Linux: using computer keyboard while plugin windows are focused

I’m really puzzled by this and after the similar thread about ardour I thought I would ask here about renoise specifically.

In renoise on linux if you have a plugin window open then you cannot use the computer keyboard to play the plugin.

Did a few more tests. The missing “LXVSTPluginUI::forward_key_event” implementation really seems to be the problem here:

Ardour’s window, which hosts the plugin window, grabs away key events, so Redux does not receive any key events.

This sounds like the exact problem that renoise has with plugins. I have asked a few people and I never really get a specific answer about why this happens, just that it is normal and they get the same thing.

Any ideas on this?

I’ve just realized that the external editor for the lfo doesn’t allow keys to pass through, spacebar doesn’t even work.

We’re not supporting the “enable keyboard focus” option on Linux for VSTs. It’s hard to realize on Linux with all the various Window managers and stuff.

Also we never could get it done for DSSIs, cause DSSI windows are completely managed by the plugin itself - not by the host. So the behavior is at least somewhat consistent.

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I know you’ve mentioned this is not possible for years, but since it is active dev cycle - maybe by luck anything changed in 2019? :upside_down_face:

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Those two things seem the exact opposite. So what exactly is happening now on Linux?

With an open VSTi window, will hitting keys on the computer keyboard
(a) send notes to the plugin (play it), or
(b) send the keystrokes to the plugin (allowing typing in the plugin)?

I don’t have access to a Linux installation at the moment and I cannot remember which one it was.

Both are highly problematic though:
(a) would mean one cannot use commercial synths, because one cannot enter the serial number to activate it
(b) would mean that one always needs a midi keyboard when tweaking synths

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Would lv2 behave any differently?

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I just tested it with MX Linux in a virtual machine, and it is (b)!

@taktik Could you at least implement a keyboard shortcut that toggles focus of plugin window on and off, such that we don’t have to use the mouse to click somewhere outside the window into the Renoise main window in order to make the keyboards play? When tweaking synths, this is very tedious to always move to a knob in the synth, move outside of the window, play a note, listen, move mouse to knob again.
Thanks for considering.

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This is a bit a workflowproblem under Linux I agree.

I’m testing on Manjaro Deepin with Wine-staging-4.14 x64 and LinVST bridge, and for me it’s not exactly your a / b, mine are:
a) You can enter notes and play VSTi while plugin is off focus, and Renoise is focused
b) You can enter anything when plugin window is focused (so you can register commercial plugins), but notes are not entered this way

Main problem for me is:
c) You can’t play computer keyboard to enter notes and simultaneously tweak VST / VSTi parameters…

One can live with it, while having midi-keyboard (which doesn’t care of what is focused) or just programming some phrase prior to tweaking parameters…

But that’s not as handy as on Windows where you could do both at the same time :slight_smile:


Yes, I was talking about the situation when the VSTi is focused. So what you are describing is identical.


Did somebody found some workaround for this in Xorg?

THere is this workaround here in case you missed it

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Cool, thanks! I actually missed that post, gonna try that tomorrow :slight_smile:

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