Development update: 6.0-pre1 now ready for testing

Well folks, we’ve done it. After two and a half years of development that has both excluded a few hoped-for features and also expanded to include many things not originally envisaged, we’re ready for people to start testing version 6.0-pre1. Please note: this is NOT the release of 6.0 - we’re now entering a testing phase that will continue through several “-preN” versions until we’re confident that it’s ready for release.

The nightly version is now (as ever) available at If you’re a subscriber (or paid US$45 or more for a pre-built version of 5.x), you can download the fully functional version. Others can get the free/demo version which periodically goes silent. Obviously, since this is a nightly version, it will be updated most days to reflect any new development work and fixes as we move towards the actual release of 6.0.

It will install in parallel to any existing version of Ardour, will not alter your preferences for older versions of Ardour, and if you use it on any existing session, it will save a copy of the session file (or snapshot) just to be safe.

Linux Package Maintainers

If you maintain a Linux distribution’s package of Ardour, please DO NOT consider packaging this version. This is NOT a release of Ardour 6.0, but merely a call for testing.

Here are some of the things the project needs right now:


Although 6.0 does not visibly change the most obvious functionality, design and workflow of Ardour, internally huge amounts of the code has changed during development. Several people have been testing it periodically, including users of Harrison Mixbus (whose version 6 release is based on the same set of changes). However, it is now time to open up testing to more people, because we know that this always results in unccovering more issues - something we’d like to do (and fix!) before the actual release.

We believe that 6.0-pre1 is just as if not more ready for use than Ardour 5.12 was, but we can only establish that with your help. Create some sessions. Do the stuff you do. Exercise your workflow. And if you find issues, please use the bug tracker to report them, marking them with the 6.0-pre1 version. Please do not report bugs here on the forums - we will mostly ignore them here (because there is no way to properly manage them).

Bug Triage

If you have ever reported a bug in Ardour, please give 6.0-pre1 a try and then head over to and mark your bug(s) closed if they are fixed. If a bug isn’t fixed, please update the version field to indicate the bug is still an issue in 6.0-pre1. We may automatically close all open bugs for previous versions after a fixed period of time, so if you would like your bug report to receive attention in the future, please go and update its status.

Theme Updates

Many users may not be aware that thanks to the hard work of a user known as cooltehno, Ardour has 6 different themes. During the development of 6.0, there were significant simplifications and changes to the internals of themes, and the 5 themes that cooltehno generated all need updating and revisiting. If you’re interested in doing this, for one or all 5, please get in touch.


As anyone who has seen the various “Development Update” posts along the way for 6.0 is aware, there are a lot of new and changed features in this version of Ardour. We need people to update and/or write new sections in the manual to reflect all these changes. Please get in touch if you’d like to be a part of this effort.


Ardour has been translated into 15 languages:

French, German, Spanish (unified Castillian and Latin American), Portugese (Brasilian & Portugese), Russian, Swedish, Czech, Norwegian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, English (UK), Polish, Greek

All of these translations will need significant updates for version 6.0. Although we are not yet in a string freeze, we hope there won’t be too many string changes before 6.0, so now is an ideal time for existing or new translators to get started. If you’re interested in becoming a translator, please read our guide at


Very nice!!! Thank you!

I actually like the themes even now better than before. Apart from that, I don’t see or feel many changes, which is good - it simply works. Of course I’ve barely scratched the surface in a short test of some rather simple editing and mixing and I will look more into that.

Having recently reactivated my subscription, I’m also very happy to see that the (very modest) monetary goal seem to be reached in a more constant way.


Great ! I have time to test Ardour on Linux. Quarantine + my disk with win7 was broken today :slight_smile:


So far totally stable and great on Mac; I’ve also downloaded for Windows and will test this weekend. I love having many of the features I’ve grown to love in Mixbus now available in Ardour (developed in Ardour but only available in Mixbus until now), such as the audition action (select any part of a region or multiple regions and type “a” to listen to that selection; super-useful for auditioning takes for making comps but also useful for other things) and also the support for Faderport v2. And Catalina compatibility. :wink:

Can you please describe the most important changes/feature-additions? Something like a changelog?

We do not maintain a change log.

Please see these previous posts:

We will provide a more complete list when the release is actually ready.

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Congratulations for the awesome work. @paul Regarding bug triage, I’ve unsuccesfully tried to change the Product Version field, but couldn’t. Do I miss something obvious, or should I just add a “6.0-pre1” tag or a “6.0-pre1” comment ?


