Windows .exe as Linux VST plugin


I recently switched to Linux and as an Addictive Keys user I’d love to know whether there is any way to make them work as a VST plugin for Ardour.

Addictive Keys was running flawlessly on Windows both standalone and as Mixcraft virtual instrument plugin. I managed to install AK on Linux Mint with WINE, it works with my controller keyboard, but Ardour doesn’t seem to accept .exe as a valid plugin.

Is there any workaround? Am I doing sth wrong?

Thanks in advance.


I think you need the “Windows VST” build of Ardour, which is not officially supported by the Ardour development team. It is available with AV Linux, but the main site for that is being renovated in preparation for the release of AV Linux 2016 (not available yet) which replaces AV LInux 6.0.4 (no longer officially available). You will find it elsewhere with a Google search, but you’ll have to download a whole ISO image to make a live-boot DVD or USB stick and it will include an older version of Ardour. The Windows-VST build is very much ‘at your own risk’ - I believe it’s essentially a Windows build of Ardour running on a version of Wine selected and tweaked to make it work.

A possible different approach is to persuade the makers of AK to develop a Linux-VST version, but if they didn’t have plans to make it multi-platform in the first place, they will be reluctant to do it now because the whole user and system interface will have been written in a Windows-specific way.

Please read:

And by the way, no file that ends in “.exe” on Windows is a plugin. Plugins are “DLLs” (their filenames end with .dll, amongst other things). Several “large-scale” plugins provide standalone versions of themselves in addition to the plugin version, and that would be the “.exe” file that you’re looking at.


If you can hold on AV Linux 2016 will also have an optional build of ArdourVST on the 32bit version only (ArdourVST has numerous obstacles for use on 64bit), I personally use Addictive Drums occasionally with ArdourVST and it works quite well, I’ve never tested Addictive Keys though. In my experience the ‘exe’ file is the Installer, you run the exe to run the Windows installer (in Wine) and then install the VST .dll file on your system. Once you install the dll then you still have to use Edit–>Preferences–>Plugins to scan and tell Ardour where you installed the DLL.

Alternately, a second feasible solution is to use a plugin host called Carla which is available in Ubuntu and Debian by virtue of the KXStudio repositories, Carla has some optional bridges that work with Wine to host Windows DLL files, Things get a bit complicated because you need to run Carla as a plugin within Ardour to host WinVST plugins so you have hosts running on top of hosts, however despite the precarious nature of this Carla actually does this quite well in recent versions and as an added bonus can run 32 and 64bit WinVST plugins when used on a 64bit OS.

For the record AV Linux 2016 will have both methods available, but if you already use a Debian or Ubuntu distro you can enjoy this in your existing OS with the KXStudio repos…