Remote VST plugins from Windows


I don’t know if this a silly question. But I want to know if it’s possible the next scenario. Instead of use wine and linvst/yabridge to install VST plugins, it’s possible to use a dedicated windows machine for this VST plugins and use them remotely trough Ardour? like an externel effect?. And what about midi, audio?


The simple answer is no.


Have you looked at AudioGridder?
this allows you to render vst and other plugins on a remote machine and send the processed audio back to your DAW.

You’ll need a kind of audio stream connection like ADAT, then use the insert to send signal to the windows machine, then route the incoming signal on the windows machine through a VST host and then back to the insert entry point.

So it is KIND OF possible but … why would one?! It would be more efficient to just use a windows DAW.

Hallo, as far as I know you can use the carla plugin host of KX-Studio for loading Windows VST Plugins.
Here is written a little howto what to do after installing for use in Ardour: wine - Carla will not see Windows vst plugins - Ask Ubuntu

This is absolutely possible! You need your two machines and two audio/midi interfaces - I recommend at least 4 in / 4 out plus midi audio interfaces… You treat one machine as your DAW. You treat your second machine as you would any piece of outboard hardware gear. I recommend getting a program by Blue Cat Audio, called Patchwork for your Windows machine. You connect the DAW’s audio interface (inputs) to the second machine’s audio interface (outputs). Likewise, you connect the second machine’s inputs to the DAW machine’s outputs. You do the same with the midi.

That’s it. Send anything you want out to your outboard machine to run through its effects. Receive anything you want from the out board machine’s output into your DAW machine. It’s flexible and it works perfectly.

And, as was said previously, if you don’t want to use your audio interfaces and midi, you can use Audiogridder server on the second machine, and the Audiogridder plugin on your DAW. You’ll need at least a gigabit speed network card on both machines. As long as the network cards are modern (most are), you won’t even need a crossover cable–a simple patch cable between the two would suffice. You’ll have to manually set a static IP on the Server side, but after that, it will work just fine.

In fact, it is now completely possible to host Audiogridder on the same machine as the DAW if you want to. It has been proven to work without much effort at all if you are using Windows. It is much more work, but has still proven to be doable on Linux with a Windows 11 VM with virtio drivers, cpu pinning and isolating, and passthrough techniques. It is much more work and learning to do so, but it has been proven to work. :slight_smile:

So, when Paul tells you, “No”, he probably means, “No, it is not possible to do it SIMPLY–and maybe even reliably, depending on your setup.” In each scenario I mentioned above, it is possible (and proven so) to do, but it gets increasingly more difficult for a non-tech person to set up and do. I’m personally in the process if doing each of these scenarios myself–based off of everything I’ve read in forums all over the internet. :slight_smile:

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Another option might be to use netjack in conjunction with Jackd on Windows, and some sort of Windows plugin host.



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Yes, I’m thinking about the use of netjack. I will experiment.


Amazing!! Thanks a lot!

I tried Audiogridder (on Windows) a few years ago. I experimented with Mixbus and was very impressed at how effective it was at reducing my DSP readout but it had one major drawback - it could only ‘animate’ one plugin at a time. So if you’ve 6 plugins all with meters, you’ll find that the meters work fine for 1 plugin but they’re just frozen for all the others. I exchanged a few emails with the developer in the hope of resolving it, but he didn’t seem to think it was a problem. Dunno if it ever got fixed…

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Yes, I will experiment with Audiogridder!


Has this added extra latency, or does Mixbus wait until data is transmitted to the other PC and back? Was automation in sync?

I didn’t try with automation, though I think it did increase latency slightly - but the main thing was that plugin processing was getting done on the remote PC so Mixbus’s DSP reading improved massively.

BTW - I once read about another approach being proposed by an outfit called Braingines. At the time they were hoping to develop something whereby VST plugin processing could get done by the computer’s graphics card to free up CPU time. I’ve no idea if they ever got anywhere with it…

There’s this. It doesn’t seem to be getting much traction though:



Yes it’s all a bit strange… someone called GPU Audio seems to have taken over the project but it’s not clear whether they’ve released their own audio plugins which run on a graphics card. Or whether they’ve some special app which allows any VST to run on a graphics card. Or whether they’re promoting some niche ideas that’d only interest manufacturers. There’s a (very long!) Youtube video here which bangs on about how they’ve “opened the pathway” to GPU based audio but they still don’t really explain it :frowning:

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