BFD - This is a guaranteed dumb question

The subject ^^ heralds this: can a brother use BFD / BFD2 / Amplitube / Dimension Pro with this? What’s the other one I use… Something with a Mellotron… Kontakt. Anyway, please don’t take this as a trolling post if it’s not possible - I used the forum search before I timidly huddled over the keyboard for this one. Thanks. Most important to me is BFD2, which I use with my Roland TD-3SW in Windows with the alternative softwares (okay Ableton Live since you asked).

Theoretically you can build Ardour on Linux to support win/x86 VST plugins. Its a tricky process, especially if you are not used to building software from source. The result works with quite a lot of VST plugins, but certainly not all. The result is also a version of Ardour that is less stable than one built without VST support, and is essentially not debuggable. You cannot get this version of Ardour from anybody else, because of license restrictions from Steinberg, who own the VST trademark and copyright on the VST toolkit.

There is other software (e.g. “FST”, though DSSI-VST is probably a better choice) that will let you run VST plugins outside of Ardour, and for instruments like BFD this is more appropriate because Ardour 2.X doesn’t provide MIDI input to plugins.

My own personal advice, as the lead author of Ardour, a co-author of FST, and the guy who slaved away on VST support, is two-fold:

first, if VST plugins are critical to your work, then you should probably acknowledge this dependency and reconsider your desire to use linux. its not that VST plugins cannot be used on linux, but more that they do not want to be. you are probably more interested in getting work done, making music etc, than dealing with the problems that arise when trying to take software written for one operating system and run it on another one. and yes, there are problems.

second, if that doesn’t deter you, then i’d suggest running VST plugins in a lightweight windows VST host running in Wine on Linux. you can patch to/from it using JACK, and end up with (nearly) the best of both worlds. this is slightly less useful for FX plugins, but for instruments its a really solid solution.