Ardour raspberry pi windows plugins

Has anyone tried using ardour 6 on raspberry pi 4 and tried using windows plugins. I’m curious to know if they work when running Linux and using lin vst or Carla rack I think it’s called. I don’t have a pi yet so I can’t see for myself unfortunately

I don’t think this is possible due to windows plugins being for Intel processors and Pi having an Arm processor. Executable for one processor platform does not run on another.

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Does Ardour run in unspecified Arm architecture or is it specifically built around the Raspberry Pi? (I own a Pine Rock64, would like to give it a try)

In theory yes.

The 32 bit build is rather generic for any armhf architecture. Depending on OS, both 32 and 64bit builds run the Cortex-A53 CPU (like your Pine Rock64). However that 8 year CPU model is a rather slow. As long as you don’t use plugins, you’re probably fine though (basic recording and some editing).

I suggest to just try get a demo.

A bigger issue is probably I/O. It was only the latest RPi4 that solved the issues reliably supporting soundcards via USB. I don’t know about the Pine Rock.

@mhartzel is correct. This won’t work, unless you get ARM binaries, instead of Intel x86/x86_64 ones.

(In addition to Windows, you’d also have to emulate the CPU architecture, which is not feasible).

Oh ok so if a plugin is in the Linux vst or lv2 format will they work on arm or only x86 cpus

If a VST plugin was made for Microsoft Windows it will only work on Intel CPUs.

There are dedicated plugin binaries that run on Linux/ARM (VST and LV2).

I think that most people understand this, but when Robin said “only work on Intel CPUs” he of course meant “x86 or x86_64 (amd64) CPUs”. So both Intel and AMD CPUs are fine. Just wanted everyone to be clear about that.

Oh on so for the ardour built in plugins, they will work on the arm because it’s configured for arm cpus ?

Yes, if you have an ARM build of Ardour 6 you’ll have the a-plugins as well.
You can possibly get some of the other popular LV2 plugins to work as well but it’s likely a hit or miss.

So you are starting to get into what many users would consider the technical weeds…

You have the Operating System, which provides various libs etc. for software to run. This is why you can’t run Windows software (Including plugins) on Linux without a translation layer like Wine. But you also have the CPU instruction set, which is much lower level, and software has to be compiled for the CPU it will run on.

So even Linux software compiled for x86 or x86_64 which as Paul mentioned includes both Intel and AMD processors won’t run on ARM without some sort or virtualization technology that emulates a x86 processor and would severely slow down the process (And really make it unusable). That same software if the source code is available might be able to be compiled to run on ARM though and run fine. This is what happens with Ardour and it’s plugins, but there could be other plugins that also compile and run fine on ARM as well, but maybe not all of them.


All the x42-plugins have ARM binary versions which can be directly downloaded from, KXstudio also has ARM32 (armhf) an ARM64 binaries for all

On the proprietary front, there are also various options, e.g. and offer dedicated ARM CPU versions.

So the arm hf is for only 32bit arm cpus right


The long story:

There are different kind of 32bit ARM CPUs.

Newer ones have a Hardware Floating point unit (armhf), this is particularly useful for audio (since audio processing uses floats). These devices also usually support vectorization single-instruction can process multiple data objects (like SSE™ on intel). The technology is called NEON™ for ARM and also very useful when processing audio.

Older versions of the 32bit ARM CPU don’t have this. Those are still common in case where low-power consumption is needed. Also a wide range of NAS and network-routers feature it (they’re cheaper, too). This architecture is called “armel” (after ARM EABI).

64bit ARM CPUs don’t have this distinction. Strictly speaking this architecture is called “aarch64”, but “arm64” is more commonly used. All those CPUs all support floating points math in hardware. They are also backwards compatible with 32bit armhf.

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