Ardour3 Never shows native winVST (dssi-vst) GUI

For some reason Ardour3 always shows it’s own window with VST settings instead of VST own UI, no matter if “Use plugins own interface instead of Ardour’s” checked or not.

Is this a bug or restriction?

Some additional info if needed :

3.8.0-24-lowlatency #16-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT Mon Jun 3 09:31:29 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux




DSSI-VST is both a DSSI and LADSPA wrapper for Windows VST Plugins, in hosts that support DSSI (ie Rosegarden, Qtractor) it will provide the VST GUI’s, however Ardour does not support DSSI so DSSI-VST works only as a LADSPA wrapper and therefore only displays with Ardours native UI’s the same as it provides for LADSPA plugins.

If you want to use Windows VST’s with Ardour and have them show their UI’s you need to either use an external VST host like Festige or Carla and manually patch them into Ardour, or you need to custom self-compile a special build of Ardour that runs on Wine loosely called ‘ArdourVST’. This special build of Ardour is NOT supported by the Ardour developers and is significantly more unstable than the regular Linux version of Ardour and the ratio of working to non-working Windows VST plugins is maddeningly variable and subject to whatever particular version of Wine is being used.

To my knowledge the only way to try ‘ArdourVST’ in a ready to run configuration is on the AV Linux LiveDVD, to my knowledge no other Audio distributions (including Ubuntu/KX/Dream Studio) provide an ArdourVST package.

LiveDVD is here:

Running plugin binaries built for a completely different operating system is (almost always) going to be significantly less stable than running them on the OS they were designed for. Possibly negating any benefits of using linux at all.


While true to an extent, I wouldn’t count out the usefulness on occasion. For instance right now my workflow for a weekly corporate type video that I do audio for is to clean up the recordings using Izotope RX on Mac, and then transfer them to my Linux box to use since I have both your plugins and Harrison’s on my Linux box and prefer to work on it. On occasion however I find that there is still a bit more noise than I would like, and being able to insert in a Festige loaded copy of WaveARTs MR Noise, which does a better job on certain types of broadband noise than RX in my experience, particularly in the high end of dialog tracks, allows me to clean it up, without having to go back to the mac, re-clean, re-export, and re-import, and finally re-cut in to Mixbus on Linux.

But I do generally enjoy using both your plugins and Harrison’s on Linux much more than loading, for instance, WaveARTs trackplug, which is a great plugin itself, via WINE or similar. But sometimes there isn’t much alternative, like my restoration stuff above.


@Seablade: Noise reduction is something which is sadly lacking on linux (I have an intention to look at it at some time, but not only is it a lot of work - if it is to be of a standard that will make it worth using at all - but there can be some patent issues around some types of processing, which can make implementation more complicated than just simply knowing how to do it. I understand there are needs to use some Windows plugins for precisely the kinds of reasons you mention, and obviously you understand the risks / difficulties involved - but I always caution against relying on that as anything but a last resort method - I’ve been burned by that myself in the past.

Thanks for your answers guys.
Well, I am about to buy Toontrack Superior Drummer and already using a bunch of windows VST plugins through dssi-vst bridge in Renoise (native support). I’d say they all work pretty well. It seems like wine and dssi-vst developers made a big step forward in last two years. I’d stick with Renoise , but when it comes to automation, mixing and mastering it becomes a little more difficult (I work with live recorded guitar and bass + vst drums, synths & piano ). Here’s where Ardour tages the stage. I supposed to make multitrack recording from Renoise into an Ardour and then do the mixing magic there. Just like in a real studio :slight_smile:

As Seablade and Linuxdsp mentioned there are situations when there’s simply no alternative. Unfortunately, I never met anything close to Addictive Drums or Superior Drummer on Linux, as well as the Fabfiler’s bundle :frowning:

Just a wonder why such a powerful piece of software like Ardour does not have dssi support out-of-the box? I understand there could be technical
difficulties, but… I am sure this is a must-have feature :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, I will try to find a native linux solution for my purposes. Btw is there a way to work with linuxDSP plugins in Ardour without launching and routing them manually?

Thanks again for the answers

… or I will just use FeSTige :slight_smile:

Btw is there a way to work with linuxDSP plugins in Ardour without launching and routing them manually?

If you mean linux VST as in, VST plugins compiled for linux, then, they should work normally inside ardour3. If you mean linuxDSP as in my (these) plugins:

Then they should also work either as LV2, linuxVST or standalone JACK applications (in which case you would have to route them externally).

If you mean Windows VSTs, then you can load them in Ardour, but you need to build it with (windows) VST support - as GMaq mentioned.


If you ever do go down that road let me know, I will be the first in line with money to buy them. Sadly I can’t afford to sponsor the development myself at this point but yes I do understand the implications of patents as well sadly. And the real fun part about this, I have become fairly convinced recently that a destructive editing workflow is probably the best option for broadband noise removal, especially when dealing with video where my noise levels vary wildly depending on how the editing went. Some noise reduction works well in realtime however, for instance the WaveARTs plugins I mentioned work pretty well, and technically the RX plugins do as well, but the workflow is far more efficient in a destructive workflow really for that sadly. Now narrowband noise (hum/buzz) and some broadband noise reduction can still work very well in realtime(As I mentioned I switch to the WaveARTs MR Noise for some types of broadband noise) as well as even a very good downwards expander can work wonders(MR Gate is FANTASTIC for this).


