JOST, native linux VST

Hi people! I’m browsing the web and found these:

Look these link, it is a implementation of a host for runing vst plugins native on linux, without wine (more eficient). Yes the plugin must be compiled under linux but this is not a important problem.

I think tath will be very interesting that Ardour implements these vst host for suport native VST plugins in linux. The code of core of these is writed for JOST, the only job is adapt it to Ardour

Wat you thing? like these?


Couldn’t agree with you more! LADSPA doesn’t have any “great” reverbs, some are OK for instruments but I haven’t found any truly fit for vocals. Also LADSPA is not well off at all with EQ’s… many of them are buggy and the GUI’s are not user friendly at all with horizontal faders etc. I really miss a good 31 band EQ for mastering.

Could you please tell me which reverb you are talking about at I would be interested in checking it out, but I don’t know which one you’re talking about.


Gmaq, i’m agree whith you !! i say there is NO good reverb under linux ! Vincent burel is pyramix or vst reverb, no lapsda.

“And there is a convolution engine for jack. I have a set of high end lexicon impulses that I use with this and it sounds great”
Dan , I will happy to test this ! where have you find your lexicon impulse ? is there other good impulse ?
you say about jace or jconv ?

the most important reason for want vst plugin under linux is its GUI.

I think the most important reason to use vst is because there’s no hi-end reverb under linux ( i mean for pro use). Vincent Burel ( reverb is a reference for me, the best sounding software reverb ever done to my eyes ! i hope one day this guy will contribute to open source and linux.

The eq gui is not so important, i close my eyes when i ajust my parameters ! sure curves can be intresting but sometimes can false the sensation, and some people use her eyes and no her ear.

any compresor, gate, eq plugins with a good GUI for linux?
sc4 GUI is very nice and efficient, sure is not the best sounding compressor that i ear , but good and do his job

you’re welcome :slight_smile:

Think of dssi-vst as a linux replacement for savihost.exe that understands jack’s API natively (no wineasio).

This is what is frustrating about Linux Audio,

Thanks to Paul and team we have a second to none sequencer, And I truly applaud the hard work of our LADSPA developers. I wholeheartedly agree that the quality of a plugin is not in the GUI however I agree also with the previous posters that a GUI is what connects the user to the useful code “behind the mask”.

There are legal issues with Steinberg which I understand, however what I don’t understand is how LMMS and DSSI-VST can get around it and since they have why there is not a renewed interest by the Ardour devs in (re)implementing and improving VST support in Ardour.

Whether LADSPA is “good enough” isn’t the issue, Anyone who has used VST or Audio Units before is certainly going to perceive the current implementation of LADSPA in Ardour to be a step backwards, if not in functionality certainly in interface. I would guess that a large percentage of Ardour users have migrated from other platforms and other DAW’s.

I find it very discouraging that our Mac brethren get AU support served up on a silver platter, meanwhile those who are migrating from Windows not only have to build VST support themselves, but get a cold shoulder from the developers.

I see the monthly total of donations shrinking every month, that just shouldn’t be, not with a program this good. I can only imagine how many unpaid hours Paul and team have put into this. However when the largest influx of “customers” are coming from the Windows camp only to find they can’t use the plugins they are used to and have paid for and instead of something “alternative” to use they get a collection of refried GUIless VSTs, half finished projects whose brilliance haven’t been fully realized yet, and a handful of real gems that on the surface are undistinguishable from the rest.

At the very least could there not be some sort of GTK based minimal plugin skin integrated into Ardour similar to Rosegarden, Something at the very least with knobs, faders and buttons. This would even improve the reception of DSSI-VST since it is also plagued by the no GUI issue in Ardour.

I’m hanging in there because I believe in this project to the detriment of my mental health and hair follicles, However the whole GUI thing is a MAJOR hurdle to mass adoption of this program in the Professional Audio World. I sincerely hope the devs will weigh that in to future releases.

I have been banging on about this for quite literally years now, but for me, having a plugin like EQinox (one of the native EQ plugins) is enough motivation on its own to actually do this. I don’t care how many arguments I hear about “use your ears”, custom GUIs for plugins are tremendously useful. Most proprietary developers take it too far, i.e trying to make plugins look like analogue gear from the 80’s, but things like EQ and compression can benefit enormously…
end of rant.

Yes, I think like Dan Weatherill, the most important reason for want vst plugin under linux is its GUI. In plugins like reverbs, delays, flanags and other “strange” FX the GUI is not an important thing. But when you trying to adjust a compresor or a gate is very important a good gui for adjust the optimum parameters, the same in a parametric equalizer you can tune the frequency and gain with your hears but the Q factor or Band with… its dificult, and more dificult determine if there are some eq band overlaping an other band without a grafic GUI for view the equalitzation curve. Anyone know any solution of the problem? any compresor, gate, eq plugins with a good GUI for linux?


