Hardware Configuration?

Hi, For a long time now i have been meaning to test drive what Linux has to offer for music production, and i must say since the last time i had used Ardour much has improved, and is starting to show signs of being a serious contender. So with this in mind I’m building a new studio setup running as much of it in Linux as i possibly can, with Ardour at the forefront of control as my main sequencer.

The one question i have as it is not possible to go completely linux at this time, as there are just 2 many Soft Synths by Native Instruments that i need on a daily basis that Linux can’t compete with and running them through Wine isn’t an option. Also there’s the wonderful UAD1 DSP card that i never leave home without.

My question is. Would it be possible to somehow network a Windows PC running VST plugins maybe through Steinberg V-stack system, and control those plugins from within Ardour via that network. There’s similar systems that exist for people running Gigasampler on racks of PC’s that are then networked together and are controlled from and Apple mac running logic, so to me doing the same thing but with Linux should be possible.

My knowledge on networking though is very limited and would have no idea if this would work.

Any suggestions?

You don’t need to run them under Wine - all the Native Instruments VSTi I use run perfectly with dssi-vst. This uses some Wine technology, but it connects to Jack and therefore can interface with Ardour and accept midi events. I was playing the B4 and the Elektrik Piano only yesterday.

That’s interesting, thanks DrG ill look into that further. Still need to find a workable way of using my UAD1 card, but things are coming together

jackdmp (it’s a next-generation implementation of jack that is developed in parallel with and will eventually depreciate the standard version of jack) will run on windows and hence act as a netjack client. This offers the possibility of setting up a windows machine as a net based remote DSP. Haven’t done it myself, and not sure what all is needed to pull it off, but I’ve heard of others doing similar setups.

openfunk: if there was an open protocol for doing networked audio, then this would obviously be a lot easier. unfortunately, as far as i know, there are basically no usable or supported tools for windows or os x that do network audio with an open protocol. however, as reuben noted, jack does work on windows, and there is netjack for doing precisely this. the scenario would be a little complex - you’d have a windows machine (or machines) running a (minimal) VST host, connected to JACK, with that instance of JACK connected via netjack to the linux host(s). i don’t know if netjack can be built for windows at this time. i have no doubt that it will happen at some point.

Thanks for the replies guys. I think I’m going to delay the whole rebuild to be honest. After looking around and taking the points mentioned above i realised that most of the Synths and effects plugins that i use on a regular basis are VST, so even if i did manage to network ardour on Linux to control a windows PC with my plugins it would be slightly pointless as i would be using the windows pc most of the time anyway.

I hope to start migrating to Linux and using Ardour at some point in the future though, but not quite yet.

Going to continue researching and hopefully soon there will something that can work.