Ardour 6 to 8 - VST3

Hi forum,

I am trying to move from Ardour 6 to 8, having skipped 7. I got some advice about moving my config over, which worked.

However, its now saying a few VST3 plugins are missing, including u-he Presswerks, which cost a few quid, so hoping to get it working.

I spotted the VST3 path setting is missing from the plugin manager on Ardour 8? But then, on 6, I hadn’t put anything in there.

Under .vst3 I have …



u-he/ (link)

And in home …


There’s also a shed load of other stuff in there.

Have you scanned VST plugins? Menu > Window > Plugin Manager…

Also for vst2 plugins you will have to set a path to $HOME/.vst there.

PS. Ardour 7 VST plugin cache format is compatible with v8, but v6 is not.

If you played tricks by copying ~/.config/arodur6 to ~/.config/ardour7 you might run into some issues. Still a re-scan should do the trick.

Thanks mate, I did give a scan a go, and interesting about the copying config tricks.

I tred adding the .vst3 path to Ardour 8, and get Presswerks back, however, the Presets have gone blank. I used the Ardour presets, not its own built in ones.



I never was quite sure what “Program 127” and above were, mine just saved after those, so I just got on with it.

The window title shows “[VST]” - a vst2 plugin.

Presets for those should be in ~/.config/ardour8/presets/
perhaps they were not copied over from ~/.config/ardour6/presets/ ?

VST3 presets are saved in ~/.vst3/presets/ as PLUGIN-NAME.vstpreset

So its picking up as a VST2 not VST3 on Ardour 8 … how weird. I got it to load by adding the .vst3 path not the .vst path.

I had to add that .vst3 path with the VST2 path button though, where has the other one gone? Also nothing under LV3 on the Count box. Its like it doesn’t do VST3?


That sounds, wrong. ~/.vst3 is always part of the VST3 search path.

But it seems you have a version of Ardour 8 that was compiled without VST3 support (!). Where did you get Ardour from?

There should be a dedicated VST3 path option in case you need non-standard VST3 locations (which are discouraged):


Ah yeah, that’s missing. Have Fedora removed it from their RPM then? They must have done. Urgh.

Fedora seem to have had issues with in their ardour8 package. The commit log at Commits - rpms/ardour8 - mentions a fix for VST3 support. But the package with that fix still seems to be in the testing repo only. If you insist to keep using the Fedora package (instead of the official version from this website) you might want to try the version from the testing repo (ardour8-8.1.0-3 vs ardour8-8.1.0-1 in the main repo) and give feedback to Fedora if it fixes the issue. The last step often helps with getting Fedora RPM package updates out of the door and to regular users machines faster.

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Thanks for help all, confimed is Fedora bug not Ardour, and the following command fixed it for me!

sudo dnf --enablerepo=updates-testing update ardour8

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