I compiled and tried JOST a while ago, It worked OK but is really a pain in the neck to run alongside Ardour and have to patch things in and out through JACK. Also the plug-ins are a half-baked lot of oldie but goodie Windows VST freebies that have been ported to Linux with varying degrees of success. Like LADSPA and LV2 the native Linux VST format suffers from too few developers with too little time and/or interest IMO. Native Linux VST has even less to offer than compiling Ardour with regular VST support. If you are handy enough to compile JOST you might as well compile ArdourVST. Or run VSTHOST alongside Ardour with wineASIO and JACK.


I should clarify that Sidux comes stock with an SMP Hard preemption Kernel, however there is a RT Kernel available in it’s community. I didn’t want to mislead anybody.


Well it’s very strange but I almost feel guilty going “back” to Windows…I’ve invested a year of time and donations in Ardour and although I’m at a frustrated impasse right now perhaps a less do-it-all approach distro wise would be a start. Ubuntu is getting pretty chubby these days kernel wise. Obviously their focus is larger than A/V work.

Any recommendations? In the past I have tried Jacklab with SUSE 10.3, and 64 Studio’s base is too old for my hardware (wifi, NIC, SATA etc). I tried Sidux but it’s so bleeding edge that it’s volatile. A must will be to utilize an older version of WINE (0.9.52 or less) so ArdourVST will work properly again. I am tempted to go back to Ubuntu Gutsy but support for it will be dropped later this year so that’s not a real smart option.

I would be open to hearing what you and other folks here are using. Debian Lenny looks good but I really don’t want to compile my own RT kernel.

I realize that the devs use Fedora, I also do a lot of firewire video work and I’ve heard Fedora’s firewire modules are messed up right now.

Advice appreciated!

GMaq - have you tried Jamin?


Thanks a lot for the suggestions, they are just what I was looking for. So essentially you are saying, set it up for Audio only… once it’s working how you like leave it alone! I have always been too eager to update/upgrade, in hindsight that’s probably been my downfall. A bad carryover from my Windows days as updates were usually a good thing!

As far as ArdourVST, it truly is a must have for me, I don’t have any hardware FX like you, and although there are some good LADSPAs I want the best of both worlds! Yes it has great potential to be unstable, I’m not really too concerned about it because I used it long enough to figure out what VST plug-ins work (many are more stable than LADSPSA!) and what version of WINE and JACK suits it best. If I’ve learned anything it is how to use ArdourVST. Also for VSTi’s VST Host with WineASIO works great as well.

I haven’t tried VST-DSSI yet, however the lack of GUI’s doesn’t thrill me and most importantly it doesn’t save Preset data with “Chunk based” VSTs (neither does FST) so there is no benefit over ArdourVST that way either.

I will read further on the kernel tweaking, actually Sidux (A Debian Sid based distro) had a really good realtime kernel already available, probably a base Sidux install would be a start. (If it works I’ll abstain from apt-get dist-upgrade!) Obviously as you have indicated it is not all that difficult to roll your own if the right tools are used.

Thanks for your encouraging reply, I think for now I will say goodbye to Ubuntu and see what else is out there.

Unfortunately you may not have gotten rid of me yet!


I actually have “tried to try” Jamin but using Ubuntu Gutsy the Ubuntu Studio version which was old would not even launch, that stopped that right then and there.

I could have built it from SVN and tried it again, but to be honest I’m sick and tired of compiling stuff only to have it break something else, I want to make music and record it…

I just upgraded to Ubuntu Hardy which has basically tanked my ArdoutVST setup…The new RT kernel is a fat pig of a resource hog, WINE will not render the VST Windows properly, Jack is twitchy with plug-ins that it had no issue with previously. Yes there are other distros but at some point in time they all suffer from a lack of cohesion for Audio/Video “power users”

I’m pretty much out of patience, it’s been fun and I’ve learned a lot, but since I am a end-user not a developer, I very regretfully say I’m going back to my XP partition for making/recording music.

My kids are growing up, the sun is shining outside, I really can’t afford to spend any more time on setting up a Linux DAW to do what I want. Even if I did the next dist-upgrade, WINE revision or JACK update would probably hose it!

If I had a political axe to grind with M$ it might be different but I don’t. I truly wish Paul and the rest of the team the very best, if the door ever opens for full VST support I will be the first to walk through it. I am still very interested in Ardour and it’s success I’m just not at a place in life to use it right now.

