Ardour for Window full VST compatibility?

Hi guys.
I was hoping to have access to VST plugins like Spitfire Audio’s Abbey Road ONE Orchestral Foundation and BBC Orchestra. Running Ardour on Linux is my preferred platform but I understand that Windows VSTs isn’t going to work on a Linux based version of Ardour. I have to ask what might be an obvious question: If I installed the Windows 10 64bit version of Ardour instead will I have have full compatibility with this type of VST plugin? In other words; will the same plugin used on Windows running a DAW like Cubase or Logic run on Ardour?
My thought is, if I can’t have it “all” by running Ardour on Linux at least I can run Ardour on WIndows to get the VST compatibility/availability.

Thanks guys in advance

You can run Windows plugins on GNU/Linux inside Carla (there’s also LinVST wrapper).

Hey thanks. I’m super confused though. I was told time and time again that running Windows VST nativly on Linux wasn’t going to work. Only the ones made for Linux would work on the system. From what I understood the VST will work on Windows and Mac only. Have you ran native Windows VST on Linux versions of Ardour?

Yes, when running Ardour on Windows, Ardour will load windows VST.

Note however that 64bit Ardour will only load 64bit VSTs.

1 Like

I can’t remember if I tried running Windows plugins inside Ardour, but I’ve definitely used them inside Carla and Qtractor (using LinVST wrapper). I haven’t tried the specific plugins you’ve mentioned but I have ran Kontakt. I suggest doing a search on the LinuxMusicians forum as this topic has been covered there quite well.

1 Like

Robin hey thanks for the answer. As much as I would really like to stick with my Linux based version of Ardour (not that I’m really up to speed using it with my Behringer XR-18 anyway…lost actually…) If switching to WIndows just for music production is what I have to do, not to have find workarounds or “band-aid” fixes to make Windows VST plugins work on Linux I’ll do it. In the past I spent more time messing around with gear than writing and recording music. Those days are over so I just want to ensure, with your experience and knowledge that the Windows 10 64bit bit version of Ardour will allow me to use the VST instruments mentioned above without jumping through hoops as I would using the Linux version of Ardour. Would you say this would be the case?
Thanks for your time and efforts here.

While developing Windows VST3 support, I have tested some Spitfire Audio plugins and virtual instruments and they worked just fine.

However, I do not have licenses for the ones you mentioned and given the nature of Windows, there is no guarantee that anything will work at all :slight_smile: – There is however a very good chance that they will work.

There are some excellent tools to run Windows VST plugins on Linux, notably yabridge;

but the plugins you mentioned are explicitly listed as “having issues” when being bridged:

1 Like

Thank you Robin for your time. If Ardour is going to be an alternative to other proprietary DAWs this stuff has to work. That didn’t come out right. but I’m sure you know what I mean. If the plugs I’m asking about were $50 and not $500 to $1600 I could try it out and see if they work but yikes that’s not really an option with this pricing scale.

Thanks for letting me know about the Yabridge option for Linux. I wasn’t aware of that.

Do you personally know of any plugs in native to Linux that is of the same type and quality as the plugins from Spitfire Audio, such as Abby One or the BBC Symphony Orchestra? So far every plugin I’ve found native to Linux has been mostly audio plugins not instruments and the ones that I’ve found that are instruments are synth related not string, brass, etc.

Self promotion - - more coming soon :slight_smile:

I highly recommend hosting instruments (Windows or Native) inside a program such as Carla. This not only allows you to run (some) of your Windows plugins on GNU/Linux but it also separates the plugin processes from the DAW. That means if the DAW crashes or you want to switch to a different session, or even a different DAW, you don’t have to reload all of your instruments.

1 Like

For Ardour, we use Steinberg’s “host checker” plugin. We make sure that Ardour conforms to the VST3 specs. That usually ensures that plugins work if they also conform to the spec.

But with any complex system, there is never any guarantee.
Especially since some plugin vendors just check “works in Cubase” (and Pro Tools), and move on…

You can certainly get a demo version of those plugins before purchase, and you can get a demo of Ardour as well to evaluate.

I’ve tested VST3 support with Spitfire audio Labs demo on Windows 7 with Ardour 6 a while ago and that worked flawlessly.

Thanks again Robin.
It’s very encouraging that you had the chance to checkout the VST3 wit Spitfire Labs and it worked with Ardour. I’m sure you’ve been involved in Linux for a long time and with that means that it’s always an experiment or a “trail and error”. I’ve used Linux professionally (business) since 2005 and was okay with relearning equivalent applications and making Linux work for me. But I’m so tired of always feeling like I’m messing with gear and have workarounds for this and that. I need things be a bit more “native”. Anyway thanks again. I’ll try things out but it seems that the Windows version of Ardour is going to be a better choice when it comes to the VST compatibility.
When you say “That usually ensures that plugins work if they also conform to the spec.” are you meaning for the Windows version only of Ardour or the Linux version also? Forgive my ignorance in this area. I’m fumbling through this trying to understand what’s going to be needed or expect depending on what direction/platform I go with.

both and macOS version as well.

The problem is that most vendors only publish plugins for Windows and Mac.

Lately some also started offering native Linux versions (thanks to Reaper, Bitwig, Mixbus…), I guess you could contact spitfire audio and ask for a Linux version. – If enough users do that they may just offer it.

Ahh yes. This, as you likely know has always been an issue on Linux. Trying to get the software manufacturers to consider Linux in their development is not easy. Most just don’t care. They are going to create the software for the platforms that are going to make them the most money for their efforts but I have bee seeing a lot more naively available for Linux in general.
Ok thanks Robin for the insight.

One major hurdle for developers offering GNU/Linux support (not sure this applies to Spitfire) is their authorization systems, iLok for example.

Wait, does a version of ardour run widows vsts without wine etc ??

Sure, as long as you run Ardour on a Windows computer. If you mean does a version of Ardour running on Linux or MacOS run Windows VST natively, then no.

There are several YouTube Videos how to use VST on Linux Ardour. Here are some examples:How to use Windows VST Plugins on Linux | Tutorials - YouTube
Open-Source Audio Plug-In Formats - YouTube

This topic was automatically closed 28 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.