Silent Mode

Please could you clarify the terms of use with regard to the ‘silent mode’ notification popping up ever so often. I have paid for my download. What do I do to stop the message?

Silent Mode is an indication that you have the free version. How did you pay for the download, was it as part of the download process or as a separate donation? I don’t see any payments associated with your account right now, so my suspicion is you weren’t logged in when you did it whatever the case?

See the third question here: for more info on why we have a separate donation system.


Thanks for the info - good news that I don’t need to put up with the silent mode message! I did admittedly only pay $1 as I’m only just getting into using Ardour. I don’t mind paying another dollar but would like to make sure I don’t get the notification.

So to be sure, if I go though the ‘buy’ process on whilst being logged in it will give me a different download?

Many thanks, Ash

Being logged in won’t give you a different download. But if you don’t pay during the download (i.e. you just made a donation as described in that FAQ entry, also shown in the FAQ on, then you’ll just end up with another free/demo copy with the silent mode feature.

Being logged in means that the site knows who you are and that you paid for a copy, which gives you subsequent unpaid access to our builds of updates (also as described on If you pay without being logged in, we have no way to associate your payment with your identity.

Can you make it again for me ? Having the free version means we downloaded it without being logged in. So if I have paid before and want a new version, I have to log in and download it - and this won’t be a silent-moded version ? So how can it be that “Being logged in won’t give you a different download.” ? Sorry if I misunderstand all this.

When you pay < US$45 for a ready-to-run version of Ardour, you get that version and nothing else.

If you subscribe to, you get the current version and when new releases are available, logging in and visiting the download page again will let you download the new release(s) until the next major version without paying again.

If you pay US$45 or more (and you were logged in when you did so), then logging in and visiting the download page again will let you download the new release(s) until the next major version, without paying again.

Basically: pay a little, one time - just that version. Pay more, or via a susbcription: get upgrades.

I believe this is shown clearly in the table at

@ny: there is no “activation step”. Ardour is licensed under the GPL which makes things like “license keys” or “activation keys” ridiculous and inappropriate. The “non-demo” version is a separate download. From the download FAQ:

The donation system is entirely separate from the download system, and exists for a couple of reasons:
  • our Linux users generally get Ardour without payment via their distributions' repositories.
  • some people just feel like being generous

Either way, it allows people to make a simple one-time payment. It is not part of the download system, and any payment you make via the donation system does not apply to the download system. Remember that you may choose to pay as little as US$1 for a download.

Email me via and I will refund your donation so that you can apply it via the download system.

I’ve been using Ardour for a while and I appreciate Mr. Davis and
I’ve just donated a small amount($10).

My question is:
Could you tell me how to activate my copy of Ardour 5?
Or am I suppose to donate more and/or download again?

The steps I took were as follows…

  1. Start Ardour 5
  2. Use it
  3. “Ardour is now silent” dialog is shown
  4. Click “Pay for a copy”
  5. (On the web page shown, I could not find how to donate)
  6. Make a new account
  7. Log in
  8. On the right pane, input the amount of donation and click “Donate”
  9. (and more…)