Windows VST on GNU/Linux(Ardour)

i want to use windows vst on my GNU/Linux inside Ardour, i read somewhere that using carla and carla windows bridge its possible to do so, but im unable to set it up. i want some help on how to setup carla with ardour to use windows vst. i tried creating a new midi track and loading up carla patchbay in the carla rack, but cant hear anything(im using alsa not jack, because i cant create ardour-session with jack). and when i open carla standalone outside of ardour it won’t load windows vst it says “timeout while waiting for a response from plugin-bridge(or the plugin crashed on initialization)”. for some reason it open up plugin just in when inside ardour but no audio(output).

carla (standalone)

patchbay -

carla (inside ardour using carla patchbay as midi instrument)
plugin -

patchbay -

also if anyone can help with jack configuration plz do so …

Can you run Carla without jack? The patchbay looks like jack connections. In any event, is carla connected? Right click on the carla plugin strip in the mixer, click on “Pin Connections”. If the green squares are not connected to the bottom (outs), you need to connect them: click “manual config”, and + in “Audio Out” twice. Then, drag a connection from the green squares in the bottom to the connections you just created.

Hopefully this will work.

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Did you try to connect midi and audio?

I mean click the left mouse button at the “events-out” and drag the wire to the “events-in”, etc…

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Easiest solution is to enable lv2 export in carla.
then you can load the windows vst as a lv2 plugin without the carla host.

Hi, rghvdberg !
I’ve tested an “lv2 - export - experimental feature” - in my case it’s too much unstable. I’ve checked “shortcircuit” (vember audio), “OMB2” (Samsara bass plugin) and “Poulin_Le456_v1_1b” (guitar amp). All the plugins are exported well, I can load them into tracks, but they cause a crush of ardour when I try to playback the session. Also I can see the list of automation parameters of the plugins in ardour, but when I add an automation track to control any of them - the automation doesn’t work (of coarse the “play” mode is enabled). And one thing more - ardour can’t save the plugin’s state: when you reopen the session - all the controls go to default.

(wine3.0.2; carla2.0.90; ubuntu18.04)

That’s missing feature on Carla’s side of things:


yes it worked, thank you so much i got audio :smiley:

i connected everything like you showed me and also inside ardour i had to manually pin connections and i got audio. thank you :smiley:

now i want to know if i can automate windows plugin functions like filter cutoff and all that stuff inside ardour?

I think that Carla itself allows automation. But I am not sure. (Apparently only with CC control, but that might work just fine.) Maybe someone else knows better. (You can also try asking at or, since it is not Ardour related.)


Another option, bit more involved but people report a high rate of succes.

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bro did you made this video to explain me :smiley:
much appreciated bro. i got it working thanx.

thanx, ill check it out.

Wellcome! :slight_smile: Technically it’s not so much. I use “simplescreenrecorder”

I think such way economizes efforts to explain. Also one time you record a video, next case you can make a link to this video.

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Also, may be you’ll interest to use CC in carla automation in advanced way and face with the “naming cc problem”.

I’ve made a “.midnam” file

which you can put in to the folder:

More information here (2017 year):

so this file basically removes all controls automatically created and clear the list?

I don’t really know how the things work, it’s my monkey experiments. Yes, by default, when you add a new midi track this uses a “Generic” midi map. When you add a custom “.midnam” file to the mentioned folder, Ardour begins to add a custom map to the list. Simply in Ardour (relatively to Carla) I found the easiest way to manage CCs with typical numbers (1, 2, 3…) instead of Generic names (Modulation Wheel or Level, Breath controller, Undefined… - easy to mix up), which are displayed at the controller track header.

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yes, i can figure out a little bit by moving knobs on synth/plugin and checking the corresponding parameter that moves while playing with the knob and assign that to cc control. thanx anyways. ill definitely check out this file you gave me and play with it.

i installed the same carla win bridges on my main PC, configured wine and carla same as i configured on my laptop but unable to load windows plugins :frowning:

carla as standalone

carla inside ardour as a plugin