DSSI support in Ardour?

A lot of people have spoken about the lack of a descent GUI for the LADSPA plugins (and I tend to agree), but it occurred to me, that we actually have an open standard for plugins that support GUI, namely the DSSI plugin architecture.


Unfortunately I have not been able to find any notices about Ardour supporting this standard or being in the progress of supporting it for that matter.

Will this happen?

I think it might be a good idea for the OS community to work together on the plugin area, since the lack of good plugins on the linux platform is one of the major drawbacks of DAW work.

As a sort of a teaser; if an application supports DSSI, it will automatically support VST for free (there is a VST wrapper for DSSI)

// Bent

It will happen. There is no way to say when.

Ardour already supports VST, via its own mechanism. The DSSI system is subject to the same license issues as Ardour’s own.

The DSSI system is subject to the same license issues as Ardour’s own.

Not at all. dssi-vst is not distributed under the GPL: it’s under a modified version of the GPL with an exception for the VST header code. It isn’t a “derived work” of any GPL applications or libraries except for Steve Harris’s liblo, for which he’s provided the same exception. Unlike xfst and Ardour VST, you can distribute binaries of dssi-vst.

Note that this means dssi-vst is not strictly “free software” in the Debian/GNU sense.

I should note that dssi-vst is nothing like as complete or scalable a solution for VST plugin hosting as the non-redistributable system that’s in Ardour. It’s just better than nothing.

Another point about DSSI is that its mechanism for handling plugin GUIs is also applicable to LADSPA plugins. Rosegarden supports LADSPA plugins with GUIs in this way. (Or it would, if there were any.)


chris, thanks for the clarification. i should have looked (again) before spouting off.

How do you enable VST plugins in Ardour? Is there an easy way? I’m using the latest version.

dwolfman: you have to compile ardour yourself with vst support enabled. if you are using a version from your distribution’s repository, then they are not allowed to compile vst support and you will be unable to use vst plugins.

see http://www.ardour.org/building and http://www.ardour.org/building_vst_support

hope this clears things up


ps. as a side note, now that midi support is being worked on in the trunk, is dssi support back in the queue? :slight_smile:

To go back to the original point, you don’t really need DSSI support in ardour, surely? Just use jack-dssi-host and use qjackctl to route audio and midi to wherever you need it. It works perfectly for me with VST plugins. I’m probably missing something but I don’t see what is gained by including this functionality into Ardour.

by allowing ardour itself to host dssi and lv2 plugins, you don’t need to worry so much about using something like lash or manually launching and reconnecting other programs every time you load up a project. sometimes (especially with specialised programs) this is unavoidable, but dssi and lv2 were designed to be hosted inside other software, so running a standalone host, loading these plugins and connecting the host to ardour is far more complex than just adding the hosting capability to ardour (for the users that is, i’m sure the development will be anything but simple).


I would really like to see DSSI support in Ardour (until LV2 arrive, if it ever will…). There is at least one effect (non-softsynth) plugin ready for it: dssi_convolve.

I’d like to re-ask porl’s question. Is dssi being looked at again now that midi is being added?

Actually, I now believe that DSSI finally can be “disposed” as a plugin format if LV2 support with UI and MIDI extensions would be implemented in Ardour3. AFAIK, Ardour2 only support vanilla LV2 sans extensions. Correct me if I’m wrong?