Yes I was talking about your plugins at Thanks. I will play with them for a while. Thanks for great plugins by the way :slight_smile:

Has anyone tried running Celemony Melodyne with ArdourVST? You need to run the program’s analysis phase before you can use it as a plugin, and last time I tried that (with a trial version of Melodyne) its user interface didn’t work properly under Wine. But I might try installing Virtualbox and running Melodyne’s analysis in a VM, then it would be very handy if the processing could be done as a plugin, instead of re-importing the processed track from a new file.

Also @linuxdsp : while you’re considering future projects a pitch correction package of the quality of Melodyne would certainly get my custom :slight_smile:

@pofigon: DSSI was a simple hack to add instrument capability to LADSPA. I never considered it adequate as a plugin API. I have said many times that if someone wrote support for it, I would merge it, but it has so many inadequacies (a lot like LADSPA) that I had and have no interest in doing so myself.

The technology in DSSI-VST really derives from work that Torben and myself did, and I’ve explained several times on this forum, on the ardour-users mailing list and on IRC why the particular approach that DSSI-VST takes (running plugins in another process) does not scale properly (i.e. it may work very well for 1 plugin but does not offer a solution to people who want, for example, a particular VST EQ on a dozen tracks).

If you want to run windows VST plugins with Ardour, you need to get your hands on a build of ArdourVST or use Festige. And then don’t ask me to help you if or when it goes wrong.


Short version is that Melodyne is surprisingly quirky about running, even in hosts with native support. I wouldn’t expect great things trying to run it through Wine.


I’m sorry that I make you say all these things again. I’m a newbie here.
Thanks for explanations and the great job you’ve done for linux sound community.


While I do provide an ArdourVST build but I don’t really condone it’s use and obviously suggest using the genuine Linux version, I will mention though to anyone who may be curious that in my own testing ArdourVST used with Linux plugins only is quite useable and stable, if you use a few carefully selected Windows VST Effects you may even be able to be productive with it and have to only endure an occasional full-blown crash usually when adding and removing effects to tracks. I think in the case of Ardour 3.X many people will have interest in the large amount of available free Windows VST Instruments and this is where ArdourVST promises more than it delivers, quite a few VSTi’s do launch and work but will kill the program when being deleted from a track and many don’t work at all, surprisingly some commercial ones like Addictive Drums work almost as well as they do in Windows hosts, on the average though VST Instruments are the most problematic issue with ArdourVST. The contrarian workflow of ArdourVST is to train yourself what NOT to do… :slight_smile: Another turn-off is that ArdourVST often will choke multiple times on it’s initial processing and ‘fsi’ configuration of any Windows VST Plugins on the system when you go to use it for the first time, if you have 25 Windows VST dll’s on your system it may take a dozen launch/crash cycles simply to process them and get ArdourVST to launch at all, on AV Linux the fsi files are preinstalled to prevent this but obviously ever user will have a different selection of favourite VST’s.

As I said before I don’t really want to promote ArdourVST but simply wish to point out what the potential user is in for, one thing is certain, if you persevere to the point of having a working ArdourVST setup you are going to want to forget that an Update Manager even exists on your system… An update of ArdourVST itself, Wine or even the plugin dll version can potentially bring the whole thing down like a house of cards!

GMaq: an excellent and extremely useful summary. Thank you for that,

Sadly there are in fact a few kind of plugins missing in linux, but the one that actually takes me to another OS to work from time to time is Pitch Correction, tried Zita Retuner and Talented Hack, these are some form of real time correction that won´t do the hardest job needed sometimes, so from time to time i end up googling if there is something near Melodyne for Linux and thats when all the VST - Wine thing comes up to question, i would just love to ditch my W7 install but i end up loading files to Melodyne using Mixbus or Protools, i´ll eventually try to do it in a Virtual Machine although i don´t know too much about that topic yet, i believe however that this would be the only choice without rebooting…

So i found this article and i think maybe is not just big time coo-coo crazy to think maybe some day some Plugin Developer could use this as a start for a Decent Linux Non Real Time Pitch Correction Plugin-Application:

This is not “the” app needed, but perhaps could be used as a start for a future plugin? is that possible?

I mean, of all the mixing use plugins available: compressors, multiband compressors, EQs, Delays, Reverbs, Gates there are in fact several choices, even prices, i must say i´ve spent a few bucks in most Mixbus plugins and half LinuxDSP plugins available and are all great, love them all - use them always - always great results (except for LinuxDSP gate which i end up changing for the LADSPA plugin from Steve Harris), there are no really decent functional Pitch correction plugin, not even a paid option which i would have paid already years ago if that was the case.

I do not want to use VST´s (other than the ones i own from buying hardware for example) and i don´t care about most of them, what i would like about this is not to be forced to work in Windows or Osx for as many reasons as 1-5 Plugins, now knowing that this is not fault of any developer in Linux this is not asking anyone to solve it, rather than that is just a few words of frustration comming from the hours spent in a OS that has horrible resource managing and annoys me constantly about updates, notifications and antivirus crap, etc.

Work done so far with VST however is great, today i managed to load a few plugins that came with my focusrite hardware using Festige. Not counting on big companies to bring their software to linux, don´t need them either but i can hope this situation gets improved from either one or another aproach.