue with the arm-build and nothing about any permissions?! :thinking: I also took a closer look at the security/privacy settings and could not find anything about MIDI devices. But - as already mentioned - I’m new to Mac OS and any hints are very welcome…

I just upgraded to macOS 11.4 (Big Sur).

Yes, seems like it. I don’t have an Apple/M1 but I’ve just tested a Faderport8 with Linux/ARM builds and works fine there. So it’s a bit of a mystery.

Does the Intel binary also set real-time permission correctly?

Yes, I guess! The ARM version puts a warning into the log output, which is not present in the Intel-binary execution:

[WARNING]: AudioEngine: process thread failed to set mach realtime policy.

Feel free to ask, if I should run a debug version or similar stuff…