Ardour- VSTs

Do we need to re-install Ardour to get built-in
support for VSTs, or this option is already fonctionnal in basic setup.
If so, how do we start plugins ?


you need to build ardour yourself for VST support. Follow the instructions somewhere on this website, it’s not very difficult (if you’re a linux newbie, then it can be difficult at first glance). Once you have ardour built with this support, you can put your VSTs (*.dll) in /usr/lib/vst (or /usr/local/lib/vst, I don’t really know, but on my system, one is a symbolic link to the other). You can have a different location if you set the environment variable VST_PATH to whatever location you wish.

I tried to install the program but it failed to to find
/libs/fst/, for uncomprehensible reasons.

Maybe we need FST app, but there is no mentions anywhere.
Do you have a clue about it ?

Sirven, the zip file you mention is to be fetched from the Steinberg website (you have to agree with their non GPL license). Once you have it on you local HD, you need to put it in the ardour source tree under the subdirectory libs/fst. For example, on my system, I have it there :


where ardour_ong is the top directory of ardour source code (ong stands for 2.0-ongoing).

Then you can compile with the following : scons VST=1 or something like that.

Ok. I got ArdourVST installed. It seems to work well.
The only thing now is that I can’t get any VSTs from the mixer window.
I right click in the black area and nothing appear in the VSt tablet. I’ve put all VSTs with .dll extensions in /usr/local/lib/vst or usr/lib/vst. I even
refreshed the directory. Is there a better way to set manually the correct path ? Or something else’s wrong !

Sirven, from the ardour VST instructions (at you can read this :

"Where to install VST plugins

Ardour looks for VST plugins in the location(s) indicated by your environment variable VST_PLUGINS. If that is not set, it will use VST_PATH. If neither are set it will look in /usr/local/lib/vst and /usr/lib/vst (on x86_64 and OS X, some additional directories will be searched, following conventions on thos platforms).

You should also use the wine-config program to ensure that the Z: drive under Wine points to the root (’/’) of your filesystem. This is critical if you install plugins somewhere outside of your home directory, and is recommended."

Well, I tried that and don’t see anything in mixer window. I might have forgot something. Can you tell me where you find the VST_PATH setting. One thing, I want to use VSTi from NI. That’s a bit different than what you find in previous writing.

That’s ok. I just wanted to make windows VSTs working with Ardour but they won’t work ! The program will be able to manage only native VST plugins for Linux. There should be a mention on it in the helper files. I now consider that case resolved.

No, I’m using windows VST’s. But not VSTi’s. I don’t think Ardour supports softsynths yet…