[linux-audio-dev] FreeVSTi Compatibility List / VSTserver & FST

Christian Frisson theremin at free.fr
Tue Apr 20 16:55:48 UTC 2004

Hi all,

Paul Davis wrote:

> >This is the version I'm using with the vstserver now as well. It
> >seems to work better than the december 2003 version (finally!).
> >(Vsterver won't compile with it yet though.)
> so i have noticed :( any idea when this might get fixed?
> btw: torben has tested some of the plugins that are reported to work with
> vstserver using his slightly earlier version, and they do not work
> (anymore). we were worried that FST doesn't work as well as vstserver,
> but it appear that the problem may be in wine instead.

I'm far from being a developper (a kind of LAU member lost over there...)
therefore I've tried several attempts to contribute in my way. The last in date
is managing to test all the FreeVSTi plugins listed on the K-v-R database,
reaching approx. 200, with VSTserver / vsti. As there's some work left, after
two or three fulltime days of labour, I was waiting to put the whole on a thread
on the K-v-R Forum, what I'll do as soon as possible (all plugins are waiting,
sorted on my VST_PATH), but the last messages here force me to reveal some
personal conclusions.

First of all, some relevant testing data:
- System-wide: "2.4.24-1.ll.rhfc1.ccrma kernel" on a 2.4 GHz PIV, ALSA
1.0.1-1.cvs on an "ice1712" card,
- Sound-wise: jack-audio-connection-kit-0.94.0-1, wine-vstserver-0.3.0,
vstserver-0.3.1, vsti-0.0.3

The plugins integration seems to be convenient to categorization tags, sorted as
- Fully-working,
- Removable stuck notes (i.e. stuck notes able to be removed when re-triggered:
bound to monophonic synth use),
- Jack zombifier (sometimes needing a jack-restart, else a reboot, as I can't
kill Jack properly),
- Invisible (no errors emitted, connections existing under Jack, but the GUI
doesn't appear),
- "10s'" (Plugin "*.dll" used more than 10 seconds in the process-thread. Killed
- Non-working,
- System-freezing, 
(I won't paste here the respective error logs.)

Most fall into the first two categories, hopefully, even though reverse-ordered
in quantity.

My first comments upon some weaknesses (bearing in mind it's a bit easy-speaking
- not intending to flame):
- Multiple instances can't be launched, as opposed to the library state of FST,
- FST's lack of server separately launched seems more ergonomic to users like
me. Should the server natively built in Jack? Or should we be able to use a
graphical app like Steinberg Cubase's "VST Instruments"?
- VSTserver can't launch plugins from separate folders, can it? Or could this be
achieved by putting another set of "vstserver" & "servant" in each of them then?

All of the above are mainly due to the beta state of the collection of apps,
what I'm aware of.

- I'm used to changing directory to $VST_PATH in order to benefit from the tab
completion when launching plugins with "vsti". Why not having called it "VST"?
Shorter to type...
- When it comes to preventing from crashes due to user-failure, VSTserver then
Jack do not appreciate partial filename launched with "vsti", like *.d (the
closest tab completion before *.dll & *.dat files, for SynthEdit plugins). Dots
aren't either appreciated. A need of implementing extension check after the last
dot? The aforementionned Graphic VSTi launcher would enable avoiding such wrong
filenames entered by the user.

What about the coexistence of VSTserver and FST on a same machine? Hard times
for the moment, as long as VSTserver uses a custom-tuned version of Wine and FST
the newest possible...

No free-babbling here, all of this just leads me to end up with a good question:
as many libre-projects are often started with the same objectives, will we
benefit from a collaboration between VSTserver and FST?

Christian Frisson

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