Hi Paul,great news for new release Ardour 6 :grinning:

yay! I was just about to give up on Ardour 5.12 – I love it and it’s the daw I learned on but there’s a lot of pain points … note on/off quirks, regions that begin and end at the same time showing up as stacked in stacked view, notes disappearing and being silenced when they start at the same time as a region … basically a lot of simultaneity problems. It’s all due to floating point error, right? I think I read something here about that.

I’d been giving Waveform Free a try … don’t bother, I had lots of UI freezes and two outright segfaults in just a couple of hours … and had been psyching myself up to splash out for Bitwig … but now an Ardour 6.0 RC gives me new hope for this janky but otherwise awesome product! thanks at all.

Reports from users who’ve been with us along the journey from 5.x report that a majority of the problems with dropped note on/offs and disappearing have been fixed.

However, as noted in the “Development Update” posts, despite many months of work on the so-called “nutempo” branch that was intended to full eliminate floating point rounding errors when dealing with conversions between musical and audio time, we chose not to include that in 6.0 (for a variety of reasons). It will be one of the hallmarks of Ardour 7.0. It is therefore still possible (though much harder) to trigger situations where this sort of thing may happen.

We know that there is a lot of work to be done to improve our “compose in the box” workflow, including the MIDI side of that. Hopefully there will be some significant work on that between 6 and 7 (that is certainly the intent).


I want to translate the Ardour Interface into basque, I think it’s possible at all. The only doubt I have is how to do that, because, even if I read the translator guide, I don’t really know how to begin the work.

Where do I have to download the files from? Also, I do not know much about git, but I think I could only follow the instructions in the guide.

I would thank a lot any kind of help!

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It’s really great to see Ardour 6 getting finished.
I’ve been using it before the -pre1 release and I had a few issues with the MIDI workflow, but I need to make sure if they are still there.
Thank you for your amazing work!


I finally discovered how to get the files. I didn’t know much about Git, but I asked and done a Fork.

Now my question is about ‘./waf i18n_pot’:
I suppose that I could simply edit the .po files and save them with a different name. Isn’t that way?
Consequently, I don’t know whether it’s strictly necessary to create the .pot file.

I would appreciate a lot an answer. Thanks.

Hmm I think you can create a .po file with .po editor (poedit works fine to me, check it out) also from an existing .po file (namely deleting all the translations in another language). Then the ./waf i18n_mo looks in the folder and compiles every .po it finds. Please correct me if I’m wrong because I’m doing the italian translation, so you’d help two translators at once :stuck_out_tongue:

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Working with 6.0-pre1, getting about a crash an hour working with it. They’re random AFAICS and I can’t reproduce them.

Is there a guide anywhere for reporting crashes in a way that’s useful to the dev team? I have the build with the debug symbols and I’m starting from the console and capturing the logs, but not sure what else is necessary to make a good crasher bug report.

Definitely saw some positives in 6.0-pre1 … note on / note off seems much more solid now. I am seeing some disappearing notes but looks very similar to my trouble so I’ll wait for a nightly containing that resolved bug before talking about that more. And the crash recovery has been solid, haven’t lost any data as a result of the crashes.

If you have reliable recipe how to produce those crashes, then that is the preferred way. Open a bug report with instructions how to reproduce the issue.

Otherwis a backtrace is needed. On GNU/Linux with a nightly build, start Ardour inside a debugger. Install gdb (the gnu debugger) if it’s not yet installed on your system, then

Ardour6 --gdb

## now in gdb:

run <press enter>

## make ardour crash, it should return you to the gdb prompt.
# now  backtrace (can be several pages long)
thread apply all bt

Long story:


Thanks Robin! And thanks for your help in IRC getting the gdb issue settled.

The traceback I got mentioned and so I uninstalled the calf plugins. I had heard bad things about them but had never been bitten before today. Ardour6 has been solid since!

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This has been reported a few times on the Mixbus forum but I only just noticed it happens with Ardour too…

When you first load a session, the Editor window gets displayed but not the Mixer window. I happen to use Ardour on a dual-monitor system so I don’t know if it also affects a single-monitor system.

If someone else can confirm this, should I add it as a bug or was it a delberate change?

Hi, I’ve been using development version for sometime, all very good but three nasty bugs have crept in that crash it. I wanted to subscribe, but setting up a paypal account just for this isn’t going to happen (I have enough trouble with direct debits at the bank, never mind a company where you can’t get to talk to anyone). If I donate, where will the ‘next two versions’ deal kick in from, the donate page seems to suggest it would be from 5.xxxxx. Times is hard and I need to get it right. Cheers.