Unable to record on OSX Catalina

Hey All,

Have been using Ardour for about 12 months. Have a basic subscription and love the product. Easy to use and intuitive. I want to continue using the product however I’ve run into an issue with my latest laptop, which is running Mac OS Catalina.

Unfortunately, downgrading my laptop isn’t an option (I’m not even sure if you can do that?).

What’s happening, is that even with an Audio Interface plugged in, Ardour can’t capture the audio from the device. It looks like in OS Catalina, Apple have introduced a “permissions request” for the “microphone” and unless the application has been granted this permission, it can’t record from ANY input on the machine. Now I completely understand why they’ve done this, insert conspiracy about creepy recordings here.

Are there any plans for this to be looked at with Ardour? or any known work-arounds? This morning I’ve tried to install Jack, but Apple is telling me that’s also not supported on Catalina.

Any suggestions here?


It is already fixed in Ardour/git (upcoming Ardour 6.0). You could grab a https://nightly.ardour.org/ build. That is known to work on Catalina.

There is no easy work-around to get Ardour 5.12 working, but if you really need to and don’t mind get your hands dirty…

The problem is that Ardour 5 uses a shell-script wrapper to start the application. So the effective application binary name does not match the application-bundle name. And for some obscure reason that prevents MacOS from granting permissions to the app. So you’d have to remove the shell script in Ardour5.app/Contents/MacOS/ and rename Ardour5.real to Ardour5. Then either launch if from a Terminal after setting the environment variable ARDOUR_BUNDLED=1 or edit the .plist file in the Ardour5.app bundle to set up the environment.

Thankyou so much! I crawled the documentation to see if I could find any reference to this and I couldn’t, maybe I was looking in the wrong place. At least it’s here now. I’ll grab the nightly build I think and use that and sit tight for the 6.0 release.

Thanks heaps!