Ardour does not support AU or VST?

Just wanted to ask because I have already invested a lot of time and effort in collecting a sizeable collection of VST’s. If I decide to use ardour, is there anyway that I will be able to use these? Thanks.

There are plans to add AU support, but that hasn’t happened yet.

We used to include VST support with Ardour, but the system we were using (Audacity’s VST->LADSPA bridge) didn’t support many popular plugins and caused mysterious crashes. I haven’t seen any updates to that bridge. We might make that bridge available as a seperate download, but it’s not the best solution at this point.

The lack of this feature is one of two things keeping me from switching to Ardour right now (the other being the lack of midi sequencing).

I was thinking in the vein of you response, as in, maybe there might be a LADPSA plugin that could load VST’s/AU’S.

Here’s another question though:

Since Ardour doesn’t function as a midi sequencer, I’m guessing that I won’t be able to quantise my playing when using a virtual instrument?

Thanks again for the quick response.

Right. You can’t use virtual instruments directly in Ardour at this point. You can use them in a VST host and then connect that host to a track in Ardour using Jack.

MIDI support is planned for Ardour3. Check out the roadmap for planned features.

Which is a AU/VST host. So, I could just route the output of that program into Jack and then into Ardour. Sounds cool, but wouldn’t that impart a sizeable delay or offset?

Additionally, I saw that native SMPTE is on the roadmap. Does this mean that SMPTE is not currently supported within Ardour?

There is a cost to routing, but it’s very tiny. The slowest part is whatever latency the plugin itself causes.

SMPTE is supported via MTC (SMPTE encoded as MIDI Time Code). Not too many DAWs can handle an incoming raw SMPTE signal or generate one; at the moment it seems as though we are likely to add this functionality to JACK rather than Ardour, so that all JACK clients can benefit from it at once.

I looked through the manual and under that section there was no info. Also, my VST/AU host would have to be Jack compatible, correct?

I’m not sure if the one that I’m currently using is. Can anyone recommend one?


Since Ardour is not a MIDI sequencer, then it will have no functionality as a MTC master. My bad.

there are many reasons to be an MTC master and/or slave totally independent of MIDI sequencing. sync with other HDR and video systems is the most obvious of them.

Also, I forgot the name, but isn’t there an open format that you can save DAW projects in that is usable by most DAW’s? If anyone knows the name of this format, does Ardour support this?

I’ll get the name and be right back.

There are several such formats. OMG, AAF are a couple. They aren’t supported yet, but they are on the roadmap. AFAIK, work has already started on it.

Because I’m sure that I’m asking questions that have already been asked a million times over.

Finally, I’d like to say that, although Ardour doesn’t have the features that I need in order to make it my main DAW “right” now, it is shaping up to be “the” best DAW in the game (once all the features listed on the roadmap are implemented). Looks like every base is being covered.



Also, as an aside:

I noticed that the Jack Audio Routers is supposed to be able to allow any OS X CoreAudio application to become a Jack client.

Is this applicable to standalone AU/VST’s which use CoreAudio?

Probably. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work.

Thank you.