The last few days I've tried out some bridge software for 32 bit and 64 bit VST's. You need those to use .dll (Windows) VST plugins of synthesizers etc. in Linux. What I've tested:
- Good 'ol DSSI-vst ('Dizzy') from the KXStudio repository.
- Almighty Carla from the KXStudio repository.
- LinVST (compiled from source). Makes Windows VST's pop up like they were native Linux VST's.
- Abique wouldn't compile from source.
- Airwave: I coud install it, but it's not developed/supported anymore. So I'm not gonna use it.
My experiences 'til now:
- Some say that DSSI is on its way out, no longer developed, I don't know exactly... The last news entry about The DSSI-vst bridge on the website from Breakfast Quay (the developer of DSSI-vst?) is from 2010 (link).
- DSSI-vst can only load 32 bit VST's. I've got a sh*t load of 'm and they load just fine in Qtractor w/ dssi-vst. I like DSSI!
- Carla handles everything very well: 32 & 64 bit Windows VST, 32 & 64 bit Linux VST, LADSPA, LV2, you name it. But it's a separate application to load your beloved VST that may take some time to get used to. Carla keeps its own window open for very VST that you loaded, so things can get crowded on your display monitor/task bar.
- LinVST. Compilation went well on my old Mint 17.1 machine (there's also a Zip file w/ precompiled binaries for modern Debain based systems). Just remember to rename the file "Makefile-embed-6432" to "Makefile", else: no 32 bit support. You also have to install the so called multilib versions of gcc and g++ for 32 bit support.
- LinVST bridged 32 bit Windows VST's work fine in a lot of DAW's but not in Qtractor, alas. The knobs of your virtual synths turn around like crazy and buttons go on and off 10.000 times a second.
- LinVST bridged 64 bit VST's on the other hand work fine in Qtractor.
- You can also download LinVst-Linux (LinVst*) from here. They say that LinVst* may help with some Linux vst incompatability problems, such as gtk errors etc. I hoped that this would solve my prolems w/ Qtractor and 32 bit VST's in LinVST. It will not compile on my system because of the following error: "unrecognized command line option ‘-no-pie’". Some Googling suggests that this cannot be solved by installing (development) packages via your package manager but rather it's a deprecated or not-compiled-in option of g++/gcc.
- How do you know if your beloved VST is 32 or 64 bit? Use Carla.
So Qtractor and LinVST don't play nice together. Dunno if this can be solved by LinVST's or Qtractor's developer. But for now: if you don't want an additional Carla window open for every bridged VST that you use: use LinVST for the 64 bit ones and 'ye olde DSSI for the 32 bit ones. And hope that DSSI never dies.