good VST's compatable with Ardour for Windows

I have started using Ardour for Windows (really cool software, by the way) and have been looking around for good plugins for instruments (I’m mostly making electronic music). A lot of the ones (yes, they are .dll Windows files) Ardour picks them up when I search for plugins, but they don’t appear in the plugin manager. I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or if they’re not compatible. Anyway, assuming that they are not compatible with Ardour (for some reason), is there any (free?) synth/drum plugins that anyone else uses for Windows that works for them?

Have you checked to make sure that they are the same architecture? In this case I mean 64 bit plugins for 64 bit Ardour, and 32 bit plugins for 32 bit Ardour.


Also enable Preferences > Plugins > VST > Verbose Plugin Scan, then re-scan and check Menu > Window > Log

There is one that runs on both architectures x86 & 64bit(windows) Beat Zampler that can load .sfz and .rex, you can find electronc music drum kits and instruments in those formats and is free vst. the link, Also there are good free synths like TAL Noisemaker vst at,

I can tell you that windows commercial VST’s from NI and Steinberg mostly just work. You need 32 or 64 bit dll’s to match the Ardour version you are running. It appears to cause no problems if you search path’s that don’t match 32 or 64 bit though it may take a bit longer while the bad ones get weeded out on a scan. Workflow will be different than other DAW’s sometimes and certain things won’t work or will look different. I have Ardour tracks with some NI synths, and Steinberg Halion products. I’ve been trying to figure out a workflow with Mashine 2.7 but I don’t think I have that recognizing the device (MIKRO) except as a MIDI controller. Windows 10 Ardour 5.12 32 and 64 bit

Thanks! I have tried TAL noisemaker and couldn’t get it to work, but perhaps it was a 32-bit version. Zampler worked though; great suggestion! Enabling Verbose plugin scan didn’t help too much, unfortunately.

Nice to know that!

You can also try Plogue Sforzando VST.