I tend to use hardware reverbs on most things (send automation, heh), but I agree there aren’t many really brilliant reverbs for LADSPA. They are passable for a lot of stuff, though. And there is a convolution engine for jack. I have a set of high end lexicon impulses that I use with this and it sounds great. Latency is a problem though. However, for me, dynamics and EQ are areas that need improvement. I tend to use the 8 band parametric TAP EQ plugin, which is good sonically for me (for “clinical” jobs at least), but the horizontal bar thingies are not too good. Partly because whenever I’m working on my laptop and not a nic big widescreen monitor, the plugin GUI doesn’t even fit on the screen width ways. I think the SC4 compressor is also pretty good, but it needs to be publicised more how the side chain works… because it does work, and it works well!

brainfreeze above, I meant sidechain in SC3!!! SC-4 is also pretty useful, though.

hey GMaq,

going “back” to windows is fine, as long as you can achieve what you want (play, record, edit, mix your music with the help of your PC). No one has to stick to an OS because of this or that principle if the end goal is to produce fine music. AFAIC, I stick to linux because I do what I want with it. I would have been very frustrated otherwise because I am not familiar with windows or mac. But like Dan, I tend to prefer h/w effects rather than s/w ones. But I like experimenting with plugins sometimes, and check what they can do. I would prefer not using them but my h/w is limited so I do have to use some (EQ, reverb). What bugs me sometimes is that the presence of some of them create some weird noises (loud pops) in a point in time of an ardour session. So I tend to minimize their use.

an advice ? mmmm, I am using debian sid with great success but my PC is strictly a DAW, nothing else (no fancy video card, no other components that would compromise audio work). I think your degree of success depends on what you want to do with your PC. A DAW that aims at doing video work as well is certainly more difficult to tweak.
So you want VST support … let’s see … I tried ardourVST once. To my mind, it was not worth, too unstable. But that was almost a year ago. Today, if I really need a VST, I go with dssi-vst and use inserts. But I rarely to never do that. I use dssi-vst for VSTis only (drum and piano VSTis, work flawless!). So unless you cannot do without, I would seriously consider giving up on ardourVST if I were you, but maybe someone in the forum can tell you more about it.

Regarding compiling your own kernel, you need not be concerned, it’s not as bad as it sounds. You just need a proper kernel .config. Once you have it, you can just update your kernel source and do a ‘make oldconfig’ which will propagate your custom config. The first time you have to configure the kernel for compilation, it can take about half an hour as there are many options, 3/4 of them are irrelevant, it’s mostly options for device drivers, devices that you probably don’t have but once you’ve been through this tedious task once, you don’t have to do it again :slight_smile:

If you use a debian based system, you can use make-kpkg for kernel compilation, which will create a .deb and will be recognized by the apt-* environment. If you want to add external kernel modules, the module-assistant is a very convenient interface that will take care of it easily.

You see, if you are really serious about having a linux DAW, there’s isn’t much way around, you have to tweak it, including its kernel. When I built mine, it took me about 2 months before I froze my config (OS choice + OS tweaking). Since then, upgrade routine and bug reports, but nothing more. But you said you spent a year … well, I can understand that you would like to switch to more productive alternatives :smiley:

no problem, just speak up and I’ll try to help. I am not as present on the net as I used to be but lately, I’ve had more spare time.

About debian, it was a posteriori an obvious choice because debian is constantly updated and you can always easily undo whatever you just updated. Sure it is not as easy to install and tweak as Ubuntu, even though I am biased toward debian because I’ve been using it for many years. But Ubuntu works differently and for people who don’t want to compile their own stuff, ubuntu can make you feel a little frustrated because of the 6 month release cycle. While I respect this distro for its philosophy (provide an easy to use linux distro that is appealing to newcomers - aka ex windows users … OK, it’s a caricature), I don’t think it is the best choice for a DAW. That’s just my opinion. Regarding redhat based distros, I cannot say, last time I used such systems, it was ~6 years ago (I switched to debian after redhat 9, never used fedora). Now about sidux, that sounds cool, a debian sid configured for rt audio operations out of the box, I should have known from the start! :slight_smile:

you said “the lack of GUI” regarding dssi-vst. I am not sure I understand.
dssi-vst will draw the VST GUI alright. In fact, when you compile dssi-vst, it will create a small app called vsthost (like its windows homonym). It is true that vsthost is to be run from the command line (something like : vsthost some_vst.dll, as long as your VST dll name has no space in it, so you have to rename your dll if it does contain spaces). However, you can create your own icons which will execute this command after a click. You will see the VST GUI show up, and it will behave like an independent jack client (see jack ports in qjackctl), ready to be used as inserts in ardour. It’s not optimal due to lower level design, but if the VST crashes, ardour won’t :wink: