Status Quo On Linux Vsts?

Recently, I started looking further into the whole Linux Renoise thing. With JACK and a realtime kernel, it runs really nicely here. Thing is, I’m having trouble finding working VSTs, both effects and instruments. I even started looking into the code side of things (not my strongest side though), but even though the demo synths from (synth2 for example) compile nicely, they’re not even recognized by Renoise…

The stuff that’s working fine for me (which might be a pointer for fellow linuxers) is the MDA plugin collection (, the Loomer Aspect Demo ( The Jucetice plugins ( mostly don’t work properly (Soundcrab can’t find programs inside the soundfonts, nekobee, vopm and vex crash renoise, zynaddsubfx vst works, but only one instance at a time, and it forgets the preset after saving your project…) - mind you that even though I’m running a rather stock xubuntu hardy some of the flaws might be limited to my system.

After skimming through the renoise forums, I just found older postings about the linux vst/i issues, nothing recent. Any clues if things are being worked on? I guess you can get along well with the stuff that we already have, but most of the ports don’t feel very solid.

Most plugin vendors probably don’t write stuff for Linux because the bigger commercial DAW’s don’t have a Linux edition either.
Considering the fact folks are prepared to pay big bugs for a Host, they usually also invest a lot in a plugin.
The idea that you might not sell your stuff if they don’t have their host there to support it is partially granted.
They might eventually come though, but it will take longer.

Well, this is moving a bit into the “is it financially feasible” direction. That was not my intention. If the existing linux vst/vsti were working/more stable, there’d be a reasonable set of synths and effects for now. Especially a working zynaddsubfx vsti would be a great addition towards the situation of linux as a system for musicians (at least in my books). So far, I’m glad to have the mda stuff, which - if you take the time and explore the possibilities - is probably a very handy package which may even be sufficient for most needs. I guess I’ll just have to buy Loomer Aspect then eventually. It just works as flawless as you’d expect from a windows vsti. Too bad that the linux vst department seems to be so niche that I can’t even find simple synths/effects with source code that I can get compiled and that actually work. :)

Hmm, yeah. Actually it would be interesting to know… Since the porter or author of all of the VST plugins in JUCETICE is frequent on these boards (wink wink), maybe he can shed some light into why none of the jucetice plugins work correctly and how those could be fixed? :)

That’s the odd part about it: SOME of the justice plugins DO work (uh, the ports at least):

  • Peggy2000 works perfectly, as far as I can tell
  • CHIP32 is fine as well
  • ZR3 was okay during a short testing session

Highlife was rather unstable (also, it doesn’t seem to support the native format the windows version offers).

So it seems the solution to the crashing problems can’t be all that far! :)

try those recompiled version of my plugins with a working version of the JUCE wrapper:

they should be working mostly better than before. anyway i will have less time in making things perfect unless i can feature some more time :)


A quick check on Nekobee did turn out a success, it does work! That’s good news then. I’ll try the other plugins later when I have more time on my hands. Thanks!

I did not experienced problems with the Helix synth plugin either, but frankly, never got too far in porting the native bank from the newer Windows Beta edition…
I suspect the source for this version was probably never released to port.

helix as of now is closed-source. mr. norberg removed the sourceforge project and the whole thing went commercial.

discodsp discovery works well here on my machine.

in regards to compiling the VSTs yourself, are you running a 64bit system? renoise is 32bit, it can’t see plugins if you don’t compile them as such.
if your gcc is multilib, you should be able to just make sure you’re passing “-m32” to it. if your gcc isn’t multilib, that won’t work. i run arch, i don’t know about *buntu.

Nope, 32bit system here. Didn’t really get error messages either, it compiled fine, but isn’t recognized in Renoise. I doubt it is Renoise’s fault though, since even though other plugins may not be working, they at least turn up in the vst plugins box.

EDIT: Just had a quick testing: synth4 from compiles and gets recognized as vst, only throws out thrash when playing notes though. Synth2 and synth3 compile as well, but they appear in the vst effects section rather than with the instruments(!)

Odd thing. I could really do with some solid VST base for further investigations, bummer.

Hello Boardists

My experience with linux vst plugins:-

MDA plugin collection as you say works great.
So does the aspectvst demo.

The juced plugins svn revision 74
nekobee,vex, capsaicin, peggy2000, bitmangler and equinox seem to work without crashing now.
jost works but i have no file save and many crashes.
highlife works but i don’t find it very stable/usuable.
Sadly soundcrab fails to load with
Renoise LOG> VstPlugs: Trying to instantiate /home/kevin/.vst/
Renoise LOG> VstPlugs: Instantiate FAILED (DLL contains no VST main entry function) !!! :angry:
Would be very nice to have soundcrab working under renoise. Soundcrab 2.2 loads but has the crashing problem on plugin unload.

Others i have tried :-
hypercyclic crashes alot
zynaddsubfx no save pretty unusable
linuxsampler not routing audio internally yet


@ Mozai

How did you get the Juced plugins working bug free? I tried launching Capsaicin, but like all the latest versions on they seem to crash Renoise when you attempt to open the external UI.

Not a problem for Nekobee, cos it’s got a small handful of parameters you can figure out with the automation device, but I’m scoobied with regards to the polysynths.

Still for what I can get working, I’m pretty grateful for kRAkEn/gORe’s efforts. Can’t wait til I can nuke that windows partition.

Ta much!!


Electric Ungulate you need to get code from svn

if you feel lazy i uploaded this :)…1.tar.bz2.html

You sir - are an absolute star! Thanks very much.

I managed to get them working my tabbing out a few lines in my xorg.xonf eventually, but if our man has patched this already good stuff.

Nice one and cheers,


would like to use soundcrab but it crashes on 2.7. Can u re-up those file please ?

But are there still people working on the open source version? I mean, the code is there, so it would be a shame not to develop it further.

Biggest reason why VST is not widely adopted on linux is how Steinberg publishes the VST-SDK. It’s not by definition supported on linux and also not compatible with open source licencing.

You may try DSSI-VST wrapper. I’ve had some luck with it thought reliability isn’t perfect. With latest improvements in Renoise’s sampler I’m going to use it more exclusively from now. Especially if some converting to xrni software could show finally…

Of course there are other linux instruments around that are not plugins - yoshimi, phasex, hydrogen, alsa modular synth - all still very useful in their own right. Connect to Renoise via JACK and you’re away. A bit like using external hardware really - external software!

Anyway, the point of this post is to bring this one to your attention:

Din Is Noise - very interesting, especially if you want to create your own drones/waveform samples. Looks like a must-have tool for ambient/industrial tracks! Check out the videos.