Ardour 7.3 and windows vst gui issue

I realize this is not something that Ardour would necessarily be responsible for or need to correct, given the chain of compatibility layers needed to get windows VSTs working with Ardour on Linux, but I thought it would be helpful in case other people are having the same issue. If a cause could be found and corrected, that of course would be amazing.

The problem:
After much swapping around of packages and testing, I have narrowed down the Ardour 7.3 update as being the cause of the following unexpected behaviour:

When running certain windows VST3 plugins (specifically at least two brainworx plugins) opening the GUI causes repeated glitches in the audio for that channel which persist. Selecting the preference to destroy the gui instance causes the glitches to go away once the GUI is closed, but recur when opened again. In one case, this has caused a project file to lock up with endless xruns on opening. The solution (for now) was to downgrade to Ardour 7.2.

Platform: Manjaro Linux, 6.1.23 LTS, KDE PLasma 5.27.4
Ardour 7.3
wine-staging 8.5
yabridge 5.0.4

Affected plugins (ones I was able to find):
Brainworx bx_console AMEK 9099
Brainworx bx_masterdesk

What I have tried and ruled out:

  • switching kernels (6.1 to 5.15)
  • switching wine versions (8.5 to 7.2 and between staging and stable branches)
  • switching yabridge versions (5.0.4 to 5.03)
  • testing different sample rates / buffer sizes
  • testing various graphics options in winecfg
  • rebuilding plugin cache

Would be interested if anyone had any insight into this issue! many thanks to the devs and community.

I have witnessed similar symptoms when using yabridge and bx_Masterdesk in Ardour 7.3,
where the same session works flawlessly in Ardour 7.2. I have noticed with some of the latter 7.3 nightlies, that I can help the cutting out by opening the Ardour’s plugin dsp window and clicking the reset all button.
So far for what I’m doing the solution I stick with for now is running Ardour 7.2.

Someday maybe plugins will be agnostic, a function of the DAW rather than the OS. I’m glad things work as well as they do though, because I learned using tape machines and outboard everything and I’m not going back!

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7.3 has a number of important fixes for VST3 support, and I believe that yabridge has some similarly important but reciprocal fixes in its not-yet-release branch.

Not likely to happen. For performance reasons, plugins generally need to be compiled code, and that means that are inherently OS-dependent.

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I’m glad it’s not just me, I’d think I was going crazy! Yeah sticking with 7.2 for now. Not complaining either. As you say - I’m impressed things work as well as they do!

I’ll try different combinations when there are updates released. Thank you!

UPDATE: This appears to be fixed in Ardour 7.4, at least bx_masterdesk is working without audio issues. Unfortunately, it has caused another problem where I get endless xruns when opening a file, and I still have to stick with Ardour 7.2. I’ll ask about that separately.

That is not a know issue. Can you elaborate? Ideally provide step by step instructions or a session that has the issue at

Yes thank you. I was at the stage of looking to see if others had a similar issue.

I haven’t yet had time to mess with it and figure out the details of what’s going on, but what I know so far: when I use Ardour 7.2 it is fine, when I open the same projects in Ardour 7.3 or 7.4 (Linux) it will load up to the point of “set up editor” and then it will spit out constant x-runs at 100% DSP. The qJackctl window shows the x-run count ever increasing as the application hangs. It never finishes loading and I have to kill the process.

This is probably due to the plugins I am using in these files, but which ones or how it is interacting badly with Ardour > 7.2 and not 7.2, I do not know and need to play with it some more to figure out the circumstances.

When I do, I will submit a proper, detailed report on the issue tracker, as you have asked. Thank you so much! I’ll get back with more information.

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