Returning here after giving up years ago on linux owing to lack of VST (windows) support.
Now have installed AV Linux. Sadly in the 64 bit version can only use 64 bit VSTs , all mine are 32bit.
So question is , should I (can I)
install a 32 bit Ardour 5 in a 64 bit AV Linux system so that I can use my 32bit windows vsts.
You should be able to run a 32-bit Ardour in AVL as long as you have the 32-bit userland libraries installed.
But if you depend on Windows VSTs I suggest you get the Windows version of Ardour and run it in Windows.
Or find some Linux plugins that do the same job as your Win VSTs
The whole point of my going to Ardour in Linux is to get rid of Windows. I have Mixcraft Pro Studio in windows which is awesome and in fact the midi editing there is more powerful and less cumbersome than Ardour.
Incidentally I downloaded the BitWig demo (full version is expensive about $400) and tried the Carla plugin and loading a windows VST there works!
But when I load Carla stand alone the same windows VST loads and I can see visually that it is ‘working’ except I get no sound - the same happens in Ardour.
There are some VSTs in Windows that Linux has no equivalent yet - for example the Harmonium VST I am testing.
So there is a legitimate demand for the win VST plugins that DAWs should really try and meet to get more acceptance
A lot of users are fed up with Windows
AV Linux 2017.4.9 should host 32bit VST’s out of the box with Carla-Rack, however due to some unforeseen conflicts with the KXStudio repos users that have updated pulseaudio and wine may lose the 32bit wine supporting packages without realizing, this issue is currently being worked on. AV Linux 2018 is almost ready and will seamlessly load 32bit Windows VSTs on a 64bit system using both Carla-Rack and LinVST.
The 32bit version of AV Linux has a special build of Ardour(VST) that directly loads WindowsVSTs. You could try it out be booting from a LiveUSB. For many use cases 32bit AV Linux performs just fine on 64bit computers.
The official position on using Windows plugins on Linux is given here: http://manual.ardour.org/working-with-plugins/windows-vst-support/